Go after your dreams despite uncertainty – A true story of mine

As the reporter left, I sat there with my head in my hands wishing I hadn’t opened my big mouth. Here I was, just 26 years old, telling an old home town reporter that I was going to build the most successful real estate company in the state in just 5 years, from scratch.

It really hadn’t occurred to me that the most respected and successful company in Indiana had been around for over 100 years. I had just moved to Indianapolis for the opportunity to build my own company and I didn’t know a soul. I was young, cocky and ready to claim my stake even though I didn’t know the difference between a profit and loss statement vs. an accounts receivable statement.

I had never balanced a checkbook let alone build and run my own company.

In any case, it was November 1986 and that’s what came out in the paper the next week because of the lack of control between my head and my mouth.

In the past when I got a bit ahead of myself, I just put my head down and starting selling. Selling was easy for me, building and running a company was a whole different animal.

At the time, our RE/MAX Of Indiana headquarters consisted of one executive office in a shared office suite setup, with a shared secretary that answered the phone for 15 or so different businesses.

Up until that time, I was a pretty successful real estate agent in Toronto Canada. I had moved to Indiana to try my hand at building something for myself, something that if I did it right, would provide me with a bright future and hopefully a chance to become the millionaire I so desperately wanted to become and wrote about in my goals 5 years earlier. Although I only went to grade 11, the wonderful mentors I had told me that I had within me more than school could ever do for me. For whatever reason, I decided to believe them, more than the insecure feelings I felt about myself.

So, with my insecure head up high and the RE/MAX concept as my ally, I started to set up appointments with managers and owners of every real estate company in the state. I started with the big boys first, the guys who were already #1 and #2 in the state and who were already doing billions in sales and had over 1,000 sales people.

The first meetings were disastrous, they politely laughed and escorted me out of their offices. Their attitude was, we already have what you are trying to build from scratch so why do we need you?

They couldn’t see past their own success to the future and hence were closed minded from the get go.

It wasn’t more than 4 months of daily prospecting and sharing my vision and story that I got a call from one of the top managers in the state. After our first meeting I knew I was onto possibly the first and biggest deal of my very young career. After several months of discussions we snagged one of the biggest fish in the pond and were on our way. Within 30 more days another unhappy manager called from the #2 company and he expressed interest as well. It wasn’t before long that he and another group purchased the franchisee rights to several more areas. This allowed us to gain credibility and traction.

At the end of the first, year we had 97 sales people at our awards banquet and we were off to the races.

No matter where I turned, everyone thought that we were going to go bankrupt within short order. That made sense since I later found out that two other people prior to me had owned the RE/MAX region of Indiana and both failed!

Regardless, in this case my ignorance proved a strength as I didn’t really care what had happened in the past. I was prepared to surge forward and build my company.

For me it was simply a matter of sharing with enough people the vision of a better future for themselves and then exceeding their expectations month in and month out.

The next challenge for me was to learn how to run a business and to understand all the moving parts. At first it was overwhelming, especially since I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

For a while it seemed as if I bought myself a job that was strangling me. Not only did I have to sell, I had to deliver all the promises I made, take care of legal, and make sure finances were in order. That was just the beginning. What it takes to build and run a 100 person operation is vastly different than a 1,000 person operation.

To help me deal with the growth and education I needed, I formed a mastermind group made up of some very successful regional owners in the RE/MAX organization. These individuals helped me shave years off my learning curve and saved me hundreds of thousands of dollars in mistakes. It also helped me build an organization that does 6 billion a year in real estate sales today.

I learned a very valuable lesson, specialized knowledge is worth its weight in gold.

From those early days of not knowing what to do, to today where I feel comfortable on stage teaching business owners how to build their companies while living an extraordinary life, it all boils down to finding what you love to do, becoming excellent at it and as you do, telling the whole world about it.

What’s the point of the story?

Go after your dreams with passion and purpose even if you don’t know how you’ll achieve them. The answers will show up along the way.

