The decisions you make determine the level of success you achieve in life and in Commercial Real Estate. That is why it is so important you make wise and courageous decisions. As a single parent and full-time engineer, I had to make some major decisions to get me to where I am today. I am going to share with you the five keys to making decisions in commercial real estate that lead me to success.
Key #1: No Decision is the Worst Decision
Let me share with you a quote from our 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt, "In any moment of decision, the best thing to do is the right thing. The next best thing is the wrong thing. The worst thing to do is nothing." When you are in a situation where you must decide, make the best decision. If you cannot make the best decision, still make a decision, even though it may not turn out perfect. The worst thing you can do is nothing.
I know that making decisions can be scary at times. However, regret can be just as scary. In my opinion, making no decision is irresponsible and negligent to yourself and those who depend on you. There is a great quote from Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google. He says, "When someone offers you a seat on their rocket ship, don't ask what seat. Just get on." Do you want to jump on this rocket ship called commercial real estate investing, or do you want to stay grounded?
Key #2: Exercise Your Decision-Making Muscle
Decision-making is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets and the easier it becomes. When you stop using your decision-making muscle, it gets weak and starts to atrophy. Some possible reasons why your decision-making muscle is weak:
- Perhaps your parents, your spouse, or maybe your employer made decisions for you.
- You live in a world of fear and are afraid of making decisions.
- You may be in a comfort zone. Nothing great happens when you are in a comfort zone.
I left home at age 18 and went to college, changing my major three times. I became a single parent while finishing up college, and then later left my corporate job to pursue commercial real estate full time. Now here today, I lead one of the top commercial real estate investing firms in the country. All of that took decision-making.
You need to start exercising your decision-making muscle by looking for opportunities to exercise it. Is there an opportunity right now where you need to make a decision?
Action Item: For that opportunity right now, I want you to make a call, send an email or request a meeting. I want you to decide right now. I guarantee you, your decision-making muscles will get stronger, and your life will thank you for it.
Key #3: Colin Powell’s 40-70 Decision-Making Rule
Many of you have a fear of making a mistake when making decisions. So, a good starting point is the decision-making rule made famous by former Secretary of State and Four Star General Colin Powell. He says, when you have 40% to 70% of the information gathered, it's time to go with your gut and make a decision.
If you make decisions when you have less than 40% certainty, you are gambling and being borderline irresponsible. On the flip side, when you want to gather more than 70% of the information, you are over analyzing, and the window of opportunity will close. That was me many years ago. Being a former engineer, I wanted all the boxes checked before I decided on anything. That didn't go so well and led to missed opportunities.
I know some of you want all the data before you go in and make offers on property, but it's impossible. Once we have 40% to 70% of all the data, we need to make an offer. If we don't, the window of opportunity to buy the deal will close. Missed deadlines are a telltale sign that you are overanalyzing or trying to get too much information. Another sign is that you wait until everybody agrees with you before making decisions. This is what I call analysis paralysis. No decision is made, and you lose out on the deal.
This method is great for helping you over the hump in making decisions. Once you have between 40% and 70% of the information gathered, it's time to make a decision. Go with your gut, and you will be rewarded.
Key #4: Know Your Why
When your why is powerful, then the how-to is not so difficult. This means that when your why has deep meaning to you, you will make decisions. My why when I first started was twofold:
- My boss who was also my mentor, was laid off without him even knowing upper management's intention of putting me in his place. I wanted no part of that because if they can do that to him, who started the company, they can do that to me.
- When I first started, I was a single parent and had the most supportive, encouraging, and inspiring little one to care for. That meant that failure was not an option. I wanted to become a full-time commercial real estate investor and create a better life for my son. That was a powerful why to me to continue to push through, and we thrived.
What is your why? Why do you want to begin a path with commercial real estate investing? Some possible motivations may be:
- Leave your job and do commercial real estate full time
- Leave a legacy for your kids or grandkids
- Create your own personal retirement fund using commercial real estate investing
- Travel whenever or wherever you want
- Give to ministries and charities
All these things have something in common. Leave, create, travel, and give are all decisions and you must make decisions to get here. Again, my question to you is, "What is your why?" If your why is powerful, you will make a decision.
Key #5: Make Decisions Quickly, Change Them Slowly
When you study high-performing individuals like CEOs and other great leaders, one trait they have in common is to make decisions quickly, and then change them slowly. If you practice this you will experience progress, personal growth, and you will reach your goals.
On the other hand, if you make decisions and then constantly second-guess yourself, or change your decisions, you will weaken that decision-making muscle. This creates inner conflict, and your gut is going to say something is wrong. You will think that you should have stuck with your decision. Then your decision-making muscle is going to start to freeze and atrophy.
So, make decisions quickly, change them slowly. You need to become the CEO, the great leader in your life. Start making executive decisions over your life. You control your finances, faith, health, relationships, and business. If some of these categories are failing and you aren’t where you want to be, and you're the CEO of your life, what are you going to do about it?