7 Common Mistakes in Property Investing

‘Property’. The word in itself conjures a whole host of conversations, thoughts and opinions. Whether it makes you think of where you live, where you want to live or even familiar TV shows, there is some degree of property exposure for everyone. If you then add the word, ‘investing’ into the mix and context of property seems to change drastically in people’s perception.

About 4 years ago I was between in privately rented accommodation and my parents. I had no understanding of any form of investing and my main goal was to work out a way to save a deposit for my own house before I ‘ran out of time’ to get the right mortgage term, which was staff room fodder which I now appreciate as tosh.

I had zero experience of any investment, zero inclination to find out more and zero confidence that I would ever be a person who could understand anything related to business/maths/money/entrepreneurship. And here lies mistake number one.

Underestimating Yourself

Taking yourself out of the game before you even start is rooted in fear. Understanding those fears will help you move forward. Are you incapable or do you not have experience yet? Do you not understand it or have you shut down the opportunity to learn more? Nobody knows everything before they start, they just start; learn more and build from there. Starting is the only difference.

If anyone had told me back then that fast forward to today; we would have started a business, own a portfolio of rental properties and work with investors…I wouldn’t have known how to believe you. But through widening the content I was reading, learning through property education and actually getting started, it was baby steps that lead here.

Too Big Too Soon

Once you start to understand the concepts of property investing, your eyes widen to the possibilities around you and it’s exciting. All of a sudden everything is a possibility. One of the biggest mistakes is going too big too soon, chasing the big money deals with limited understanding. If you’re lucky you may fluke it and it may pay off, but more often than not, this type of high risk strategy will more than likely leave you exposed, people will and have lost a lot of money. Like with anything else, start with the foundations and build your way up.

We minimise our risk and our investors risk by buying properties at the right price, in the right areas with the right demand. We don’t chase shiny pennies. As we grow our business our investors grow with us. We have a business plan for expansion and that’s the right pace for us.

Stay In Your Own Lane

Similarly to chasing those shiny pennies; comparison will also throw you off track. What other people are doing may well suit them, they will have a different level of experience, knowledge, financial position, (the list goes on) and you will only ever know part of it. Usually just the part people are happy to share on social media. So stay in your own lane with your focus on your own goals and your own investment opportunities.

Strategy and Area

Get this right and build from there. Learning our area took time, effort and actual action. It is too easy to follow the crowd to where it looks like it works because everyone else is there too. Equally, when you do this properly once, it’s too tempting to cut this out when you try something new. Complacency will bite you. You need the same (actually you need more) level of effort and action to build and grow, don’t rest on the work you did last year, to do this years work. There are no shortcuts.

We know when a deal works because we know our area, the street, rental potential and demand before we buy it. This knowledge was built from feet on the ground. We made the mistake once in trying a new area for a new strategy without this level of detail, we just lost time.

The Numbers

“See things as they are, not worse than they are, not better than they are” I took this from unleash the power within with Tony Robbins. Do the numbers. Don’t escalate them out of a sense of urgency or lack to make them better than they are and don’t shut yourself out of the deal by negativity. Do your homework and run the numbers, do they work? You will never control the future and as with anything else, markets change. You protect yourself by buying the properties that work, not by fudging the figures or leaving yourself exposed by being over leveraged. Have patience to wait for the right deals.

Power Teams

Property investing isn’t a one man show. There are lots of people in the team that get it over the line. From your solicitors during the purchase, estate agents, letting agents, builders, tenants, buyers, investors. It is more than just a building. Investing in property is as much about people as it is about the house. Build strong teams and relationships. When you forget you are working in a bigger team, you run the risk of dropping the ball somewhere.

Don’t Get Complacent

I can not tell you the amount of properties we have been in, which are currently rented out in such states, I wouldn’t want any being living there. Rental income can make you money, but don’t lose your morals and your standards in the process. There is a lot of negative press surrounding landlords, but there are lots of us getting it right. We have an ethos we purchase property by, if we wouldn’t let our mums live there, then we wont buy.

