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A Decade of Development

It’s more than 10 years since my first Recycle Your Cash one-day event and there’s no way I could have imagined what I’ve achieved since then.

‘People overestimate what they can achieve in a year, but underestimate what they can achieve in 10 years’ - Bill Gates

I agree with this view.  I think people are too quick to judge the potential of their business.  The ‘gurus’ of business development warn new start-ups to expect a loss in year one, to aim to break even in year two and not to expect to start making profit until year three.  In fact, 95% of start-ups fail in first 5 years.

I see too many new investors find it a struggle in the first few years and give up.  This might be because their ambitions outstrip their funds or simply because they didn’t understand the level of effort required to make a difference to their income.  That’s down to a lack of knowledge, which, in itself isn’t a fault – unless no action is taken to learn what is needed to succeed.  The information is out there and the more invested in your business’s success, the more effort you’ll need to make to educate yourself in all aspects of property investment.

I remember seeing a picture of Jeff Bezos in his garage, with a clunky Amazon logo on the wall with 1999 on it.  Do you think that he envisaged a worldwide corporation then?  He started with books – and, no doubt, saw himself as harnessing technology to deliver reading matter to the American public.  Yes, he was an early adopter and had no indication of where his business would end up.

Deciding your business will or won’t be successful in the first three years is too early to make a judgment.

The problem is that we are predisposed to giving up if things don’t work right away.  Anything to avoid pain!

Where are you on the hockey stick?

A hockey stick is a good example of the trajectory businesses tend to follow; the first five years are usually not spectacular, while the second five are where the magic happens.

As I’m looking back over my first decade I can see that, during the first five years, I took small steps.  But the second five years have been more like huge leaps – and I have plenty of plans for the next years.

My business is 400% bigger than it was five years ago and this concept is transferable to any business – including property investment.

Some investors start with a 2-bed refurb and develop their portfolio into multiple commercial developments.  This doesn’t happen overnight, it takes hard work.

Tony Robbins is on record saying that it took him 35 years to create five companies, but in the next five years he created 105 companies!

While not everybody aspires to that level of business, every successful business follows that same model; hard work and slow progress to start with, then your effort pays off and you go into overdrive.  The problem is that some investors give up long before they hit their success streak.

Facebook reflections

Not long ago Facebook with a memory of me speaking at Huddersfield PIN pitching my brand new Recycle Your Cash workshop on 2nd October 2013.

I thought back and wondered - what would I say to that Kevin who was just starting out.  These were my thoughts:

You have no idea where this is going, you cannot conceive how this will grow over the next ten years.  You can’t imagine the people you’ll meet, the friends you’ll make, fun you’ll have, experiences you’ll have – you don’t have a clue! 

Strap yourself in, it’s going to be the ride of your life!  Oh, and get yourself a couple of dozen yellow shirts, mate, you’re going to need them :0 !

If you’re in the first three years of your property career, it’s too early to judge.  If you’re making progress keep going, if it seems a long haul that’s how it’s meant to be.  It’s effort in for results out – there are no shortcuts.

Life changing results rarely happen in the first couple of years, it takes time to be good at something.  There’s a model that describes this perfectly;

Decision making about whether it’s working are often made at the Conscious Incompetence stage – and that’s the worst point to make decisions about future success.

In the early days in property, most investors manage their own portfolio, but there are very few that are still managing their own portfolios 10 years down the line.  They either outsource to a letting agent, employ a lettings manager or start their own agency with staff who look after their portfolio – and, potentially, create a second income stream from letting other people’s property.

What made a difference for me?

The pivotal thing for me was discovering how to use Wealth Dynamics©.  This taught me how to focus on what I’m good at and enjoy doing and get help with everything else.  Whether you collaborate, delegate or outsource, bringing in other experts will help your business grow faster.  I chose the outsourced route, but these people have become an enormously valuable part of my team.

Letting others do what they’re good at allows you to work on the business, instead of in it.  You may need to do the hard work at the front end, but as your profits start to grow the right support is invaluable.

So what’s the message here?

Evaluate, tweak, adapt and refocus certainly – and with some degree of regularity but don’t be too harsh on yourself too early.

Here’s to your future success.

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