144 – The Yes/No Balance

In this episode, I talk about the yes/no balance. The yes/no balance is the balance between wanting to say yes to every opportunity that comes your way and the wisdom to know when you need to say no. There is definitely a time to say yes, but, just as importantly, there is a time to say no to things; maybe even a time to say no to everything.

I think that, when you’re new to real estate and starting your business, it is very important to understand and be able to manage the yes/no balance. It will be very tempting early on to say yes to everything. Believe me, I know this. I did it. Most new real estate investors do it as well. The worst thing you can do in the early days is to say yes to everything. So you might be asking yourself, “if I don’t say yes to things, how am I ever going to get anywhere?” My answer to that question is that sometimes saying no will get you farther than saying yes. The best example that I can give you is from my own experiences, as well as those of people I have interviewed. When you’re new to real estate, everything is exciting and all techniques for investing seem wildly interesting: flipping sounds great, buy-and-hold’s sound fun, wholesaling sounds fun, lease options seem interesting, buying notes can draw you in. The bottom line is that if you meet enough people and do the networking that you absolutely have to do, you will end up getting opportunities from a lot of different people in a lot of different areas. Some of those opportunities will line up nicely with your goals and some of them won’t, but you might find them all interesting.

If you say yes to every opportunity that looks interesting or exciting, you will be pulled into many directions and you’ll never give anything a real, honest effort. Your eyes will always be darting around the room, and you will not be focusing on the task at hand. On the other hand, if you say no to everything that comes your way, you will definitely miss out on some potentially great opportunities.

The key is to figure out what you want out of real estate. Is it passive income? Is it bigger chunks of money and time that might require you to put in more work on a daily basis? Is it something else? Once you figure out what it is you want out of real estate and what it will take to get there, then you will know which opportunities will get you further down the path of realizing your goals and which opportunities are merely a distraction. Once you know the difference between an opportunity that furthers your progress and an opportunity that distracts you, you’ll know which ones to say yes to. You should say no to every opportunity that distracts you from your goal. Don’t burn bridges and don’t be rude, just explain that it’s not a good time for you right now and then move on. It certainly doesn’t hurt to keep in touch with people who present opportunities that are not good fit right now; you never know when those individuals or those opportunities will make sense for you.

I have known people in the industry who make a conscious decision to say yes to every opportunity that comes their way for a period of time. They do this for a number of reasons, but usually it is to kickstart their business. They simply say yes to every meeting, every reasonable business partnership, etc. Usually, these are investors that are very experienced and have been in the industry for a while.

I have also known investors who make a conscious decision to say no to every opportunity that comes their way. This usually comes after a period of chaos and multi-directional endeavors; they feel like they’re spiraling out of control and cannot get a handle on things. So in order to course-correct their business, they simply shut down any new opportunities until they can steady the ship.

Understand that you do have to say yes sometimes, or you will miss out on all the opportunities around you; but saying yes to everything can be a disaster.

About the author, Mike

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