Wishing you the very best,

John

 

Comments

  1. John,thanks for sharing this fascinating insight into what it takes to be massively successful.

    Graeme

  2. John,

    Thank you for this uplifting story. The level of faith and belief you must have had is amazing! You are a great inspiration to so many people!

  3. John,

    Thank you for this uplifting story. The level of faith and belief you must have had is amazing! You are a great inspiration to so many people!

  4. Well, well, John Assaraf. Before I comment on this blog, I need to tell you that I have tried repeatedly to ‘unhook’ my email address from this website, and have not been able to. I suspect you’ve got it rigged in such a way that insures you don’t ‘lose’ email addresses. Be that as it may, I am now VERY GLAD that I was not able to do the deed. I have read through some of your blogs, which were ‘forced’ on me, and did find interesting material, which admittedly has been helpful to me. Today’s story “Go after your dreams despite uncertainty” is the most helpful yet. I am glad you wrote it, and even more glad that I read it, because only two days ago I set the most ludicrous, ambitious, ‘totally impossible’ goal for myself. Your story just confirmed that I AM RIGHT to aim so very high. I have to tell you that I set this goal as a direct result of recently reading Anthony Robbins’ Awaken The Giant Within. Today, I write these words with absolute certainty that my goal IS A DONE DEAL for me.
    Your story just guaranteed that my feelings of certainty are indeed well anchored. I thank you for that. I should tell you that I am 71 years young, but what the heck. It’s never too late.
    I need this accomplishment to take its memory along with me — at a cellular level — when I go into my ongoing. You know what I mean. I’ll be glad to let you know when I am actually living my goal. Won’t be long now.

  5. Sounds very much like what Napolean Hill talks about in “Think and Grow Rich.” Thank you for your wonderful story!

  6. Sounds very much like what Napolean Hill talks about in “Think and Grow Rich.” Thank you for your wonderful story!

  7. This story is just the kind of inspiration I needed at this time. I am facing retirement and fluctuate between being excited and being terrified that I will not make ends meet with my new company. Thanks for the reminder that anything is possible with the right attitude.

  8. This story is just the kind of inspiration I needed at this time. I am facing retirement and fluctuate between being excited and being terrified that I will not make ends meet with my new company. Thanks for the reminder that anything is possible with the right attitude.

  9. John,with a goal in mind, visualization and putting the efforts needed you became unstopable. We need more people like you.

  10. John
    I am reading your book and this is one more thing that you have done that inspires me to believe in ME.

  11. John
    I am reading your book and this is one more thing that you have done that inspires me to believe in ME.

  12. Good one, mate!! The thought of “I don’t know what I don’t know,” can be a stumbling block for many people out there, so, go ahead and do it, and so find out what you DIDN”T know, and now you now it … was that AAALLL!!?? Luv Ya All, Justin

  13. Good one, mate!! The thought of “I don’t know what I don’t know,” can be a stumbling block for many people out there, so, go ahead and do it, and so find out what you DIDN”T know, and now you now it … was that AAALLL!!?? Luv Ya All, Justin

  14. Wonderful and inspiring thank you

  15. Wonderful and inspiring thank you

  16. Awesome and inspiring,Thank you for sharing.

  17. Awesome and inspiring,Thank you for sharing.

  18. The last two lines in bold, that is what I want to hear. Definitely makes one leap forward in the air. Thank you JA.

  19. Hi John, you know I believe this is the best article you have written that I could totally relate to as I am embarking on an adventure of amazing proportions and it was reassuring to read your article / blog. Thanks John and tooraloo and all the best from a wee leprechaun

  20. Hi John, you know I believe this is the best article you have written that I could totally relate to as I am embarking on an adventure of amazing proportions and it was reassuring to read your article / blog. Thanks John and tooraloo and all the best from a wee leprechaun

  21. Thank you. In building my own company, the act of going forword, despite uncertainty, brings opportunities, I could not have expected or imagined. John Harrigan http://www.TheLessonsInLove.com

  22. Thank you. In building my own company, the act of going forword, despite uncertainty, brings opportunities, I could not have expected or imagined. John Harrigan http://www.TheLessonsInLove.com

  23. Thank you for sharing this story. It is a reminder that we don’t have to know how we are going to do something when we first conceive the idea. The important thing is to believe that you can achieve what you conceive no matter how preposterous the idea may seem at first.

