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Make your own choices. Live the life you want. Change the world.
Those are some of the principles I live by and use to help me build a life I actually enjoy. But I haven’t always been true to them.
Back when I was in my early twenties, I traveled the world looking for the best places to surf. I flew to Samoa, Costa Rica, Indonesia, New Zealand and Hawaii.
I was living the dream life and I wanted to keep it that way.
One of the ways I did that was by buying a small farm in Costa Rica. I fell in love with country, the landscape and eventually built a house so I could fly down two or three times a year to surf.
During this time I managed to make money the good old fashioned way: buying and selling real estate. My investments in the U.S. and Costa Rica subsidized my lifestyle…
And more than likely I would’ve done this for ever…if I hadn’t eventually met a girl who I fell in love with. That’s when things started to change.
Drinking the Corporate Kool-Aid
To be fair to her, it was me who was actually changing.
See, I loved this woman and wanted to marry her and start a family. But I had one small problem: I thought you can’t surf and travel and be a father and husband.
That means I had to change the way I lived my life. I had to buckle down, get serious and go corporate. As you can probably guess, this didn’t work out too well.
For starters, I got it in my head that I had to build a multi-billion dollar company when a good desk job would’ve done the trick.
But I hated desk jobs.
Besides, I was pretty ambitious, and I wasn’t interested in creating anything small.
Soon I started doing land deals in New Mexico, Arizona, Alabama and Tennessee. I was traveling all the time.
I even quit surfing because I thought I had to invest all my time in my business.
I was making good money and had access to some extraordinary investors and learned from great minds. In the eyes of the world, I was successful.
Unfortunately, it was the worst two years of my life. I hated the suit. I hated getting fat. And I hated not surfing.
See, I wasn’t being true to myself because I’d drunk the Corporate America Kool-Aid. I craved adventure and escape, but had pinned myself down because I felt like I needed to be like everyone around me.
Boy, was I wrong.
The Best Decision of My Life
In the meantime I was still going down to Costa Rica where I had my house. I would check on my investments, do a little surfing and exploring and when it came time to leave I cringed.
I didn’t want to leave. I belonged there.
The crashing waves. The hills covered in lush palm trees. The secluded beaches. I wanted to enjoy that when I worked and when I didn’t work.
Sadly, you can’t do that in America.
At about this time I started working on the Playa Burica project, visiting Costa Rica several times in one year.
That’s when I made the best decision in my life.
I threw in the corporate towel, rounded up my family and made adventure a priority.
We moved down to Panama for two years, then moved to Costa Rica where we now live, all the time crawling through Central America, exploring that beautiful region of our world.
In all I’ve been here for the last five years, and I finally feel like myself again.
On any given day you can find me looking for investment property…crossing a deep Panamanian river in my partner Park’s truck…riding horseback down a stretch of beach…or motoring a boat towards a 500 acre tree-covered island.
And here’s the kicker: I get to surf every morning.
It’s probably an exaggeration to say I would’ve died if I stayed in Corporate America—but it’s certainly close.
The change definitely saved my sanity.
Now I live the life I want and make my own choices. I wouldn’t want it any other way. In fact, I hope I’m doing this until the day I die, which brings me to my next point.
This Is Really All about You
Although I saved this for last, it’s definitely not the least important thing I wanted to say. See, you are actually the reason I am here today.
It’s investors and buyers like you who support what I am doing.
From joining us on investment projects to purchasing our lots when we sell…you have helped my business succeed so I can live and work the way I want to.
So thank you for supporting me. Thank you for helping me accomplish both my business and life goals. And my hope, through Emerging Terrains, is to give something back to you.
Listen: there’s a good chance if you’re reading this that you think a little bit like me—you like the business of investing in land, but you also love adventure…
And you want more freedom, too.
Maybe you’re not getting that adventure and freedom you need and you’ve been looking for how you can—even if it means for just one day.
Well, if that sounds like you, and you’d like to learn more about me, my partner and what we do, why not sign up for our 7-part email series “Emerging Terrains 101.”
It’s a great way to see if we might be a good fit as investment partners and possibly get you living how you truly want to live.
Sign up below. I look forward to talking to you.
I am blessed beyond belief.
Blessed to live today at this point in human history. Blessed to live in the Latin Tropics with my amazing wife and 4 kids. Blessed with a lifestyle that most would kill for. Blessed to run businesses that I love so much I have a hard time not working on them.
A little about me.
I’m a regular guy who was living in the US who got fed up with its market opportunities. With its ridiculous regulations on business, investment, and my life in general.
So I pulled the rip cord and moved my family to Costa Rica. Just like that. After having only spent 3 weeks in the country before the move. I sold my assets, dropped our stuff in storage, and pulled the plug.
Why? Freedom. Opportunity.
Ever had one of those moments in life when you just knew there was something better out there? A better quality of life. Better business opportunities. Just something better.
The thing that normally holds you and me back and prevents us from taking that leap is fear. Sure I had it. I still have it.
The thing that helped me overcome it was a deep realization that life is short and nothing is permanent. I don’t know what will help you take that leap you know you should take, but maybe my story will help.
Because when I took that step doors opened and dots got connected that I couldn’t replicate if my life depended on it.
That’s where the blessed part comes in.
Sure, I had some business experience. By the time I was 30 I had completed over 200 real estate transactions. I had bought, built and developed over $10 million in condos, houses, and land. Somehow I had been entrusted with millions of dollars of investment capital.
I had some wins and also had my share of losses. Really more like my share of having my teeth kicked in.
But that’s not what has really made the difference in my Latin businesses.
The difference there has been been a commitment to freedom.
Not freedom as the ultimate ideal or anything like that. I happen to think there are better ideals. But freedom is a pretty dang good one.
Freedom to raise my family with the values that are important to us. Freedom to build a business on my terms. With customers that I love to hang out with. Freedom from the suffocating rat race.
Because when you commit to freedom, you’re really committing to doing life in a way that you can be passionate about.
The result surprises me every day.
From my home office I’m able to run a couple of multi million dollar companies with 15-30 employees (depending on project phase). Not just from my home office. From my laptop. Usually without a shirt.
Did I mention that that “Home office” is located in the world’s #2 place to retire? I’ll let you guess where that is. Hint, a little farther south than Costa Rica.
There are lots of days where Josh and I hop in the truck, head out to a boat, hop over to a new, unpopulated island, get on horses, and assess it’s investment potential. And we call that work. I spent a month doing just that last year on Ecuador’s Pacific coast. A region that is about as close to virgin and untouched as it gets.
And then when we buy that property the real fun begins.
Meetings with law firms designing strategies to protect our customers, investors, and ourselves.
Collaborating with architects on the best way to design a community for a customer who shares our same values. Freedom. Security. Privacy.
Then executing a plan that maximizes investment return while conserving the natural beauty pristine property.
The thing is that you’re blessed too.
You have the same opportunity to pursue your dream as me. But you’re probably going to have to change some of your beliefs.
The belief that you have to commit to the rat race to succeed. The belief that if you just gut it out for a little while longer, then you’ll succeed. The belief that it’s scary outside of your own country. The belief that it’s bad to fail.
Because the funny thing is, once you change those beliefs and put a little time between you and them, you’ll realize that it was those beliefs that are truly scary.
I hope you’ll commit to freedom. And if we can help you with a little part of that, then we will have succeeded.