The first law of motion

If you watch TV at all you have inevitably watched the commercial for Celebrex which is an arthritis drug. The commercial states that “a body in motion stays in motion and a body at rest stays at rest”.

This commercial is based on the first law of motion that Issac Newton published in 1687.  Which states that an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless it is acted upon by an external force.

This week I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine about this very concept. Not Issac Newton, we aren’t that smart.

We were talking about running. I was explaining to him that as a runner, it is very easy for me to go out and fall into a pace that my body is very comfortable with.  It could be an eight minute mile or a seven minute mile.  It just depends on your conditioning.  Whatever that pace is, it is easy to stay at it because your body can do it without efforting.

I am sure there are more scientific ways to explain it, but I am not scientific.

To increase your speed and accomplish running goals you have set for yourself, you must break the inertia, the temptation to stay at the comfortable pace.

It is hard to do, that inertia is so cozy, easy, and feels great that your mind wants to stay right there.  You may call it your comfort zone. But as long as you do this you will never increase your speed or times towards any distance goals you might want to accomplish.

I was a runner for close to six years before I learned how to really train.  For those first six years I definitely became a better runner, with better speeds and times, but it wasn’t until I started training my body to become very uncomfortable that I made significant gains.  By gains, I mean faster miles, longer distances, and winning races I competed in.

In running that training starts with forcing yourself out of that comfort zone for small periods of time over and over and over, until it stops being that uncomfortable to you. As you continue to do this repeatedly you eventually become better conditioned and you start moving the needle towards whatever goals you might have.

At almost 42 years of age, I am probably twice as fast I was when I was 32.  Its isn’t that that I am getting better with age.  That theory doesn’t hold up in athletics and age. Instead it is I am a more educated and I am better at training.

If I would have known how to train at age 32, who knows what I could have accomplished as a runner.

Whether it is running, biking, writing, speaking, investing, you name it.  For you to break any slump or cycle, you must break the inertia.  You must apply force someway and somehow to move yourself out of the comfort zone.

I am a real estate investor. I have purchased many single family homes. When I first started doing it, I was always a little scared.  I would just think things like this.  “Is this a really good deal”, “Will I be able to fund a tenant”, “What if something goes wrong”, “What if someone destroys my property”.  All of these question ran through my head.

Many years later, I never even think about those things. Purchasing single family homes is easy for me.  I never over think it.  However, it is too easy and too comfortable for me, that I can easily fall into the trap of continuing to only purchase single family homes.

For me to scale my real estate portfolio the way I want to, it is going to require me to buy bigger deals.  Multi-Unit/apartment buildings is now the direction I want to go and I must go.

Many of the same concerns and questions I had early in my investing career are popping up in my head. “Will I be able to find tenants for all of the units”, “What if all of my tenants move out at the same time”, “What if all of my hvac systems go out”.

As these questions pop up in my head it is easy for me to want to stick with the single family homes that I am comfortable with. But I am pushing through because I know I must get to the next level and the only way to do this is to go in the new direction.

I share these stories with the intent to inspire you to force yourself out of the comfort zone you find yourself in. Inertia is a bitch.  Without additional force and pressure from yourself or others you will never get out of the rut or zone you are in.

To your success and your future.

Grow your problems grow your life

This week I was reminded of a simple rule, law, idea? I am not sure exactly what to call it.

For the sake of this writing we will call it a rule, because rules should be followed.

“If your problems aren’t growing it means you aren’t growing.”

Pretty simple rule. Keep in mind problems are not a negative thing. Problems are good. They help us grow and develop and they illustrate progress.

One of the best examples of this rule in action.

I can remember in my twenties having a car payment. I made good money and thought I had my ducks in a row. But it seemed like no matter what I would do, I always struggled to make my car payment. By struggle I mean, I would have to adjust different bills each month to make sure I had the money to make my car payment.

It is okay to be in this situation for a little while. But if this problems persists year after year, it means you aren’t growing. You are not progressing forward. You are not solving this problem. 

Eventually I figured that piece of my life out and now I had a bigger bill and a bigger problem. I bought a house. Which means it was more money. And just like the car payment, the house payment became a similar situation.

Each month I would have to move around certain bills to make sure I had enough money to pay my house payment. After a few years of this I was able to get some money saved and create some slack for myself.  In both situtations I solved my problems.  I figured it out. That should be the goal.  As you start to solve your problems you create even bigger and better probelms you will have to learn to solve. 

I am not here to give financial advice, but if you continue to struggle with the same things year after year after year it means you are not changing and you are not growing.

Another good example is in business.

If you are running a business and you are the only employee, you obviously have a lot on your plate and a lot of problems that you are managing all by yourself.  As your solve those problems and your business grows, it only makes sense to hire an employee to help you. 

With the addition of that one employee, you may have eliminated some of the problems you were having as a solo band, but with that new employee you will start to get new problems. For each employee you add new problems will arise, but the old problems will go away.  

Many people who decide to have children do so because they want a family and that family will bring them happiness.  But ask any parent how many more problems they had when they had their first child, then their second, third, and you get the point. These are welcomed problems though, because the happiness and joy outweighs the problems and challenges children bring.  

A final example I have from my own life is this. Every since I was a little kid I have always wanted to own rental real estate.

When I bought my first piece of rental real estate it was a duplex. A very expensive one, which is another story for another day.

I didn’t realize how much money it was going to cost me for a down payment to purchase the place. And at the time, I had some money saved but not enough.

For me to purchase the duplex I ended up selling a gun that I owned to someone for like four-hundred dollars. Yes. Four-hundred dollars. At that time in my life four-hundred dollars was like four-thousand dollars.

I bought the duplex. A few years later I bought four more rental properties and I was able to pay cash for two of them and the other ones I easily had the down payments.

As I am typing this today, I am about to make the largest real estate purchase I have ever made.

There is a quote I like to use and have used many times in my life.

“There is no neutral in life, you are either going forward or going backwards.”

This week we elected a new president into office. Many people unfortunately think that what happens in Washington DC, no matter who is in charge, has a great impact on their life. This is without a shadow of a doubt, untrue.

The only person that can impact your life is you. You have to do the work. You have to make the sacrifices.

To your success and your future.