  24. Thank you for sharing this story. It is a reminder that we don’t have to know how we are going to do something when we first conceive the idea. The important thing is to believe that you can achieve what you conceive no matter how preposterous the idea may seem at first.

  25. Thank you, John, for sharing your awe-inspiring story. You really are a role model for us all!

  26. Steve, Birmingham UK says:

    Excellent read. I have come to a point in life where I am looking for a change in direction. I already run a successful busines that my brother (now deceased) and I started 20 years back. I have in mind new business ideas but have the shall I, Shant I, thoughts. This inspiring read certainly gives me food for thought.

  27. Steve, Birmingham UK says:

    Excellent read. I have come to a point in life where I am looking for a change in direction. I already run a successful busines that my brother (now deceased) and I started 20 years back. I have in mind new business ideas but have the shall I, Shant I, thoughts. This inspiring read certainly gives me food for thought.

  28. Wow! John can you imagine IF you actually believed those who laughed you out of their offices? What IF you gave up after that? Where would you be today? Worse yet-would WE have been able to benefit from all you share with us? Thank you!

  29. EDGAR S. RULONA says:

    Thank you John for your very inspiring story. You must have that so much overwhelming self confidence within yourself that most of us don’t have.

  30. Wow! John can you imagine IF you actually believed those who laughed you out of their offices? What IF you gave up after that? Where would you be today? Worse yet-would WE have been able to benefit from all you share with us? Thank you!

  31. I am 85,just trying to make some extra money.I am studying John’s program so although I am not looking for millians,by the time I’m done with the course I will be able to see success.

  32. I am 85,just trying to make some extra money.I am studying John’s program so although I am not looking for millians,by the time I’m done with the course I will be able to see success.

  33. Thank-you so much John! What a wonderful way to start off my day by learning from your inspirational life experiences. God Bless & Love to You and Yours!

  34. Thank-you so much John! What a wonderful way to start off my day by learning from your inspirational life experiences. God Bless & Love to You and Yours!

  35. Well good for you, Florence! So you are ’85’ you say. Great to know I am not the only ‘senior’ going for it, out on a limb. Hope I get to meet you ‘in the ongoing’.

  36. I love your blogs as I am learning so much, when I had given up in succeeding, I look into your blogs and information and am rejivinated…..thanks for all your inspiration!

  37. I love your blogs as I am learning so much, when I had given up in succeeding, I look into your blogs and information and am rejivinated…..thanks for all your inspiration!

  38. Thats an awesome story, i love the whole ‘in the face of adversity there is success’ outlook. These are the type of stories i look forward to reading. Thanks again 🙂

  39. Thats an awesome story, i love the whole ‘in the face of adversity there is success’ outlook. These are the type of stories i look forward to reading. Thanks again 🙂

  40. I want membership your site

  41. I want membership your site

  42. just shut up and do it, believe me, my mouth gets in my way alot too…your words are so inspirational John..thanks for sharing!

  43. just shut up and do it, believe me, my mouth gets in my way alot too…your words are so inspirational John..thanks for sharing!

