In the first of this 3-part blog series I talked to you about something a little scary… the probable devaluation of the U.S. dollar. It is an unfortunate reality that we may soon face, but those who invest in real estate will be in a much better position than those who do not. As I mention in the article, all we have to do is look back through history to prove that statement.
In the second piece in the series I gave you great reasons to invest outside the U.S., but also told you that whether you invest in or outside the U.S., you won’t get anywhere or do any deals anywhere at any time if you don’t take your first step, followed by your next and your next.
Real estate investing works through a series of action steps.
I hope you took that last bit to heart and took at least one action step to move the needle forward toward your goals. That’s what it’s going to take. You cannot meet new people from the comfort of your couch. You actually have to get out there and say hello. It’s called doing something.
Truth is that the most successful among us who participate in real estate investing (REI) happen to be DOERS. They get out and network, meet lots of new people, shake lots of hands, meet people for coffee, talk about real estate and their goals openly, take a few risks, don’t worry about whether they look good while implementing a new skill they have learned, they don’t listen to the negative self-talk nor negative talk from others about what they’re doing, and they lean on a support network of likeminded individuals through a variety of ways.
If you want to go back and read the first two pieces in this series to refresh your memory about all of this, use these links now (or later):
If you already read those pieces … GREAT! And thank you. I hope you got a lot of information you can use out of them. I hope you put the information to use immediately.
There’s no room for excuses or procrastination.
Today I’m here to talk about something that happens to people the world over – no matter where they live, work or play; no matter where they do real estate transactions – that holds them back from REI success. I’m talking about how people can be great at making excuses for their inaction and how they can fall into using every sort of stall tactic to keep them stuck right where they are.
I’ve talked about how procrastination is not your friend a long time. In fact, here’s one of the first videos I ever made on the subject.
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I talk about this in one of our most popular Cash Flow Diary podcast episodes. It’s episode 160 and it’s taken from a live event. What’s funny is that this is one of the most talked about episodes lately. There are reasons for its popularity. It strikes a big chord with us all.
In the episode I talk about the excuses. Here… take a listen.
I have heard lots of excuses over the years; some are real doozies. But to be honest, in the past I’ve even used one of them myself to stall my own process and learning curve.
See if you can pick it out from the list:
- I’m too old to…
- I’m too young to…
- I’m too tired to…
- I’m too busy to…
- I’m too black to…
- But I have kids…
- But I have a day job…
- But I don’t know how to do it all yet…
Get my point? There are lots of excuses we can use to give ourselves permission NOT to take action. But you know what? That’s just our fear speaking. If you experience fear, tell it to shut up and that you are going to take steps anyway. But why don’t you?
You’re addicted to looking good!
Yes, I said it.
If you haven’t gotten out there and made an offer on a property yet… or you haven’t spoken to a few strangers to ask if they’ve ever considered getting involved in real estate investing, it might well be that you are afraid that you are going to look silly or not use the right words or stumble over your words.
Guess what? None of that matters. Do it anyway.
In episode 160 of the podcast and in my live events I often give the analogy of learning to walk. I use my youngest son as an example. As toddlers, we all have to learn to walk. Do we look good while learning? Absolutely not. We fall down, we sometimes cry a little, and then we pull ourselves up and keep trying. Eventually we walk, and then we walk a bit better and pretty soon we are running across the room, jumping on the furniture and driving our parents crazy.
If my son – now four years old and a great walker, BTW – because he had fallen a couple of times as a toddler learning to walk, looked up at me and said, “Daddy, I’m not going to do this any longer because I look silly and fall down all the time. I give up!” what should I have done? Let him keep crawling everywhere? No. I would encourage him to walk.
Fortunately, my boy is just fine. He is a very active kid and hits top speeds through the house.
If you aspire to the same and dump the fear of looking bad while implementing new skills you will do yourself a huge favor and you’ll reach success as an investor a whole lot faster!
First, you must move through the Four Levels of Learning…
All of our Cash Flow Diary courses and Mastermind Groups come with homework assignments that require participants to get out into the world, talk to strangers in various ways and practice what they are learning immediately. They then get to report back, ask questions and work out the things in their processes that aren’t working.
Take a look at this short video to prep yourself for what I’m about to tell you…
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Why do I insist that everyone does the homework and applies what they learn immediately? It is a much more effective way to cement in one’s mind the new information than it would be if they simply took notes and waited till later. It is far better to move at the speed of instruction™ so the new information is embedded. Nothing accomplishes this better than DOING.
When you put into practice what you learn immediately so you can get real-time feedback so you can ask questions quickly, you move to the final stage of learning faster. You reach your goals and success faster.
If you’ve never heard of the Four Levels of Learning, here they are in a bite-sized nugget. You must move through each of these levels, in this order, when learning anything new until you are at the fourth level, where doing what you learned just comes naturally.
- Unconsciously incompetent – Hey, you don’t know what you don’t know, right? You can’t be competent when you don’t know how to do something new.
- Consciously incompetent – When you know what you are supposed to do, you get to practice the newfound understanding. You implement to the best of your ability what you have learned. You are gathering feedback. There’s no way to look good while you’re at this stage!
