Real Estate Investing Basics

6 Common Excuses That Keep You From Investing (& How to Banish Them!)

Expertise: Business Management, Commercial Real Estate, Landlording & Rental Properties, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Personal Development, Real Estate Investing Basics
126 Articles Written

In last week’s article (“Why Most Wannabe Investors Never Buy a Single Property (& How to Be Different!“), I talked about the importance of DECIDING what you want and then following up immediately with ACTION that brings you closer to your goals.

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One of the key factors that prevents people from taking action is making EXCUSES. Here are the 6 most common excuses so that you can recognize and overcome them.

6 Common Excuses That Keep You From Investing

Excuse #1: I’m Too Young

Maybe you feel like you’re too young to invest because you’re still in school or just out of school and have no professional experience whatsoever. You can’t believe anyone will take you seriously. Who would sell me a $1.5M apartment building? And so we decide to let years go by.

Related: Confessions of a Hesitant Investor: How I Let Go of Excuses, Took a Chance & Started Buying Property

To overcome this excuse, check out my article “How to Build Credibility to Make Your First Big Commercial Real Estate Deal” to make yourself look more credible than you may actually be or feel.

Excuse #2: I’m Too Old

Or maybe you have the opposite problem: you’re too old to get started with investing. You feel like you’ve been beaten down too much in life. It’s too late to take any risks; you have too many responsibilities. And you don’t have the energy anymore. The opportunity has passed.

Geesh, really? Let's look at all of the assets you have if you're a bit on the mature side: You have decades of real-life experience. You probably have equity, savings and/or an IRA. You have a network of friends, family and coworkers who might be interested in investing with you. And energy and outlook is all a matter of attitude.

Take advantage of what you have. Don’t let “old age” stop you from living life to the fullest. Now is the time.

Excuse #3: I Have No Money

I LOVE this one because it’s SO common, especially for people who want to get into bigger commercial deals.

My response? If you don’t have your own money or credit, then raise it from others. In fact, if you DO have your own cash, raise money anyway. If you acquire the skill to raise money, then the sky is the limit.

I write a LOT about raising money. Check out my articles here on the BiggerPockets:

Excuse #4: I Have No Experience

This is somewhat related to Excuse #1, and it affects people of all ages. The cure is still to make yourself look more credible than you think you might be. Re-read the article “How to Build Credibility to Make Your First Big Commercial Real Estate Deal.”

Every successful real estate investor at one point started without any experience. Why should you be any different? The funny thing with experience is that you only get it if you get started and do something. So get started — today.

Excuse #5: I’m Not Ready

I’ve met countless real estate investors who attend class after class, but never actually implement anything they’ve learned. It’s not that the system they’re learning doesn’t work, it’s that they feel they’re not fully prepared to take action.

And that’s a big mistake.

The truth is that even the most successful people were never fully prepared when they first started doing whatever brought them to success today.

The solution: Take action.

To overcome this excuse, write down ONLY the next THREE things you know you should do next. Then do them, and when you’re done, repeat the process. If you do this over and over again, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish. Read more about this in my article, “How to Accomplish Any Overwhelming Task in 3 Easy Steps.”

Related: 6 Phrases All Real Estate Investors Should Ban From Their Vocabularies

Excuse #6: I Have No Time

Ah yes, we love this one, don’t we? We have a job. We have a family. We’re too busy. We’ll do it once the holidays are over. When the kids are out of the house. When we’re retired.

The truth is, it’s not about time. It’s about priorities. When you say you don’t have the time, what you’re really saying is that “it’s not really important.”

To make my point: If you got a call today that a loved one was critically ill and only had a few days to live, wouldn’t you drop EVERYTHING and go visit that person before it’s too late? Of course you would. Because at that moment, spending time with your loved one is more important than anything else, including the 101 top-priority things on your to-do list.

When your excuse is that you have no time, seriously ask yourself how badly you want to accomplish the goals you say you want to accomplish.

I always say:

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and where there is no will, there is no way.”

When you’re making excuses, examine your will. Maybe you don’t really want that which you say you want. Or at least not badly enough to really do anything about it.

Excuses are the biggest obstacle to taking action and accomplishing our goals. Become aware of these 6 excuses and be very intentional about overcoming them so that they can’t hold you back from achieving your dreams.

What excuse are you struggling with right now? What excuses have you overcome to grow your real estate business?

Be sure to let me know with a comment!

Michael Blank is a leading authority on apartment building investing in the United States. He’s passionate about helping others become financially free in 3-5 years by investing in apartment buildi...
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    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, MO
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Very good list. I would add “it’s too risky” too. Of course, most things are risky, but the riskiest is not going for it at all.
    Michael Buffington Rental Property Investor from Lewistown, PA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Inaction is failure. You must take action or you will not succeed. Don’t be foolish, but get out there and start taking action. You are the only one that can make it a reality.
    Daniel Zamora Investor from Cleveland, Georgia
    Replied over 5 years ago
    We all have excuses and we use these for our benefit our detriment. Why is it that we are so afraid to be more then we can be? We listen to ourselves again and again, that voice of reason at least to us it is reason. If we would just take action, just one step towards our goal everyday. We can accomplish much. The operative word here is action! The inoperative word is inaction, and it is this word of demise that will keep us bounded within. Thus rendering us helpless and afraid to move forward. We have so many great mentors/professionals here on Bigger Pockets. Lets use them and their knowledge, their successes and failures to take the action we need. I know I am!!! Good Luck Daniel
    John Miller from Flat Rock, Michigan
    Replied over 5 years ago
    I’m brand new here at Bigger Pockets, yet what I’ve watched and read so far, (both before and since joining BP) has me very excited! As a matter of fact, I’d like to declare the following, and challenge my fellow BP colleagues, from the young folks, to seniors like me, & everyone in between, to set your goals, (if you haven’t done so in a while) and make your own declaration, similar to mine . . . 1. I’m not too old; only 75 next week, the new 60 since many seniors now live to 90 or 100 or more! 2. Though discretionary funds are tight, (mainly live on fixed SS income) plus have special needs son whom we happily help support each month. In fact.. He’s one reason we’re determined to do good in RE! Plus, the reason we’re not concerned about a lack of money?… From our initial research, we know there’s plenty of investors looking for lucrative opportunities RE investing can provide! 3. My lack of experience is no problem either! My life experience (over 50 years of success in sales & ministry) plus having bought & sold 6 homes, (we’ve lived in with our family) during our 55 1/2 years of marriage; another great achievement all by itself! 4. I’m ready! Boy am I ready! Ready to flip homes! (better than flipping burgers like a lot of seniors end up doing!) so we can pay off our bills, fully retire my dear wife, increase our assistance for our SN son, and raise serious funds for the urgent missions projects that weigh heavily on our hearts! 5. Last but not least… I have & will make the time! How better to spend a good portion of my time, (flipping homes!) knowing the rewards will be well worth the effort! Blessing on Bigger Pockets management and our esteemed colleagues!… John & Phyllis Miller