Will this make the boat go faster?

by | Sep 10, 2019 | Investments, Lifestyle, Mindset, Productivity, Real Estate

“Will this make the boat go faster” – how is this even relevant to real estate you might ask? What does this even mean? Why are we talking about a boat?

I spend a fair number of my weekends driving and flying to several events and conferences throughout the year. Most of these are for furthering my education and knowledge of specific investments like Multifamily but really the truth is, I walk away from each of these events learning a little bit more about myself, connecting with some amazing people and picking up a tidbit or two that really helps me in my life’s journey and not just real estate.

I was in Dallas the past weekend to walk through a property that we have under contract with my partners in Irving, TX and attend a conference called Fire Summit hosted by Think Multifamily Group – Mark and Tamiel Kenney. I enjoyed chatting with Tamiel about school, education, and entrepreneurship since we have kids about the same age. 

At the conference, I got to meet and network with some heavy-hitters in the real estate world like Nikolai Ray. I’ve been following Nikolai on social media for quite a while and been super impressed with his posts and his knowledge of investments not to mention his successes in the RE world. Nikolai contrary to his very Russian sounding name turns out to be an impressive Canadian-Indian (Dot-Indian). He comes from a lineage to boast about- his grand uncle was Satyajit Ray who won an Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement and another uncle who was a Nobel Prize nominated physicist!  Omg! He’s quite impressive himself. Watch out for his MREX trading platform where real estate will be traded like stocks soon! And no this is not a REIT trading platform!

Learned about 1031 syndications – whaaat! I never heard about 1031 and syndication together. 1031 I thought was possible only in a Tenancy-in-Common structure where multiple partners could JV and get into a deal and could 1031 exchange their funds into a deal. Syndication on the other hand involves a sponsor raising capital from passive investors. Who knew you could do a Tenancy-in-Common Syndication where the syndication is structured as a TIC member. News to me. I always learn something new at these conferences. The learning never stops and that’s a good thing.

Along with the learning, and chatting with interesting personalities like Nikolai Ray, Mark Kenney, James Kandaswamy, Lane Kawaoka, John Monteiro, Raj Gupta and so many more, we had discussions  about acupuncture, Qi-Gong, energy healing, neural networks and other very random topics you wouldn’t expect to hear at a real estate conference! I love these conferences for the quality of people that it gets together! I was also inspired and amazed to meet two 14-15 year olds at the conference who were already entrepreneurial in their thinking – Mila Monteiro and Tyler Kenney. So impressive! 

I really enjoyed listening to Keeley Hubbard of The Koa Group talking about how sales doesn’t have to be sales-y at all. I couldn’t agree more! I have never really been the one who falls for any sales pitch, I run a mile when someone tries to sell me something, I literally make sure I don’t buy it, I shut off people when I sniff a sales tactic from a mile away. As a consumer I want to be presented with information to be able to make an educated decision about a product that I want to buy. Whether it’s a dress or it’s real estate. Salesy pitches are not my thing! All this should mean that being a syndicator/sponsor should be tough for me since I have to raise capital for multifamily deals I’m a part of and I have to sell the deal to my investors. Hmm not at all!

Maybe because I don’t think of it as sales. With my engineer mindset, I view it as a problem solving exercise. Most investors I’m working with are busy and have a hard time figuring out how to invest their money to make the best returns with a lowest amount of risk. Some of them jump into the stock market or try their hand at single family investing maybe a rental or two and discover they can’t retire based on that (like I did too!). Most are happy to be investing in a hands-off investment that is not volatile like the stock market, backed by a tangible asset, makes solid double-digit returns AND cashflows to make them passive income! What’s not to like right?!

My view is that most investors have a problem of “finding good investments”. I’m providing them the knowledge AND a few possible solutions to their problem. My webinars and other forms of education being the knowledge component and the investment opportunities being the solutions. So where’s the sales? There’s none of it.

If someone is not comfortable with an investment and/or the risk involved, I advise them to look for alternate investments. Grant-Cardone-pushy-sales has never been my thing and Keeley definitely hit the nail on the head with her astute observations on being authentic, empathetic and really understanding the investor’s painpoint(s) and outcomes so we can propose the right solutions for them. Investing in passive multifamily is not for everyone. One needs a good amount of capital for passive investments ($50K+ generally) and it’s probably not the best place to start for an average Joe that is a trying to make ends meet and figure out how to save money. Wholesaling and flipping with other people’s money might be more appropriate strategies in those cases.

I strongly believe there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to investing. Risk tolerance, capital and time/effort have to be taken into consideration to make useful recommendations. Patience and empathy are important to understand a potential client’s painpoint(s), perspective and desired outcomes. One doesn’t need a pushy sales pitch – but rather education, an honest assessment of an investment and to leave the rest unto the investors to make an educated decision. No sales in all of that.

Ah I love to talk! Erhm! Type I mean! And I digress from the boat story completely! Will this make the boat go faster? Another memorable speaker at the event was a renowned business coach and ex-Tony Robbins platinum coach Trevor McGregor who talked about his 7-Steps to Success which are posted below. He encouraged us to identify our weakest 3 of these 7 to work on.

Ah! The boat! As a part of his closing remarks at the event, he also briefly shared the boat story that left a deep impression on me and gave me plenty to think about on my drive back to Austin.

The story goes like this. In 1998 a British rowing team who were the Gold-medal favorites lost badly at the Olympic event they were participating and didn’t even make a medal let alone gold. Dejected they went back home vowing to make it right. During their training they came up with this concept of a “PQ” or Primary question that would serve as the focus of their training. One of the teammates came up with the PQ which was – “Will this make the boat go faster” and this became their team’s PQ.

Everything they did in their daily lives had to be aligned with their PQ. Would they drink that night and hang out with their buddies – would this make their boat go faster? Probably not. So they skipped it. So with this PQ, they trained hard and diligently kept it in focus through all their day-to-day activities and guess what?! In the next Olympics they went in as the underdogs and came out as winners!

Coach T through this story encouraged us all to think about our PQ that would help us stay focused and work towards our goals.

As an full-time entrepreneur now, I’m discovering all sorts of challenges in staying focused and not getting distracted doing a zillion things. Sometimes I feel frustrated that I’m spending time on activities that are not necessarily revenue-generating. So how do you separate the fluff, the high-value from the low-value activities? The answer: Formulate your PQ is and ask yourself if all your activities support your PQ. As long as they are aligned with your PQ it means you’re headed in the right direction.

A lot of activities when you start off as an entrepreneur in any field are likely to make you feel like you’re spinning your wheels and you don’t have much to show for it. Some days are encouraging. Some days are exhilarating. But some days are simply frustrating!

I like to look at growing a business to be much like planting seeds. It takes a lot of care to plant it at just the right depth, right distance away from other seeds, water it right – not overwater it or underwater it. You might spend days looking at the earth and get disappointed and discouraged too. But then it peeks out – that tiny little lightest-green sprout from the darkness of the earth surrounding it.

Whether you’re a business owner, a W2 employee, a parent, a grandparent a student – think about your PQ today. What is it that you’re working towards. Don’t lose sight of it. Use it like a lighthouse to navigate yourself towards your goals.