Welcome back! We trust you have all had a safe, relaxing and enjoyable break — and are ready to rock for 2018!
Personally, I spent the break relaxing and recharging for the year ahead with my partner on the beautiful South Island of New Zealand. Without sounding like I’m working for the New Zealand Tourism Board, it really is a special place. The landscape is painted by mountains, lakes and forests, and can rival pretty much anywhere in the world for its natural wonder. It’s the perfect place for those with an adventurous spirit to tackle just about anything you can think of.
Same, Same But Different!
New Zealand is popular with tourists the world over — and Australians are lucky to be positioned just a short 3-hour flight to Queenstown from Melbourne. Despite only some 100 million years ago being connected to Australia’s east coast, NZ has somehow managed to miss out on pretty much all of the nasties Australia has become famous for. As there are none of our venomous snakes, crocodiles and only one species of poisonous spider, the rare katipo (which translates to “night-stinger”) — but not to fear, it is localised to the warmer parts of the North Island.
And even though Australia and New Zealand have a fierce sporting rivalry with each other (one day NZ may even get over the infamous Trevor Chappell underarm delivery), we have much in common. We both speak the English language (although New Zealanders have a funny way of pronouncing their i’s), we both have modern, multicultural societies and buoyant property markets. Also, our economies are both too small to have a significant impact within the global economy. Yet together in times of adversity, our Anzac spirit has shone through and been recognised the world over.
This experience has got me thinking: as in most things, it is often not the similarities that matter, but the little, overlooked differences. And I guess that is as good a segue as any to talk about our first investment lesson for 2018.
The Hidden Power of the 1%ers
Things change all the time! 2017 saw Amazon Australia open its doors (so to speak), same-sex marriage legalised, and Canberra finally get a light rail (yes, they really are a little behind at times). While Donald Trump has tried to make “America Great Again” and the elevated tensions on the Korean peninsula remain.
Yet amongst all of these changes, many of us will use the New Year to start to think about all of those great steps we could be taking in our own personal, professional, and investment lives.
At this time of the year, it’s common for people to look at their past year and decide on changes that they want to make for themselves and family into the new year. Statistics show us that about 50% of Australians will set New Year’s Resolutions for themselves (the other half have already given up on the process). Unfortunately, those same statistics show us that most people who set New Year’s Resolutions fail to achieve those resolutions each and every year. How about starting that new diet, losing those extra few pounds, or quitting smoking? Have you ever been guilty of this yourself — and have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “Why is it all so common for New Year’s Resolutions to fail”?
Well, it can be a bit of a Catch-22 situation, as many of us have no real experience at goal setting. Don’t get us wrong, it’s usually not your fault. Think about it: how many of us have ever been formally taught how to become effective goal achievers at home, school or in the workforce?
How to gain the experience and skills to become effective at goal setting?
Well, you can go out there and plough on through various levels of trial and error until you stumble upon a system that works for you. Unfortunately, statistics have shown us that most won’t last the distance. Often it’s not through any lack of effort, but because most people lack an effective system for defining, refining and delivering on all of their goals.
A better option — and one often used by the 1%ers — is to find the right mentor. An experienced mentor is not just someone who has been there and done it before and has their own success to show for it. They’re also able to help you set appropriate goals and work with you hand in hand to achieve your success over the longer term. Imagine being able to avoid all the common mistakes and frustrations right from the start? How much easier would that make it?
Look, I’m sure by now that you have realised that no magical pixie dust descends on the planet on New Year’s Day that will automatically transform your life and help you endure no matter what happens. To be perfectly frank, one of the reasons that many will fail is that they set goals that are just too far removed from their current lifestyle, skill sets, or experience levels. In other words, the gap between zero and hero is too large to cross in a single step.
Moreover, they often lack the emotional clarity to even know why they want to make these changes in their lives in the first place. You see, it’s this emotional clarity that will provide you with the energy, drive and fuel you need to make things happen in your life. Sure, everyone likes the idea of being happier, healthier and wealthier — yet so few will ever actually make it happen.
