I recently had a long chat with one of the most successful real estate investors I've ever met. As I often do, I wanted to get a real understanding of the "Why?" he did real estate and what he wanted to accomplish for himself by reaching financial freedom.
You see, I am firmly convinced of the truth that "If you have a big enough 'Why?' to do something, the 'How?' will reveal itself to you. This gentleman had some good things to say about the concept and completely opened my mind up to even deeper levels of understanding about the terms "success" and "freedom".
Listen, if you're serious about making real estate investing an ultra-successful career for you, you have to go even further than just having investing in real estate be what you do for a living.
It has to become a lifestyle. He threw my questions right back at me and we had some great give-and-take and it was like you could really feel that chemistry that comes into play when entrepreneurs are talking about their passion of investing in real estate.
For him, it came down to asking this question, which fans of Tony Robbins should recognize its like:
"If I had unlimited time, unlimited money, unlimited resources and encouragement, unlimited tools and teaching, unlimited support from friends and family, and unlimited belief in myself...what would I do? Who would I be?"
Most of us would do the things that are passionate about, right?
He was able early on to answer that he wanted to be a real estate investor who helped people solve problems and made money by investing in real estate. What he shared with me, however, is that he didn't self-identify as a "real estate investor" until many, many years later.
Until that moment, years later, when he claimed and began now to internalize the belief that "I am a real estate investor", he was a hobbyist, a dabbler, a dreamer.
He had this experience of self-actualization at a real estate seminar where one of the participants asked the speaker "How do I really know that I'm a real estate investor?"
The speaker responded that "You know you're a true investor when you can't NOT invest!"
He then went on to tell me that during the same seminar someone, obviously someone without a very strong "Why?" or motivation yet to become successful, asked the speaker "How can I find time in my busy schedule to do this business?"
The looked at this questioner with the same patience and understanding that showed that this was the hundredth time the speaker had fielded this question, and said in effect "If you're a real estate investor, you do not find time to invest and do this business...if you're serious about this business you make time to do it."
After my incredibly successful investor friend let that sink into him and he found that he could really grasp hold of those two simple concepts, he realized then and there that he'd always been trying to FIND the time to invest and take the necessary actions to get his business going. For all of his "career" to that point he had been finding and taking that time to do his "business" AFTER other things that his attention and time expenditures PROVED were MORE important to him than becoming successful with real estate.
The difference, after he had let these two concepts sink into him and really started to understand it and, most importantly, APPLY his understanding to his thought patterns and daily routines...
...the difference was that he did not just IGNORE the real-world practical matters that NEED to be a part of someone's life (like for example to the beginning real estate investor, a steady income from a stable source to provide bills' money and put food on the table) but other than that, he ASSURED himself that he would always MAKE time to create the life he wanted that was in answer to his compelling "Why?" to become successful- and he did it by taking solid, CONSISTENT actions and gaining unstoppable momentum.
I think that these 2 concepts- of IDENTITY and claiming that you ARE what you want to be, and CONSISTENCY in finding the time necessary to DO what you ARE- applies to anyone wishing to turn a dream into a reality, whether it is to become a successful real estate investor or whatever, be it a published author, big ticket actress, or even just someone who wants to become the "World's Best Dad".
Just substitute whatever it is that you're passionate about for finding time to do "real estate investing" and knowing how you are really a "real estate investor?" and you're on your way, if real estate investing is not your passion.
I understand for many people it's NOT. Many people want to USE the VEHICLE of real estate to take them to a place where you have the freedom and the luxury of time, and you have been able to achieve the financial security and independence to do what you want when you want.
Now, with me, it's writing. I'm passionate about writing, and will write whether or not I get paid for it. It's not just what I DO, but it's who I AM.
How would you answer my friend's question...if you had everything you ever needed already ACCOMPLISHED by investing in real estate and building a positive and successful lifestyle with plenty of passive income coming in every week?
What would YOU do? Who would you BE?
What's your dream? What's YOUR true passion?
What will you do with the extraordinary wealth you can accumulate in real estate?
Now I want you to write down what you are passionate about. You are passionate about something besides money, right? ;) I certainly hope so! If you aren't, it's time to ask yourself a good hard question and take a long look at yourself and find out why not!
Maybe your answer is like mine, that wealth and income from real estate investing can give me the freedom to write whenever I want, to get paid or not get paid but to have the flexibility for it not to MATTER. Maybe you want to spend more time with your family. Maybe you want to escape the 9 to 5 grind and make sure that you never miss another Little League game. Maybe you want to spend time golfing, fishing, or sailing, or learning the intricacies of Thai cuisine.
Maybe in financial freedom you'd want to travel all over the world (of course, you'd at least LOOK at real estate while you're there right? That's called taking a PAYcation instead of a VACATION and you need to ask your tax professional about THAT little gift from Uncle Sam).
Whatever your "Why?" is take a moment now and write it down! Commit this to paper. It's important!
Now, here's where my friend and I agree that most people stop. This is hard. In fact, it's often a question that if you give it the thought and meditation time that it deserves just might make you cry or knock you flat on your backside. Asking this next question you're about to ask yourself can be downright HUMBLING or even, in some cases, extremely UPSETTING. But, you GOTTA do it!
Now, write down your well-thought answers to this question:
Why aren't you living this life and doing all these things you desire NOW? If you're not close, what would it take for you to be able to live your life of destiny and dreams?
Think this is a silly exercise? Just ask yourself, "Am I getting the results right now that I want out of my life?" If you're not, well...it might be wise to consider some opinions. ;)
Just remember, without a map there is no treasure! Your "Why?" is the map that will keep you on track towards gaining momentum to becoming the IDENTITY of a true entrepreneur and professional real estate investor. And it keeping this in mind will PUSH you into taking all the actions necessary, in a CONSISTENT manner, to achieving everything it is that, until you WRITE IT DOWN, you only SAY that you really want.