Habits of Successful Investors: A Realistic Approach to Wealth Creation
Everybody talks about all the do’s and don’ts of property investing. They include the key mistakes to avoid, critical success factors and the like. What I’ve discovered is creating success in your life, property investing included, is all about forming a habit.
I’ll go one step further and say the best habit you can create is to be consistent. It doesn’t matter if you’re learning to play the guitar, training for a marathon or trying to find your next property deal, if you don’t apply some consistency to the task, it’s going to take a long, long time.
The Mechanics Behind Being More Consistent
The issue is, we’re all human. We’re emotional, complex organisms, and we live in a world that is challenging and ever changing. For this reason, being consistent is sometimes the hardest thing to accomplish, which is why we need to be so disciplined in attaining it.
Let’s use the example of setting an intention to find a profitable property deal – say a simple one-into-two lot subdivision, for instance.
When we set the intention of achieving this goal, we’re pumped and excited about the possible outcome of increasing our bank balance. We dream about what we might spend the money on and how that will improve our current lifestyle.
For the next seven days, we’re out there looking at properties, talking to agents, setting up email alerts, crunching numbers, and then after a while, the excitement fades and we lose interest.
Because we never set out to be consistent in our approach. Finding profitable property deals is a skill – perhaps even an art form that takes practice and time to perfect. You need to:
- Talk with real estate agents regularly about the types of properties in demand and who’s buying what.
- Attend “Open for Inspections” to network with vendors and listen to buyers.
- Assess your chosen area for infrastructure improvements and changes in council policy.
- Watch the global markets and form opinions on how it might affect our own government’s decision making.
- Read blogs like this one to stay in touch with relevant news and insights to get the edge over other investors.
There’s no shortage of tasks required to finally have a deal come across your desk that stacks up and is worth pursuing. You’ll be far more productive; however, by creating a plan of attack that consistently addresses the myriad of tasks over time.
Spending 15 minutes every day is infinitely better than spending four hours on a Sunday night, followed by sporadic sessions across the month.
Measurable Consistency: A Five-Step Approach
Before taking on something new in your life, like setting an intention to find a profitable property deal, follow this five-step plan to ensure your approach is more measured and consistent:
- Decide what you’re willing to sacrifice to free up time. Examples include no phones, internet or TV on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday night.
- Decide on the quantity of time you can allocate consistently each week, like one hour every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday night.
- Draw up a table or use a calendar to note the days and times you are committing to the task.
- Have an accountability buddy, such as your partner, coach, colleague or friend review your plan.
- Attend each allocated session as if you’re being paid $500 an hour to be there.
We might be irrational, unpredictable beings sometimes, but we do like structure and habit, which is why the above five steps can help counteract the unmeasured approach that people often take.
Your Mindset: Making a Commitment
Part of the technique to creating that momentum of consistency is completing the task like your life depends on it or like someone is paying you $500 an hour to be there. If you aren’t sure that will work, imagine these scenarios to help you get in the proper mindset to commit yourself to being more consistent. For example, if your:
- Boss schedules a meeting for 10 a.m., Monday morning to discuss the latest updates on widget construction, nothing stands in your way to be there.
- Son or daughter has to be at soccer practice at 5:45 p.m., on a Tuesday evening, you’ll make sure it happens, no matter what challenges life throws at you.
- Schedule includes a hot date to meet someone special at the local coffee shop at 3 p.m., Thursday afternoon, you’ll move mountains to ensure you’re there on time.
If you can make sure to do one or more of the above things, you can schedule 30 minutes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon to focus on improving your skills as a property investor. It could be as simple as taking the time to read a relevant report, calling an agent or crunching some numbers on a potential deal.
Can you imagine the progress you would make by committing consistently to that schedule of tasks for an entire year?
What it comes down to is creating enough incentive, whether real or imagined – whatever works for you – to treat your growth as a property investor like your life depends on it because, in fact it does.
The key is to be realistic with the time you can allocate. I know as well as anyone that life is incredibly hectic these days, so choosing wisely will ensure you’re not setting yourself up to fail.
To create a level of consistency, you also need to be realistic with the time you can allocate because it’s not about the quantity of time, it’s about how consistently you allocate it.
Whatever your goal is in life, set up a plan of action that is consistent. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you progress towards your goal when you start creating a track record you can be proud of in small, measurable steps.