Being Committed to Being Committed

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Are you committed to being committed?

I got hit upside the head today for not thinking. I told my mentor that I’m trying to stay committed when it came to a new project I’m working on. As soon as I said that, I knew what was coming. Call it a Freudian Slip or just call it regression, but as soon as I said, “I’m trying to stay committed” it was over. I immediately began to backtrack…But it was too late…

My mentor was all over it.

He said, “Oh you’re TRYING to be committed? How’s that working out for you JL?” Then he started laughing like, “Are you kidding me?” You know we don’t play that “Try” stuff.

Yup…I knew it..What was I thinking?

It’s simple… I wasn’t…

Maybe you’ve set your heart on a goal. Maybe you’ve taken the step to go after your first real estate deal. If so, that’s great. However, I have an important question for you…

How deep is your commitment?

  • If you are struggling with staying comitted to your goals…
  • If you’re someone who starts things and doesn’t finish them…
  • If you make excuses for why you haven’t reached your goals…

Then there is only one word that gets down to the root of all these problems:


You have to hold yourself accountable when it comes to going after your goals.

When I said, “I’m trying to stay committed” I was basically telling myself that I might not stay committed. I was indirectly telling myself that as soon as there is a reason to back out…I’m done! Eventually I would accept failure…

Do you think I’m being too hard on myself? Not me…

If you’ve been keeping up with my posts or even been over to my blog, then you should know by now that it took me 2 Years (730 Days) to complete my first real estate deal.

One of the reasons I mentioned was because of “Paralysis of Analysis”. That was huge! However, the other reason was because I wasn’t holding myself accountable and I was just giving real estate investing a try.

Whenever someone fails at anything…What is the first thing they say?

I Tried…

I Tried My Best…

Some will even take it as far as saying, “I tried my best and that’s all that matters”

Really? Did you really try your best? So there isn’t anything else that you could have done? (This is what I had to ask myself as well)

Here is what I’d like you to commit yourself to right now:

Get the word “try” out of your vocabulary. Start telling yourself that you WILL do what you say you’ll do. When I was in the military, I didn’t really have choices. If I had a mission to accomplish, I had to do what I had to do. There was no way I was going to stand in front of my commander and tell him…”Well, sir the mission was a failure…We tried and just couldn’t succeed…We did our best though”  That was just not going to happen.

Trying is just not good enough.

I can’t imagine providing for my family, then something catastrophic happens, and I say, “Honey..Kids…I tried my best”

I think you see where I’m going with this.

You have to take TRY out of your vocabulary because you are basically admitting defeat! Maybe not right at that second, but possibly in the near future.

I’ll give it a try (Translates to, If somehow this doesn’t work…I’m done!)

Get out of your way when it comes to success and make it happen!

Two quick ways to be accountable?

  1. Give yourself strong reasons WHY you’re doing what you’re doing.

    If you don’t have a reason to do it, then you probably shouldn’t be doing it. Every time you feel like you’re going to give up,  review your reasons why. Go over it in your head and let it sink in!

  2. Reach out to your accountability partners.

    My mentor is someone that always keeps me accountable. My kids keep me accountable too. lol (Daddy you said this…Daddy you said that…) I’ve said it many times and this won’t be the last, but connect with like minded people, build a relationship, and help each other stay accountable to whatever goals you set.  Shae Bynes wrote a great post on the competitive disadvantage of not having Accountability Partners.

Like the commercial says, Just DO IT!

To Our Success,

J. Lamar Ferren

Ps. What are some ways that you keep yourself accountable? If you’re not keeping yourself accountable, what do you think is holding you back?

Photo: Zach Klein

About Author

J. Lamar Ferren is a 26 year old New Breed Real Estate Investor who takes down deals nationwide. Through direct response marketing he uses creative and outside the box methods, both online and offline to attract buyers, sellers, and investors.


  1. JL,

    A timely article, as you touched on a bunch of things that are very relevant to me right now.

    It has taken me a while to figure out what keeps me accountable. In fact, I think that it is still a work in progress for me.

    However, one thing recently that I have discovered about myself that keeps me accountable is….

    ‘Not having regrets’.

    If I set my sights on achieving a goal, I will follow through and ensure it’s completion. As I do not want to have regrets of giving up on the goal.

    Some of my thoughts…
    I would be interested to hear from others the different things that keep them accountable…

    .-= Neil Uttamsingh´s last blog ..A message from the author =-.

  2. Very interesting post. I think commitment is not only a question of accountability; furthermore one needs to accept the fact that not circumstance determines our success; it’s ourselves and our actions. By blaming others we just give up our sense of responsibility and (therefore) accountability.

