An Entrepreneur’s Journey in Real Estate : 3 Lessons to Learn From in Business
An Entrepreneur’s Journey in Real Estate
A Documentary about Potential
I decided to make films and document the lives of entrepreneurs around the world doing what they do best on a daily basis to create massive wealth, joy and fulfillment in their lives. My decision brought me to Atlanta, more specifically East Point and its surrounding areas to talk Real Estate, Investing and Entrepreneurship. I easily could have taken my camera and tool bag, met up in a cafe to discuss investing with Thelonious C Jones, but I didn’t want to do it that way. Instead, I created a documentary around his journey.
For inspiration, we read books and sit on YouTube trying to find some source of information relating to our entrepreneurial field. We scour the internet to find relatable material that propels our actions. We love to learn what others are doing to create companies that change the world. Yesterday, I watched an interview with Warren Buffet and Bill Gates shot in 1999. It was great for me to learn how much of a straight shooter Warren was through his answers. The man spoke sharply about success, failures, and investing. On the other hand, Bill was more magical in his answers. He was round about and was unusually profound. I took from that interview two billionaires that were not the same.
We tend to model our efforts believing that we are identical to the companies we explore or we are fond of. For instance, if you have a digital marketing company and you dig deep through the internet and find another successful digital marketing company, understand you are not identical. Your offerings may be, your process and lead capturing funnels may also be but the back bone and foundation of both structures are different.
Is it good to be different? Before visiting Thelonious C Jones in Atlanta, I viewed real estate as a pretty thing, not easy but certainly pretty. It is what everyone tells you to do, to be part of and to add to your parallel portfolio. When I think of real estate, I think of lots, duplex, condos, apartment complex, buildings, commercial, private, and Starbucks. Why Starbucks? Because its pretty. The first part of my pretty trip was shattered the moment Thelonious Jones, a real estate investor since the age of 23, picked me up in his 2008 Buick Regal.
“Hey Stacy, I want to bring you to all my houses, show you around and tell you about them”
Our first stop was 30 minutes away from my hotel in East Point. I was 5 minutes away from the airport. We drove down I85 and then after a few turns and twists we were in a library. I love libraries! What are we doing here? Theo explained that there are resources here and if he doesn’t use them then they will be taken away. The resources he is talking about is a full recording, video editing tech room equipped with canons, midi keyboards, music equipment, two big mac pros, green screens and a hefty picking of audio/visual equipment sitting around waiting to be used. All one would have to do is block the tech room out for recording. Which Theo and cousin, Julian does almost daily. I couldn’t help to stare. The second tech room is set up with a 3D printer and another MAC computer, connected with information on how to print your idea and make it real. I was blown away.
Now, if you watch Theo’s videos on YouTube, you would have never guessed that he records most of it all in a FREE library in a suburb just outside of Atlanta. You would have immediately thought, wow – I got to get cameras and start modeling what that guy is doing. This is exactly what I am talking about when I tell you that we are too involved in what everyone else is doing that we forget to use our own wits and hustle. We rather spend 200$ in a program just because someone sponsored their ad and it has great “viewership and engagement” – NO! Find your lane – no one is there.
I watched as Theo and cousin, Julian, produced, record and edit 10 short segments which they will use for an upcoming app geared towards middle and high school students. He was serious about getting it done – Check this LIVE stream that was recorded during his segments. I was happy to see an entrepreneur in action, riding around in a Buick, recording in a library on blocked time and buying and selling real estate in areas that I before this documentary, would not consider.
Find Diamonds in the Dirt
The dirt in this case is one of the worse neighborhoods in Atlanta to buy or sell, Oakland City. Nothing seems to scare off Theo however, he is a natural around the dirt. He has visions of the future while in the dirt and takes massive action when everyone is still gathering there thoughts about doing the deal. We drove around up and coming neighborhoods which are now flourishing into communities. We spoke about gentrification to which Thelonious regards as something that you make money from, not sit around and bitch about.
It was in the dirt where I saw his 6 unit apartment building which he smiles constantly about. He spends extra on quality and is quoted to say that he wants his property to be top notch, he adds value anywhere he can. The area is landscaped with bike lanes on new pavement which he points out, “it’s changing” – I asked him about potential, entrepreneurship, failure and mindset. Theo answers this all while we were in the dirt finding diamonds.
Real estate isn’t that pretty of a game. You have to get your street smarts way up, and your level of awareness has to be solid, especially if you are buying to thrive not buying to buy. Most people won’t come into the area Theo has invested in and as you will see in the documentary below, the potential with his early vision is finally paying off. The dirt is getting built on. Potentials move around. Understand the potential of anything and you will see far ahead into the future and not stuck on what someone else is selling in a Facebook Ad or Instagram Photo.
Thelonious C Jones puts the REAL in REAL ESTATE. Enjoy.