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Don't Believe the Hype. Gurus Aren't Always Right.
If you want to be successful, whether it be in business, in your career or even in sports, a good course of action is to follow in the footsteps of those who have already accomplished your desired success. Study those who have come before you and made it. Athletes do it all the time. They study others golf swing, basketball shot or throwing motion.
If you’re in business, attend the seminars, buy the gurus courses and books. After all they’ve already made it. However, you need to remember to apply your own creativity and critical thinking to your situation.
Let me give you an example of what I mean.
I got started investing and flipping real estate when I was 24. About the same time I met a guy, early sixties, who had just started as well. We started as associates, became friends and eventually partners. At that time the biggest guru in the creative real estate industry was, without a doubt, Ron LeGrand. I mean he was THEE guru. It was cool to be trained by him and if you weren’t you probably weren’t making any real money yet.
My partner and I learned from Ron how to do short sales-the process of buying foreclosure properties by negotiating with the lender to accept less than what is owed. So my partner and I would sit down with homeowners, do our thing, get our paperwork signed and be into another good deal.
On one particular occasion after finishing up our visit with a homeowner, my partner says to me, “you need to get that deed out there first.” You see we would have the homeowners sign the deed
over to us on the spot. I said, “why?” He said, “Ron says you get that deed out there first because if they don’t sign that then we don’t do the deal.” I explained to my partner that I understood what Ron says, but there was a very good reason for saving the deed for last. The deed was the document the homeowner would be most likely to raise an objection to. We usually had around eight or nine different documents, from a simple “authorization to release information” form to several lengthy disclosures.
Talking to a homeowner about how we were going to buy their house and the complicated process of doing a short sale is one thing. It is all hypothetical at that point. As soon as you bust out paperwork it becomes real. Right then and there that homeowner is going to think to themselves one last time, “do I want to go through with this?” Maybe they have their mind made up already. But nonetheless, the last thing I wanted to do was move too quickly. I liked to start out with the simplest, least objectionable document we had, which was the authorization form. I would explain to the homeowner that this form would give their lender authorization to speak with us and without it we could not even start the process. No big deal. After all they needed to get this problem resolved. I would arrange my documents from simplest to the most objectionable-the deed.
My philosophy was this: I believed there was a certain level of psychology involved. The first few documents were simple. The homeowners would usually look them over prudently (or at least pretend to) and when satisfied they would sign. As the documents kept coming, they kept getting bigger. The homeowners would read less and less and at some point they were just signing.
See, they knew they were signing and with each signature they were becoming more and more psychologically committed to the deal. By the time I finally pulled out that deed there was no turning back.
Had I listened to Ron and went about my business exactly the way he instructed I wouldn’t have engaged my own critical thinking. And just for the record, I sat down with hundreds and hundreds of homeowners
in foreclosure over the years and do you want to know how many times I had someone object to signing the deed? Zero. That’s right. Never have I had anyone not sign the deed. I wonder if Ron LeGrand can say the same?
So, sure, follow in the footsteps of the successful. Learn everything you can from the gurus in your field. Just don’t hang on every word. Engage your own critical thinking. You may just surprise yourself.
To Your Success,
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