I donated to the Carleton Sheets real estate empire by purchasing his No Down Payment course. It was so long ago that the material came on audio cassettes and VHS tapes. I noticed them collecting dust on a cellar shelf last time I visited my parents house.

I remember very little content from the course itself, but I do recall it being very beginner friendly. I still don’t think I felt confident enough to enter the real estate investing world with only his course under my arm. He might teach you how to swim a bit, but you’d still be a seal in a shark tank.

Carleton’s infomercials used to run late night on television which was around the time I was stumbling home after a night of partying. I’d come home and make something to eat, sit down in front of the TV, and watch all my friends like Don Lapre, Carleton Sheets, Matthew Lesko, Miss Cleo, Tom Vu, etc.

I always had an interest in real estate, but never felt like I knew enough to risk a lot of money. I figured buying a book or a course was the short cut I was looking for to learn the basics, but I always ended up with more questions than answers.

I even signed up to take the real estate sales license exam which requires some class training beforehand. I was working nights at the time and would stop in at a real estate office on my way home (which was the beginning of the normal work day) to watch some video instruction. I’m not sure what happened with that, but I could not even compel myself to finish these self paced classes.

I probably had a revelation that if I continue on this career trajectory, I will have to schmooze people constantly and network tirelessly, something as an introvert I find extremely unpleasant. I don’t mind talking to people, but would I want to build a career that is dependent on it? No thank you.

I can see myself sabotaging the program because of this very reason. I might love the idea, but I’m not able to push myself into the necessary scenarios. I should really know by now what I’m capable of carrying out and what will die a lonely death from neglect.

I remember watching one of his videos where he’s combing through the newspaper classified ads, circling the ones with seemingly motivated sellers. He gets on the phone and we get to hear both sides of the conversation as he tried to make a deal. This kind of thing sounds no better than telemarketing to me.

If you do a search for Carleton Sheets and his books, courses, and mentorships, you’ll find varying reviews that span the spectrum. Some call him nothing more than a charlatan while others champion his teachings and credit him with inspiring many beginners to take the first step into real estate investing.

I realized I’ll never the social drive to be in real estate, but that’s OK. I have plenty of other things I can start and never finish in complete solitude if I want. I will say that out of the few books and programs I’ve read on real estate, I have read better.