Take 100% Responsibility For Your Life: Elite Entrepreneur Trait #2 – EP 296

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The second trait most elite entrepreneurs and eight-figure real estate investors have: they feel 100% responsible for everything that happens in their lives. Everyone I have ever met who owns elite businesses, with great relationships and amazing cash-flowing assets, takes 100% responsibility for their own life. 

In the second episode in this series about the 9 defining traits of elite entrepreneurs, you’ll discover why they always know there’s always another deal or another business relationship around the corner. To them, new deals are an infinite and unlimited resource.

I’ll also explain the flip side of that–the fact that no one is simply going to bail them out, come to their rescue, or just fix their problems, sight-unseen. You’ll learn how this philosophy gives you the power to design and build your own life on your terms, stop making excuses, and see the positivity and upside in everything.

Key Takeaways with Josh Cantwell

  • Why people who have a W-2 or work for someone else are always financially limited.
  • What it truly means to be 100% accountable not just to yourself and your family, but to everyone who relies on you to live a better life.
  • How 100% responsibility gives you the freedom to build and live life on your terms.
  • Elite entrepreneurs are always networking and building new relationships.
  • How my pancreatic cancer diagnosis wasn’t going to stop me from accomplishing my goals and building my business. Never give up.

Josh Cantwell Tweetables

“If you feel like you’re responsible for your own life and you screwed up in the past, that screwup in the past is a lesson that can be used in the future. That lesson, no matter how painful it was, is a positive.” - Josh Cantwell

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Josh Cantwell: So, hey guys, welcome back. It’s Josh Cantwell, your host. And I want to continue our conversation around the nine traits of elite entrepreneurs. If you’ve been listening to this series over the last couple days and weeks, you remember the nine traits. And today, we’re going to talk about trait number two. Just to go backwards, one episode, the last episode, we talked about elite entrepreneurs, whether they’re investing in e-commerce businesses, whether they’re investing in real estate, multifamily, whatever it is, they invest for cash flow now, positive cash flow now. That was trait number one.


Trait number two, which we’re going to talk about right now is this, when I look at elite entrepreneurs and elite real estate investors, eight-figure investors, they all have this trait, which is they have and feel 100% responsible for their own life. Write that down. Elite entrepreneurs feel 100% responsible for everything that happens in their own life. The people that I’ve witnessed that have elite businesses, elite relationships, that have amazing cash flow, they feel 100% responsible for their own life.


Now, what does that mean? Well, the first thing that I think about is that they feel like money, relationships, networks, deal flow is infinite, it’s unlimited, and they can always have or make more. So, many people think like, well, money is limited so I’ve got to go get my money. There’s only so much. So, I’m going to go get my money for today or my money for this week or my money for this paycheck. And I got to bring it into my bank account and I got to try not to spend it all. That’s what most people do, especially those people that have a W-2 or people that work for somebody else.


Elite entrepreneurs feel like, hey, if I do a deal, if I buy a business, I buy a piece of real estate or I invest in a property, if I get cash flow now, there’s always another deal. So, those deal flows are infinite, they’re unlimited. They can always make more. They feel like money does grow on trees, literally grows out of thin air, that there’s an unlimited number of relationships out there. And they’re responsible, they feel the responsibility to go create that, the responsibility to go create the money, the relationships, and the deal flow because they are convinced it’s out there.


So, when you feel this 100% responsibility in your own life, the other thing that I think elite entrepreneurs realize, definitely one of the things that I realize is that nobody is coming to your rescue and nobody is going to just pay you, nobody’s coming to your rescue. So, when there’s a financial problem or there’s a business problem or a relationship problem, nobody’s just going to go fix that for you, nobody’s just going to pay you for it, nobody’s going to just give you enough relationship capital or physical capital to just go fix the problem. No one is coming to your rescue.


Elite entrepreneurs feel 100% accountability for themselves. And in a lot of ways, my dad used to say this to me. He would say, “Josh, you were given so much talent. You were given so much more than you need.” Like you got to go figure out what to do with all of that. So, not only do elite entrepreneurs feel accountable for themselves, but they feel accountable for others. So, when I wake up and I think about my businesses, when I wake up and think about my family, I think and I know that I am the linchpin that makes it all work. And I feel good by that, I feel accountable to that. I want to be and have the pressure of making sure that I make enough money to feed my family and give them an amazing life and financial independence and the ability to do whatever we want, whenever we want.


