143 – Give Yourself a Break

In this episode, I discuss learning to give yourself a break; not everything you try is going to work. There will be failures. There will be bumps in the road, and obstacles that you’re going to have to work through. This is normal. If you’re not failing once in a while, you’re not trying hard enough to succeed!

Sometimes, if you experience setbacks or failures when you’re trying something new, you tend to come down hard on yourself. I know that; I don’t have a lot of patience by nature. I don’t have patience with other people, and at times I don’t have patience with myself. I don’t like having to go through a learning curve. I become frustrated when I feel like results are not coming as quickly as I would like. My wife is very good at reminding me of all of the things that are going well at times when I feel frustrated by slow results. When I experience a failure, my natural reaction is to come back fighting even harder–which is a good thing as long as I don’t let the failures affect me negatively. Learning curves are part of the process. There are definitely ways in which you can shorten a learning curve, such as finding a mentor or hiring a coach. But that is not what I want to talk about today.

Today I want to make sure that you give yourself a break when the inevitable setbacks and failures occur. Failures only come when people push themselves, step out of their comfort zone, and try new things. That is exactly what you need to be doing in order to succeed in this business:

  1. Push yourself.
  2. Step out of your comfort zone.
  3. Try new things.

Have you ever heard the saying that, if you keep doing what you’re doing, you will keep getting what you’re getting? People who don’t push themselves, step out of their comfort zone, and try new things will always keep getting what they’re getting. By playing it safe and doing what you’re doing, you can eliminate most, if not all, failure. The only failure you can’t escape by playing it safe is the failure of never trying, and therefore never succeeding. It’s sort of like failure by omission. I’m not sure if that makes any sense, but essentially, by not trying, you fail by default. That is just the way I look at it. Some people say that, if you never try, then you don’t have to worry about being defeated, but I say if you never try you are already defeated. At least by trying you give yourself a chance to succeed.

I really didn’t intend to make this episode about philosophy, but I feel very strongly about people who are afraid to fail, so they stay in their shell and never come out and try things. In real estate, people tend to fail much more often than they succeed in the beginning; then, over time, the failures and the successes level out, until eventually the failures are few and far between and success becomes commonplace. By failure, I don’t necessarily mean that you lose money on a deal or an investment goes bad; I mean failures like launching a marketing campaign and getting no leads from it, or talking to a motivated seller who doesn’t want to sell you their house. Those failures will happen, and until you get more experience they will probably happen often. But once you learn how to tweak your marketing, or how to better talk to a motivated seller, success will come more often, until you get to a point where you can expect success.

But until you get to that point – give yourself a break. By trying, you put yourself ahead of the vast majority of the population. By trying, you give yourself a chance to succeed; by giving yourself a chance to succeed and taking significant action, you will eventually succeed. I believe that.

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  1. Matt Maurice on 05/18/2014 at 9:24 PM

    Hi Mike,
    I have been listening to your posts for a couple weeks now. This one in particular has come at a convenient time as my first flip is over budget and cash is getting VERY tight… by no means will the project be a failure but as I have time to calculate the “mistakes” I have made, it has certainly grounded my expectations a bit. Two things I wanted to add to your post… John C. Maxwell wrote an excellent book titled “Failing Forward”; it essentially revolves around the theory that to move forward you must make mistakes and learn from them. The second thing is a quote that my uncle gave me when I started my RE business full time. It’s a quote he leaned on heavily when he started his business that was eventually bought out by a fortune 500 company… I have read it several times and think it applies here.

    It is not the critic who counts;
    not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,
    or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
    The credit belongs to the man who is in the arena.
    Whose face is marred by dust, sweat and blood;
    who strives valiantly;
    who errs;
    who comes short again, and again.
    Because there is no effort without error and shortcomings;
    But who does strive to do the deeds;
    who knows great enthusiasms,
    great devotions,
    who spends himself in a worthy cause.
    Who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement.
    And who at the worst, if he fails;
    at least fails while daring greatly.
    He knows his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls
    who neither know…

    Victory, nor Defeat

    • Mike Simmons on 05/18/2014 at 10:25 PM

      Matt, first of all let me congratulate you on being part of the very small percentage of people who actually pursue their dreams and start a business! It sounds like you have a great attitude and a mindset necessary to be successful in this business. I have not heard of the book that you referenced by John C Maxwell. I will definitely check that out!
      I love the quote your uncle gave you! Very cool!
      Thank you for listening to the podcast and I’m glad that you are enjoying it!

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