Become a flea trainer

Become a flea trainer


If you’ve never read Zig Ziglar’s book, “See you at the top,” I highly suggest it. Zig has a gift for helping motivate you, improve your self image and teach you how to set and attain goals. His book is full of parables and stories that embody the keys to make you a success.


He tells one story about how to become a flea trainer, and it goes something like this;


It’s very important that you learn to train fleas. If you don’t, you’ll never make it big. By big, I mean you will never achieve large amounts of success or happiness.


Now, the way you train fleas is you put them in a Mason jar and put the lid on it. The fleas will do what fleas love to do – jump. Once they start jumping, they’ll bump their heads on the jar top. They’ll continue to do this for some time, but after a while, you’ll notice the fleas are no longer bumping their heads. They’re still jumping, but just below the height of the lid.


Once this happens, you’ve successfully trained your fleas. You can now take off the lid, and the fleas won’t jump out. Actually, “won’t” isn’t the right word. The fleas can’t jump out.


They’ve conditioned themselves to jump just below the lid. The area past the lid is freedom, but now that the fleas have set a limitation in their minds, they can’t jump any higher and they never will.


In this parable, Zig is equating the fleas to our dreams and aspirations. For real estate investors, when we start jumping, we are reaching for freedom – financial freedom, that is.


We jump higher and higher until we bump our heads. To often, as soon as our heads start hurting, people tend to stop jumping and walk away. Others continue to jump but never make it out of the jar.


Zig goes on to say that in order to be successful, you have to train your own fleas. You see, the trainer sets the height at which the flea will jump. It’s your responsibility to stay in control of where that boundary is set. If you don’t, you’ll limit yourself as to how high you’ll jump, and the goal of financial freedom will be left in someone else’s hands.


I have to say, last year I let someone else train my fleas. I started the year out going to some good seminars, but there were pervading feelings at these events of unease and uncertainty about what 2016 would look like economically due to the election.


I went to meetings and talked to other real estate professionals who said they noticed the markets slowing and that days on market were increasing for flips. At the beginning of the year, we noticed the same thing too. We also started getting dropped contracts, which meant we were holding houses longer. I started feeling uneasy and clammed up.


There’s an old saying: “You’re gonna find exactly what you’re looking for,” I bought into the notion we were in a bubble and it was about to pop. As a result, our business waned. It appears I found the gloomy market I was looking for.


But the problem was not the market; it was I who allowed the forecast to set the boundary on our business that kept us from jumping to the heights we should’ve reached. Long story short, my fleas were trained.


It’s imperative that you don’t allow someone else to dictate how high and how far you can go in life. Whether it’s investing, becoming healthy or being a most fantastic lover of your spouse and family, you’re the one who’s in control of how successful you can be. Ignore the naysayers and take the lid off the Mason jar of life. Only then will you reach success and jump to the freedom you’re destined for.


Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to or call Joe at 678-986-6813.

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