5 Things I Must Improve On as an Investor

Scott Costello All, Blog 12 Comments

postitsA post by Carey over at Goin’ Flippin’ Crazy inspired me to analyze where I stand right now as an investor and what has been holding me back.  Taking a close look at yourself is never easy and takes practice before you can really step back and honestly evaluate.

What is helpful for me is to compare myself to someone more successful and then do a comparison of what has made them a success and what I have done in those same areas.

In this blog post I’m going to break down my weak areas and compare them to other investors who I feel excel in the that area.  This is gonna be fun…

Networking

Me: This is one of my biggest struggles and possibly could be my down fall if I don’t keep working on it.  Real Estate Investing is a people business and you only get as far as the people you know.   Over the past year I’ve definitely improved my networking skills as I’ve made some great friends and contacts within investing circles.  Only problem has been all my networking has been with people who are outside my market, in fact well outside my market.  In order to be a success I need to get to know the players of the game where I’m going to invest.

Shae Bynes (GoodFaithInvestoring.com): We both pretty much started our blogs and wholesale  investing at the same time.  It amazes me to see her ability to become quick friends with many of the leaders in the industry (Steve Cook, J.P. Moses, Patrick Riddle, etc..).  The great part is that I know how she does it and it’s simple.  Reach out to them and take interest in what they are about.   It doesn’t hurt that she is extremely friendly and easy to get along with 🙂

Speaking of Shae I just wanted to thank her publicly for chatting on the phone this past Monday night.  It was great to speak with you finally after knowing you for over a year on the interwebs!

Staying Focused

Me: A constant battle for me.  It’s not that my focus waivers from investing to none investing parts of my life, it’s the trouble I have staying focused on one part of investing.   I continually get pulled in all directions from internet marketing, foreclosures, probate, getting my real estate license, trying to go debt free or learning the latest investing technique.

I’ve come to realize over the past month that with my limited time around my JOB and family I need to hyper focus on one item at a time.   If I plan correctly I can make sure each item I focus on will build off the previous item and get me closer to my ultimate goal.

Stephani Davis (FlipThisWholesaler.net): Wholesaling REOs, that is what she does and she is great at it.  You don’t hear Steph talk about investing Subject 2 or sending out mailers to Foreclosures.  She has become an expert on investing in REOs and was even able to right the best REO investment eBook out there.  The lesson I’ve learned from Steph is “Become an Expert at Something.”

Motivation

Me: I am motivated, don’t get me wrong.  It’s natural to have motivation levels go up and down, and mine certainly do.   It drives me nuts when I’ve got 3 hours cleared during an evening and I waste it by watching TV.  If I look back over the prior weeks, I can convince myself that I’ve been motivated and have gotten some of my goal tasks accomplished.  Problem is I could have done so much more if I didn’t waste those hours watching TV.  That is just one example, but you get the idea.  I need to work on this.

Patrick Riddle (MustKnowInvesting.com): I haven’t been follow Patrick for to long, but in the 4 months or so that I have I’m in awe of all that he accomplishes.  He’s put together free courses to help newbie wholesalers, has a course on finding Private Money and just finished running a great blog contest.  I haven’t even mentioned any investing he has been doing as well.   I bet he can’t even name five TV shows on NBC, CBS, ABC or Fox (I challenge you Patrick!).  When it comes down to it, he is motivated and knows how to keep that motivation going and he has Fun doing it.  That might be the key right there…Having Fun!

Reviewing My Goals

Me: I am great at setting goals and breaking them down into manageable tasks to help me get them done.  That isn’t my problem, the problem is reviewing those goals to make sure I am on track.  I set some goals last January and to be honest, I don’t even know what they were anymore and that’s terrible!  I started doing my weekly tasks each week, every week, month to month and some where I completely lost track of what I was aiming for.  I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Probates and Internet Marketing..haha

Steve Cook (Lifeonaire.com): If you haven’t listened to his secret sauce audio (lifeonaire stuff) it is a must!  Saying that right now, just made me realize I have not listened to it in about a half year and I need to.   He talks about goal setting and creating way points in order to help you stay on track.  It’s like crossing a dessert with no guidance, you are sure to get lost.  But if someone had placed way points every mile, just think how much your chances of crossing that desert would be.  At each way point you would re-evaluate your position, look for the next way point and then continue to the end.  make sense?  This is what Steve has taught me and Stupid me for not completely getting it till now.

