The Key to Your Success
The Attitude of Getting it Done
Action Gets Results
New investors often suffer a frustrating and mysterious malady called "paralysis of analysis." There is so much information about the business available, and so much of it appears to be contradictory (buy liens...don't bother with liens...look at houses only ...unimproved lots are the way to go...) that one wonders how anyone ever figures it all out.
There is one cure, and one cure only for this malady: take action. Speaker and motivational guru, Tony Robbins, refers to this as “personal power.” Planning and preparation are necessary, no question. But as soon as we find ourselves in the situation of saying, “ready, aim, aim, aim, aim….,” without firing, we end up just shooting ourselves in the foot.
This is not to say that analysis itself is bad. We would not trust a physician who shoots from the hip and prescribes without diagnostic analysis, but analysis must know its place. The doctor didn’t analyze data until he or she collected the data. He or she did not simply postulate a diagnosis without doing an investigation first. Prior to the 19th century, physicians did just that, which is why more people died under physician’s care than from natural causes in previous centuries .
The crucial point here is that you as an investor have nothing to analyze until you have looked at and gathered information – data – about a property. As long as you are paralyzed in figuring out what to do without taking action, nothing is happening.
The Easy Stuff
Consider how simple it is to just look at a list of liens to be sold in a week from today! The list itself gives you information to analyze. Of course, you would have used the qualifying questions to know about that county and to obtain the list in the first place. Additionally, even though have looked at the properties on the list, nothing happens until you move to obtain the lien or purchase the deed.
Success with tax sales does not require advanced degrees, spectacular intelligence or a lot of money. It is much more simple: qualify counties, look for lists, look at the items on the lists – liens or deeds, make bids that will either win or get beaten and do it over and over again.
As we like to say, you do A, then B, then C. Don't wonder about D; there is no D. When you finish C go back to A. Find more lists, analyze more properties on the lists, make the bid on the liens or deeds.
There is no simpler way to achieve financial independence than that.
Git 'er Done
We have observed that new investors that do not start making offers in the first few weeks never get around to doing it at all.
We know that beginning brings fear – fear of the unknown, fear of making a fool of oneself, fear of making a mistake. The only way to get over the fear of doing deals is by actually doing deals. No amount of "book-learning" will ever give you the confidence you want.
Where to Focus
Trying to learn everything at the beginning would be a mistake. Instead, focus on what you need to get your first deal. Things to focus on include:
Some idea of what you want your first transaction to do for you. Know this, and you have a good idea of the exit strategy AND whether to look at liens or deeds. If you are looking for quick profits, look to deeds. You would then focus on properties that can easily be flipped to a retail buyer; that would require that you know the local area and the nature of the housing market in that area. In some parts of the country your best bet might be land parcels and building lots, and in other areas only finished houses would work. Once you know of the type of property, put all your focus on that.
In contrast, if you are looking to build long-term wealth, you would look at liens and the compounding interest that grows to give you financial independence – the state in which you no longer need to work in order to make a living: if you work, it is for your own satisfaction and enjoyment, not because you need the money. With financial independence passive income supplies your material needs.
Neither of the two strategies is better than the other. Deeds bring profits to capitalize your business so it can grow; liens created long-term growth of wealth. You need both.
A working knowledge of how to take positive action. Liens and deeds represent two nearly opposite directions for you to go. Likewise, the way you approach them is nearly opposite. For example, with a lien, we first assess the parcel to make sure it meets standards for our purposes (they may be unimproved lots – no construction – but must be developed, meaning on a street with utilities, or anything with a structure); once we decide the parcel fits our needs, we forget about the parcel and focus entirely on the owner to judge the probability that the owner will redeem the property. Redemption is all that matters with a lien.
On the other hand, in looking at a deed, we don't consider the owner, who by now is irrelevant and out of the picture. All that matters is the property – how valuable is it, how much can we afford to pay and still make a profit?
If you have decided what you want your first transaction to do for you, and you know how to start, now you can take action. Keep in mind that in making this venture succeed for you, you don't have to get it perfect, you just have to get it going. Nothing happens until you take action.
