Many real estate investors don’t realize that there’s one ingredient they tend to not calculate into their success plan. When you’re involved in real estate investing, you’re going to run into lots of roadblocks throughout. So what is that ingredient? In retrospect, you’ll probably realize it was obvious all along.
Real estate is a rollercoaster
The ingredient is armoring yourself emotionally and mentally. Real estate investing is a roller coaster of emotions. You have ups, downs, in betweens. And that’s with every deal. Most real estate deals fall apart before reaching closing (or at the closing). Sometimes, it’s the perfect deal that goes swimmingly until the very last minute. It can be easy to want to give up in this business. On top of that, you’ve got to deal with friends, family, and people involved in deals. It can be really stressful and discouraging at times. You’ll find that many of the people around you become very negative about what you are doing, and will “lovingly” try to get you to “see the light.” Or make backhanded comments. Though it’s unfortunate, many people want to bring you down, and they’ll do it in a very casual, subtle way. When other people are miserable, or not doing well career-wise, they’ll try to drag you down with them into the negative mentality. Misery loves company, as they say. Realize that:
- Being a full-time investor doesn’t mean you’re successful.
- Being a full-time investor doesn’t mean you’re rich.
- Being a full-time investor doesn’t mean you’re financially free.
In the same way that owning a nice car doesn’t make you wealthy, being a full-time investor doesn’t offer ANY conclusive evidence that you’re a successful business owner. When someone touts their status as a full-time investor and you start feeling jealous, remember that you cannot judge a book by its cover. A person’s employment status (or lack thereof) is only the tip of the iceberg of what’s really going on in their financial life. The problem is…a lot of people get duped into the idea that quitting their job is a prerequisite to success, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There is absolutely nothing wrong with staying employed while you build up your real estate business. It’s actually stupid to do it any other way.
Being in touch with your emotions is a good thing, but they can also cloud your judgment in the moment. Mentally tough people know how to keep cool in heated situations. Emotions can get the best of us when we’re between a rock and a hard place, but having some emotional resilience can increase your ability to handle heavy situations.
Sticking through tough times can give you the confidence you need to keep your composure when stuff hits the fan. It’s okay to be in touch with emotions, but having some control over them is beneficial. Instead of emitting an emotional response that stems from your discomfort and fear of the situation, you’ll be capable of checking emotions at the door and taking care of business in a calm and efficient way.
Don’t expect immediate results
Real estate is not going to provide you with instant gratification. Truthfully, it is going to provide you with anything but. It takes a long time for real estate deals to develop and finally come to fruition. You won’t see the benefits for months, maybe years.
When it comes to accomplishing your One Big Goal, the pursuit of instant gratification is your worst enemy. Great accomplishments—like building a sustainable real estate business—take time. When you’re in the mindset of wanting things to happen immediately, it will make you feel overwhelmed and hopeless about your abilities to make it happen. Don’t do that to yourself. Use these tips to avoid seeking immediate gratification:
- Set incremental goals
- Celebrate every accomplishment
- Develop a routine that consists of sustainable habits
Too often in our lives, we overestimate what we can accomplish in a year…and underestimate what we can accomplish in 5 years, or 10 years, or 20 years. It’s that overestimation—that feeling of being in a race to the short-term—that causes people to quit and ultimately stay in the same place in life week after week, year after year, decade after decade. Don’t be seduced by short-term satisfaction. Think long term, and focus on the process, rather than the goal.
Prepare yourself mentally
Real estate is also mentally challenging. You need to watch and read anything you can written or about successful real estate investors. Highly successful real estate investors. You want to train your brain to do what they do. There’s so much out there that it’s unfortunate how few people take advantage of these things. They also give you great ideas. And you don’t just have to read success stories of real estate investors. It can be any successful person. It really helps to read or watch someone else’s trials and tribulations. It gives you hope when you see that somebody else went through the same exact things and came out on top.
Also, by studying successful people’s stories, you can learn what not to do. Humans most often have to learn the hard way. But, if you’ll be smart, you can avoid these situations by reading how others failed at certain things. Real estate sales is a lonely business. When earning an income depends all on you – and not a job you clock into to fulfill hours – you need stability and emotional and mental strength to do it. It’s easy to get sidetracked in real estate. You not only need to motivate yourself to get work done everyday (the difficulty of which is amplified with distractions in a home-office environment). You also have to keep pressing on when things get tough.