Just Going For It

Me: I am a 1 steps forward 1 step back then 1/2 step forward again kinda guy.  I get where I want to go eventually, but it takes me a long time to get there.   In theory there isn’t much wrong with this approach, but it definitely holds me back.  I miss out on opportunities and watch as others gain valuable experience while I’m analyzing and taking calculated steps.   That is my computer programmer mindset at it’s best.  Test Test Test, release part of the program then test test test some more.  Only releasing if I’m certain everything will work.  I’m finding with investing you have to, as they say, “Ready, Fire…AIM”

Stephani Davis: You’ll have to read the beginnings of her blog to understand the ledge she jumped out on in order to appreciate where she is today.   Steph knew working her dead end JOB was going to always give her something to fall back on if investing got to hard.  So she quit and jumped into investing full time.  Talk about “Ready, Fire………………….some time much later……………………………….AIM”  and now look at her.  If you can’t learn from that you better just stay in your safe cozy JOB with the steady paycheck and no freedom.

Conclusion

There most definitely are more areas I need to work on, but I’ll uncover those sometime later.  5 is enough to work on now.   I think I’m going to write these 5 items somewhere and put the name of my inspiration next to it to remind me how it’s done properly.

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Comments 12

  1. Scott,

    Great self evaluation. You would be surprised how few folks do that.

    2 Items I think may help you. First, cancel the cable subscription. (heard this before, I know) I did this a few years back and I don't even miss it. My gf moved in 3 months ago and begged me to get cable. Now she doesn't even miss it. Plus you save the cost which is $1000/yr on average. Just don't let the internet soak up the extra time. If you want to watch a game, its rather nice to go to sportbar and enjoy it with a beer. Or listen to it on the radio. We occasionally watch a show on the internet. No commericals, set aside an exact amount of time, and we hardly ever get sucked in for hours. Just a thought. But if you want to fix what bothers you, take the steps to do it.

    2nd suggestion is utilizing your calander. Either outlook or google calander. Setup reminders as events. Ex: Every 1st tusday of the month you want to do your self evaluation, have the calnder email you or pop-up to remind you to do just this. I have found it to be useful for my SOS (shiny object syndrome). We all need reminders to stay focused.

    Also remember to reward yourself when you do something right. It can be as simple as I get 15 mins of TV if I work for 1 hr. Whatever motivates you. Eat your veggies first, dessert last though.

    Great post Scott, just thought I would give you some ideas that have worked for me.

    Jason

  2. Scott, first of all I am honored to even be mentioned, so thank you (and it was a pleasure chatting with you as well!). Secondly, this is a fantastic post. Not only did you do a self-evaluation but you were bold enough to share it openly with others (which will do wonders from an accountability standpoint).

    A couple other things…when you are creating your lists of priorities, it might help if you keep your overall goals (a condensed version) at the top of that list.

    I thought turning off the tube was going to be hard for me, but honestly its one of the easiest things I've done. I still record 3 of my favorite shows on the DVR but then I watch them when I can set aside time to do so (AFTER I've done what I'm supposed to do…its a treat).

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Scott, first of all I am honored to even be mentioned, so thank you (and it was a pleasure chatting with you as well!). Secondly, this is a fantastic post. Not only did you do a self-evaluation but you were bold enough to share it openly with others (which will do wonders from an accountability standpoint).

    A couple other things…when you are creating your lists of priorities, it might help if you keep your overall goals (a condensed version) at the top of that list.

    I thought turning off the tube was going to be hard for me, but honestly its one of the easiest things I've done. I still record 3 of my favorite shows on the DVR but then I watch them when I can set aside time to do so (AFTER I've done what I'm supposed to do…its a treat).

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Awesome post Scott. I'm glad I helped inspire you to sit down and take an honest look at yourself and your investing career and I'm even more glad that you were willing to share it with all of us. Keep up the good work!

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  6. Jason,

    Thanks for the tips. Canceling cable will be tough for sure, but it's something I have to think about. It's kinda scary though, hahaha.

    I use Google calender to keep track of events I have to go to and appointments, but using it as a reminder system is a good idea. I have an iPhone and it syncs with my google calender and it will alert me of calender items.

    Thanks Buddy!

  7. Shae,

    I definitely have to come up with a workable solution for reviewing my goals. I tried having Google calender events setup to email my daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals but eventually I just started ignoring the emails. How do you make sure you see and review your goals?

  8. Thanks Carey. It's kinda like AA, if you don't admit it out loud it will be ignored. Next step is to actually take action.

  9. Awesome post Scott. I'm glad I helped inspire you to sit down and take an honest look at yourself and your investing career and I'm even more glad that you were willing to share it with all of us. Keep up the good work!

  10. Jason,

    Thanks for the tips. Canceling cable will be tough for sure, but it's something I have to think about. It's kinda scary though, hahaha.

    I use Google calender to keep track of events I have to go to and appointments, but using it as a reminder system is a good idea. I have an iPhone and it syncs with my google calender and it will alert me of calender items.

    Thanks Buddy!

  11. Shae,

    I definitely have to come up with a workable solution for reviewing my goals. I tried having Google calender events setup to email my daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals but eventually I just started ignoring the emails. How do you make sure you see and review your goals?

  12. Thanks Carey. It's kinda like AA, if you don't admit it out loud it will be ignored. Next step is to actually take action.

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