This is a guest post by Pranay Parikh, a physician who blogs about productivity and investing at pranayparikh.com. He can also be found as a moderator on our Facebook group, Passive Income Docs.
I’ve been fortunate over the years to help many people to get into real estate. Those who know me know that real estate is my favorite vehicle for creating wealth.
One challenge that I’ve run into time and time again for those starting out is having the right mindset for success. This is a problem that I faced too before starting into real estate.
It’s broken down into three issues:
- We think we can’t learn something new
- We set the bar of success too high
- We aren’t good at asking for help
We think we can’t learn something new
Many of us have been studying medicine for our whole lives. If not that, at least a majority of our lives. We don’t know much else.
Studying medicine was different. It was our lives. We were told what to do. Study this and this. We were held accountable. Study that by this time or you’ll fail.
Our studying had structure and we were surrounded by others doing the same. It was hard, no doubt, but the path was blazed for us already.
Now that we’ve become attendings that structure is gone. How do I learn real estate? I don’t know about you guys, but I thought okay do I need to take a class? Which books should I read?
It was easy to feel overwhelmed by the options. So I hesitated. I did more research. Tried to find structure in my learning. (https://pranayparikh.com/learnanything1/) And more research. Until I felt like I had found the perfect book or course. Finally, I just bought my first property.
I didn’t feel ready. But you know what? I learned along the way. I learned more in the first few months of owning my property than I did through all the books I had read. There’s just nothing like real-world experience.
But we know that right? Remember your intern year? Those first few months were a crash course in medicine. I was out there before I felt ready. Then all of a sudden I became a resident and was in charge of even more people that didn’t feel ready.
We survived. Actually, we thrived. That push off the diving board into clinical medicine is what we needed. If it was up to us, we would have never jumped in. The same is true for real estate. You need to get started. Learn along the way. Make mistakes, fix them, learn some more.
Looking back, my only wish was that I started sooner. You have that chance. Read a bit, then just start. We’ll be there to help.
Setting the bar too high
Ask a doctor what their goal with real estate and you’ll often hear to replace their doctor’s salary. Now that’s a commendable goal. It’s the same for me as well. But we have to keep in mind that’s a pretty high goal. Possible, but we’re setting the bar pretty high.
In a year or two, if we don’t meet that goal then we might be discouraged. Six figures in a few years? We didn’t get our doctor salary in just a couple years, why do we think we can replace it in just a few years?
Does our whole salary really need to be replaced? I personally like being a doctor. Not all of it though, but most of it. I don’t like the nights. Or the weekends.
How much would I need to make to get rid of them? Now that’s a different story. If I just made a couple of thousand dollars extra a month, I could easily get rid of my nights. A couple more and get rid of my weekends. All of a sudden my job only has the parts that I enjoy.
This is a much more attainable goal. You can still have your long-term goal to replace your salary. It’s always good to know where you’re trying to go, but these small goals are the ones that keep you going.
You need to have small enough goals so you can actually meet them every once a while. Just finish the intern year. Just get through this surgery rotation. Pass the step. These small goals help keep us going when the end goal seems so far away.
You’ll get there one day. Becoming an attending was a far dream too one day, right?
Not asking for help
We suck at asking for help. Not just doctors, though we are particularly bad, but humans in general. I get it, you don’t want to bother someone. They might have a ton going on too. That’s considerate.
We like helping people though. That’s why we got into this profession, right? Why wouldn’t other people like to help us? When was the last time you asked for help? Some advice?
Back in medical school, I asked all the time. The list of things I didn’t understand was at least double or triple what I did. I asked fellow students, interns, residents, attendings. Basically anyone around that we’re able to help.
And you know what? Most of them were happy to help. Even the grumpy ones did so begrudgingly. Now that I’m an attending, it feels different. Like I should know the answer. There’s a little shame in asking.
But I got over it. Now I ask for help all the time. What do you think is going on here? Here’s what I was thinking about, what do you think?
I can see the delight in people’s eyes. They love helping out. They love hearing about interesting cases and helping out a colleague.
Why are we then afraid to ask for help in real estate?
I’d encourage you to find a community of like-minded people where you feel comfortable not being the smartest in the room. People are at all stages in their journey and I inherently believe that people love helping others. You just need to ask for a little help.