What Real Estate Entrepreneur Nick Ruiz Learned From Being a Failure

04/17/2015 09:55 am ET | Updated Jun 17, 2015


Your life just sucks!

I get it. I understand why you are feeling like a total loser. I mean, you...

  • Work more than 40 hours a week,
  • Hate your job,
  • Live from paycheck to paycheck,
  • Have not been on a vacation in years,
And, you are, literally, being sold the American Dream, which is nothing more than a big fat lie. Yes, the American Dream is dead!

And you wonder why your life sucks?

But there is a miracle cure -- the entrepreneurial mindset. This established set of attitudes is waging a war on the accepted view of how we are supposed to live.

Now when we think of entrepreneurs, we think about people like...

  • Jack Dorsey, co-founder, Twitter and cofounder, Square
  • Gretchen Rubin, Author of The Happiness Project
  • Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook and Author, Lean In

But in today's Internet-leveraged economy, the entrepreneur has more to do with how you see the world. It's a movement that focuses more on personal growth and helping others than making a six-figure salary.

Chris Guillebeau, the author of The $100 Startup, calls this movement the Art of Non-Conformity. Nick Ruiz is one of those non-conformists.

Ruiz has made it his mission, to decide for himself what he wants to get out of life. But more importantly, Nick gives back to others -- helping people to be successful and financially independent.

My Interview With Nick Ruiz

Michael Bloomberg explains that being an entrepreneur has less to do with running a business and more about seeing the world through an unconventional lens. You have been flipping homes for some time now -- what are your thoughts on being an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurs make the invisible visible. What I mean is that they are looking through a lens that is so laser focused, the outside noise and chatter of naysayers, family and friends gets tuned out. It's hard sometimes, though, because lots of times, the people closest to you are the ones that downplay your ideas and ambitions...

Your vision needs to be crystal clear, and surrounding yourself with key people that are successful and support it is critical.

As an entrepreneur, I look at business as a game I want to win and treat it like chess. Most people look through the lens with today, tomorrow or next week in mind when they make decisions. I look through the lens of complete strategy when I make business and money decisions and how that particular decision will fit into the larger landscape of my plans.

Entrepreneurial Tip: Surround yourself with people that will not only pat you on the back, but kick you in the butt and give you good advice.

The Internet has changed how we live and do business. How do young entrepreneurs prepare themselves for the new economy?

Young people need to prepare by immersing themselves with the latest trends because what's here today, can DEFINITELY be gone tomorrow. They also must learn to NEVER take their current successful position for granted because someone out there is leveraging the internet and technology to beat them at their own game RIGHT NOW!

This new economy is rapidly changing, and it allows for faster success than ever before, but again, that means that there is more competition. NEVER STOP HUSTLING!

Entrepreneurial Tip: Never stop moving forward and never stop learning.

Those that live purposefully are always evolving -- keeping themselves in permanent beta. Is this the mindset that every entrepreneur should have?

I love the phrase "permanent beta." It's the perfect description of my personal and entrepreneurial life.

I've always been obsessed with improvement. As the world is constantly evolving in all aspects, it only makes sense to evolve with it. There are MANY things that I think and believe today, that five to 10 years ago were never even a thought. I think anyone is doing themselves a disservice by standing firm in any one particular strategy, idea, etc...

Constant evolution is part of what makes life more exciting and it also allows you to overcome a wider range of challenges...

Bottom line -- being able to adapt and evolve is CRITICAL for long term success. In fact, a quote that is near and dear to my heart is: "When the winds change, you have to adjust your sails." I created a multimillion dollar net worth in my 20s and the big crash of 2008 put me into bankruptcy.

I quickly bounced back with "outside of the box" thinking and some newer strategies. As far as evolution as an entrepreneur goes, I'm the poster child for it.

Entrepreneurial Tip: You must be obsessed with personal improvement and constant growth.

The risk is a large part of being an entrepreneur and it must be measured with a degree of intelligence. What is your process for taking intelligent risks?

When it comes to risk, my approach is simple. I'm willing to risk something if the rewards massively outweigh the risk. I will never "bet the farm" on one specific thing and put everything I have on the line. I believe people can take on a safe risk that will get them to super success while staying safe enough to make sure their family is still secure.

With that being said, I do believe that when you are young and don't have other people to support (spouse, kids, etc.), you have much more time to recover from mistakes and greater risk.

So, if you are able to recover without crushing your family, I say bet much bigger and put more on the line.

If you are in a position where you have people to support, educate yourself as much as possible in the area you are planning on taking a risk, and weigh your options carefully.

Entrepreneurial Tip: Take risks often but they must be intelligent.

Failure is another large part of being an entrepreneur. What has failure taught you about your resolve in being an entrepreneur?

Failure has taught me volumes.

I filed bankruptcy after the big real estate crash of 2008. I'm VERY familiar with failure and being completely depressed in every sense of the word. Failure exercises your adversity muscles. This is extremely important as an entrepreneur because as you grow your business, more and more adversity and bumps in the road will come about.

If you are unfamiliar with adversity and failure, you'll have a tough time getting through those challenges. I read lots of books and am always educating myself, but the things that I know the absolute best, have come from 'trial and error' learning. I've learned many things not to do.

I'm a big fan of newer entrepreneurs failing early on in their career. It teaches them quickly what to avoid so down the road, they can maneuver around the expensive and extremely painful mistakes later on.

Entrepreneurial Tip: Fail early but more importantly learn from every mistake.

Question: Does living your life on your own terms appeal to you? Then what will be your first baby-step in taking ownership of your life?

This article was originally post on Ramon B. Nuez Jr.