October 14, 2020

JF2234: 5 Ways to Immediately Improve Your Mindset | Syndication School with Theo Hicks


In today’s Syndication School episode, Theo Hicks, shares some of the most valuable mindset tips he has taken away from some of the recent interviews he has done on the Best Ever Show. Stay tuned in as Theo shares some golden nuggets to help you improve your mind so you can handle stress and grow.

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To listen to other Syndication School series about the “How To’s” of apartment syndications and to download your FREE document, visit SyndicationSchool.com. Thank you for listening and I will talk to you tomorrow. 


Theo Hicks: Hello Best Ever listeners and welcome to another episode of The Syndication School series; a free resource focused on the how to’s up apartment syndication. As always, I am your host Theo Hicks.

Each week, we air a syndication school episode that focuses on a specific aspect of the apartment syndication investment strategy. For a lot of these past episodes, especially the first 50 or so, we’ve given away a lot of free documents. So make sure you check those out, those episodes as well as those free documents. All that is available at http://syndicationschool.com/.

Today we are going to talk about some mindset tips, some habit tips that I learned over, say, the previous three to four months of Best Ever interviews. I wanted to give you a preview since none of these have aired yet, and make sure that you are able to hear, to be knowledgeable of what I think are some great mindset tips without accidentally missing them in the future.

Obviously, the purpose of this comes down to the idea of 80% psychology, 20% mechanics is the key to success. You can spend hours and hours and hours working on your business, you can have the best systems in the world, the best technologies in the world, the best mentors in the world. But if you don’t have the right mindset, then well, you’re most likely not going to be taking smart action, the right action to move you forward.

We’re going to go over five different ways to improve your mindset. And then obviously our habits are also tied into our mindset, because in order to improve our mindset, we need to change from bad habits to good habits. I think those two go hand in hand, which is why some of these are more specific to mindset, other ones are more specific to different success habits.

The first one is from an interview I did with Chris Benson. He talked about a concept called “The cool guy list”. Obviously, this could be a “cool girl list” as well. So the “cool guy and girl list”. What is this?

Well, Chris says that whenever he encounters someone who he’s impressed with, he writes down their name in a little notebook that he has. This is his cool guy list. It’s a running list of people who he thinks are very impressive. These are the people he’s met personally, these are people that he’s listened to on a podcast, maybe somebody he came across on the internet in some other form, maybe it’s an author that he read, a blog post that he read. Anytime he comes across something interesting, something unique, something that fascinates him, something that impresses him, he writes down the person’s name. And then he will then follow up with this individual on this list. He didn’t say the frequency, so I’d kind of just say maybe once a year. Then he will ask this individual what new opportunities they see on the horizon. So what is their future outlook on whatever they specialize in. Then based off of this conversation, Chris will then make changes and adjustments to his business accordingly.

Now, one thing that he did add to this is that another benefit of the cool guy list, besides new strategies to implement into your business is that if he were to lose his job or decide to leave his job and pursue something else, then he would open up his cool guy list. And he would literally travel to each individual on the list and then work for them for free for one month. That way, he can see firsthand what they’re working on, what these new opportunities are. I thought that was interesting.

Next would be kind of similar to this a little bit, but Ryan Growney… And his is talking about adding value for free. This is another habit that we focus on here at the Best Ever Show, Best Syndication School show when we talk about adding value to others for free with the expectation of nothing in return, whereas in reality, you are getting something in return. The example that I always give is when I first started working for Joe; I worked with him for free for a while and eventually got hired on full time.

Ryan Growney’s example is very fascinating, because he gave something away for free that most people would probably charge a lot of money for. What he did is created a custom, built from scratch database of all of the mobile home park owners in the country; their contact information, the property they own, things like that. And then whenever an interested person comes to him and wants to get into mobile home parks, then Ryan will give them access to his database for free. In return, Ryan asks that if they are able to secure interest from a mobile home park owner, then Ryan gets a first look at that deal. If he doesn’t want to buy it, then he will then help this newbie buy it themselves or wholesale it.

