“Slow feet don’t eat.” — Anonymous

“If you don’t want a 9-5, be prepared to hustle 24-7.” — Anonymous

The question or complaint I hear more than any other is this: how do I find and buy good deals? Especially for new investors, this problem seems insurmountable at times.

Without discounting all of the wonderful information, tactics, and strategies I read (and that I write) here on BiggerPockets, I have news for you.

Finding good deals is 10% tactic, 90% hustle.

In other words, what you know or learn from others is only a small part of the equation. How much you are willing to bust your tail, hustle, and apply what you learn makes the biggest difference.

When I first started investing, I had nothing but my dream and my hustle. I knew I had no capital or wisdom to contribute.

But I had a secret. I knew from experience playing football at Clemson University that nothing could compete with hustle. I started for 3 years as a middle linebacker, when many more talented players sat the bench. I had good physical talent, but I had an extraordinary ability to hustle. It made all the difference.

Think of hustling as hard work with intense passion and focus. Hustling often makes me think of an anonymous quote I learned as an athlete in college:

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion, or it will be killed. Every morning, a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle, or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or gazelle. When the sun comes up, you’d better be running.“

For several years as a brand new, full-time real estate entrepreneur, I truly felt like the gazelle. If I didn’t hustle from the time I woke up until the time I fell asleep, the financial lions might catch me.

I don’t want to spend my whole life as a gazelle (see my plan for financial independence), but this gazelle-like hustle is a mindset and a skill that I lean on whenever times get tough. You can, too.

5 Tips to Step Up Your Hustle & Do More Real Estate Deals

The good news about hustle is that you can control how much you do it. It is all within your head. To help you hustle more, starting today, I am going to share 5 tips that have helped me.

1. Take Care of the Hustler

One of my favorite entrepreneurs and philosophers is Brian Johnson over at Entheos. Brian says that his greatest asset as an entrepreneur is his own consciousness.

This relates to hustle because you are the CHO (Chief Hustling Officer) of your little business. You will certainly build a team (building a team for a fix-flip business), but the pace of your work and your progress will always start with your mindset and your example.

Related: Real Estate Investing Hustle: An Inspirational Story

Because hustling is grinding and emotionally taxing, you have to take care of yourself first and foremost. Your consciousness, or stated another way, your daily attitude and energy, will be the foundation that sustains you.

So, it helps to deliberately create habits that will provide a foundation for your attitude and your energy. Here are are the fundamentals I use to take care of the Chief Hustling Officer in my business:

Good Night of Sleep: I made it a goal this year to get 7 hours of sleep per night. This has been a weakness of mine in the past, so I decided to prioritize and track it.
Nutrition: Our nutrition gives us the energy we need to hustle. I like to focus on the fundamentals. Drink lots of water. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Eat few refined foods.
Exercise: Studies have shown that exercise actually helps beat depression (Harvard Medical School and WebMD). It also helps you to think better, and it boosts your energy. I try to do some sort of movement, small or large, for at least 15 minutes daily.
Meditation: My daily morning ritual includes doing a session of focused breathing for at least 7 minutes. This breathing meditation reduces stress, calms my mind, and puts me in an optimal mood to start hustling for the day. Harvard Medical School professor Dr. Herbert Benson shows that a “relaxation response” like that from meditation reduces stress and has many other positive health benefits.
Inspiration: I like to regularly read and study stories, blogs, and biographies about other people hustling, facing adversity, and moving forward. This inspiration gives me the “proof” that anything is possible and that my own struggles are normal.

You probably have your own routines to take care of yourself. My point here is to prioritize and ritualize whatever your personal fundamentals are so that you can be at your best and hustle more.

2. Focus on Your “Why”

A TED Talk by Simon Sinek brilliantly explains the power of starting with the question “Why.” Here is a quote from part of his talk:

“Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. By WHY, I mean your purpose, cause or belief. WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?”

Your personal “Why” is the inner, emotional motivator that will keep you hustling day in and day out. Your business also has a “Why,” and it is the core service and benefits that your customers need from you.

When I choose to stay focused on my “Why,” the daily energy available for my own business hustle is astounding. My “Why” drives and motivates me, and it directly translates into many significant goals and projects.

So, take the time to think about your own “Why.” It is not something you create. It is a passion already inside of you that you uncover. When you rediscover it and tap its limitless energy reserves, no amount of hustle will be too much.

3. Face …read more