Challenge the Box You’re in - Posted by Tony Colella
Posted by Tony Colella on March 26, 2011 at 09:44:02:
There are certainly some divided camps on the issue of debt. All have good, sound reasons for their stands. I think most here know my blue collar approach was intended to be for the smaller investor and now I am refining that approach even more in light of what has happened to the economy.
I post the topic of debt here not to preach the pro or con of its use but rather to create these discussions.
One trap I have seen repeatedly triggered over the years is the idea of falling into one line of thinking, especially if it is based upon the past or worse yet a one time (harsh) event. Let me explain.
About 14 years ago I would not have believed anyone could have convinced me to consider buying much less investing in a mobile home (trailer). I was too busy ?thinking outside the box? of my JOB and was interested in making money as a Real Estate Investor.
After reading Lonnie?s books I realized I was not thinking outside the box of ?Real Estate Investing? just because I was thinking ?outside of my JOB.? When I opened my mind up to the principles taught by Lonnie I could begin to see the value and potential they held for me. None of my friends, family, co-workers or even strangers thought this was a good idea for me and yet I quit that very secure, pension funded, 25 year retirement police career.
I spent 3 years doing nothing but Lonnie deals. Anytime someone mentioned Lease/Option, Subject 2, Landlording (yuck) or anything to do with creative Real Estate Investing I closed my mind, put blinders on and convinced myself that I could not be distracted by these other thoughts and needed to remain focuses on my Lonnie deals.
About year 4 or so I met Scott and we began to challenge each other?s way of thinking. No matter what idea one had the other would punch holes in it until we found that we no longer could. Before long we were creating not only a change in our mindset but a change in our investing and in our lives.
I quickly realized that when I got outside of the JOB box, I landed in Lonnie?s ?wobbly? box. By challenging one another to think outside of that one box, Scott and I were able to create out own plan of investing in mobile homes with land and small mobile home parks. I literally had to reconsider and debunk everything I had assumed up to that point. This was painful and mentally challenging at times but soon it became a passion.
The reason I post these crazy thoughts and suggest ideas outside of today?s norm of ?no debt is the only good debt? is because I believe it is all too easy to fall into yet another ?box? of thinking. We don?t grow when we settle on one philosophy. I believe we need to constantly challenge that line of thinking and it is incumbent upon us to study to prove it right. If it no longer holds up to intense scrutiny then we need to revise our line of thinking. Changing times will require us to view our ?boxes? in light of new challenges but I believe the only way to profit from them is to assume nothing and to be willing to have our ideas challenge but most importantly we must listen to reason and not react emotionally.
The topic of ?Debt? is my latest in a series of posts and one that I think is most relevant but not for the reason many may assume. I have my opinions on debt just as each of you do. If I simply assume those thoughts and do not study to show them approved then I have fallen into a ?box.? I believe if we remain in any box we will be limited and let?s face it, most here who are starting out are looking to get out of some box and seeking discussion and information on how best to do that. If we don?t respectfully challenge each others assumptions we will never grow outside of these boxes.
More often than not I find that my assumptions, my boxes, by comfort and conclusions are wrong for me and usually within 3 years they are completely wrong unless I have challenged them and adjusted them along the way.
If you assume debt is wrong for you at this time then most here would agree but are we allowing you to simply hide in a ?box? or are we truly helping you. Does this mean that debt is the answer? Not necessarily. Each person will have to make their own choice but I believe that those who make the best choices based upon diligent study and contemplation, will be the ones who first reach the goals and dreams they have set for themselves.
Ask yourself if what you are doing right now places you on the path to attaining your goals or are you simply hiding in a box of assumptions or a box filled with painful reaction to hard times. If those boxes have a familiar look for you then argue your case but keep your mind open until you have come to a conclusion that best provides the path to your success.