Cash Flow With Joe

Work to learn, not to earn

Work to learn, not to earn:


There are concepts that have truly life-altering effects. For us, the idea of working to learn, not to earn was one of them. This notion came from a book we read called “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki.


rich_dad_poor_dadIf you’ve never read that book, please do. It’ll change the way you look at money, your job and investing forever.


In the book, Robert talks about how he’d chosen jobs not for the pay they offered but for what they could teach him. For instance, he went into the military to learn leadership skills. He also chose different corporate jobs because of their training programs versus the salaries they offered. The purpose of this was to get-real world training from organizations that had proven track records. Robert’s goal was to use this education to help catapult his own entrepreneurial ventures.



Later in the book, he says something very surprising. He claims that working for people for free had made him more money than anything else because the education and the connections he’d made during that time had paid dividends ever since.


Ashley and I have had similar opportunities. One that sticks out in my mind is when we were brand new to investing. We’d attended seminars, we were out door knocking and we were attending our local REIA (real estate investor association) meetings religiously to no avail.


That’s because we had no idea where to start. You see we had no experience, no money, and the bank wouldn’t lend to two newbies with no job history or savings. Imagine that.


The no job bit wasn’t actually true; I was still doing hit-or-miss construction jobs – mainly painting and pressure washing- and Ashley was working for a hospice company. I had no 1099s to show, however, and Ashley didn’t have a W2 because she had been with the company for less than a year. At the time, it felt like we were staring the path to financial freedom in the face, but we just couldn’t leap onto the trail.


That was until a guy named Mike Tarpey approached Ashley and me with a proposal one night at a REIA meeting. Tarpey was an avid Lonnie dealer as well as a private lender. His proposal was that he would teach us how to do a Lonnie Deal, and even bring us in as 50-percent partners in exchange for me painting his house.


We gave him an emphatic “Yes,” and we got out of there before Tarpey could change his mind!


We were so excited. This was it. This was the big break. Ashley and I were going to get real-world experience, be part of a deal with a successful investor, plus get to learn all the ins and outs of how to do the deal – all for painting a house.


We did the deal. I painted the exterior of Tarpey’s house and he taught me everything I needed to know on how to do Lonnie Deals.


To date, Tarpey and I have completed more than 30 transactions together. We’ve done tons of Lonnie Deals, flips and even rentals together. As a matter of fact, Tarpey was the lender on our very first flip.



I’d have made around $4,000 simply to paint Tarpey’s house. By working to learn, not only have we made 100 times more money than that, but we’ve also formed a lifelong friendship with a truly great guy and a successful investor. That part of the deal is priceless to me.


Working on Tarpey’s house gave Ashley and me the opportunity we’d been looking for, and I think we proved Kiyosaki right when he said, “You’ll make more when you work to learn and not to earn.”



If you do the same, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll find success.


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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