Where the Magic Really Happens (Your ‘Highest & Best’)

Last month we shared with you a slice out of a very candid conversation with our in-house faculty member, Justin Wilmont, of 10-Hour Wholesaler. The subject of that discussion was why you should always start with the “end in mind” in your business.

And by the way, that awesome lesson was very well received. We built a compelling case of why you should make this paradigm shift.

Back for more…

This month we want to step into yet another amazing conversation with Justin and discuss that magical place. The place where the magic happens in your business…

It’s when the things that you are good at doing, and the things you love doing, intersect. This is what we mean when we call it your “highest and best.” This truly is where the magic happens. Interesting things begin to happen here – not the least of which is the acceleration of your business and your profits.

If that sounds enticing, I strongly encourage you to invest the time to listen to this great conversation. A few of the things you will learn:

  • How to identify what you dislike doing – what moves you into avoidance behavior
  • Why it’s important to identify these tasks and admit you hate doing them
  • How to move toward outsourcing those tasks (even when you think you can’t afford to do so)
  • How to design your entire business in a way that allows you to do what you love – what you’re best at doing

So, get to it…

Hit me up down below.

Remember to leave your comments below.

And just because we’re so awesome, if you don’t have time to listen through the audio, here’s an enhanced, sanitized version transcription:

Finding Your Own “Highest and Best”

By: JP Moses
Featuring: Justin Wilmot

JP:       Hey, guys. It’s JP back again with Justin Wilmot, the 10 Hour Wholesaler. We’re in the midst of a series of lessons coming from Justin’s real-life experiences – and a little bit from my own as well.

We’re picking up from where we left off in our last lesson with Justin about starting with the end in mind. If you missed that one and haven’t had the chance to go through it, there’s a link here. I definitely recommend you check it out.

truthThis discussion has a lot to do with the importance of creating a vision and knowing what building you want to climb before you start climbing up the ladder. Because you may have it leaning against the wrong building.

Justin, welcome back. We want to pick up from there. Today, we’re going to talk about your truths. How to uncover and find your truths. Now that’s kind of an ethereal concept and it doesn’t mean anything yet. So, let me hand off to you Justin, and ask you to explain what that means and why it matters.

Justin:        Identifying your truths. In working with students over the past couple of years, this is another thing that I have found to be absolutely 100% necessary. You have to identify your truths. You have to be blatantly honest with yourself and write down exactly what you know you’re good at and what you suck at – period.

Here’s why. Let’s say you have a fear of talking on the phone like many, many people do. Talking to motivated sellers and negotiating with them, if you’re in the wholesale business and in the fix-and-flip business, it’s absolutely essential and it’s the lifeblood. Because of that many people push themselves and force themselves to do something for a limited amount of time. You can force yourself to get on the phone for a week, right?

And then, week two, that motivation starts to drop off. In week three, it drops off again. In week four, it gets even worse. And, in the end, you’re looking around going, “Why the heck is my business not growing? Why am I not doing any more deals?” It’s because you’re both consciously and subconsciously avoiding what you hate and you hate it because you know you’re not good at it.

If you’re not good at negotiating here’s what will happen. You may try it and get really good at it. But just know that in the meantime, your business is going to suffer.

outsourceIf you hate it, get it off your plate. Give it to somebody else that’s good at negotiating. By all means, get good, right? Get good on the phone. We can learn anything we want. But, just know that in the meantime, that’s going to make your business suffer. And, it’s important to see actual success right from the get-go.

My advice it to get to the point where you get the tasks that you hate off your plate ASAP. This is an essential part of a successful business.

JP:              This concept has a lot to do with this idea of discovering your own highest and best use. A lot of people have a wrong concept of their highest and best use in their business.

There are a couple of different schools of thought that are very common. One is if it’s going to be done right I’ve got to do it myself. It’s like you sign up for the worst job ever. And eventually, you realize that you have a crazy boss which is YOU, because you’re wearing all the hats. You’re doing everything all the time and it’s because you’re such a perfectionist that “If it’s going to be done right, I have to do it myself.”

Hopefully, we all know even if that’s our reality, we know that that’s kind of second definition of insanity.

Then, there’s another school of thought where they say, “Okay, my highest and best use is to be a hands-off CEO where as quickly as possible, I should be running the business from the top and telling the minions what to do.”

I think that a healthier version of a real estate investing business involves you as the entrepreneur – or as the business owner – discovering what you’re really good at and what you enjoy, and more importantly, where those two things intersect.

Draw a circle on a page and put everything that has to happen in the business that you think you’re pretty good at in that circle. Then draw another circle and put in everything that you really enjoy doing. This is the stuff scratches some itch for you, or the kind of stuff you do automatically. See where those two things intersect, and that’s where the magic happens.

