If you cornered me and asked me to come up with one single trait that I have found in common among the successful investors I’ve come across, what would that be?
Obviously, there are a number of important factors underpinning success, but after recently I’ve come to the conclusion that there really is one critical attribute that stands above virtually everything else when it comes to creating success in your investing, in wealth creation and in fact in all areas of your life.
You see, Robert came up to me after attending one of my seminars and thanked me. He said he learned a lot and was inspired.
He then shared with me that he’d been to almost all of the seminars that I’d conducted in Sydney over the last 10 years. When I asked him how many properties he owned he told me he was still getting ready to buy his first investment. He was waiting for everything to be “just right.”
Of course I couldn’t help but explain he’d be much wealthier today if he had bought almost any property when he first considered investing 10 years ago, even if he had made a terrible mistake in his property selection.
At the time we were paying less than $300,000 for an average house in Sydney; $245,000 in Melbourne; $144,000 in Brisbane; $149,000 in Perth; $188,000 in Darwin; $128,000 in Adelaide and $113,000 in Hobart. Fast-forward 10 years and look what you’d pay for that property today!
So what is this characteristic all successful investors share?
It’s that they make decisions and take appropriate action.
In his classic book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill outlined 17 principles that he found to be responsible for the success of the world’s top business leaders of his day. Way back in the 1930s Hill discovered that all of the most successful people had the habit of making swift and committed decisions.
This principle, which is just as relevant today as it was almost a century ago, holds the keys to determining the level of success you will achieve.
I’ve found successful investors gather the necessary information quickly, make an informed decision and then take appropriate action. They are able to see the big picture and don’t get caught up in the detail.
And even when they don’t have all the information they need, they believe it is better to make a decision with some information than to make not to make a decision at all. They then take action and gather the balance of the information as they move on.
Of course, they don’t always make the right choices. However, over time, the number of correct decisions they make far outweigh the incorrect ones and this propel them to investment success.
It should come as no surprise that others who procrastinate and avoid taking action rarely achieve much success in their lives.
Why is taking action daunting for so many people?
One of the big things that holds back so many potential investors is fear – especially the fear of making an incorrect decision or of failure.
The problem is that as human beings we like to feel in control. We like to have choices. However, when you take action you’ve made a commitment towards one choice, thereby eliminated a number of other choices that you could have made. So subconsciously we procrastinate, thinking it has left us with options.
The trouble is, we’ve really made a decision not to make a decision. And that decision has its own consequences.
Do you find it easy to make decisions?
Currently the world is riddled with uncertainty and unpredictability. This makes it difficult to be sure of what actions we should take and leads to procrastination.
However, if your life isn’t where you want it to be right now, it’s likely that you are not making the right decisions or taking the appropriate actions to move you forward.
How do successful investors manage to take decisive action?
The fact is that successful investors are faced with just as much uncertainty in their lives as the rest of us, however they manage to take action because they have focus. They have clarity about where they want to be.
Successful investors follow a plan. They know exactly why they are investing in property. They have a property strategy, a finance strategy and a tax and asset protection strategy.
Every time they have to make an investment decision, they evaluate their actions and the potential consequences in light of their plan and their goals. If the action will move them closer towards their goals, they go for it. This makes their investing more predictable, their decisions less emotional and their results more consistent.
It was no coincidence that when I became clear in my goals I began associating with other successful investors who were already very clear in every aspect of their property investing. I don’t know who said it, but ‘to become successful, hang around successful people.”
The interesting thing is that when you start associating with successful people, you begin to change without knowing it – you act, talk, think and dress like them. You begin to see things in a positive new way.
The lesson from all this is to make a commitment to yourself to start taking decisive action and move yourself closer to the investment success you desire.
Michael Yardney is the director of Metropole Property Investment Strategists, a best-selling author and one of Australia’s leading experts in wealth creation through property. For more information about Michael visit www.metropole.com.au and www.PropertyUpdate.com.au.