Several years ago one of our coaches came to me and said “Peter people hear your story and they think you were able to go from being an auto mechanic to a millionaire and it just happened overnight.” And we talked about this for awhile as we had breakfast with some of our students who’d actually gone running with us that morning. (This was before I injured my leg, but that’s another story)
So yes I did go from mechanic to millionaire in three and a half years but it was actually long before then that I realized that I wanted to do more with my life.
I remember as a kid going door-to-door selling greeting cards and vegetable seeds just to get ahead a little bit when I was young. And coming from a family of seven kids we didn’t have any extra money to go around. So I learned early on that if you’re going to go after something you’re really going to need to provide the oomph to make it happen. And one of the best things that ever happened to me was when I told my parents that I was interested in going out to race motorcycles and they didn’t say this right away, it certainly took some encouragement on my part, but finally they said “Well that’s okay. We’re going to let you race.” They obviously made sure that I got a helmet and different safety equipment and so forth. And they said “Peter it’s going to be up to you to earn all of the money that’s just going to cost you to race motorcycles.”
Now at this point I didn’t even have a motorcycle, and heck I didn’t even have a car to get me to the races. But what I did have was a direction to head towards. And so I started work washing dishes at restaurants and fixing lawnmowers until I finally saved up enough to start going to races every weekend. And inside it felt pretty good to have gotten there on my own but I’d look over at this fellow named Skip whose dad had bought him everything he needed, including a couple of motorcycles a year, and a brand new RV to take him to the races. And I’d think why couldn’t my parents have given me that?
In hindsight my folks encouraged me to take the steps and work towards what I wanted in life was one of the very biggest gifts that they ever gave me. You see the reason is that wishing for something isn’t enough. People will say “Well I’m going to try to do this or wouldn’t it be great someday if I could have my own business and be able to call my own shots. That’ll be wonderful if I could do that. And if you want something you’ve really got to want it bad enough that you’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen. So when someone says “I want to be a millionaire” is that because they’ve watched the TV show or is that because they’re willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen in their life?
There’s a difference between someone who says “I’ll try or I wish I could have something” and someone who says “I’m going to focus on this until I get it. I’m going to do whatever it takes to get there no matter what.” And that commitment is really important. I’m going to come back to that in just a little bit. So it’s interesting I got out of high school and didn’t really have the money to go to college and was doing a variety of different jobs and things. I remember at one point I asked myself, well what can I do? What are the opportunities for me in life?
So I looked through the newspaper and asked myself what options were with no college education, no specialized knowledge of any kind other than I knew how to fix things. I could be a janitor, I could work in a warehouse, driving a forklift, or of course I could be a mechanic, so that’s what I went ahead and did. Yet inside of me a part of me always yearned for something bigger and grander than that.
I remember it was a cold winter day I was working back in the shop of this auto repair shop. And even though I had three layers of clothes on I was almost shivering and my hands were getting numb as I worked underneath the hood of this car with a light, a droplight right there to try and shine it on the area of the car that I was working on. And I remember looking over as Chuck the foreman of the shop came walking out of the office with a big hot steaming cup of coffee. And I’d just been working there a couple of weeks I didn’t even realize that they had coffee there.
And so I went up front and found the coffee pot and poured myself a big hot steaming cup of coffee and wrapped my fingers around it just to warm them up more than anything else. And I’ll never forget what happened next the owner of the shop came out just as I was turning to go back to work. And he said “Peter that coffee is for customers only.” Wow! I felt about two feet tall. Have you ever had someone say something to you in life or treat you like that? You know as bad as that was it was a turning point for me because it was on that day that I decided that no matter what I was going to do whatever it took to get to a point where I finally was in charge of my financial future.
So here’s the key I want to share with you today. When people ask me, “Peter what’s the difference between someone who succeeds and someone who doesn’t”, it boils down to this one key. To succeed you need to have a burning desire to live a bigger better life. That desire needs to be so strong that it’s going to drive you to move ahead so much that no one’s going to be able to stop you. So what do you want from life? Do you want a better job? Do you want a bigger house, a nicer car? Do you want maybe the money to send your kids to private school or put them through college? Or maybe for you it’s just making sure that you’ve got the secure retirement that you’re looking forward to.
My goal is to help you on your journey as you discover how to create the life of your dreams. While I don’t have all the answers, I am passionate about helping you to move ahead as quickly as possible. I feel pretty darn blessed and I get a kick out of seeing you take positive steps toward overcoming your own challenges and making changes in your life
No matter what you’re going after, make sure to enjoy yourself and have fun along the way.
Thanks for joining me here today.
In 1990 Peter Conti jumped into real estate and went from auto mechanic to self made millionaire in 3.5 years. Since then he’s helped thousands of other people transition into commercial and residential real estate. Today Peter limits himself to working one-on-one with a few experienced business clients so they can add real estate as an extra revenue stream onto the success they’ve already experienced. When he’s not traveling to visit his kids and grandkids, Mr. Conti lives on the Chesapeake Bay in Annapolis, Maryland with his wife.