The focus of the last two articles was to help you to understand just what you did to yourself when you "jumped" into real estate … especially if you jumped from a full-time JOB. For those who made that kind of crazy transition, if you can call it that, you know exactly what I speak of when I say it was a fantastic exhilarating experience to start "on TOP of your world"!
Being on Top is a challenge as I discussed in the previous posts. To help you understand some of the non-real estate related challenges you could expect … things like staying focused, having the discipline to take action every day, working through problems and issues with little or no input, I offered some specific suggestions that May assist you to be better prepared once you go out on your own. I hope you are taking those suggestions to heart?
As a coach, I have learned that for most real estate investors the hard part to this business is not the mechanics. The technical stuff like how to do a short sale, or farm an area. I always say the technical stuff is easy … its all the other stuff … you know that stuff you carry around between your ears, I call that your condition, that tends to get in the way and kill your success. Only further contributing to the loneliness so often experienced at the top.
So … you are at the top … exactly where you thought you wanted to be … and now you find it is not all it is cracked up to be. What do you do?
While I will not guarantee that the following suggestions are all inclusive, I will guarantee that if you follow these suggestions you stand a pretty good chance of not only staying on the top … but finding the experience to be one of the best of Your professional life!
1. Create your vision and establish your goals. You know the old saying … "If you do not know where you are going, how will you know when you get there.? I am a big proponent of written visions, goals and tasks. Stuff captured at the 60,000 foot level all the way down to those things that need to be done this week. Day-by-day planning is too tedious for me. Week? If you do, are the things you are doing supporting your goals for this year? Bottom line … having a clear "roadmap" is essential when you are at the top … the simple reason … other then the obvious that You need to know where you are going … it that you have to be able to clearly articulate your vision and agenda to your team! Which leads to the next suggestion.
Build your team. I know you have heard this a million times … but finding the right people (your team) to support your agenda is critical. The sooner you realize that as a real estate investor you are alone … and you can not possibly do it all, know it all or be everywhere at once; Work hard to establish your team and communicate clearly your vision and agenda the sooner you will start to see the success you desire and deserve! And … if you have the right team in place, answers to many of your questions are just a phone call away.
3. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Contrary to popular believe, there really are some very stupid questions. But what do you care if someone thinks your question (s) are stupid. Remember … you are the only one responsible for your success. Sitting at the top may feel nice, and it certainly sounds nice when you tell others you run your own business … but that's not worth a hill of beans if you're doing because you're too generous To ask questions. Ask questions!
4. Model others success. While there may be a few of you who just feel compelled to forge your own path, that is the most punishing way to succeed in this business. There are many others who are not sure of the path and know they are not capable of forging one on their own. The really cool thing about real estate investing is that there are many investors who really have achieved respectable success in this business and make great role models for each of you. Look at the role model Nick Johnson is to so many of you. Find your "heros", figure out how they did it and to the extent that, that approach works for you … swipe it, perfect it for you and your business and reap the rewards.
5. Possessing sufficient personal discipline. This is one of the most critical elements to keeping you at the top. Some investors have a tremendous amount of discipline. They seem to move effortlessly from one task to the next … chugging along, with little or no outside effects knocking off one task after the other. Others would not know what discipline was even it came up and kicked them in the backside … and of course it is evident in their results. There is no easy way to train you to be more disciplined as it requires an outside force and your accepting that outside force to hold you accountable … while you develop the discipline you need to succeed.
6. Holding yourself accountable. You know those investors who hold themselves accountable. They are also the ones described in number 5 above. They know when they chose to start at the top there was no one else around who was going to hold them accountable. They had only themselves. However, not everyone … actually, I would lay odds that less then 5% of the overall population, has what it takes to really hold them accountable to their vision and goals. Where do you fit in? Are you accountable to yourself for the things you claim you desire and if not what are you doing about it?
7. Surround yourself with other successful investors. Napoleon Hill discovered the power to associations between like minds individuals and the power that could be harnessed when these like minded individuals came together for a worthy purpose. He defined this group of individuals as a Mastermind! What a powerful tool when used to the benefit of the group. Of all the suggestions I have provided, this one suggestion can provide for many investors, just what they need to stay in the game and on top. Just knowing that others are experiencing similar challenges or willingly share their successes and victories is enough for many to keep them involved and moving constantly towards their goals. Many REIA's provide a basic level mastermind environment. This website and others like it serve a similar purpose. And of course there are more formal real estate masterminds which are of tremendous benefit. Your action … find one and get involved.
8. Find a coach. I am not talking about a real estate mentor. I am talking about a real estate coach. You know a coach like the ones professional athletes hire to ensure they are always at the top of their game. I have always adapted Joe Gibbs, the legendary Washington Redskins head coach. He always said that his job was not so much teaching professional athletes to perfect their game, but to be able help them to believe that they had the ability to be the greatest athletes in the game. And that is what I am speaking about when I recommend you find a coach. If you were intimidated or challenged in any way regarding the previous 7 suggestions, are having difficulty holding yourself accountable or performing in a disciplined manner then you may need to find a coach! A coach who is willing and able to help you understand the false limits a lifetime of conditioning has encircled you with and still be able to reach down and help you bring out the real estate investor within … keeping you on the top.
Look, you have declared that you want to be at the top. You want to be running your own show, reap the rewards and make a better life for you and your family. Do not blow it by trying to super- (man / woman). Stow the ego, learn to grow into the life you want, and do not go it alone.
To Your Success …