5 Habits of Highly Miserable New Real Estate Investors (& How to Kick Them!)

by | BiggerPockets.com

“Be miserable, or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” —Wayne Dyer
This business of real estate investing is not easy. Anybody who tells you it is is quite literally selling you something. Hard work and persistence are the name of this game. Starting in this business can be extremely daunting, between choosing your niche, how much money you have to start, the amount of time you can devote to it, etc.
You don’t want to add misery to the beginning process—it’s important to get your mental attitude straightened out early. Otherwise it might take you twice as long to build your business at the start, if at all. Ask me how I know! I lost easily a few years at the beginning with spotty consistency and a scattered mindset. I fell into each of these categories below at one time or another, and at times these can even plague established investors.
Here are some common misery pitfalls and helpful solutions to avoid them.

5 Habits of Highly Miserable New Real Estate Investors

1. Obsessive Comparison

It is quite common, even for more experienced investors, to fall into the Obsessive Comparison Disorder trap. Networking and masterminding and even modeling are all great activities you should be pursuing. But constantly comparing yourself to another investor, maybe someone who got a faster start or a few lucky breaks, can be detrimental to your early development.
You can put this in a positive light and take up the spirit of competition to maybe outdo that guy in the future, but if you spin it negatively, as in “why not me,” it can only be harmful. Again, modeling and aspiring to be like another investor is great; being jealous and constantly comparing yourself to the other investor in a negative light is always going to end poorly.
“Comparison is the death of joy.” —Mark Twain

Related: 6 Non-Negotiable Habits of a Successful Real Estate Investor

2. Being a Lone Ranger

Its a big world out there, why go it alone? If you aren’t leveraging your local (and online… ahem BiggerPockets.com) networking to your advantage, you are losing out. At weekly/monthly group get-togethers, find a partner who fits what you want to do and has strengths where you have weaknesses. Get a mentor, shadow an agent, get out and do crap work to learn the ropes.
I’ve found partners and friends networking right on BP, and I’ve had coffee with at least a few dozen people who have all different experience and goals in real estate. Get involved—it’s amazing how much it does for your early start.
“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” —Andrew Carnegie

3. Being Afraid to Fail

Ah, failure. Such a powerful image when mentioned to the average person. Failure might as well just mark you for life and follow you around wherever you go, right? No way. To get over your aversion to failure, just go and find someone you feel is successful who never failed spectacularly in one way or another. Most people who we have looked up to at one time or another has had to pick themselves up from the ground and keep going.
Failure isn’t the end of the road—it’s a bump in the road that can be the best teacher you could ever have. If you learn from your failures, you didn’t fail at all. Experience has a price—fail forward and not backwards. Dust yourself off, learn what went wrong and adapt to the experience. You will fail; it’s not a matter of IF, but WHEN. Don’t fear it, embrace it.
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail Better.” —Samuel Beckett

4. Being Paralyzed by Analysis

There is a fine line between sitting on the sidelines and learning about what you want to do—and letting that learning or analysis keep you from actually doing it. I know plenty of investors across the USA, thanks to networking, and the ones who are doing the best have not let the tiny details derail their train while moving forward. There is a point where you certainly can overanalyze the situation and let it keep your train in the station.
The longer you go without action, the less you will do overall. Like the train engine just sitting there for years, rusting and drying up from no use, I’ve seen this happen to new investors, and it sucks. Consistent action forwards will keep the parts moving. Action begets action, which builds experience, and experience kills analysis paralysis. Get your train out of the station, and keep it moving forward. You may not be able to see what is around the next corner or over the horizon, but you will see what’s next when you keep moving forward.
“Get out of your own way. Stop the paralysis by analysis. Decide what you want, create a simple plan and get moving!” —Steve Maraboli

