Tackling Limiting Beliefs in Commercial Real Estate
We tend to have preconceived notions about what we are and aren’t capable of doing in life and our commercial real estate careers.
Some of us are supremely confident in our capabilities and potential; however, most have at least a little doubt hidden away that we may not be aware of or want to acknowledge.
And sometimes, the beliefs holding us back we don’t recognize as limiting because they’re so prevalent in society.
Let’s talk about how to recognize the assumptions we make that limit our growth and how to challenge them.
Recognizing what’s holding us back
Some beliefs we develop early in life (those we adopt from our family and community), and some as we get an education and work through the challenges of building our careers and businesses. Often, the beliefs we subconsciously accept as fact are those we form in our socialization as children and young adults.
Many of us who have found success got there despite friends and loved ones tactfully warning us of the risks and perceived futility of the paths we’ve pursued. Yet, for one reason or another, we see the light at the end of the tunnel and keep going.
So, we’ve made it, right?
Are we satisfied with what we’ve accomplished?
“Financial and professional growth isn’t everything.”
That’s a common rationale we employ to become content with the status quo. But reflect for a moment: Is there a goal you’ve dismissed as unnecessary for your ‘happiness’ or ‘fulfillment?’
Indeed, your determination may be valid and justifiable. However, think about an instance when you realized that a goal you wanted to achieve was attainable.
How excited were you, and how quickly did you want to start?
You probably couldn’t wait to take action and had a clear vision of that success.
Did you go through with it? Maybe you did, and that’s how you got to where you are.
If you didn’t, doubt likely began to pervade in the following days as you started to mull over all the reasons it couldn’t work out. It may have been the correct decision and the wise move, but reflect on the experience and consider if the goal wasn’t feasible.
Have your subsequent experiences proven that your belief was incorrect?
If so, carry that insight into your decision-making process regarding opportunities you’re evaluating that hold the potential to grow your career, portfolio, and enterprise.
Common limiting beliefs
There are many limiting beliefs in commercial real estate, and for the sake of illustration, here are a few of the common ones:
- I don’t have the education or experience level to do this.
- I won’t be able to raise the required capital.
- I don’t have a track record in CRE or this asset class.
- I’m too old/young.
- I don’t know anybody in the business — I don’t have the connections.
- My family/community won’t support this course.
- It’ll take too long.
- It’ll be too difficult or time-consuming.
- The market will crash — I’ll lose everything.
The thread you’re probably starting to see here is that all of these have apparent solutions. But when we’re in the moment or just starting our careers and businesses, these feel insurmountable, and we find reasons to justify these as valid limitations.
Developing an anything-is-possible mindset
Once you’ve uncovered a limiting belief, go to work shifting your mindset and building a support system that will make it possible to overcome.
Test the assumptions and rationales behind the belief. There may be actions and team members you hadn’t considered that could vaporize constraints.
Let’s look at some of the familiar limiting beliefs noted previously and see how we can conquer them:
Lack of education/experience
- Partner with other professionals and firms in the industry.
- Hire a team that has the skills to pull it off.
- Take an entry-level role in the industry to learn the basics and gather practical experience.
- Go back to school.
- Find a mentor.
Inability to raise capital
- Find partners with a track record, liquidity, and good credit.
- Start small and work your way up to bigger deals and ventures.
- Build a network — participate in your industry community.
Feeling too young or old
- Consider the numerous examples of successful entrepreneurs at both ends of the spectrum.
- Like many other concerns that restrict growth, a team with more experience or energy can bridge the gap.
Not having connections
- Get out there and network — join local and national organizations relevant to your niche.
- Join an investment club or mastermind group.
- Volunteer/participate in civic organizations.
Lacking the support of family/community
- Talk it over with them and be open about your passion.
- Go forth bravely, even if they disapprove — trust and honor yourself.
- Keep it to yourself and surprise them with your success!
- Anything worth doing will take time — shift your mindset to the long game.
- Work towards goals you’re passionate about, and the time it takes will feel less important.
Perceived difficulty and time demands
- Share the challenge and load with a qualified and enthusiastic team.
- Visualize your goal and the reward — it’s worth what you’ll pay.
- Sometimes, just getting started is the hard part. Once you’re rollin’ in high gear, the resistance will feel lighter.
- Opportunity exists in any economic climate.
- Some of the best deals emerge during recession.
- Assemble advisors and a strategic plan to create contingencies and prepare for any possible outcome.
Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list, but whatever the challenge, put all your concerns and what-ifs on paper (or screen). Think through all the possible rebuttals to your beliefs and also explore why you may be right. You owe it to yourself to conduct due diligence in choosing a course of action.
Trust your intuition and keep going
Faith is important but trust your gut. If, after reasoning through everything and consulting with mentors and experts, you don’t feel it’s the right path, move on to other opportunities with the same objectivity — and don’t give up!