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Inner Game

3 Truths About Fear You Must Embrace

screamMy assistant, Jason, has a funny story about some terrified real estate investors in an elevator – and it illustrates several very important truths for you to consider.

Before joining our team here at Real Estate Mogul, Jason spent six years as a stock market analyst for a major investment bank, with a special focus on publicly-traded REITs (real estate investment trusts) and REOCs (real estate operating companies).  Essentially, Jason was the guy who told traders and investors which real estate stocks they should “buy”, “sell” and “hold” – and this job occasionally sent him all over the country to interview various executives in our industry.

One of Jason’s regular trips each year took him to New York City, where a certain industry group would host its annual convention in one of Manhattan’s most famous historic hotels. (Sounds fancy, right?  Well…  Not so fast!)

Although the hotel is historically famous in pop culture for its association with wealthy celebrities and glamorous accommodations, this landmark building is famous amongst certain real estate investors for something else entirely – its tiny and unreliable elevators!

The Tower of Terror

As hundreds of real estate investors would gather in the hotel’s lobby each year, Jason and his peers would chuckle nervously while some of the convention’s older participants shared countless horror stories from previous years about “failing elevators” and “unreliable engineering”.  Then, while these harrowing tales still echoed through the lobby, Jason would inevitably find himself at the front of the line for an elevator, and the doors would open for his investor group to board – like lambs led to slaughter.

“Wow! These things are tiny!” a rookie traveler would exclaim. “What is the maximum capacity?”

sign“The sign says each elevator has a maximum capacity of nine passengers,” explained the twelfth passenger to board.  “But we learned last year that this particular car can hold up to ten people – as long as none of them are too heavy.”


The overcrowded little elevator car began its ascent, slowly dragging along a “historic” rail-and-pulley system, as though it were an old tyme rollercoaster at the county fair.

Then the lights flickered, and the contraption lurched to a stop.

Double Gulp.

The doors cautiously opened on Floor 20, revealing yet another large group real estate investors, each one eager for a ride to some higher floor.  Most of the would-be passengers shook their heads in disapproving shock upon seeing Jason’s group packed so tightly into the tiny elevator car, like sardines.  But one impatient fellow was more optimistic (suicidal?) than the other would-be passengers on Floor 20, and he quickly moved to board the car.

“What are you doing?!” shouted one concerned passenger.  “We don’t have room for anybody else, and the elevator car was already struggling to take us this far!”

“Sorry, folks,” explained the fearless fellow as he squeezed his way onto the car.  “I’m scared too, but I’m already ten minutes late – and I need to get on this elevator!”

Everyone was silent as the doors closed once again…

…until the elevator car unexpectedly lurched several feet downward , and a collective gasp filled the air.

Then the lights flickered again – twice – before disappearing entirely.

eyesBy this time, everyone in the elevator was quite terrified.  As they all stood shoulder-to-shoulder in the darkness, hovering approximately one hundred yards above the ground floor, each of the crowded elevator’s passengers found themselves experiencing at least one of the following popular fears:

  • Acrophobia (fear of heights)
  • Claustrophobia (fear of being trapped in confined spaces)
  • Scotophobia (fear of darkness)
  • Agoraphobia (fear of being caught in stressful situations)
  • Xenophobia (fear of strangers)

They hovered motionless for at least five minutes.

As time wore on, Jason heard some of the original passengers begin to threaten the man from Floor 20, although nobody dared to make any sudden movements.  The threats grew louder with each passing minute, and by the time the elevator finally lurched back up to Floor 20 (still without lights), the raucous jeering of a few passengers had devolved into something akin to an R-rated script by Quentin Tarantino.

When the doors finally re-opened on Floor 20, the last man onboard immediately leapt back into the crowd of real estate investors, obviously scared for his life.  Perhaps he was scared of the hotel’s rickety old elevator system.  Or perhaps he was scared of the four angry passengers who were beginning to chase him down the hallway!  Jason suspects it was “probably a little of both”!)

The Moral of the Story?

Although the last man onboard may have eventually suffered a horrible fate at the hands of those who chased him down the hallway, Jason testifies that all the elevator’s other passengers survived their harrowing experience that day.  In fact, they soon found themselves laughing about the whole thing and retelling the story to other real estate investors upon their next gathering in the hotel lobby.

crowdSo what can be learned from this funny/scary tale?  What timeless truths about fear, wisdom, survival and/or common sense can be gleaned? And how do these truths relate specifically to the business of real estate investing?

Can fear make you feel paralyzed and powerless?  Yes!

But can fear also be a valuable asset, leading to wisdom and achievement?  Absolutely!

But check-out the following video for a detailed investigation of the three truths about fear you MUST embrace …

From JP Moses, Director of Awesomeness …

{Mogul Elite: Download a transcript and MP3 of this lesson in the Power Pack tools for this lesson.}


Do It To It! Immediate Action Steps

Understand – Understand that fear is natural – and it can even be healthy.

Talk to Yourself – Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.

Confront Your Fears – Do one thing every day that scares you – and do it intentionally.

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