Justin:        That is where the magic happens. It’s good to know that that’s exactly what the journey looks like. It’s figuring out what you’re good at in the very, very beginning. First off, if you’re really struggling, this right here could be one of the biggest reasons why. It’s because you’re forcing yourself to do something you dislike – that you’re not good at – so you’re avoiding it. Get rid of it.

What’s the price you’re going to pay by continuing to force yourself to do something you hate? What’s the price you’re going to pay versus figuring out a way to get somebody else in place to take it over? If you don’t have the budget or you don’t have the money, find out how you can. Find out how you can make that happen, right?

As that process goes on, you’ll find out what you are good at, and then just do that all the time. As the years go on, just focus on what you’re good at. That’s how I watched my business completely change. It’s in all of my businesses. I have multiple businesses and I’m not just the real estate guy. So, that’s one of the truths of any successful business.

JP:              So, Justin, take me back in your past and describe for me what it was like when you discovered this for yourself. How and when and what did that look like when you’ve finally figured that out?

Justin:        I could tell you almost the exact day – well, at least the first month that I hired out what I did not want to do. I definitely felt like I couldn’t afford it; I felt like I couldn’t take that on. But I did it. I hired an operations manager about three years ago. That changed the entire ball game for me.

excerciseI consider myself really good at negotiations. But I hate it because I get bored very quickly. I dislike the mundane process of feeling it out. By that I mean taking phone calls and listening to motivated sellers to determine motivation and equity. I’ll bang my head against the wall. I can’t spend much time doing that.

But, my operations manager loves it. He finds it extremely interesting. That changed my life because now all of a sudden I have somebody executing what I was purposely avoiding. And now, I could dump that task and spend more time sending out letters, increase marketing, and get the phone ringing more. I let him do the conversions and then I lock up the negotiations.

JP:              Just to be clear – and this is going to vary from person to person – tell me what those things are that equate to your highest and best use.

Justin:        At this point, it’s sitting way back and figuring the markets that I want to attack and what is it that I want to do in that market. It’s driving the ship to create lead generation. I know where I want to get my leads. Simple. I know where I want to get my leads and I know how to get the phone ringing. So, that’s my priority number one.

On the other end of that, there are some things that need to be done which I don’t like to do. So, I give all of that sourcing off to my operations manager. All those pieces in the middle. I like to do a negotiation. So, if it’s a big deal, I would get involved in that negotiation and spend the 15 minutes to settle on a sales price and get the contract forwarded.

richIn most cases, because we do a lot of virtual business these days, even with the local fix-and-flip stuff, I don’t go to the houses. I will get an agreement on the phone, and then just hand off and e-mail the number to my operations manager. He will put a sales contract together and get that sent off to the seller.

The main thing that I do is to compose marketing campaigns. I like to think outside the box and think about markets that I can be the best in; where there’s potential. Aside from that, I like to be the guy to get the sales price locked in.

JP:              Another really important facet of this is understanding your sweet spot of activities and your highest and best use. It’s not only determining the types of activities that you will focus on – and find other people to do the rest – but this will also allow you to determine the type of business that you will have. In other words, the type of business model you will have as an investor.

Let me clarify that. When I first got into real estate investing it was because of reading Rich Dad Poor Dad. I thought, “That sounds good. That guy got started in real estate. I can do the same thing.” So, I got started in real estate.

Very quickly, I realized just how deep and wide this rabbit hole of real estate investing really is. I saw how many ways there are that you can be a real estate investor – and like all other beginners – I wanted to do all of them. That results in a watered-down effort. I know because I did it for a number of years.

But, that whole process of the first couple of years was really kind of like me “soul-searching” to find my place in this world. And that place was different at different times.

At one point, I thought, “Man, I’m going to be a landlord because I want passive income.” I was fixated on passive income. I still think it’s a great idea but it actually took me a couple of years to realize I really hate landlording. I hate it.

I don’t like managing tenants. I don’t like it at all. I had a number of rental properties. Because of that (and here is the clue), every time the tenant management activities came up, all of my avoidance behavior kicked in. I’d be like, “Okay, I have to get to that. But I’m going to read some more real estate forums this morning instead.”

It took me a long time to realize that this is classic avoidance behavior because I don’t like the activity itself.

Therefore, I shouldn’t put myself in a position where I’m building a business around being a landlord; or I should find a way to enjoy the benefits of that and not have to do those things that I hate doing. That’s another way to do it.

