How To Lose Money On Shiny Objects

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Let me tell you a quick story about a news story on TV that caught my attention… and what you can learn from it.

Some time ago, I watched a news story on TV about real estate investors making big money. I was intrigued by the idea of making easy money buying homes, fixing them up, and selling them.  Do you know how you see something that grabs your attention you then see it everywhere? Like I never noticed red cars on the road until I saw one, I liked, then I saw them everywhere.

The same was true about real estate investing. Living in the sunshine state, Florida, where real estate is a fraction of California's cost, real estate gurus flood us with getting rich in real estate seminars. Naturally, I had to go find out what this was all about. And off I went in search of how to invest in real estate. It looks so easy on all the television shows aside from the surprises you didn't budget for.

But I didn't think that was important, because everyone was making money… or so they said.

I followed one SHINY OBJECT after another under the guise of learning about real estate investing.  Of course, you have to understand how the game is played. When money is at stake, know what you're doing. So, you have to attend all the seminars to learn how to:

  • fix and flip
  • buy and hold
  • buying notes
  • how to be a landlord
  • buy probate real estate
  • and the list goes on

It was an endless track of gurus, seminars, courses to purchase, and meetings, which all cost money.

I was amazed at the people I met at seminars, like the woman who explained to me why she had purchased courses that were still in the shrink-wrap. Never opened, but she had to do it. I asked her what her goal was, which strategy was she going to run with. To my surprise, she said she couldn't decide yet, not until she attended a few more courses.

Writing this sounds crazy. And it was. I admit I was crazy, too, chasing shiny objects left and right. It was like being a gambler; you just keep going without looking at the original objective.

I had no business doing all that. My original plan was to invest in real estate to create a nest-egg for our family. Instead of a nest egg, I actually robbed the nest.

Looking back, it was dumb. I should have realized that I was too scared to pull the trigger on one of the strategies instead of looking for something better. You see, we chase SHINY OBJECTS because we're dissatisfied with what we're doing. We're looking for more when more isn't what you need.

More doesn't make the situation better. You are betting that one more seminar, course, or guru will be the one to put it all together for you.

What you need is, to be honest without yourself. You have three options:

  • admit this isn't for you
  • go forward with what you have so far
  • get outside counsel

What this means to you in your life/business is that we all need to look behind the curtain to see why we are dissatisfied before throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Option 1 – We hate to admit this wasn't right for you because of your investment. In business, it's called the sunk cost. The money you invested that you won't get back. Or we call it cutting bait. Take your lumps and move on. The IRS would call it a hobby. There is no shame here; it is what it is.

It could be less expensive to cut your losses while you figure out something else. In my case, I could write a book on how challenging real estate investing is for amateurs. No amount of money changed that status. I admire the guts and grit of successful investors. It wasn't for me – obviously.

Option 2 – You reframe your goals and take what you've got so far and create something with it. You could find out that it is just what you needed. All is well. Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater before you take stock of what you need to succeed.

Often you have enough knowledge it's a matter of applying it. Take massive action knowing that you've got what it takes. Come up for air and look for a mentor to guide you.

Option 3 – Find a mentor or coach to help you work through your goals—someone who encourages you but isn't going to go along with any hair-brained ideas. We often get so involved in our pursuit that it's hard to see the next steps. What are we unhappy about?

So, here's your next step as it relates to what you and I just shared: joining my executive coaching program so I can be the one who believes in you and shows you how you can be more than you think you can be.

My life experiences have left me with wisdom to share with others. The clients I've helped, I call my friends. They have learned to count on themselves while they call upon the strength that is within them.

The good news is you don't have to be perfect; you just need to get started and don't stop. You never succeed when you stop.

As Winston Churchill said, ""Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.""

To your success

[I'm on my journey to post every day, this is day 4, I only have 361 days left.]

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Linda James Bennett is obsessed with creating clear brand messages to help business owners win online. She believes that marketing shouldn't be complicated to be great. Let's face it, as a business owner you need to focus on the bottom line that drives sales, not being a copywriter. She is also an author of the book, Becoming A Seriously Happy Special Needs Mom ~ 21 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place, on Amazon.com

Linda James Bennett

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