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Inner Game

Why Most Top Investors Fail (And You Should Too)

12-10 success failure

From JP Moses, Director of Awesome...

One of life’s biggest success secrets isn't really a secret at all. It’s just that most people have no concept of how epically, ridiculously valuable it is.

This lesson is about succeeding by embracing your failures. When we’re done, hopefully you’ll see any mistakes you've made (and will make) in a whole new light, and understand the immense potential value of failure.

Let's start by busting a stupid, false debilitating belief.

Failure is Not Bad

Sadly most of us are indoctrinated since birth to believe that failure is an awful thing and should be avoided at all cost. So much so, that we've bred a culture in which mistakes are automatically shamed - one that's effecitvely trained most of us to be skiddishly risk averse, simply out of fear of failure.

What is this craziness?

Here’s a little blunt truth: Never take risks and you'll never scrape your knees...but you'll also never get anywhere. I mean, if Columbus had been too afraid to fail, would he have ever even set sail?

The Enormous Value of Failing (Forward)

Fail forward, yoThe mark of a successful investor is the ability to fail forward.

What does failing forward mean?

It means taking calculated risks, and being willing to make mistakes -- sometimes even painful/expensive ones -- in order to advance.

Obviously the goal is not to intentionally fail. But if the goal you're pursuing is really worth it, then you measure the potential risk, assume you'll likely have to deal with some bumps, bruises and scrapes along the way, and then go for it full-on.

I believe that anything worth doing inherently involves some level of risk.

  • Learning to walk always involves the bumps and bruises of falling down a lot, right? But babies keep doing it anyway...because walking is worth the risk.
  • Learning to feed ourselves always means getting food all over your face at first...but we don't quit along the way, because eating is worth it.
  • Learning to paint a masterpiece always involves a long line of ugly "nice tries" along the way, but the master keeps trying, because it’s worth it.
  • Going on your first date involves risk of rejection...asking for someone's hand in marriage, even bigger rejection...but ultimately, it's worth the risk.

Can you smell what I'm cooking yet?

Obviously the goal is not to intentionally fail. But if the thing you want to do is worth the risk, then you choose to take the risk. You assume you'll likely have to nurse some bumps, bruises and scrapes along the way, and then go for it full-on. And then when (not if) you fail, that’s your big chance to learn from the failure and correct course for next time.

"Show me a man who never failed and I'll show you a man who never tried hard enough" - Allem Waimsley

Time to Lose the Training Wheels, Baby

Think back in your life to when you were a kid. Do you remember hopping on your bike, convinced that you had the raw skills necessary to ride like a pro? It worked... for a few seconds. Before long, though, the inevitable happened. You began to wobble, then you bobbled -- then you hit the pavement.

The kids who took longer to learn how to ride their bikes, though, were the ones who wanted mom or dad to hold onto the back of the seat to keep them from crashing. The reason? The path to bike riding mastery went straight through several bone-jarring crashes. And mastery came pretty quickly... once you got over the numbing pain of the collision with the ground.

The fact is, you’re going to have to crash and burn a few times, learn from your mistakes, and persevere regardless of how tempting it might be to walk away a loser.

What Does This Mean to You as an Investor?

12-10 money flushIt means plan on screwing up, and know you’re in good company.

The surest path to real estate victory is paved with your share of mistakes. In real estate investing, this means you’re going to have to blunder your way through a few deals. It means losing money on deals, and it might even mean losing it all at some point.

Find any investor who's made it big long term, and you'll uncover a long series of mistakes they've made...and you'll probably even find someplace in their career where they've lost it all (bankruptcy, foreclosure, etc.)

The difference between those who succeed and those who die trying is not the mistakes they've made or not made...it's their ability to:

  1. Intentionally learn from their mistakes (uncover the gems in the pile of poop you just landed in)
  2. Then get back up and keep pressing forward (seeing each "failure" as a necessary step on the ladder of success)

Did you catch that last part?  It’s pretty important.

You've got to see each new failure as a necessary step on the ladder of success.

This means you’ll have to risk something along the way. And it’s time to drop the fear of screwing up, and free yourself from any shame or guilt you've felt for having screwed up in the past.

Remember this: Fire can burn you...but it also refines you.

Walk Away a Winner (Not a Failure)

u in failureIf there’s a single universal real estate investing truth that applies equally to just about every investor who has reached the pinnacle of success, it is this: Epic success almost always comes on the heels of a string of failures.

The surest path to real estate victory is by making your share of mistakes.

The best news?

Risk is closely tied to reward. And the reality is, if you don’t at first succeed, you’ll have a heck of a story to share with others about how you managed to fail, learn from your mistakes, and avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

Failing for the sake of success is worth it. And that’s how you’ll succeed... one forward-leaning mistake at a time.

But you’ll have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, analyze your mistakes... and apply the lesson learned in the future. By doing this, you’ll reach overwhelming real estate investing success -- and the life-changing financial change you seek -- sooner rather than later.

Do It To It! Immediate Action Steps

Now it’s time for you to do some homework. Rather than giving you a pointless exercise that won’t mean anything to you six months or a year from now, I want you to dig down into the trenches of your mind and identify your greatest failures, and the lessons you've learned thus far.

  1. Your 3 Biggest Mistakes Thus Far: On a blank sheet of paper, list the three biggest real estate investing mistakes you've made so far.
  2. What Have You Learned: What are your biggest takeaways from each of these mistakes? Did you miss any important lessons before? Write them down now. And how are you going to avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future? (Failing forward is not the same thing as rinsing and repeating the same failures over and over again.)
  3. Plan More Mistakes: Ask yourself, “What ‘failures’ have I been terribly afraid to make that may have been holding me back?” Has fear of failure been holding you back in some area? If so, write it out and make a firm promise to yourself to take a specific action to start failing forward ASAP – because it’s worth it!
  4. Leverage Others’ Mistakes: No one says you have to make all the mistakes. Think of any really successful, local investors you've met personally. Now go buy them lunch only to ask them what their biggest challenges/mistakes have been in their business, how they overcame them, and what lessons they learned from them.  Take notes!
  5. Embrace Your Mistakes: Every time you "fail forward", take some time to journal what happened, why and what lessons you should take-away. See each mistake as a little gift that puts you one more step forward toward your ultimate success.

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