I write what I experience, and I write what I feel. What I feel is sometimes strong. The things and people I deal with can fill a person with blind rage. The tenant who you haul into court after not paying rent for two months will lie about how you forced him to live in squalor, the worst slumlord to walk the earth. The contractor who walked off the job will show up demanding full payment, and threaten to put a mechanic’s lien on your property if you refuse. And with a blood-curdling scream my mind collapses in on itself, reality splits, and I storm the place with a semi-automatic weapon…
The fantasy ends. I have power walked a mile and a half in the cold November sleet. I am sweaty and full of endorphins from the exercise. I switch my music from Disturbed’s “Let The Bodies Hit The Floor” on repeat to Pandora on shuffle. The opening strains of George Harrison’s “Here Comes The Sun” fill my earbuds. My breathing is deep and diaphragmatic from the exertion, and it clears my thinking. The walk home is slower.
I’m not a psycho killer. I’m just a middle-aged Mom with a red-headed temper, and I’m learning to temper it. I have to. Right now I’m a small-time real estate investor. If I want to be the mogul I know I can be, I will need to learn how to shake off these infuriating experiences. I believe in a Higher Power, and I believe HP is sending me these experiences so I can learn to temper my anger.
I’ve been studying the writings of Napoleon Hill in an effort to change my mindset. Hill talks a lot about reprogramming your subconscious. “The presence of a single negative in your conscious mind is sufficient to destroy all chances of constructive aid from your subconscious mind.”
Well, I’m doomed then! Because I can start every day with happy talk, do my yoga and go out into the morning with love for all humanity. And then some deadbeat who hasn’t paid their rent in two months calls me a slumlord in open court. And three more crappy things will happen that day on top of it.
Ah, but I can overcome it. I know I can. Because I want success, very much.
Napoleon Hill says “Positive and negative emotions cannot occupy the mind at the same time. One or the other must dominate.” He goes on to warn that “One does not become money conscious by filling one’s mind with negative emotions.”
Hill names seven major negative emotions to be avoided. See if any of these sound familiar:
Fear. Will I make enough money? What if I can’t pay the mortgages, the taxes? What if the economy tanks? What if the tenant destroys the place and I can’t afford to fix it? What if I can’t find a decent tenant to rent to? What if the contractor screws me? If you find yourself starting sentences with “What if, you are most likely dealing with Fear. Stop it.
Jealousy. How is he able to keep buying up property? How did he get that deal where I couldn’t? He must be connected/have inherited money/incredible luck. Luckily for me, I have learned to turn these feelings of professional envy into professional curiosity. I will befriend this guy and pick his brain, and become a better investor for it. And probably end up with a great friend.
Hatred. Usually reserved for deadbeat tenants who tell lies about me, or contractors who screw me over. A lot of energy goes into hatred. It feels like rot in the pit of my stomach. I think for me resentment is a more accurate term. I don’t hate the deadbeat ex-tenant. I don’t know him enough to hate him. I resent that he ripped me off and that he added insult to injury by lying about me in court. But if it’s all about me then I can choose not to feel it, right? Working on that!
Revenge. I need to be careful of this. If I feel wronged, I go right to revenge fantasies. You screwed me over so I will make it my personal mission in life to destroy you!!! Well if I make it my personal mission in life to destroy one deadbeat, what happens to my mission to build a business that provides me with high earnings from passionate work? What happens to my mission to have a happy family life? Sorry dude, you’re just not worth the energy.
Greed. I don’t have a big problem with greed, although I’ve been accused of it by the above-mentioned deadbeats! I could see it becoming a problem later on as the deals we make get bigger, so I will keep an eye out for it. Every transaction must be fair for everyone involved. We are in business to make money by selling someone something of value, be it a rental to live in or a piece of property for sale. We are not in business to rip people off. We are up front about all transactions. Agreements are always made in writing, so there’s something to refer to if things go south later.
Superstition. This is something else I don’t have a problem with. I know people who won’t buy a house across from a cemetery, but we did just that! We flipped it and raised its value by $110,000. We’ve lived there since 2012, and I love our quiet neighbors. Our black cat, Salem, finds it pleasant as well, and he crosses my path several times a day!
Anger. My albatross. I wonder why Hill saved this one for last, I think it should be up front! I have always had an issue with anger. Learned it at my Daddy’s knee. In the past it has served me well. I moved around a lot as a child and was bullied – it was my anger that eventually put a stop to that. I would NOT be pushed around. My anger caused me problems in my career – but at the same time it helped me survive in the cutthroat, sexist environment that is broadcast media, and I got pretty far. I heard someone say once that “what got you out of Egypt won’t get you to the promised land.” It’s time for me to replace Anger as my primary fuel with something more suitable.
But what to replace it with? Napoleon Hill recommends cultivating the seven major positive emotions. Make these positive emotions habit, he says, and “Eventually, they will dominate your mind so completely that the negative cannot enter it.” And that is how you develop “money consciousness.”
This week, I have begun meditating on these seven positive emotions every day. They are:
Desire. I want a high income doing work I am passionate about. I want a loving family life, a beautiful home, vibrant health, deep personal relationships, and time to create art that is not for commerce.
Faith. I believe it will happen. I believe my husband and I have what it takes to build the business that will bring us the life we desire. I have faith in our abilities to effectively manage our rental properties, to continue to find deals for other investors, to flip houses for profit, to write effective business plans to secure the funding we need to expand and hire employees.
Love. I love what we’re building. I love the properties, for all their faults and all the tribulations we’ve been through with them. I love Wilkes-Barre and the surrounding area, for all its faults. I love walking through old buildings and feeling the history, the ghosts. I love reimagining the space and seeing that vision come to life when we flip a house.
Sex. Yes, Napoleon Hill names sex as one of the major emotions necessary for money consciousness, and he goes into great detail describing the transmutation of sex energy in Think And Grow Rich. The key here is he’s talking about sex energy and not necessarily the act itself. Of course, I’m in a healthy marriage with my business partner, so I get to have it both ways!
Enthusiasm. Am I excited to jump out of bed every morning to work our business? You bet I am – at 5am most days!
Romance. I suspect Hill is looking at this the same way he looks at sex. It’s the spirit and the energy of romance. I find it very easy to romanticize the vision of our successful business. I think of the Caribbean island Steve and I will by flying off to on our anniversary in 2018, celebrating our success. It keeps me going on days like the one I had with the deadbeat tenant in court.
Hope. This goes hand-in-hand with faith. Faith is you believe it’s going to happen. Hope is the corresponding wish that you’re right in that belief.
I’ve tried this experiment: I focus on fear, resentment, revenge and anger. That’s very easy, it comes so naturally! Napoleon Hill says that’s human nature. The negative emotions don’t need any help at all to get into your head. I feel the sensations in my body – tense muscles, gritted teeth, shallow breathing, a knot in my stomach.
Then I focus on love, faith, hope and enthusiasm for building our business. I immediately feel a lifting – my muscles relax, my stomach unknots. And there’s a strength and motivation to do the activities necessary to build the business.
Mindsets don’t change overnight. This will take practice.