Vulnerability, real estate investing, and letting go of your ego

6 Replies

For the longest time I had a hard time calling myself a real estate investor. I felt like an impostor and was worried about coming off as an amateur. The jargon was new, the amount of money seemed staggering, and the only things I had to really cling on to were the BiggerPockets podcasts. I was afraid of appearing incompetent. Maybe it was a deep-rooted fear of failure. Maybe it was pure ego.

Like it or not I was as green as they come. Sure I had read the books, listened to all the podcasts, and was familiar with the jargon. And that helps to an extent, but I still needed people to think I was the real deal. My wife / business partner on the other hand could not be more different. She likes to wear her emotions on her sleeve and is one of those people that have never met a stranger. I am often bewildered how she does it. One second she’s alone, and the next she and a stranger are talking like they’ve known each other for years.

In the beginning of our investing careers I was mortified when she would tell sellers, much less other investors, that we had never done a deal. But something strange would happen that could best be described as a genuine exchange. People responded to her honesty, her openness, and her vulnerably. I’ve since made a conscious decision to let go of my ego, live in my truth, and learn how to become more vulnerable.

The results have been fantastic. My network has grown tenfold as well as my career. I still consider myself a new investor, but now I’m much more comfortable accepting that l do not know it all, and I don’t need people to think that I do. I have come to rely on and cherish the advice and council from more experienced investors that I can now feel comfortable calling with questions about my deals. Those relationships never would have happened if I kept myself shut off, imprisoned by my ego.

If I can give any advice to those just getting started out in their investing career it’s that it’s okay not to know it all. You don’t have to put on a show. Be open, be honest, and most of all, be genuine. You won’t be sorry. 

I think that many of us consider ourselves "new investors" to a degree even after we have a few deals under our belts.  There is always so much more to learn, which I believe is evidently true as you listen to the podcasts.  There are so many niche areas of real estate investing that the most important is to pick yours and be good at it.  

Good for you for overcoming what causes so many to fail....they never try.  They read, they listen, but ultimately they analyze until they are paralyzed, afraid to finally dip their toe in the water and do a deal.  We were all in the same position where we were just doing our first deal at one point in time.  Every experience is a new opportunity to learn, whether it is a failure or a success.  Embrace all of those opportunities because they shape who and what you become.


An educated professional does not have all the answers. he know how or where to get them. One of my College professors told me one time you have earned the right to say "hmmm that's very interesting I'll have to get back to you on that "

I have been in sales for over 30 years.  I did a lot of cold calling for my company. I just always figured heck "I have been thrown out of better places than this one." lol  If I didn't know the answer to a question. I always get back with them.

My son is now in sales.  My Big advise to him is your selling yourself. Be genuine, and the worst thing they can do is say No.  He does very well in sales.

I have been turned down by banks, met their limit. Oh well there are 5 more in the area. We have done over 45 deals now. have 40 buy and hold. 3 in rehab mode. making offers on another two.

I tell everyone "me and the other village Idiot. don't know any better than to keep on going. lol ." 

Son has been dealing with our banker. He has 8 or 9 homes now.  He teaches me stuff everyday on dealing with the banks and tenants. we have adopted his leases.

 I have bought programs, went to every seminar I can find. I still think I'm a novice.

Welcome to being a "Real Estate Investor" Your a Professional. worst thing they can say is NO!  But you might have planted a seed for the future.


That's great advice. Being open and honest causes people to start letting their guard down and open up in return. You build genuine rapport. Unless you're a good actor or one of those people that can come across anyway that they choose to, stick to being genuine. You'll be more relaxed and your body language and attitude will be congruent with what you are in the inside. When you present yourself one way but feel differently on the inside people will pick up on the difference.

Neal C.

Have you seen Brene Brown's TED Talk on Vulnerability?

It's pretty good and hits on a lot of the things that you're talking about in your post. 

It's good to see that this sort of fear of not knowing what we're doing is normal. I have it, and I haven't even started yet. It's pretty good to see that admitting that I've never done this before to someone isn't going to spell the end of my career, either.

Thanks everybody for the positive words of encouragement and to hear your perspectives. 

@Rod F. undefined

It sounds like you guys are doing some great stuff. Good luck with the rehabs!

@Travis H.

 I haven't seen that TED talk but am glad you've put something new on my radar. I'll definitely check it out. Best of luck with your investing. It gets easier with time and I like to think of it as just a series of conversations. Best advice I've ever gotten was that people don't like to do business with people they don't like...comes back to the genuine and honesty thing.

Great transformation Neal C..Let go of the ego(usually inflated self-worth) and embrace honesty and integrity.Thanks for sharing

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