Look at it this way: when the going gets tough and if your goals are big enough, invariably there will be obstacles along the way. For example, you have set yourself the goal of adding another investment property into your portfolio in 2018. But then suddenly in February, you get a pay cut. What are you going to do? Doubts may set in, fear may start to grasp you and all of a sudden that goal may now seem unachievable.
So it may be a case of your level of desire not matching the level of work required to pull it off. For example, you might need to go out and hustle to find a new, higher-paying job or secure another source of income to supplement the pay cut. And without a clear reason why you want to make these changes, your energy and desire might be simply too low to overcome these obstacles.
This is why you may need to be prompted to think about why you were doing it in the first place. It is vital to understand the emotional driver behind:
- Why do you want to make that change in the first place?
You see, the investment property was never the goal in and of itself. There’s always more to it than that…
- What are the real reasons you’re investing?
The investment property was simply a means to an end to help you achieve something else: for example, to provide you with financial security later in life or improve your lifestyle in the short term.
But assuming you have done the work to understand the emotional drivers behind why you want to make those changes (and sadly, our experience tells us that most people don’t), what comes next?
Well now, who will you be accountable to? Who is going to be in your corner, helping you to keep on track, and providing you with all the tools, support and encouragement, you will ultimately need to achieve all of your goals?
Let’s provide an example to illustrate what we mean here. Imagine that your New Year’s Resolution was to get fit again and regain that smokin’ beach body you once had. So you and your partner decide to join the gym. Now because it’s the New Year, you see 2018 as the start of a new you and you’re highly motivated. You go to the gym 5 times a week for the first 2 weeks. Now how do you think you might be feeling about now?
Sore? Tired? Second guessing your decision perhaps?
So now it’s your first week back at work…Friday night rolls around and you have a gym session scheduled, but it’s cold and raining. Both you and your partner are exhausted and have no time to relax all week; you sit down for a quick break…oh and the Notebook is on TV in 30 minutes? You turn to each other and say, “Should we go to the gym…or order Thai for dinner and watch the movie?”
Now, some of you are sufficiently self-motivated to head to the gym and complete the workout! But we would be willing to bet that there would be a higher chance of you rocking up to the gym if you had a personal trainer waiting there for you to help you with your workout. And in fact, if you didn’t show up, they would be on the blower within 5 minutes, helping to remind you why you’re doing all this in the first place.
Let’s look at a more serious example: if your goal is to lose 20kg of body fat, how can you do that safely and effectively? A good trainer would know it would be downright dangerous to try and lose that much weight in the first few weeks — or even the first few months.
They would work to help you decide on appropriate timeframes for your goals over the coming year. Then they would work with you to set smaller mini-goals to hit along the way for you to achieve your ultimate goal. Perhaps they might aim to help you lose 1kg a week for the first 5 weeks, helping you get 25% of the way to your goal — and then reassess from there.
So rather than attempting to make big, wholesale life changes in 2018, what are some smaller — and therefore more manageable — changes that you can focus on this year? Think about how can you break your bigger goals down into more bite-sized chunks. Perhaps it may be beneficial to think of it this way: “What is one area of your life that you could improve on by just 1%?”
Imagine if you could successfully make this smaller change…and then do it again and again and again. Over a period of time, your results will be no doubt be far improved. Yet the gaps between jumps to get there are suddenly not so big, scary or daunting, thus increasing the chances of you actually achieving your goal.
Change is Rarely Comfortable…
Not to labour the point, but truly transforming your life is a big ask! Dramatically improving your results is going to take some serious planning, action, and persistence.
You will also probably need the support and guidance of a number of people dedicated to helping you get the results you want. So perhaps the better question is this: can you see the value in working with an experienced team of investors just as passionate about seeing you improve your results as they are growing their own?
If you answer yes — and you really want to make 2018 count — perhaps now is the perfect time to book a one-on-one chat with one of our experienced mentors. What have you got to lose?
In fact, we have made a little 1% change too: we’ve implemented a new software booking system for 2018, allowing you to directly book the best time and date to talk to your Property Mentor.
Want to learn more about our mentors and find one that is perfect for you? Well, you can read a bit about their stories and book them directly here: Our Mentors. So stop waiting, or erroneously thinking you have to do it all on your own, and book in your personal Mentoring session today!
PS Happy New Year — let’s make 2018 great together!