But we can all do the shiny refurbs and make them look pretty at the start, it is the on going maintenance and care that is needed to benefit the tenants and also protect your assets for the future. Don’t be lazy and remember, the responsibility always lies with you.

Hi lovely people. I’m happy that you have landed here, amass the millions of other content all up in our headspace.

I am making time to write today, it’s so easy to put the things you like to the bottom of your list when you’re busy!

I wanted to start a series that follows our house transformation and wedding planning, because I feel like we are in an unspoken race to get the house done before the big day, and the wedding planned around the missing parts of the house.

Last week, I mentioned that typically these are classed as some of the most stressful life events so my aim is just to enjoy the process.

That being said, my main aim is to get all this done on our budget and save money in every which way we can… then I can pass on these money saving tips and suggestions to you. Win Win. I’m no money expert, but I do know I hate over paying on things I can do myself. So my first question to you is this…

Are you a doer or a buyer?

This isn’t a question to judge. There are some people who enjoy getting stuck in and there are others who don’t. There are some things that are over my head and I need experts, other things I will happliy have a go at and save money in the process. So these next tips and tricks will be entirely up to your preference and time. All I know, is that these few items alone have saved us BIG MONEY!

My Top 7 Wedding Saves

Stationary

Who knew this was so expensive! There are so many beautiful options and pinterest is a blessing and a curse for finding your style and ideas. Sometimes too much choice means decisions don’t get made! However, there was one trend I knew I loved…wax seals. Adding these is like the pretty candy, coloured cherry on top of your invite. But, they can be mega pricey for what they effectively are. I got a stamp, melting spoon and wax sticks for under £25. It takes a bit of time but can easily be done while you watch tv. Just be mega careful with heating the wax, have a super flat surface when you pour (I found pouring onto grease proof paper gave me even seals, that peeled off easily). There are different styles for these, some prefer to pour directly onto ribbon ties, or the envelope. Practice first.

So my 65 individual invitations and 98 favours works out at £0.15p a seal.

Centre Pieces

This is totally style dependent. So, this may not apply to your theme; however, I absolutely love decanters and glassware at the moment for centre pieces. A cluster of decorative cut glass mixed with flowers and fairy lights is the look I’m going for. As you ‘soon to be brides’ may have found out, centre pieces do not come cheap! I went on a charity shop trawl for mine. I have sourced enough glassware to create centre pieces for 10 tables and the top table for under £200.

Tip 1- Know exactly what you’re looking for, or you will end up with a bag of randomness.

Tip 2- Charity shops can be hit and miss on what they have in, leave plenty of time for this kind of search and widen the areas of shops.

Tip 3- Have your budget and quantities in mind. Money is money, you can be buying cheaply, but if you buy twice as much you’re not saving.

Tip 4- I spray painted some of mine. It totally transformed some pieces.

Tip 5- Fairy lights and LED candles. Safe and pretty, they will always look beautiful in glassware.

my inspiration from thebandboutique.co.uk

Favours

These range from a chocolate to hand carved boxes! There are just hundreds of ideas. I found pillow boxes on amazon, used my wax seals and ribbon and they rival some of the expensive styles I have seen. What you fill them with is your choice, but remember, they are a little token, not a birthday present! Mine worked out at £0.33p a box before filling. (Tags can be added and personalised with stamps for an added personal touch)

Flowers

This one is not for the faint hearted. I have been on the fence about how much of this to take on myself. Flower arranging is an art form and a skill based on knowledge of flowers, seasons and care, so I have decided not to tackle my bouquet, button holes etc. But I am doing the flowers in the centre pieces and also baby breath wreaths for the church. I will say this though, shop around! I went to two florists with the same picture and got quoted double the price in one than the other. 

