We've been mapping out a plan for the next stage of growth in our portfolio and our business.
Choices have to be made. Do we pay down existing mortgages or purchase new properties?
Do we expand our business into other areas of the province and other areas of interest or do we focus on expanding the core?
This discussion got us doing some serious reflection.
With some startling observations.
How did we get to this point?
Why is it that years ago we had big goals but didn't get anywhere fast but in the last three years we've accomplished more than in the previous ten.
Please understand that we're not coming from a place of arrogance here. We have a lot more to accomplish and others have certainly accomplished much more than we have.
But we're still proud of where we are.
So how did this happen?
And what can we learn from it?
Here's what we've learned...
When a young boy/girl starts playing street hockey with their friends they may start having dreams of playing professional hockey. The NHL even.
And they may start talking about scoring 50 goals in the NHL.
They're "thinking big".
And as parents, we encourage it.
They then start playing organized "Timbit" hockey in the local arenas.
They practice skating, shooting, passing, puck handling and learn the game.
Year after year they get better and better.
The competition gets stronger and stronger.
And if they're able to stand out from the crowd they eventually get a chance to be drafted by a professional NHL team and to play in their "farm team".
They continue to learn the game, hone their skills, add muscle and stamina to their bag of tricks.
Then, with hard work and luck, they get a crack at the big club and play their first NHL game.
Perhaps their first goal is aired on CBC right across Canada or becomes a "TSN Highlight of the Night".
And with continued hard work, focus, practice and discipline they may have their annual goal total rise from 20 to 35 to 50!
They may stay in the league for 5, 10, even 15 years.
They've done it.
Their big goal was accomplished.
So what does this have to do with real estate and your goals?
Stick with us here.
For years there's been a lot of banter in the adult learning community about "Thinking Big!".
How you should have an "abundance mentality" ... that there's more than enough opportunity for everyone.
The sky is the limit for you.
And we couldn't agree more.
There is no limit for you.
But by analyzing this stage of our own journey ... we've noticed something.
Thinking big is great. Setting huge goals is fine.
But this process also can set you up for disaster.
Let us explain.
If you are making $25,000 per year today and want to get to $100,000.
Or if you're making a $100,000 per year and want to get to a Million.
You have to stay focused on the day-to-day activities.
Too much big thinking can hurt you.
The journey from $25,000 to $100,000 requires you practice the activities ... the sometimes mundane activities ... that will get you there.
You work hard, day-in-and-day-out, and one day you realize that you're making $100,000 or even a Million.
It's 100% possible of course. Probable even.
However, what we've noticed is that people who get really excited about "big thinking" tend to get ahead of themselves and spend time imagining what it would be like to accomplish their goals.
Things then tend to fall apart.
You're off balance.
How do we know?
Because we've been there.
And fight almost every day to stay out of there!
For years we thought about buying more properties and starting our own business.
Planned it out on napkins, thought about it, dreamed about it.
But looking back over the years we've found that you have to concentrate day-in-and-day-out on the activities that will get you to your goal.
It's only when we starting doing the little boring activities every single day, day-in-and-day-out, whether we felt like doing it or not, did we actually start to get anywhere.
Just like the Timbit hockey player did before he scored 50 goals in the NHL.
If you spend too much time "thinking big" you end up ignoring your current responsibilities.
We did anyway.
You're not harnessing the incredible power of your concentration.
You're living in la-la land.
When you concentrate on something with all of your being and get down to work, then, and only then, MAGIC HAPPENS.
Things fall into place.
The universe responds ... you "get lucky".
Your context and environment begin to expand.
You begin to change as a person.
A person who can handle more. And the world responds to that.
To move from where you are today to where you want to be requires more concentration than anyone tells you.
We are now well aware of this ourselves.
And that's why when we "dreamed big" we didn't accomplish diddly until the rubber hit the road.
Until we got busy on the "day-to-day" stuff.
When you do this you gradually grow into the person that can handle your big goals.
You're able to deal with the responsibilities that come along with moving from $25,000 to $100,000 or $100,000 to a Million.
Because the circumstances that you'll be dealing with are bigger than the ones you're dealing with now.
And you need to grow into it.
Just like the hockey player who scores 50 goals.
He grew into his bigger environment. It was a process.
So the trick then is to allow yourself to "think big" and set big goals while at the very same time you focus on the day-to-day activities that will get you there.
You need both.
It's a delicate balance. A dance almost.
Here's the next part of the challenge...
The hockey player knows what his day to day activities should include.
Skating, shooting, passing and puck handling.
There's a plan put in place for that path.
Do you know what yours should be?
Other than going to school our society hasn't mapped out much of a plan for you.
My guidance counsellor spent all of 5 minutes with me during high school (we're not blaming by the way, just commenting).
If you're investing in real estate there's no path that society has mapped out for any of us.
Sure there's the odd seminar in a room somewhere and books with all kinds of ideas.
The real estate industry is really good at the "big idea" and really bad at the "implementation" of it.
Implementation isn't sexy after all. It's hard to sell it.
So most don't.
It's up to you to put things into action.
It's up to you to decide to buckle down and do the dirty work.
Today decide that you're going to do something different.
Let today be the day that you chart your own course and set your own sail.
Map out your "must do" activities.
What are they for you? Grab a cup of your favourite beverage and give it some thought. Reflect a little.
And keep things simple.
There's no need for crazy marketing strategies with five different contracts and fifteen clauses.
Most things are much more simple than people make them out to be.
Most importantly, when you do decide what you're map will be...
Stay the course.
Someone once told us that, for real estate, it's "time in the market - not timing the market" and that serves as a guide for our decision making.
Concentrate on what you know works and then stick with it.
There's no rush.
But by sticking with it one day you'll look up and realize you've accomplished something.
And it comes faster than you think.
When you "stay the course" instead of running from one short-term magic money solution to the next you're automatically opposite of the masses - and that's good.
Because very few of our own families and friends take control of their lives they'll make you believe it's a hard process and you're crazy for trying to live life on your terms.
Don't buy into it.
The thinking of "the masses" isn't going to help you so don't buy into their fluff.
Find people who are accomplishing what you want and hang out with them.
It'll change your thinking - it's worked for us. We have many "mentors" to be thankful for.
And now it's time for you to make your mark.
Go get 'em!
Until next time ... be a Renegade!