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Inspiration , Lifestyle

Learning From a Legend – Get a Mentor!

February 18, 2024
Felipe - Get a Mentor

In 2016, I was shocked when I received an email from a surfer named Felipe Pomar. He had messaged me in response to an article I had written about investing in international beachfront real estate.

If you’ve been reading my Explorer Report for long, you know that some of my best investments have been in foreign real estate – specifically near the beach where there are great waves.

Growing up as a surfer, I read many books that had Endless Summer vibes, most of which retold the adventurous tales of nomadic surfers. The majority of these books always mentioned surfing legends such as Greg Noll, Duke Kahanamoku, Tom Blake, George Freeth, or Felipe Pomar.

So, when I saw an email in my inbox from Felipe I almost couldn’t believe my eyes.

Was this the Felipe Pomar? Why in the world would this legend be reaching out to me?!

Felipe, who just happened to run across my writing, explained in a short message that he had spent his entire life traveling, investing, surfing, and exploring the world. He was surprised to find someone, especially at my age, who was doing something so similar to him.

Learning From a Legend

Felipe has many claims to fame, but there are two accomplishments that are paticularly noteworthy: He was the world’s first surfing champion and he is also the world’s first documented person to ride a tsunamai(!).

Outside of surfing, his land investments are equally impressive and unique. His land real estate deals range from small islands in Indonesia to vast acreage in Arizona – all of which are accompanied by incredibly unique stories.

For example, he bought an enormous amount of land in the Arizona desert years ago from a large developer who went bankrupt. Felipe then split that land up into dozens of five acre lots and has since been selling those lots off for the past couple of decades. It’s like he created his own annuity plan from distressed desert real estate.

The Ultimate Mentorship

Shortly after Felipe reached out to me in 2016, I made a trip out to the north shore of Kauai, where he spends about half the year. I met up with him in Princeville, where he let me borrow a mini-gun, before we paddled out at pumping Hanalei Bay.

I’m not sure if he was testing me – to see if I was actually a ‘surfer’ – but it was certainly a great way to establish a trusting bond with someone. I took off too deep on a larger set wave and was promptly dragged across the inside reef. Of course, this was on full display for the entire lineup, who all seemed to nod with approval once I made it back out with only a couple of reef rashes on my shoulder.

After Kauai, I traveled to Peru, where Felipe took me to some big wave spots in the southern part of the country. Along our travels, he was treated like royalty everywhere. I got access to private social clubs in Lima, met with the Peruvian Finance Minister, and most importantly, shared some great waves with Felipe.

Felipe - Get a Mentor

The view captured by me, from a rooftop deck in southern Peru, as Felipe and his crew strategize their morning surf session in the foreground.

Vast Untapped Knowledge

I was lucky that Felipe reached out to me. At the time, I was too afraid and embarressed to have reach out to someone like him. Why would he want to speak with me?

Looking back, it’s obvious now. When you find someone younger than you, who is following in almost the exact footsteps, their is a natural desire to provide mentorship. It’s as if you want to pass on the tricks of your trade, to the next generation.

Of course, invesitng in foreign beach real estate based on a mutual love of surfing is quite a unique situation.

However, whatever it is you’re doing in your life, I promise there is someone who has done it before. In fact, the more niched and unique your personal passions are, the more likely you are to find someone who is dying to share their secrets with you.

Don’t wait for that mentor to reach out to you. Send an email. Write a letter. Make some sort of effort to make a connection to the person who can help you on your life’s journey. The rewards you reap will be equally as satisfying for them.