It may sound like a medical condition, but an aphorism is actually a concise, memorable expression of a general principle or truth.
We learned one of our favorites from a carpenter … (no, not THAT carpenter, though He had some good ones too) who advised …
“Measure twice, cut once.”
That’s a LOT of wisdom in four tiny words.
But even if you can’t tell the blade from the handle on your saw, there’s still much to be gleaned from considering this simple saying.
The perhaps obvious message is it’s better to double check your plan BEFORE taking an action with permanent and potentially expensive consequences.
After all, measuring is fairly quick and inexpensive compared to rendering a valuable resource useless due to an incorrect irreversible action.
Of course, the flip side of double-checking everything is it takes twice as long to get things done. That’s expensive too. Time is money as they say.
So while we were sitting outside enjoying a frosty IPA and contemplating cloud formations and the meaning of life …
… we wondered if there’s a way to measure right the first time so you can take quick and accurate action.
Because no matter what kind of market you’re in … the BEST deals go fast.
And while you’re busy double-checking your math … someone else who’s faster and more skilled is writing the contract.
Measure twice and miss out. Ouch … that’s no fun either. Missing out on a great deal is a double hit … wasted time and missed profit.
So whether you’re a carpenter, tailor, flooring installer, or an ambitious real estate investor, it’s probably a REALLY smart investment to learn how to move faster with precision.
It comes down to education and experience.
When you know what you’re doing and you’ve reinforced accurate actions through real world practice, you’ll make good decisions and take effective action faster.
That’s a huge advantage in any market … especially hot ones.
Of course, this begs the question … how to gain the right education and experience? And here again, we look at the trades.
Craftsmen learn by doing.
Yes, there’s some classroom training to get familiar with concepts and terms.
But the REAL learning happens as they work as an apprentice under the watchful eye of an experienced mentor or “master” … and then as a fully qualified journeyman honing his craft through practice on a daily basis.
Some journeymen take on an apprentice and further develop their craft by mentoring as a master. They learn by teaching in the real world.
Business and investing are much the same way … or should be.
So you can and should , listen to , and attend . Ingesting good ideas is a great start.
Sadly, this is where it ends for many people.
They learn enough to get excited … maybe even take some action … and quickly get overwhelmed with information … or in over their heads in difficult deals.
Without experienced advisors and mentors to turn to at this pivotal stage … it’s easy to back away for fear of making an expensive mistake … or to press forward on sheer enthusiasm, only to hit a wall and lose both money and hope.
So here’s a tip …
When you consume content in the privacy of your own mind, consider that the primary purpose might not be to simply memorize answers or even stimulate ideas … although both are important.
Content is most useful for helping you recognize when you need some help in the real world, discovering who you can call, how to ask great questions, and for better understanding the answers your mentors and advisors give you.
That’s why the mentor / apprentice model is arguably far more effective for developing mastery than the teacher / student model.
Of course, finding the right mentor is a challenge. Not all masters love to teach and not all mentors are masters.
And in today’s complex world, you may need more than one … which is an even taller order.
The key is to focus on building good relationships with a network of masters and peers … people who have mastered or are mastering the same skills and activities you aspire to master.
And while you may need to invest money into some of the relationships you’ll need, it’s also possible to find good relationships in groups you join or .
We think content is a great tool to bring the right people together and give you things to connect on and talk about.
And don’t be surprised if you end up doing some business together. Although we’ve found if you make transactions the focal point, you’ll dilute the learning.
Our suggestion for your interaction with mentors, apprentices, mastermind groups, and even investment clubs … is to focus on learning, sharing, encouraging, and edifying each other.
We think you’ll find any deals which happen based on this mutually edifying relationship will often be much better than deal speed-dating.
Of course, like most things valuable, it’s hard work to build a great network and endear yourself to a group of high-performers. It can be a little intimidating.
But when you push through, you’ll have a powerful support network that helps each other find opportunities, navigate obstacles, and solve the most pressing challenges … faster.
And because it’s so hard, most people won’t do it. So once YOU do, you’ve got an extremely rare and valuable asset.
Some investors do deals. Others build a portfolio. Some build a business.
Those that build a tribe create something more valuable because it accelerates the development of all those things … and more.
Until next time … good investing!
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