Winning At Real Estate Investing Begins With Designing The End in Mind

edmonton_blog.jpgBy Richard Dolan

During these times of economic uncertainty in the west and the heightening anticipation of a correction (or deflation) in the east; we ask ourselves as real estate investors – what do I want now?

To begin answering this primary question post new-year’s eve we must ask ourselves: What exactly do I want?What does it look like? What will it take to acquire, maintain and share those things that are integral to my destiny with others? And once you make that choice, decide with definitiveness.

The Internet, the mapping of DNA, the Space Shuttle, cell phones, planes, cars, radio, and the printing press—all these creations of human kind were first creations of human imagination. To the man without vision, a rough-hewn hunk of marble is a rock; to a visionary like Michelangelo, it is a masterpiece waiting to be revealed. When he first laid eyes on the marble that would become one of his most celebrated accomplishments, the statue of David, the master said, “I saw the angel in the marble and I carved until I set him free.”

The men and women who lay claim to their destiny see through obstacles to the possibilities inside. It is not enough to simply wish for something; it is not enough to simply hope for something. The giants of history have desired those things that they focused on with such intensity as to render their potent thoughts indistinguishable from physical facts. They willed their riches into existence with the power of their focus and belief. They vividly saw things not as they are, but as they would be, and it worked.

Bill Gates said, “A computer on every desk,” and it has become so. Henry Ford envisioned a car for every man, and history testifies to the power of his imagination. Thomas Edison dreamed— and the night disappeared. All great men and women begin with the goal firmly etched in their mind, every nuance and detail alive with color and texture. They harness the full power of their subconscious and make their dreams so realistic that their subconscious mind cannot tell between fact and fiction. They have a clear vision for their future.

It Begins with a Vision

On August 28, 1963, a crowd of over 200,000 civil rights supporters met at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial to hear the words from one of the greatest visionaries of all time. In his historic “I Have a Dream” speech, Martin Luther King, Jr., took the microphone and uttered these immortal words:

I have a dream. It is a dream that is deeply rooted in the American dream … It is a dream that one day, little black boys and little black girls will play with little white boys and little white girls … that my four boys will be judged not by the color of their skin but of the content of their character…. From every mountain top, let freedom ring…. I have a dream today!

Consider the power of King’s words. He has described how he de- sires to see the future. He has described what will happen in the future he sees. He describes how people will treat each other. He describes every place that we will “let freedom ring.” He infuses his description with passion and energy. It is a masterpiece of visionary composition and oration. Now, consider the ripple that King’s words created that day in the Civil Rights Movement of the sixties. Forty-five years later to the day after the “I Have a Dream” speech, Barack Obama took the stage at the Democratic convention as the first black U.S. Presidential nominee.

Whether your politics are conservative or liberal, and even regardless of your assessment of Obama’s presidency, you can’t help but be struck by the transformation in American society that has seen the election of a black man to the highest office in the country. It is a momentous accomplishment and a testament to the power of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The reasons for developing your vision are seemingly boundless and clearly compelling, but here are just a few to consider. Having a clear vision:

  • Gives you a feeling of certainty about your future
  • Helps you to make decisions quickly
  • Creates a long-term focus generates energy and vitality
  • Attracts like-minded people to you
  • Makes you resilient to setbacks and discouragement
  • Reveals resources and opportunities you never saw before
  • Allows you to create the future you desire
  • Gives you a greater sense of purpose
  • Forces you to address your personal shortcomings
  • Become the greatest version of yourself.

Let us consider progressing from a clear vision to a powerful vision. A powerful vision …

  1. is commanding in scale
  2. is detail-rich
  3. requires boldness
  4. is precise
  5. requires personal growth
  6. aligns with your values
  7. fuels you with energy
  8. attracts followers
  9. invites obstacles; and
  10. leads to triumph.

Let’s focus on my personal favorite three to begin living a powerful future by design.

  1. A Powerful Vision Requires Boldness

A vision is not a memory of what was, or a picture of what is— it is a dream of what will be. And since what you have envisioned does not yet exist, it means that you must have the courage to tempt fate and overcome pessimism, doubt and fatigue. It takes courage to pursue what you believe to be right, particularly when the gap between the present and the future seems so large. It takes persistence to continue putting one foot in front of the other on your journey, without loss of enthusiasm.

  1. A Powerful Vision Requires You to Expand Your Self and Mind

Your vision is a picture of what your world can become. And all progress in our external experience is born of the progress we have generated first within our internal experience. It’s about making the decision and choosing to be courageous, concise, specific, daring, authentic–that is, a way of being that moves, touches and empowers you to take on your vision with a vengeance. The act of becoming is about the end result of measurable difference: like becoming healthy, wealthy or happy. It’s the net result of having lived life be- ing healthy, wealthy or happy first in your mind. What type of person must you become in order to reach your destiny? Are there any qualities of character that are holding you back from creating the life you desire? All successful people are willing to hold a mirror up to their character and look deeply into who and what they truly are.

If there are skeletons in your closet, if there is deception and malice in your spirit, if you aren’t a strong enough person to finish what you start, then all the dreaming in the world will be for naught. If you are fearful, you must become courageous. If you are ignorant, you must become studied. If you are harsh, you must become com- passionate. If you are weak, you must become powerful. You must become the person you see in your vision. Your personal growth holds the key to your success.

  1. A Powerful Vision Leads to Triumph

In May 1992, Canadian rowing champion Silken Laumann was training for that year’s summer Olympics when her boat was struck by the boat of a competing German team. Her leg was smashed, muscle hanging down by the ankle and bone clearly visible to her. This was less than three months before the Olympics. Everyone told her that they would understand that she was quitting. Except Silken wasn’t a quitter. After intensive surgery, she was back in the water by June and rowed into the history books by claiming an Olympic bronze medal. Consider this example whenever you face your challenges as you pursue your vision—you are following in some remarkable footsteps!

Whether this is the year of your first door, your next door or planned profitable exit from real estate; remember this – we are a byproduct or the choices and decisions we make, and don’t make.

Richard Dolan is the President of REIN and the resident expert on Performance for real estate investors and professionals. Addicted to producing results, Richard is an expert on raising funds, building brand and strategy with one aim: to produce competitive immunity.

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