I posted this video on our social media channels a while back but I want to share more of the back story and I how relate it to real estate investing. Here we go…
We (my wife, son and daughter) are at the local community carnival fund raiser earlier this year. We made our rounds, played a few games, rode some rides and then as we are headed to the exit we walked by the ol’ sledgehammer game (aka high striker, strength tester, strongman game, etc). Something I’ve always wanted to do but never have as I try to avoid potential, self inflicted embarrassing situations.
Test your strength
The carny worker with a microphone was doing an awesome job provoking extremely large, potential contestants to “step right up.” By that I mean, I’m 6’2″ 220 lbs on a light day, but the medium-sized carny worker was picking on guys MUCH MUCH larger than me and it was obvious they visited a gym or steroid bank recently. The carny worker targeted this group of extremely large men (i.e. not me) by yelling:

“C’mon Muscles! Show us what you got! This shouldn’t be anything for a guy like you who just walked out of the gym!”

One by one these guys gave in, stepped up and gave it their best. Swing after swing, but none of them rang the bell, barely even came close; hitting 1200-1300 range of a 1600 scale. THEY didn’t ring the bell?! This did nothing in the category of boosting my confidence that I would even come close to reaching my goal.
If they couldn’t ring the bell, how could I?  Inspired by one of Ryan Michler’s recent blog post where he discussed how courage yields action and action yields confidence, regardless of my nerves, I was going to try it, tonight.
When the massive muscle group finally gave up, the loud mouthed carny worker turns to me with his microphone, “what about you Columbia, how about you take a shot?” which was a reference to the jacket I had on. No reference to my muscles (ha ha), just a reference to the jacket I had on…ha!
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As the carny worker is walking me over to the sledgehammer, before I could ask for tips and tricks, with a whisper and a wink, he tells me, “hit it flat.” I wish this would have subsided my nerves a bit more but it didn’t. My first swing I actually missed the landing pad!  Thankfully, the camera wasn’t rolling yet. My second swing hit 1500! A better score than any of the previous muscle groups’ attempts. My last swing, swinging a little harder and a little more flat…DING! 
The cheer from my wife and the look on my son’s face made it all worth it…amazing, but the point of me telling you this is (and reminding myself when I read this later down the road), the purpose of this blog post is to remind you (and me) that the best results come from following the advice of the most qualified.
Here’s what I mean by that. I don’t seek financial advice from someone who has been bankrupt multiple times, just like I don’t seek marital advice from someone who has been divorced multiple times. Look, everybody should receive a second chance but when there is a multiple in front of those scenarios, I stay away. And one can argue the multiple failed attempts can show me what NOT to do.  And while I agree, I could just as easily learn what TO do from someone who has been highly successful and stay away from the negativity. Make sense?

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I took advice from the carny worker because he was the most qualified at the game. I saw what the muscled up guys did and how they tried to accomplish their goal. From their massive size and throwing around their overpowering strength, I knew I couldn’t match it and if I wanted to accomplish my goal, I had to take on a different strategy – one that was provided by the most qualified individual, the subject matter expert if you will.
The same goes for real estate investing. I find people who have already reached a goal I’m trying to obtain and I engage (notice I didn’t say I find people who have failed multiple times and asked them what not to do). While this may be important, it’ll come out in a more positive manner by discussing with accomplished and successful folks.
When it comes to real estate investing, I found myself telling newbies all the time:

  1. FIND your WHY, your purpose for wanting to invest in real estate
  2. SET Goals that support your WHY/Purpose
  3. CREATE investing criteria that support your goals.

Now I want to add a 4th step to that:

ENGAGE with others that hold similar investing criteria and similar goals that have had more success or the same success that you want one day on the specific goal you are trying to reach.

Read their books, consume their blog, listen to their podcast, post/reply in their closed facebook groups, take them to lunch, buy them a drink…engage. I’m partial to a hamburger and a beer if anyone is curios 🙂
Bottom line: Find you an experienced, qualified carny worker and engage with them!
My swings #2 and #3:

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