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GOLD! One Trick Pony

SteveO

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Sometimes I wonder if people are looking too many directions to try and figure out a path to take. Not that it isn't important to evaluate the options but, at some point the direction needs to narrow down.

It did not take long for me to get into the fastlane once I had decided to invest in apartments. I focused all my effort and research on defining how I could maximize my returns and continued to refine this process as I went along.

Where I ran into difficulties was when I thought the grass might be greener and went in different directions. The problem was not that there was no money in the other options, it was just a distraction that took me away from my original plan.

I tried my hand at development a few years ago. Property was purchased across the street from a site where a new hospital was going to be developed. It was zoned for medical office (and general as well). I teamed up with a CCIM from the area and we worked with a builder on the project. We thought we could finish the buildings in 4 months and lease them up. It took 1.5 years with delays from the city all along the way. I had to carry the loan during the entire process.

Money was still made on this deal but the amount of time and other resources that went into this were a major distraction for me.

I also thought that rehabbing apartments might be a good thing to try. There were some rundown units in Palm Springs, CA. that were in the foreclosure process. They had many violations on them that were in need of correction. Again, money was made but the amount of time that was absorbed by this was unreal. I could not afford to pay contractor prices so my partners and I did most of the work. Pouring concrete diveways in 105 degrees was not fun either. :smxD:

If I had stayed on this path, I would have had to drop down to a slower lane. :fastlane:

Fortunately, these just solidified the fact that my original plan was working. When I went back to refining the original plan, the speed picked back up. :driving:

My point is that finding a workable plan to move ahead at a fast rate of speed is important. Development and Rehab are both very lucrative. I am not suggesting that there is less money in doing either one of those. The problem was with the distractions and chasing something without a fully understood plan of attack. Had I initially targeted development, the effort that I had put into it would have been different and the amount of time and path forward would have been very different.

Make your plans to move forward based on a carefully thought out plan that will take you where you want to go. If it isn't working... adjust... If it works... refine and move forward.
 

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M-M

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That's true. I've got my mind on several things right now, but I need to narrow it down soon before I lose control over everything. Focus has always been a big problem for me.
 

AroundTheWorld

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Awesome point Steve O...

I'd like to add ... that when you are deciding what path will work for you, pay attention to a few things...

  • What seems like the most common sense solution?
  • What fits in with your passion/values?
  • Where does it fit in on your risk tolerence level?

The answer here will be different for everyone, and there is no wrong answer (unless you are ignoring your instincts here...)

I was speaking with a land developer recently. That is definately his one pony. He feels that self-storage is risky.... and that land development is not. I, on the other hand am very comfortable with self-storage development (my pony) but feel that land development is risky. That tells me that we have each chosen the correct pony.

However, I would also submit.... for some people, it could be... one pony at a time!

If you ride a pony as far as you had hoped - or find you have outgrown the pony... it could be time to find a different pony!!... As long as you have the self discipline to not jump too soon!
 

andviv

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SteveO, awesome post. Sorry, I can't give you rep++ as I already gave you positive Rep for another awesome post.

On topic, YES. This is one of the biggest problems I've seen.
These days there are just TOO MANY ways to make money. Problem is, in order to make money you need to be good at it, and you only can get good at it by becoming an expert i.e. by doing it constantly and improving/correcting each time. If people want to get rich quick and start trying everything possible then they will never get good at it.

I started with small business ideas, then moved into researching the stock market, then moved into SFHs but at the time was focusing on my professional career and on buying land. I had to make a choice, and after thinking throughly decided on just one area, which is what I am focusing with all the time I have available. I have to get everything else out of my mind in order to concentrate in what I want to do. One thing at the time.

Again, great post. This topic -Focus, or the lack of, and the myth about Diversification, are my most common topics of conversation with people that ask me how to start. When I tell people what I am doing and they notice that I am putting all my eggs in just one basket and decide to focus on making sure my basket is performing, most look at me like I am completely nuts (I probably am, but that is another topic). They believe in having many baskets to avoid losing money. Problem is, they only have a couple of eggs that want to distribute among 5 or 6 baskets. That is just not my style anymore.

When reading the success stories posted here you will notice most of them made it by focusing in just one thing. Once they made it then they diversify as now they do have enough eggs to spread.
 
