WOW! digging thru

some of Lonnies old stuff I came across this on the “other” site LOL.

Posted by Lonnie on August 17, 2000 at 15:21:15:

In Reply to: Rambling about Stubborn People posted by JHyre in Ohio on August 15, 2000 at 15:58:18:

Hi John,

Thanks for an excellent article. And you’re exactly right, everyone (myself included) love to talk about their killer deals and success stories. But we sometimes fail to mention that our successes all came with a price. And that price is often paid by costly mistakes, lost deals, trial and error, and sometimes just plain stupidity and greed. But if we’re really dedicated and want something bad enough, we don’t let failure stop us. On the contrary, mistakes and failures will only inspire and motivate the person who is determined to succeed. But I see so many people that want to reach the top, but aren’t willing to climb the ladder. You have to realize that the person on top didn’t just fall there.

Last week, I got a call from another excited newbie who wanted to set the world on fire and make a bundle of money. And he wanted it that week. He was firing off questions faster than I could answer. Then I realized that every question he asked, was answered in the book. When I asked him if he had read the book, he said “Well, I’ve read part of it.”

Another time, a woman who had just finished reading the books, called with several questions. She was all excited and said she knew where she could buy 10 mobile homes real cheap. I asked her if she knew anything about the park, the PM, what she could sell the homes for, and if she was willing to pay 10 lot rents if she didn’t sell them right away. No, she hadn’t thought about that. And I’ll just bet that if she had bought those 10 homes, and then couldn’t get them sold, she would be saying, “It doesn’t work where I live.” And then what kind of advice would she be giving to other people thinking of getting in the business?

At my last workshop, one of the students said he had 5 years experience in the MH business. Then he said “But you can’t do that anymore where I live, it just doesn’t work.” (There’s over 500,000 MH’s in his state, and he says it doesn’t work.) I asked another student, who lived near this man, if that was true. He said “No, I’m doing deals every week.”

I then asked this man how many MH deals he had done over the past 5 years. I had to ask him several times before he finally admitted he had only done ONE deal. He got angry when I told him he didn’t have 5 years experience, he had one experience that lasted 5 years. What kind of advice will a newbie get from that guy?

So, with one person saying it’s easy, and another saying it won’t work, what is that newbie to believe? Maybe we do make it look too easy. And maybe some people do think success comes without mistakes and failures. But I don’t know any successful person who didn’t make their share of mistakes and failures. A wise man said “Success is determined by how well you handle your failures.”

Folks, John says it so well, and I hope you got his message�"I STUCK WITH IT." And if you’re not willing to “stick with it”, chances are you won’t make it in the MH business, or any other business. But regardless who you listen to, and what kind of advice you get, there’s still no substitution for plain old common sense�that gut feeling that says you’re about to make a dumb mistake. Sometimes common sense goes out the window, and we let greed and stupidity take over. How do I know this? Because I’ve made my share of dumb deals. But I learned a valuable lesson from every one. But like John, I STUCK WITH IT.

In this business, like any business, you WILL make mistakes. You WILL be disappointed when things don’t go as you planned. There WILL be times when you will become discouraged. There WILL be times when you ask yourself if success is really worth the price you have to pay. Only you can answer these questions, and only you can make the choice and decide whether the price of financial success is worth the price you have to pay. Nothing is really easy unless you’re willing “TO STICK WITH IT” until it becomes easy.

So how do we encourage that newbie that this is a great money making business, but at the same time show them that it’s not all peaches and cream? How do we show them that like any thing worthwhile, it does take a certain amount of work, effort, knowledge, sacrifice and self discipline to succeed? And how do we show them that if they aren’t willing to struggle through the bad times, the disappointments, and the failures, they will never know that wonderful feeling of success?

Folks, if I’ve made this MH business sound too easy, I apologize. But like John says, there are excellent profits to be made in this business, but it does take work, and you have to take the time to learn. And you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to make that difficult deal work, when, for some unknown reason, what worked yesterday, isn’t working today. Just because it worked a certain way one time, doesn’t mean the same method or technique will work every time. If a change becomes necessary, then figure a way to make the deal fly, rather than getting discouraged and wanting to quit. Keep a positive attitude and “STICK WITH IT.”

Since we often learn our best lessons from our mistakes, how about starting a “Mistake of the month” topic. If this sounds like a good idea, share your mistakes with us, and what you learned from it. Many times it’s more important to know what NOT to do, than what to do.

Again John, thanks for an excellent article.

Happy investing to all,


What a great person…and make no mistake this info is timeless. This article is as true today as the date it was posted on CRE. WOW.

As often as I try to provide others and myself this type of encouragement and perspective it sure is great to here it right from Lonnie himself.

We all do have days like this. We all get moments that we wonder if we are burning out. We all wonder if it is really worth it.

I find that those moments come after a series of disappointments for me. It might be a month of tough rent collections, a bounced tenant’s check (when I knew I should have required a money order), a couple of vacancies along with damage that will cost more and take longer than I had planned etc. etc.

I had a day like that recently. It was then that I found one of my tenants dead in the home. He was 70 years old and had been sick for many years. He died alone and it was the landlord that had to find him.

My moment of frustration over what were relatively trivial facts of business life suddenly took on a new perspective. Sure the money and time spent still hurt and the rent I had to chase was frustrating but at the end of the day I was still living, breathing and my family to spend time with.

I thank Lonnie and Greg for reminding me that none of us are immune nor alone when it comes to these frustrations.


Tony Colella


Nice timing.  My partner and I just came back from our flooded out park.  The entire front part of the park is toast, parts of the middle are salvageable. and the back is largley ok.  The park has been shut down (hopefully temporarily) by the county emergency management dept.  The homeowners are being housed in a local church but hear all kinds of rumors about the park closing.  We have told them we will not give up, we will not abandon them, we will rebuild.  Is this a financial set back ... you bet, but Lonnie is right.  We all have to stick with it.  It will be a gigantic undertaking but well worth it for everyone.       

  p.s  when this is over we will have a wealth of knowledge of how to work with about 12 different city,county state and federal agencies, all telling us something different.  Hope to share it with y'all.

WOW!!! Did I ever need to read this. Suddenly the problems I am having at my community don’t look so bad after all. Just the price I must pay for ultimate success.

And tmh, I have this funny feeling that were you to stand up at the next MOM and talk about your experiences (with pics of course), you would have the undivided attention of everyone in the room.



I agree with Rolf this is exactly what I needed to hear to put things in perspective. Things are not great right now on my business front but they pale in comparison to these others and I know I will find a way through them to the better times.