OK, please excuse my language but the question has to be asked; is 2018 is going to be a cr@p year?
It may not be that bad, (although for many of us it will be) but unless we start to plan now the chances are it’s going to be mediocre at best, in fact probably disappointingly similar to many years that have gone before.
It’s at this time of the year, with the run-up to Christmas and the New Year, many of us will be wondering what 2018 holds for us. We may have big plans and big dreams but the truth is that 2018 is unlikely to be very much different from any other year, that is unless we plan for it to be different.
We need to recognise that if we want 2018 to be a great year (in property) then we need to start planning for it now, and not leaving it until January 1st before we start to think about it.
Why is that? Because unless we plan for it to be different the chances are we’ll take all of our current poor and limited thinking, our bad habits, our lack of vision, and our lack of action into 2018 and then wonder why nothing changed. If anything does change, whether for better or for worse, it will be because events dictated it, rather than because we created it.
If things can change (for the better), if 2018 is going to be our best year (in property) ever, we need to be intentional about it and take full control now.
In the words of the motivation experts, we need to, “Make the event, don’t wait for the event”, but even more than that we need to control the event and not be at the mercy of the event.
Put like this, this might sound rather gloomy, even depressing, but it doesn’t have to be.
There is a simple 5 step process we can follow which will give our best year (in property) ever, if we are prepared to put in the preparation and take action. I’ll be introducing you to that process later in this series of posts.
So where do we start? As preparation, even before we start to use the 5 step process, we need to make sure that our heads are in the right place.
Ideally we need to go into the New Year with the right mindset, and having started to develop the right habits and actions which will help us to achieve, especially the belief we can achieve.
Mindset is so important for success, especially having the right beliefs about what we can achieve.
As I get older, and as I experience more success personally, and as I get to mix with more successful people, I have come to realise that often the only difference between success and failure is belief.
The most successful people have an unshakeable mindset and believe they can do what they set their mind to do. It’s said that, “The person with the most confidence wins”, and successful people are confident that ‘they can win’ even if they aren’t entirely sure how they are going to do it.
And they are persistent. Persistence is the next best asset to keep us going, no matter what happens, and no matter how many times we fail. Some failure is inevitable, but if we keep on despite the failures, success will become inevitable.
Developing persistence is a bit like developing muscles or fitness, and comes from regular practice.
A big motivator for practising persistence can be by developing compelling reasons to achieve whatever it is we want to achieve.
If you have enough big reasons, perhaps four or five “Super Reasons” why you must succeed, then you will be motivated to keep picking yourself up and to keep on going, even when things (inevitably) don’t go your way.
So it’s important that as a habit to take into the New Year we develop our mindset everyday. That can be by listening to motivational material, hanging around with motivated and successful (but not delusional people) and by having a mentor, especially a mentor who has achieved what we want to achieve and can show us how to do it.
Apart from developing our mindset what else do we need to do to make sure 2018 is our best year (in property) ever?
Simply we need to follow the 5 step system which looks like this:
- Decide what we (really) want
- Set goals to achieve what we (really) want
- Make a plan to achieve those goals
- Take (vigorous and persistent) action on the plan
- Regularly review progress and tweak (the plan) as necessary.
The process itself might seem simple but it is also extremely powerful, and if we follow it we can often achieve far more than we realise is possible.
However, the bad news is that few people follow it properly, even if they try to follow it at all.
Take, for example, deciding what we (really) want. That’s obvious, isn’t it? Don’t we all know what we really want? Well, at a superficial level yes, but unfortunately, for a lot of us, that’s where it stops.
I mentor and coach property investors one-on-one and commonly I meet people who are very earnest and genuine in their desire to succeed in property, but they haven’t really thought through what that means for them. In other words, they haven’t really thought about and identified what they really want, and how property is going to provide it for them.
Often they have vague ideas about, ” Making some money”, or “Owning a few properties”, or “Building a nest-egg as a pension” or “Generating a bit of income”.
All these are worthy ‘wishes’ but are too non-specific if we are going to translate them into goals, tangible goals we can plan to achieve.
I do have some sympathy. Sometimes their ‘wants’ are a little vague because they aren’t entirely sure what property can do for them, especially if they are relatively new to property. They think getting into property is a good thing, because their friends have, or the headlines in the newspaper says prices are going up, or because they watched a TV programme where someone made money from doing up a property but, when pressed, they don’t know exactly what they can actually achieve.
Interestingly, I meet many people who get into property without fully knowing what it is they want to achieve, and so they drift. Determining and deciding what you want to achieve is a crucial starting point but surprisingly many people gloss over this. The trouble is that with nothing specific to aim for or to achieve, the inevitable result is that they achieve far less than they could or should.
But assuming that we do know what we want, what then?
Then there’s the whole process of goal setting which, again, can be problematic. Even if we form precise financial goals which we want to achieve, articulating our financial goals as property goals can be a stumbling block for many.
This is especially true if we’re starting with limited experience in property and aren’t sure how much money we can expect to make from a specific property, or type of property, or by following a specific strategy or technique.
That’s why I have refined the process to include this step in my home study course and resource Goal Setting to Property Success in 5 Simple Steps
We need to set goals but as I get more experienced in this process I realise that success isn’t just down to setting goals, it’s about the quality of the goals we set.
By the way, please don’t switch off at the mention of goal setting. I know that goal setting can seem a bit ‘old hat’ but it’s absolutely fundamental to our success. I’d be prepared to be bet that at least 95% of successful people, perhaps even 99% of successful people, have got to where they are by goal setting, whether they have a recognised formal system, or they just did it instinctively.
So if it works for them, there’s a great chance it’ll also work for us.
So in my next newsletter we’ll start to look at six ways we can ensure that the goals we set really will help us to make 2018 our best year (in property) ever.
Here’s to successful property investing.
Peter Jones B.Sc FRICS
Chartered Surveyor, author and property investor