Entrepreneurship is one of the best ways to move our lives and careers forward, so long as we have proper expectations and the mindset for success. Oliver Seidler learned these lessons the hard way. He started a real estate company right before the recession, fought like crazy to keep it alive during the lean years, then saw rapid growth and expansion in the years that followed.

In his new book, A Renegade’s Rules, Oliver recounts his journey from waiting tables to heading up a company that pioneered the wholesale real estate industry. He shares how to respond when things don’t go according to plan, how to deal with people who screw us over, and what to do about the fear that’s determined to hold us back. I recently caught up with Oliver to learn what inspired him to write this book and his favorite idea he shares with readers.

Published with permission from the author.

What happened that made you decide to write the book? What was the exact moment when you realized these ideas needed to get out there?

There were a couple of factors that played into my decision. First, attending various conferences and hearing people’s experiences with writing a book. I also knew a book would increase my authority, give me a nice calling card, and give an overall boost to my personal brand.

The more I heard about these benefits firsthand from people who’d written books of their own, the more I realized I needed to write my book. I have so many lessons that are simple, practical, and applicable to other people that I knew would help them live a better life.

I wanted to put something out there for the other C students who wanted an A life. Something short and easy to understand that would benefit the reader as well as myself.

What’s your favorite specific, actionable idea in the book?

What comes to mind is the chapter where I realized I needed to buy out my business partner. Here’s why that’s so actionable: this decision was part of the five-year picture for what I wanted for my life. That exercise gave me the vision to know I needed to change things short-term to realize the full picture I had for my life and hit the goals I’d set for myself.

People struggle to zoom out and see the big picture. That’s why the exercise of creating a five-year plan is so important. It requires you to stop, thinking about your life, and articulate what you want. Then, you can more clearly see what needs to be done in the short term to bring your life into alignment with that plan. Without this plan, having that kind of insight is tough.

Published with permission from the author.

What’s a story of how you’ve applied this lesson in your own life? What has this lesson done for you?

I did this exact exercise with my business coach! It was one of the first things she asked me to do. She had me get really specific with it: What did I feel? What did my life look like? Smell like? I used all my senses for this exercise and it helped because it made everything more real.

From there, we created action plans for three months, six months, and a year. What kind of goals did I want to accomplish, and what actions were needed to reach those goals? So in the book, when I talk about the big realization I had about buying out my business partner, that aha moment stemmed from this work I’d been doing with my business coach.