Show your way up to success
Yesterday afternoon, I was talking with someone that I deeply respect and somehow we were talking about the retired Navy SEAL, Jocko Willink. During the conversation, my friend brought up the phrase “just show up.” So today, I want to talk about how our small daily actions of just showing up are crucial to becoming a successful apartment investor.
Shortly after that conversation, I sat down to write out this blog article. After several minutes of sitting, I had absolutely nothing on the screen. I began looking at my calendar and replaying a few conversations searching for inspiration, and finally the phrase “just show up” came back to mind. That thought saved me and I realized all I have to do today is just show up… What does it mean to just show up?
“The Shining” Example
Let’s take a page out of Stephen King’s book. Over the years, Stephen King has written 61 novels and sold over 350 million books. He has said many times publicly that he his success is derived from writing at least 6 pages per day. It doesn’t matter how he’s feeling and it doesn’t matter if on any given day he actually writes well. The key to his success is that he shows up every single day. What's more, writing daily relieves him of the pressure to write perfectly, which allows him to write more freely. And every morning at 8am, he habitually sits down at his computer to write another 6 pages.
Discipline Equals Freedom... and Success
Next example of just showing up begins a little bit earlier - every morning at 4:30. That’s the time Jocko Willink wakes up to work out. Regardless of whether he feels like getting up or not, he still does. And that’s the key - to just show up, every single morning. Think about it… how much better shape would you be in if you had enough discipline to just show up to the gym every morning? Of course, once you get there, you’ll obviously do something. You’re not going to hit PRs every single day, but the sum total of all the workouts over days and weeks and months will get you into the best shape of your life. So when that alarm clock goes off early tomorrow morning, get out of bed and just show up. The Seinfeld Strategy - Don’t Break the Chain
The following is an excerpt from an article by James Clear: “[Jerry Seinfeld] explained that the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write every day.
He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker. He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day.
“After a few days you'll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You'll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job is to not break the chain.”
Notice that Jerry did not say that he wrote good jokes every morning, but he shows up every single morning, and eventually writes enough to put together a comedy routine or a TV episode.
Just show up
So, to all you aspiring apartment investors out there. What do you need to do today and every day? Just show up. That’s all you have to do.
Learn how to use one more tab on your crazy complicated underwriting spreadsheet
Call a broker or two or three.
Analyze just one deal.
Set up a call with that person who may be interested in investing.
Make that social media post about how wonderful it is to invest in multifamily.
Reach out to that potential mentor or partner.
Record one more podcast episode
Write 300 words for your weekly real estate blog article.
Send in your letter of intent on that property.
Then tomorrow, wake up and do it again. Keep showing up day after day. See how many Xs you can get in a row on your calendar. If you miss a day, start again tomorrow by just showing up. A few things will happen. First, like Jerry Seinfeld says, you’ll end up writing some good jokes… or you’ll achieve small successes in whatever direction you’re going. Second, after a few months of putting in your 6 pages per day, you’ll have strung together enough small successes to have written an entire book. As the months pass of showing up to the gym every single morning, you’ll end up in the best shape of your life.
This may not be the best podcast I’ve recorded or blog article I’ve ever written, but I’m doing what I have done now for several years. I’m just showing up and adding this to the dozens of hours and hundreds of pages of content I’ve created, and by so doing, I’m one step closer to living financially free.