On the other hand, when things are going good, you can’t let that keep you from working hard. You can’t fall into complacency, or you’ll stagnate. So being a successful real estate agent means you need to have mental toughness, to deal with all of the above.
What is mental toughness?
Mental toughness” is keeping strong in the face of adversity. It’s the ability to keep your focus and determination despite the difficulties you encounter. Events in our life rarely go the way we’d like them to, but that doesn’t mean you have to let it throw you off your game. Mental toughness gives you the tenacity to learn from your mistakes without the devastating blow failure can sometimes deal. This resilience and fortitude also gives you the strength to keep emotions in check when something in your life seems overwhelming and you need to be strong. Essentially, mental toughness is the voice in the back of your head that tells you to keep going, keep pushing, and keep trying, even when the going gets tough.
What motivates you?
Even if you maintain realistic expectations, and you’re capable of keeping emotions in check, you still need some motivation from inside of you to keep on keepin’ on. Whether you’re tackling a problem, handling a difficult life event, or looking for a way to push yourself harder during your next workout, you need to stay motivated.
When you know why you need to get through something it makes it easier to suck it up and carry on, but you also need the willpower to break through the barriers you might come across. Building up willpower takes time, but you can do so by developing simple, unrelated habits. For example, if you’re bad at flossing, push yourself to floss when you shower. You’ll forget some days, and other days you might lazily avoid it, but if you keep at it, eventually you’ll maintain your simple habit without thinking about it. Little boosts in willpower increase your confidence, and when you accomplish little things, you begin to see that you really do have control of yourself. You might think of willpower as a finite resource, but you have as much willpower as you believe you have. Challenge yourself and you’ll find that motivation is easy to come by when you actually believe you’re capable of overcoming things.
You should not only roll with the punches, but think about how you can take a swing. You cannot control everything that comes your way, but you are in absolute control of how you react to it. Take a look at situations from the outside and try to see a different perspective. It’s hard to see the true causes of events when your vision is clouded with immediate emotional responses. Wait five minutes to respond to something when you have the time. Or pretend like you’re giving advice to yourself when searching for a solution. We tend to immediately overreact to something, even if we don’t completely understand it yet. Comprehend and understand the pieces first, then put things together and react. Doing this over time will help you adjust your expectations to a realistic level.
Stay until the magic happens
Too many quit real estate before they see results. Again, it takes a while to see results in real estate; even longer to become highly successful from it. One of the reasons is that the longer you stay, the more opportunities that occur. Why? Because for the most part, the investors you see around you right now, most of them won’t be there in a few months or years. Most people in real estate quit. This gives you opportunity. Humans by nature have a very hard time sticking to anything for the long-term. Ultimately, staying is going to give you a great advantage.
People are lured to real estate because of the quick buck that it promises. Don’t hold your breath, you won’t get rich quick. An “overnight sensation” usually takes about five years. More than ninety percent of the people who take a real estate seminar quit after three months. Real estate investing should be treated with the seriousness of a career. It takes months, even years for a business to cultivate customers and have a life of its own. You need to treat it like any other business.
Many self–acclaimed real estate gurus state that everyone should quit their jobs and immediately jump into full time real estate investing. They often claim incredible results from students with little experience. Life–changing decisions are not usually simple and that full time investing is not for everyone. Let’s discuss some pros and cons of full–time versus part–time investing.
Do not quit your job yet
Running a business is a huge responsibility. Seriously, it’s a big deal. As a full-time investor, you’re going to deal with a lot more stress than any 9-5 job will ever bring you, so if you want to take the plunge and quit your job, you’ll be far better served to pace yourself and make sure you’re betting on a sure thing before you take that leap of faith.
For most people, the decision to quit their job is a major risk, but it really shouldn’t be this way. If you leave your job without a plan, without a secondary source of income and without any proof that you know what you’re doing, you’re going to regret it. It’s just that simple.
Leaving your job shouldn’t be a big financial and psychological jump. It should be a natural walk into the next phase of your life. Don’t lose sight of what you can still accomplish as a part-time investor. A job is a gift. Even if you hate what you’re doing right now and even if you don’t feel like it’s your life’s true calling, it’s still a golden opportunity to get your bearings and figure out what you’re doing. Use it to build a sustainable business and get your house in order before you make the transition into early retirement.
If you’re tempted to quit your job simply because you can’t stand it (and it’s easier in the short-term to make the emotional leap into a business that isn’t ready to sustain you), don’t do it. Be patient and fight the long fight. Your time will come soon enough.