That First Deal Fight: Lessons From Dan’s Story

Mindset9 min read

Let’s talk about an investor who, after nearly throwing in the towel so many times, finally landed his first wholesale assignment deal to the tune of a solid $7,500 payday. Let’s dive right into it…

Justin Wilmot
Justin Wilmot
Justin Wilmot

Hey guys, Justin Wilmot here!

I just wrapped up a killer phone call with someone that’s got me freaking stoked, and I really want to share it with you, right now while it’s fresh.

It’s from a mentoring session where my boy Dan Kurdyla (only 25 years young) reported how, after nearly throwing in the towel so many times,  he finally landed his first wholesale assignment deal to the tune of a solid $7,500 payday.

Nicely done, Dan! 🙌

Interestingly, Dan’s big win here is really more than just about the money (though it’s sure nice!) but also the priceless lessons crossing that first deal finish line has taught him.

These are some hard-earned lessons you will never unlearn and always benefit from, Dan.

Lessons that sure as heck took me a lot longer to learn myself back when I was ‘failing forward’ with my own budding operation back in the day.

Rather than me, saying it, let’s hear it right from the horse’s mouth. I don’t normally do this, but here’s a tiny clip from our recent mentoring call where Dan spills the beans from his own lips…

(Bonus points if you can hear the sirens in the background since I was mentoring from my car with a hurricane trying to roll in and eat me!)

Hear 8 Minutes of Awesome…


Pretty freaking cool, right!?

There are a lot of powerful lessons tied into this awesome story—more than you can even hear from that little segment. Lessons that apply to soooo many newbie investors I talk to, and really pretty much anyone who’s still out there trying to land that first deal and notch that first payday on your belt.

And listen, I get it—and it’s OK—everyone’s got their “first time” and usually some kind of crazy learning curve to get there, right?

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Now, I wipe my surfboard down with that T-shirt. 😉

Let me highlight 4 solid lessons everyone should take away from Dan’s story here…

Lesson 1: Your first deal is a major freaking milestone

That’s right, you never forget your first time. 😊

For new investors across the board, that first deal is a pretty epic landmark achievement. Not only that, but it’s also a legit breakthrough from, “Does this real estate thing really work?” to “Wow, it really does freaking work…and even I can do this!”

Call it a milestone, landmark, or turning point—the bottom line is landing that first deal is a major mark for everybody and gives you the “proof of concept” momentum you need to keep moving that ball forward.

Now rinse, and repeat!

Lesson 2: The first deal’s also your hardest

No, not because wholesaling a property is so hard to do. Quite the opposite actually, it’s your head-junk.

For Dan (and for most people, present company included) it’s that second-guessing guy inside your head who ends up being your worst enemy. For most people, it flat-out destroys their chances of succeeding in REI.

I still remember the barrier of my own beliefs. That voice in my head that kept saying,

“Nah, you can’t really pull this off… See there? That unexpected speed bump? Those first two deals where you made zero dollars? (Actually less than zero—I lost the deposit) Well, those are your proof this prolly can’t work for you. So sorry, why don’t you just go back to your regular job and try something else someday, K?”

Bull crap, inner voice! It’s that major “beliefs barrier” and stupid voice in your own head that keeps most who try flipping a house from ever succeeding even a single time.

You just heard Dan say, “I’ve learned NOT to listen to myself at times.”

Power move!

Instead you say, “No screw that, I’m not listening to myself—you don’t know crap, you debbie-downer in my head!”

Lesson 3: Find a way to ride someone else’s backbone

Sounds kinda gross, but work with my metaphor here. 🙂

It’s pretty powerful to just take action, and try a new thing that seems really hard, but worthwhile.

It’s even more powerful if you can find someone else who’s already doing/done that hard thing, and then ride the wave of their courage, confidence, and experience.

I mean, any mentor-type relationship you can build with another seasoned investor—someone who’s already been through some of your coming battles, come out the other side and got the scars, lessons, and stories to show for it…

Hoping to be the next fix-and-flip rockstar of your town? Find a seasoned rehabber you can attach yourself to.

Aiming to be a local landlord land baron? Find a solid pro in that arena and start shadowing him/her.

Need to learn how to start wholesaling houses? Find a guy—I see berjallions of them.

But whatever you do, find someone who can mentor you in your business model… That kind of person can cut YEARS off your learning curve.

And not only by learning the pure knowledge they have to share with you from their experiences but something even more powerful than that: You can borrow their confidence.

In Dan’s first deal, he said pretty much everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. He wanted to quit so many times…but in the end, persistence and perseverance won the day for him.

And I’ll tell you right now, the only thing that kept Dan from throwing in the towel several times was my belief in him, and my confident assurance that all those deal-killers were really just speed bumps, and he could totally handle it.

In other words, Dan was able to borrow my confidence in believing in him and trusting the process.

If you’re still trying to crack the code on wholesaling houses for fun and profit, then you really need to find someone solid whose backbone (confidence) you can borrow too.

The storms you face will be way easier to withstand, and your chance of succeeding spikes. That’s what happened to me, and I’ve seen it happen to so many others too.

Lesson 4: Moxie, stamina & creativity will get deals done

stick dancing

“Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.” —Julie Andrews

The main difference between those who make it and those who don’t (in any business) is how you handle solving problems when they happen… And they will happen!

The “textbook” wholesale deal is a myth for most people, especially the first deal.

In his first deal, Dan had to deal with the conniving family trying to kill the deal, greedy attorneys trying to complicate things, broken promises, and just plain weirdness from multiple angles.

But when stuff happens, only people who tackle things head first with moxie, stamina, and grit will get deals done.

In other words, you gotta (a) be tenacious, (b) keep your focus, and (c) be willing to be creative sometimes, in order to get paid for pushing a clunky, but otherwise-viable deal over the finish line.

Dan’s remarks after we hung in there and I helped him navigate the unexpected weirdness, and he saw that first $7,500 in his hand…

“…almost brought me to tears…my whole life changed before my eyes…any time I have doubt, I want to look at that (first check) and remember, hey, it’s possible… no matter how hard it gets, I can persevere and get to the other side.”

‘Nuff said. And my pleasure, Dan. 😊

Lesson 5—Bonus! Ask better questions…

For Dan, it would have been sooooo easy to throw in the towel on this one so many times. But I wouldn’t let him!

When Dan faced roadblock after roadblock, there was no leading with:

“Ah well, guess this deal died, time to move on I guess.”  

…Instead, we kept challenging ourselves with:

“How can we come at this from another angle and think a little differently to get this deal moving forward again?”

Saying, “This won’t work, because ________” is just a dead end.

But saying instead, “How else could we make this work?” gets your mind at least thinking, and those creative wheels start spinning.

Next thing you know, you’ve found your way outside that mental box, and a new (non-obvious) solution presents itself. Just because you asked yourself a better question.

This isn’t how most people’s minds work by default. It takes reprogramming and practice, and sometimes it takes someone more seasoned in your court (but outside your limited perspective) to jump-start your mind to think a little more creatively.

So many people have helped me grow and learn to do that for myself over the years. And now I love paying it forward to other people when I get the chance.

Btw one thing I get super stoked about today is helping people demolish their learning curve as fast as possible. And a lot of times that looks like learning some of the hard lessons I’ve learned ever since this surfer dude first failed forward with this crazy jam so many moons ago.

Anyway, there are more lessons I could pull out of Dan’s first deal story, but this is already long enough, and I see some pretty sweet waves starting up outside my office window here. 😊

So you tell me…

What do you take away from Dan’s first deal story?

I’m all ears (soon as I get back from this surf 😉 ) Talk to me below…


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