I’m recovering from Shiny-Object-itis.
Not familiar with this disease that tends to ravage many entrepreneurs? You may be suffering from it yourself, and it’s holding you back from achieving your full potential with real estate investing.
Shiny-Object-itis is a “grass is always greener” mentality. You’re never satisfied with anything, you’re always starting, but never finishing things, you’re easily distracted, and your interest in new things is intense. You don’t have a problem with taking action — your problem is that you’re always saying “YES.”
When I first got started with real estate investing there were so many options on the menu: wholesaling, rehabbing, lease options, probates, landlording, buying notes — and they all looked so…shiny!
Related: Overwhelmed? A Step By Step Guide on How to Focus and Complete Many Tasks Quickly
I finally picked rehabbing, but after a couple of deals, I got bored and wanted to do a lease option. Oh, and then there was also commercial real estate, apartments mainly, but self-storage looked sooooo good, too.
I love learning and starting new things, but I was never really achieving any level of success.
I’ve learned that there are a few problems with Shiny-Object-itis that if you don’t address will stifle your success as a real estate investor.
3 Problems With Shiny-Object-itis
1. You Never Get Good at Anything
This is the fundamental problem with Shiny-Object-itis. You start a bunch of stuff, but you never give it time to really succeed.
2. You Can’t Build a Platform That You Can Build On
What I’m looking for in my businesses is a PLATFORM. A “platform” is a core business that is stable, covers your living expenses and produces excess income that you can reinvest in the business to grow it.
If you’re rehabbing 10 houses per year on your own, what could you do with an assistant or construction supervisor? How would that let you grow your rehabbing business? In order to afford help, the business you’re building will need to produce excess income. And in order to do that, you would need to stick with it long enough to get there.
Apartment buildings can be a platform, especially if you develop the skill for raising money (that I write about so frequently). If you can raise money to buy 20 units, you can leverage that into 100 units — or 500 units — or even more.
Related: Five Steps to Finding Focus in Your Real Estate Business
Shiny-Object-itis prevents you from building that platform.
3. There Are Only So Many Hours in a Day
A side effect of Shiny-Object-itis is that you never feel like you’re finishing something, so you’re constantly working harder and harder to get a sense of accomplishment. Shiny-Object-itis, while mainly a mental affliction, can also lead to physical issues, as your sleep suffers, and your stress level rises.
And it may create problems with your family and friends who you can’t spend time with anymore. Shiny-Object-itis tempts us to neglect our health and work/life balance that is so critical if we’re going to make it in the long term.
Before committing to a particular real estate investing strategy, you need to carefully consider your path, and maybe try different ones, to find the one that works for you. Once you find one that feels right, you learn the ropes and make some mistakes.
But after a while, you get better at it, and you can repeat the success more frequently until you’ve got it figured out. Instead of moving on to the next shiny object, stick with it and use your entrepreneurial spirit to GROW what you’ve built. If you’re growing in this way, you keep it exciting and you’re still learning new things.
The difference is that you’ve built a solid business platform that you can grow as big as you want (while maintaining your work/life balance!).
Do you suffer from Shiny-Object-itis?
Leave a comment below so I know I’m not alone!
The post Don’t Let Shiny-Object-itis Kill Your Real Estate Investing Career is property of The BiggerPockets Blog. and is Copyright © 2014 BiggerPockets, Inc. All Rights Reserved.