Another example of that would be rehabbing houses. I love the idea of making great big paydays rehabbing a house. But then I realized I hate managing contractors as much as I hate managing tenants.

likeNot only that. But, I really don’t find much joy in the process of taking something ugly and turning it into this work of art of a rehab. Some guys love it. I have this buddy, Craig Fuhrman, and he’s like an artiste. He’s so excited about the actual rehab process and the befores and afters. I look at the before and after and go, “Oh, yeah. It’s pretty cool, man. That’s impressive.”

But, it doesn’t inspire me to want to go in like use a house as my canvas. Once I realized that, I was able to admit: “I’m not really wired to be a rehabber when it comes down to what juices me.” A lot of people have heard my story. A number of times I’ll say that I eventually figured out that wholesaling was the best fit for me. A part of why I realized that is because I do get juiced at the hunt of the deal. I like finding the deal and securing that deal. That excites me. But, once I have the deal, I’m kind of like done.

It’s like the excitement is over and I just want to find the next deal. Because of that, wholesaling is great for me because it’s like high-velocity, quick-in, quick-out, “I am not camped out here” type of transaction.

If you plant me in one thing for very long, I get bored. I’m a strong starter but I’m not a strong finisher. Having a short transaction period, like a wholesale deal, is perfect for somebody who’s not a good finisher because you’re almost still in starting position by the time you’ve finished. It can happen so fast.

Justin:        You have to find the most important aspects about your own self. You just said, “I’m a strong starter but not a finisher.” That right there can change your entire real estate business.

JP:              Yes. And part of the solution for me was a business model that didn’t require me to camp out in a deal and deal with the consequences in my boredom. But also, I am not the only guy in my business. I have James, my acquisitions manager in place. I call him acquisitions manager because that’s the catch phrase everybody uses. Really he’s my work horse. (I hope he doesn’t hear this, but I mean that with all respect.)

But he is the finisher. The way that we’ve got things set up, I want him not to have to worry about leads. I want leads coming in all the time. So I get to use the fun hunt of deal aspect, which means I do marketing, and experiment with different marketing, and try this, and deploy that. As a result, James gets to see leads showing up in Podio all the time.

Justin:        Beautiful! I love how you speak such truth, too. What you’re saying is, “Look, it’s okay to change, because we’re human.” Believe it or not, we do change. Especially in business; we learn what we’re good at. We learn what actually interests us.

I had a similar story in that I had a great success with the wholesale space that led me into the fix-and-flip space which I’m still involved in.

I had this one-year goal, and then I set a five-year goal. My five-year goal was to be one of the biggest fix-and-flip guy in my county and I accomplished that goal. But, honestly, I went into fix-and-flips because I figured there is nothing cooler than to take this dilapidated piece of crap that’s an eyesore in the community and just make it beautiful. I could be the designer. I can put in some awesome remodeling improvements and I’m like that artiste.

I tell you there is obviously a lot of coolness to that, but truthfully it wore me down after a while. It became not that fun for me. For your friend, Craig, obviously he loves it and that’s his gig. But, eventually, it became not as cool for me anymore and I subconsciously started pushing away some good fix-and-flips because I started to change. I had to redefine my truths and make sure that my bottom line, and my ultimate goal of why I’m in real estate, were being attended to.

Now I barely find myself at any renovations because I know that I care more about the hunt. I like to see that baby close and I like to see that wire transfer in my inbox.

JP:              Yeah, I don’t ever go out of the house anymore either and it’s not laziness. It’s really not. It’s just I don’t get any joy out of that. I dislike it. I literally dislike going out and looking at houses. I just like the deal.

James likes it. He likes going out and meeting the seller. He’s great at building rapport in person. He’s very naturally likable and you trust him right from the get-go. I think I have that characteristic too. But I don’t want to go talk to the sellers and I don’t want to see their yucky house anymore.

avoidI did that for years and years and I get nothing out of it anymore. So, because of that, my avoidance behavior would kick in and I might have a really sexy deal and be really excited about it. But if I have to go and meet the seller to finish negotiating it, I might put it off two or three days because I’d rather sit in here and look at the next postcard I’m going to deploy.

Justin:        Finding our truths is so important.

JP:              The thing is, rather than trying to make myself be a different person than I am, I said, “How can I come up with a different solution that lets me solve this problem?”

I remember years ago, I was at North Point Church and I heard Andy Stanley. He blew my mind with this message that was called, “Stop Focusing on Your Weaknesses.”

You’ve probably heard this before, but this was the first time I’d ever heard it. He said, “The greatest leaders in the world are not balanced people. They aren’t looking at every weak area of their life and trying to shore those things up and become this perfectly balanced person. They know what their strengths are and they focus hard on those strengths and they amplify them because that’s their natural sweet spot. That’s what they’re good at. The more you can amplify what you’re good at, that’s how good becomes great. That’s where greatness comes from.”

