Real Estate Is a Marathon Not a Sprint

Running a real estate busines is kind of like running a marathon.

I recently ran the New York City marathon, which is 26.2 miles across five boroughs of NYC. While I was running this race, I thought a lot about my real estate business and how the real estate business is very similar to the marathon.

How so?

One of the first things I think about in this comparison is the decision. At some point, there is a decision and commitment to embark on the journey that is a marathon. At some point, you need to decide that it is what you want to do. Also, when you see other people running a marathon and you haven’t quite gotten that interested in it yet, you might think that those people are crazy.

Running a real estate business can be very similar. You might hear people talking about investing in real estate. You might know somebody that invests in real estate. People might tell you it could be a great idea for you to invest in real estate. At some point, you have to decide for yourself to invest in real estate. Until you make that decision, you might look at people who invest in real estate and think they’re crazy.

Why would they want to deal with tenants?

Why would they want to deal with toilets?

Why would they want to deal with construction and remodels?

Why would they want that in their life?

Just like running a marathon, until you become a part of the small minority of people that have done it, it will be hard for you to know exactly why they do it.

When you make the decision, you have to prepare to run the race. When you prepare to run the New York City marathon, you need to establish a training plan. The key for marathon training is that you prepare your body and mind for the long distance you are going to have to go. That training is what prepares you for when you take the dive. If you’re thoroughly trained, you can rest assured that on Race Day, your body will be prepared to complete the race.

Real estate investing is very similar. You have to have a plan. You may go out, talk to somebody, and develop a plan that fits you. You may develop a plan that allows you to live the lifestyle you want to live. You may develop a plan that allows you to make more income or spend more time with your family. You may develop a plan that allows you to go further as you buy more real estate. You may also decide that you have enough and that you want to scale back.

Those adjustments to your real estate investing business are very similar to the adjustments that a marathon runner may make as they train and prepare. What you’re doing when you get this education, and as you get this plan, is that you’re training your mind for what you are about to do. You want to be able to say you’re a real estate investor and that you can survive the test of time.

Other Similarities Between Real Estate Investing and Running a Marathon

The race is ongoing.

The beginning of the race is something very interesting. You’re excited. All of the others around you are excited. You have this feeling that you can do anything and that you made a great decision to get started. You are even thinking at the beginning that you are feeling even better than you thought you would feel when you got started. You may have early successes.

That feeling of excitement as you get started is very similar to how it it when you get started in your real estate investing business. You might buy the first property and have a home run. You might buy the first property and have no kinks or anything that discourages you.

However, next comes the resistance. There will be a point where your body starts to say that this is a challenge for it. Your mind will start to doubt why you’re out there or whether you can complete the task. There are those times in our real estate business where we doubt whether we decided to do the right thing. It becomes a challenge and we have things that we have to push through. This is what makes the difference between people who finish the marathon and people who are successful in their real estate business.

You may need to find ways to encounter the challenges or surpass the challenges you are presented with. The answer is not to give up, but to find a way to encounter the challenge. This is the same in both a marathon and the real estate business. If we are going to serve in these businesses, we have to encounter the challenge and push through.

Contractors may not do what they are supposed to do.

We may run out of money.

We may feel like we don’t have the time or energy.

Our families may not understand exactly what it is that we are trying to do.

Our friends may wonder what are we doing this for.

We have to find a way to solve these problems and push through with solutions to these issues.

If you decide to push through these challenges, there is a success line. There is a line you reach where you’re able to look back and say, “WOW! Look at all of the challenges I’ve encountered. Look at all the emotions I experienced. Look at the success that I have had.” You’re are then able to see not only how much you’ve done and have gone, but you see how much your mind has changed and your view has changed.

When you win once, you want to win again. This is also true when investing in real estate. There is a line when, after you push through the resistance and execute your plan, you’re not necessarily finished. However, you’re able to look and say, “Look how far I’ve come.”

One of the Most Important Things to Understand

Others look at what you have done as an extreme example of what you are able to inspire in them. They may not want to to do what you did, but they see the preparation, the decision you made, and the success you had. They can then apply that to the difficult areas of their lives. You become an example of the accomplishment and are able to inspire hope in others with them. This is what you call becoming a spear of influence in others’ networks.

You will find more financial freedom and a greater ability to have control over your lifestyle. Others seeking that will see you as a resource to learn from and will develop their own plan.

It’s our responsibility as investors to network with all of these individuals and reach back and help others accomplish their goals. Maybe we teach classes to others who want to get started or just mentor a few other investors.

However we decide to do it, it’s important that we reach back and help others reach their goals.


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