  44. John!,

    As I started reading your blog I was instantly connected because of your age. It’s incredible what you achieved under 30. You’ve taught me to apply specialized knowledge and thats why I continue to achieve success in my own life everyday. I have the right mindset thats backed by the right strategies and tactics. What a beautiful gift!
    Thank you John
    Ryan

  45. John!,

    As I started reading your blog I was instantly connected because of your age. It’s incredible what you achieved under 30. You’ve taught me to apply specialized knowledge and thats why I continue to achieve success in my own life everyday. I have the right mindset thats backed by the right strategies and tactics. What a beautiful gift!
    Thank you John
    Ryan

  46. I am 26 and I feel exactly the same way you did, thank you.
    Your story helped alot

  47. I am 26 and I feel exactly the same way you did, thank you.
    Your story helped alot

  48. Hi John great story, I’m in the process of setting up a web-site, and I’m going to follow my dream, this is one idea I’m not letting slip away, I’m going to follow through with it, I know I’m onto a winner, and reading your inspirational story is exactly the type of encourage ment i need.

    Thank you,

    Scott

  49. Hi John great story, I’m in the process of setting up a web-site, and I’m going to follow my dream, this is one idea I’m not letting slip away, I’m going to follow through with it, I know I’m onto a winner, and reading your inspirational story is exactly the type of encourage ment i need.

    Thank you,

    Scott

  50. Can I just say to Edgar s. Rulona, who said most of us don’t have overwhelming self confidence. The law of attraction, the book “The Secret” and all of John’s teachings explain to us that we are alreading in possesion of every great trait you could possibly imagine to want, it is not about having it, it is about coming into realization of what you already have.

  51. Can I just say to Edgar s. Rulona, who said most of us don’t have overwhelming self confidence. The law of attraction, the book “The Secret” and all of John’s teachings explain to us that we are alreading in possesion of every great trait you could possibly imagine to want, it is not about having it, it is about coming into realization of what you already have.

  52. I have your having it all program and I am working toward building my passion into a profitable business thanks for giving me the courage.

  53. I have your having it all program and I am working toward building my passion into a profitable business thanks for giving me the courage.

  54. John,
    Another great inspirtational story. Thank you for all your hard work and research it has already made a huge impact on my life. I am 27 years old and am on the way to being a huge success at a young age and maybe even a good story to put in your next book.

  55. John,
    Another great inspirtational story. Thank you for all your hard work and research it has already made a huge impact on my life. I am 27 years old and am on the way to being a huge success at a young age and maybe even a good story to put in your next book.

  56. After twenty years in the world of work and an experienced entrepreneur, I am just now learning to trust myself with my passion. Thank you

  57. After twenty years in the world of work and an experienced entrepreneur, I am just now learning to trust myself with my passion. Thank you

  58. John, thank-you so much for sharing this story. It truly was inspirational – even at 61.

  59. John, thank-you so much for sharing this story. It truly was inspirational – even at 61.

  60. Hi Jacques, you can unsubscribe by clicking the link at the bottom of the emails that you receive. Glad you changed your mind!

  61. Hi Jacques, you can unsubscribe by clicking the link at the bottom of the emails that you receive. Glad you changed your mind!

  62. I have put this page on my desktop to remind me that I CAN DO IT. I’m about to take a leap of faith into unknown territory and become the “best” in an industry that means alot to me. I cross my fingers for myself and am ever so glad that I put this blog on my desktop at work. Hopefully, if all goes to plan and I become that “expert” I won’t have to be in this job again. BTW I had a bad headache before I read this, and now … hey it’s gone! Must be something in the brain chemicals. Thank you. Rosie

  63. I have put this page on my desktop to remind me that I CAN DO IT. I’m about to take a leap of faith into unknown territory and become the “best” in an industry that means alot to me. I cross my fingers for myself and am ever so glad that I put this blog on my desktop at work. Hopefully, if all goes to plan and I become that “expert” I won’t have to be in this job again. BTW I had a bad headache before I read this, and now … hey it’s gone! Must be something in the brain chemicals. Thank you. Rosie

  64. We need to understand that the power of incredible success is already alive and well in each of us. We need only to tap into this incredible resource to set the wheels of success and abundance in motion.

    I’m currently costing a television program which involves young people and I know beyond question it WILL be an international phenomenon.

    Each day (often several times) I visualise a warm and mutually beneficial association with some of the most successful and influential people on the planet.

