WHAT… you say!
Be patient and I will explain.
I am a huge fan of fellow BiggerPockets Blog author Jeff Brown. I make it a point to read everything Jeff writes. He gets real estate investing… not because he has read a few books… but because he has lived it! The good, the bad, and the ugly.
I have detected in many of his articles a subtle theme that, when fully understood by every investor, will accelerate their business and all but guarantee their profits.
And that is where the title of this article comes into play. It is Jeff’s theme!
When I was first confronted with the notion that I “didn’t know… what I didn’t know” I thought my mentor at that time had just lost his mind. Interesting thought, given that he sold his business in the past couple of years for millions.
Let me explain this concept and how it applies to you.
It goes like this…
You know, what you know! Well, that’s fairly simple isn’t it? You know that you know simple math like that required of most real estate deals. You know that one of the basics of real estate investing is that you have to find a quality deal. How do you know these things? Simple… you do them everyday.
You know, what you don’t know! Again, fairly simple. You know that you don’t know brain surgery. You know that you can’t fly on your own. You know that you don’t know a foreign language (go with the example here). Again, how do you know these things… most likely because you made a conscience decision not to know them.
You don’t know, what you know! Hmmm, its getting a bit more complicated. At one level breathing fits into this category. It’s something that we don’t think about… we just do it. In fact, unless specifically trained, we never give it much thought.
You don’t know, what you don’t know! Let me share a real life example. I met with a new investor a couple of weeks ago. This investor was just starting out, and like many “newbies” she wanted to get started as a wholesaler. In my discussions with her it was obvious that she was smart, motivated and understood the basics of real estate investing. In other words, she seemed to have a good grasp on the first three concepts above.
As I was discussing both the general concepts and the many details to be managed by a successful wholesaler, I watched as she started to grapple with a new reality. A reality that said:
Oh My Gosh… this is harder then I thought. In other words… I don’t know, what I don’t know!
And then I watched as another new reality hit. If I don’t know this basic stuff and didn’t realize that I even needed to know it, what else don’t I know?
And, how do I go about figuring out what it is I don’t know but need to know?
Yet another million dollar question!
And that is Jeff’s theme. So many investors continue to struggle not because they:
Know what they know… or
Know what they don’t know… or
Don’t know what they know…
They struggle because THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY DON’T KNOW, and they don’t stop long enough to find someone who having gone before them, has walked in their footsteps, carried the scars, and who can now claim that they know what they know precisely because of those experiences.
HAVE I GOT YOUR ATTENTION?
I hope so, because in today’s market, a market where the “new normal” changes quickly and sometimes drastically, if there are things you need to know but you are not even aware that you need to know them… you are TOAST!
Fear not, there is a solution!
- Network, network, network. This market is not the time to go it alone!
- Ask questions — as many questions as you can get away with. You will find that often times the real answer, the answer to the question you didn’t even know to ask, will be revealed only through continued questions.
- Actively participate on the BiggerPockets Forums. The amount of information exchanged on a daily basis is as good as any ten bootcamps you could attend.
- At the risk of contradicting the recommendations above, be selective about who seek advice from. As Jeff says, if they haven’t written more then 5000 words regarding their field of expertise… be careful.
In closing… always keep in mind that we can never cure our lack of knowledge on any particular subject. As they say…
It’s a journey… enjoy the ride and never stop learning.