Staying on the Wrong Bus: Tips for Getting Back on Track

September 19, 2018 in Investing In Real Estate

wrong bus

I read this article a while back written by Seth Godin called “The Wrong Bus”. I absolutely loved his article, because he shared such a powerful lesson. After all, who hasn't been guilty of staying on the wrong bus long after they should have jumped ship?

Here is what Seth wrote:

*Your first mistake was getting on the A53 bus, the one that goes crosstown instead of to where you're going.

 

*Mistakes like this happen all the time.

 

*The big mistake, though, the one that will cost you, is staying on that bus.

 

*I know it wasn't easy to get on the bus. I know you got a seat. I know it's getting dark outside. But you're on the wrong bus, and staying on the wrong bus won't make it the right bus.

 

*If you really want to get where you set out to go, you're going to have to get off the wrong bus.

 

So, what’s the Point?

Now you might be saying, “I’m a real estate investor. How does this apply to me”?

Let me ask you this…

Who hasn’t gotten on the wrong bus? Who hasn’t taken the wrong turn, made the wrong decision or just gone in the opposite direction they should have? Let’s be honest. We’ve all done that.

Maybe you bought a house after justifying the price (to your inner critic) that we knew was too high. Deep down you knew it wasn’t a good deal, but you bought it anyway. Or, maybe you’re a wholesaler that thought rehabbing looked glamorous just like on HGTV.  But then… reality set in and you were poised to lose a big chunk of cash. Rather than get off the wrong bus, you decide to “ride it out” and try to fix the problem by throwing even more money at the problem.

 

The Point Is…

The point is, as entrepreneurs we have a huge advantage over big companies.  We can turn on a dime when we make a mistake.  However our natural inclination is to ride that bus to the end no matter what the consequences.  This is what I know for sure; staying on the wrong bus is rarely the right answer for getting where you need to go, even if it costs you money to change course.

 

Getting off the Wrong Bus

There are several steps you can take when you realize you’re on the wrong bus.

  • The first step is just to admit you’ve made a mistake. We’ve all done it. Admit your mistake and get off the wrong bus.
  • Figure out what you need to do to get back on course. What steps do you need to take? Do you need to sell the property? Maybe you need to change your strategy.  If you bought a house that won’t work as rehab, maybe it will work for a landlord.
  • As painful as it can be, just cut your losses. As Kenny Rogers said in “The Gambler”, “Know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em. If you stay in this business long enough, you will most likely lose money at some point.
  • Finally, figure out what went wrong so you don’t make the same mistake again.

Do you have a story to tell about a time when you found yourself on the wrong bus? Let's hear it!

 

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