  3. Great article, J.

    I don’t think you’re being too hard on yourself at all, and I agree that “trying” to do anything is simply not good enough. Either do it, or don’t do it, but saying that you’re going to try is just setting yourself up for failure.

    Regarding the accountability partner- I have had one for going on a year now, and it has helped me out tremendously in the productivity dept. We have a wiki page set up that we both go to every morning and write down our goals for the day, and then check each one off as we accomplish it.

    Having someone there looking over your shoulder definitely gives you an extra boost of motivation to get things done.

    .-= Stephani´s last blog ..Saturday Night Reader Mail: Which Contracts Do You Use When Wholesaling an REO? =-.

  4. This was a great post, J. Lamar (and thanks for the shoutout)! I laughed at the comment about your kids holding you accountable. That is soooo true! I’m always telling my daughter “stop trying to put me in a contract!” because I know that if I say something or give her a definitive answer to her persistent questions, she WILL hold me to it. Period.

    Anyway, I digress. Good lessons in here.
    .-= Shae Bynes´s last blog ..Go-Givers Sell More: An awesome follow up to The Go-Giver =-.

  5. Oh yeah, accountability would be my main focus in this article. My main tool in this category is other people. I tell them all about what I’m doing, not just anyone on the street but people I interact with on a regular basis. This keeps me on task because when I talk to them they ask me about it and it not only motivates me to make progress so I’ll have something new to tell them but it also irks the hell out of me when something goes wrong or I don’t do something and I have go through it again and again with each person I talk to. They are also handy reminders, I can’t count the times I’ve been talking to someone and either they ask about something or it sparks something where I go “Oh right, i gotta get on that!”
    Great article, it really is important to make sure you stay motivated to always be working towards your goals. The BP Forum is great for that, I already have connected with a semi-local realtor who has both welcomed me to the site (and he’s not the only one) but also told me to call him anytime with questions or just to chat. Thank you for this article and for contributing to this community.

  6. Thank you for this post. I must admit that I endeavor to NOT let anyone know what I am doing for fear of failure. (and for fear of being held accountable.) I’m trying to break this log jam in my head. Your post is helping with that. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Bill

    • I very much got a great deal out of your thoughts on being committed to my goals, I’m not in the real estate business, I’m ex-military and a retired barber.
      I once worked in Hollywood as an actor, acting was my lifelong dream, there were some very long days and sleepless nights but I enjoyed my profession and meeting the people for ten years, then one morning I awoke and noticed a strange movement of my lower jaw, I couldn’t make it stop, I rushed to the hospital and saw a Doctor , after examining me he told me it was a condition known as “Tardive Dyskinesia?” or TD.
      To make a long story short, my acting career was over, I was devastated to say the very least, I once spoke nine languages, now I can barely speak at all.
      I returned to North carolina, climbed into the bottle for many years and just seemingly gave up, I became homeless and lived on the street for a while,one cold night I went into the shelter and I saw a lot of people in there who had just given up and I asked myself,”what am I doing here?”
      Another very cold night when I checked into the shelter, I was reading a bulletin board and I saw an advertisement for barber school, I enrolled and was accepted into the school.
      In about my sixth month the Instructor of the school ask for volunteers for an up coming seminar there was going to be a motivational speaker there named Zig Zigler.
      I had heard him before so I went to the seminar, he didn’t speak, he was not well, I got a chance to meet Mr. Zigler and his lovely wife Jean back stage.
      Meeting Zig Zigler changed my life even though he was in declining health, I later bought one of his recordings and listened to it every day, on that recording he made a statement that has stuck with me until this day he said ” Where you start is not as important as where you finish”.

      Then he went on to say ” you can have whatever you want in life, by helping others have what they want”.
      I went on to finish barber school and gave up the booze, I gave many people great satisfaction for many years when they would sit in my chair for a haircut,
      I still listen to Mr. Zigler every morning and have dedicated my life to helping others…have what they want.

      I spend my time now acquiring the gifts that money can’t buy, so that I can help others get the gifts that money can buy.

  7. Bernhard Braeuner

    I’m curious how he knows me. LOL I think my “trying” excuse comes from lack of focus which sidetracks whatever I was doing. The end result is I don’t finish but merely have tried too many times only to stop or fall short. I have been employing an accountability team and we are experimenting with scheduling and methods that work for our ever changing schedules. But at least we aren’t “trying” we are making forward progress! Thanks J. Lamar Ferren.

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