So how did I do it?
This is the correct question and you should be asking it about everything. Instead of thinking people have advantages that aren’t possible for you, or thinking some obstacle makes a goal impossible, instead ask “how can it be done”, then find out. This is really the basis for everything I’ve done right financially.
Asking “how it can be done” is literally the answer to how I did it. Knowledge will give you the tools you need to accomplish things, and the world really isn’t that complicated but it does takes a little curiosity to find answers. It takes a little change of thinking to approach problems as an opportunity to get creative, rather than create mentally unsolvable impasses. Arthur C. Clark wrote “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” This is true with investing as well, if a topic or goal seems impossible or magical, its’ it doesn’t mean it’s magic, it means you just don’t know enough about it.
For example, when I bought my first house I didn’t walk up to a house and buy it in one day (This would seem obvious). What’s not obvious is that the process of learning how to buy a house is what gave me the confidence that it was the right decision. Ever been shopping and said “I’m just looking”? at a car dealership maybe? Of course you were just looking you didn’t have all the information yet! As you got new information you decided it might be a good idea to purchase. Investing is the exact same way. You don’t decide you are ready to buy a house, then learn about it, as you learn you start to decide.
When you talk to a realtor, he tells you to get pre-approved at a bank. You call a bank, they tell you the requirements, you look at your life and put what they need together and they review it. They tell you how much you can spend, how your finances fit into their underwriting requirements, what you need to do better or differently. When you go back and talk to the realtor he is going to educate you on the market forces in your area. The process of looking at houses will teach you what houses are valued at in your city. He finds you houses that work, you negotiate, he then helps you close the deal. The point is many people shy away from starting to look at buying a house because they don’t understand how to buy one, but that’s the wrong kind of thinking. You learn the details of the process as you go, the education of understanding makes you feel confident to move forward. This empowers you to a point where you feel confident signing the paperwork.
The education leads to action.
When I was in grade school I was really bad at math. Terrified of algebra I thought to myself I could never do it. I can barely deal with numbers, now you want to put letters in there? Of course it’s scary, everything unknown is scary. I eventually learned algebra and it wasn’t so hard I found, along with everything I’ve ever done. Investing and wealth building aren’t hard or impossible, they might just be new to you. Learn it and it’ll seem easy.
How do you invest in the stock market? How do you move across the country. How do you buy a business. If you don’t know how they work, they seem impossible. If you know how they work, they seem really simple, and you can surely pull off something simple right? People are scared of this stuff so they never even try it, when in reality simply learning about how these things work can help you tackle them just by INCHING forward. The compounding effects of education and small steps forward is potent.
Ever met someone rich and described them like this: “wow, they are so down to earth, just a regular person”. Yeah, what else would they be besides a regular person? Good news, you’re a regular person too. It’s not genetic smarts that gets you ahead, its the effort to learn a few new things that have applicable value. If you think the population of the rich people are brilliant and they have some special advantage over you, you’re dead wrong I’m as regular and average as it can possibly get and I have done well with real estate for no other reason than I was interested in learning. Learning took my fear away, it took the magic away, and left me with the desire to take action.
To summarize, you don’t have to be gifted to get ahead. What most people do is learn financial literacy from their parents and this is almost universally a recipe for failure. In order to create wealth and financial freedom, you simply have to ask questions, find the answer, then ask the next question. As you learn more, you’ll easily feel confident to take action.