Fear. No matter what phase of my house flipping or real estate investing career I’m in, it just keeps rearing its ugly head.
No matter how many years you’ve been in the real estate investing business, or if you’ve done nothing as of yet, fear is there every time you do something out of your comfort zone.
I still go through this even now. In fact, every time I advance myself in my career or I go to the next level, I go through these same fears all over again in a sense. I figured that at some point in my real estate investing career, fear would just melt away. I’m still waiting for that day to come.
Let me give you an example.
Just nine months ago, we were flipping on average a deal a month. At the time, I thought that was pretty good, but I knew the market was changing and I decided I needed to change my approach.
So I made the conscious decision to double if not triple my business by adding an acquisition manager to my house flipping team. Although I thought that I had pretty much overcome most of my fears in house flipping, as soon as I decided to do this, all the same fears came rushing back.
About at the same time, I then decided to step outside of my comfort zone even further so I decided to start buying rental properties in other states.
More fears once again…
Fear, House Flipping and The New Investor
All the same fears you have now as a new real estate investor are the exact same kinds of emotions I have and continue to have as I grow my business. I’ve experienced both – and they’re pretty much the same thing. Both are fears fuled by negative self-talk…but it’s not the fear that’s the real crushing part, instead its how you deal with those fears that really impacts you.
Then like now, I still have many nights I lie awake thinking to myself: “What if it doesn’t work?”
What brings me back to reality are a few fear-busting tactics I learned very early on and have since relied on it ever since I learned them. In due time, I may add more to the list but these are the ones I’m using now.
1. Think the Exact Opposite
When you have extreme fears, the first thing you should do is to do the exact opposite and reverse that thinking immediately. Instead of thinking how things will turn out badly, think about what will happen when things go right. Thinking the opposite immediately stops you from thinking about how it will work and instead purposely start thinking about how it is going to work.
This doesn’t mean you just wish for the best and not care – far from it. You have to put systems in place to protect yourself from things going wrong.
2. Re-check Your Data
There is a reason why you’re dong what you’re doing or doing what you’re about to do. Assuming you follow the house flipping rules, re-check them to see if you missed anything. Also re-check them to reassure yourself you’re making the right decision.
If you can conclude with: “What am I thinking, we’re going to succeed. The projections look really good”, you’re in the right spot.
I might look back at some of my projections and analysis and reaffirms myself that I’m making the right decision, I may even look back at similar projects and compare the two.
3. Talk It Out
Another technique I tend to use more and more these days to use is to talk with people that matter to me. Educate them and let them know what you’re going through – and this is especially helpful when you talk to other investors. I do this all the time with my acquisitions manager Bill.
This is one of the reasons why the Bigger Pockets forum here is so helpful. Don’t be afraid to tell people about your goals in real estate investing, talk it out and let them help you.
4. Hire a Coach
Change isn’t always easy. It wasn’t easy for me when I first started investing in real estate – primarily because I didn’t really have a someone to tell me what to do. Instead, I figured it all on my own and it most likely took twice as long as it should have.
I had people I could call and ask questions, but nobody really to bounce ideas off of and help me along my quest. Now, I seek help.
I believe in this so much, I hired a personal business coach. And at $300/hour, I feel the pressure to make his advice work!
I even took this coaching thing a step further and decided to go on a weekend retreat with other business owners like me whose sole goal is to further advance their business. It’s a high priced mastermind coaching group, but regardless of the price, I can’t wait to go. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that it’s at a beautiful gold resort in Scottsdale Arizona!
As much as writing those big checks are tough to take, good coaching advice has helped me enormously to take my career to the next level. Good coaching is definitely worth the investment.
As I tell my kids: “Even Tiger Woods has a swing coach”.
I’m no Tiger Woods, but if he has a coach, I figured I should too.
5. What You Thank About, You Bring About
If you stop and think about it for a second or two, we all have things in our life that we can be thankful for. I am sure there is something you can be thankful for in your life, right? To crush fears and get into a positive mindset, close your eyes and think about those things you have to be thankful for.
It doesn’t really matter what you thank about, its that you do it. All that matters is that you think of something and be thankful for it and when you do, this will immediately put you in a positive frame of mind and your fears will start to melt away.
Things might suddenly go awry on a particular project or I might work on something for two or three months and it might fall through. Maybe things aren’t going as well as I want them to that very moment – but if I think how far I’ve come in all the things I’m grateful for, my fears start to fall away and my state changes nearly immediately.
6. Mope, Then Decide
For me, I can go weeks and weeks with a good positive mindset, things are going well all of a sudden out of the blue, s*&t happens unexpectedly and I feel the fear and pressure all of a sudden crushing down on me.
In one of my meetings just yesterday with two members of my house flipping team, we had a major setback. We bitched about it for about a minute and a half and then universally we all said to each other “enough with all this negative crap, let’s focus on how to fix it and move forward”.
Move forward we did and we started working on how to fix the problem and our plans for the future. Sometimes it’s just that simple.
7. Re-read or Just READ Think and Grow Rich
If you are truly serious about your real estate investing career, there are certain books I highly recommend reading. Most of these are non-real estate related and have nothing to do with the “how to’s” of real estate investing.
One of the best books that I’ve read and has been instrumental in helping me with really advancing my career, overcoming my fears and getting things going is a book by Napoleon Hill called Think and Grow Rich.
What I like about Think and Grow Rich is, is although today is considered a simple if not simplistic book on personal development, it’s still one of the best because the whole book is all about the basics. With Think and Grow Rich it’s not just about thinking about something positive happening or creating those positive affirmations – which are nice, but the book reinforces the fact that you also have to take action. Positive thoughts how are you but action gets you to where you want to be.
I highly recommend that you pick up that book and you start reading it.
Crushing Fears Conclusion
My point in all of this is simple:
You have complete control over how you feel.
You can change your state and emotions from a negative fearful state to a positive strong state by making a decision to do it. So as Nike says, just do it…
When we talk about fear, it’s really about replacing negative thoughts or failure and fear with positive and healthy thoughts instead. Whether they’re personal, business or whatever it is, you’re replacing that fear with confidence, excitement and enthusiasm.
But you’re doing it on purpose.
At the end of the day, you have two choices:
1. You can complain and look at the bad side of things
2. You can be proactive and be thankful for the good things in your life.
Happiness and positive thinking really is a choice you can make. The problem is that most people try not to even control their emotions. Instead, they let their emotions control them.
As Tony Robbins says: When you face your fears, you control fear. When you avoid your fears, fear controls you.
Which are you going to choose?
If you’ve made it this far, please leave a comment below! What tactics do YOU use to control fear?
Please leave a comment on fear, flipping, real estate investing, Napoleon Hill, whatever you want below and let me know!
Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.