Do you ever feel stuck in business or life? The past couple of weeks have been rough for me. Nothing is going right in any area of my life. This happens to everybody — especially entrepreneurs.
And it’s a lot more dangerous if you own your own business.
When it feels like everything’s going wrong, it’s easy to throw in the towel and quit. Or make short-term decisions that serve you in the moment but cripple your business in the long-term.
That’s why you should never make a decision in the valley. Your thinking is muddy and it can blow up your whole business.
In this episode, I reveal how dangerous making a decision in the valley is to your business. And a better way to make decisions when you feel like everything’s going wrong in your life and business. Listen now.
Show highlights include:
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You're listening to the “REI Marketing Nerds” podcast, the leading resource for real estate investors who want to dominate their market online. Dan Barrett is the founder of AdWords Nerds, a high-tech digital agency, focusing exclusively on helping real estate investors like you get more leads and deals online, outsmart your competition, and live a freer, more awesome life. And, now, your host, Dan Barrett.
Dan: All right, hello and welcome to this week's episode of the REI Marketing Nerds podcast. As always, this is Daniel Barrett here from AdWordsNerds.com. How are you? I hope you are well. I hope you're having a wonderful week.
As always, if you are looking for someone to help you with your online marketing strategy to find more motivated-seller leads and deals online, you know where to go. It's AdWordsNerds.com/strategy, people. That's where you can hop on a call with my team and we can help you out for free. [01:14.4]
Now … now, now, now, I want to talk a little bit this week about rules of thumb and a particular rule of thumb that has been very valuable for me and I'm going to open up a little bit. I'm going to be a little bit vulnerable at the beginning of this episode because, man, I will tell you it's been a rough couple weeks.
Okay, it's been a rough couple of weeks for me, personally. I’ve had a lot of emotional ups and downs. I've had things go wrong in my business. I've had relationships go south that shouldn't have gone south. I've messed up all the way down to where I think I've eaten ice cream every single day this week. Yesterday I had two donuts at 10:30 in the morning. It's been a stressful couple of weeks. Okay, a stressful couple of weeks. [02:11.8]
Look, you are an investor, which means you are an entrepreneur. You get this. When you run your own business, there are going to be ups and downs. There are highs and lows. There are peaks and there are valleys, and for right now, me personally, I'm in the valley.
Now, I'm not asking you to worry about me. I'm not worried about it. I'm going on vacation at the end of this week. It's going to be amazing. I need to take a break. I'm going to come back stronger than ever. And, look, I've got systems and a wonderful team in place that makes sure that even when I'm at a low point, our business continues to kick butt and things happen. [02:55.8]
But there is a rule of thumb that I have found really, really when it is this kind of time, when you are in the low times, the hard times, the times where things don't seem to be going right for you, everything seems to be against you. The world is a cold and hateful place. I mean, if you have been in business for any amount of time, you've been through a timeline. Maybe it's a big, serious one like a pandemic or a housing crisis or something like that, or maybe it's just you've been waking up on the wrong side of the bed all week and nothing feels like it's going well. We've all been through times like this, and if you haven't, you're going to.
When I'm in times like this, I have a rule, a personal rule, a rule of thumb that helps me guide my behavior and I'm going to give it to you because I think it's going to be valuable for you as well, and here it is: you never make a decision in the valley. You never make a decision in the valley.
Here's what that means. It's like I said before, every business, every relationship, every project, every service, everything you're ever going to do, it's going to have highs and lows. It's going to have peaks and it's going to have valleys. You can look at the careers of “the” most successful people in the world at what they do. [04:18.4]
Take Michael Jordan, as an example, widely considered to be perhaps the greatest player of all time in basketball, certainly the most culturally influential figure from that sport, and he had significant lows, significant points in his career where nothing turned out right where he took that final game-winning shot and missed. So, it's going to happen to you. If it happened to MJ, it could happen to you. We all know these low points are coming.
