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(I originally wrote this article a few weeks back for entrepreneur.com, and the awesome editors there allowed me to republish it there. To see the original post, click here.)

It’s time for some honesty. Think back to the past week. When have you used the words “I can’t?” When have you shut your brain off? When have you let an attitude of failure, rather than an attitude of success, rule in your life? Transform these statements:

  • Instead of “I can’t raise money for my business,” try “How can I raise money for my business?”
  • Instead of “I can’t get 1,000,000 users on my app,” try “How can I get 1,000,000 users on my app?”
  • Instead of “I can’t buy a rental property,” try “How can I buy a rental property?”
  • Instead of “I can’t get Christopher Walken to sing karaoke at my birthday party,” try “How can I get Christopher Walken to sing karaoke at my birthday party?! (I’m still working on this one …)”

You get the picture.

Make it your goal this week to eliminate the words “I can’t” from your vocabulary. You don’t need ’em! Embrace the advice your mom gave you as a child and realize it isn’t cliche.

You can do anything you put your mind to.

“Don’t stare at the sun too long.” “Eat your dinner before dessert.” “If you keep making that face, it’ll stick.”

We’ve all heard them — those cliché pieces of advice that parents give their kids. And for the most part, we follow their advice. I eat my dinner first. I don’t stare at the sun. And now it’s my wife who tells me to stop making funny faces in public (sorry, hun!).

But there is one piece of advice perhaps told more often than anything else:

You can do anything you want if you put your mind to it.

But that’s BS, right?

Related: 5 Words Successful (and Happy) People Never Use

There are limitations. There are conditions. There are rules. There are impossibilities.

Or are there?

What if the simple answer to achieving massive success in your business was staring at you in the face all along. What if you really could do anything you put your mind to?

What if your mom was right?

The truth is, everything is possible, and if you want to achieve success in your business and in your life, you need to believe that.
Let me teach you a simple exercise. I want you to eliminate two simple words from your vocabulary and see how your business grows.

What are those words?

(click to continue reading on BiggerPockets)

How to Evict a Tenant

All of my hopes and dreams began to crash down around me with one simple question from my parents:

Well, Brandon, what are you going to do if your tenants don’t pay rent?”

I had no idea.

Make them?” I thought, naively.

Go bankrupt?” I feared, unnecessarily.

Kick them out?” I hoped.

You see, nearly ten years ago, I decided that rental properties were going to be my ticket to financial freedom. I was bitten by the bug and could think of very little else until that simple question stopped me in my tracks.

What would I do if a tenant didn’t pay rent? 

This is how I first discovered BiggerPockets.com almost a decade ago. I used a search engine online and typed in those words, “What to do if tenants don’t pay rent?” and what I discovered was a community of others who have “been there, done that” and had answers.

I find it incredibly rewarding that today I am able to repay that favor by explaining to you exactly what to do when tenants don’t pay rent. Of course, there are a lot of other reasons you may want to evict a tenant (usually for lease violations or they’ve stayed longer than they were supposed to), and this guide will help you as well.

This post is going to cover exactly how to evict a tenant, but it’s going to go even deeper. We’re going to explore some ways that you as the landlord can navigate these muddy waters and maybe solve the problem without needing to go the “eviction” route.

(click to continue reading on BiggerPockets)

The Ultimate Guide to Real Estate Investment Tax Benefits

I have a good friend I would like to introduce you to.

His name is Sam, but most people know him by “Uncle Sam.”

That’s right, Uncle Sam — the good ‘ol U.S.A. Now, most people don’t think of the US Government as their friend, but most people are not real estate investors. If you are, and you know how to treat Uncle Sam right, he’s got some pretty terrific benefits in store for you.

This post is going to dive deep (and I mean DEEP… with over 3,000 words) into the tax benefits of being a real estate investor. But first, the obligatory disclaimer:

I am not a CPA. I’m also not a lawyer, doctor, or your mother. I’m a monkey in a room, frantically typing out words on a keyboard trying to produce Shakespeare. This information, while I’ve spent hours and hours researching, is still just my opinion on what I’ve learned. Please consult with a qualified (and real estate-savvy) accountant before making any decisions.

logo440aThat said, I did work with Amanda Han from Keystone CPA (my own amazing real estate-friendly CPA) on this article to make sure everything was legit. If you need a CPA for your business, I highly recommend Keystone CPA. They do all my taxes, and my tax-life has become 1,000x easier since I hired them.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get into this beast-of-a-post. Extra brownie points for those who make it through the whole thing. And to help, I’ve hidden a secret message in the text that will lead you to my buried treasure on a Caribbean island.

