The Philosophy of Stoicism and Mobile Home Park Investing

April 13, 2022 by Maxwell Baker

In this episode of The MHP Broker’s ® Tips and Tricks, we define stoicism and explain six ways its practice can yield benefits for the buyers, sellers, operators and brokers of mobile home and RV communities.

As always, this episode is hosted by Maxwell Baker, the co-founder of The MHP Broker ®, and brought to you by our proprietary Community Price Maximizer. Just use this four-step system which we’ll help you navigate, and we’ll guarantee you a higher price when you sell your mobile home or RV community.

Here Are Some Show Highlights:

  • Stoicism in business is a philosophy and a strategy for reacting to events and proactively taking action to gain benefits in multiple ways. (0:43)
  • Stoicism can be best understood in terms of the advantages it brings in these six areas. (1:48)
  • It calms the monkey brain. This is when emotions run high and a business person is distracted and loses the ability to focus in on one area. This high-energy overthinking will keep you off balance and unable to make progress in any one area. Max found that the practice of stoicism made him more centered and productive. He recommends “Getting Things Done” by David Allen as a great reference to help lead readers to greater focus and organization. (2:16)
  • The second advantage through stoicism is the ability to accept failure as a cost of taking action. Max has learned to think of failure by himsef or anyone in his organization as a valuable learning experience and the occasional by-product of moving forward. If the stoic brain can get over the fear of failure, the business person can take calculated risks with significant upside. Don’t fear that “awkward feeling in your gut” when you make a move. (4:09)
  • Max’s third stoic advantage can be gained by controlling the ego. An unchecked ego leads to another source of fear, because it can make someone back off from taking action for worry that they’ll look bad in the eyes of others if they fail. Ego can also lead to over-confidence and the cocky belief that the individual knows all they need to know on a subject. It can alienate you from clients and your own people. Stay humble, Max advises. (6:49)
  • The fourth stoicism advantage is the ability to stay focuses on growth instead of “more.” Growth-mindedness is a focus on organic accomplishment rather than constantly targeting consumption. By maintaining his own focus of steady and well-rounded growth and achievement rather than “the money thing,” Max has always felt able to make sure his people shared in the success of the company, leading to more joy in his own life. (8:38)
  • Max’s fifth platform of success through stoicism in business is simply gratefulness. This is a matter of taking the time and brain space to be appreciative for what you’ve accomplished rather than always chasing more, more, more. Max has learned gratefulness, in part, by reading (and highly recommending) “The Daily Stoic” by Ryan Alexander. Gratefulness makes business people more pleasant and authentic, and others want to deal with those who have those traits. (10:43)
  • The final advantage or platform in stoic thinking for Max is a strategic short-term memory. Yes, you want to remember the lessons in failure, but then let the past be the past. Too much concentration on your business failures or personal shortcomings can leave you paralyzed and unable to move forward for fear of repeating those past mistakes. Max learned to keep his focus more on the here and now. This gives him the courage to pursue deals that he might have misplayed at some point in the past. (12:04)

Max thinks that stoicism in business in general and the mobile home business in particular is a fascinating topic. He’d love to talk about it with you. “Just drop us a line at or give me a call at 678-932-0200.”

Power Quotes From Max on This Episode

  •  “Monkey brain will kill your productivity and energy.” (2:16)
  • “Stoicism has really helped me stay in the moment.” (3:14)
  • “You’ve got to have that awkward feeling in your gut.” (4:09)
  • “Failure is just a speed bump to your success in the future.” (5:20)
  • “Ego kills your momentum when it comes to investing…” (6:49)
  • “Does getting a bigger company and more cash and more assets make me happier? Actually, it doesn’t.” (8:38)
  • “…I really feel that stoicism helped me with that, and I focused more on the growth factor than the money thing.” (9:45)



Hello and welcome to The Mobile Home Park brokers tips and tricks. This is the podcast where we talk about mobile home park investing, because that’s what we’ve been involved in for the last decade. Let’s dive into today’s episode. Here’s your host Maxwell Baker.

