As we now are officially in 2016, I wanted to list a few key principles to help the BiggerPockets community reach their goals.
It seems that everyone starts off the year with a bang, listing out in vivid detail all the things they want to accomplish, only to find themselves disappointed and hopeless soon thereafter.
This doesn’t have to be! In order to produce results, all you need are a few simple principles that you simply put into practice.
So buckle your seat-belts, ladies and gentlemen, as I take you step-by-step through the seven principles that if done right, will have you actually accomplishing your goals this year.
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7 Tips to Help You (Actually) Achieve Your Entrepreneurial Goals This Year
1. Learn Enough for Only the Next Step
Reaching your goals is kind of like going on a long voyage. You have the destination in mind, but now you have to figure out how to get there.
Getting a “map,” where you have the “route” systematically outlined on how you’ll actually reach your destination is crucial, but once you have it, there is one more thing you need to keep in mind.
If you were a adventurer traveling through several unknown lands in order to reach your destination and you felt you had to learn everything about each stop along the way, you’d never end up starting.
You simply need to learn enough to get from where you are now to the first stop of the journey. Then once you’re there, you can take the time to learn what you need for the next stop — and so on and so forth.
In the same way, when you have a real estate or business goal, you know your destination, and if you’re smart and you’ve outlined a step-by-step plan to reach that goal (like a map), all you need to focus on now is learning enough to get to the first step on your plan.
So many aspiring real estate investors feel like they need to learn everything there is to know about real estate before they take action on their first deal.
This will prevent you from ever starting!
When I first got started in real estate, I didn’t have a clue. I didn’t even know what I was doing was called wholesaling. I just was doing this little thing I called “buying a house really cheap and then selling it for a little more.”
My second year as an investor, I had actually done really well despite my ignorance. As I was starting to get serious, I wanted to educate myself more on what I was doing.
So I started reading a ton of real estate books, and you know what happened? The third year of my business was actually hindered by all my over-analyzing and learning too much of all the different strategies. I was overwhelmed by putting too much information into my brain all at once.
If I had simply continued to do what I was doing and learned as I went on the strategy that worked for me, I would have had a lot more success that year.
Don’t get me wrong — I think education is so important, but I see too many investors just learning more and more, and they get so overwhelmed by all the information that they forget to take action.
When you have a car that needs to be fixed, before you take it to the mechanic, do you learn all the ins-and-outs of an engine? No way!
You simply go to the mechanic!
So just learning what you need to know in order to reach your first step is the key.
2. Don’t Be Afraid of Messing Up
Guys, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you’re a real estate investor, sooner or later you’re going to fail.
We are in a business where we eat risk for breakfast every morning.
If you come across a deal and the odds are in your favor, simply go for it and see what happens.
It something goes wrong and it doesn’t work out, great! You’ve learned a valuable lesson for next time.
One of the biggest things to learn when it comes to reaching your goals is to expect that failures will happen, and then learn how to continue to navigate the ship (called your business) through those rough waters.
There will be direct mail campaigns that don’t produce the results you were hoping for. There will be months where you do everything right and yet business is still slow.
There will be times on the journey toward your goal where things don’t go as planned, and that is to be excepted! It’s actually these things that make the adventure so much fun.
Just keep pushing and moving forward, and you’ll see that success is bound to come.
I’ve heard it said that grit is actually the number one character quality among the successful.
Don’t be afraid to take risks, learn to take the punches as they come — and I promise you, things will turn out more favorable than not.
3. Do Something Toward Meeting Your Goal Every Day
Going back to the analogy of a long voyage, when you’re on a journey toward a destination, guess what? You’re in it every single day.
If you’re at sea and traveling somewhere, you can’t take a break from being at sea.
Sure, you might be able to go off course to a neighboring land mass to refresh a little bit, but in the long run, that will only prolong you from reaching your destination.
No — if you have a goal, you have to be moving toward it every single day.
Every day, I’d encourage you to ask yourself, “What is the one thing I can do today that will bring me the closest to reaching my goal?” Then make that your priority for the day.
