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The Mindset Shift That Changed Everything

          One of the best things about my job is that I’m constantly meeting new people. Frequently, I’ll meet people who haven’t bought their first rental property yet. Typically, they’ll introduce themselves and then follow up with a comment like, “I’m not really an investor, but…” And then we’ll proceed to have a conversation where I can tell that I’m speaking to someone who is motivated, knowledgeable, and taking a lot of actions to do the damn thing.

          In other cases, I’ll talk to someone who owns a rental property, and they’ll say in passing along the lines of “I just have one small property. I’m not anywhere near where you are.”

          In the past, I’d chalk these comments up to humility or false modesty, but I can see now that it’s something different. A lot of people refuse to call themselves real estate investors until they have some undeniable success that they can point to. It’s as if all of the work, learning, and small incremental efforts are irrelevant until they’ve reached a certain goal that they’ve set for themselves.

          When I started my real estate investing career, I had a similar mindset. In fact, I would have disagreed with anyone who told me that I had a career as a real estate investor. Even though I was learning a lot by managing an apartment complex, I undervalued what I was learning and I didn’t think it would serve me in any long-term capacity. Unbeknownst to me, that job became critical to my professional growth.

Be Do Have

Thankfully, it was around that time that I discovered the concept of “Be-Do-Have.” Simply put, “Be Do Have” is a formula for achieving any goal.

First, you must be someone who is immersed in whatever your goal is. If you want to be a successful real estate investor, first you must be a student, helper, participant, absorber, and lover of real estate investing (or whatever your passion is). Embrace your goal as fully as if you’re at the top of your field. You don’t need to wait for outside circumstances to change in order to have that confidence.

Embracing this mindset will inevitably change your actions. This is when the “do” part comes into play. For real estate investing, there are countless actions you can take before you have your first property. Doing could mean learning how to run numbers on a property, going to a networking event, or looking for a submarket that’s up and coming.  

Next, we get to the top of the mountain: Having. In real estate, it could mean having that first rental property. It could also mean renting out your spare room to get a sense of how to be a landlord. I include both examples because people tend to discredit their own smaller successes. Whether you’ve scaled up to own 100 units or you’ve just gotten your foot in the door by renting out part of your house, in either scenario you’re a real estate investor.

The “Be Do Have” mindset has been a gamechanger for myself and many others. Thinking that you already are a real estate investor will inspire you to act with more confidence and enthusiasm, which will help you to get what you want. So, if you’re one of the people who likes to downplay their goals and achievements, I want you to repeat after me: “I’m a real estate investor.”

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Ken McElroy has lived and breathed real estate for his entire adult life, learning from the ground up. He shares his insights and experiences on his podcast, “Real Estate Strategies with Ken McElroy,” and on his wildly popular YouTube channel. Ken is passionate about educating others so that they too can experience financial freedom through real estate investing.
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