Becoming a Legend

becoming a legend by domenick tonacchioIt always feels surreal when people talk about greatness.  There’s plenty of talk about “legends” in various different fields; it’s a title that implies an almost mythical element to their work, but a lot of these “legends” are just normal people who happen to do great work.  Sure enough, there are some legends in the world of real estate investment.  And if you want to become one of them, with some hard work it’s absolutely possible.  I recently read a blog post on Biggerpockets outlining some of the steps you can take to becoming a legend in the world of real estate investment.  Here are a few of them:

Be nice: Nice guys finish last, and to an extent that’s true, but you can’t be a cold, heartless investor and expect to stand out.  Real estate investment is inherently people-based, involved around providing people with shelter, one of the most basic human needs, so you need to care about the people.  Nobody wants to work with the jerk who screws people over, and burning a bridge risks coming back to haunt you in the future.  If you have to turn somebody down or step on toes, do it as amicably as possible.  

Master a niche: It benefits to be a jack-of-all-trades, but you want to find one that you can master.  By honing in on your niche and mastering it, you’re turning yourself into an undisputed champion of one specific field.  Becoming a master takes a lot of work and requires plenty of experience, but it’s well worth it.

Stay humble: Know what you know, and admit when you don’t know anything.  If you try to cover that up, you’ll just end up looking ridiculous.  Humility prevents hubris, which will lead to stupid mistakes that will hurt both yourself and your reputation.  

Always be learning: We’ve always got more to learn, no matter how much we know and have already done.  Don’t stop and think that you know it all, and don’t think of discounting others and what you could learn from them.  

Find mentors: Even the greatest legends need mentors, people whose insight they trust.  This lets you learn from their wisdom and character while building on it for yourself.  Surround yourself with people you want to be like.

Make connections: This is a key step to becoming a legend.  No matter what great work you’ve done, it won’t count for anything if nobody knows about it.  A strong professional network is essential to both generating leads and forming the support and structure necessary for a business.  But do it smartly; take time to make genuine connections with the right people.

Go the extra mile: Nobody made history by taking the easy way out.  Go above and beyond and offer excellence in everything.  This might involve making sacrifices, but they’re essential if you want that legendary status.  

The devil’s in the details: It pays to look at the value of the little things.  Remember things like names, dates, thank-you notes and follow-ups, and it will go a long way.  Make good on your word, even if it wasn’t meant to be a deal.  All of these details add up to a lot of integrity.  

Own mistakes: I’ve certainly made my fair share of mistakes.  When these happen, the worst thing you can do is try and pass the blame on somebody else when it was your own fault.  The best thing to do is own up to your mistakes and take charge of the situation.  

Keep pushing forward: When facing difficulties, the best thing you can do is to not give up.  Showing the will to carry on in the face of obstacles will earn the respect of your peers.  

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