Real Estate Investing: Are You Mentally In The Game

If you’ve been following along with my trials & tribulations in the world of real estate investing, then you know that I am not immune to the challenges we face as real estate investors. Heck, my blog here was zapped at the beginning of the year which is requiring rebuilding -talk about taking the wind out of ones sails.   Do we let challenges stop us!?! Hopefully -only temporarily.  One must learn to brush it off, access it, and move forward.   What I don’t see a lot of talk about amongst us investors is the mental part of the game.

I assume your like me and and have been faced with real life challenges that have been ‘go, no-go’ moments. You know those points were you’ve got another non-paying tenant (that may have just destroyed the place too), and contractor that’s conned you out of money, or that under-water property that just isn’t working out.   Challenges that are costing you more than what you may have in money, time, or skills.  These are critical moments in our investment and/or business operations that determine whether your going to be a statistical casualty or an on-going success in the pursuit of the American Dream.

As a Hard Money Lender in Charlotte, North Carolina,  I can tell you that I have witnessed many real estate entrepreneurs hit the critical moment were the decision made is life altering.    We all know of family, friends, or acquaintances either higher up the ladder or lower -LOSE IT ALL! Sure there are moments when one can become a casualty of uncontrolled circumstances; however, I contend most occur due to two traits that are allowed to become overbearing: Greed and Ego.

For me it important that I follow a regular routine that is not only physical but psychologically challenging not only as an exercise but a natural part of my daily life.   When hit with a question, I’m often heard stating “let me sleep on that and we’ll talk tomorrow.”   Why do I do that? It gives me time to step back from the situation.  Write out a pro and con list to that question/decision.  Literally sleep on it and re-access when I have the most clarity (for me) in my life -which is in the quiet of the morning.

You see I have discovered that I am most beneficial to others and myself when my own house is in order.  For that to occur,  I’ve got to be mentally in the game.  I find that my success occurs from simple routines:

  • Daily to-do list
  • Daily routine with consistency
  • Healthy eating
  • Exercise
  • Sleep

Now -that is rather general huh? I almost erased it all -please don’t think I’m talking down to you.  Truth be told,  I must see and be reminded of it ‘in type’ too.

Now here are Critical steps:

1.  Mentor:Find at least one person that has real experience in the realm you seek (such as landlording, rehabbing, lending, child raising, marriage, etc.).   Talk to them like an open book and share all -the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Seek guidance on the action plan and how to work it.   Talk on a consistent basis.

2. Action Plan:Write out the in’s and out’s of the operation/business that you are accessing.   Write out  how the operation runs both physically and financially.  Map it all out.  What do you need to improve on that works and those challenges -as if you had all the money, time, and skill in the world.

3.  Take Action: Just do it!  It sounds so simple but this is were failure occurs.

A natural reaction is to ‘freeze up’ and make excuses such as “oh, I don’t have the money to fix it up and re-rent.”   Let me tell you something -this is the point of “Go, No-Go” time!   Most just sit back and let the failure occur.   I had an investor tell me the other day that they didn’t have the money to evict their deadbeat tenant!?!  Truth be Told -That is absolute B.S! Meanwhile I’m scanning them with the coiffed hair, manicured nails, and fancy phone.   If you are going to get through tough times, there will be times were one has to do what one has to do.   Reflecting back on my earlier years, I can remember times of a mac’ n cheese dinner as a staple.  Do you think there might of been a  real reason for that?

Folks -if we’ve got to paint ourselves, mow the lawn, give up the fancy dinners to make it happen,  then that is what it takes.  Those that truly are not up to it -well -need to go find a 9 to 5 job were someone else can direct.  Silly thing is that more than likely the employee will still have to do it; however, the choices of how are now even more limited.

All of these things suggested, I do.   I set a regular routine of starting my day early, with my lists, and the action plan for that day.   I discuss my challenges and successes with others: both to help and be helped.   I must be open to constructive criticism and act on it.  Action is key. Even as simple as returning someone’s phone call must not be put off another day due to laziness!  Just do it.   I find that when this occurs my actions both physically and mentally exercise my mind.   The activity keeps me healthy by focusing on what needs to be done and accomplishing it -rather than just sitting back and constantly rehashing the negatives.   Focus on the small successes, continue with action and one will discover great accomplishments.

Can you do it?  Sure you can.  Simple daily baby steps is all it takes.  Don’t allow yourself to be a victim.  Ask for help.  Just do it and refuse to be just another statistic.

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