Related: 6 Critical Habits for Success You Need To Establish Today

5. Having No Clarity/Goals

I speak from painful experience on this one. Don’t let another day go by without writing out a detailed goal list and breaking those down into daily actions to keep you going every day. If you just have a goal of “make a million dollars,” but don’t have a WHY or a HOW, the likelihood of you ever reaching your goals is very slim.
If you attach a powerful WHY (“to help as many people as possible through charity and leave a legacy for my kids”) with a breakdown of HOW you will get there, you’ll be able to take the first steps toward your goal. So get out there, write down your goals and review them OFTEN. Some do it a few times a day or a few times a week. Having a constant reminder of what you are working towards will be a great way to keep the carrot in front of you and remind you why you are working so hard.
“The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.” —Benjamin E. Mays
So there it is. Go ahead and do these 5 things if you want to be a miserable new investor. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
[Editor’s Note: We are republishing this article to help out our newer readers.]
I hope this was some help to you! Do you have any other miserable habits you would add? If you used to exercise any of these qualities but kicked the habit, let us know how you did it.

Don’t forget to leave a comment below!

About Author

Anson Young

Anson Young is the owner of Anson Property Group based in Denver, Colorado, which specializes in distressed property purchases, and author of Finding and Funding Great Deals. As a full-time real estate investor and agent for the past 10 years, he has completed over 100 wholesale deals and 75 flips. Anson Property Group is committed to changing communities, helping homeowners, and building long-term wealth. When not working, Anson can be found exploring the wilds of Colorado by hiking the Rocky Mountains with his family, reading favorite books to his son, and attending loud rock concerts.


    • Anson Young

      Marvin, its probably the most common thing that investors go through. There is so much to learn and do, I have plenty of days where there is just so much information being blasted at me it stuns me until I decide to break out and take on small actions to start me going for the day. Hang in there!

    • Anson Young

      Aaron, I think its honestly the most common thing investors go through, there is so much information and so many ways to make money in this business, sometimes people just stand still in the middle of it all instead of pushing forward in one direction with focus. I know I’m guilty of this still!

  1. Josh McNicoll

    “If you just have a goal of “make a million dollars,” but don’t have a WHY or a HOW, the likelihood of you ever reaching your goals is very slim.”

    Anson, having a WHY is something I have noticed to be a reoccurring theme when talking about goals setting. Great to get reminded of it again in this post.

    • Anson Young

      Funny how those things keep popping up as a theme, I see those patterns at times, and the bit “WHY” is a big one that comes up over and over and over again. The universe was trying to tell me something, and now I have it plastered to the front page of my day planner. Very motivating!

  2. Christine Newton

    I’m new to the world of REI and this post had some great tips that I need to remember. I definitely need to post my goals somewhere that I can see them and make sure I’m checking off the steps I need to take as I complete them. Thanks for the informative post!

  3. Tanya Takacs

    Great post and tips Anson. On the most part, I’ve been hanging on to some of those tips, otherwise I would not still be in RE. Perseverance is crucial in this business especially when I’m coming from a course that … trained well … but also speaks how everyone is making millions and omits the growing pains that go with it!! One other thing I learnt, is that you can’t do this business “being in your emotions” – too many ups and downs – it important to be stable.

  4. Great article, Anson. I have to constantly remind myself to avoid these habits that you’ve shared even as an experienced real estate investor. I believe the key to success in property investing is ACTION after crunching those critical numbers instead of remaining paralyzed after the analysis. Thanks for sharing!

  5. John Murray

    I’m successful in RI, newbies have to realize that knowledge is the key to being successful. How can an investor be competent in decision making when they know nothing of the essential elements of how to make money in real estate. Building codes, building methods and materials, local trends, financing, cost estimations and the big what has value. If all you have done is go to school then sit behind a desk in a cubical you are on a boring treadmill. RI is not a treadmill it is hard work which requires knowledge through self education. I don’t think any accredited university offers a degree program in common sense.

  6. Jerry W.

    This article was written almost 3 years ago, I cannot believe I just found it today. Anson this is one of the best articles I have read. Thank you for taking the time to share with us and thanks to BP for re-posting it. Real estate doesn’t require that you be a genius or gifted. You have to be willing to educate yourself on the basics, overcome your fear and take action. You also have to pick yourself up and dust yourself off when you fall down. Find the grit to keep going and you will make it. Make each mistake or failure a learning moment and move on. You can get there.

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