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March 2018

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Make a Million by Changing Your Mindset

Don Loyd, President
Oregon Association of Professional Real Estate Investors

One of the nagging questions that appear in the mind of real estate investors is, "Am I ready to jump in and invest, or have I waited until the window of opportunity is gone and I'm now too late?"

I've noted that many people never begin their investing career because they are overcome with fear. Fear, like the fear of failure, success and the unknown, prevents many people from ever realizing their dreams. They wake up one day and understand they've exhausted their options and have little time left with which to realize those dreams. Buy you can avoid this dilemma if you take action.

Fear of Failure
I was 20 years old when I began investing in real estate. Some of my close friends and co-workers thought I had gone crazy. They knew I didn't have any money and they thought I was too young. As I aged and continued to invest in real estate, there were still people who laughed at me and told me I was crazy. I have learned over the years there is no shortage of "experts." Everybody has an opinion, and everyone has a horror story of a friend going broke in real estate. And the only real estate "investment" they have is (maybe) their home.

Rule number one in real estate investing is very simple: don't hang around with negative thinkers. They will fill your heads with "what ifs." What if you can't make a monthly payment? What if the economy falls flat? What if you loose all your money? What if you can't rent the house or apartment complex? What if you get sued? What if you can't get the repairs done? The "what ifs" are endless and can make you very nervous.

When I purchased my first property I didn't know a lot about real estate investing. In the late 60's I read William Nickerson's classic work, How I Turned $1,000 Into A $1,000,000. From that book I learned about a formula that made sense to me and I latched onto the promise of real estate riches. I re-read the book, took notes, and jumped in. I had reduced my risk some by getting a little education before I took the dive. Maybe I wasn't old enough to know better, but I had no fear of failure. Nickerson had done it so I knew that I could do it, too. It was as simple as that.

My wife and I purchased a building lot in Santa Rosa, California for $5,000 with no money down. Then, we borrowed a total of $19,000 to pay off the lot and build our first house - also with no money down. We lived in it a year and then sold it for $36,000. After deducting a 6% real estate fee we netted about $14,840 -twice what I had earned in my construction job and with far less effort because I hired people to build most of the house. It seemed to me to be a great way to make a living.

I could have listened to those who thought I was getting in over my head. I could have decided that I was too young - just like some of them said. I could have been wrapped in fear of failure - but I wasn't. In my mind there was no reason not to take the risk. I had nothing to loose.

Fear of Success
Why do people fear success? I think there is something in their past that they are dealing with. Whatever the reason, some people feel undeserving of success. They are continually subconsciously sabotaging their dreams, hopes, and desires. They have a recurring negative mental image that takes a place of priority in their thinking - what I call negative self talk. They think they're not worthy or deserving of a good life. And they know it's true because they tell themselves this in countless different ways.

You have to replace the negative self talk with positive affirmations. That's why I insist the members of my real estate investment group identify themselves as real estate investors. I demand that they say, "Hi, I'm -----------, I'm a real estate investor." I want that statement to become a self fulfilling prophecy. I want them to understand there's more out there. I want them to capture and enjoy success. I want to lead them from where they are into to greater accomplishments. I want them to fulfill their God-given potential.

I understand that life is not easy and there are many crushing disappointments. But I also passionately believe that it is possible to come to terms with your past and move forward. A negative life does not have to continue. In fact you can bring it to an end right this second by changing your thought process from "I can't" to "I can!"

Fear of the Unknown
When I was 14 years old I live near a bridge that crossed the Russian River. The boys in our town liked to jump from the bridge into the river and longed to do the same but the thought terrified me. Even though no one seemed to be getting hurt I was still scared. One day I made up my mind I was going to do it. I remember that first jump as though it was yesterday. I still feel the fear swelling up inside me. I still feel the wind slapping my face while falling through mid air. I can feel the cool water as my feet broke the surface and I plummeted into the depths of the water, my knees buckling when I hit the river bottom.

Gasping for air as my head cleared the surface of the water I had a feeling of success! I had done it. I had proven myself to my peers. In the process I had overcome my fear.

After my successful jump it was much easier the second time. It got easier with each additional jump and eventually there was no fear at all associated with jumping.

In real estate investing we overcome fear with information. You get information by reading books, having a mentor, taking a class, purchasing a course, attending a boot camp, and networking with like minded people and through experience. What is keeping you from jumping in and investing in real estate? By now you know it's the least risky thing you can do. What's holding you back and when will you start? Last week I had 26 offers to purchase real estate accepted. But it would have never happened if I hadn't taken that first plunge into the investment market all those years ago.

Here's what you do to overcome your fears and get started:

1. If you fear failure, get some information and take action today. It's the only way to gain power over your fear of failure.
2. If you fear success, define what it is that you want to accomplish and engage in positive self talk and affirmations. Changing your mindset is much easier and will come if you do this.
3. If you fear the unknown, jump in anyway. The water's fine out here! Jump in and enjoy the exhilaration of success.