Episode #59 – Donal Ward-McCarthy – A Growth Mindset

“If your mind’s not growing, then you will not grow. If you don’t grow, your wealth won’t grow. And I mean wealth in the wholesome perspective, not just financial but your life and those around you.” – Donal Ward-McCarthy

Donal Ward-McCarthy is a long-time REIN Member who grew up in Cork City, Ireland.

From a very young age, Donal’s mother, a special needs teacher, always emphasized the importance of a good education in anything one does. Soon after graduation, Donal’s mother, who had battled terminal illness for many years passed away and Donal was left with a very modest real estate portfolio at the age of 22. After much consideration, Donal decided to keep the property for investment income. He marks this period of his life a crucial turning point.


Within months, Donal realized that if he was to continue owning real estate he had to become educated in the entire business of property rental and management. From the very first rental check deposited into Donal’s bank account, it was like a massive light bulb had switched on in his mind. He began to question: how many of these properties with mortgages paid off did a family really require to sustain retirement?


Donal’s journey led him to him to Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 2003 where he continued to pursue education in real estate investing. He sought out many educational facilities and in 2004 he attended a Real Estate Investment Network seminar in Ontario. REIN’s in-depth level of research and economic fundamentals proved to be a perfect it for his own analytical style. With these solid fundamentals to build on, along with the support of a like-minded community, Donal felt the confidence to take action and he began to build his now substantial real estate portfolio.

Donal is happily married and a proud father to his son Gleeson. Together they live in a fantastic neighborhood of Toronto where he works as a real estate agent with Right At Home Realty Inc.


  • Show Notes
  • [02:06] Patrick introduces his next REIN Member guest: Donal Ward-McCarthy.
  • [03:22] Donal and Patrick kick off their conversation.
  • [03:53] Donal fills us in on what he’s up to and what his passions are in the fine city of Toronto!
  • [05:39] Donal shares his Irish heritage and describes the many valuable gifts he received from his late mother.
  • [09:04] Patrick provides context around why he feels it’s important to delve into the background of his guests. We all come from different backgrounds, but it doesn’t necessarily define our journey.
  • [11:04] One of the great gifts bequeathed by Donal’s Mom was a debt-free home. His decision to keep it as an income property proved to be an exceptional choice that roused his passion for real estate.
  • [12:50] The Rich Dad, Poor Dad series is a catalyst for so many real estate investors and it did not skip over Donal and Patrick!
  • [14:03] As Donal watched his property income augment his employment income, he was fired up to pursue more education and developed a passion for the power of real estate.
  • [15:08] Donal recounts the story of how he first came to Canada and experienced its diverse culture.
  • [17:42] Although it took time to establish the “how”, Donal was certain the next steps on his path led to Canada. The systems he learned at his first REIN event (A.C.R.E.) set the foundation he needed to launch.
  • [19:49] While Donal forged his path to Canada under his own steam, he found his tribe with REIN and embraced the culture.
  • [21:36] Donal describes the unfolding of his fork in the road moment which brought him to Canada.
  • [22:54] Donal takes us back to how the landscape looked when he first got started with real estate and the impact of longevity.
  • [25:18] The economic fundamentals and research that set REIN apart were the very things that gave Donal the confidence to act on the investment opportunities he saw in Ontario.
  • [26:54] Donal explains his current view of Toronto and further describes the strategy and long-term outlook for his own real estate investments.
  • [29:40] How does Donal’s wife Darcy interact in their real estate business?
  • [31:25] In Donal’s many interactions with clients and potential clients does he often see a divergence in how couples approach real estate or is it more cohesive?
  • [33:42] Donal talks about the ways in which he supports his own growth mindset and positive attitude for long-term, well-rounded success.
  • [36:09] As a REIN Member for over a dozen years, Donal discusses the benefits and advantages that keep him coming back to this community. Top two: mindset and systems.
  • [38:39] The importance of creating a vision and a “why” that sets a focus and intention for the necessary action of real estate investing.
  • [39:55] Why being a member of the like-minded community that is REIN has proven to be fundamental in supporting Donal’s learning and growth along the way.
  • [41:12] To best illustrate the positive impact of real estate to his clients and new investors, Donal imparts the story of his first property in Ireland and its profound effect on his life.
  • [42:10] The biggest failure Donal has experienced within his real estate career, and what he views as the blessing it has provided going forward.
  • [44:46] Donal details some key tipping points in his investment life.
  • [49:04] Donal shares his insight into the main barrier he sees for real estate investors to overcome. He too, has struggled with the same barrier.
  • [50:28] Having an investor focused team in place is vital whether it be your realtor, lawyer, accountant or mortgage broker.
  • [52:14] Donal digs into the vast difference of working with a non-investor focused broker vs. an experienced broker with expertise in real estate investments.
  • [54:57] A sneaky rapid fire session! Favourite book, the job Donal continues to do for better or for worse, a favourite inspirational quote, his alternate profession as a rock star, message at the pearly gates, favourite swear word, favourite tune that carries a lot of emotional weight for him, favourite movie and a new question for the Irish guest – beer or whiskey?!
  • [61:36] Donal’s gratitude.

Connect withDonal Ward-McCarthy:


Linked In


Selected Links and People Mentioned from this episode:

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

The Millionaire Real Estate Agent by Gary Keller, Dave Jenks and Jay Papasan

Real Estate Intelligence Network (REIN)

The Vine Group

The One Thing by Gary Keller, Jay Papasan and Geoff Woods

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