(Okay, that’s a lie. But for those who seek to truly understand these benefits, incredible treasures ARE in store for your future because they won’t be in Uncle Sam’s pocket.) 

Let’s get to the list, and we’ll start out with the most obvious one: deductions.

(Click to read on BiggerPockets…)

Should You Get an LLC For Your Real Estate Business?

Perhaps the most common question I receive from BiggerPockets members is, “Should I set up an LLC for my real estate business?

It’s a good question because I’m sure you’ve heard the horror stories of landlords getting sued by tenants and losing everything. You didn’t spend years learning about real estate, growing your portfolio, and figuring out how to be an effective landlord only to lose it all to some deadbeat looking to game the legal system.

However, LLCs are also highly misunderstood in the real estate space because they are just so darn complicated. What works for one person may not work for you, and what works for you might not work for me. While I could give you the simple answer of “talk to an attorney,” I want to dive a little deeper.

Of course, I am neither an attorney nor a CPA, so please take what I’m saying as my own personal opinion and get a qualified person to help you out with these legal discussions.

What is an LLC?

First, let’s talk about what an LLC is and what it isn’t. An LLC is NOT a get-out-of-jail-free card. You can be sued with an LLC, and you can lose everything. An LLC is not designed to prevent you from ever being sued. An LLC is designed to help you manage and contain the fallout from that lawsuit.

(click to continue reading on BiggerPockets)

Want to Make $1,000 or More Per Hour?

(I originally wrote this article a few weeks back for entrepreneur.com, and the awesome editors there allowed me to republish it there. To see the original post, click here.)

How would you like to make $1,000 per hour?

No, you don’t need to go to law school or become a doctor. In fact, you can start making $1,000 an hour or more right now.

This is not an article about some new multilevel marketing company or passive income stream. You can achieve these results in your current business, knowing what you already know.

And best of all — you can make this money consistently.

Related: The 80/20 Rule of Time Management: Stop Wasting Your Time

I recently listened to 80/20 Sales and Marketing by Perry Marshall on Audible. Like these booksI mentioned a few weeks ago, 80/20 Sales and Marketing is changing how I think about business. (Whether you are in sales and marketing or not, pick up a copy of this book today. Trust me.)

In the book, Marshall explains how in a typical day, a person does numerous tasks that are worth just a few dollars per hour, and a few small tasks that are worth much more.

How Much is an Hour Worth?

(click to continue reading on BiggerPockets)

How to Find the Right Rental Lease for Your Landlording Business

In the late 1920s, President Coolidge invited some friends to dine with him at the White House.

Not wanting to make fools of themselves and unsure of the proper etiquette for dining in such a setting, the friends decided to simply copy exactly what the President did at the table. The meal was served and the President took a bite, as did his friends. The President then took a drink, as did his friends. Then, the President poured some milk into a saucer, followed by some sugar. The friends did likewise with their own saucer. Then the President picked up the saucer, leaned over, and placed it on the floor… for the cat. (Source: The Speaker’s Quote Book)

As the President’s friends in the above story illustrate, sometimes imitation can be helpful in an unknown setting, but oftentimes it can make the imitator look like a fool! This is the case when a person simply copies another lease they picked up to use for their investments. Perhaps you’ll be fine, but should the case arise where you need to use the lease for a big legal situation, the wrong lease could also cost you a lot of money.

Related: 5 Legitimate Reasons to Allow a Tenant to Break Their Lease

Why the RIGHT Lease Matters

A common mistake made by many new landlords is to go online and simply Google “Free Rental Lease” and see what comes up. Typically, they’ll print off whatever pops up and try to use it for their rental.

The problem with this, of course, should be obvious: you have no idea if that lease you found is legal and valid. A lease drawn up by a lawyer in one state might be totally different than a lease drawn up in another. Every state, and even many cities, have specific laws that govern what is and is not legal in a rental agreement. Plus, the laws change all the time, so a lease that worked last year might not work this year.

Sure, if you never have a problem with your tenant, that lease you found on Google might be fine, but we don’t use lease agreements to prepare for the good times, we use lease agreements to prepare for the bad!

What happens when you try to evict your tenant and you realize the lease has a provision that is not allowed in your state that delays or messes up the eviction process? What if your tenant tries to sue you because something in that lease was not legal in your state or city? These are real possibilities if you are using a boilerplate lease.

So where should you look for a good, legal rental lease agreement? Here are a few places…

How to Find a Lease Agreement

The following are 3 places you can find a lease agreement.

(Click to read on BiggerPockets…)

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