The golden standard in life-fulfillment/career advice has long been “do what you love” or “find what makes you happy and do that for a living” – but what if we told you it’s a little more complicated than that (but ultimately can lead to fruition)? According to BAM founder and CEO, Ivan Barratt, there is a way to do what you love and to succeed at it, but the road is a little tougher than the old sayings let on. We share his advice and experience in today’s Friday edition of the BAM Blog…

First Things First

Ivan has often talked about his philosophy that before you get to do what you love, first you must master doing what you don’t love. In appearances on podcasts, Ivan will frequently talk openly with the host about how the old saying is to “do what you love,” but he (Ivan) tells people that if you want to reach that point, first you have to get comfortable doing what you hate. He speaks from experience. In Ivan’s case, he knew that he wanted to build and scale a company working with investors and focus on big picture ideas, acquisitions, and equity finance; however, that wasn’t where Ivan started.

The Right Step

After the crash of ’08, personal debt, and realizing that he needed to “hit the reset button” and re-focus on cash flow instead of capital gains, Ivan started BAM in the spare bedroom of his home in 2010. Ivan knew that property management would create consistent cash flow, and he initially took on any property except those he judged too unsafe to manage. Ivan says simply, he didn’t start with property management because he wanted to dive into the business of “tenant (issues) and toilets” but because he knew he could build a machine that would get him where he wanted to go. There was a period, Ivan admits, when he knew that if his phone rang his blood pressure would go up as soon as he took the call. Yet, in the end, his educated bet paid off and he was able to scale and grow BAM, acquire larger and larger properties, and turn his focus to what he did love doing.

Making it Happen

Currently, BAM has close to 80 employees, $300 million assets under management, and plans to start their own $50 million fund within the next month. Ivan has built a well-oiled team within BAM, freeing him to focus on developing investor relations, acquisition, equity finance, and the overall direction and vision for BAM. Now that Ivan is doing the work that he loves to do, he readily offers that even if he lost everything tomorrow, he’d start with property management again. Although Ivan spends his days doing the part of the business he most enjoys, he keeps up with the habits that got him to that point. Ivan focuses on self-improvement, even if it’s catching up on some content while commuting. He also recommends workshops and conferences, because even though it may cost upwards of a couple thousand dollars to attend, if you find a few bits of wisdom that help you, it’s well worth the price of admission. We’ve even shared a list of Ivan’s book recommendations for others interested in building industry knowledge. As Ivan often says, the journey to 1,000 units begins with the next deal!

If you want more insider info from Ivan, check out! You’ll find a free library filled with articles and videos featuring Ivan himself and his industry know-how, pointers, and insight!