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emorgan

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Amazing timing on this post Steve O- how funny. This has been my experience- not sticking with what I know and love, but instead trying to do what others have had success with. Now, at thirty, I'm hoping to learn this and refocus on my original goals and finally get where I want to be!
 
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SteveO

SteveO

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SteveO, awesome post. Sorry, I can't give you rep++ as I already gave you positive Rep for another awesome post.
No problem andviv... I'm here for the beer, of which you have already bought! :cheers:
 

andviv

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there is not such a thing as too much beer!!! I'm buying the next round.
 
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SteveO

SteveO

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I have always liked Paul Simon. His lyrics usually hit home with me. Here are the words to this song:

He's a one trick pony
One trick is all that horse can do
he does one trick only
It's the principal source of his revenue
And when he steps into the spotlight
You can feel the heat of his heart
Come rising through

See how he dances
See how he loops from side to side
See how he prances
The way his hooves just seem to glide
He's just a one trick pony (that's all he is)
But he turns that trick with pride

He makes it look so easy
He looks so clean
He moves like God's
Immaculate machine
He makes me think about
All of these extra moves I make
And all of this herky-jerky motion
And the bag of tricks it takes
To get me through my working day
One-trick pony

He's a one trick pony
He either fails or he succeeds
He gives his testimony
Then he relaxes in the weeds
He's got one trick to last a lifetime
But that's all a pony needs
(that's all he needs)
He looks so easy
He looks so clean
He moves like God's
Immaculate machine
He makes me think about
All of these extra moves I make
And all of this herky-jerky motion
And the bag of tricks it takes
To get me through my working day

One-trick pony, one trick pony
One-trick pony, one trick pony
One-trick pony (take me for a ride)
One trick pony
Of course the following portion is the key:

He makes me think about
All of these extra moves I make
And all of this herky-jerky motion
And the bag of tricks it takes
To get me through my working day
:smilielol:
 

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emorgan

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Russ H

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So, Steve O is saying I should turn tricks with pride :3some:
:rolleyes:

Nice to have you back, Erin!

We missed you.:party:

-Russ H.
 

Russ H

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SteveO-

I love Paul Simon's lyrics, too.

My personal fave (from his "Hearts & Bones" album):

Maybe I think Too Much

They say that the left side of the brain
Controls the right
They say that the right side
Has to work hard all night
Maybe I think too much for my own good
Some people say so
Other people say no no
The fact is
You don't think as much as you could
hmmm . . .

I had a childhood that was mercifully brief
I grew up in a state of disbelief
I started to think too much
When I was twelve going on thirteen
Me and the girls from St. Augustine
Up in the mezzanine
Thinking about God, yeah

Maybe I think too much
Maybe I think too much
Maybe I think too much
Maybe I think too much

Have you ever experienced a period of grace
When your brain just takes a seat behind your face
And the world begins The Elephant Dance
Everything's funny
Everyone's sunny
You take out your money
And walk down the road

That leads me to the girl I love
The girl I'm always thinking of
But maybe I think too much
And I ought to just hold her
Stop trying to mold her
Maybe blindfold her
And take her away
Maybe I think too much
Makes me think everytime I listen to it . . . :cool:

-Russ H.

http://play.rhapsody.com/paulsimon/heartsandbones/thinktoomucha
 
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SteveO

SteveO

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So, Steve O is saying I should turn tricks with pride...:3some:

If you can figure out how to make it into a fastlane biz.... :smxB:
 
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SteveO

SteveO

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  • Where does it fit in on your risk tolerence level?
How to discuss this point???? Hmmm...

So much risk can be averted by simply doing your homework. I have had people tell me that investing in real estate is so risky. Yet they don't even understand the situation and I am not going to waste my time explaining it at that point.

Buying a car is risky if you haven't researched it.

Perhaps some people need to explore how to minimize risk to make it fit into the risk tolerance level.
 

Russ H

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SteveO-

Great idea for a new thread-- How to minimize Risk.

Posters could share how from their own fields of expertise.

Whatdya think?

-Russ H.
 

Diane Kennedy

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SteveO:

You are so right! Master one thing before you take off in another direction. I've got successful clients who have more than one venture, but they didn't start off that way. They focussed one one thing in the beginning.

Even within my own business (which you would think would be just one thing), I have to be careful to not get enamored of new ideas all the time. The issue is not lack of opportunity....the issue is choking on opportunity.

