5 Steps to Banish Negative Influences (to Become Happier & More Productive!)

by | BiggerPockets.com

As you grow your real estate investing business, you will notice changes in yourself. These changes will not be confined to more profit and/or cash flow; they will be much more valuable. I can say with great joy that almost every active real estate investor continues to change throughout his or her life. You will not be the same person you are now as you will be in six months.

It’s Not Easy

If real estate investing were easy, everyone would be successful.

A confusion many would-be real estate investors make is assuming that becoming a full-time real estate investor is akin to having a job. In fact, real estate investing is a lifestyle. Many great real estate investors consistently think about real estate, growth, and expanding, and they continue to educate themselves daily on their passion. This can be seen by the abundance of blogs, educational materials, how-to videos, and self-help books dedicated to our industry.

Related: 8 Ways to Craft a Positive, Productive Real Estate Workplace Culture

Perhaps one of my favorite areas of study is finding happiness and remaining happy throughout my investing career. A happy real estate investor is typically a more productive real estate investor. Additionally, happiness is contagious and can greatly help in almost every other area of your life. Likewise, negativity can take over your life in the same way.

This article is dedicated to helping you cut the negative and detrimental influences from your personal and business life once and for all. This is something I have personally struggled with in the past and have since come to see the immense value in building a core group of like-minded best friends.

5 Steps to Banish Negative Influences (to Become Happier & More Productive!)

Step 1: Be aware of your emotions and thoughts.

We are all born with innate abilities, demeanors, and mindsets. Start becoming very aware and conscious of your emotions throughout the day. At this point, we are establishing a baseline for ourselves.

Step 2: Identify dead weight.

Some faces may instantly pop into your mind. However, you are encouraged to take a few minutes in a quiet location and analyze who is most harmful to your motivation and future success. Which people and activities make you feel stressed? Who drains your emotions? Which friends get you fired up and motivated to take action?

While coming up with my own list of the de-motivating people in my life, I had to come to terms that some of the funniest people I knew were actually very negative. In fact, one of the reasons we laughed so much was out of commiserating and gossiping about coworkers and acquaintances. Once my real estate portfolio started growing, I noticed a shift in their animosity directed towards me.

Step 3: Spend less and less time together.

Sometimes this is easier said than done. If you have to surround yourself with negative people due to a work situation, then consistently surround yourself with positive reminders of where you’re going, your goals and inspirational quotes that fire you up. If this sounds all, “Rah Rah Rah,” that’s because it is. When you are alone in a negative world, you have to be your #1 cheerleader. No one is going to push you as hard to be a success as you need to push you.

Remember that your life is your own. You are not responsible to carry, push or pull anyone else along the way. Your friends’ lives are their own, too.

Step 4: Quickly replace this new void with books, positive friends, and people on similar journeys.

So far we have talked about reducing the mental stress and negativity in your life. Now let’s talk about adding motivating and positive influences to help grow your business with speed.

Attend local real estate investment clubs, sync with real estate Meetup groups, join a professional mastermind group and chat directly with other active members here on this website. Human connections are everything. It is naïve and foolish to think you have all the answers and motivation you will ever need. Other humans need your encouragement just as much as you need them. A rising tide raises all ships.

Step 5: Monitor your personal feelings and business productivity.

Why do all this? The goal is more productivity, a bigger smile every day, and a bigger portfolio. We are back to step number one, to monitor your emotions and feelings daily. Continue to be conscious of your emotions, joys, stress levels and productivity on a daily basis. Keep and continue adding what is working, and quickly eliminate what is a detriment or waste of time/money.

Related: How to Use Positive Triggers to Be a More Productive Investor


When you feel blue, you tend to work less and in turn help fewer and fewer sellers/buyers, making you even more depressed, as you know you can achieve more. Remember that your current station in life is only temporary. If you have yet to close your first few real estate deals, then continue pressing forward. Surround yourself with other helpful investors and take action daily. Closing deals is a natural drug that leads to confidence, strength, and validation that what you are doing is working and helping yourself, your family and the community.

The media, our friends, and even our family can be large sources of negativity and confinement. The future can be almost anything you want it to be. You are not defined by your past mistakes or who you were; you are defined by the choices you make daily — starting now.

What exercises do you use to increase the positive influences in your life and keep negativity at bay?

Leave your tips and comments below, and let’s talk!

