Your Mistakes Can Be Your Greatest Asset
Wayne Dickson explains why the biggest losers are often the biggest winners in the end.
1 September 2018
For some people the sheer thought of making a mistake involving large sums of money (such as the case when people invest in property) can be both terrifying and paralysing.
Sadly, some people do nothing and miss out on opportunities that could have delivered a life worth waiting for.
Bad media articles, landlord nightmares and advice from “a trusted friend who does nothing but knows someone who lost money once” – all of these things can easily put off a potential new investor.
Thankfully, if you wait long enough, property is usually very forgiving. If you buy wrong, or even over-pay, at some point it will come right.
Regardless of if the market goes up or down, if you never sell, property will most likely be your friend.
If an investor ever tells me that they have never lost money, they are either a genius or they are lying to me.
You can lose money buying high and selling low (following the crowd). You can also lose money and opportunities through inaction of not buying, or through hesitating too long and paying a higher price when you later decide to buy.
You can lose money through poorly planned renovations; loss of rent through poor tenant management and loss of money through poor tax efficiencies, but to name a few.
‘Much like a tree with many branches, a severe pruning may nearly kill the tree but when it recovers, the new growth is strong and beautiful’
The Biggest Loser
I have bought property, sold property, made money, lost money (big amounts) and through all of that I have learned lessons that no book could have taught me. I have learned those lessons at the coalface, where it happened.
I use these lessons to benefit others. If my lessons save just one client from losing money; it has all been worth it.
Sure, these lessons guide my investing too and yes, I am still buying property, but I tell you what, I am a hell of a lot wiser.
How did I keep going? Losing money (big amounts) and coming close to not being able to make mortgage payments some years ago was the clincher.
I met with a financial adviser, whom I still use today, and who only works with clients referred to him.
He helped me see how bad the situation was. Going through the process was a tough task, much like the grief process; there was denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance.
Swallowing pride and reaching acceptance was the launching pad. It allowed me to build a plan to lower exposure by culling properties to a level where I could rebuild.
Much like a tree with many branches, a severe pruning may nearly kill the tree but when it recovers, the new growth is strong and beautiful.
By going back and refining your method for making money, with the lessons learnt, the method is now one of experience and wisdom.
If you get knocked down from the pedestal, you have to get back up and if you can’t reach it, build a ladder to get back up. Make the choice to get up and get going again.
I know that sometimes a left-field event comes and knocks us. Earthquake/ floods/methamphetamine damage/ death/divorce.
As unfair as it is, finding a way to survive and get through it is the first step to getting back up.
It reminds me of a famous quote from Henry Ford that says “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right”. Choose to never, ever give up.
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