Self-employed since his senior year in college, working a typical “9 to 5” has never crossed Jim McKissack’s mind—even in his most desperate hours. So when his restaurant/nightclub business landed he and wife/HOLD co-author Linda $600,000 in debt, real estate was an obvious choice.
“Linda started working in real estate sales in 1986, and when we hit bottom at the bar it quickly became one of the best investment options for us to make back our money,” Jim says. “It was one of the only business ventures we could see that had no ceilings on how much money we could make and how quickly we could do it.”
So with bankruptcy as the alternative, the McKissacks began their HOLD journey. And today Jim is excited to share his AHAs along the way—including new discoveries found during the writing process.
KellerINK Team: What was your biggest take away going through the writing process of HOLD?
Jim: During the writing phase, we [the authors] were out talking to a lot of people about investment careers in life. We would ask questions like, “What are you going to do when quit working?” My biggest AHA in having these discussions was that maybe one out of every 25 people we talked to had even thought about a plan for their future. This astonished me!
Society today is so into immediate gratification that no one is looking five, 10, 20 years out. Yes, these are hard topics to talk about—this is big boy stuff. But, what we found is if you take the time to ask the questions, people are surprisingly open to having the discussion.
KellerINK Team: What is the one thing you would like to see readers take away from HOLD?
Jim: The book is about following the models and systems of people that have built successful wealth-building strategies to gain financial freedom. Everyone’s path will be different, but the main thing for readers to walk away with is regardless who you are, the time to start is now!
KellerINK Team: The book emphasizes how important it is to choose the right team, partnerships or relations in real estate. What makes you and Linda such a great investment team?
Jim: Choosing the right partner takes T-I-M-E. You need to get around a group of like-minded people—even if you create the group. Linda and I talk about our goals and share a similar focus. We are two highly productive separate people with one similar purpose. Put a group of like-minded people in the same room, and you’ll be surprised what develops. And if you’re willing to put in the time up front, you’ll realize the journey has been really cool.
Just make sure before you enter a deal that your partner is the type of person you want to do business with because there’s nothing worse than a bad partnership.
KellerINK Team: You and Linda have rebuilt your empire from virtually nothing. How do you use your failures to motivate your future?
Jim: We started out worse than broke. But our secret weapon has always been to be a student of the game. You’ve got to get your mind set first, then educate yourself and build skills. Until you get your mind in the right place, this journey is going to be hard. Our attitude was to go in and really master our new job. And, invest in what you know, understand and can somewhat control. We looked at all of our investment options, and what did we know better than real estate? This was a logical option for us.
KellerINK Team: What sort of attitudes or qualities do you believe are necessary for a HOLD investor?
Jim: HOLD investors need to be disciplined in a few key areas. You must be able to follow a strategy, models and a plan; stick to your criteria, and be willing to pass on opportunities that don’t meet your criteria.
KellerINK Team: Now for some off-the-beaten-path questions… What is your favorite book?
Jim: Linda and I both read a lot. One of the most influential books I read early on is The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. It taught me how so much of what we do in life starts in the mind—waking up with a positive attitude is a choice. Then of course MREA—I love that book. It’s my business bible.
I also read Louis L’Amour for fun. He writes Westerns, and I like that toughness and the trials and tribulations that show us how blessed we are to live in these times.
KellerINK Team: If you could trade lives with anyone—living or dead, fictional or real, famous or not—who would it be and why?
Jim: Wyatt Earp because he lived a long and adventurous life and was loyal to his family.