Goal Setting for Real Estate Investors: Are You Ever Really Going to Do It?

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How many things are on your “someday” list?

I hear these ones all the time:

  • Someday I am going to travel to Australia
  • One day I will take my kids to Disneyland
  • Someday I will start my own business
  • When I am done this project I will quit smoking/lose weight
  • When the time is right I will buy my first investment property.

It makes me sad when I hear people say these things because I think they are kidding themselves.

Someday = never.

If I hear myself say someday, and it’s something I really want to do, I change that to a date or I start it right then and there.

And there is something incredibly powerful – almost magical in it’s power – when you stop saying someday and set a date.

For years Dave and I have talked about writing a book. Last year we were talking about our book and I heard one of us say “someday we’ll write a book about ...”. I said – not someday. Let’s make it 2011.

Dave immediately said, “Well how are we going to do it?”

I said what I almost always say “I don’t know yet but we’ll figure it out.”

I really didn’t have any idea how we would make it happen. Yet as soon as we said it out loud, put a date on it and committed our hearts and minds to it, we suddenly had two different publishers to talk to about proposals. We found ourselves knee deep in a proposal and then a revision. Last week our revision was turned down but we’ve made incredible progress, learned a lot and have had some really great discussions with folks we probably never would have reached out to had we not been moving forward on a book.

I don’t have a book or a book deal right now but 2011 still has a whole lot of time left in it! And, I know that any goal worth doing is going to test you. At least once – usually a lot more than once – it’s going to stand up big and tall in front of your face and say:

Scary Monster will Challenge Your Goals

Are you really ready to do this??

It will look big, dark and scary. And trust me, you’ll probably consider crying, going to bed, or eating a bucket of sugary treats, but your answer to the big, tall, and scary test is going to determine your success. Your ability – actually it’s not your ability because we ALL HAVE THE ABILITY – it’s your DESIRE to push past the giant obstacle in your way and say is what is going to determine whether you succeed or fail. Your desire to take a deep breath and push forward is what will make it happen for you.

This leads me to what I want to share with you today. I just read an absolutely brilliant book by Mark Murphy called HARD GOALS: The Science of Extraordinary Achievement. This book is not another goal setting book even thought it’s all about goals. This book is all about getting so fired up about your goals that achieving them isn’t the issue.\

Goal Setting for Real Estate Investors – You’re Excited But Are YOU Ever Going to Make it Happen?

His conclusion is that most people do not achieve the goals they set for themselves because they never really got fired up about the goals in the first place.

I’m fired up about what I am doing. Most mornings I get out of bed before my alarm goes off at 6:15am. My days aren’t easy but I am excited about what I am doing.

When I was working for someone else I had to DRAG myself out of bed after hitting snooze two or three times in the morning. I rarely use snooze now. I WANT to get up. I am excited about what’s ahead.

It’s that kind of fire and passion about your goals and your vision that makes implementation easier.

Couldn’t you just see the meetings when someone first dreamed up the iPhone?

Seriously – nothing like that existed. They probably had no idea how to make it. They started with the goal and figured out how to get there because it was exciting and cool and would revolutionize cell phone technology in the world.

When you set an exciting goal you will not waste too much time worrying about the fact that you have NO IDEA how to do what you’re setting out to do. You’re pumped up about it – and will not be deterred. At least you will be if you follow the HARD Goals model laid out for you by Murphy in his book.

Mark Murphy puts it this way: “How do we sear this goal into our minds, make it so critical to our very existence that no matter what obstacles we encounter, we will not falter in our pursuit of the goal?”

And his book explains just how to do that. At a very high level it involves creating a mission or a goal for yourself that is:

  • Heartfelt: you need to have a deep emotional attachment to the goal – either to the people involved or the payoff of achieving the goal or to the goal itself.
  • Animated: your goals are competing for your finite resources of time, energy, attention and memory so make sure you can REALLY see your success. The more lively and robust the images in your mind the better the likelihood you’ll succeed. Include colour, shape, even lighting, emotions and actions. The more lively and vivid the better it will be seared into your memory!
  • Required: there’s no choice – you have to achieve this goal.
  • Difficult:It’s scary, requires new skills and you have never done anything like this before.

Hard Goals By Mark MurphyI want you to read this book… it has EVERYTHING to do with getting started as a real estate investor if you’re struggling and is powerful if you’re trying to achieve something else great in your life (business or personal) … so I am not going to give you all the good stuff but I do want to share one of the most powerful thoughts I was left with from the book.

Ask yourself:

What are the most significant and meaningful accomplishments in my life?

For me things like quitting my job, completing my MBA, and rocking the mountain bike race course on my second MOMAR adventure race all came to mind immediately. Just take a moment and figure out what some of your biggest achievements were.

Now, ask yourself:

  • Were those accomplishments easy? Did they take little effort or a lot?
  • Did I already know what I needed to know when I started out?
  • Was I scared?
  • Did I have doubts?

In every case you’ll find that you worked your butt off, you didn’t know what you were doing when you set out to do what you did, and you had a lot of doubts along the way but you kept going.

If you’re trying to do something like start investing in real estate and you’re feeling fear think about what real estate will give you. Most of our Real Estate Millionaire Bootcamp students want to spend more time with their kids, replace their income or that of a spouse, they are worried about their security in retirement and need to get control over their future.

In all of the cases their motivation is strong because they feel they have to succeed now. And, right now, they don’t know all they need to know to get where they want to go. And most of them openly admit to some fear. But they are moving forward.

If you’re not moving forward or you’re using the word SOMEDAY a lot … pick up a copy of this book and start saying “ON x date” or “Today I am going to start”.

Maybe we don’t have a book or a book deal just yet, but for years we thought about it and nothing happened. As soon as we started putting a date on it and making the goal vivid and real we moved closer to it than we had even thought possible. And something tells me it’s going to happen – this initial rejection is just the first test we’re facing to see if we really want this goal.

Remember: “At some point you’re going to hit a stumbling block, because every goal worth doing is going to test your resolve and ask you to decide if you really want to keep going.”

If you’ve created HARD goals for yourself, you’ll push past that stumbling block and succeed.

Oh … and in this book they quoted a 2010 study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute that said thatonly 16% of workers felt confident about having enough money for retirement. If that’s you then I think you had better get on your retirement plans. And reading a book like this just might give you the blueprint you need to get really fired up about getting your action plan in place.

Julie Broad