Life advice: Take action

My mother, who shaped most of my life and who died from a 2 decade battle with cancer when I was 23, once said to me, “no matter how good you think you are, there is always somebody out there better.” Shocking to hear when you are an idealist teenager. But brilliant advice as it turns out.

What she was trying to convey was be practical about life. Don’t mind yourself with having to be the very best of all around you. Its an endless and mostly ungratifying pursuit. Do a good job and move on. Make the most of the moment, then proceed to the next challenge. Take action.

Whenever I’ve read self help books or books on learning to make money at real estate or other pursuits, I notice a good portion dedicated to motivating the reader. This is for good reason. The vast majority of reader never take action.

I’ve had coworkers ask for advise on investing in real estate or get started on investing / getting head. I used to walk them through my process. How to find prospective properties, cost the purchase, research the rental revenue and draw up a prospective P&L. Hand delivered an investment. But so often they never bite. They don’t take the plunge into investing.

When I get asked for advice now, I tell them to read the “Millionaire Next Door,” by Thomas Stanley and William Danko. If they actually read the book, then i know they are half-way serious. Most times they don’t. And I know not to waste my time getting serious about my advice.

What prevents most people from taking action in their pursuits? What stops them from going that next step? I’ve observed its often a fear of failure. I have seen friends who after bombing on a midterm exam purposely fail a course (stopped trying / working) because they’d rather fail on purpose than to try their best and still fail. They feared failure.

Its not easy taking the plunge to make an investment in real estate. But if you don’t take action, you’ll get nowhere. Don’t focus on who is the best or how good you think you should be. Focus on taking action.

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