Bridal Wear

If you can be ahead of timings, you get more chance to choose. By this I mean, if you don’t leave it last minute, you’re not desperate time wise. I managed to get Bridesmaid dresses in the sale, flower girls outfits, pashminas, my shoes and matching bag at a snip of what you would expect to pay.

Sweet Carts

This one is simple, if you can, do it yourself. Wholesale sweets and food hygiene standard sweet jars. You may end up paying the same, but you will get more for your money and more choice. The only downside…they may be on a table and not a cute cart.

Spreadsheets

Just pass me my headset and call me Monica Geller, BUT hear me out. It is so, so easy to lose track of everything. People need varying deposits, there a lots of little spends you won’t even notice and before you know it, you have thrown your budget and money out of the window like confetti.

Even doing things yourself can be costly if you don’t track what you’ve spent.

I definitely want to hear any of your money savers or wedding hacks!

In my next post, it’s transformation day on our gorgeour bedroom on a budget!

xxx

.

Delayed Gratification; A secret in getting what you want most.

So today I have decided to get over my mental writing block, (that spanned one week, into one month and now we are ending June) and just start. As with all daunting challenges, we get through them by just taking those little baby steps.

I can’t remember where I left off, but there are some big plans coming together at the moment. They say moving house and planning a wedding are some of the most stressful things in life. This year we are renovating the house, buying rental properties and planning a wedding. I can confirm, yes, it is stressful, but it will all be worth it.

Matthew and I often have our ‘put the world to rights’ chats when we are on long drives. I think we have both been feeling the relentlessness of what we have taken on lately, however, that is when gratitude and delayed gratification are the most important.

Be grateful now and also for what is yet to come.

We bought this house last year and are now a week away from starting the extension we visualised when we moved in. Matthew worked hard with the architect and we have been tackling all the jobs we can do ourselves.

When I saw the house I loved it immediately. Even though it was dated, I offered on it before Matthew had even seen it.

With all the big goals we set; it can be easy to forget that in July last year, all I wanted was to hear that my offer was accepted. Sometimes we get so caught up in striving for progress that we forget all the things we have now; that were the things we had wished for.

I want to enjoy this house and everything we are working really hard for. It will be where we start our married life and future family. That is why I am willing to ‘go without’ to get there.

Another big aspect of our year has been planning the wedding. There are lots of decisions to be made, but we have applied the same logic as we have with the house. What are we aiming for and how can we get there?

What are you willing to go without to get what you wish for?

In an ideal World, we would all just get exactly what we want, when we want it. But, then we would never appreciate the value of anything.

For some people, the goal is the car, or the clothes, the luxury lifestyle. My equivalent is my home. I’m not fussed by the car, but I know how I would love my house to look. Interiors and furnishings are my ‘Ferraris’.

We have ‘sacrificed’ holidays, date nights, new clothes, meals out, take outs, new phones etc to work towards our bigger dreams. Any profit has been re-invested, we save and budget. We have watched YouTube to learn how to lay flooring, I’ve learned how to make curtains; furniture has been upcycled and weekends have been spent in lofts, painting or digging up gardens. It is delayed gratification that will keep you going when things are tough, stressful or when you want to see instant results.

When I say sacrifice, I don’t mean ‘woe is me’. I do not believe that it is negative nor do I believe it truly is going without. It’s is the same reason diets fail, when we believe we are being deprived, but actually we are delaying the ‘instant want’ for the health benefits later. If we can change our thoughts from what appears to be punishment to reward, we can move past FOMO culture. (Fear of missing out).

What are you doing today that is delaying you achieving your goals?

How Different Would Your Life Be If You Honoured Your Own Plans?

What if?

I was listening to ‘The Life Coach School’ podcast this week and it has been on repeat since. I had already been thinking recently about the amount of content I read and listen to and asked myself the question, what would happen if I did every single thing they told me to do? Not just ‘half assed’ attempts for a week, but actually put it all into action? Then I listened to this episode and it all clicked into place. So I wanted to share my plan and what I took from it.