From the perspective of the newbie, the benefit is access to an amazing database, right? But also, they can use it as practice for cold calling, since they most likely aren’t going to even get the deal in the first place. Obviously, Ryan benefits by the leads that are generated. That’s more a specific example of giving away an actual service but be creative based off of what you’re capable of doing when it comes to adding value for free.

The simplest way is just answering questions on various social media and BiggerPockets types of websites, or all the way up to clearly giving away a consulting program in a sense for free, following Chris Benson’s cool guy list and working for one of those people who impressed you for free. All these things will help you not only improve your mindset, but also give you more business opportunities as well.

This next one is actually specific to mindset, but also habits it as well. Whenever I talk to someone on the show and they are a mindset expert, they’re a coach or they are just giving some sort of advice on how we need to think in order to be successful in real estate – okay, I understand the concept, I understand what you’re saying. But I understand that people have limiting beliefs, people have bad habits, and that we need to get over our limiting beliefs and replace our bad habits with new habits… But how do we actually do this? I get the what, I get the why, but how do we actually do this? What can we start doing right now, that will enable us to move from bad habits to good habits?

One really unique way that I really liked was from Vaughn [unintelligible [00:10:30].04], I think his last name is. He said that whenever he works with his clients on mindset issues, he tells them that rather than just do journaling or meditating or attempting to improve their mindset and habits just by themselves in a vacuum in their room, they need to enlist the help others. The specific examples that he gave was that you want to go to someone who knows you really well, maybe this is your business partner, maybe this is a family member, a significant other, someone who knows you really well… And then ask them what they think are your limiting beliefs and self-destructive behaviors. This can be applied to me really anything; your personal life and your business life, really anything. Any aspect of your life that you’re not achieving in or not achieving the level you want to, it’s likely because of some bad habits that you have. If you can get an objective third party to analyze you and tell you, “Hey, the reason why you’re not finding more deals is because you aren’t cold calling enough,” or, “Maybe the reason why you’re not having the energy to work long hours is because your diet is really bad and you’re not working out enough, or whatever.”

These things are probably obvious to us, once they are said, but oftentimes, we are unaware of the things that are holding us back, or we are making excuses for the things that are holding us back.  I know, for me, a big thing is like I eat on the  ago, “I’m still young, I can eat whatever I want to and it’s fine.” No, that’s not necessarily how it works. Sometimes, I need my wife to tell me that, “Hey, babe, you’re getting a little round around the waist,” in order for me to realize that this is a bad habit.

Now, if you’re trying to apply this to business, it’s probably better if the person who’s helping your enlisting is more successful than you. Because you don’t want to ask someone who’s also having problems in their business, or are not where you want to be, and ask them, “What’s holding me back?” Just because, well, the same thing is probably holding them back as well. So ideally, a person more successful than you. But still, at the same time, at least from what I’ve noticed, some people are able to give advice on how to improve, even though they don’t actually act on that advice themselves. It is possible, but ideally, the person is more successful than you.

Vaughn says that just the act of being aware of these bad habits – and by awareness, I mean, not you becoming aware of them yourself, but someone telling you about them; just that alone will begin the healing process.

The next step, he says is to figure out the reason why you are doing that bad habit and then ask yourself if that is actually true or if it’s some story you created. Go back to my example with eating. I say, “Oh, well, I’m young, I can eat whatever I want to and I’ll be fine.” Well, is that actually true? Obviously, that’s not true. You need to—at this point, he says, “Change this story from a false story that’s creating the self-destructive habit to a good story, a positive story that results in a good habit.” That was Vaughn’s advice. I really liked that, very powerful advice, I think.

Then next would be Madison [unintelligible [00:13:52].04], and she gave advice on actually forming a new habit. Let’s say I follow Vaughn’s advice. My wife keeps telling me how I’m getting bigger and I need to change my diet and start working out more. How do I actually start changing my diet? How do I actually start working out more? That’s kind of first step again, is awareness relative to what I need to do, but how do I actually start doing it?

Madison gave really good advice on how to start new habits. She says that, “Rather than telling yourself you’re going to do something forever, just tell yourself that you’re going to do a five-day experiment.” ‘I’m going to eat clean for five days, no matter what.’ ‘I’m going to work out every day for five days for 10 minutes or whatever.’ Not forever, not for a month, not for a year just for five days. Not only does this most importantly help us start something, because not as overwhelmed with the idea of doing it forever, but also it will help us avoid doing something for a long time that is not going to work, that is not a good fit for us.