So, as an investor, a lot of the ingredients that you’ve heard from Justin and me are about our truths. It’s about how we’re wired and the things that we’ve realized that we’re good at and enjoy, and where those things overlap. You’re going to have to make it your mission to uncover those things for yourself so that you can then create your own version of that reality. The reality where you’re focusing on your highest and best in your strengths and bringing the most value where you can bring it rather than trying to become somebody that you’re not.

Now, one more important question I want to throw at you, Justin before we leave this and that’s for the person who’s saying, “Yes! Great! I love it, man. This sounds fantastic. Amazing! I’m all on board but I can’t afford to hire anybody. I gotta do it all myself.” What’s your response to that?

JP:              Well, you know this one, JP because I get it from you and it’s this. Rephrase the question to, “How can I? How can I make it happen?” It’s not “I can’t because I don’t have this. I don’t have that.” Rather it’s “How can I?” You change the question.

JP:              That’s true. When you ask yourself that question, “How can I?” rather than leading in with this limiting belief that “I can’t because…,” it actually engages your subconscious mind to begin to answer that question. I don’t mean to sound like it’s a mythical or ethereal thing but it really does work.

Justin:        And I’ve been using this concept. I’ve been using that, “How can I?” I say to my people all the time. “Change it. Stop saying, ‘I can’t.’ Figure out how can you. Just get yourself in a quiet room for a while and figure it out.”

JP:              Here’s one more short story to kind of make that concept tangible. Earlier in our business, a good bit after I had brought James on, I gave him a bunch of stuff to do. We quickly realized that there were a number of things on his plate that he didn’t enjoy doing.

Now, as the boss, I could just say, “Well, I’m sorry. That’s your job.” But, one of the things I’m good at is leading people well and I want to help call the best out of James too. So, I said, “Look, we’ll hire you an assistant but not yet.” Because when I brought James on, we had just started a whole new venture and a whole new company. We kind of wiped the slate clean in that situation.

So, I said, “We aren’t at the beginning of this thing. We’ve been out of it just a few months. But, let’s put a big carrot out there for you. I don’t want to pay for an assistant out of previous funds or out of my own pocket. Instead, for a short period of time, you’re going to have to do the stuff that you don’t like to do and you’re going to work longer days.

“You’re going to work maybe 12 or 13-hour days. And the stuff where your avoidance behavior kicks in, you’re going to have to do it anyway. It’s going to feel like drudgery and it is. But, as you do that, number one, you’re going to gain clarity on the things that you really want to outsource for when we hire that assistant. And you will need that clarity.

“Number two, you are going to create momentum and revenue that we can then leverage to hire that person.”

Then I said, “Once we make enough money in a month from this business to pay ourselves, and the business expenses are covered, and we have, let’s say, two months’ worth of salary in reserve for what we’re going to pay that assistant, then we’ll hire that assistant.”

motivationSuddenly he had this drive and motivation to do the work he didn’t enjoy doing. It wasn’t like, “Oh, man, this aspect of my job sucks and I’m stuck with it for the long haul.”

Instead, it was like, “Man, let me hurry up and work this crappy stuff even faster and work even harder on it, because the faster I do that, the more productive and more profitable we are and the faster I get the relief that I need. I get to go back to a six-hour day or an eight-hour day or whatever it is, and I don’t have to do all the stuff that I don’t enjoy doing anymore.”

So, our “How can I?” experiment led to taking what was a negative for him and creating a positive situation where he was motivated to push toward an end goal that was worthwhile.

Any thoughts on that from your end?

Justin:        I think that you just opened up to another truth of yours that you’re a good manager. It’s like you said in the beginning – you’re the boss. You could have said, “Well, screw it. This is your job.” But you didn’t. You know the success principles and you help people expose what they’re good at. I think that everything you said just reconfirms defining your truths.

So, another truth of yours is knowing that you’re a good people manager.

JP:              It’s incredibly freeing. I know both of us can agree to know yourself that well, and to know what your sweet spots are, and to operate from within the midst of that, you will enjoy a new freedom.

Justin:        We can never achieve a level of perfection. That’s just not realistic, but we do the best we can. If you always try to focus on operating from what you’re good at or what you enjoy doing, your business will just grow without you trying. That’s the God’s truth.

Without you trying, it will grow as long as you are outsourcing that stuff that is killing you because you’re just trying to force yourself to do it. So, it’s getting it off your plate, letting good people on your team do it while you focus doing what you’re good at and enjoy doing.

JP:              Justin, thank you my friend. I appreciate it very much. Guys, talk to us below. Leave us some comments. Ask a question. Whatever it is, we love hearing from you and I’d love to know what your thoughts are on this.

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