Honouring Your Own Plans

The title of this blog is wording from Brooke Castillo. It is a far more elegant summary of all my ‘what if’ questions. How often do you react to life, to other people’s demands and put their needs above your own? Do you get so tired that any time you could be acting on your own goals, you go into zombie tv mode? Do you put yourself at the bottom of your own list?

Honestly? During some of the most frenzied times, I found myself responding to emails before I would let myself eat my dinner. I panicked if I didn’t email back in the first 5 minutes of receiving them. I made every other person a priority and was constantly in reactive mode. There is a term for this; ‘People Pleasing’. Do you know who isn’t pleased? Me!

Reality Check

Sometimes you have to have a long hard look at what is going on and allow yourself the time to assess and think. It can be difficult to allow yourself the space to actually think and plan, but harder still, to actually plan how you will take the action, and do this consistently, every day.

The Experiment

I am going to commit to a challenge for the whole of April (with the intention of it being a lifelong change). I am not getting into ‘giving up’ for lent mode, (just as well really as we are probably half way through by now) rather, I am going to put into place all the actions I read about and actually see where I will be in a month.

What will be different if I honour all my plans? What could I genuinely accomplish?

I don’t have the intention of waking up at 4am and going to the gym every day. This isn’t what this experiment is about for me. I want to actually action what I am learning and show up for myself. Above all, I want to put my own plans and intentions at the top of the list, use my calendar to its full capacity and see what I can accomplish. I don’t think I have ever truly stuck to everything at the same time before, so I literally do not know what the outcome will be.

The Action Plan

Every Monday plan out and assign times to all my ‘to do’s’

Do every item in my calendar on time and within an allocated time period

Wake up at a set time every day and set a bed time (I am a rubbish sleeper)

Set time aside for free time and use it however I want

Be present for each task and do not allow any distractions to interfere

Do not react to the demands of others above my own calendar, plan the required action into the calendar

Do the basics well

Plan as you mean to go on…

I have my diary planned, I am on time for my day so far and have my running kit on, ready to go. Wish me luck, lets see what happens when you do everything you would love to do and what is important to you. If you want to listen to the podcast, you can find it on the life coach school podcast, episode 261.

I will let you know how I get on. I’m excited.

Home Makeovers And The Power of Staging

Hi everybody! The past few weeks have been jam packed because there have been multiple projects and areas to assess, wedding planning and half marathon training, so I have about 5 different topics to cover; all buzzing around my brain. However, this post is for all you property flippers and interior lovers! I want to share the power of staging and the remarkable difference it has made.

Over the past few months I have been overseeing a flip project I sourced in my area. It has undergone a huge transformation and later on today I am meeting several agents to get it appraised. This bit always makes me excited and anxious, both in equal measures!

The Project

The house is in a great location, surrounded by good schools and community. Set off the road, in a quiet location, it really will make a perfect family home.

When it was purchased, the décor was dated, (loved, but old fashioned). I could barely fit through the gap to get into the kitchen and the bathroom had the toilet separately next door, therefore the whole house needed to go back to basics, ready to start again.

See The Opportunity

This type of property is where the opportunities lie. Not everyone can see past the swirls to what it could be. A lot of people will not want to take on that scale of project, or completely over cost it in their minds and put themselves off.

We are trying to create win/win scenarios. We purchase the property and allow the vendors to move on and we add value to make it a new home ready for the next phase of memories. It is a process, that when done well and ethically, creates a natural cycle. It doesn’t always go to plan or smoothly, but nothing comes easy in business and you learn quickly!

The Transformation

This is the bit that drives me. I absolutely love houses and seeing the whole transformation. I can see it finished before I even get started. So here are some of the pictures to share the process.


