“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” — Yogi Berra

I’m the type of guy who carries a book with me almost every day. In the book are my goals for the day. I have to write them down every day.

I think doing that mental repetition has some kind of karma to it. It really attracts the kinds of results I’m looking for. I do it a little differently from what a lot of people do, but it is really part of a system that works for me.

A lot of what I have in my book are things I don’t want. I think this is very instructional and something that many people do not think a lot about. For example, I do not want a whole bunch of employees. I have no interest in having a bunch of employees – at all. I do not want to deal with them. I do not want to spend time doing it. I have zero interest. There are four or five big things I do not want, and I cover them in my book.

Success in apartment investing and commercial real estate is not just focusing on the things you desire. Many times, focusing on the things you do not want can have more of a positive and quicker impact on achieving those goals. I do not think a lot of people have thought about it in that way.

Here is what I would suggest in your apartment investing and commercial real estate goals:

1. Keep a book with you that has your top goals inside.

2. Write your goals out on a daily basis like I do. Remember the karma thing…

Example: I would like to acquire a 12-unit apartment building that fits my investment model in the next 6 months.

3. Possibly more important, write out a list of things you do not want in your life, such as my goal of not having a bunch of employees to manage. Ensure that your goal list is perfectly aligned with your “do not want” items!

Example: I do not want a bunch of employees to manage every day.

4. Create large action items you need to accomplish to reach your goals.

Example: Obtain financing commitment from a lender for the 12-unit building.

5. Chunk down your large action items into smaller sub-steps. For example, there are many, many sub-steps to obtain financing on an apartment building purchase. Write out all of the sub-steps that you will need to finish to accomplish the action item.

Example: Gather all of my financials together for the lender.

6. Bring your smaller sub-steps into your weekly or daily “to do” list. It really is a matter of chunking down your big goal to large action items, then into smaller sub-steps that you will accomplish on a daily basis, moving closer to the end goal each day.

Example: Put together personal financial statement, and print for loan submittal package.

Remember, keep in mind the things you do not want in your life, your business, and your goals. Be sure that you are working in alignment with your goals and “do not want” items. Believe me, if you do not, you will feel real conflict and never reach what you “thought” you really wanted. It is all about maintaining focus and taking action to reach your commercial real estate goals this year!

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