She says that after these five days, do a post mortem analysis to determine if the new habit you formed is working and is right for you. For her, she says that this comes down to how you intuitively feel about it. You don’t need to force something that’s not going to work, right? There’s millions of different workouts—if you kind of follow my analogy, there’s a million different diets you can do, there’s a million different workout programs you can do. Not every single one is going to work for you, right? Just like there’s a lot of different mindset techniques that you can do, a lot of different real estate business plans that you can do, which I guess that wouldn’t really work for five days… But the whole point is experimenting on things, as opposed to just telling yourself you’re going to do them forever.

I think a really good real estate example would be—I was interviewing someone yesterday, and he says that he has active business and then whenever he’s interested in a potential new active investment (maybe he wants to get into multifamily), rather than researching multifamily, finding the right market, building a team, buying his deal, going through that entire process, which could take two, three years, maybe a year, maybe six months depending on where you’re at, but not immediate… Well, what happens if you spend all that time and you don’t like it? Well, you’ve wasted—in a  sense, not wasted totally, but you’re three years later and now you need to figure out what you want to do next. Whereas instead, what he does is he tests different types of business plans by passively investing in them first. Because passively investing in multifamily requires a lot less effort, a lot less knowledge than actually doing a multifamily deal yourself. For something like that, it is obviously more than five days, but thinking of ways to test things out before going all in.

Lastly, and this is more of a goal-setting technique, is the rocks, the pebbles ad the sand concept we’ve all heard before, but this is from Steven Davis. The concept goes, “If you want to fill up a jar with as many rocks, pebbles and sand as possible, while you put the sand in first, and then you’re not going to really fit any pebbles or rocks in there at all. Whereas if you put the pebbles in first, then sure you can put sand in, but none of the rocks are going to fit. The best way is to put the big rocks in first, and then put the little pebbles in, and those will all kind of trickle in around the bigger rocks and then pour the sand, then it’ll fill in the rest, and then the entire jar will be filled with the most amount of rocks, pebbles, and sand.”

Similarly, when we are setting our goals, we need to prioritize them based off of this concept of the rocks, pebbles and the sand. For Steven, the rocks are the one to two major outcomes for the quarter, for the year, for the person’s life, for whatever, whenever you’re setting a goal in and whatever the length of that goal happens to be. Then once he has those big rocks, the next steps is to fill in those goals with the pebbles. These are the smaller monthly goals, the smaller weekly goals that you need to accomplish in order to ensure you accomplish your quarterly or yearly goals. Lastly, would be the sand, which is the rest; the things you need to do every day in order to achieve those big goals. If you do the opposite, if you focus on just doing the menial daily things like replying to emails, well then you don’t have the big picture in mind. Obviously, monthly goals are great, but yearly goals are the best.

An interesting twist that I put on this would be to actually each quarter buy a rock, buy a boulder if you want to, and put it in your office and then in permanent marker write down whatever your goal is for that quarter. That way, not only will you see your goal, but you will also see the rock to remind you of the reason why it’s your goal, as opposed to maybe just writing it down, which is great, but I think tying it to a story of the rock pebbles and the sand would help you achieve that goal even more effectively, more likely.

Those are the five interesting success habits, goal setting tactics that I learned over the previous three months, and I think I will start doing episodes like this a little bit more often just to kind of condense a bunch of episodes, the best advice from a bunch of episodes into one. Because I feel more, like — some people talk about raising money with social media, others talk about ways to scale businesses… So keep a lookout for more of those in the future and let me know. You can always email me at theo@joefairless.com, if you really like a certain thing that we’re doing, sp we can keep doing more, or if you don’t like what we’re doing, so we can stop doing that, or anything that you want us to start doing. I’m always open to feedback.

Until then and until next time, thank you for listening. Make sure you check out some of the other episodes and free documents at http://syndicationschool.com/. Have a best ever day and we’ll talk to you tomorrow.

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