I thought I’d share my first 60 days after spending $2,500 and training with Claude Diamond in doing lease options. We had very limited real estate investing experience prior to training with Claude. We did, however, have a burning desire to be financially free. This is key to our early success.

My wife and I trained on November 25, 1996. (I know, the holidays are terrible for investing.) We were enthused and confused after our training. Not because it wasn’t good, but because there was so much to absorb in just a few hours. Fortunately, Claude doesn’t just mentor for a day but for an entire year.

Anyway, we went out, and in December we signed up five houses on lease options that we could turn around and assign. This was not without a ton of effort (and a thick skin) while we worked out the most comfortable approach for us when talking to sellers. Thankfully, Claude was available to us whenever we had questions.

Finally, after thinking we’d never get our first creative real estate deal out of the way, it happened January 7, 1997. We originally thought we’d be splitting a $3,000 assignment fee with the seller, but thanks to using one of Claude’s rules (he who mentions money first loses), we ended up splitting $5,000!

Our second deal came 19 days later and put an additional $1,500 in our pockets. Currently, we have an application and $200 earnest money for our third property which will be another $2,000! Our 60-day tally – $4,000 in the bank, another possible $2,000 on the table if the people pass our screening and close, two houses and a condo signed up and waiting for assignments, two offer’s outstanding, and three other deals in negotiations.

Believe me, it’s been A LOT of hard, agonizing work that at times tests our mental toughness. Have we thought about quitting along the way? Never–it’s in our blood now, and we’ve got a burning desire. But we definitely had a lot of times when we’ve wondered what else can go wrong. We’ve had some low, low days and some high, high days.

We’re trying to keep our emotions more in check, so we don’t blow fuses while making our fortune. We’ve made mistakes and blown some deals because of our naivete and impatience, but, all in all, we’re damn proud with our progress (and a little bit in shock). We notice when we don’t consistently do the things we’re suppose to do (make phone calls, send brochures, etc.), so I’m forcing myself to make at least five calls a day to secure new properties.

And Claude has been there for us whenever we needed him, returning phone calls, listening to our bitching, keeping us in line when needed, and being a great coach. People want assurance that $2,500 spent will be repaid several fold, but that’s up to no one but us.

Claude doesn’t show us how to get the phone to pick itself up and make the calls, especially after 6 or 10 no’s in a row, or drive across town (again) to look at a property, or make that offer. That comes from the burning in our gut.

We do know (with reasonable assurance) that we wouldn’t be sitting here today with $4,000 in the bank and a good chance to pick up another $2,000 WITHOUT making that initial investment in ourselves (and we were only left with $300 and a little room on the credit card AFTER that investment).

Our confidence and momentum is building and we’re expecting a more successful February. After all, I’ve got an appointment to FIRE MY BOSS in a little over two years. Since I sent this success story to J.P., we have completed two more deals. We closed one deal February 11th and another one on February 16th. Combined, these two deals put another $7,000 cash money into our bank account.