If you are like most people, it’s hard to launch your new U.S. real estate business even though the numbers add up and you know it is a great opportunity. Heck, it’s not just U.S. real estate, it can be anything from pursuing a hobby to taking actions that you know would improve your health or happiness. Even though you rationally know something is a worthwhile activity (or you know it isn’t), emotions generally direct behavior and then the rationalizations follow to justify our choices.
Why? Many claim there are essentially two human emotions that drive irrational behavioral bias: fear and pleasure. There are plenty of intelligent people out there fully capable of starting a business and making smart investment choices but they don’t because emotions tend to direct behavior. The real difference between those that do and those that do not, is the conscious effort to move past initial mental roadblocks.
If you suffer from analysis-paralysis, take heart in that this is the norm of operations for most. To help you along so you can move forward in your entrepreneurial ventures, here are 3 methods from heavy hitters to evaluate your money making idea and keep those emotions in check:
Socrates: Talk it Out
You’ve heard of the Socratic method? Dialogue is one of the best ways to learn because as you discuss your ideas you usually realize important pieces. If you have a great idea you are going to pursue, don’t be afraid to share your ideas, just do so discerningly. Being able to be open to conversation, questions and maybe even defending ideas really demonstrates if you are actually committed.
The concern is not really that someone will steal your idea. Let’s face it: having a great idea is just one of the challenges. The bigger challenge is making that idea a reality. When you engage with others about it, you will be able to identify points of weakness and potential areas to enhance your business plan.
Sun Tzu: Make a Plan
Hey, there’s a reason Sun Tzu’s teachings continue to be the authority on effective strategy in business, war, personal relationships and pretty much all human interaction. Guy had a plan for every possible situation and contingencies all worked out. From start to finish, you need to develop a plan for your idea for two main reasons:
1) Most businesses fail within the first year (Successful entrepreneurs usually have already gone through a start-up process at least once)
2) You need (at least one) exit strategy
It’s fairly straightforward to find templates for just about any type of business on the internet. Don’t aim for perfection here, no one expects a magnum opus. Just be sure to write your plan down, address the elements of a generic template (including market research) and identify any weaknesses early on. This will save you money and a lot of heartache.
It is crucially important to envision your exit strategy from the start and create systems so you can actually hire other people and have time off. In the immortal words of Sun Tzu, “Opportunities seized multiply”. Be sure to consider how your business systems would grow and action steps to really create a badass business plan.
Galileo: Don’t Back Down
Galileo is a great example of someone who had passion. He declared controversial opinions and continued to work to prove he was right. Obviously, you shouldn’t be in this type of do or die situation, but you do need to withstand some static to realize your ambitions. Once you make the statement and actually start the process with yours or others money, you need to keep at it to achieve your goals.
At the End of the Day…
At the end of the day, you have to make your choices, just beware the fog of those commonly misconstruing emotions of fear and pleasure. If you are using reason to lead your judgement, you are uncommon and quite likely to accomplish extraordinary feats in your lifetime. Practice techniques to foster a business sense that is somewhat detached from emotion to make your financial choices.