6 Ridiculous Excuses That Are Holding You Back From Real Estate Success

by | BiggerPockets.com

As human beings, we’re all prone to making excuses for ourselves. Everyone deals with insecurities and fears—it’s natural. For anyone looking to have a successful business of any kind, getting past the excuses born out of these fears and negative thoughts is a crucial first step.

Ask any real estate investor who you look up to or believe to be successful, and they will tell you that we have all dealt with excuses at some level. We are all irrational, and the easiest person to convince of anything is ourselves. So when we think we have everything figured out, sometimes it is important to take a step back. While we may not always realize it, these excuses are holding many of us back at some level, and they could be keeping us from moving our real estate investing businesses forward.

If we continue to buy into our own excuses as real estate investors and professionals, we’ll never achieve our full potential. In the spirit of self-improvement, let’s deconstruct some of the most common excuses we give ourselves and others.

6 Sentences Holding You Back From a Real Estate Success

“I’m too busy.”

Busy, busy, busy. We’re always busy. While it’s true, many people do have jam-packed days every day of the week, business can often became a potent excuse. It sounds valid, and we may very well have a lot on our plates, but busy-ness is a business killer. How? For one, it creates a wall that hinders change. We aren’t willing to re-prioritize, to examine possibilities, to change to accommodate another opportunity. The real reason we claim busy-ness probably has more to do with insecurities or a lack of interest. Everyone on earth has the same time allotted to them—and we’re rarely as busy as we say we are.

Take a moment every day to make a list of your top three priorities. Not your top 30, top 10, or even your top five. Make a list of your top three priorities, and make sure you complete those three tasks that day. You HAVE the time. It is a matter of allotting time to your top priorities. The rest of your day is yours to be as busy as you would like!


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

“I don’t have the experience.”

While not having experience in one area or another is a legitimate concern, it’s not a good reason to forgo opportunity. You don’t get experience if you don’t try in the first place. This excuse is often rooted in a sense of perfectionism—not in an “anything worth doing is worth doing right” way. This insidious perfectionism says that nothing is worth doing unless you get it right the first time. Truly valuable experience is built on failure and success alike.

If you lack experience, this is the time to get it. A successful business grows with and from experience. The only way to get it is to go for it. Experience built from doing what you do not know how to do can be tough, challenging, and can go sideways quickly. But realizing that you do not even know what you don’t know will help you to be patient while being brave. You will move forward but in a strategic way, and you will succeed!

“Now’s not a good time.”

Ask yourself—is there ever going to be perfect timing? This excuse can be valid if you’re over capacity or burning out. It really might not be a good time personally. But in many cases, for real estate investors and professionals in any field, timing has more to do with market conditions. While yes, timing is important, it’s no reason not to start in the first place. Your timing might be off, and that’s okay. At least you’ll have done something. There is no perfect time in real estate. Could there be a better time to get started? Sure. But at any time and in any market (well, almost any market), you can find deals. It takes persistence and looking back at that whole perfectionism thing. Just get started! Now may not be the perfect time, but it is THE time.

“I need more money.”

This excuse can feel very real when you genuinely feel strapped for cash. Maybe your business is struggling at a low point, or emergencies have drained your resources away. The issue, though, is when you say it and do nothing to solve the problem. Everyone can cut expenses and find alternative routes to find funding. For real estate investors, it may be a simple case of being an entry-level investors with tastes that exceed the price point. Most of us have to start small. Then grow.


“It’s not worth it.”

This excuse demands examination. There are many real reasons as to why an opportunity may not feel worth it to you. Valid excuses would be things like:

  • It doesn’t fit with my mission, brand, or portfolio.
  • I have weighed the risks, and it isn’t something I can wisely pursue.
  • This opportunity will not further my overall business goals.
  • After careful assessment, this project/property is bigger than I’m able to take on.

“It’s not worth it,” however, can be a very hollow excuse if you haven’t carefully examined your reasoning. Deep down, maybe you just don’t want to do it.

Granted, we all want projects and opportunities that excite us—but boring, bread-and-butter opportunities are a necessary part of stable growth. Don’t overlook opportunities because they aren’t “ideal.” Just because they don’t inspire your passions in the moment doesn’t mean they’ll be a waste. You never know what doors could be opened.

