So, Lee and I are both approaching major decade birthdays. Some folks are hesitant to admit it when they arrive at “late middle age,” like we are. But not me. I am pretty proud to have made it to my 60th year in really good health and with my brain intact. And I would not want to be younger! Sure, fewer things hurt, but wow, did I do some dumb things. I was full of the book learning, but lacked the experience it takes to have real “wisdom.”
Of course, I’m still learning, but now that I am old and wearing purple (hair and glasses, that is), I’m no longer thinking about things in terms of absolutes, I am way less judgmental of people of different backgrounds or ideologies, and challenges I’d avoid at all costs are now just interesting things to try. (Note: I am still not going sky diving.)
My younger readers may be saying to themselves, “Shoot, is getting older the only way to gain wisdom? Do I just have to sit here and marinate for a while?” And if you are a real estate investor, I’m sure you want to be getting deals and building your wealth NOW, if at all possible.
Jump starting wisdom
Whew, it’s okay. Hey, you may be one of those lucky individuals who are just born wise beyond their years. Maybe your deity just handed out wisdom to you, or you learned a LOT in that past life.
Granted, that’s probably not the case with most of us. How can you work to become not just smart, but also wise, starting early? Here are my ideas, from the top of my purple head:
- Listen. Even if you think someone is totally wrong, misguided, uneducated, or misinformed, listen to what people have to say to you. Sometimes there’s a gem of knowledge hiding among the BS, or at the least you get an insight into the perspective of other people you may need to deal with (buyers, sellers, contractors, bankers, um, family members). And seek out good quality podcasts. Just remember the caveats under the “read” section.
- Learn. Education does not end the moment you step away from your final class in a learning institution. It needs to keep going (so your brain stays perky), AND because there is always new information out there. Since I was in school, atoms have become more than protons, electrons, and neutrons. Glad I read a book about that. In real estate, the techniques many of us learned for reaching buyers or sellers no longer are the most efficient nor do they reach the right people. If you don’t learn how to use email, your website, automated texts, and whatever comes next, you’ll lose out. Here’s one area where it helps to be young, though us old timers have the benefit of knowing when something was tried in the past and didn’t work then and won’t work now (that’s wisdom). A great way to learn is to attend continuing education classes in whatever area you think you have gaps. It’s sometimes an investment, but it sure pays off, especially if you are both young and inexperienced.
- Read. Can’t go to classes? Well, reading doesn’t cost too much. One hint I have is to not rely only on what you can find on the Internet. As someone who writes stuff for the Internet as my job, I am here to tell you not everything you see when you search is great stuff. There is an awful lot of “fluff” out there, written by folks more interested in driving hits to a site than on actually providing good information. That’s one reason I also read books. There’s a bit more quality control when an actual publisher is involved, since they tend to have editors and fact checkers. You will find a LOT of self-published books on real estate out there, though, so listen to this voice of wisdom when I tell you to check up on their sources and reviews!
- Reflect. One thing many of us don’t have time to do these days is reflect on what we are taking in. Reflection helps us figure out what parts of the information we have taken in by listening, learning, and reading really work for us, and which parts we can just set aside. Think about what makes sense for you, at this point in your life, with your particular goals. That will lead you to wisdom!
And again, thanks for reading our blog posts. We may not have as many, going forward, since we are taking a break in projects. But, look forward to reports on the Rattlesnake house and other things we learn and want to share. We really appreciate our readers.
Do send us any potential properties to look into, because we’ll jump right on a project that’s right for us! 512-807-8777.