But I also feel the same responsibility for our staff, for our employees, for our vendors, for our partners, our property managers, our capital improvement contractors, for our insurance guys, for everybody else. I feel a personal responsibility to them, to help them make an improvement in their life, to help them have a better life, have them a more fulfilling life. And I believe that all the elite entrepreneurs that I know, the people that have been on this podcast, the people that I’ve had on my stages, the friends and personal friends that I’ve had, they don’t wake up thinking, how do I just pay the bills? They wake up thinking, how do I take care of others?


Another sort of part of this having responsibility for your own life, again, trait number two of elite entrepreneurs and elite real estate investors is they feel 100% responsible for their own life because they feel responsible. They also know that they can design and build whatever life they want. They say if I want to live in a tree house in Costa Rica, I can do that. If I want to live in a flat in downtown London, I can do that. If I want to go buy an island in the Caribbean, that’s a pretty big one, I can do that.


They think, I’m going to design and build my own life, and you’ve heard people on this podcast talk about getting up and moving to Costa Rica, raising capital, investing in multifamily from South America. They feel that it’s absolutely possible, that it’s within their grasp to design and build whatever life they can imagine because they feel responsible for their life. They also think they can design and build whatever life they want. Might take some time, some blood, sweat, and tears, but they can do it.


Another part of feeling responsible for your own life is that we make no excuses, ever. Let me repeat that. We make no excuses, ever. We use words like it’s my responsibility, I’ll handle it. I should have seen that, I didn’t see that coming, but I’ll handle it. Or I didn’t think about that, but I’ll handle it, it’s my responsibility. It’s the ownership of feeling accountable to yourself that allows you to say, “Well, since I’m responsible, there are no excuses.”


Excuses always come from the outside. Excuses always come when somebody else screws up and you didn’t see it coming, and you’re like, it’s their fault, but in a lot of times it could be somebody else’s fault, but it’s still your responsibility because you didn’t see it. You didn’t have the foresight, the forecasting, the projection to see that this could and should have happened. So, they will use words like, I’ll handle it, I’ll take care of it. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to do the work, but they’re going to think through the system to fix it.


We’ve got new things that pop up in our business every day. I don’t think, like, I’m going to go fix it. What I think about is I’m going to create a system using software, using people that can solve that problem forever so that never comes up again. Elite entrepreneurs, again, trait number two is they have and feel 100% responsibility for their own life. Also means that they are researchers, they do research. They watch videos. They read white papers. They listen to podcasts. They do research. They’re growing. They’re learning all the time because they’re responsible for their life and because they feel like they can design and build their own life. They have a lot of unknowns, the unknown of what this future design and build life could look like so they feel this kind of innate inertia that pushes them to learn to do research, to watch videos, to read because they feel like that’s going to help them get to this new life that they’re creating.


These elite entrepreneurs also network like crazy. They love people. They love to talk to people. They love to go to conferences, meet new people, get on the phone with people because they feel like they’re responsible for their own life. They also feel like they know that other people are a part of their life. And there’s an infinite amount of people out there, there are 7 billion people in the world, 330 million people in the United States, two million people that live in just Cleveland in my backyard. There are like 15 million people that live in Ohio where I’m from. There’s seriously an infinite amount of people who could help. There’s an infinite amount of people that I can network with, that can invest in our deals, that could joint venture on a deal, that could impact the next property.


And because these elite entrepreneurs only see and feel 100% responsible for their own life, they only see positivity and upside. They only speak in positives. They only speak and think about the future. If you feel like you’re responsible for your own life and you screwed up in the past, that screwup in the past is a lesson that can be used in the future. That lesson, no matter how painful it was, is a positive. It’s upside. Like I’ve trusted the wrong people, some of them even family with my own, some of my deals, and they screwed it up royally. Well, who trusted them with that deal to begin with? Who trusted them with the money? Who trusted them to execute? I did. So, the pain of that deal, although painful in the moment, is a lesson for the future.


You see, when I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I could have said, woe is me. Wow, my life sucks. I’m going to die, 7% survival rate. I’m screwed. Nope. I honestly like this new movie. Top Gun: Maverick is out. Me and my buddies used to laugh, and they would say, “Hey, man, you got cancer. You got pancreatic cancer. It’s just a walk in the park, Kazansky.” And you guys that have watched the original Top Gun, you know what I mean? It’s just a walk in the park.


Those people that are elite entrepreneurs, that’s how they feel. That’s how they talk. I’ve observed hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of these people accomplishing amazing things. These are the traits that they have. If you don’t get these traits, find a way to incorporate them into your own life. Good luck.

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