00:22 Maxwell Baker 

Hello and welcome to another beautiful episode of the mobile home park brokers tips and tricks. Today, I’m going to be going over something very dear to my heart again. Everything I talked about is dear to my heart. But today’s title is,‘How stoicism helps me with mobile home park brokerage / investing’.


What is stoicism? To put it bluntly, it is a type of philosophy. There isn’t a particular religion tied to it from what I’ve seen. But what does it really have to do with mobile home park and RV and just business in general? Well, in my humble opinion and experience, it has a lot to do with it. When I first started the business of brokering mobile home parks, brokering mobile homes, flipping mobile homes, occasionally buy mobile home communities, as everybody occasionally does know. I’m super emotional and a lot of that emotion came from what is classically called the monkey brain. The monkey brain is essentially when your head is on a swivel and it’s just spinning endlessly with ideas, thoughts, emotions, basically always living in your brain when you are navigating the beautiful world of mobile home park investing management and brokerage, RV brokerage management, everything that has to do with business in general, but specifically mobile home parks and RV parks in my humble experience.


I could go on for hours for what this means to me and how it’s helped me and how I navigate it with our company here at MHP broker but I would say that we’re just going to give you the top six reasons how stoicism has been one of the best things I’ve ever read when it comes to doing business and trying to put deals together and manage your deal flow and manage your own deals. It’s just an overall good philosophy to hang your hat on. So we’re gonna go over the six things.


Number one, monkey brain, just like I mentioned. It’s when you basically are thinking 24 hours a day with ideas and thoughts. Let’s start off with that kind of thinking that’s constantly going in your mind is going to increase your anxiety, it’s going to decrease your emotional stability and it’s always going to give you decision fatigue, which is a very real thing. So, it’s helped me by teaching one how to stay centered in the present moment, versus always thinking. Monkey brain will kill your productivity and energy and one of the things that I’ve used personally that’s a tactic to help navigate that is have a place to park my thoughts. In this case where I parked my thoughts is in my Evernote, and I use the ‘Getting Things Done’ mastered by David Allen, anybody’s ever check that out great book if you’re just getting started to stay organized. But there’s also another ton of ways that could do it.


Stoicism has really helped me stay in the moment and when I am listening to somebody that’s all I’m listening to, is them. I do it with my wife, my mom, my family, my friends, like I don’t care about what’s happening there or what I should be doing or what my dog’s appointment is tomorrow or cats appointment is tomorrow. I just care about that present moment in that situation. Surprisingly, you’re able to remember most conversations when you are in the moment. Go figure right? I don’t recommend marking all of these ideas and thoughts that you get from the monkey brain in your email because when you have that constant ping ping of emails coming in, “Oh, I got a new email”, is kind of a distraction when you’re really trying to get things out of your head and you’re just adding more things to your head. So that’s the reason why I use a different app in order to capture all this monkey brain thoughts and ideas and feelings and all that kind of stuff. So that’s the first one.


The second one is we look at failure differently here at MHP broker. A lot of times in the beginning you’re thinking like I got to be perfect, I can’t be failing every other but I always tell our team members on both the admin and sales side something is up if you do not have that awkward pit in your stomach when you are in deal flow are doing any kind of work associated with what you’re doing, then you’re not doing enough. You’ve got to have that awkward feeling in your gut, where it’s gut wrenching at least three to five times a week it’s got to happen unless you’re not growing. So, we’re always looking to do this as our team here at MHP broker. Our saying is ‘Fail fast, Fail often and Fail forward. Once we fail we make the adjustments and label them as training moments. within the firm, and we keep a library of training moments in our project management software, in ‘Asana’ to really help mitigate the learning curve that both people back at the house and as far as sales have access to. What we do to help bring home the bacon when it comes to learning how to avoid the pitfalls of mobile home park brokerage and whatnot.


