Real Estate Investing is the type of vocation that can drive you mad, stress you to the limit, and soak up as much personal time as you allow it. It’s not a dig on the industry, it simply is what it is.
For me, yoga has been a place of solace, empowerment, and humility throughout my career. I can’t put a value on the benefits it’s given in the way of calm, clarity, confidence, and grounding. In many ways, it’s been a factor in my staying power in the industry, coupled with other outlets like running, photography, traveling, and meditation.
In one of my classes last week, I had a thought that talking about yoga and real estate might be a great blog post for seasoned and beginner investors, alike. (It was more likely the heated room and muscle fatigue was causing me to hallucinate, but, there’s still a good theme in here ? ) This doesn’t mean chanting when you speak to sellers or going into Tree Pose at closings, (but by all means if you do please send me a picture) but rather applying some of the basic principles of yoga to your real estate practice.
1) Set an intention
In every yoga class, at the beginning you close your eyes and set the intention for your session. It might be as simple as “Make it through the class alive”, especially if you’re trying out Bikram yoga for the first time. (Yoga in a heated room, intense!)
When starting your real estate practice, or even your day, close your eyes and simply ask yourself, “What is my intention for today?” Letting it be known to yourself and the powers that be helps your mind focus on what is important during that time. At the end of your day, or throughout your year, whatever time periods your setting your intentions for, check in and see if you are accomplishing those goals.
2) Don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable, fall over, or take a rest
With yoga, you leave your ego at the door; with real estate, it seems quite the opposite! However, if you’ve never done a head stand, Crescent Moon, or Warrior pose in your entire life, it’s going to feel awfully strange. And so will buying multi family instead of single family, a new business model, acquisition technique, or changing market.
But showing up and trying are half the battle. Willing to twist yourself about, trying to find your balance at the risk of looking uncoordinated, and not wondering what everyone else in class looks like are truly humbling experiences. So what if the person next to you is basically levitating on one toe and you’re grimacing just to simply bend over at the waste without toppling over? You are where you are, so just be there and do your best. If you fall over, who cares?! You tried, are allowing your muscles and mind to stretch further, and are willing to take risks in a safe place. A mindful practice for business, indeed.
In the event it all becomes too much, simply move into a resting pose for a moment until you regain your stride. Much like in real estate, we all need a breather from time to time. When the signs of burnout bubble up, there’s much to be gained from stepping back, recognizing you need to rest, and centering yourself again.
The important aspect of this is, be where you are, challenge yourself where and when you can, and check in with yourself along the way to see how you feel physically and mentally.
3) Have a beginners mind
There’s a state experienced Yogi’s strive called Beginners Mind; that wonderful space of unknowing, openness, and inquisitiveness. The more time on the mat you gain, much of that can be lost on “this is how I always do this”, “I know all about this”, or closing your mind to trying a pose in a different way.
With beginners, the mix of fear, curiosity, and ambition create an ample mindset to grow and learn. Much like all the “baby sea turtles” flocking to BiggerPockets to navigate the ocean of real estate investing, those of us who have been around for awhile can appreciate the excitement as their journey begins. Never trap yourself into thinking you’ve been around so long you’ve seen it all, know all there is to know, and become an old dog with no room to grow. This is where teaching, coaching, and mentoring can be ultimately fulfilling, as well as keeping your perspective fresh through the eyes of newbies.
I have to admit, my time on the mat is a personal sanctuary. It took me years to understand how Down Dog could actually be a resting pose. It’s a pose that, although awkward at first, actually is quite comfortable once habituated to perfection. Much like in real estate, what seems difficult can become a comfortable “zone” in which you operate, molded from repetitive and precise practice. As well, I’ve found carrying these listed principles into my own real estate business is enriching.
So to my fellow investors and yogis, keep breathing, keep going, and until next time, Namaste!
Do you have a hobby, martial art, or outlet that keeps you grounded in your real estate business? What benefits have you noticed you get out of it?