People will tell you that life is short, but the most successful investors hold an unpopular opinion that life is long, and that’s what sets them apart. They know that in order to live up to our full potential, we need to do things that won’t pay off for five or ten years, or even longer.
Every day I feel lucky that my great-great-grandfather got on a boat with his wife and came to the US with no money and no job lined up. After him, my great-grandfather worked hard his entire life so that his kids could live better. Because of their sacrifice, I have opportunities in my life that they would have never imagined.
People chase instant gratification, they want it all right now, but that mentality is what keeps them from success. They jump between what they see as easy and exciting ways to make money in the short term, and almost none of them pan out. They’re not patient enough to delay gratification for long-term rewards.
Real estate takes time, and that patience is the key to your success. If you have a short-term, money-maximizing mindset, you’ll make decisions that are suboptimal in the long term. True entrepreneurs know that it’s a long game, and they’re willing to make decisions now that won’t be profitable for years. The best investors know that value and money aren’t always tied together.
Think about that last sentence. A real estate investor’s work is to understand where value lies, identifying the potential for future worth and the actions necessary to realize it. This value is different than the price of a property, it’s the potential future price of a property. It’s easy to ignore the idea of value because we can’t see it, and it’s hard to calculate, but that’s where opportunity comes from. We know that the price we pay now doesn’t matter if we can unlock its potential.
The best investors will put the work in today, putting their noses to the grindstone now, and reap the benefits later. They think about years down the road and delay today’s gratification, and that’s how they’re able to build generational wealth in this industry.
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