OK, so last night I literally had a dream about what I’m about to share with you. In this dream, someone was complaining to me about how competitive the market is today. Whether it’s in real estate investing, like what I do, or some other business—how can you stand out and win big in today’s economy?
Let’s talk about competition.
Like I said in the introduction, in my dream, someone asked how to deal with competition in an economy like we find ourselves in today. Well, here was the answer my subconscious mind gave. I know this is weird. Stick with me.
Specialize. Don’t generalize.
How to Win in Today’s Economy
Here’s what that means. If you are a real estate investor, like me, you could try to focus on a million things. You could buy low-priced rentals, flip houses, buy apartment complexes, and be “open to whatever you get.” Or maybe you’re a graphic designer and you’re open to any kind of design work. Or you’re a contractor focused on doing pretty much everything.
And while this might seem intelligent—because you’re opening yourself up for more opportunity—the opposite actually is the result. Being a generalist is actually hurting you.
It’s like when someone says to you, “I want to make a lot of money at a new job! Do you know of any jobs?”
Your thought is, “Well… good for you. Don’t we all.”
But if someone says, “Hey, I’m looking for a computer coding job at a startup company in Denver,” your brain starts working and you want to help that person.
Or if you’re at a restaurant and you ask the waitress, “What’s good on the menu?”
And she says “Oh, it’s all good.”
Do you believe her? Of course not. But if she was like “Oh, you HAVE to try the fettuccine alfredo. It’s our top-selling dish for a reason. It’s my favorite.”
If she says that, you’re much more likely to believe her and order the fettuccine.
The Benefits of Being a Specialist
Furthermore, by focusing on being a specialist, you allow yourself to go deeper into that skill.
I used to buy pretty much any kind of real estate deal. Today, I’m focusing 100 percent of my efforts on mobile home parks. Is it because they are the end-all-be-all investment? No, lots of stuff works. But I needed to choose something cool that I could become a world-class expert at.
Once I’m an expert, I can analyze deals easier. I’m more looped into the marketplace, so I can find more deals. I can more easily see inefficiencies in properties that others miss. I can get hidden gems. I can learn the best ways to manage these properties and reduce costs because of the economies of scale.
If you’re a service provider, like a contractor, graphic designer, or coder, becoming a specialist allows you to charge more money. Work less. Earn more.
Being a specialist allows you to be the best. The best at getting leads. The best at scaling. The best at reducing costs. The best at finding ideal clients.
So while most of the world is out there trying to go wide, I want to encourage you: go deep. Seek to become not the jack of all trades but the master of one.
That’s how you excel in today’s—or any—economy.
And hey, one last thing. If you want some extra motivation and daily assistance in becoming the best at whatever you do, it’s going to take deliberate practice. Deliberate focus. Deliberate intention.
Check out The Intention Journal, the journal that makes sure you start each day with passion, focus, and intention for whatever you’re trying to accomplish. Pre-order it today at BiggerPockets.com/store.
Are you a generalist or specialist? Do you agree or disagree with my advice?
Let’s chat in the comment section below.