San Francisco Landlord Shares Insights, Part III

Turn on your Physical GPS

Tune in to your gut feeling as well as other physical signals that may surface in your body. Once you become aware of these messages from your subconscious, you can move toward those opportunities that make you feel good, and trust yourself to avoid those things that might turn out to cause you more trouble than you need. Think of those feelings – like shortness of breath, sweaty palms and racing heartbeat – like the blinking lights on your car’s dashboard, warning you of potential danger.

th-2It’s your body guiding you to avoid poor financial decisions. It is always there, ready to advise you on financial/life transitions, investments or transactions, such as making a purchase of a consumer good.

Green light means go! Red light means Stop! You can sense these in your body. If you feel a good sensation, gut feeling, or you heart is feeling happy then it’s green. Go to the next step in your due deligence process. If  you feel tense, uptight, stressed (not a bad thing, just the body’s way of saying something is not right, there is danger a head, or you are pushing too hard to make this  deal work. If you over ride these signals, the consequences can be suffering all the way around; You suffer, others may suffer, and the engine may blow up.

The nuts and bolts around real estate are simple. Buy right, don’t follow the herd, make sure you don’t over extend yourself and have the right investment partners. And always be ready for the next storm, for it will come — often at the worst possible time. In the last recession, many of us tried to silence our gut instincts and followed the ‘experts’ to their detriment.

Trust your gutI myself have been through at least four recessions and each one felt like a Katrina. Indeed, every time I left my body out of the decision-making process, I paid big time. In hindsight, I can see that most of the bad decisions I’ve made all involve my ego and not my inner guidance. The lack of an integrated decision, taken from both my intellect and my gut, led to over-paying, over-borrowing, and trusting the wrong people.

Just recently I was working on a deal involving a purchase five houses on one lot. It looked like a great opportunity; these houses would be torn down so I could build fifteen homes. The numbers seemed okay, but deep down in the pit of my stomach, I noticed something didn’t feel right. Displacing the current tenants and forecasting a few years in to the future around a potential profit at the current purchase price seemed outside both my moral and financial mission statement.

In the past when I ignored these feelings I lived with some ugly consequences. Now knowing  to trust my gut, after some mindful contemplations, I recognized the red lights flashing. I experienced constriction, pain, stress and anxiety in my body. And while the numbers were good and my mind said ‘yes’ – my body helped me to realize this opportunity was not aligned with my deeper goals, mission and values. When I finally pulled out of the deal, it became clear it was the right decision for me. The feelings were back to peace, joy, and harmony.

My advice to anyone contemplating any kind of large transaction (or small agreement!) is to do the numbers, but follow your gut. It will never steer you wrong.

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