There are those who do in fact win the Lotto. It happens somewhere each and every week when some lucky fellow picks out a series of numbers then stunned into silence as their numbers are drawn, one by one. But being successful against one in real estate successa million odds is fool’s play. Success is a result of a plan. For real estate investors, establishing a business plan and following it, doggedly, is the way to create wealth.

Plans aren’t on scratch pads or something in the back of your brain. A plan is written down. It’s a map. A map to success. It takes some thought but a plan of success is exactly like reading a road map. Say that you’re driving from Chicago to Alpine, Utah. The first thing you might do is get online and find out how far it is (it’s 1,435 miles by the way) but a map shows you the way. Without going online or reading a map, how would you know to arrive at your destination? You wouldn’t; you need directions.

That’s your plan for success. How much money do you want to make this year? Write it down. How many homes will you have to flip in the first year to reach your first year goal? Write it down. How much money do you want to make five years from now? Write it down. How will you find your properties? Will you fly solo or put together a team?

Your plan should include not only your goals but how you’re going to get there. And understand that there will be bumps in the road. Unexpected events that throw you off target. Exactly like driving to Alpine, Utah when road construction ahead causes you to take a detour. When something happens in your business that throws you off schedule, don’t worry. Make adjustments, note what happened and make sure you prepare for that same event in the future so it won’t happen again.

And finally, persevere. It’s not easy. No one is an automatic real estate millionaire despite what the real estate “gurus” tell you. You can in fact make a lot of money in real estate, you know that. But success is the result of planning and implementing that plan; not scratching a lotto ticket.