Now, when we get into the low point, when we get into the valley, you get into the point where you're depressed and it's hard to get the enthusiasm going and nothing seems to be going right, it's our tendency. It's very easy to say, That's it. I give up. I quit. Screw it. Throw up your hands, cut everything loose and start over. [05:13.8]
But the problem is when you're in the valley, when you're depressed and you're down and nothing seems like it's going right, you aren't thinking clearly, almost by definition. You think about a valley, what is a valley? A valley is a low area surrounded by mountains. When you're in the valley, you can't see what's outside of you. You can't see if there's easy travel for miles and miles around or if it's all rocky ledges and darker gorges, and you've got no idea.
When you're in the valley, you don't have the vision. You need to understand what your future is going to look like. All you see when you're in the valley is the valley, so when things get hard and things get depressing, and it's really rough and nothing seems to be going right, we generally don't have the right point of view to be making long-term serious decisions. [06:17.5]
When we're lacking in clarity and vision, we don't really have what we need in order to make the best decision and to get the best outcome. It doesn't mean you never want to quit, you never want to throw up your hands, you never want to cut everything loose. Sometimes that might be the right thing to do, but the point is, when you're in the valley, you just don't know that—but I'll tell you what, it will feel right, because when you're in the valley, the only thing you can think about is getting out of it. The only thing you can think about is how bad it feels, how dark it looks, and that feeling, it drives us to do whatever we need to do to get out of that, even if what we ended up doing ends up making things worse, even if, like me, going to eat two donuts at 10:30, you feel good for those couple minutes where you're eating the donuts and then afterwards you feel bad. [07:25.0]
When we're in the valley, we're thinking short-term. We're not thinking long-term. We're not thinking return on our investment over time. We're just thinking, how do I make it stop hurting? This rule of never making a decision in the valley, what it says is, Hey, when you're in the valley, by all means, get out of the valley. Do what you need to do, but don't make any serious long-term decisions. Don't trust your own emotions. Don't trust your own thought process when you're in the valley. [08:00.7]
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Now, if you're in the valley right now and you're saying, Hey, that's all well and good, but how do I know what to do about it? How do I know what decisions to make? Here's my general rule of thumb. Here's my general practice.
When I'm in the valley, all I focus on is just getting out of it in the short term, so restoring myself to some kind of baseline. If I'm eating erratically, okay, how do I get a week under my belt where I'm just eating a normal person? If my marketing campaigns are absolutely tanking, I say, Okay, what do we need to do just to get these to average base? [09:08.0]
After you have returned to the baseline, after you have returned to average, then, “then” you can make a decision. Then when things are okay, then you decide if this is worth all the effort, if this is worth all the pain. Maybe it isn't, but at least you're not going to make the decision to quit when you're down for the count and hurting. Stand back up and then decide. Get back to the baseline and then decide. Get out of the valley and survey the landscape, and then decide. That's what never making a decision in the valley means. [09:52.6]
I’ve got to tell you, when you're having a down week like I am having, I'm telling you folks, I have had a down couple of weeks where nothing seems to be going right. It happens to everybody. It's happened to me. It's going to happen to me again. But if you can fight the urge to make those serious decisions when you're in the valley, if you can get back to the baseline, you can rest assured that, hey, maybe you make the right decision, maybe you make the wrong decision, but you are going to make it in your most clear, possible mindset that you can be in, and that is going to get you to better decisions on average over time and that is going to get you to better outcomes over time.
I hope that makes sense. I hope this was useful. As always, I appreciate you listening so much to the REI Marketing Nerds podcast. Hey, we've got a free Facebook group. I would love for you to be in it. You can go to AdWordsNerds.com/group. I go live in there a couple times a week. We're posting new content, blog posts, trainings, answering questions. We would love to have you in there. Just go to AdWordsNerds.com/group and request to join or go on Facebook type in “REI Marketing Nerds”. Totally free. We'd love to have you. [11:11.0]
As always, this is Daniel Barrett from AdWordsNerds.com, signing off, and I will see you next week. Cheers.
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In the past decade I’ve worked with real estate investors, I see one common mistake happen over and over again. The worst part? Not only does this mistake cost you time and money in the short-term, but it also makes your long-term success impossible. What’s this mistake? Jumping from one marketing channel to another when
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