    My intentions are clear and unambiguous and although I don’t have all the logistics at hand, I do know I will be successful because what I envisage comes from a good place and involves warmth and abundance.

    The cost of the project is irrelevant – it’s the outcome which holds the key and in the incredible friendships I make along the way will be the open door to the many other projects I have in my portfolio.

    Ideas never move from that realm until we put our intentions into action by communicating them – to our hearts and to the Universe. We have to make that link to open the door.

    It’s never about what we do that holds any real substance or importance, but the power of the intention we have in the execution of our plan and the colour and clarity of the outcome will enable our spirits to fly.

    Stay well and happy.

    With gratitude,

    Kieran

  65. We need to understand that the power of incredible success is already alive and well in each of us. We need only to tap into this incredible resource to set the wheels of success and abundance in motion.

    I’m currently costing a television program which involves young people and I know beyond question it WILL be an international phenomenon.

    Each day (often several times) I visualise a warm and mutually beneficial association with some of the most successful and influential people on the planet.

    My intentions are clear and unambiguous and although I don’t have all the logistics at hand, I do know I will be successful because what I envisage comes from a good place and involves warmth and abundance.

    The cost of the project is irrelevant – it’s the outcome which holds the key and in the incredible friendships I make along the way will be the open door to the many other projects I have in my portfolio.

    Ideas never move from that realm until we put our intentions into action by communicating them – to our hearts and to the Universe. We have to make that link to open the door.

    It’s never about what we do that holds any real substance or importance, but the power of the intention we have in the execution of our plan and the colour and clarity of the outcome will enable our spirits to fly.

    Stay well and happy.

    With gratitude,

    Kieran

  66. Thank you for sharing your story, and for motivating those that want to achieve their dreams!

  67. Thank you for the reminder and encouragement to forge ahead!

  68. This is great John. I think what may have “appeared” cocky was not, it was that you were in touch with your potential and knew that you had what it took and by the grace of GOD your fearlessness paid off.

  69. Thank you for this John… I was about to let it go….phew!!!

  70. Great story, sometimes ignorance really is bliss. If you had known of the previous hardships with that particular company do you think you would have done anything differently?

  71. Garryharper says:

    VERY interesting ,,DIG a big hole ,, then jump in and see IF you can climb out now thats GUTZY! thanks John

  72. Bruno Stefani says:

    Sounds to good to be true.

  73. This was really motivational thanks John

  74. VanessaBamback says:

    Very inspiring John! If only we knew where we would be 5, 10, 15 years down the road if we followed through with our dreams! Too many people give up too early and never realize their dream was truly within reach.
    All good things,
    Vanessa Bamback

  75. That was really inspiring John, thanks for sharing your story. That made me re-think of the goals I have put up this year and going after them no matter what. Make it a great day.

  76. you need to know the rules and laws that govern your field of dreams and act with integrity and honesty, Beware of the double-speak and the insiders that rig the game. From one who has been there.

  77. I don’t know. Sometimes success sound too overhealming. That scares me a lot.

  78. Blessed365dayz says:

    Thanks John. I was on here looking for something to jump out at me and the weird part is I just passed my real estate test in march and hadnt been able to start selling yet due to the start up fees and all that good stuff, Real Estate wasn’ t on my mind just my lost soul looking for a way to make something happen great for me financially, but glad I clicked here to read your story.

  79. Majorshadow says:

    Go after your dreams…http://youtu.be/t8zMxWZO_ZY

Trackbacks

  1. […] Ever since I saw him featured in the film ‘The Secret’, John Assaraf has become my favourite entrepreneurial role model.  In ‘The Secret’ he spoke about how using ‘Vision Boards’ helped him focus on and achieve his goals and intentions.  That day, I became really excited about the power of ‘Vision Boards’  and have been using that technique to help identify and achieve my goals ever since.  I’m a big fan of anything John has to say about business and personal development.  Here is a great article by John, one of his own personal stories about following your dreams no matter what.  Go to article here. […]