The Layout Changes

I decided to brick up the back door, so that the kitchen could form a ‘U’ shape. This would allow the original entrance to be blocked and the wall between the back room and the kitchen to be removed. It opened up the back of the house and there is still a rear exit through the patio doors to the garden. Wowser!!! Massive transformation. Our build team at Bailey Refurbishments, always work with me and listen to ideas, then use their know how to make it a reality. We had to make sure we worked with building control and we also added in a new WC under the stairs. Every decision was made with a family buyer in mind, therefore you need to assess what will be needed in your planning stages.

The Staging

As I have said before, I am a huge believer in the power of staging. This is the bit where I go nuts and act like a kid in a sweet shop, so I am hugely grateful to Paras and Andrew Miller for all their help, vision and time with the staging set up. The consultation really helped us all get on the same page for the vision of the house, and boy did they work their magic!! It has transformed the house into what can be described as a show home. Ready for the ‘wow factor’ walk in moment. I always appreciate the opportunity to learn and this has been a fab process to be involved with.

Stunning pieces, beautiful arrangements and staging, I could happily move in myself!

The Garden

Hands up and confession. I totally underestimated and under budgeted for the garden. This resulted in me and team Owen-Smith, (not long until I am an official member) having to do it all ourselves. Pruning, mowing, digging, edging, scraping moss, jet washing and clearing. Lets just say, I did not have to go to the gym and I had no ideas the levels of involvement. But I do now, so word to the wise, do not underestimate the garden!! It was worth the work and complimented the staging.

The Agents

So after a lot of work and planning, the real results are in the appraisals. I started this blog this morning and I have finished it this evening. So now I can fill you in. As I said before, I met with different agents in the area today and their feedback has been amazing! Their valuations have come in where we hoped and some in excess and all agreed the standard was very high.

Don’t take shortcuts, quality speaks for itself.

Thanks team for another fab project!

xx

The Importance of the Right Strategy

All the business greats will tell you about having the right strategy to grow your business. But what level of detail do you go into in yours?

We have been banging our heads for the past few months, looking at a strategy, in what we can now see, in a very broad term. We have had the strategy of HMO’s in an area of strong demand and growth. On paper, it should have worked. Viewing after viewing, wider area selections and tests and I just couldn’t get the numbers to stack.

My mindset was, this clearly works for everyone else, so it’s my maths and ability to find them that is to fault. This just escalated into negative self talk and wavering faith.

Strategy Alignment

Does your strategy align with your goals or are you fitting square pegs into round holes?

We knew what cash flow we wanted and we knew what ROI would work for us, but we were operating in an area where this is the rarity not the repeatable model we needed to reach goals. I wrote previously about chasing the shiny penny, you can read it here if this sounds like something you have done/are doing too. http://lifeaboutthehouse.com/beware-the-shiny-penny/

Searching for the perfect deals will cost you some great ones. Equally your version of a great deal may not be mine. We have different financial situations, needs, goals and business models. For us, we were looking in the wrong place for our strategy.

Taking responsibility will help move you forward

If you start banging your head against a metaphorical brick wall and things are not working, take stock and assess why. So many times, we invest so much time into something, that ‘giving up’ on it seems like the wrong move. There is a difference between giving up because its hard or you are not seeing the results as quickly as you wanted, (self sabotaging against your goals) and taking stock and re-directing your efforts in a new direction that aligns with them and will push you forward.

Square pegs, round holes

It can be so tempting to buy anything, or compromise your figures because of frustration and patience to wait for the right deal. You can hammer a square peg through the gap with enough manipulation, but it will be damaged on the other side. I have come to realise that my maths wasn’t wrong, I wasn’t looking at properties that could produce our model. They could easily be HMO’s, but for someone who had a different financial situation. Have we lost time? It can feel that way, but have we learned lessons and a market place, yes.

Overcoming Frustration

I have to keep reminding myself, that I am in this for the long game and want to build security for us and our family, not to buy ‘for show’. I won’t settle for anything, so it’s back to it. There is always opportunity, you just have to work to make it a reality.

Go for no!

