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5 Ways to Overcome Analysis Paralysis

by Shae Bynes on June 24, 2010 · 9 comments

  
paralysis by analysis

Decisiveness is a characteristic of high-performing men and women. Almost any decision is better than no decision at all. ~Brian Tracy

As aspiring real estate investors and experienced ones, we’ve all likely had moments when we suffered from analysis paralysis. These are the moments where we research, plan, evaluate, research, plan, evaluate, in an endless cycle and are paralyzed from taking action. Typically its due to fear of screwing something up.

I’ve been there…but what I’ve found in any business venture that I’ve started or been involved in over the past 10 years is that taking action, making mistakes and adjusting is really the only way to success. It always seems like highly successful people just did things overnight, but they didn’t! Sure, a person may have had good fortune, but know that it was combined with a lot of action and plenty of mistakes — some small and maybe some not so small mistakes!

I think many of us actually KNOW this, but its easy to forget and it is such a critical component to success, so I thought I’d share 5 of my favorite tips for overcoming analysis paralysis.

1. Practice decisiveness.  This is actually an interesting exercise.  Many of us (including me) have a tendency to take too long to make the most basic of decisions.  For example, what to eat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner….or which template to use for a business card…stuff like that.  To practice decisiveness, you actually make a decision in 60 seconds or less.  Every time.  You can practice this on the small issues and then the slightly larger issues (both personal and business related decisions) and eventually you’ll be able to do this with the larger decisions. 

Don’t get me wrong…you want to ensure you have enough information to be reasonably confident in your decision when it comes to those few large, high value, highly significant issues, but once you have the data, make a decision and make it quickly.

2. Set a deadline for planning. Planning is very important, but its also easy to make the excuse that we haven’t done enough planning yet to take action. Set a deadline and be strict about it.

Let’s say you’re new to real estate and want to get your feet wet and build capital with wholesaling and you’ve pretty much educated yourself on the process. Great! Now its time for you to put together a plan for finding buyers and finding deals. Create a deadline for your plan — for a few hours, not 30 hours! Put the focused time in on the plan and then get busy taking action.

3. Have an attitude that embraces “Good Enough is Good Enough” — it’s not going to be perfect at the start, so once its good enough, you’re good to go! Successful people take action and make adjustments as they go along. Mistakes are a part of continuous improvement and the faster we accept that the better!

4. Remove complexity. When you make things too complicated for yourself, its easy to think that more analysis is required before action can take place. Don’t over-complicate things. Break down your plans into multiple simple actions that you can get busy on today.

5. Build momentum fast! One of the best ways to break the paralysis of analysis is to build momentum by staying focused and taking action. This is a step by step process and as you’re making progress, you’re building momentum, and once you have that, fight to maintain it and success is yours.

It’s better to be 80 percent sure and make things happen than it is to wait until you are 100 percent sure because by then, the opportunity will have already passed you by. ~John Maxwell

What are some other ways that you personally overcome analysis paralysis?

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Peter Giardini June 24, 2010 at 9:56 am

Shea, great article for both beginners and those of us who are a bit more grizzled.

An analogy that I have heard relates to how a missle finds its target. It starts off in the general direction of the target and then makes constant course correction to compensate for influences like wind, temperature, etc. until it hits its target… which is exactly what you mentioned not once but twice.

Good stuff… Keep em coming.

Pete

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Shae Bynes June 24, 2010 at 10:26 am

Hey Pete! Thanks for your comments — I really love your analogy!

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Mark Jacobs June 24, 2010 at 10:22 am

Great Post, Good stuff

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Shae Bynes June 24, 2010 at 10:26 am

Thanks Mark!

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Rachel Aka Mobile Home Gurl June 25, 2010 at 7:43 am

Great tips, Shae!

Honestly, no matter how much folks prepare and read the learning really comes from doing. It’s so true. When an opportunity comes up, a lot of that stuff just goes out the door.

I remember my first rental property purchase. It was kind of insane, I was so nervous. I spent a good 4 hours with the seller at our first meeting – I did not even think we would come to an agreement or anything. Though, I came prepared with a purchase contract (just in case).

Well, I was so nervous I basically said it was good getting to know the seller and was going out the door when she stopped me and said, “Let’s come up with an agreement. I’d like to sell my property to you, I like you.”

Since I was so nervous, I told her I’d come back in a week and go over things. She didn’t even have a price in mind, so I knew she had to think about it. She just needed to sell as she was leaving the area – the home was paid off free and clear.

So, I came back in a week. And, guess what? We agreed on a price – it was a great deal and a win/win situation for both of us. My contract was crazy because I had like 7 contingencies, it was like I was talking myself out of it. But, the seller agreed to everything because she kept saying “I trust you, it doesen’t matter.” And, that was that.

From that experience, all the stuff I read in the books did not even prepare me mentally. When the seller agreed to work with me, my mind literally went blank. And, I was in panic mode. Pretty insane, eh?

I guess it’s true that sometimes we’re more afraid of success than failure. I think with each deal confidence builds up – it’s just going through the motions and taking action. After doing deals, perspective changes – one is officially in the game. It’s different being in the game versus being on the sidelines watching. Being in the game, makes one a true player.

I enjoyed the article, thanks for sharing!

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Shae Bynes June 26, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Rachel, that’s hilarious! Says a ton about your ability to build rapport, trust, and credibility with sellers! Thanks for sharing your experience!

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Scott Costello June 28, 2010 at 10:28 am

Just like what everyone else said I agree with what you said 100% Shae. One of the key things that can get me to just go for it is asking myself “What’s the worst that will happen?” That gets me over most of my fears.

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Shae Bynes June 28, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Thanks for your comments, Scotty. Yes, that’s a great question to ask yourself because most times you’ll realize that the worst case scenario isn’t really all that bad.

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Aidan Engelking February 24, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Great article!! I have just started to educate myself about RE investing but have found myself in Analysis Paralysis in many other aspects of my life. Thank you so much for these tips. I will do my best to implement them into my life as a whole.

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