Arnold Schwarzenegger is incredibly famous due to his movies, his bodybuilding titles, his life in politics, and his marriage into the renowned Shriver family.
But not many know that Arnold first became financially stable and eventually independent not from the movie business but through investing in real estate. He had a vision early on of what the result would look like, and he was focused and driven to that end.
A relentless pursuit of goals
At a young age, Arnold was charismatic, creative, and driven. He had dreams of going to America and becoming a bodybuilding champion, a movie star, and financially independent through real estate. He became relentless in his pursuit.
This story is not unique. There are many incredible stories of immigrants who moved to the United States and built fortunes, businesses, and lives. But the thing that stands out about Arnold is how pragmatic he was in his approach, persistent in his learning, and driven to grow as a person and in business. He was able to lay out steps to get to each goal and quite literally check things off the list as he achieved them.
I’ve talked a lot about saying “no” to everything so you can say “yes” to the “one thing.” Arnold was a master at this. He trained in bodybuilding with vigor. He learned about the business, aligned himself with the best competitors, worked with the best trainers, and eventually became one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time.
He was eventually invited to America for a bodybuilding competition. He set his sights on his next goal of moving to the U.S. and becoming a movie star. While training and winning more competitions worldwide, he grew a small business out of his apartment and found time to attend acting school. Although others around him suggested he would not land good roles or that his accent and body would hold him back, he always believed he would be a leading man. He waited until the right part came along, and he took the opportunity.
By his mid-30s, Arnold had become an instantly recognizable movie star and had made an incredible amount of money. But he had already become a millionaire well before that. He became financially independent by buying, accumulating, and investing in real estate. His first purchase wasn’t a single-family home; it was a small apartment building that covered his monthly cost of living. And he continued to invest his earnings into real estate deals that made sense. He learned from mentors and partners in the business.
Today, it’s estimated that his net worth is in the $400 million range. He has made millions in movies, but he created his wealth through real estate by reinvesting the income into assets. While other acting and bodybuilding friends were working for an income, he started building his passive income early on to support him while he pursued whatever he wanted to. He understood how real estate would enable him to do what he wanted and not trade time for dollars in his life.