If you are like me, then you will realize that everything you do starts in the mind; your success is a direct result of your thoughts and actions. Most people know that if something is worth doing in life, whether that be moving overseas for a new adventure or job, starting a real estate investing company, or deciding to change careers; half the battle is getting your mindset right to take action!
I have worked with many successful entrepreneurs and I have noticed we all experience the same stages when striving to reach our goals. Being aware and identifying when you experience each stage is key to moving forward towards the success you want to achieve.
The first stage is floating – some of us are happy to float through life content, with the norm; we’re happy just to meet the expectations required to get the job done but don’t have any real aspirations. People around us are doing stuff by achieving their goals and being successful… And we want that too but we are not willing to take the next step to try and get there.
We make excuses like – ‘we’re comfortable’, ‘too busy’, ‘too tired’, or ‘afraid’. At the end of the day, these are just excuses, and the only thing getting in your way of achieving success is you! Most people who want to become real-estate investors are stuck in this phase.
- The Wake-Up Moment
There comes a point in our lives when some of us, but by no means all of us, have that wake-up moment. We get to that point when we finally ‘wake up’ and realize that our life is not really fulfilled, and we yearn for something more. We ask ourselves the question:
‘there has to be more to life than working 9am-5pm, 5 days a week for the next 40 years …?’
It’s that moment we wake up and decide to take control of the situation.
- Set a Goal to Make THE Change
That’s when we mentally set a goal that we want to make change in our lives. Goal setting is a very important step in the process of achieving our success. We may start with setting a goal of doing our first real estate deal, or maybe we can even see ourselves owning 10 rental properties that would replace the income from our job! Imagine having enough passive income, which meant that you don’t need the income from your JOB?Don’t imagine it… set it as a goal!Achieving this allows us to do the things we really want: pursue a hobby, spend more time with our families, travel more, or give back to our communities… whatever we desire. We envision setting a goal, to take chances, which will enable us to live our lives to the fullest.
- Visualize Your Goal
You have set a goal to make a change! This will help us to visualize our goals becoming a reality. We choose to take action by combining our visualization of our goals with our discontent with our current situation. This is where we commit ourselves to the goal. We begin researching, informing others of our goals, we begin putting ourselves out there to take chances and make our goals happen. This is the stage where we mentally prepare to put in the time, effort, and money to get us on the right path to achieving success!
- Take Action
Deciding to take action is the most crucial step, but it can be quite overwhelming the prospect of achieving your goal. If our dream is to own 10 rental properties, so that you can retire early, then we may be completely overwhelmed at the prospect. We start asking ourselves different questions:‘… are we going to find that many deals? How are we going to manage that many properties? Where am I going to get all of this money?…’These questions are the minds way of keeping us in our ‘comfort zone’. We need to break out of this zone and push ourselves to take action.What I do to get past this step is to firstly create a list all the steps I think I need to do to achieve the goal. This list might be very extensive and that’s ok… Once I have my list of steps, I then simply focus on the first three tasks I need to do. This may take me a week or two to complete them, but when I’m done I write down the next three tasks, and repeat this until your goal has been reached. You will be surprised, that after a couple of months, you look up, and you are amazed at what you have accomplished!
Pushing yourself to work through this step is by far the most difficult to get past because we’re afraid of failing. This is where we need an element of belief in our ability to get this accomplished. Having belief in ourselves, belief in others, and maybe even a belief in something bigger than us. Regardless of what you call it, ALL successful entrepreneurs act on belief – over and over again. In this context it means that you are willing to take the first steps on a worthwhile journey without the guarantee of success.
- Surround Yourself with Like-minded People
I am a huge advocate of surrounding myself with like-minded people; being surrounded with people who have a positive effect on your ability to achieve your goal is paramount. I have repeatedly found that when I surround myself with people who influence me most, I then start thinking like those people. You can surround yourself with other successful entrepreneurs, mentors, or industry leaders to encourage ideas that help move you towards your goal! You might also surround yourself with people who are positive and supportive of you achieving success, as this helps to keep your morale up. Remember we cannot do it all on our own and having a supportive network of people to turn for advice and guidance will help us to open doors to the next step. Through your support network more doors will start to open which affirms the decision to take action.
Experiencing challenges and setbacks is all part of the process; things might take longer than expected, as unexpected setbacks may occur which can lead to discouragement.When I first started investing, my decision to take action was validated quickly because I got my first deal up and running, which produced a solid cash flow within a month of ownership. I changed property managers and did some renovations to attract better tenants. Wow! It was amazing! Rental checks were coming through my door every month, until one of my tenants decided to move unexpectedly, without notice. The unit sat vacant for a month and it cost me money. In that time I had to pay taxes and utilities; I was in the ‘red’ and I knew that if I didn’t rent it out quickly then I would be paying more in holding expenses resulting in a zero cash flow. Things happen and preparing for them as best you can puts you in a good position. In the beginning, I had allowed for vacancy in my numbers, which put me in a good financial position as I had planned for a certain period of time that any one unit could sit vacant for – but there must be a limit to that time frame. I had to get the units rented quickly to be able to stay above financially… and I did!
- Dead End
When we experience many challenges, setbacks, or delays all at once, we can become discouraged and maybe even give up hope. This is an indication that we are about to experience our break-through!But when we are in this dead-end stage, and its seems that nothing is going to plan, it is extremely important to keep positively focused on your goal, moving forward, and not giving up. This is where we must persist! It will challenge us mentally and you may even question your position, but if you reflect on how you got to this point you will realize how far you have come. If we act on our discontent by making a decision to create a change and setting a goal, then we will be affirmed by early successes. This is how we know that we are on the right path to success.Getting to this stage is already impressive but many people, who get this far, simply give up. But time and time again, when I talk with other successful entrepreneurs I become aware that they all have gone through the same dead end stage. Through maintaining focus and belief they kept going…
And suddenly, they experienced a break-through! It will come in different forms; like securing funding to close on that second deal or it may be as simple as closing on your first deal. Whatever that break-through moment is, you must recognize it that it is a stepping stone that will help launch you to the next level of your success.
We will all experience these different stages on the road to becoming a successful entrepreneur in one-way or another. Understanding that it all starts with the correct mindset will launch you through an incredible journey to whatever success you are looking for. Embracing all stages along the way is essential for achieving anything worthwhile.
So, who is ready to take that next step in their investing career?
I will leave you with this inspiring quote by Tony Robbins:
Success is doing what you want, when you want, with whom you want, as much as you want!
I would love to hear all about your experiences with the different stages in achieving success. Please leave a comment