I'll add in one more thing as well - I think too many people get confused with the process of creating net worth and creating cash flow. Often in the beginning you need active income - money you're working for either as an employee or self-employed (fix and flip falls into this category as well). Plus, you need to grow net worth. THEN concentrate on passive income. I'm not saying you can't do everything at once - but it works so much better if you focus on one goal at a time.

Passive income almost always comes from an investment of either time or money. If you're investing time, you're not really passive...and hence, it's active. If you're investing money, you need to have money to do that.

So - my husband's and my plan has always been to keep an eye first on building net worth and then watching how good the net worth is invested to give income.

AND be careful to only invest in what we know - that one trick pony.

Great post.
 
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SteveO

SteveO

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Great idea for a new thread-- How to minimize Risk.
That is a great idea. :banana:
 

MJ DeMarco

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Great post Steve, it took me 1 week to get to this thread and read it but it is so true. Speed++
 

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snowbank

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We certainly agree Dianne. Passive income is much easier once the net worth is there.
What are your thoughts on if the path you are taking, even though it is good money, is not necessarily "fastlane." The path I'm taking it may take several years to become a millionaire, yet I'm essentially guaranteed to become a millionaire in several years. However, if I altered my path a bit to try some other things out the potential is definitely higher, but there's obviously a learning curve. If I learned quick I could see making a million quickly. If not, maybe I slowed up my path, but I don't know if I consider the path I'm on the fastlane for what my goals are.
 
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snowbank

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What are your thoughts on if the path you are taking, even though it is good money, is not necessarily "fastlane." The path I'm taking it may take several years to become a millionaire, yet I'm essentially guaranteed to become a millionaire in several years. However, if I altered my path a bit to try some other things out the potential is definitely higher, but there's obviously a learning curve. If I learned quick I could see making a million quickly. If not, maybe I slowed up my path, but I don't know if I consider the path I'm on the fastlane for what my goals are.
another question in relation to my last one is this.........

what active income do you consider fastlane? in other words, money that you have to work for. $100k? $200k? $500k? I'd be very interested to hear from the handful of people on this forum who are definitely in the fastlane, what your thoughts are on this.
 
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SteveO

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SteveO

SteveO

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The path I'm taking it may take several years to become a millionaire, yet I'm essentially guaranteed to become a millionaire in several years. However, if I altered my path a bit to try some other things out the potential is definitely higher, but there's obviously a learning curve. If I learned quick I could see making a million quickly. If not, maybe I slowed up my path, but I don't know if I consider the path I'm on the fastlane for what my goals are.

If you ARE guaranteed to become a millionaire in a few years, I don't see why it isn't fastlane. I don't know enough about your specifics to answer fully. I also know that your path is one that is much different than mine and would make me unqualified to give you an answer.

Some people work and save their entire lives to become a millionaire. That is slowlane.

The bigger question may be around what you will do with this money that you make.
 

KyJoe

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If you can become a millionaire in several years, you are doing great and I would think that would be the fastlane. I would stick with it, unless it's something you really don't want to do. One of the reasons why you would think otherwise is it's really hard to tell who has the money & who doesn't. Credit is easy still. Some of the credit reports I run blow my mind how deep in debt some people are with little to nothing to show for it.
 

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Glad to see this post resurface - the point is SO important. Thank you, SteveO. I too am tempted by many different potential business ideas. It's amazing, it seems like once you start running your own business - you finally make that leap - all of the sudden it feels like you see everything as a viable business concept.

And while you might be capable of success in many different ventures, it is smarter to pick one concept, refine the process to that of a well oiled machine and continue to repeat the process over and over again.

A wise man once told me that, often, making money is boring! It is the beginning phase - the 'figuring it all out' and initial growth period - which is exciting. Once you execute the plan multiple times, you may almost get bored or become less entertained. This is when your mind starts to wander (gee, maybe I should start an internet business.....), when in reality, this is where the real potential for money making most likely occurs. Stay the course. Thanks again, SteveO. I need this reminder almost daily :)
 

S928

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Jack of all trades, master of ONE - makes perfect sense to me!

In order to be a high achiever on the fastlane, finding one's forte is extremely crucial. Some people will have a natural knack for RE, the markets, sales, internet, etc.. Find a niche, narrow down the possibilities and focus on making the dough.

Bottom line: find focus and get to work.
 

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