Define What You WON’T Do

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We all know the power of setting goals, declaring the actions we will take—even if they are outside our comfort zone—and then taking those actions to progress towards our goals.  But what about the opposite—defining what we WON’T do?  It turns out there is great value in setting boundaries that eliminate certain possibilities.  In this episode, Jeff explains the value and importance of defining what we WON’T do, and describes the number one most important thing to decide NOT to do.

Episode Transcript

So it’s safe to say you’re an achievement oriented person, you probably spend a lot of time, like the rest of us thinking about what we’re going to do what we want to do what we commit to taking action on what we’re going to achieve. But have you ever stopped to consider the value of defining what you won’t do? In this episode, we’re gonna talk about that exact value defining what you won’t do and how it’s actually an enabler and an empowering thing, not a limiter. So Let’s cue up that theme song. We’re gonna jump right in. 

Welcome to Racking Up Rentals, a show about how regular people, those of us without huge war chest of capital or insider connections, can build lasting wealth acquiring a portfolio of buy and hold real estate. But we don’t just go mainstream looking at what’s on the market and asking banks for loans, nor are we posting We Buy Houses signs are just looking for “motivated sellers” to make lowball offers to. You see, we are people-oriented deal makers, we sit down directly with sellers to work out win-win deals without agents or any other obstacles, and buy properties nobody else even knows are for sale. I’m Jeff from the Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur. If you’re the kind of real estate investor who wants long term wealth, not get rich quick gimmicks or pictures of yourself holding fat checks on social media, this show is for you. Join me and quietly become the wealthiest person on your block. Now let’s go rack up a rental portfolio.

Hey, thanks for joining me for another episode of racking up rentals. Show Notes can be found at thoughtfulre.com/e189 189 episodes getting up there that is awesome. Thank you for being here with me, please do a big ol favor for us and for yourself by hitting that follow button or your subscribe button or with the plus sign or whatever it looks like in your podcast app really helps fellow thoughtful real estate entrepreneurs to find this show because the platform’s know you are listening. And of course, make sure you don’t miss anything we’ve got coming up for you. Onward with today’s episode. 

If you ever thought about what life would be like, if you truly considered anything and everything, it would actually be exhausting. You’d be rethinking every single little decision throughout your day Big or small, from scratch, right? What if you woke up each day and said, I don’t know I think I’ll decide today. If this is a day, I’m going to brush my teeth or take a shower. Or when somebody upsets me, am I going to open myself up to you know, punching them? Or flipping them off? Or something like that? Or do I have certain things that I don’t do when someone asks me to go do a certain thing with them? Or donate money to a certain cause? Do I need to completely think that all through from scratch. There’s a lot of value and energy savings in having some boundaries established for what we do and what we don’t do. And like I said in the intro, we tend to think a lot about what we’re what we do, what we want to do the things we’re going to take action on. Because those are the things that make achievement oriented folks feel very empowered, like we’re making progress, and we are moving towards the things that we want in life. But there’s a lot of value in defining the boundaries that we will not color outside of so how does that apply in the context of building wealth through rental properties in real estate? 

Well, you could decide a bunch of different won’t categories, right, you could say I won’t buy a certain type of property, I won’t buy properties in a certain location. Right. So just stop and listen to those for a second. I won’t buy properties that are 2000 miles away from me, perhaps that’s your standard. Some somebody else might say I won’t buy properties that are more than 10 miles from me. Some might say I won’t buy single family homes, I will only buy say industrial properties, I will only buy storage properties, I will only buy five or more unit residential properties property type and location could be types of wills and once so to speak. You could have won’t categories around condition, I won’t buy things that are in teardown condition or i On the flip side won’t buy things that are just completely turnkey, because then I don’t have the opportunity to add value. Maybe some of your wounds are around ethics. I won’t do a deal where I feel like I’m taking advantage of somebody. I won’t pursue distressed sellers. Maybe some of your wounds are around what I call negotiation dynamic. The process of buying a property the dynamic that is created between you and the seller, that is established by the way you meet and reach out and initially connect with a seller for instance, a certain negotiation dynamic is created when When you do a cold phone call, or when you unexpectedly knock on somebody’s door, and just approach them when they’re not anticipating you’re gonna come by, that’s one type of negotiation dynamic, a very different type of negotiation dynamic would be 10 different parties submitting blind bids, to buy a piece of real estate, a completely different negotiation dynamic would be sitting down with somebody who your best friend referred to you, in their living room having a cup of coffee, you could look at the different negotiation dynamics and say, I won’t do this, or I won’t do that. So there’s a lot of different ways you could draw the boundaries, you know, I’m picturing in my mind, like you’re grabbing a Sharpie, and you’re drawing a line. And you’re saying, I don’t do things on the other side of this line, for whatever reasons, practical reasons, emotional reasons, ethical reasons. But here is a piece of advice that I will hope that you will listen to, I hope that you decide that you won’t do deals that don’t somehow take advantage of your unique gifts, and talents. 