When you are just starting out, it might be easy to think there are billions of things to learn. However, right now, you only need these two.
So get out there and do some deals.
The Law of the Harvest
Many people starting out in a new business venture share a common
fear – they are afraid this will not work for them. They cannot see
themselves being successful in an area they are not familiar with.
Let's stop and think a moment: we all grow up with limitations.
The words and phrases we hear most of before we are five years
old are “no!” “don’t” and “can’t.” How can we help but place limitations
on ourselves with that kind of early conditioning?
At this point now the big question becomes, are you ready to be an
adult about it? Can you overcome the silly, myopic and childish
notions you assumed back when you didn't know any better?
Don't you believe you deserve good things as much as the next person (unless someone
placed a weird voodoo curse on you at birth)? Yes you do. In fact, cosmic and universal laws govern the success of your actions. Foremost among these laws are two eternal principles: “the law of the harvest” and the “law of cause and effect.”
The law of the harvest tells us “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Furthermore, “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” To put it into 21st century language, you get out of it according to what you put into it. In fact, under the law of the harvest, you actually get more out than you put in. Plant a single pea and you get a whole vine filled with pods, themselves filled with multiple peas.
Cause and Effect
As for the law of cause and effect, despite all the lip service we give it, so many people operate under a subliminal belief that they cannot get good things, that there are limitations to what they can do and have compared to other people. “Other people have a nice home and a nice car, but this is what I get – this is how it is for me.” They forget that that thought process flies in the face of the law of cause and effect.
If they simply would do the right things, they could get what they want. If doing the right things does not produce good results, then we would have to conclude that person received some weird voodoo curse at birth. But then, we would have to believe in weird voodoo curses to conclude that, wouldn’t we?
What, then, is the best way to get rid of our feelings of inferiority and intimidation and overcome our fears? Changing your personality is like changing the course of one of those monster oil tankers on the ocean. You take action and then wait for a long time. If we wanted to wait until all our positive affirmations, self-talk and visualization created a more confident, fearless “us,” we would delay our success so long that we would miss out on the best part of life.
It has been said, “That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do; not that the task becomes easier, but that our power to perform becomes greater.” Specific things, focused tasks, simple actions are under your control. You focus on them alone, and just do the little activities that take you where you want to be.
That way the great, complex actions come together almost on their own. You don't try to eat the elephant all at once, but you do start with the first bite and proceed at a rate that is comfortable for you.
What Can You Do?
In other words, focus on what you can do. Forget all the stuff that lurks out in the dark unknown. That’s the scary part. Stay in the light of what you know right now – that suffices. Your first deal will change your image of yourself and the whole world.
You don’t have time to learn everything there is to know, now or ever. With action you quickly learn that the way to appear as a business genius is simply to find lots of leads – information about specific tax-delinquent properties. With leads in hand, the next small task is to look at the various properties on the list. Following that, the easy action is to decide which you want to obtain as liens or deeds. At this point, how difficult would it be to place a bid? You would almost feel silly to stop at this point, since you have already done everything to prepare for bidding.
If you are determined to wait until someone will come along and do this all for you, just make sure you don’t hold your breath while you wait. We don’t want to lose you.
The simple truth is that until you take action, nothing happens. You don’t have to get it perfect, you do have to get it going. Until you take action, you have nothing to analyze. This is a matter of overcoming fear and worry.
If it helps, consider this about worry. First of all, the things we generally worry about are beyond our control, so what good does it do to worry? Secondly, 1000 years ago the word worry meant ‘to strangle.’ When you worry, you strangle yourself. Finally, we strongly believe that worry is merely pre-payment for something you don’t even want. If you don’t want it, don’t pay the price for it! We have enough to do paying the price for the things we do want!
Focus on the little things, the little activities that you can do now, and you will eventually reach your goal of being an investor. This venture is not a race. You don’t have to proceed at a given pace. As long as you are working best you can, you are successful, and that is good enough.
That is a bounteous harvest.