Competition. Driving Force, The Un-Motivator or The Comparison Starter?

Hi Everyone! I hope your weeks are going well and you have avoided the bugs and illnesses that seem to be doing the rounds! This week it’s got me, bad times. But in the midst of sneezing, I have been thinking this week about competition. More the question, are you competitive?

How do you define competition?

What does this mean to you? I am not naturally competitive, well at least I didn’t think I was. I don’t have to win games, I’m pretty useless at sport and the typical things that require a level of competitiveness; I’m really not that bothered by. I think I have always been internally competitive, I am fuelled by being better for myself rather than to gloat over the heads of others, but are they just one in the same?

Maybe I am just not competitive about the things I think are pretty trivial. But, I have noticed lately, that it is all about mindset. What competition can do for you is based purely on your approach. Are you in ‘lack’ mode or ‘abundance’ mode? This simple question will show you some home truths.

If competition scares you

When you view competition as a direct attack on how successful you can be, or are; I think this comes from a place of fear. At least I know it is for me when I am not using competitiveness wisely. Some examples of this may be that you view what others are doing and then believe that you can’t do it too. Or because they are doing it, there won’t be room for you too. You’re not as good as them, they must have a secret formula that you don’t etc. You get my point.

When you are using competition to drive yourself out of the game, you are fear based. If you don’t catch this and flip it round in your mind, it will turn to envy, bitterness and negative self talk. Sometimes when I read things and in truth I know I can identify, it can be painful or you may initially reject it and become defensive. What I have found, is that if you can own the negative traits you can sometimes have, you can change them.

When competition drives you

If you can develop your own sense of self worth and belief, you can use competition as energy and possibility. For the doubters, you can see that it is possible. Proof, that if you follow the steps and stick at it long enough, you can achieve too. That’s not to say that you are imitating someone else, it just shows you that if someone else can do it, there is no reason why you can’t too. Competition, if channelled in a healthy way can open up possibility; that in itself can be a huge motivator. When you build yourself up and solely concentrate on that, what others are doing, doesn’t really affect you.

The comparison competitor

There is having a drive to win and there is having a desire to be ‘better than everyone,’ where is the line? Is it the same thing? A sports competitor has a drive to win and that, in turn is fuelled by the want to be better. It drives them to train harder, longer and do more than the competition. It is the same in business.

However, for some, it really is like the child with the toy scenario. The toy has been left on the floor, unwanted for about 5 hours, child A now sees value in the toy and starts to play, child B now HAS to have it.

Does this come back to a fear based competitor, the fear of missing out on something. Missing an opportunity that they hadn’t seen before. Missing out on an opportunity to prove you are able to do something better than someone else to boost your own self esteem? Or is it chasing after what others deem to be valuable because you haven’t identified what is valuable to you?

Are you competitive?



Life of ‘Life About The House’

We’re expanding!!

Hi everyone! So I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. The point of the name of this blog, ‘Life About the House’, was to share progress about life and houses. So I am expanding the blog to cover just that!

When I left teaching in 2017, it was a real leap of faith into the world of property investment. I had to be all in or else it would be too easy to get scared and go back. (It’s still scary, but I haven’t gone back!)

There are still times now I have doubt, get overwhelmingly anxious and think myself into a worry pit. However, I never doubt what property can do for you, and I never doubt that we will make it. I just don’t give us that option.

But there are so many things I am going to have to level up for this year, so I am going to share the process, because they are all inter-connected. I doubt that any of us have so much free time when we are starting out, that our days are blissful moments of zen or solely free to be dedicated to business and only business!

The year ahead

We are re-designing and renovating our entire home this year, we are planning a wedding and paying for it through a flip, plus I am making everything for it. The honeymoon is on our vision board and we want to have property paying for that too. I need to lose some weight for the dress and I have started yoga to help with my mental well being and lower back pain. Plus we have signed up to do a half marathon (me) and the London marathon (Matt). And these are in addition to our business growth goals and usual life tasks. Even writing that down makes my heart beat a little faster.

