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Do You Really “Get It”?

by Danny Johnson on January 23, 2013 · 11 comments


Do you? Of course you need to know what ‘it’ is before you can answer that question.

This might seem a little strange, but please bear with me. This is very important when you are getting started flipping houses or trying to improve your real estate business.

What ‘It’ Is

‘It’ is anything that you come across in your real estate investing education (or really in any topic you are learning about). A lot of times we read or hear something that we think we get. We’ve heard it before. We already know about it.

It might be the same thing we read last week, a month, or even a year ago. In our brain we might too quickly mark it as ‘learned’ and tend to just ignore it to some extent.

The Problem With Always Thinking We ‘Get It’

Automatically thinking we already know something about the subject being presented can easily keep us from truly learning the lesson.

As a simple example, let’s talk about bandit signs. Now most of us have heard about bandit signs dozens or even hundreds of times. For those that may not know, bandit signs are those plastic signs that are usually nailed to telephone poles or planted in the ground with stakes at intersections.

Bandit signs are an awesome way to generate leads for house flips. But, they need to placed in good locations and out of the reach of people that will rip them down in a heartbeat because they feel it is one of the worst forms of litter imaginable. I don’t share that opinion of course.

Now if you had heard about bandit signs and just wrote down something general about getting the signs from a certain website and what to put on them, you might not pay much attention to the other aspects of that form of marketing (like placement, times to put up, areas, how often and how many to put up, what colors work best, what sizes work best, whether to have your website on the sign, etc).

If you haven’t learned enough about the proper use of the marketing medium, you may make a half-assed attempt at it, and not even know it. You may not receive any leads and just jump to the conclusion that bandit signs just don’t work. It must be another one of those methods just taught by people to sell courses. That must be it…

This inconsistency is the reason why a lot of new investors fail at flipping houses. The inconsistency may be rooted in this ‘I get it’ mentality.

Ok, this is a pretty simple example, but I hope you get the point. There are some things that you may gain from each time you hear about something, but you’ve got to be open to the possibility that there might be something you don’t really know or have not put to use.

Make An Effort To Not Shut Things Out

I’ve always felt that people should remain humble enough to know that they will never know everything.

We’ve got to put our pride aside and remain open to gaining some piece of wisdom, no matter how small, from what we are reading or being told.

Next time you are talking to somebody about something, really pay attention to what your mind is doing. Are you just trying to think of a response to what they are saying? Are you really listening?

The Desire For The Next New Whiz-Bang Strategy

A lot of people email me asking for how to find motivated sellers. I’ve written on the topic several times and that information can be found in a lot of places. It just amazes me. I don’t think they really need what they are asking for.

What I think they want is to hear about something new that they haven’t already heard about. You know, because they already ‘get it’. That’s old news and they want the next hot way to really ‘crush it’ in their area.

We may know about a lot of these ‘old’ techniques, but have we used them? I mean, really use them. Have we made a real effort to put them to work and give them enough of a chance and time to work?

It’s not just about marketing either. Techniques for investing in real estate are as varied as the marketing needed.

There is a reason people are always talking about these tried and true methods of marketing and investing. It’s because they work. They are being improved over time as well as people come up with creative ways to use them.

The other reason I think these questions are asked a lot is because people want another reason to avoid taking action. It’s easier to stay in your comfort zone and continue to learn that to go out there and start taking action.

I Hope You Don’t ‘Get It’ Prematurely

I hope this article will get you to have a renewed focus when you go to learn something. Maybe re-examine some of those old methods and find out that you really didn’t ‘get it’ or at least not all of it. There is a lot of wisdom that is likely being ignored because we all ‘get it’..
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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen Rittenhouse January 23, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Wow, Danny, what a great post. So well said.

And, we can’t really get “it” just by hearing. We have to apply “it”, work “it”, improve “it”, make “it” our own. Just listening and making a decision leaves a huge void. Trying once or feebly is not enough to ever be sure if “it” really works and why or why not.

I love this, Danny. What a great encouragement to others as they go forward to take the time to really get in, learn, experiment, and perfect. There are no easy answers. There is no get-rick-quick formula. And the sooner we stop looking for that, the sooner we can get down to doing what needs to be done to actually find our own success.

Thanks for your article.


Danny Johnson January 24, 2013 at 6:39 am

Thanks, Karen.

I couldn’t agree more. Better than knowledge, is applied knowledge.


Larry H. January 23, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Great article here Danny, you are right, we never know everything about anything. Overlooking things like this can be detrimental in any business. By taking the time to go over strategy will help us in our own success. Thanks Danny!


Danny Johnson January 24, 2013 at 6:40 am

Thanks, Larry.

We can’t know everything about anything, but it’s also just some of the small things that might be ignored because we feel we already have a grasp on the subject.


Chris B. January 24, 2013 at 11:25 am

Nice article Danny!

I completely agree that some, of course that means me here, can easily look past the things that are directly in front of our face. As a newish investors I can sometimes make simple things more difficult, especially when practically all the answers are at great places like BP and your site.

Keep-up the good work.


Danny Johnson January 24, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Thanks, Chris.

I find it best to find out what you need to start and then start taking action. As you take action you will find out what you need to know to continue to progress.


Melodee Lucido January 24, 2013 at 9:48 pm

A very profound article on a simple topic. So funny. Seems simple enough but do we really “GET it”? A clear reminder to stop slow down and pay attention—then apply.

Your articles are always helpful. Thanks Danny.


Danny Johnson January 25, 2013 at 11:39 am

Thanks, Melodee.

I decided to write about the topic because I realized that I had been doing it. I’ve listened to the same motivational cds about 10 times but still end up gaining new knowledge when I really focus on what I am listening to.


Mike January 28, 2013 at 7:27 am

When you take action, you take the first step to “getting it”. To the best of my knowledge, nobody can flip houses sitting on the couch watching other people do it. You jsut have to get out there and start doing it – of course make sure you have a plan first – but getting it done is all about the doing not the thinking. Great post Danny, all the awesome info here on Bigger Pockets is for nothing if you don’t actually take action!


Shaun February 5, 2013 at 7:10 am

I just skimmed the article but I get what you are saying.


Danny Johnson February 5, 2013 at 7:54 am

LOL. I guess you ‘get it’ already then. :)


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