I have a very unique system in place with the people around me that I trust, and it’s become my #1 tool for making quick, clear decisions in life with confidence. I encourage the people around me to question me, and I’m open to changing my mind about things and being proven wrong.
My life has changed a lot over the past 5 years; my net worth has multiplied, and Bolt Storage has been doing great. It’s easy to get this success and surround yourself with people who say yes to you and are afraid to challenge you, which then lets your ego grow so big that you think that you’re right all the time and don’t need advice. This is how blind spots appear, and how talented people end up making poor decisions.
The world of real estate is constantly changing: the debt market, competitive landscape, and market prices are all subject to change. The way of the old world will not work, and one factor changing can completely shift your strategy. What worked for successful people in the past may not work for you now. And that’s why being open to changing your mindset is such a valuable skill.
An interesting thing happened a year ago when my CFO went on vacation for a week. A member of my acquisitions team found a property and prepared underwriting for a deal which I approved, so we made an offer that was accepted. My CFO came back and told me that he thinks the deal is too risky, with a downside bigger than the upside. Many people would have shut him down and moved forward with the deal anyways, but in this case he talked me out of the deal in a 5-minute conversation.
Too many people don’t encourage the people around them to speak up when they’re wrong. My superpower is that I want to be proven wrong. I couldn’t care less if I’m right or if something was my idea, I can swallow my pride and take criticism from the people around me. My business partner will call me out, tell me that I’m wrong about something, or point out a blind spot of mine, and I love it and encourage all my employees to do the same.
The results have been, simply, amazing. I’m able to trust my gut and make radically big quick decisions, knowing that I’ll get called out if I’m wrong and that people aren’t afraid to speak up. I have strong opinions that are loosely held, and I aim to change my mind about something every day. I’m confident in what I believe, but I’m willing to change my mind in a heartbeat.
If you build an environment of people that are willing to challenge you and you reward that behavior, you’ll be successful. I tell my CFO every day that he saved us a ton of money by encouraging me to pass on that deal. It’s not easy to swallow your pride and admit when you’re wrong, but it will pay off. As you build your business and your life, you need to surround yourself with smart people who have proven that they can make decisions and let them challenge you.
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