I was raised in a very comfortable working class home wanting or needing for nothing. I always had food, a roof over my head, and was never mistreated. Overall, life was good and I now know just how well I had it. However, my perspective was one of loneliness, with few friends, older parents and siblings.
I felt like I was the forgotten child being dragged to family gatherings with everyone being much older than myself. I existed through my childhood with no real goals, and very little direction being provided by my parents. I was extremely shy, lacked confidence and behaved like a good boy should.
I grew up spending my summers at the small family campground business with no friends, because they were all back in my hometown. Being extremely shy and very introverted made it difficult to connect with campers, especially given that they were only there for a week or two. Despite this I loved the environment and I was adventurous.
I would get up every day and explore the world before coming home at dinner. This was my life, safe, fun, boring and uneventful. At least that was my life until I met my love, Joanne, who was just 16 years old at the time and I was 18. I had just graduated high school with an impressive “D” average having been rejected by colleges, universities and the police academy, and no real plans for the future, except I knew I wanted to be with her.
With no plans for the future, nor an employable skill set, I eventually attended college as a mature student and became a Civil Engineer Technologist. Three years later I graduated, top of class with honors, and started work, only to discover I would need to leave my childhood neighborhood and face the unknown world in order to get a good paying job. This terrified me – I had three choices: travel to where the work was – go back to university and get my degree as an engineer – or return to the small family business and make a meager living. I was too afraid to face the unknown world, so leaving home wasn’t an option. Attending university wasn’t an option either because I felt I wasn’t smart enough, so that meant returning to the family business to struggle financially for the next 18 years.
During those 18 years we existed on an annual income of just $24,000. I was constantly looking for other income sources. I tried my luck as a driving instructor, I snow-plowed in the winter, tried my hand as a realtor, and drove a school bus for 15 years. All just to get by, and all because years earlier I was too afraid to change, too afraid to fail. I was totally insecure about myself.
Our struggles continued until a major turning point came when I was 40 and both my parents passed away suddenly within 2 ½ months of each other. With 3 children getting ready for post-secondary schooling, and having less than $10,000 in savings it was a dark and scary picture. I realized that I needed to do something very different! I now had a compelling reason to change my life (my WHY) but I still didn’t know how.
I was struggling to keep the business going, sinking further into debt, not making enough to provide my children an education with virtually nothing saved for our future retirement. Despite having my wife and three daughters I still felt alone and scared, knowing life doesn’t last forever and my WHY kept growing. For three years I knew I had to make major changes – then I discovered my answer of “How” in a book where I learned that real estate would be my salvation. This solution of investing in real estate along with my strong “why” was my first step to changing my life for the better.
After a couple of years of investing I enrolled in some real estate education courses and was eventually hired to work for the company as a mentor to other students. This was when I noticed a pattern – a small number of people experienced success while the majority didn’t. I would hear time and time again, from people who failed to succeed, that the program didn’t work for them. This didn’t make sense to me because it worked for me and I was just an average guy.
Through my years of teaching and mentoring the answer to why so many people fail has become evident to me. I experienced success partly because of the education I gained but primarily because I had a very strong “WHY” which motivated me to succeed and basically do what others were not prepared to do. Looking back at my students who failed to succeed, I now recognize that they did not have a clear “WHY” to motivate them.
After experiencing some success I plateaued until I discovered the second part to my achieving massive success which was to learn how to identify and manage the hidden enemy within my subconscious, that little voice of fear, doubt, and lack of self-worth. No matter how strong my “why” was, I still had to deal with the little voice in my head sometimes screaming at me about how I wasn’t worthy or how I wasn’t smart enough to do what I wanted to do.
Through self-development programs and coaching from people like Robert Kiyosaki, Tony Robbins and most recently Bob Proctor, I have been able to look into my past and understand why I failed as a Civil Engineer Technologist, a business owner, and real estate agent. All these career choices put me into situations or environments that I was uncomfortable with and I lacked the confidence to succeed. When I experienced my turning point I discovered my “WHY” and then once I learned how to control and change my paradigms (fear, self-worth, scarcity to name a few) I was able to experience massive positive change and change I did! (This was when things really changed because I decided to do the SCARY things regardless of what my little voice said and do the things that others won’t do!)
This was when my life really started to skyrocket, and we achieved the financial freedom we were looking for. It also allowed me to discover my true passion which is to educate others about how they can also choose to achieve financial freedom.
I initially thought my teachings would focus only on real estate, however, I quickly learned that real estate was simply a tool to achieve my goal and what I was really teaching was how to think and live differently by sharing what I have learned over the years.
What are your personal barriers that are stopping you from reaching your goals? Once you become aware of your personal roadblocks, you’ll be in an excellent position to overcome them.
Ken is the President of ARCA Real Estate Investments Inc. who resides in Ottawa, Canada.
He incorporates personal development into all his teachings, because he understands that even though he can give you all the tools you need to build a real estate portfolio, they will be of little value unless you expand your mindset.
Ken has created a video called “Five Steps to Success”, which you can apply to any business model or to any part of your personal life. This is his gift to you, to help break through your personal barriers so that you can achieve the level of success we all deserve. Claim your gift by going here: https://www.arcarealestate.ca/pages/5-steps-to-success-video