When we think of perfection, we think about doing everything right. Well, what if perfection isn’t about whether you do everything right or not, but instead it’s about how you handle the journey?
There’s no such thing as a real estate investor who does everything right. It’s impossible to not make a mistake in real estate investing. If you’re an investor and haven’t made a mistake, you’ve gotten very lucky and that luck will eventually run out.
So how is it possible that there is a perfect real estate investor if there’s no way to not make mistakes?
Perfection isn’t about right or wrong or making mistakes; it’s about doing our best.
If I were to create what I would consider to be a perfect investor, that investor would possess the following mindsets:
Always be learning
Real estate investing is truly an on-the-job training industry. Its impossible know everything you need to know to succeed before you ever do a deal. Because of this, mistakes are going to happen. They could range from minor to catastrophic. The worst thing you can do, no matter the size of the mistake, is to not learn from it. Many people in these situations quit altogether, which I don’t recommend. But a lot of people who do keep going don’t take the time to sit and figure out what went wrong and how they can do better next time. The perfect investor will always make an effort to learn from his/her mistakes and apply that learning to the next deal.
Someone mention making mistakes? Many people jump to calling something that goes wrong a failure when, in fact, it was just a mistake. The word “failure” adds a layer of wrongness to a situation. When we’re “wrong”, that challenges our worth and can have a layer of shame attached to it. It’s quite common to equate failure to our worth. But it was just a mistake! It’s not a reflection of who we are as people or our potential for success. In fact, the greatest investors I’ve ever known have all had catastrophic failure at one time or another. I’ve never known a great investor to not have one. So, instead of looking at failure as a reflection of your abilities, look at it as you’re moving along your path towards success!
Willingness to have a mentor
I say this one biasedly because I know for sure that if I hadn’t had a mentor for my early days as investor, I wouldn’t still be an investor. Because I know I wouldn’t have made it as an investor without having help, I assume no one else will either. But regardless of whether you’ll succeed as an investor with or without a mentor, I think everyone can benefit from a mentor.
Do what comes naturally
While not a requirement, because sometimes we learn by doing things we aren’t good at, but what will ultimately bring you the most success as a real estate investor is choosing a strategy that comes naturally to you. A perfect investor isn’t going to waste their time constantly fighting an uphill battle. Investing can be tough enough even when you’re doing things you’re good at; there’s no real benefit to making that harder than it needs to be.
You’re never going to succeed, or learn anything, if you don’t try something. So many wannabe real estate investors never get off the sideline! Yes, it can be intimidating and scary, but trying things is a requirement to be an investor. There’s no way the perfect investor is one who only ever sits on the sidelines.
Don’t get greedy
Can I shout this one from the rooftop? Man almighty if real estate investing doesn’t trigger greed in people. It’s so easy to get greedy in this industry—there’s a lot of profits than can be made and with not a lot of rules surrounding how to get it! Its more common than I wish it were that I watch perfectly humble people switch into this mode of greed as soon as they realize the possibilities of what they could earn if they starting some moral corners here and there. Never, ever, will I ever consider anyone to be a perfect investor if they let greed take over and control their actions.
“Don’t take advice from someone you wouldn’t trade shoes with.”
If you’ve ever heard my response when people ask me what advice I would give to real estate investors (or anyone, for that matter), it’s this—“Don’t take advice from someone you wouldn’t trade shoes with.” There are a lot of people out there who will try to force their advice onto you. While I always listen to said advice, the first thing I do once I hear it is consider the source. If someone sitting behind a desk working 9-to-5 is trying to preach financial freedom to me, I’m not likely going to follow that advice. Whereas if someone living their ultimate lifestyle design tries to give me advice on financial freedom, consider me all ears! The perfect investor is going to keep their personal compass intact and have the power to take some things and leave other things.
Perfect isn’t about being right or wrong. It’s about doing your best, learning from your mistakes, and keeping yourself personally in check. It’s about having compassion when other people mess up, compassion for yourself when you mess up, and the willingness to persevere.