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How To Silence Self-Doubt When Getting Started in Real Estate

by Danny Johnson on December 5, 2012 · 23 comments

  
Self Doubt and real estate

“Do you have what it takes?” “Are you good enough?” “Can you really do what those other people have done?”

These are questions that the sneaky little voice in our head just loves torturing us with when trying something new.

Anytime there is a learning curve or a time when we must leave our comfortable little nest, the questions about our own ability start pestering us.

How can we get these voices to just shut up? What can we do to overcome the self doubt? What’s with all of the questions? How about some answers. We’ll get to that.

How I’ve Been Dealing With My Own Self-Doubt

Recently, I’ve been reminded of what it is like to face these questions. Last week, I hosted my first webinar about a wholesale flip that I recently completed. When I first thought of doing the webinar, I was super excited to be able to share the experience with others. This was going to be great. All that was needed were some details, pictures, slides, a webinar service and an audience. Check, check, check, check and …

Oh yeah, I need an audience. What if nobody is interested? Even worse, what if a lot of people are interested? People are actually going to be listening to me speak. I could really screw up big time.

Suddenly, the fear swept in. Could I really do this? Will I stand up to speak and have my brain sit back down?

We Only Grow Outside Our Comfort Zone

I went back and forth on whether I really wanted to do this. It would be easier to just forget the whole thing and write a blog post explaining the deal. But, it would be especially beneficial to everyone if I could show them and discuss the deal. Live questions and answers would be a huge help in explaining everything.

The email announcing the event was quickly typed up with enthusiasm. Then came the moment of truth. The ‘send’ button needed to be pressed. Some more hesitation…

Ultimately, the reasons I came up with for doing the webinar allowed me to force my self out of my comfort zone. I hit the ‘send’ button and announced my intentions. This allowed me the chance to grow. Now I HAD to do it. No backing out now. I just pushed myself in the water.

With Strong Enough Reasons We Can Push Through

If you don’t know why you are doing something, I mean REALLY why, it will be hard to push through the stress and uncertainty of doing that thing. It seems like I’ve been harping on this over the course of several posts. It’s because I feel it is the most important of all aspects of getting started. The foundation needs to be strong.

Understand why you want start flipping houses and use that as a constant reminder when things get tough and the doubt creeps in. My recommended method of figuring this out is to sit and write down all the things you want. It’s important to ignore whether you think you ever may actually achieve or receive any of these things. Just write them down as they pop into your head. You should be writing down not only things, but accomplishments you want to achieve, places you want to travel, people you want meet, the person you want to become, the life you want to live, and anything else that you feel will make you happy. If you list things like ‘make a million dollars’, go back and try to figure out ‘why’ you want to make a millions dollars. If you put down, ‘to live in a million dollar house’, try to figure out why you want to live in a million dollar house. The reasoning behind wanting these things will be a far greater pull for you than the things themselves.

Make A Commitment, No Matter How Small

Tired of sitting on the sidelines? Make a commitment. It doesn’t have to be huge and you don’t have to have it all figured it out for every possible outcome. That’s impossible. A trek of a thousand miles starts with a single step.

This reminds me of what it was like to put out my first marketing, advertising that I buy houses. This commitment was going to result in people calling me and having to figure out how to handle whatever may happen. There was no way I was ever going to know how to answer all of the infinite questions that could have been asked. I didn’t even know what to expect.

But, this was the quickest way to find out what I needed to know. Have them call and start asking me questions. Take action and learn what it really takes and find out that it really isn’t that hard.

Incidentally, when the phone rang for the first time with an unfamiliar number, I tensed up and lost my nerve. My wife was looking at me wondering when I was finally going to pick up. Without thinking about it, I tossed the phone to her (she’d probably say, ‘it was more like threw at her’).

There you have it. The real story. My wife took our first ever call from a motivated seller. She did a mighty fine job to boot. I’m sure we had to call the seller back to answer questions we forgot to ask in the initial call but we sure learned a lot.

Silence That Voice For Good

Don’t let that voice keep you from taking action. Stop listening to the self doubt propaganda. We all have what it takes and it’s just a matter of digging deep and realizing it.

Figure out why you want to flip houses and start making some small (or large – go BIG) commitments and find out how possible it really is.

The webinar went well. I was unbelievably nervous and had a hard time spitting out my words for the first couple minutes but soon relaxed and had a blast. Many people expressed a lot of gratitude for what I shared and it made it all worth while. I’m sure the next one will be a lot less nerve racking now that I’ve ignored the voice of self doubt and just did it.

I hope you do same.

Photo: Alex Proimos

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon Vornholt December 5, 2012 at 10:00 am

Very timely post Danny.

I think every entrepreneur is filled with doubt. What separates us from the pack ultimately is that we “feel the fear and do it anyway”. I was trying to explain this to someone recently. You have to be willing to live outside your comfort zone and walk through the fire almost daily if you are to succeed.

Great article.
Sharon

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Danny Johnson December 5, 2012 at 10:49 am

Thanks, Sharon.

I’m going to have to remember your statement, “feel the fear and do it anyway”. Great quote.