About Author

John Fedro

Investing since 2002, John started in real estate accidentally with a 4-bedroom mobile home inside of a pre-existing mobile home park. Over the next 11 months, John added 10 more mobile homes to his cash-flowing portfolio. Since these early years, John has gone on to help 150+ sellers and buyers sell their unwanted mobile homes and obtain a safe and affordable manufactured home of their own. Years later, John keeps to what has been successful—buying, fixing, renting, and reselling affordable housing known as mobile homes. John shares his stories, experiences, lessons, and some of the stories of other successful mobile home investors he helps on his blog and YouTube channeland has written over 300 articles concerning mobile homes and mobile home investing for the BiggerPockets Blog. He has also been a featured podcast guest here and on other prominent real estate podcasts, authored a highly-rated book aimed at increasing the happiness/satisfaction of average real estate investors, and spoken to national and international audiences concerning the opportunities and practicality of successfully investing in mobile homes.


  1. Curt Smith

    Thanks alot John. Very important topic and nice thoughts.

    One of the topics I love to think about and talk about is staying ahead of the market, or evolving your business model and tactics. IE you moved from trailers to parks.

    John I feel your topic of attitude and being happy is #1 for a sustainable business, #2 is staying ahead of the market and continuous evolvement, #3 and beyond are the tactics.

    Most of my wife’s old friends are the negative types. Don’t get why we are working so hard. Some because we haven’t perfected the Life-Work balance yet and some because we don’t like spending time with them we have moved on and spend little time with negative folks.

    Today I’d much rather spend time with folks from my REIA, GaREIA. Energizing, inspiring and just plain fun spending time with positive and ambitious folks!

    You can find so many folks sharing their inspiration and positive messages on YouTube. Just search: be positive, accomplish difficult things, how to succeed. All the recent greats have their videos up, from 67 steps, to 5 steps to Just Do It… LOL I love them all.

    Only 6 or so years ago, 2 years before I “clicked” and jumped into REI, I discovered a few key things that enabled me to move from negative to positive and then to starting to accomplish:

    1) You have the ability to 100% decide how you feel about any person or topic. No one can tell you to feel bad, be grumpy or be a pain. You do have 100% control.

    2) Visualize what you want to be, focus, study what it takes, take action, you really can become what you visualize. It IS possible!

    #1 was my monkey. I was blaming other people for me not being happy. I couldn’t start on my path until I took back responsibility for my own happiness and sense of direction.

    I see #1 holding back so many folks.

    #2 is the Tony Robins and so many vision advocates topic. This only works when you’ve taken responsibility and are successful in controlling negativity and you can focus your positive energy.

  2. Michael Woodward

    Great article John! I think this is one of the most critical components of a successful business person. Ironically, you will probably never see anything about it on a business plan but I think it’s just as important as making sure the numbers work. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. John, interesting article and very important!

    I agree with Michael…never have I seen this kind of analysis in a business plan and it is so important.

    We live in a competitive world and those like yourself who aspire to greater things separate yourself from the pack. People pick up on this and are JEALOUS of your discipline and achievements, thus the negativity.

    Purge, purge, purge these negative people from your life!

    I am a kind and generous person, so this has been a hard lesson for me, but in order to fulfill my dreams, I had to learn to do this. It is still hard when I see these people whom I have purged, but I don’t let anyone stop me and if they are badmouthing me to others…well, consider the source. Like-minded people will also know these negative people and huddle around them, just like you will have your cohorts who are positive achievers. Surround yourself with the latter.

    Great article!

    • Larry Schneider

      Good information John. It got me thinking. In thirty five years of REI I don’t remember being unhappy even once or depressed. I don’t understand depression or the feelings associated with it. I can get damn mad when everything goes wrong, or I smash my finger, but that’s not what you would call basic unhappiness. On a lot of introspection I think I know the reasons.

      Every day of the year I am LOOKING FORWARD TO SOMETHING SHORT TERM AND SOMETHING LONG TERM. Not career or wealth building things but actual concrete physical things. Scheduling a closing to get the other half of the duplex. Getting the concrete poured for a driveway, A cruse booked and already paid for 9/2016. A buying trip for a rehab and crossing off the punch list. A float plane fly in fishing trip for the fall. A move out so we can start the kitchen rehab and design it. Fun and enjoyment. Seeing the” Jersey Boys ” and ” Motown” plays. Taking the grandson on a February 2006 ski trip. I have a 2006 and 2007 calendar hanging with dates already scheduled and circled. Get the idea. Maybe this is part of happiness.

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