I want to ask you two questions. One, do you have a Will? And two, do you have written goals for the next one, three, five and ten years? If you answered yes to the first question but no to the second, you are planning more for your death than you are while you are here. Think about it. I want to challenge you to start setting some goals but remember if a goal is not in writing, it is simply a conversation. It must be in writing and it must have a deadline. Here are a few guidelines for setting goals in real estate investing.
Goals Must be Specific
I want you to be specific and include details but start rough. When you start rough for example, you want a BMW. You do not have to get into the details about what color, what options, that sort of thing, just write it down. Make your list huge, what kind of home do you want, what you want for your family, college education, spend more time, travel, anything you can think of. You can come back later and prioritize them and set them up as to what you want in one month, three months, six months, twelve months, then three, five, ten, twenty, thirty-year goals. The more goals you have, the happier you will be, the longer you will live, and the more prosperous you will be.
Goals Must be Believable
Remember this, your goals must be believable, by you, or you will not pay the price. They must be believable, they must be just out of your reach, but you must know you can reach them if you really strive to do it.
Goals Must be Measurable
You cannot set a goal to be financially independent. There is no way you can measure that. You cannot manage what you cannot measure. You need to set a goal for the amount of income you want per month, per year, the amount of equity that you want in properties ñ one, three, five, ten and twenty years. It must be measurable. That way you can break it down to what I call ìreduce it to the ridiculousî. If you know you want to earn $250,000.00 a year, you know that is about $20,000.00 per month. That’s just one flip every other month or 2-3 wholesale a month where I live. One of the things I have learned is, successful people set their goals quickly and they make adjustments as they go along. Just like successful people make decisions quickly, they do not vacillate in indecision or what I call sometimes; get mixed up in a funk of negativity.
Goals Must be Congruent
Your goals must also be congruent with your actions. You cannot set a goal to work harder, longer hours AND a goal to spend more time with your family. Those are not congruent. They must be congruent with your actions.
Visualize What You Want
Another good thing that will help you with your goals is to visualize what you want. If you see yourself as already having achieved the goal, you will fake out your mind and your mind sees the goal as already having been achieved. It’s called “fake it till you make it”. I used to do this all of the time, by creating a “dream folder” with pictures of all the things I wanted, right down to the car, house, and woman (Ok, I didn’t get Farah Fawcett… but I got BETTER!).
Just take a minute or two each day and think about life as it is with your goals already accomplished. It’s really easy when you get used to it.
Work Your Goals
The next thing you want to do is work your goals, work on the priority that moves you closer to your goals every day. Plan your week carefully, focusing on what the late Stephen Covey called “Big Rocks”. The big rocks are the most difficult things to do mentally (not physically) that produce large results. If you wanted to fill a bucket with big rocks, small rocks, and sand, you need to put the big rocks in FIRST. If you don’t plan, the sand fills in first, and the big rocks don’t fit.
Number Your Goals
Number your goals in the order of importance. Not only is the goal important but so is the reason. Sure you want a car, but why do you want the car? Sure you want more money, but why do you want money? You want to be able to spend more time with your family, you want to be able to travel, you want to buy a Hummer, and you want to have an ocean front condo or send your children to the best college. Whatever it is, the reason must be there. The reason is more important than the goal itself.
Review, Monitor and Make Adjustments
Another thing you need to do is to review, monitor, and make adjustments to your goals. You have to be flexible. Some things are not going to happen, you have to face that, but you need to continuously strive to get better every day. If you will work harder on yourself than you do your job then you will always be growing. Remember that last sentence and write it down as it is worth repeating.
The Goals Must Have a Deadline
As I mentioned first, your goals must have a deadline. A goal without a deadline is just a dream. When beginning to set your goals, I want you to set your goals in four basic areas:
You will set goals based on income, equity or net worth, and cash flow. All of these are financial goals and are easily measurable. Don’t get overwhelmed with the numbers, though; focus instead on the short-term, intermediate goals that will result in long-term success. For example, if you want to make $25,000.00 on a particular type of deal within a month, focus on how many calls you need to make a day to find such a deal. Picking a good real estate strategy such as Wholesaling to generate cash flow can be part of the grand scheme.
If you donít feel good, chances are that you are not working at your maximum capacity. So, I want you to set some health goals to stay healthy. Remember ìan apple a dayî? What if this is right and you are not doing it? Start small, though, you don’t try to tackle all of these at once, but you need to be healthy not only for you but for your family as well.
Set family goals. What is an example of a family goal? Maybe you want to take four vacations a year. Maybe you want to visit a new state, three times a year or five times a year. Maybe you want to go see the Grandparents two or three times a year; but maybe not. Anyway, you get the point.
You need to set some spiritual goals, some faith goals. Without faith, life will beat you up, eat you up, and spit you out. Remember, all the “crap” that comes at you is nothing but fertilizer for the harvest about to come.
Another thing I want you to think about is the people you associate with. Take a minute and think about this. If you think about your ten closest friends annual salary and divide it by ten, then that is pretty close to what you make. Iím not telling you to get rid of your friends, all Iím saying is whom you associate with, is who you are like, so please keep that in mind. Don’t get rid of your friends, just get some more that is where YOU want to be in the future. A good mentor to help you put everything in place and get you started on the right path can really pay off!
As you can see, setting goals in real estate investing takes some work, mental discipline, and THINKING (which is why so few people do it!).
Attorney William ("Bill") Bronchick, host of Legalwiz.com, has authored six best-selling books and is sought nationwide for his 25+ years of real estate and legal knowledge. He has been interviewed by numerous media outlets, such as CNBC, TIME Magazine, USA Today, Investor Business Daily, Forbes, and the LA Times, to name a few. William Bronchick is the co-founder and past President of the Colorado Association of Real Estate Investors and the Executive Director and founder of the College of American Real Estate Investors. Click on the "About" link above for more information on William Bronchick.