Want to know how to succeed? Find a need and fill it, says real estate magnate and in demand consultant Marco Kozlowski, who built a real estate empire worth more than $45 million with virtually no capital investment before becoming an internationally renowned business consultant.
Creating entrepreneur opportunities by filling a need
“Becoming an entrepreneur means moving from getting a job—which is what’s the problem in the U.S. now,” says Kozlowski. “Instead of moaning and complaining that there are no jobs, go figure out what people want and then figure out a way to give it to them.”
“Do that over and over again, and you’ll make a bundle of money, because the best way to make a lot of money is by helping people,” Kozlowski says. “Money is a by-product of how many people you help.”
For example, in real estate, there are a lot of creative ways to purchase property, but basically, you have to figure out what the seller’s problem or challenge is, says Kozlowski. Then you have to find a way to fill that need.
A lot of homeowners have a property they can’t sell, and it drains their energy and money, to the point that many will just hand over their house keys and walk away—if the right questions are asked, Kozlowski says.
The first of those questions is, “What’s stopping you from moving?” The answer may be that the house has been on the market for a long time and without selling, or perhaps the sellers are a couple of payments behind. If this is the case, Kozlowski then asks sellers if they are willing to sell the house for only the amount they owe.
Sellers who answer “yes” are presented with a contract that stipulates such willingness. Kozlowski then found a buyer willing to purchase or rent the property for a little bit more than what the mortgage would be and resell or rent it.
“If it was a rental, I’d charge first, last and deposit would cover the deficiency and I’d have a tenant in there with little or no out-of-pocket expense,” Kozlowski says. If a sale resulted, Kozlowski made certain to charge enough more than what he himself had agreed to pay so he didn’t have to put out any money.
The first year Kozlowski began building his real estate empire, he completed more than 119 transactions at a mean average price of $200,000. “That’s in the value of the transaction, not the amount of profit,” Kozlowski says.
The difference between a commodity and necessity
If you only work for one employer, Kozlowski notes, you only make what that employer is willing to pay you. “You become a commodity if you’re an employee, because you can be replaced” he notes. “By finding out what people want and need and delivering it to them, you’re not a commodity. You’re a necessity.”
Kozlowski built his consulting business on this premise.
How to create wealth through empowerment
“I just empower anyone who wants to get out of where they are,” says Kozlowski. “I help them figure out where their passion is, what their interests are, and build a plan around them and how they can help a tremendous number of people through whatever their skills are.”
Kozlowski’s “superpower,” he says, is this ability to figure out what people want, what they can do and then building a team that will make that a reality. “Look at it as a football team,” he says. “The owner of the team makes all the money and the players on the field are playing hard because they love to play football and they love to win games. “But they’re playing to win games so the owner can make more money.”
“So, the owner is watching the game and the players are working hard on the field. I help people become owners and find the right players who are really good at what they do and love playing whatever the game is and are willing to work on a profit-sharing model.”
“Instead of following the employee punch-in/punch out model, allow your team to make a percentage of the profit the company makes,” counsels Kozlowski. “It’s profit-sharing through delegation and finding the right team members.”
For example, whenever Kozlowski gets a new customer, he first gives 10 percent to charity. Then, from the remaining 90 percent, he pays a percentage to whoever in his organization obtained or referred that customer. “Whoever served that customer gets a piece,” says Kozlowski. “Everyone is incentivized by keeping the customers happy.”
“The level of customer service increases because everyone working there feels that the company belongs to them, too. They don’t have jobs, they have careers that allow them to help a tremendous number of people.”
Work smart by delegating tasks
It’s important to know when to delegate tasks to another person, as your can become overwhelmed and you’ll lose the race before you’ve really started if you try to do everything on your own.
As an example, Kozlowski points to an event he did in July in Rome, Italy. He was working with a professional speaker who wasn’t getting the attendance he needed to make his presentations truly lucrative. Within three days, Kozlowski showed him how to build a marketing and sales team, and within two weeks, this client generated 70,000 euros into his own pocket.
“This guy was trying to do everything himself,” Kozlowski says. “He was looking for customers, talking with customers, trying to fill the room. We put a team in place of people who are really good at looking for customers, talking with customers and marketing. The marketers got the phones to ring, the people who are good at talking talked, and within two weeks filled the room.”
“He didn’t do the work himself,” notes Kozlowski. “Other people did it for him. It was really just a matter of getting the right people into play.”
Another client in the financial services business was doing everything himself. Kozlowski showed him how building a team could transform him from a player to a business owner. “He was on the field trying to do all the plays, which is what business owners usually do, Kozlowski says. “Most are slaves to their own businesses. By building a team, his business now turns over an additional 132,000 euros a month.”
“These are pretty significant numbers given that’s it’s only been a bit over a month since they attended the series of trainings I make people go through.”
Time management is a key to success
Most people “get too busy being busy” to be truly successful, says Kozlowski. “They get so into the trenches they don’t really see the challenges they face and the habits they have that stop them from being where they need to be.”
When Kozlowski was growing up, people told him, ‘Go to school, study hard, get a job and work hard.’ He thought, ‘Why would I want to do that when everyone I knew who did it was miserable?’”
“You can change where you are just by seeking to help more people, and as soon as you decide to change your life, you change your life,” he says.
Written By Julie Crawshaw