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The following was written by guest blogger Vena Jones-Cox.
I’ve found myself having a lot of debates lately, primarily with budding real estate entrepreneurs in their 20s and early 30s, about whether we’re in the last days of live educational events.
The argument, of course, goes like this: “Why should I take four days out of my life, pay for a plane ticket, sleep in a strange bed in a hotel that I also have to pay for, and get an achy butt from sitting in a chair eight hours a day, when I can get the same information, on demand, and absorb it at my own pace, in the comfort of my own home, by getting it on the web or just buying a home study course with audios and DVDs?”
The part of me that is apparently an old lady wants to screech, “You kids today don’t understand the value of reading, and you can’t focus for more than the length of a commercial when I was your age, we didn’t even have the internet, and we had to listen to courses on audio tapes!”
Bootcamps and conferences aren’t “vacations,” but they are certainly mentally refreshing.
Vena Jones Cox, Real Estate Entrepreneur
But the part of me that’s a real estate educator AND consumer of education has thought about this a lot. And that part thinks that live education—especially the part where you get in the same room with other practitioners—is one of the basic keys to the success of most real estate investors.
The thing is, my years of experience and observation tell me that what makes a successful—not just knowledgeable—real estate entrepreneur is a combination of education, motivation, focus, and accountability.
I know a LOT of people who own a LOT of home study courses, attend every available webinar, and really and truly understand a LOT about how real estate works, and yet have never made any money doing it.
Why? Because they can’t make the transition from “inside the head” to “out in the world.” The usual reason ascribed to this phenomenon is simply ‘fear’…but what, exactly, does that mean?
I think that a lot of the so-called fear apparently running rampant through the ranks of new investors everywhere is largely an inability to see themselves doing the thing they know HOW to do successfully.
They read the books, listen to the audios, watch the webinars, downloaded the materials, hear the stories of the super-successful students and see the profit checks on their screens, but what they don’t see is actual, normal, non-guru human beings DOING IT.
Hearing or reading a testimonial is a whole lot different than talking to the guy who did the deal, and learning about the struggles he went through to do it (often not included in the testimonials, for some odd reason), and how he pushed through them and did it anyway. That’s more motivating than a million self-help books—AND it gives you someone to stay in touch with for more advice and motivation later.
And then there’s the fact that we all compare ourselves, consciously or subconsciously, to others. Actually TALKING TO people who aren’t just “trying” to do what you want to do, but are actually doing it, absolutely spurs you on—especially when they clearly have no intellectual, financial, or personal advantages over you.
Sorry, but you just don’t get that experience online, or by reading about someone else’s success. You can only get it by meeting them, and that means pulling yourself away from your computer screen and getting in the room with other investors.
Furthermore, I’ve seen that the very act of being away from my “real life,” in a hotel conference room, studying something particular in a short period of time, makes me focus on that strategy in a way that’s just impossible when I’m getting it in short, interrupted, distracted bursts via listening in my car.
Part of this is, of course, the ability to ask the instructor questions as they come to mind. But a bigger part is, I think, simply being away from the hustle and bustle of everything else that’s usually going on in my life and my brain and getting focused on one thing, almost exclusively, for a longer period of time. Bootcamps and conferences aren’t “vacations,” but they are certainly mentally refreshing.
Sorry, I don’t think live events are going away anytime soon.
If you don’t think that the networking and connections you make at a live event are worth the extra cost of hotel and travel, I’d suggest that maybe you’re not doing it right. If you can’t stand the idea of sitting in a classroom for three or four days because you’re afraid of getting bored, maybe you haven’t chosen the right event for you.
I make it a point to attend other speaker’s events at least two to three times a year, even after all these years in the industry, and so do most of the successful investors I know.
Maybe that will inspire you to do the same.
About Vena Jones-Cox
Vena Jones-Cox has been a full-time real estate entrepreneur since 1989, and has been a principal in over 800 deals. She’s the founder of Central Ohio Real Estate Entrepreneurs (COREE), past president of Cincinnati REIA, Ohio REIA, and the National Real Estate Investors Association. You can learn more about Vena at her website, www.TheRealEstateGoddess.com.
Vena Jones-Cox is not an employee of Equity Trust Company. Opinions or ideas expressed are not those of Equity Trust Company nor do they reflect their views or endorsement. These materials are for informational purposes only. Equity Trust Company, and their affiliates, representatives and officers do not provide legal or tax advice. Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal.
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