Now, there’s a lot of open endedness to that statement, because your unique gifts and talents are different than the other person who’s listening to the show right now are different than mine who are different than your other local real estate, investing peers, in all likelihood. But what I hope you’ll do is you’ll say, I won’t do deals where I am just a commodity, where I don’t bring anything unique to the table that is specific to my own talents. You know, when you talk to most people, and you go out, and you take a look in the community, of real estate investors, especially those who are kind of getting started. And by getting started, I mean, it could be in the first several years maybe of their real estate investing journey. 

Most people tend to feel like real estate investing is a formula that you need to crack the code for that formula. And it’s like a recipe. And if you just put the ingredients together in the right way, then you will have success. In other words, they figure out what they think it takes to be successful. And then they say to themselves, I need to do what it takes to be successful. It’s kind of like they say real estate success is what it is. And my job is to conform myself to that thing, because it is what it is. But there’s a different way of looking at things. What if instead of saying real estate investing formula for success is this and I just have to conform myself to do it. What if instead, you said the key to real estate investing success for me would be for me to understand what I invest at where I bring unique value into, say, a negotiation or the execution of a deal or anything and say I’m going to reverse engineer my real estate investing strategy to fit my own unique talents, and gifts. 

So why is this on my mind? Well, the reason is because it’s something I’ve learned to think about increasingly, and increasingly and increasingly over the last several years. Through the encouragement of my own coach, Greg Pina. He’s always telling me, Jeff, listen, the number one thing that you do well, in this business is sitting in front of people and connecting with them. That should be the entire focus of everything that you are doing. We shouldn’t be creating situations where the main way to create a win is through some extremely elaborate condo development project because that’s not where my talents and strengths lie. My talents and strengths don’t lie in navigating the city and the permitting process and things like that. My talents and strengths don’t lie in finding great ways to improve properties and I use my own hands and I’m have architectural skills and construction skills and things like that. My own talents don’t necessarily lie, although they could be applied better in this case, to soliciting funds from other people. My talents and my strengths lie in sitting in the living room of a seller and having that conversation. 

So what have I decided I won’t do? I won’t do things that take those talents of mine and put them on the bench. I won’t do a deal where I am contributing money to a syndication. Why? Because all I’m contributing, there is money, I’m not contributing my greatest talents and strengths at all, I’m not contributing anything where I have the ability to create a bigger win by my own unique gifts, all I would be doing is contributing something that’s just a total commodity like dollars. And I don’t want to do that. I can get ahead further and faster, and create more value in the world. If I’m using my own gifts, and talents. 

I won’t spend any energy at all pursuing REO properties, you know, Bank owned foreclosure properties, I won’t spend any time down at a foreclosure auction, where the way to win is through a bidding process that completely nullifies the thing that I’m good at, why would I spend my time and energy pursuing ways of investing that don’t capitalize on what I actually am good at in the unique value that I bring? I, similarly, and this is gonna sound really extreme to a lot of real estate investors probably won’t be surprising to those of you who’ve been listening to this podcast for a long time. But I won’t buy properties that are listed on the market through other realtors. Why? Because I don’t get the opportunity to utilize my skills of connecting with people and asking questions and listening and understanding them and theirs. In other words, to put it in language we use in the yeses framework and that we talk about constantly in the deals workshop, there’s no opportunity to solve the person well, solving the person is the single thing that I am best at. So why would I throw my finite energy at things that don’t allow me to solve the person. 

