Are You Willing to Lose in Order to Win?
“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
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– Michael Jordan
Thomas Edison failed more than 1,000 times before he successfully invented the light bulb.
Abraham Lincoln won a seat in Congress – the second time he ran for office. And Honest Abe was defeated twice more before he finally made it to the Senate
Oprah Winfrey was once fired from her job as a TV reporter because her hips were too big. Okay, that’s not exactly accurate. Oprah was fired, but she was told it was because she was “unfit”. Ironically, she was fit enough to spend 25 years on the air as a talk show host while simultaneously building a $2.4 billion multi-media empire.
History is proof that in order to win in business, politics, sports, or anything else worthwhile, you must be willing to lose.
So what about you? Are you willing to lose in order to win?
My investment firm has flipped 50 houses in the last 24 months. We net about $400,000 in profit but lost $90,000 on deals that went bad. How did we lose money? Here are a few reasons:
– I overestimated the value of the home.
– I underestimated the extent of the repairs.
– Values dropped unexpectedly because of the tax credit expiration on April 30th, 2010.
– Appraisals came back low.
It’s easy for me to look back now and see where I made mistakes. No doubt I’ll make more. But I refuse to let failure define me and neither should you.
Most new real estate investors are scared to lose money. That’s perfectly natural. You certainly shouldn’t invest money you can’t afford to lose. But it is unrealistic to think that you’ll make money on every house you flip. A deal will go south eventually – sometimes for reasons behind your control. The good news is that being right 4 out of 5 times can still be very profitable.
It’s like Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”
Now get out there and start losing! It’s the only way to win.