For some of you, your stories will be similar, or you will have your own priorities to balance, having children, work, commitments and trying to create a business alongside.

We can do this!!!

Every week I am going to share the business side and the life side in separate posts. They are interconnected, but for my own mental space and writing, I am going to put things in zones. I will be sharing what we develop to manage time, challenges we face and the wins too.

Lets get rid of the excuses and know we deserve what we want!

For those of you out there who are feeling a bit overwhelmed, un-motivated or lost, I’ve got your back. We have all been there, tough love doesn’t work for me, but you will have to dig deep and figure out what you’re doing this for. Anyone can shout you into action, but for the change to be there at your core, you have to want it yourself. It’s not always comfortable, but that’s ok and good. We don’t achieve everything we are capable of when we are comfy.

Lets build each other up not compare and tear ourselves down!

Maybe you’re on a weight loss mission but can’t seem to give up the biscuits, (me), or you have signed up for a run and can’t really run (also me). Is your wedding on the horizon and you want it to be on budget but also look amazing?

You will probably be interested and invested in learning more about property if you already read this blog, so you may be on your way to getting your first property deal, or wanting to scale your business. Maybe you just want to know there are other people out there who are juggling it all, making mistakes and growing.

I would love to hear what big goals and events you have got on this year?

xx




Is your thinking setting you apart, or holding you back?

Happy Monday All! I have been reading/listening to a lot of books this month and have been really thinking about the great content. I realised how easy it is to fill your head with the words when you’re driving, but if you aren’t making a point of doing any follow ups, you’re likely to forget or not quite recall all of the information. So make a point of taking some notes when you can, or put sticky notes in your books so you know where the action points are.

This week I have been thinking a lot on USP’s (Unique Selling Points). This can be difficult sometimes to come up with, especially when others are doing pretty much the same thing you are. In property, there are lots of investment models, but a house, is a house, is a house. You are going to have to dig deeper to find out what is setting yours apart.

The importance of feedback

We sent our business plan out for some constructive feedback, and one of the points raised, was selling our USP in the document. It initially stumped us to pinpoint. You really have to allow yourselves ‘think time’ to get to the essence of who your are and who you want to be as a brand.

The Magic Of Thinking Big, David J. Shwartz

As I was listening to ‘The Magic of Thinking Big’ by David J. Schwartz, there was a section on questions. Your brain goes to work to find answers, so make sure you are asking it the right questions.

He discussed situations where if you believe something is impossible, we will find answers that support this belief. So many times we stop ourselves thinking creatively, because we don’t have belief that we can, or belief in what we can achieve, or belief that it will work. So we need to start allowing ourselves to think freely without creating mental blocks for ourselves. Ask different questions.

Action your learning

We sat last night with a note book and pen and broke our business down into core areas and started to brain storm all the ways we could make improvements in those areas. As I discussed at the start, if you don’t take action on what you are learning, you will likely forget it. I heard an idea and actioned it. What incremental things could we do, just by asking this of ourselves, we came up with loads of different ideas to action. It was rocket science, but we started to get creative.

Take an honest look

When we aren’t doing the best we can, it can be painful to admit. It is uncomfortable and creates a fine line in our minds between negative self talk and constructive evaluation. Try to work out areas that may be holding you back and how you could make some changes to benefit, rather than taking the view that you are x, y and z and that equals rubbish. Trust me, beating yourself up doesn’t make you more productive, it doesn’t fire you up and it slowly destroys what motivation you have left. You have to change your thinking patterns.

What great books are you reading?

Always love a recommendation!

How Are You Going To Move Yourself Forward in 2019?

2019 is fully up and running now. Decorations down, excuses that we don’t know what day it is, gone. We now have another year to get sh*t done. I am not a fan of new years, to me it builds a pressure for it to be something momentous. I do however like the mental shift of feeling like you have another opportunity to learn and a fresh start. There is something quite relaxing about drawing a line under the previous year and going forward.