Similarly, sometimes I go direct to a seller, and I can tell just energetically that seller is holding me at arm’s length looks like a stiff arm, you know, like the Heisman Trophy picture, statue, the sellers kind of holding me at arm’s length, I have to decide this is not going to be a chance for me to actually utilize those talents. Because even though I’m talking directly to them, they’re not letting me in to have the type of conversation I want to have. So I don’t do those things. 

Those are my wonts. Now, your wonts don’t have to be the same as mine. They really don’t. There’s a chance, I think, a good chance, probably that you have some things in common with me if you’re still listening to this podcast 189 episodes in. But that doesn’t mean you have to decide the same wonts that I have decided. But I do hope that you will choose some wonts of some sort, because that is enabling it’s actually encouraging constraints create, enabling, not limiting because now we don’t have to think about everything. 

If somebody if I get an email from a wholesaler that says, Hey, are you interested in this property? I don’t even need to read the email. I just know I don’t buy properties from wholesalers or wholesalers bad, no. But it nullifies my greatest strength, which is the ability to solve the person and I have no interest in that. Great. This is one less thing that I have to spend my brainpower in time processing as a consideration. Should I do this? Should I not? I don’t know, where’s the property is? Does it seem like a deal? I don’t have to think about any of that. I just say no, right off the top. And I preserve my energy for the things that I know that I have said yes to. 

So if most people are out there saying this is how the game works. The formula is the formula and I have to do what it takes I have to conform myself to the formula I have to do what it takes. What if you change things around? And what if you said, I’m going to make what it takes fit? What I do see the reversal there? This is what it takes. And I’m going to have to do what it takes. That’s the normal mentality. But what if you said no, I’m going to change the game, I’m going to recraft the game. So that I’m going to make what it takes fit. What I do, because I know what I do, and I know what I do best. So my friends, my wish for you is that you will define your own won’t define what you will not do. And sometimes it’s going to be sort of mechanical and technical. Like I won’t buy properties that are more than 100 miles away from me or whatever it might be. But I hope that you have kind of a qualitative side to this too. 

And the number one thing I hope you adopt from this conversation from this episode, is the idea that you won’t do deals that don’t somehow take advantage of your unique gifts and talents. And well I don’t necessarily know what those are for the dozens, hundreds 1000s of you who are listening to this now or in the future, but I know that they exist. And I hope you know what they are and if you don’t feel like you know what they are then maybe the first step is actually to get more clear on what your own unique talents and gifts are that you can According to this table, but I implore you don’t spend your time and energy, your precious time and energy, your finite time and energy. Pursuing deals just because you feel like there’s some kind of a recipe out there that you have to follow for success, even if it doesn’t take advantage of your own skills and talents and gifts. Figure out what those are. And figure out how your strategy can employ those unique talents and gifts because that’s where you will create an edge that’s where you will reach your own goals. So much better and faster. 

That is it for today’s episode of Racking Up Rentals. So again, shownotes can be found at thoughtfulre.com/e189. Please do us a big favor by hitting that subscribe follow plus sign button in your podcast app and rating and reviewing the show. Oh my gosh, that helps so much. And I’m super grateful. I see every rating and review and I really, really appreciate it. Did you know we have a Facebook group for us thoughtful real estate entrepreneurs too. Yep, we do and you should be there. I hope you’ll come join us. It’s called Rental Portfolio Wealth Builders. We’d love to have you there. Just go to group.thoughtfulre.com. And we have arranged for the magic of the internet to take you right to the correct page in Facebook ad you can then hit that blue Join button. If you liked this episode, please take a screenshot post it to Instagram. That’d be awesome. You can tag us we are @thoughtfulrealestate. Well, I’ll see you in the next episode. Until then, this is Jeff from the Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur signing off. 

Thanks for listening to Racking Up Rentals where we build long term wealth by being win-win dealmakers. Remember: solve the person to unlock the deal and solve the financing to unlock the profits.

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