Monday, October 29, 2007

More Questions than Answers

I'm really starting to dislike the "blogosphere".

At first I loved it. The almost constant flow of new information, pearls of wisdom on various subjects, advice advice and more advice! You start to think that if you read whatever people post each day, after a few months you'll be the best and most intelligent person you can be. But that's wrong, so so wrong.

First of all, most of the people writing blogs have no real idea what they're talking about. They've read a book or two (if you're lucky) on a subject and are just regurgitating what they read. Usually very little critical thinking has been applied and only some of the main points the original authors researched and tested are whittled away by the blog author's opinion.

Second, when you read something online that is written coherently and in a certain structure, your mind starts to trick itself into thinking that this is factual, indisputable information. I'm very doubtful that this is correct. The formats almost lull you into a state where your brain's natural pattern matching kicks in, separating key ideas from useless fluff based on pre-existing patterns that it's been trained to hunt out. Then the main ideas are digested, even if the whole thing was actually fluff.

Third, a large amount of blogs broken down into lists are just throwing extra points in to make the content look stronger. The first few points are well thought out and sometimes backed by actual statistical evidence, but the last few points are after thoughts, thrown down in a stream of conscious write out.

Fourth, once you've read enough blogs filled with advice on different subjects, not only does it all start to blend, but eventually it'll start to contradict other information. No longer will you end up on a default path to self improvement and greatness, but rather just confusion amongst mixed messages and opinions.

I'm going to take a moment here to point out the obvious irony. Yes, I know I do the same thing. Yes, I've been slowly trying to adapt these same formats. Yes, I'm trying to break my way into the blogosphere to collect a loyal following of readers. I have no defense for this. I'm doing exactly what a large number of other bloggers are doing. The main focus of my blog though, is a journal of my actual experiences as I try to build a Real Estate Investment business from nothing. So, anything along that thread is actual experience, not just my take on different ideas. I hope to gain credibility as my business takes root and grows, I don't demand it now or expect everything I write to be taken as gospel truth. I live with myself knowing that at least I'm making the effort to walk the walk that I talk.

On that note, here is a status update.

I sent out the leads from one courthouse to my investor on Friday. I included a note asking him to contact me so I knew he was still receiving them as well as letting me know what progress he's made. I received no reply.

At this point, I need a new investor. It would probably be best to collect a large number of investors and then see what ones actually pan out to some results. Last week I had found a potential ad in the paper but never called the person. This week I'm going to have to go hunting again and actually make calls towards whomever I find, if any at all. Also, I have setup plans to go to a REI meeting on Saturday, so I should be able to get some new investors from that.

I'm also working on putting together a template business cards. I'd also like to setup a couple of websites, one as my personal resume to track my work experience and developed skills, the other to start establishing more of a professional presence in the Real Estate industry. That will be my focus this week.

I hope that the people who read this get something out of it. My main goal from my writing is not just to entertain or spout off conjectured advice, but rather to inspire those who are in situations like my own to break free and do what they want. To focus their time outside of the job that they do to keep their standard quo and start building the future they want. Hopefully that idea will stick.


Thomas said...

"...not only does it all start to blend, but eventually it'll start to contradict other information. No longer will you end up on a default path to self improvement and greatness, but rather just confusion amongst mixed messages and opinions."

This page came to mind when I read that:
I don't know exactly what it is or who wrote it, but it felt familiar. What's your take on this?
(And the best of luck to you building your business.)

BTW: Brian Kim wrote about "The Typical Journey of Self Improvement":
I think it was a good article although I don't understand all of it yet.

~christophany~ said...

Great comment.

I think the elephant is on a lot more macro scale. People are built by their environment and experiences, so people from greatly different areas naturally develop differing views. The problem comes when those differences lead to conflict over right or wrong, since who is the universal arbitrator who can really decide? Who is, and how can they really prove that they are, the one who sees the whole elephant?

On a more micro scale, the people writing blogs with advice also have different environments and experiences. I imagine that's how they can end up writing conflicting advice. Also, each is at a different stage towards what they want to accomplish and often at different stages you can start to see that the way you are thinking is the exact opposite of how you should be or how you were previously. If you've read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, it mentions how often the poor and the rich think opposite things, which usually leads to different practices which is why they are in the financial position they are in. So, the reader who tries to find the right way of doing something from reading various people's positions will eventually get confused by the contradictions they find because they are seeing different stops on various people's journeys.

The second article is excellent. The only thing I argue with is what leads to going from the gathering step to the next. I believe it is taking action. I imagine a lot of people fear taking the leap from the comfortable to try and capitalize on the knowledge they've gained, and that's what prevents them going forward. The fear could be their own, or it could be because they have others that depend on them and don't want to take the risk for their sake, or because the people around them don't support them.

In the information collection stage he mentions, I think what is really happening is that slowly the person is making choices they wouldn't have before. These choices make small differences in their habits and environment, and over time, the person is surrounding by things that reinforce the direction they are going. Once everything is going with them, then change starts to happen at a faster rate. It's like trying to walk up stream and then slowly starting to turn around. Once you're facing the opposite way, then everything around you is doing the work for you and all you have to do is make sure you aren't preventing it from working.

I can give you an example in my own life. I tested the water with being a real estate investor a year ago by going to the courthouse and learning how to look up foreclosures. I had a basic plan of action and an advisor that put me in the right direction. I ran into a snag because the law was changing about buying preforclosures and you needed a consultant to verify that everything about the deals was correct. Since I had never actually done a deal, I saw this as another problem, and at the time abandoned the idea. I had gotten into the habit of reading about real estate though, and a few months ago I ran into advice about how to be a jobber. This was a more detailed plan with little risk, and it got me back on the path. Now, I've learned how to do a lot more of the steps, like finding investors, finding leads, how to write up the information, and so on. So even where I stand now, not really having an investor to work with, I'm not going to give up because I know how to get new investors as well as how much I stand to gain by continueing, and the habits ingrained to keep going.

So while I can't say that everything is going for me yet, I feel like I'm not walking against the flow anymore and things are getting easier.

I hope this has been helpful for what goals you are trying to accomplish.