- Consciously competent – At this point, you’ve learned what you need to do and you’re putting what you know out there to reach your goals. You have to think through the steps… sort of like when you’re learning to dance for the first time… and you might be a little clumsy, but you get there. You get the deal done. You reach your goal.
- Unconsciously competent – This is the point at which you know your stuff. You no longer have to think through the steps. It’s where you just do what needs to be done. The outcome is better and better with each deal, and you can teach others how to do what you do. In fact, teaching should be a part of the process!
Does fear hold you back from taking your first steps?
Fear is the one thing that stops people not just from achieving their goals but also from even taking that first step. What you need to understand is that fear is normal in human beings. We all experience fear.
What separates the truly successful from those stuck in lives they aren’t happy with is the ability to walk through the fear to get to the goal. Then repeating the process. In other words, you just have to keep getting stuff done!
Stop worrying about failing. I promise you will fail… maybe a few times. You are going to make mistakes, and that’s great. Call them “learning experiences” instead.
I tell students and event-goers to fail fast, fail forward and fail frequently. But what does that mean exactly? That’s something else I walk listeners through in episode 160 of the podcast. I understand I did it pretty well, so I’ll repeat it here just a bit.
Let me say it loud and proud…
I have failed. I’ve had what you could call catastrophic failure events. But guess what? I’m still here and I’m just fine. From each experience I learned a great deal. That’s one of the reasons I can talk to you today. Maybe I can help you avoid a few pitfalls.
Why am I still here?
- I put my fears behind me. Regardless of the fear I kept moving.
- I disassociated myself from the need to look good and just did what needed to be done.
- I didn’t let what I didn’t have stop me from going for my goals. Like money. I had none. Should I let that stop me? Um, no.
- I told others about my goals and put myself out there day after day to work toward them.
- I attended networking events, hosted Cashflow games, talked to strangers, attended more events, talked to more strangers, and then started doing deals. (Then more and more deals.)
- I developed a tool that helps me explain deals and benefits to investors. If you want it, click here now.
See? No big secret. Just action steps. I may have still had fear of the unknown, but I didn’t let it stop me. Not be a long shot.
If I had let fear stop me, I would never have gotten involved with basketball camps for kids so I could teach them financial literacy, I would never have gotten up on stage to educate others in what I do and how they can, too, and I would have never met some of the high-level movers and shakers of this world that I have!
Here’s one of my first appearances so you can tell me if I looked scared. (Believe me… I was shaking a little, but I pushed through it and enjoyed the interview on FOX 13 a couple of years back.)
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Why do we have these unrealistic fears?
It’s not surprising that we let fear of looking bad or not getting things right the first time stop us in our tracks. Hey, it’s the way we’re trained in the school system. It does a magnificent job making kids believe that they have to get things right the first time and with no help.
But life doesn’t work that way.
Literally every successful business owner, entrepreneur and investor I have ever known gets this point. Or did you think they wear all the hats and make all the decisions and do all the work on their own. Heck, no.
They put the “good” to the side so they could be “great”!
You want great things to happen in your life and business? Embrace that same philosophy.
BTW, don’t act like you already know everything either. The highly successful among us aren’t heard uttering two of the most dangerous words anyone can utter: “I KNOW THAT.”
On the contrary. They ask a lot of questions and they are in a never-ending learning process. (Also called being a lifelong learner!)
They listen a lot and they are vastly aware that while they may well know a topic really well, there might be something they don’t know even after many years being in business and doing deals. That humility and openness to learn more got them where they are today. They know they are and always will be in the act of becoming even more.
We are all in the act of becoming!
Here’s something to consider the next time you get butterflies in your stomach or want to give up because you are afraid you’re doing something wrong or fear you don’t look like you know what you’re doing.
You were FEARLESSLY and AWESOMELY created!
That’s right. You were given all you need to succeed in REI. You have lots of talents already. You’ve learned plenty of new skills through your life. That means you can learn more skills.
Take a look at one of the people you might know from the Cash Flow Diary network who embraced his new skills. Nothing stopped him!
The only person who will stop you from learning new skills, changing your life, increasing your income and being successful not just as an investor but in anything you set your eyes on as goals is… YOU.
You just have to be willing to put in the time to grow you skills and relationships, so that you can earn credibility, which will earn you more income and cashflow, which will give you equity to leverage and allow you to become a significant influencer to others in your niche.
That in a nutshell are the eight steps to becoming!
The top influencers in our society today went through the exact same eight steps. The cool thing is that you won’t spend nearly as much time reaching a point where you are the influencer in your circles as you might think. However, it takes dedication and focus on your part. You actually have to commit first to learning the new skills and then commit to do what you are learning.
Again… no big secret formula. And no automation. You don’t get to press a few buttons and suddenly become an influential. You have to network, learn, network, grow, network, and apply what you learn, network, teach others what you have learned so they can do it, too, and so on.
That is the same no matter where you are on the planet, and especially if you are learning to be a bigger, badder, better real estate investor!
Listen, I could go on and on about this subject, but all good blog pieces must come to an end.
Now, get out there and meet new people. If you need a guide as to where to find people to talk to about REI, go get the 39 Perfect Place to Find Investors!