You are absolutely correct in that you have to be constantly expanding your comfort zone by go outside of it in order to grow. It seems like a lot of pain at first, but is nothing compared to living life without growing or having challenges.

The realization that you’ve done something you didn’t think you could do is totally worth it and a huge revelation.

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Sharon Vornholt December 5, 2012 at 11:13 am

Yes it is Danny.

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Carol Ann Reed December 5, 2012 at 11:31 am

Thanks so much for posting this article!

I am a total newbie and haven’t even figured out how to get my first deal yet, so this advice is extremely timely for me. Be assured, I will be spending some time today to figure out those “whys”!!

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Danny Johnson December 5, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Glad to hear that you are going to really figure out your “why’s” or reasons. I think knowing why you are doing it can make the difference between pushing through tough times and just giving up and retiring back to what you are comfortable with.

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Daniel December 5, 2012 at 11:34 am

I’m blown away by the quality of all these amazing articles on BP. They all hit the mark every single time. I feel like I have a support group whose individuals are going through the exact situations as myself!

Thank you Danny. You’ve possesed me to get off my butt, put on some nice cloths, and march up to a potential investor I have been meaning to speak to!

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Danny Johnson December 5, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Daniel,

I’m really happy to know this article struck a chord with you. I’m even happier to hear that you’ve made a commitment to take some action! If it doesn’t work out as planned, learn from it and decide what you can do differently…and commit to trying again. If it works out better than planned, celebrate and then commit to some more action. :)

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Alison December 5, 2012 at 4:51 pm

You could read this article and replace “flipping houses” with any new venture and it would all still be true. Very well presented Danny, thanks!

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Danny Johnson December 5, 2012 at 9:19 pm

That’s a great way to look at it. Thanks, Alison.

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Glenn Espinosa December 5, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Hey Danny,

Great post. As an experienced investor I take note of every time fear creeps into my daily activities. For example, when I’m submitting an offer, even when I’ve put in a dozen or so that same month, almost every time I think to myself “What if I’m offering too much, what if I overlooked something big in rehab, what If my ARV is off by $15-20k?”

But you know what, I always go through with it. In the end I am ALWAYS proud of myself and take pride in knowing I’ve squashed fear again. Nowadays, I’ve grown to welcome self doubt. Every time it attacks I know I have an opportunity to beat it and accomplish something I thought I couldn’t!

Glenn

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Danny Johnson December 5, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Sounds like we go through the same thing then. I still get nervous about what I’m offering also. What scares me is when I am not nervous about submitting my offer – that usually means I am offering too much!

I like your perspective on welcoming self-doubt. The only time someone will not have self-doubt is when they are just doing the same old thing all the time. What fun is there in that?

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Shane December 6, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Thanks as always Danny! I just had to trust my gut on a lead I was following up for another investor recently…trusting that I knew how to negotiate with this guy, even though all that self doubt is saying “you really need to let so & so negotiate his own deal. You’re not ready, you’re gonna say the wrong thing, and its not going to be a deal”. I beat it. I told myself I already have. Rapport with this guy, the house is MOVE IN READY, and I know how to negotiate, even though I haven’t done it in RE.

I proposed a couple different seller carry options we were comfortable with, he countered, and I used a trick I learned from @J Scott (and use ALL the time now)– say ok we can do that but you’ll have to give up this. I trusted my gut, did this…and he actually came back with the ZERO INTEREST option we originally proposed. We got the deal, because I had the rapport, beat out the self doubt.

Love these posts!

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Danny Johnson December 6, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Awesome, Shane!

Gotta love zero interest. :)

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Jason Grote December 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Danny, great post. Truly a life lesson you are teaching! I love the story about your first call. That sums up how I felt when my phone rang for the first time with a seller. My wife wasn’t as helpful though!

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Danny Johnson December 7, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Thanks Jason.

Yes, it really is a life lesson. We should always be growing and facing those new challenges.

Glad to hear that I’m not the only one that felt that way with the first call!

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chudi December 9, 2012 at 8:33 am

Hey Danny good posts. I also heard on a Podcast that there are good motivational books people should reach out too. Do you have any good ones that you can recall and share?

Chudi

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Danny Johnson December 9, 2012 at 9:19 am

Thanks.

The books I recommend are “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson (did a write on my blog about that book about a month ago), “Think and Grow Rich” by Napolean Hill is a must read, also his “Napolean Hill’s Key to Success”. Also anything that Joel Olsteen, Tony Robbins and Jim Rohn have are absolutely amazing.

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John December 28, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Danny..2nd one of your articles that was right on time..Thanks for sharing..again!

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Danny Johnson December 30, 2012 at 7:04 am

Great. Sounds like you are receptive to what you need right now. That’s awesome.

Danny

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Mark January 1, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Do participate in any workshops? I’d be interested in attending any of them since I live nearby?

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Danny Johnson January 2, 2013 at 12:28 pm

No, I currently do not.

Be happy to meet with you for lunch sometime…as long as you’re paying. :)

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Scott April 22, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Danny, Just wanted to let you know how much i liked your article. It’s basic but really fantastic. Thanks for sharing this.

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Danny Johnson April 24, 2014 at 6:15 am

No problem. Glad you liked it. :)

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