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Real estate guru, Scott Yancey, is no stranger to beautiful homes and prime real estate but his property at Zuma Farms in Malibu is a true gem. Scott and his wife, Amie, have carved out the ultimate oasis for themselves and their menagerie, a peaceful, verdant setting just a stone’s throw from beautiful Zuma Beach.

After entering through a wooden gate that’s a work of art itself, I met with Scott and together we toured the entire property, taking in the art and architecture, feeding dressage Friesians, admiring a flame-red vintage Porsche tractor, patting mini-pigs and competing for camera time with Rhodesian ridgebacks Flip and Zuma.

We also had plenty of time to discuss the real estate empire Scott has built, his experiences in the industry, what success means to him, how to achieve that success and he also gave me some first-hand insights into the habits of highly successful people. Hint: don’t watch the news!

Scott is fun to talk to and it was a great experience to sit in his outdoor meditation space and get some real insights. I had many takeaways from our interview, but I’ll share a few of my favorites here.

Emulate success

Scott says, “Like any business, you have to know what you’re doing. You need to find someone who is successful at what you want to do and copy them. There are plenty of people who teach but can’t do it. You need to be educated in what you’re about to do, by the right people. Get advice from someone who has money.”

You don’t need money

Scott says, “You need money but you don’t have to have the money yourself. You don’t have to have money to be successful in real estate. I didn’t. You can take on partners or set up groups to help pay for things. It’s fun to share the risk and be able to do more deals.”

There’s minimal risk

Scott says, “Real estate really is one of the great ways to create wealth if you don’t have a real estate license or if you don’t have a college degree. If you do it the right way, there is very minimal risk.”

Love what you do

Scott says, “70% of Americans don’t love what they do and some don’t even like the job they’re currently in. So I think real estate is something so amazing for everybody because it’s also a means to an end – you’ll be able to retire eventually and if you’re successful it will give you freedom from that job you don’t like. You can get into real estate on the side of that job. If you know what you’re doing, there’s very little risk of becoming an investor on the side. Do it slowly and totally change your life. As humans, we’re always uncomfortable to do something different, even if it’s something great for us.”

Set yourself free

Scott says, “If I was to describe my life as a real estate investor in one word, it would be freedom. You have the freedom to do what you want and you control your own time. I get up in the morning and spend time meditating, I sit in my garden, I drink coffee and spend time with my wife and then I get to the office around 10 am. I love having the freedom to enjoy moments like these.”

Don’t gamble

“Some people have luck but that’s not the norm. I don’t choose to gamble. I make calculated risks.”

Don’t reinvent the wheel

Scott says, “I started as a runner and my mentor put me out there doing deals and now I’m doing the same kind of deals on my own. None of us have to reinvent the wheel. Find someone successful and copy what they’re doing! Real estate is easy!”

Habits of highly successful people

Scott says, “I’ve spoken to many successful people, including at least one billionaire, as part of my Successful Conversations series. I don’t define success as money in the bank necessarily - money is not necessarily happiness - it could be that a person has achieved spiritual or emotional fulfilment through their work. I want to talk to people who have been successful in all kinds of ways.

“In my conversations, I have noticed a number of common denominators – habits of successful people – that come up in each discussion and wanted to share them with you. If any of us are not where we want to be in our lives today and we aren’t doing these few things, we need to take a look at ourselves and start doing them!

1. Successful people never sleep past 6:30am. Some even get their day started at 4am, but none of them are still asleep after 6:30.

2. Meditate and work out in some way each morning. Start the day fresh with a clear mind, having moved your body. It will be a great day. I practice transcendental meditation (TM) for around 15 minutes each morning and it changes the course of my day.

3. Never watch the news. None of the successful people I have spoken to ever watches the news. It’s a waste of time and relentless negativity. Switch it off and you’ll notice the difference. Some read the Wall Street Journal or other publications for information about stocks or their own businesses or industries but they all avoid general TV news.