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

“I can’t.”

WOW! I do not even allow these words to come out of my mouth. Even if I think them, I try to shut them out as soon as possible. You’ll find that most successful people have at one point or another doubted their innate ability to tackle the challenge set before them. We say that we’re not good enough. Someone better should handle it. When it comes to our personal and professional lives, negativity towards ourselves can be devastating to the success of a business.  

You are good enough. You may fail, but you can try. If you truly believe in your business, investments and passions, don’t let naysayers, from inside your own head or critics on the outside, deter you try shooting for your goals.

How do you overcome excuses and obstacles to your professional goals?

Share your experience in the comments.

About Author

Chris Clothier

In 2005, Chris Clothier (G+) began working with passive real estate investors and has since helped more than 1,100 investors purchase over 3,400 investment properties in Memphis, Dallas and Houston through the Memphis Invest family of companies.


  1. David Roberts

    I loved this article and for several reasons. When i read the title i was hoping the author wad going to address doing a deal instead of being a perpetual teacher, and he did. My first deal waa alright but not special, but from the experience the knowledge i learned started making more sense and i also learned the right questions to start asking. My next deal was better and my next deal was great.

    Also about the “its not worth it” excuse…i just came from a real estate workshop this morning in which the topic was entrance and exit strategies, and why its important to not only understand them, but to analyze for multiple and then understand how to connect them. A deal might not make sense for you but it might make sense fir another investor you know, so you could partner or wholesale it and still stay involved!

    And lastly, the “i cant” excuse. Im guilty of this one, but the more i learn how to use other people’s money, the more im staying to see that maybe financing thar 1.5mil apt complex i want isn’t out of reach.

    Knowledge, but EXPERIENCE! Im so glad i made myself do something instead of just read and analyze.

    I also

    • Chris Clothier


      Thanks for reading the article and for writing such a detailed response. We all have probably used one or more of these excuses before. Love the fact that you acknowledged how much experience you gained by taking action.

      Awesome response –

  2. katherine t.

    Hey Chris,
    Thanks you very much for sharing your thoughts on this article. For me, I needed to read this today… I will be closing on my first property this week and I realize that as the closing date draws near I am struggling with feelings of inadequacies – pretty much most of the excuses you mentioned above. Somewhow, just knowing others out their have battled and perhaps still battle with this insecurites helps me know this can be done and best that I will grow to another level as I gain experience. Also loved what David Robert commented saying that his deals have gotten better with time. All goes to show that action and persitence pays off. Thanks again!

    • Chris Clothier

      Katherine –

      Your comments are awesome! Thanks for taking some time to read the article and share. I think you will find most investors agree with you that over time – the deals get better because we are better investors. Best of luck with that first deal!


  3. Alex Craig

    The one I can’t get over is the “It’s not worth it.” My IRA has done terrible the past 2 years, while RE keeps rocking forward. Actually the only reason I have not swapped it into a SDRIA is “i’m to busy”—that is your bad excuse # 1….lol.

    I think there is also tunnel vision with REI to money in, money out. Even if I were to break even on my holdings, the tax savings would be worth it alone. I just had JL finish my returns and was able to write down over $100,000 in deprecation.

  4. Perfect. Just absolutely perfect. Not only does it promotes real estate enthusiasm it can actually motivate the readers. At the same time i gives tips on having a proper mindset in reaching for success. Very well written. I’ll definitely keep this one. Thanks for the wonderful thoughts Chris. Keep it up. 🙂


  5. Julia Geiger

    Wow this is a great article! I am new to real estate (6 months)… I haven’t had my first deal and it’s getting frustrating. So I have been experiencing a lot of these lately. However, I have continued to try and motivate myself to keep pushing forward. Just one quick question. I do work full time during the day and try to produce leads at night with cold calling. I really struggle with the idea of cold calling, have anyone of you experienced this as well? What have you done to get over that hump? I am considering a different method but I hear that cold calling is effective. It almost seems like the only way based off some people in my field say.

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