A big part of the entrepreneurial journey is taking the road less traveled, forging your own way with your vision guiding you and your passion fueling you.
But sometimes it’s about paving your own road. Not every journey follows a conventional path. It can be unclear whether to take the fork in the road or stay the course.
In our recent conversation (episode 30 of the Empowering Entrepreneurs podcast) with real estate investor Dani Beit-Or of Simply Do It, we discussed important mindsets that can help you stay on track – no matter where your entrepreneurial journey takes you.
When opportunity knocks, answer
For Dani Beit-Or, the road that led him to investing in real estate in the United States was long and winding. As a teenager, he had a passion for entrepreneurship. His first business was lawn care where he sought out clients then hired a crew to complete the work. This first taste of entrepreneurial freedom had him hooked.
Coming from a middle class neighborhood in Israel, Dani knew from early on that following the same path as everyone else just wasn’t for him. As a high school student in the US he worked through the summer to complete school a year ahead of his peers. This created additional opportunities for him as he attended university when his family left the US to return home.
Once back in Israel, Dani followed a semi-conventional path for a time. He attended university and began pursuing a degree in engineering. Halfway through his schooling he knew that he wasn’t going to be an engineer for long. His passion was shifting him away from that world and towards leading people.
He served his 3 required years in the Israeli military. But even that didn’t follow the status quo. He chose to apply for special forces. This unit only took the top 20. And right then, he decided that he would do what it took to be in that number.
After completing “hell week” and qualifying, Dani could’ve used this as a stepping stool towards having a career in the military. With an option to apply to officer’s school and family in the military, that might have been the logical choice. But that wasn’t where his passion lay. That itch to build something of his own was getting stronger.
After leaving the military, Dani started investing in US real estate from Israel. His first property was purchased sight unseen. There were some growing pains, but the first investment was successful and allowed him to purchase 2 additional properties.
To be successful you have to want to work. Hard work and determination made it possible for Dani to say “yes” to each opportunity that came his way.
Sometimes you just have to jump
After 2 years in real estate investing, Dani began thinking that maybe real estate was the longer term career path for him. He knew that in order to be successful at the level he wanted, he needed to immerse himself in that world. It wasn’t an option to sit on the sidelines and watch.
Investing in the United States while living in Israel wasn’t affording him the life he wanted. Due to heavy tax burdens and the cost of living, a lot of work was paying very small dividends.
The best way forward was a move to the United States. Moving from a lack of opportunity to more opportunities with hope and a vision was an easy decision. With the blessing of his family and support of his wife, Dani moved to the land of opportunity. There was no escape clause, no job to fall back on, not even a vehicle to drive. But armed with his trademark determination and a willingness to do what it took to succeed, he was all in.
Work smarter AND harder
Soon after the move, Dani began to partner with someone who was already in real estate. This allowed him to work alongside someone with tremendous experience, learn, and ultimately grow. He put in the work to improve his skill set and ultimately found his niche. He found success and was able to turn his profits back into investing.
As he established himself, he saw an opportunity to use his experience and knowledge to help others. People began looking to him for advice in real estate investing.
Instead of seeing this as helping the competition, Dani saw it as an opportunity to create a secondary income stream and put his years of knowledge and experience to work. He positioned himself as a guide, helping other new real estate investors learn the business.
Find your passion and follow it
In spite of all the “great” careers Dani found himself in, he never stopped moving forward on his journey. Even now, he’s looking to expand his consulting services.
While this journey isn’t typical, it has empowered him to build and hone skills that can be implemented in his current business. As an engineer, Dani learned the importance of communication and now considers that his “superpower”. Because he listens first and connects with his clients, he has opened up channels that allow him to step in and help solve problems, or give advice even if it’s for something 5 years down the road.
Now, Dani finds fulfillment in planning investing strategies for clients and holding face to face strategy sessions. “If you don’t enjoy it and it doesn’t fulfill you, chances are it’s not for you.”
If you as a business owner find yourself on a path that doesn’t feel quite right, keep going. Take the opportunities that are presented to you. Be ready to make a jump if it’s called for. Put in the effort to work by yourself, learning from experts, and pouring back into others. Ultimately, if you follow your passion, you’ll find that you can enjoy this journey that you’re on.