Learn the business. Start from the ground up. There is nothing wrong with asking questions and starting with the basics of whatever you are trying to accomplish. See what you can learn in any given situation. Our biggest learning moments come from our biggest failures, so certainly don’t fear failure and don’t hesitate to see the value in your mistakes.

Have you ever noticed how often we equate success with more? Whether that’s more products, more profits, more activities or more accomplishments, we buy into the belief that we have to do more to have more to be more. And that will sum up to success. And then along comes The Great Resignation. Where employees are signaling that the “more” that’s being offered — even more pay, more perks, and more PTO — isn’t summing up to success for them. We visited with leaders who are redefining what success means now. Their answers might surprise you.

As a part of this series I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Jason Hartman.

Jason Hartman, Author | Speaker | Financial Guru | Podcast Rockstar.

Jason Hartman is the Founder and CEO of Empowered Investor and has been involved in several thousand real estate transactions and has owned income properties in 11 states and 17 cities. Empowered Investor helps people achieve The American Dream of financial freedom by purchasing income property in prudent markets nationwide. Jason’s Complete Solution for Real Estate Investors™ is a comprehensive system providing real estate investors with education, research, resources and technology to deal with all areas of their income property investment needs.

Thank you for making time to visit with us about the topic of our time. Our readers would like to get to know you a bit better. Can you please tell us about one or two life experiences that most shaped who you are today?

As a teenager, I had the great fortune to catch an infomercial on tv about real estate investing. I bought the book, read it, then put it aside and didn’t think about real estate until about two years later when my mom encouraged me to take another look and attend an investing seminar. That encouragement combined with the investment advice from this particular guru made all the difference in my life. I got my real estate license at 19 and learned the nuts and bolts of the business in the field selling houses. This pathway into real estate was essential for obtaining a 360 degree view of the industry.

We all have myths and misconceptions about success. What are some myths or misconceptions that you used to believe?

At the beginning of my life and career, my focus was mainly on making money. I went to an integrated high school in Orange County and saw that the wealthy kids had access to great cars, trips and social opportunities. I grew up fairly poor, so as a young man, my mind was definitely focused on money. That was my reason for taking the path that I did, but as I transitioned from real estate agent to real estate investor, my priorities changed and I saw the importance of giving back and helping as many people as possible achieve their financial independence day through income property investing, especially now that there has been a very clear hollowing out of the middle class.

How has your definition of success changed?

I would now be inclined to use Earl Nightingale’s definition, which is: success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. And it’s definitely not about money. Money is a side effect. When I was younger, it was about money. I wanted money, there’s no question about it, but at some point you realize that money is just a way to keep score. It’s also a way to have resources to open doors to engage in passion projects and influence culture in the world.

There’s another great old quote, by the way: money is like alcohol, it makes a bad person worse and a good person better. People magnify themselves through money, which can be good or bad. That’s the heart of it. The true definition of success is the impact you leave for good in this world. I’m happy to be in a position to make other people’s success my business and my reason for doing what I do.

The pandemic, in many ways, was a time of collective self-reflection. What changes do you believe we need to make as a society to access success post pandemic?

The pandemic was indeed a collective time for self-reflection on what we value most in life. Priorities certainly changed as people restructured their lives. Many moved out of cities, started working remotely and spent more time with their families. As a result, people started looking for other ways to live their lives, other ways to make money and thrive without necessarily being tied down to a 9 to 5 job. As a society, we need to incentivize entrepreneurship, prioritize family life and encourage everyone to reconsider their own personal health and make improvements to take care of themselves.

What do you see as the unexpected positives in the pandemic? We would love to hear a few of your stories or examples.

As people stayed home during lockdowns and had more free time, many people used that time wisely and learned about income property investing! Of course, people engaged in all sorts of learning, but I was delighted by the number of people following my work and taking advantage of their increased time to learn about the most historically proved and tax favored asset class in America — income property.

We’re all looking for answers about how to be successful now. Could you please share “5 Ways To Redefine Success Now?”