So, failure is just a speed bump to your success in the future and we’ve always like I said, just looked at it differently. It’s not really a fear thing it’s more like, how much time do I want to allot to this learning curve? Is the mindset we take here because we can all do everything we want to do. It’s just again, it just depends on how much time you want to spend going through that learning curve. It’s not about I can’t do it, or I’m scared to do it is, how much time do I think it’s gonna take me to figure it out where it’s actually successful. So, the pursuit of that constant growth is a large principle in stoicism as well as here at MHP broker, because like I said, we try to look at failure a little bit differently. When it comes to deal flow, we try to pursue some of the tougher deals because the tougher deals are the ones that teach you the most. You know, a lot of guys just want to look at the easy deals and all lot rent, but we’ll take on some sewage treatment plants and lagoons and you know, secondary tertiary market stuff, because a lot of our competitors like to get the cherry deals because they’re way easier to sell. But we do a lot of the stuff that’s value add, and where it has a lot more variables to deal with and we’re actually pretty good at selling them not to really tell myself as a better broker. But if you’ve got more incidences of failure and learning how to navigate the treacherous seas of brokerage and bark sales, I think once it’s clear skies and sunny days, you’re going to be able to navigate really well on these bigger deals that are easier. So we pride ourselves on that.


Number three, ego kills your momentum when it comes to investing in brokerage. Stoicism talks a lot about ego. Ego is basically for fear of not having being or doing enough, having being doing enough. That’s what ego is fear of not having those three variables, enough of. If you run your business with fear in the back of your mind, once you become successful, eagle will rear its ugly head out and start making decisions for you. You start getting cocky, you’re like, “I don’t need this and that”, I mean, I fell for it. My ego gets big and I try to put myself in situations where it keeps it at bay because ego just it’s a poison. Once it gets into your brain, you start thinking you know everything, and you’re the best thing since sliced bread, but you got to stay humble, you got to stay hungry.And so, they look at ego as a third party, when you’re ultimately deciding whether or not you’re going to align yourself with and I know it’s kind of deep, but it’s a little bit of the facts y’all. Anytime, like I said mentioned running things on ego running the company on ego running my brokerage or business or investments on ego and my life typically comes crashing down. It’ll alienate you from people, relationships will suffer and clients will pick up on that. A lot of times they may or may not be aware but he goes just in the security subconsciously that they’re going to pick up on when they talk to you if you are a ‘know at all’ in this industry, and not a steward of growth. We’re here to work together and work as a team, people are going to like to work with you more when you’re authentic about stuff. So ego will always clear momentum.


Number four, growth-minded versus more minded mindsets. This one, it’s gonna make a lot of people uncomfortable. I get it having more cash, more free time, more things more, more, more and did I mention more, is the best way to go about life, right? Gotta have more. Don’t get me wrong, everybody likes nice things. But after you hit your goals, then what? When I hit my personal financial goals, I came to a crossroads. Does getting a bigger company, and more cash and more assets make me happier? It actually doesn’t. So once I began changing my mindset, what stoicism really entails on the premise to run business in life and that is centered around a growth mindset versus a consumption more minded mindset. organically, my financial situation got better. But I was happier with the people that were working with me were a lot happier, my wife was happier. Personally, my purpose in life is to grow constantly and I really feel like stoicism helped out with that and I focused more on the growth factor than the money thing.


You know, when I first started I remember reading about it is like as a broker or an investor. Your focus should strictly be on the growth. Spend all the time, money and energy on growth of philosophy, growth of spirituality, growth of religion, growth in relationships, deal flow, tech, whatever it is, you know that you have a weakness in and that you are passionate about that you want to grow in, is where you want to spend your time. That was one of the big things that I remember learning about stoicism is that it helped me focus on the growth mindset versus the consumption mindset. And like I said, everybody else around you will benefit if you’re focusing on growth. So it’s going to help more people that we serve more positive impact around we have on this planet. And like I mentioned before, it is one of the premises of stoicism, serve more people, become a tool for other people, and you will succeed in having a great and fulfilled life.


