Saturday, November 29, 2014

Local Fame Media: Promising to Make Businesses Famous

The next entrepreneur on our Entrepreneurs Inspire! series is a man I met while waiting for my car.  I was getting an oil change at the Cornerstone Auto Repair a couple of miles from my home.

It was early 2013.  I was reading financial news articles on my iPhone 3GS in the little room these family owned shops have for customers when in walked Corey Rose.  He was casually dressed with a nice beige jacket partly covering a polo shirt.  He wore slacks and comfortable looking walking shoes.  Corey didn't look like a customer.  His face gave the look of a man on a mission.  He asked a mechanic if the owner was around.  The guy yelled, "Bruce!"  Out from behind the counter, where his office is located, walked out a burly man.  I couldn't help but listen to their conversation.  What a confident young man, I thought, listening to Corey's pitch.  Bruce looked intrigued.  Business cards were exchanged and Corey thanked Bruce for his time.  But I wasn't just going to let a star in the making leave without me getting a better grasp of his business.  I wanted to know what he was all about.  Why he was pounding the pavement, for example.  Almost two years later, Corey is here on CCM blog to tell you his interesting story of entrepreneurship.  Enjoy!

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan.  And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” – Jim Rohn

Going “out on your own” sounds like a scary prospect.  With two young children and one on the way, some people called me crazy.  Others assured me I had made the greatest decision of my life.  What voice was I going to listen to?  How would I know I would be successful?  What if I lose everything?  What if I achieve everything that’s in my heart to achieve?  These are some of the questions that every “crazy” person is faced with when taking the path of an entrepreneur; when there’s both potential for great loss and great gain.

To me, working a job offered great security with good salary and benefits.  It also gave my wife peace of mind (super important if you’re married).  And it was the life I once dreamed of having while in college.  As I settled into the comfortable living that Southern California is so famous for offering, I felt another part of me grow discontented and disoriented.  Living in the “land of opportunity” and seeing it all around me, I felt the familiar and unquenchable passion that had always been within me to create something.  Not to make a name for myself, but to prove to myself first, then to my children, that it’s ok not to settle for “normal.”  I found inspiration when I read great leaders and thinkers like, Steve Jobs, Bob Proctor, and Jack Canfield. 

I believe that when you take a leap of faith, then the right people and opportunities will chase you down.  Since starting my marketing consulting business, Local Fame, I have met inventors, business owners, authors, and other entrepreneurial go-getters.  I have been given percentages of companies and learned a ton.  However, I’ve also liquidated savings accounts, borrowed money, and had many sleepless nights.  It is exciting, scary, fun, relaxing, and stressful at times.  It’s also what I plan on doing all of my life.

The American Dream over promises and under delivers.  How?  By making us believe that if we do everything the “right way,” (the way my grandparents successfully did it) working the same job our entire lives, staying in the same career, owning a home, raising large families, and taking great vacations, then retiring with many years of “the good life” will be doable because of a pension.  This is a model that is dead!  But it is still the mold students are pressed into at high schools and universities.  60% of college graduates who follow this plan today work for under $45,000 per year.  The number of college graduates working minimum wage jobs is 71% higher than it was just ten years ago.  Compound that with an average of $30,000 in student loan debt and you have a broken system.  Numbers like that can make one even more afraid to “go out on your own,” OR it can stir-up the sleeping imagination that we ALL have to make something happen!

Having been tried by fire and gone through the victories and defeats of being an entrepreneur, I am now in a position with my company to pick and choose.  I have opportunities that I never would have had if I had stayed in my comfort zone.  Taking a leap of faith is the hardest thing to do.  You may land in quicksand.  You may land on a bunch of tacks.  You may land on a pile of soft feathers.  None of these will kill you.  From quicksand, tacks, AND feathers you can make a mountain of money!

Corey Rose

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The S & P Finally Gives Real Estate Its Own Home

As hard as it is to believe, Real Estate as an equity asset still falls under the “Financials” sector within the Standard & Poor’s.  All these years, investors have had to manually differentiate their portfolio holdings of say, Wells Fargo, versus any stock of a Real Estate Investment Trust.  There are so many successful wealth managers out there.  There is not a scarcity of financial advisors.  So why has it taken the S & P Dow Jones Indices until November 2014 to finally announce the divorce between banks per se and an asset class that has an entire market of its own?

Some would say that tradition has a lot to do with it.  Just like the baseball purists who see doing away with the designated hitter as blasphemy, so too perhaps stock market fundamentalists like to keep things status quo.  Here are the ten sectors the S & P Dow Jones Indices (represented by the S & P 500 index) maintains:

Real Estate would become the eleventh sector.  Why not (for the S & P) have made Real Estate a sector sooner?  There are several explanations I can think of.  For one, real estate is for many investors a part of their tangible asset portfolio, just like gold coins, for example.  Investors not wanting anything to do with being a landlord have had to carve out a piece of the real estate pie by buying shares of REITs.  Owning shares of various REITs, apartment, single-tenant, office buildings, etc., is now easier than ever!  You can get an Exchange Traded Fund that holds a bunch of equity REITs all perfectly weighted for an investor.  I believe this is why now is the perfect time for the S & P to sector out Real Estate.  Indeed, the week of November 17, 2014 brought with it the largest REIT Initial Public Offering ever, see: WSJ Paramount Group.

On Saturday 11/22/2014, during the First Annual Rich-Uncles Investor Meeting, an event CCM covered, Ray Wirta, Chairman of CBRE Group,, made an enormous prophecy.  

He said, summarizing and paraphrasing, that he wouldn’t be surprised if after he is gone ("Uncle Ray" is the “wisest” of all of the three Founders) Real Estate has its own market.  He meant that real estate would not be a collective of thousands of agents, listings with several different realtors, and so on, rather it would have a market place with its own sectors, e.g., Residential, Multi-Unit, Apartment, Commercial (All), Commercial Office, Commercial Mall…REITs, all available and tradable on online marketplaces like and, well, you get the point.

Mr. Wirta also predicted that the Nexregen REIT I investment would go viral (reaching critical mass) sometime in 2015; that’s a lot sooner than when the S & P Dow Jones Indices will finally make Real Estate an “official” sector.  We’ll have to wait until August of 2016 for that!  Happy Thanksgiving!     

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