How to Survive (and Thrive) When Change is Forced Upon Us
We humans tend to like things to stay the same. We like things tried and true. Tried and true has a familiarity that makes us feel comfortable. And honestly, that comfort, that tried and true, can be a very good thing. It builds trust. It helps us lay plans for the future. It just makes many things easier. However, we all know that nothing ever stays the same. Everything will eventually change.
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Change though can be a good thing. Being comfortable many times leads to getting stuck in a rut. Being in that rut may be slowing us down or not letting us move forward. Yet we stay in it because it is what we know and are comfortable with. Sometimes it can be very difficult to even know that we are actually in a rut. Things become so routine and so comfortable that we can’t even perceive that we are not moving forward. We can’t even realize that change is needed. But change has a funny way of coming at us whether we want it to or not. Change is not something we can always control.
Most of us generally do not like it when change is forced upon us. But as investors and entrepreneurs we have to learn to embrace change no matter when it hits. Many times forced change may actually lead to better things. It will open new doors and lead to opportunities, often times better opportunities that you had before. It may not seem that way at the time, but it is true.
Change Equals Opportunity
Ever have a trusted contractor take another job or just stop returning your phone calls? I have. And it always happens when your roof is leaking or an apartment needs to be painted. What are you going to do? First, you can panic a little but then you need to see this as an opportunity. Deep down you always knew you should have another roofer or painter contact in your phone just in case something like this happened. Plus, you always wondered if you were getting the best prices or if the comfort had caused your pocket to be picked a bit. Now is the time to get on the phone, to get on craigslist, on Thumbtack or Taskrabbit and find new people to work for you. And you know what? You will likely find someone as good as or better than the person you were using. That new person may also have more skill sets or know people with different skill sets that they can refer to you. Forced change just made your business better.
Change Equals Improvement
Sometimes tenants go off the deep end and stop paying rent or wreck your property. No matter how well you screen people, you will not be able to keep all of the bad ones out all the time and there is no way to screen for future issues and concerns. So now you have a bad tenant, one you have to evict. You have been taken out of your comfort zone. But again, there is opportunity here. Perhaps once the tenant has moved on you can rehab your property to take advantage of recent rent increases and improve your cash flow. Perhaps now is the time to sell the property as things seem to be beginning to boom again. Perhaps now is the time to review your rental criteria to determine if they can be made better and stronger. Now is the time to find an even better tenant for your property. Any of these outcomes will make your business better.
Change Equals Better
Ever have to let go of a trusted employee? We have and that can be a really big forced change. But does that mean you should never trust or hire anyone again? No. You need to see this as an opportunity to make your business stronger and better. There is always someone else out there and you have learned a valuable lesson and gained experience. The next person you hire will be a better fit, trust me.
Ever been beaten to the punch on a great deal? I have and I hate to watch those good deals slip away, but again you need to see this as an opportunity. Why did you lose the deal? Figure it out and make your system better. Get out of your comfort zone and keep trying. Remember also that your competition is now tied up on the deal you lost. A better opportunity may come along tomorrow that they cannot move on, but you can.
As real estate investors we have to learn to embrace change. Why? Because everything changes and more importantly change is going to be forced upon you. Sometimes it seems that more and more is forced upon me all the time, but I guess that just goes with the territory. Change can be scary I know, but you have to learn to see it as an opportunity and a chance to grow. It is so easy to sit in that rut and be comfortable. It is good to be jolted out of it from time to time.
How has your business benefitted from an unexpected change?