I spoke in my last post about not making resolutions but making a promise to look after myself. So far, this has resulted in, yoga nearly every day (I genuinely love it and on some days get up at 5am to make it to class, so that says it all). We talk to each other more about what we are grateful for and what we want to do. I am back into the swing of training for a half marathon and most importantly, we have decided to have a coach.

Reaching out to someone who has more experience and knowledge is always a good thing. For ages, I was of the mentality that I just need to work harder and then I wouldn’t need a coach. What I found however, is that you can be working hard, but not produce results. You can go off on a tangent and end up months later feeling like you’ve got nowhere. There needs to be a balance between personal responsibility and collaborative guidance and accountability.

Personal Responsibility

What is personal responsibility? For me, in quite blunt terms, it’s looking at yourself honestly without excuses. When we are scared, sad, jealous etc., it is too easy to deflect our role in the situation and either cast blame to others, the market conditions or the economy, in order to take the heat off the role we have played in things not being how we wish them to be. I am guilty of this in the past. I didn’t do…. because this happened, or I can’t do it because of this, then I have to do that… The reality is usually because I was either too scared to start something or procrastinating, which is sabotage in itself.

When we can be honest, however difficult, we can at least start to break patterns and move forward.

Accountability

Depending on your own personality type, you will either be a self starter, who can motivate yourself. You don’t need to keep account to anyone else, you will do it regardless. Or maybe like me, you have moments of this, but perform better when you have externally set goals, deadlines etc. In this case, having someone else to answer to can be the motivation to move. You are driven more by not wanting to let someone else down, or not wanting to let yourself down in front of someone else! (any people familiar with slimming classes will understand the latter).

For me, I am trying to get to a point of balance, where I succeed for myself and seek guidance and support to move me on faster. I am trying to avoid becoming dependent on someone else for my success. Matthew will read this and smile and say, “it’s becoming interdependent.” (I do listen)

Motivation Comes From Within

If you are just starting out in property investing, the road ahead can seem quite daunting. The best thing you can do at the beginning and throughout your time investing, is to learn. Having the right education will save many avoidable, costly mistakes. Also it will help you find solutions to mistakes that you do make (we are all human and in any field there will be mistakes). But, remember, learning, in the true sense of the word is not passive. It requires action. There are so many people who think that reading the books, going on courses, will give you everything on a plate, with little input required from yourself. Wrong.

Learning is a Verb

Verbs are doing words. The clue is in that. You have to be willing to actively learn, you can gain the theory from the classroom but you really learn it when you act upon it. When we started I didn’t know anything to do with property. We did courses and learned in the classroom, then we got out there and started practising. We got refurb costings wrong, but you learn. We made mistakes with time planning, but you learn. The fear of making a mistake will hold you back. There are always solutions, you just have to surround yourself with the people who can help to find them.

What’s the worst that can happen?

I listened to Brook Castillo on The Life Coach podcast. She summarised this with questions from listeners, her view was a game changer for me. A lot of people fear taking an action in case the result is, that it doesn’t work out. But, in not taking the action, you actually guarantee that what ever you want, won’t happen.

For instance, if you never view any houses or put in offers because you are scared you won’t get an offer accepted. You are making that outcome 100% guaranteed and are already living that now. What you’re afraid of happening, is actually happening anyway. You could change that, by taking the action; you may still have your offers rejected, but you stand a chance that you won’t.

What is going to make this year any different?

Whatever your answer is to this question, you have to mean it. Making empty promises and loaded lists of things you will do is great, if you will actually do them. Don’t play your life small, but make sure you are truly motivated by what you’re aiming for. Passive promises and ‘should do’ lists are unlikely to keep you going when it gets tough (and it does for everyone). You have to be fully committed. In the words of Tony Robbins, “strive for progress not perfection”.