Your goal has to become a daily obsession until you reach it.
There has to be no other option.
4. Limit Your Influences
The other day, I was reading about someone who said they used to advise people to tell everyone about their goals because it would create great external accountability. As I kept reading, the article went on to say that this person no longer believed this to be a good strategy because a lot of people don’t want you to succeed and will plant seeds of doubt in you.
I have found this to be very true.
I only share my goals with people I know I can trust. Otherwise, too many people will try to start giving me advice, naysaying, and if I happen to not reach my goal, say I’m a flake or whatever.
I don’t have time for that, and neither do you.
There is a beautiful maxim that I try to live by that goes, “Under-promise and over-deliver.”
I downplay a lot of my success and a lot of the things I’m working on with “outside” people because if the case is that something I’m working on goes south, it doesn’t come across as that big of a deal, but if things go really well, it comes across as even better than expected.
We’re entrepreneurs; we have 100 new ideas before we even get dressed in the morning!
If you always tell everyone about what you’re thinking about and working toward, you’re going to come across as a dreamer, and no one is going to take you seriously.
Your goals and your inner “stuff” is super valuable! Only share with people who are the most trustworthy and encouraging, and you’ll see how much more fruitful it is toward accomplishing what you set out to do.
5. Don’t Be in a Hurry
If you are traveling to a destination that is afar, can you get there tomorrow? Heck no!
It takes time to get there, and this is something you’ll need to learn to be ok with.
I keep hearing this notation that people think becoming a real estate investor means you’ll be able to lay out on a hammock on the beach with a martini in your hand, while your bank account gets fuller and fuller on autopilot.
This honestly isn’t true! Experts who say this are simply trying to sell you on their books or courses.
Rome wasn’t built in a day.
What if, in order to become a successful full-time real estate investor, you had to take a year working both in a full-time job and as a full-time investor?
Are you willing to sacrifice to make it happen?
Again, if you’re traveling at sea, I’m sure there will be days you’d rather be chilling at home in a warm bed, but if you’re strategically trying to get somewhere, it will take sacrifice.
When you go after your goals, be comfortable with the fact that in order to reach some of them, they may take a year or more. Have a long-term mindset and be consistent.
Also on this, I want to make a note about setting goals that are realistic. If you’re just starting out and you say, “I want to make $100,000 a month starting right now,” this is like saying you’re going to travel 1,000 miles by foot and get there tomorrow.
It’s simply impossible. Your destination has to be a place that you can reach within a reasonable time and with reasonable circumstances.
That said, however, goals should still be stretching and hard to meet, so that you end up pushing yourself.
I think the balance could be expressed as this: If you could draw out a line that represents the border of your comfort zone, and then if you could simply take one step beyond that, there should be your goal.
6. Don’t Overthink It
We’ve touched a little on this principle in number one, but I wanted to further develop it for you.
You know, I get calls everyday from people asking me why our property prices are so low, and it really drives me crazy!
They see everything about the property in full disclosure, but they just overthink things so much that they assume that something has to be wrong with it.
They without fail say, “Ok, let me think about it, and I’ll get back to you,” and then unfortunately a lot of the times the property will be purchased before they can call me back.
If you have a goal to lose weight and you over-stress about your calories, fats and carb ratios and all the other minutiae that are in the health industry, you’ll end up giving up.
What you need to do is to just keep it all super simple.
You are far more likely to reach a goal if you can create a plan and then form habits and practices in order to stick to it.
Over analyzing will stop you from moving forward. Again, simply count the cost, and if the odds are in your favor, go for it!
7. Revisit Your Goals Every Day
Then finally, with the goals you’ve set, write them out on a sheet of paper, and revisit them every day.
Keep them at the forefront of your mind at all times.
A good idea is to take some time every morning to read through your goals slowly and to imagine what it will be like when you accomplish them.
This way, while you’re on the journey, you’ll always have the destination in sight.
Investors: How do you make sure your dreams don’t stay dreams? How do you make your goals concrete and actionable?
Leave your best tips below!