Growing up, society has taught us that cheating is bad – and rightfully so.
Anyone who embarks on an undertaking with an unfair advantage, and willfully exploits it for the sole purpose of furthering his or her interests is considered a cheater and is immediately labeled a villain.
Everyone—from the kid who stole an extra piece of gum or took a dollar from their mother’s purse; the classmate who copied and cheated on assignments and exams, the two-timing boyfriend or girlfriend, the tax evading executive to the sweet-talking corrupt politician…
…Cheaters are looked down on and are considered scum of the earth.
In fact, in most cultures cheating is akin to stealing.
But did you know there’s a particular endeavor where “cheating” is acceptable?
In fact, “cheating” is perhaps the only way you can ensure success in this area and most, if not all of the biggest names in this field have practically “cheated” their way into untold riches and success.
I’m talking about the field of Real Estate Investing.
And before your eyebrows hit the ceiling, or before you start organizing a picket rally in front of my lawn, allow me to clarify and qualify this statement.
First off, I’m NOT suggesting you out-muscle and bully your seller into accepting a lowball offer, or get your buyer to overpay for a house, or pad your expenses and thin out your profits so you end up paying your private lender less, or any of the sort.
That’s a huge NO.
What I’m referring to here is maximizing your unfair advantage in order to ensure your success.
Let me explain:
Your unfair advantage is something you have that others don’t.. It’s what makes you unique as a person and as an entrepreneur. This unfair advantage differs from one investor to another. Some have more obvious unfair advantages over others, while some need a little more digging to discover what their unfair advantage is.
Here’s an example:
Sandra holds a degree in IT. Failing to land a job where she could use her skills, she thought she’d try her hand in real estate investing. After all, she had friends who were doing it rather successfully. She began learning the ropes from them and, in the process, began to think of ways to use her IT skills to make her job easier. Soon enough, Sandra had multiple websites up that are filling her pipeline with deals and buyers from all over the state. All she had to do was match ‘em up. She has since closed deals virtually and is now planning to scale her business up so she can do deals across the country – all while sitting at her local Starbucks and staring at her laptop.
Did you see Sandra’s unfair advantage? Here’s another story.
Meet Tom. Tom was a private school teacher who got laid off and decided to venture into real estate investing. He has practically zero knowledge and experience in this business. However, he was encouraged by his uncle who promised to fund his first deals until he’s able to stand on his own. All he had to do was find deals, do his homework and close ‘em. Soon enough, Tom was doing four to five deals a month.
Did you see what Tom’s unfair advantage is? Here’s another example.
Jane used to work for a marketing firm before she decided to quit her 8 to 5 job and become her own boss by investing in real estate. She began attending webinars, seminars, and trainings. She even got herself one of the more popular home study courses. She quickly learned the ropes and began to use her extensive marketing experience to find deals and buyers for herself. In no time at all, she was closing deals and making as much money in a month as she did in a year of working for her old company.
Did you see Jane’s unfair advantage?
What Sandra, Tom, and Jane have in common is they all had unfair advantages – and they capitalized on it.
Sandra had investor friends who taught her the business. Furthermore, she had IT skills that helped her become a virtual investor. Tom had a rich uncle who backed him up until he was able to stand on his own. Jane had previous marketing experience that propelled her forward.
Can these three be blamed if they had these unfair advantages to start with? Can they be blamed for maximizing these unfair advantages in order for them to succeed in real estate investing?
Still, some people would be inclined to say, “Sandra had it easy because she had investor friends and she was an IT genius.” Or: “Yeah, Tom succeeded because he had a rich uncle to back him up.” Lastly: “Of course Jane made it. She’s already an experienced marketer to start with.”
And so we come to our final example.
Jimmy was a college dropout. He’s been living paycheck to paycheck doing odd jobs, from mopping mall floors, dishwashing in various diners to being a bicycle messenger and a delivery truck driver. Jimmy once received an email about a free webinar on real estate investing.
Despite practically knowing nothing about the business and the different elements thereof, and he barely had a nickel to his name, much less money to invest, he took the plunge. He knew that what he lacked in knowledge and finances, he made up for in determination, motivation, and an eagerness to learn. He began as a bird dog and as soon as he learned enough of the business and saved enough money for a deal, he went solo. Last time I saw him, he was walking out of a title company with a big smile on his face.
Did you see Jimmy’s unfair advantage?
It’s easy to say someone succeeded in this business because of previous experience, a rich person backed them up, or just plain luck.
But what about Jimmy? He had neither knowledge, experience, nor money. All he had was determination and motivation – and that’s his unfair advantage.
Just like I said earlier, unfair advantages differ from one person to another. Others have more obvious ones, while others need a little digging (or a lot, depends on how you see it) to discover it.
The point is EVERYONE HAS AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE HE OR SHE CAN USE TO SUCCEED IN REAL ESTATE INVESTING.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a billionaire relative, a previous skill, being good with your hands, being a natural sweet-talker, having a 160+ IQ, being as strong as a bull, or simply having an unwavering determination and motivation to succeed – whatever it is you have in you that you can maximize in order to succeed is your unfair advantage.
No one can blame you for having it.
Sure, people can b!+@# around with it, but remember, that’s just jealousy talking. If those people sat down and thought about their own lives, I’m pretty sure they’ll be able to see their own unfair advantages.
One thing is for sure though: Being negative and b!+@#-ing around other people’s success doesn’t qualify as an unfair advantage.
So go ahead and examine yourself.
What do you have that others don’t? What makes you unique as a person and as an entrepreneur? What sets you apart from the pack?
It may be resources, skills, character traits or an extra toe – it doesn’t matter.
What matters is that you have it and you can use it to cheat your way to success.
P.S. In case you’re wondering how you can use an extra toe to become a successful real estate investor…
You can use it as a conversation starter! Who knows? The next person you talk to about your extra toe might be a potential seller, buyer or lender. :-)
All the best,