Learn the business. Start from the ground up. There is nothing wrong with asking questions and starting with the basics of whatever you are trying to accomplish. See what you can learn in any given situation. Our biggest learning moments come from our biggest failures, so certainly don’t fear failure and don’t hesitate to see the value in your mistakes.

Learn from others. What I don’t know, I ask! I’ve interviewed thousands of people on my Creating Wealth Podcast. I have a lot of varied interests and my podcast has been a platform to bring together real estate experts and others of all disciplines to share their expertise with people from 189 countries around the world. People are the wealth of the world!

Educate yourself. Take your financial education or whatever it is that you are learning seriously. If that means investing in a course or class, do it. If that means committing your free time to learning something new, get it done. You’ll thank yourself for it later. You’ll use this momentum to propel yourself to the next project or business venture. You might learn 100 ways to fail and only 1 to succeed, but that commitment will make all the difference in redefining your personal success.

Do not harm or speak lies. In today’s age, it’s easy to be pressured into one ideology or another, but you must stay true to yourself and avoid saying things you don’t believe in just because you feel pressured. What does that have to do with success? Everything. Because it has to do with self respect. Your self respect and its maintenance are the keys to continued and persistent personal success.

What is my impact now? What will my impact be when I am gone? Is my business fair? Ethical? Can I teach others my strategies to help them improve their lives? These are all great questions to keep in mind as you develop a business or even just as you go about your life. We are not alone on this earth and if we can each help even just 1 person significantly, that is by my definition, a successful life.

How would our lives improve if we changed our definition of success?

Redefining success requires a shift in mindset and changing your context. We can change the content of our lives, but if we don’t change our context, we won’t see any significant changes. What can I do today, here and now? Not everyone can go from zero to one hundred instantly and so we cannot define ourselves by the same standards as others, but almost everything could look at the five ways of redefining success that I’ve mentioned just now and find something they could start today. And even if you spent only one focused hour working on one of those steps, that hour is in itself, a huge success! Go forward and use that momentum to create a series of successful moments, could be ten minutes or it could be one hour, but those moments will link together over time and voilà! You’ve done something new and you’ve committed yourself to the direction of success and you’ve changed your context.

What’s the biggest obstacle that stands in the way of our redefined success? And what advice would you offer about overcoming those obstacles?

The obstacle is the way. I’m not sure who said that, maybe one of the ancient Stoic philosophers, but you do not need to avoid or go around obstacles in life. Confront them head on, with humility and with an open mind and heart. Fear is the way. And there will always be fear. You will conquer it once and then you will have to conquer it again a million times. Such is life and such is the human experience. But there is beauty in this experience and in this struggle. This is where we learn the most, where we thrive, where we surprise ourselves and surpass our expectations. There are many obstacles in life that will stand in the way of what we want to achieve. Why are great men and women great? Because the obstacles they faced represented the precise road they needed to follow and tread upon to reach their success.

Where do you go to look for inspiration and information about how to redefine success?

I talk to the people. Ordinary, everyday people who are just trying to live a decent life comfortably with meaning and purpose. If I know their struggles, I can adjust what I’m doing in order to help them more effectively. That is my way to “redefine” and reorient my methods to serve as many people as possible.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He, she or they might just see this if we tag them.

I would love to speak with Thomas Sowell again. He came on my Creating Wealth Show a few years ago and it would be great to interview him again. He’s one of the greatest minds of the last few decades and a voice of reason amidst all this folly.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Learn more at JasonHartman.com or follow me on Instagram. I host The Creating Wealth Show Podcast Monday, Wednesday and Friday or you can check out all kinds of great discussions on my YouTube Channel about real estate, macroeconomics and investing. I also started Jason Hartman Extra on YouTube as a place where I could put some of my more incendiary political episodes or episodes other other topics of interest and debate that I’d like to get out there.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this. We wish you continued success and good health.

Thank you for having me! It was a pleasure to share my thoughts and I hope whoever is reading has found something beneficial in these pages!