The producer meanwhile has a very different mindset. “It’s the mindset that says, ‘My wealth is dependent on what I do’ as opposed to a mindset of, ‘This hap- pened to me at work, or I got laid off, or it’s my employer’s fault,’” Ragland said. “You just look at things through a different set of lenses.” And it doesn’t matter if you have one property or a hundred. “Once you put yourself on the side of ownership or investor-ship, you begin to look at life very differ- ently. You realize that your capacity to create wealth for you and your family, and then teach those same concepts to other people is really just a function of how hard you want to work and not a function of catching a break,” he said. LEARNTHIS BUSINESS BY DOING IT When Ragland was in college, he had the opportunity to work an internship at the IBM Product center in the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. One day, Jim Rouse, a nationally famous real estate developer and founder of The Rouse Company, came into the

when talk about our training pro- grams at RealInvestors® because all of our training programs are designed around real projects. If somebody’s doing a rehab or we’re teaching a rehab class, you are meet- ing with a contractor. You’re going out in the field with us as we’re buying a property.” Ragland could have easily turned his back on the real estate industry when that seminar host was exposed as fraudulent when he was in junior high. Instead, he took the opposite approach and built a successful real estate development, investment and educational career. He didn’t quit— advice he gives to anyone interested in real estate today. “Real estate can be confusing and it can be challenging,” Ragland said. “There are a lot of times where peo- ple feel like it’s not worth the effort, but they should hang in there just a bit longer. I’ll say to people if you need to take a break, take a break, just don’t quit. You simply need to connect with the right people who will let you look over their shoulder and don’t be afraid to follow in their footsteps. Most importantly, just don’t quit.” •

store to purchase a typewriter for his wife. Ragland sold him the typewrit- er and two days later Rouse asked Ragland to come to his office and interviewed him for a job with his real estate development company. Rouse informed him he’d start in the intern- ship program, become a developer and eventually a project manager. Ragland said the opportunity sound- ed fantastic, but informed Rouse that he had just applied for a fellowship and if he was accepted, he was going to the Wharton School of Business to get his MBA. “I’ll never forget these words as long as I live,” Ragland said. “(Rouse) said, ‘Sherman, the Wharton School of Business is a very fine place, but you will never learn real estate in a classroom. You learn this by doing it.’ I would have to say that was the most powerful, impactful advice I ever got because you really do learn the real estate business by doing it. I got my MBA, and he was correct—learned a lot of stuff, but I did not truly learn real estate until after I started ac- tually doing it. I learned most of the stuff about real estate after I got out of Wharton. “It’s something I carry with me

26 | think realty magazine :: september 2020

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