Rod Khleif came from almost nothing to controlling a vast real estate portfolio. Then he lost everything.

What you do in the wake of failure shows the kind of person you are. Entrepreneurs like Rod see problems, and solve them.

Rod immigrated with his family from Holland when he was six years old. They eventually ended up in Denver.

As a young child from a low-income immigrant family, he spoke no English, had no money, and got bullied at school.

He wanted a better life.

Rod was inspired by his mother's work ethic, and eye for opportunity. She did a lot for the family, taking on babysitting to earn extra cash.

After a few years of saving up money, she bought the house across the street as an investment. Three years later, she sold the property for $20,000.

The teenaged Rod wanted to go into real estate after seeing the possibilities first-hand. After years of hard work, Rod now controls a vast real estate portfolio.

From Wealth Back To Humility

In 2006 Rod owned 8,000 houses, and was earning large cash flow from this. But it would all come tumbling down in 2008, when the financial crash made him lose everything, including his first marriage.

Because the property costs were very high, and because his single-family homes were not cashflowing that much and required expensive upkeep and maintenance repairs, he was vulnerable to the market crash.

Lots of single-family house maintenance workers lost their jobs, and lots of those properties were only cash-flowing a small amount. Once those houses needed a substantial repair, he suffered a significant drag on his revenue.

Losing it all was a very sobering experience. But because he had spent years following thought leaders and focusing on having a sound mindset and clear goals, he built back up again.

Rod formed a litigation support company that helped a lot of people save their homes in the aftermath of the economic crisis.

He turned this business into a $10 million company.

His love, though, is real estate. He would later dive back into the field and find success again, with a focus on multifamily housing.

How Did Rod Rebuild and Find Success?

It mostly came down to mindset.

Rod follows these steps to ensure he focuses his attention on what really matters:

Carve out an hour when you're most energetic and well-rested. In that period, sit down and you write down literally everything you want in your life. Don't let your pen leave the paper, and don't be overly analytical.

Once you're done, put a deadline on each goal.

Then write down the most important long-term goal, and the three most important goals for you to achieve within a year.

Then write a paragraph for why they’re critically important to you.

Then get pictures that resonate with these goals, and put them where you will see them.

This will set you down a path of achievement while ensuring you stay fulfilled.

Once you complete a major goal, you will have other major goals to achieve in your list, avoiding a depressing feeling of “what now?”

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Starting Is The Hardest Thing

Beginning something new is usually the most daunting thing. But once you do it, you realize it’s doable and nothing bad is going to happen to you.

Even if you do fail at something, going through those failures and overcoming them is a valuable experience.

One day, he met billionaire Spank CEO Sara Blakely. She told him that as she was growing up, her dad asked her every day when she came home from school "what did you fail at today?"

And that experience encouraged her to try new things, and to gain value even where she faltered.


Focus on What You Want, Not What You Don’t Want

You can organize your schedule how you want. Rod uses a paper planner that contains pictures that have been in there for 19 years.

Some are pictures of material items (like cars) that he wanted and ended up purchasing because of the success he gained. Some are pictures of the people he is grateful for, like his children.

That paper planner focuses Rod on what he wants, not what he doesn’t want.

If you don’t want conflict, focus on how you can help make peace. If you don’t want to be in debt, focus on how to make money.

Visualize what you want and give yourself a clear explanation of why those things matter to you and visual reminders you won’t escape. This means that even with major setbacks - like the loss of wealth from an economic crash - you have the right mindset to build back to success.


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