Facing Death By Drowning On The Penobscot River

There’s a river in Maine called the Penobscot. And there is a treacherous set of rapids on that river known by whitewater rafting guides as the “cribworks”.


It is a 5+ level rapid and it will kill you if you don’t know what you are doing. It’s one of those deadly rapids strewn with sharp rocks and dangerous eddies. It makes rafting guides nervous as hell.


I remember running those rapids….

We had just run some really awesome rapids and I had too much testosterone in my veins to heed their warning. I decided to run it with about half of our crew.

At the top of the rapid there is a very narrow place between two large boulders… just wide enough for a raft to float through.

They call it the “turkey shoot.”

If you hit it, it propels you across to the other side of the river and helps you miss the most dangerous part of the rapid. If you miss it… well… not good.

I went down those rapids…

…but we missed the “turkey shoot.”

When you miss that little path of fast moving water, trying to get across the river with paddles is like paddling the Queen Mary with a teaspoon. The river takes control.

We headed straight for the sharp rocks in our little rubber raft.

The River Is More Forgiving Than It Looks

The River Is More Forgiving Than It Looks

What happened next has impacted everything I’ve attempted in my life…


The raft crashed sideways into a giant boulder and stopped us with a crash. When you hit a obstacle like that, your first reaction is to lean away from those sharp rocks. You want to push off from the rock and get back into the main flow of the river as quickly as possible. We all started to lean away from the rock and that’s when Jim (an old college friend and our guide) yelled, “HIGH SIDE.”

As we were leaning away from the rock, (the low side of the boat) water started gushing over the tube. If too much water filled the boat, it would flip it backwards and throw us into the rushing water.

Even though it made sense logically to shy away from the danger, the big rock, the thing Jim was telling us to do was to lean over to the high side of the boat TOWARD the rock, toward the danger.

He’d been giving us orders all that week on different rivers around Maine and we were used to doing what he said. We all went to the high side of the boat.

When we did, something miraculous happened…


The low side of the boat, the side that was taking all the water, floated up above the flood. The crushing weight of the river slid harmlessly under us. A couple of us even put a foot out of the boat onto the rock to steady us.

We then were able to reposition the angle of the boat and with a collective shove of our feet and paddles, we launched ourselves back into the flow of the river making it possible to bypass the sharp rocks.

Going against conventional wisdom may have saved our lives that day. Leaning into our fears turned out to be the only way we could succeed.

I expect you are seeing where I’m going with all this.

If you want succeed at something you’ve never done before. If you want to do something that most people shy away from. If you want to ride the flood instead of walk the trail, you better be ready to face your fears.

Everyone I teach comes into my program with fear. They don’t know if they will be able to do what I teach, they don’t know if they will fall flat on their face. But they do know that by doing what they’ve always done, they will get what they’ve always got.

I had a good leader on that river trip. I had someone I trusted to keep me safe and tell me what I needed to do to survive. Everyone needs a good teacher, a good mentor, someone they can trust to guide them and keep them focused on the things they need to do to succeed.

If you want to build a real estate investing business, I can do that for you. Come ride the flood with me. It’s a glorious ride.


  1. January 10, 2010 at 9:06 am ·


    Great Story! I’m glad you started a blog with all
    your info in one central place. I just wish I could
    get you to start a affiliate program..

    Take care,


  2. January 9, 2010 at 7:56 am ·

    Hi Joe, Happy New Year! Joe thanks for all your -Great Info!I wait for monthly news letter like a kid wating for a new comic book! its packed with awesome info allways, Your the Best. My Partner and i will be Buying the Push Button Meth Soon We Cant Wait to get started. Thanks for being the most honest Mentor out there!!! Please take good care. Jim C

  3. January 7, 2010 at 3:07 pm ·

    Hi Jack, $600… you have been around a long time.

    The answer to your question is “yes” they still could qualify. It is harder to get a loan these days, but we have started giving folks 2-3 years on the option to make it more possible.

    With that said, less than 30% will exercise the option (this was true even during the easy money loan days).

    In the meantime, they have a home they can call their own, the seller has a good tenant, and we make a bit as well… a win-win-win situation.

    Hope to have you around for the next 10 years as well. – Joe

  4. January 7, 2010 at 3:05 pm ·

    Thanks Kim. I’m really enjoying watching you and Nick build your business. You are going to be a force to be reckoned with. I have a feeling it’s going to be a great year. Joe

  5. Kim
    January 7, 2010 at 1:48 pm ·

    ….sounds like the Penobscot River should be on more of our bucket lists:)

  6. Kim
    January 7, 2010 at 1:44 pm ·

    You are so right Joe! Love your blogs! Your course is straight forward, turn-key, and fairly easy to implement. Business is out there, but you do have to make a commitment and go after it. I reflect on the quote often: “If it were EASY, everyone would be doing it. Having faith makes things possible, NOT EASY.” Guess it’s kind’of like trusting your guide on the Penobscot River. Having your coaching to us has been invaluable! BTW: Your business automation with followup has been instrumental in our success! Thank you, Joe! Here’s to an even greater New Year!

  7. January 7, 2010 at 1:37 pm ·

    that’s a hair raising story. I wish I could afford the mentor class. For now, I’ll hav to try it a different way. Perhaps down the road…

  8. January 7, 2010 at 1:21 pm ·

    Great post. To navigate the treacherous waters of real estate, we do in fact need an experienced guide. Now more than ever before there are problems facing homeowners that we can solve. Two weeks ago, I read an article in the Detroit Free Press about the high percentage of luxury homes that are underwater and in the beginning stages of default. I believe an opportunity exists for this market.

  9. January 7, 2010 at 12:21 pm ·


    I have been observing you & your business for a long time. I remember when your mentor business was $ 600. I have always been very impressed with your integrity & business opportunity. I am considering joining your mentor program. I have a couple of questions:

    1. With your “For Rent Method,” does the buyer really have a realist opportunity to actually, down the road, qualify for a mortgage and purchase the home that they are renting? Or will they probably not qualify for a mortgage in the future because it’s more difficult to get a mortgage today verses a couple years ago. After the collapse of our economy & the banks, I know the banks have raised the credit score requirements to qualify for mortgages. I would love your comments. Thanks.

  10. January 7, 2010 at 10:18 am ·

    Hi Joe…

    I love reading your stuff!

Comments are closed.

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