Number five, being grateful. Being grateful is one of the ways I’ve learned that combat ego and fear, insecurities, all those negative things and the book I try to read daily, it’s called ‘The Daily Stoic’ by Ryan Holiday. He mentions a way to combat fear of not having enough is being grateful. Before all of our meetings, we go around virtually or physically and all of our team says what the three things that they are grateful for, personal and business or a mixture of both and ever since we’ve done that, our culture as a team has gone into becoming more personable, we’re more authentic, it overall just helps us be all in the same Blanco because, you know, if I’m grateful that, you know, my mom is recovering cancer, and I tell people that, people see a peek into my personal life and I’m very grateful.


People like to do business and like to work with people that are authentic and being grateful is one of the best ways and being authentic is one of the best ways I should say, to navigate when running a company, at least that’s a bit in my humble experience. You can get to the bottom of things a lot quicker and it does eliminate a lot of the variables of politics that as you get to become a bigger company that becomes more and more of a variable. But like I said, being authentic and being grateful helps eliminate that fog.


And number six, last but not least, having a short term memory. Stoicism is really good with that. It’s helped me when it comes to deal flow, and looking at deals and all the variables, market conditions, tenant profiles, and a new eye each time I look at a deal. Obviously, you should look at things to prevent the same mistakes. If it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it’s probably a duck kind of mindset. But it’s still good to come out of it with a new eye each time we come across that duck. If you never know it might be a little different and you might be able to take advantage of the situation as far as like taking the deal down or seeing through the fog that a lot of people are going to write it off because it’s got a certain variable that they’re not interested in. But if you go into a deal that’s like, you know, say it’s got a sewage treatment plant or a septic tank, and your $1,000 below market on lot rent, I probably take a look at it might be something and take a look at it. But a lot of people like I said they have a long term memory like how I never mess with that. I don’t want to do this, like I get it like there’s a lot more variables but it’s good to have short term memory when it comes to looking at deals.


So, as your broker we always try to walk away from situations and write down what went wrong. Like I said, we are trying to prevent from making the same mistakes that’s embedded in our company culture and we have a training moment that we keep an asana and it helps us navigate the variables that comes with mobile home park brokerage. You make a mistake, adjust your thinking and then move on to the next one, that’s it. It gets heavier and heavier if you lug around all the drama that comes with a deal blowing up and it’ll increase the probability you’ll get emotional on the next deal you do, which obviously getting emotional on deals is no bueno when it comes to talking the other side and it’s going to have a high probability of blowing up.


So, that pretty much wraps up the six top things on why stoicism is one of the best things when it comes to navigating your business, mobile park brokerage management. I really am a big follower of this and there’s a ton of books out there that talk about it, but Ryan Holiday is one of my favorite authors.He’s got a lot of good books out there. So feel free to reach out to me, I love to talk about this stuff, even if you just want to shoot the shitabout stoicism and just talk about it about the philosophy and kind of how you know we run a business and how we run this cultural success here at the MHP broker ®.


So as always, I didn’t say at the beginning of this podcast, but I am going to say at the end. This podcast is brought to you by the Community Price Maximizer is a proprietary system. I’ll guarantee you a higher price when you sell your mobile home or RV park with us. It’s a four step process. We will help you navigate through. We’d like to fail forward and we would like to help you maximize your price with all the failures that we’ve had in the past, and we feel like we’re the best company out there that can help prevent the pitfalls and the blow-ups that typically come with mobile home park sales and RV park sale. So give us a call 678-932-0200 and I’m happy to chat with you about it. Also, our email is look forward to hearing from y’all, have a great day.

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Maxwell Baker

Maxwell R. Baker founded The MHP Broker in 2009 as a commercial real estate broker specializing in helping Investors buy and sell mobile home communities throughout the Southeast. His family got started with mobile home parks in 2000 where Max gained experience in management, rehabilitation, and selling mobile home parks. Today, The MHP Broker has grown to a team of several agents with expanded services focused on owner and investor brokerage services, mobile home park audits, and in-depth market research, resulting in the sale of over $500 million worth of mobile home communities.