I mentioned in a post not too long ago how I don’t have to think much about the titles for my articles, since they come to me in the form of questions and comments every day. Well, the one I want to talk about today is quintessential; if I could get a dollar for every time someone said this to me, I’d need to do nothing more to achieve financial independence…
What if I Mess up My First Real Estate Deal, Disappoint People, and Lose their Support?
This was in an email three days ago. But, let me preface:
You are likely reading this article because you followed a link to it in your email. I do that for people. At some point you came to my site, read a bunch of stuff, judged me to be pretty sharp, and decided to give me your email so that every time I come out with something new on this blog I’d send it to you directly. Many thousands of folks receive emails like this from me, and I thank you all for caring what I have to say.
What Is Your Biggest Real Estate Investing Fear?
Well, one of my favorite emails is the one in which I ask you guys to get back to me and let me know about your biggest fears. I started sending this email out about a year ago, because I figured it would help me focus my writing on the things that are most important to you. I figure, if I am going to spend time writing, I want it to be as helpful to you as possible. Not surprisingly, lots of people are concerned about doing the numbers right, and getting into deals without sufficient knowledge-base. Also, it’s reasonable that many folks are afraid of losing money, and many are afraid of failing. These are all normal handicaps for new (and not so new) investors.
One thing, however, has been very surprising to me indeed in your answers over the course of the year, and that is how much many of you are concerned about disappointing others – parents, spouses, friends, etc. You are concerned that if you fail on your first deal, you will lose support from people around you, and spiral out of control from there…
In My email 3 Days Ago – What if I Mess Up My Investing?
I received this message in response to that particular email of mine. The message was from a young guy, early 20s. He told me about about himself. He told me that he is in college, that education is very highly valued in his family (specifically by his parents), and that they are very insistent on their point of view that the best path to successful professional life is good education followed by a good job…
Does this sound like your family? It does sound like mine!
He told me that he really enjoys everything he reads on www.JustAskBenWhy.com and that he sees himself more on the entrepreneur side of the equation rather than following his parent’s path. But, he told me that his biggest fear was to make a mistake on his first deal, which would be followed by a “we told you so” disappointment of his parents. I got the sense that this is a very tight family unit, and to this kid it is supremely important to have his parent’s support…
I Was Afraid of Failing at Real Estate Investing Too
Yes indeed – this was, in fact, me. This was my family. These were my parents. This was the dynamic within the family unit – to a tee. I remember the looks when I told my people that I was leaving music to become successful in real estate investing.
And still, to this day, I could be talking to my folks on the phone, and hear something like – well, if nothing else, you could always go back to playing and teaching the violin…(as I am quietly, and sometimes not so quietly, thinking to myself – just freaking shoot me now…!
Guys, listen, I do not have a job, and haven’t had one in years. I don’t make as much money as some, but very likely more than you. I don’t pay as little tax as some, but more than likely less than you.
For crying out loud – I drive my kids to school in a Tesla Model S. And yet, as far as my family is concerned, I could really do good for myself by getting a job…what more can be said?!
I am telling you all of this to make you understand that the advice I am about to give, which is the advice I offered to the kid who messaged me, comes from a place of personal experience. I thought my family was strange, but I now know that this is likely the norm for many of you. So, here we go:
Is W2 Life Good Enough?
My folks aren’t wrong. His folks aren’t wrong. Your folks aren’t wrong. They are not wrong, but they are stuck in what they know. The only question you need to ask yourself here is this…pay attention people!
If I achieve the same results as my parents, will I be satisfied?
Be honest, and answer the question. If the answer is, yes – you would be very happy to achieve the same results as your parents, then perhaps following in their footsteps is a perfectly good idea. After all, they are where they are because of how they got there. They’ve got that formula down – follow it!
However, if you want different or more, than it is universally impossible to get there doing the same things our folks did. Do your own thing and let the chips fall, and if people in your life would abandon you if you stumble and fall, then you’ve got bigger problems than anything in this article…
So, what if I mess up and disappoint people, and lose their support?
It doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is what YOU want YOUR goal to be. You destination dictates how you go about getting there. It’s about YOU, not about them.
Don’t you agree?