Stan Lee, the mastermind of world-famous comic superheroes, died recently at age 95, leaving behind an illustrious 50-year career with Marvel Comics and iconic characters such as Thor, Captain America, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Black Panther, Daredevil and hundreds of superheroes.

Lee is forever an icon whose vision and hard work elevated Marvel Comics from a tiny publishing company to today’s giant multimedia powerhouse with 20 blockbuster movies and the highest-grossing film franchise ever with over US$17 billion in worldwide profit to-date.

Lee started out his career with menial jobs of refilling inks, getting lunches and erasing pencil marks from finished pages. After he found success and riches, by all accounts Lee remained a humble man and an inspiring legend. Here are some gems from Stan Lee’s memorable quotes, with hopes that they may stir the courage and spirits of property players out there:

(source: Gage Skidmore via Wikipedia)


Keep a good attitude and chase your luck

“My mother was the greatest mother in the world. She thought I was the greatest thing on two feet. I'd come home with a little composition I had written at school, and she'd look at it and say, 'It's wonderful! You're another Shakespeare!' I always assumed I could do anything. It really is amazing how much that has to do with your attitude.”

The frame of mind changes everything. Believe, and success shall come. Lee created the humanized superheroes of Fantastic Four the way he wanted, despite his superior’s instructions, and the comic became a runaway success. Spiderman would not be the teen hero (“teenagers are sidekicks!” his editor said) had Lee relented to other people's pressure.

Have faith, and do it your own way. Property investors should heed Lee’s call to deeply believe in one’s ability, vision, game plan and goals—and a bit of luck. Lee had always insisted that he was just an ordinary man living an ordinary life blessed with luck.

“Kids have been asking me what’s the greatest superpower: I always say luck. If you’re lucky, everything works.”

“I’ve been the luckiest man in the world because I’ve had friends, and to have the right friends is everything: people you can depend on, people who tell you the truth if you ask something.”

“When you work with people whom you like and you admire because they’re so good at what they do, it doesn’t feel like work. It’s like you’re playing.”

The lesson: surround yourself with good people and respect their input; also, keep your eyes and ears out for opportunities and be ready when luck comes knocking. Or, as Stan Lee put it:

“Luck's a revolving door; you just need to know when it's your time to walk through.”


Love what you do

“I’ve been very lucky. All I wanted was to pay the rent. Then these characters took off and suddenly there were Hulk coffee mugs and Iron Man lunchboxes and The Avengers sweatshirts everywhere. Money’s okay, but what I really like is working.”

"Most people say, ‘I can’t wait to retire so I can play golf,’ or go yachting or whatever they do. Well, if I was playing golf, I would want that to finish so I could go and dream up a new TV show."

Stan Lee would shout to the world that he absolutely loved his job. As for you, property investing isn’t an easy day job—it’s not even an easy weekend job. But you embrace it because you find tremendous value in it and that the property world interests you. So love the job, the people, the drive-arounds, the meetings, the properties, the research, the numbers.

"If you are interested in what you do, that keeps you going.”

“It’s a lot of work, but if you really have it in you, it’s not like work. It becomes fun.”

When work becomes play, the fun never stops, and life can be very fulfilling. Just ask Stan Lee:

"I don’t know where the hell I’ll be in five years. Maybe I’ll be producing movies maybe I’ll be on a corner selling apples. I don’t know, but I’m having a hell of a lot of fun."


(Source: wikimedia)

Persevere

“Life is never completely without its challenges.”

"You know, my motto is 'Excelsior.' That's an old word that means 'Upward and onward to greater glory.' It's on the seal of the state of New York. Keep moving forward, and if it's time to go, it's time. Nothing lasts forever."

The distinct characteristics of Stan Lee’s superheroes are that they are all deeply flawed despite their superpowers. Spiderman is an insecure teen, Iron Man can be too proud, Captain America takes too much risk. They all have worries, they all make mistakes. It demonstrates Lee’s embrace of the human fragility, that all of us have our own weaknesses. Achilles, without his heel, you wouldn’t even know his name today, Stan Lee once pointed out. So, strive for the right lessons from our mistakes, even if it takes time, and keep on striving.

“Everybody learns differently and everybody gets to a certain point from a different direction.”

“Negative information is that which, immediately upon acquiring, causes the recipient to know less than he did before.”

Above all, never limit yourself. Try new methods, new strategies, new challenges. Diversify your thinking, reach for new heights, learn new knowledge. You did the secondary market? Try auction properties. Or commercial properties. Opportunities are abound. Look around. Stan Lee would advice:

“Every day, there’s a new development. There’s no limit to the things that are happening.”

“I try not to do anything that's too close to what I've done before. And the nice thing is we have a big universe here. It's filled with new ideas. All you have to do is grab them.”

(Source: methodshop)

Be a hero

“Another definition of a hero is someone who is concerned about other people’s well-being and will go out of his or her way to help them—even if there is no chance of a reward. That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero.”

Stan Lee’s all-time most famous quote came from a Spiderman issue: With power, comes great responsibility. When you’ve struck gold in the property world, be a hero. Help others, lift people up, fight unfairness, be kind, be humble.

So, in the immortal words of Stan Lee: Face front, true believers—Excelsior!


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(By: Syamil Zahari)


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