Frank McKinney doesn’t see himself as a real estate developer. He calls himself a developer of ocean artistry; he builds beautiful homes on the ocean for the world’s ultra-rich. And because his target audience is so small, he has to get the word out about his work. It’s not about ego or glorifying himself; it’s about selling some houses.
Building expensive spec homes for an incredibly small market means that Frank is constantly taking risks that could make many other real estate investors uncomfortable. So how does Frank get comfortable with that risk? The way that Frank thinks about fear is radical, and it completely changes how he approaches risky business decisions.
Making riskier business decisions also means that Frank can dream bigger, and he challenges you to change your life by dreaming aspirationally.
Fear Isn’t About the Unknown
Fear is associated with the thought of taking a risk. It’s not the actual risk taking, but simply the thought of taking a risk. The fear of taking a risk is always a big part of every single challenge or change in your life. When I have to take a big risk like purchasing a new development, or buying my next apartment building, I have to focus on the positivity or progress that is going to be stronger than any potential pain I’m going to feel as I stretch myself.
Frank’s advice about fear is recognizing first of all that it’s a sensation and not a thought. You can’t think fear. Fear is a result of the thought of taking the risk. He says you shouldn’t focus on the fear process, but instead focus on the thought process. When Frank builds a $15 million dollar house in a neighborhood that’s not your typical Palm Beach market, he’s thinking about making his own market. His thought processes are solid, and he’s ignoring the fear that precedes those thoughts.
It’s normal to research a new project because you want to make sure the business decision is a solid one. But there is such a thing as relying too much on research. If you research long enough, you can for sure find someone who agrees with the fear inside of you. Be careful that your spreadsheets and Googling and research isn’t being done just to find a reason to avoid taking a risk. The real difference between success and failure is fear.
We’ve been told our entire lives that we fear the unknown. But this is wrong, says Frank. A Jesuit priest named Anthony de Mello wrote a book that talks about what fear truly is, and he said that fear is leaving behind the thing that you know. You can’t fear something you don’t know.
Take Bigger and Better Risks
If you want bigger muscles, then you have to go to the gym to exercise your muscles. Your risk tolerance is also a muscle. If you want to feel more confident taking bigger risks, then you need to exercise your risk-taking muscle by taking smaller risks. Frank’s first real estate flip was a $50,000 house over 30 years ago, but that first flip led to the next one and then the next one.
Now he builds $30 million dollar spec homes as an ocean artistry developer. There are a lot of people out there who are researching real estate, but their intent is to find a reason that real estate won’t work out for them. Taking a true risk means doing the research because you’re trying to find a way to make real estate work for you. It’s that shift in your mindset again.
I tell you guys this all of the time, but good deals go fast. If you spend too much time analyzing the risks of a purchase or researching real estate, you’re going to miss out on good deals. Do your research to manage the risk as best as you can, but you have to be able to execute the deal when the time comes.
If you can flip that script on what fear and risk really are, can you imagine the kind of positivity you could inject into your life? When you find your aspiration, leaving behind the fear of the life that you know means that you can step into dreams and goals that are bigger than just being rich or just buying your dream car. You can change lives and build a legacy that is bigger than just yourself.
Focus on Your Aspirations, Not Your Inspiration
The true difference between inspiration and aspiration is that inspiration will wear off; it won’t ignite your passion. Aspiration, using a higher purpose to drive your decisions, is what will really change your life. What legacy do you aspire to leave behind? Moving beyond motivation and inspiration and digging deeper into leaving behind a legacy and making an impact will you require you to change the way you think.
Frank wants to save you the 20 years of aggravation and heartache he experienced as he looked for his higher calling by cutting right to the point of how you can get to aspiration faster. Developing aspiration starts with your personal brand. You know some famous brands like Coca-Cola and Kleenex, but what is your personal brand?
Let’s face it; there are a million other investors, podcasters, writers, and people like you out there. What sets you apart from everyone else? Part of figuring out your personal brand is setting aside your ego by saying, “I don’t need the fame, the fortune, and everyone else’s approval”. Personal branding is nothing more than the art of amplifying your essence.
Frank’s passion has become building houses and communities in Haiti, but with an emphasis on lifting people out of poverty. He builds multi-million dollar houses for his business, but he builds homes in Haiti to fulfill a higher calling he hears inside himself.
If you’re looking to set yourself apart from every other business owner, you need to find your true aspiration, a higher calling, that gets you up every day and demands that you walk away from fear. You’re going to need to take some risks to move toward building your personal legacy, but changing lives is full of risks and rewards.