Goal setting lessons from uber-athletes
I was just afforded the opportunity to attend my first “Ironman” competition. I had friends, a perfectly “normal” husband and wife couple, participating for their first time in the event – this one held in Lake Placid, New York. I felt the least I could do was show a little support for their Herculean efforts by cheering them on. I mean, they are, after all, totally nuts to enter the competition. And let’s face it, if you’ve got any friends partaking of an Ironman competition, you can’t help but feel like a poor shlub of a human being in comparison. I don’t care how healthy you may feel – the Ironman is a race made to intimidate mere mortals. Hell – that concept is the whole root strategy of their niche market!
Preparation truly is everything
As I watched the stream of triathletes biking past me, I waited, sign and cowbell in hand, to find my friends and cheer them on as I was doing with the hordes of bikers deftly riding by. I was reminded of the unique, individualistic set of goals each athlete in the race had set for themselves. It was these set of goals, their comprehensive, exhaustive training, preparation and follow through of strategies, that enabled them to complete the event. Each one was accomplishing their own cherished, valued and proscribed set of goals for themselves as ultra-athletic competitors. I was hit with the juxtaposition of such goal setting and attainment with investing in property.
Property investors should realize the comparison by now – that same singlemindedness is also what is required when devising your strategies and action plans for property investment. You’ll need that stick-to-it-iveness to succeed in the heavily competitive, and arduous, field of real estate investing.
More lessons: training – the base strategy
Anyone attempting the feat of competing in an Ironman, nay, completing the ordeal – is, de facto, superhuman. This provides a great deal of cache to the entrants – and I can certainly understand the idea…Getting ready for the event…well…that’s an entirely different story. Training schedules begin a year in advance of the race. Training regimens must be set out for the individual, and followed with intense religious fervor. The kind of fervor associated with, oh…knights marching off to the Crusades, for instance.
Staying with the program…
Don’t feel up to training today – ooooh, it’s raining out…poor baby – get tough. Get your ass outside and train. Run, run run. Bike, bike, bike. Swim, baby swim. Over and over again. Cross- training your little body into submission. It’s a discipline that most humans cannot possibly follow. But Ironmen can (don’t get me started on the overt sexism with their name…)
Then there’s the diet schedule and regimen. There’s a whole field in nutritional expertise related to these uber-athletes. A field complete with creating highly individualized eating schedules for any particular body type, that are set with ridiculously rigid diets, and little if no deviation from the program. Otherwise – don’t even think about entering the Ironman…If the actual event is gruelling, the training is far more demanding…
And even more planning…
There’s even strategies employed for reducing “transition” times – those few minutes between each leg of the competition, where competitors have to get out of their wetsuits, get “changed” into their bike outfits, find their bikes, and launch into the (arguably) most gruelling part of the race; or the ever-popular (and far easier) transition from biking to running.
Lessons from the pros…
One thing’s for sure – the same skill set employed for planning on participating in an Ironman can be utilized for…well…ummm… “running” any investment property business. Many different strategies of investment have to be winnowed down to the ones that will work best for you – for your temperament, personality and style.
And, like training for an Ironman, you’ll need to stick to the strategies you think will work well for you. Deviations are not adviseable from the initial set of investing strategies used. This does not mean that “plan B’s” can’t be planned for and utilized…On the contrary, “plan B’s” are part of your overall strategy. When an Ironman racer gets karate-chopped in the water by a fellow racer’s downstroke, blows a bike tire out, or starts to cramp up while running – don’t you think they’ve devised strategies for dealing with these “in-race” problems? You bet!
Plan for the rough times
Likewise, you need to plan out for the downsides and improbabilities that can hit you when investing in property. This means paying close attention to creating those “plan B’s.” As part of your overall investment strategy, they will be your blueprint for how to handle your exit strategies, rainy day options, bad tenants, emergency repairs, and a host of other strategic ways designed to handle adversity while managing your real estate investments. Most of the articles here deal with the solutions to these types of issues, and possible strategies that can be utilized to handle property investment-related problems. Go over them – especially the ones mentioned in the articles included in the “Tools and Resources” section of this site. Develop your own individual plan of attack – and stick with it. In this way, you, too, can become a property investment Ironman. And you don’t even need to be on a special diet to achieve your real estate investing goals…
photos courtesy of wallsave.com, iamdawnanderson.com, noboundariesmultisport.com, vivathlete.com, entertainment.howstuffworks.com, examiner.com, detroitcashflowanalysis.com,