By Christopher Okada, CEO and Founder of Okada & Company.
I recently met someone who bought Ethereum at $5. Although there have been swings, investors have seen a huge percent return on investment (ROI) in just a few years. People are losing their minds about the prospects of making a 200 percent, 500 percent, 1,000 percent, 5,000 percent and even 10,000 percent ROI in a short period of time. From Thanksgiving to Christmas in 2017, I almost tripled my investment. It was quick. It was exhilarating. And it didn't make any sense at all.
2018 represents my 16th year in New York City commercial real estate and 12 years since I opened my business. Although I made more than a 16,500 percent ROI, it took me 16 years, two financial crises, a lot of wins and many more losses. Making quick money in cryptocurrencies took away the luster of over a decade of hard work. It hijacked my investment criteria, short-circuited my due diligence process and greatly altered my expectations of winning big.
So, for those of you who are interested in making a 10,000 percent ROI outside of cryptocurrency, here are my top five tips.
Focus on a niche.
Don't be spread all over the place. It's OK to eventually be involved in several lines of businesses or to own several companies. However, choose an industry and a corner of that industry that you can crush. When I started my company, I was everywhere, doing everything: uptown, midtown, downtown, selling condos, renting offices, renting apartments, managing apartments. I was working like crazy and getting nowhere. Looking back, I'm grateful that I decided to never rent or sell apartments ever again. I put all of my energy in office and retail properties on the west side of midtown, and things started taking off.
Put in sweat equity.
The key word here is "sweat." Nobody is going to pay my bills, fund my retirement, accomplish my 5-year or 10-year plans and build my dreams. I don't expect anyone else to make it happen for me. The 10,000-hour rule is in full effect here. But how many years it'll take you to get there is completely up to you.
As you grow, your daily responsibilities will have to grow with you. As a startup, I was everything: CEO, janitor, bookkeeper, marketing director etc. As we started making more money, it was not in my best interest to do the accounting or order office supplies. I began delegating work processes. My value proposition to the company (and to my ROI) is putting deals together, doing high-powered networking and showing newer hungrier agents how to do their own deals. Working effectively also means focusing on the right products or channels to get to prospects. Try different approaches to get in front of your clients and customers, and then attack. Read Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson.
Sell as much as possible.
Why should I buy your product? Why should I hire you? Why should I give you money? This is something everyone needs to work on. I don't care if you invented the iPhone or the automobile. People are going to resist your product or service. I personally have transacted over a billion dollars in real estate and trust me, not everyone hires me or invests in my projects. Knowing that, I constantly need to improve my odds by having a good presentation, work on rebuttals, creating marketing campaigns and building a solid track record of accomplishment.
Stay in one place.
A tree grows in one place. It takes time. It takes patience. Every single day, you need to work hard, work effectively and update your skill sets. One day in the future, you should be able to look back and realize how far you've come. Things will change and you have to adapt, but it's important to give yourself and your craft time. Win hard, win often, recover from losses as quickly as you can, and stay in one place.
I could write books with several editions on how to make a 10,000 percent ROI. I'm living it, I'm breathing it, and there is so much more to it than these five items. But if you don't have these five basic principals, it will be extremely difficult.
Christopher Okada is CEO and Founder of Okada & Company.