Asking for advice

Had a great conversation with my wife today about advice.

I've been calling up a ton of real estate investors that I've been referred to via friends and family, or other contacts that I've made. I've learned a lot and had some great conversations, but I've also had a few conversations that were of a more negative tone.

One conversation in particular resulted in me feeling pretty down today, even though I didn't learn anything that would cause me to seriously reconsider my strategy.

Beyond the facts that I've been learning from these conversations, another thing that I am taking in is the tone of the conversations. If the conversation takes a negative turn, that's enough to significantly affect my mindset for the rest of the day.

My wife pointed out that it's very important to consider where the advice that I'm receiving is coming from. I should only ask for advice from people who are where I want to be or have experience in that area.

If they aren't where I want to go, then they probably don't know what the path to get there looks like. They might not think it's possible, or might act negative about it in order to improve their own status by sounding confident (people love to say negative things even if they're not totally sure it's true; it's a low-risk status-boosting signal exemplified by the caustic environments on forums like Reddit and, occasionally, Hacker News [this very comment may or may not fit in that category]).

It's also difficult to have a good phone conversation with somebody that I'm talking with for the first time. There are nerves involved and both parties are feeling each other out and trying to get a sense for the person on the other end of the line – their status, intelligence, ability, value as a contact, etc.

This sort of "meta conversation" that always happens on first phone calls and initial meetings detracts from the actual body of the conversation.

One way to get around this seems to be for me to be even more authentic and less worried about presenting myself as being more than I am (despite the fake it till you make it mindset that is popular these days).

A lot of people also have a negative mindset, or "will to fail" as Think and Grow Rich refers to it. This emotion carries through their conversations, and it's that kind of emotion that really put me down today.

Anyway, most important is the kind of person that I am seeking advice from. I think I'm going to back off from talking to every kind of investor I can reach and focus on talking to people who have walked the path that I want to go: who started out and focused on acquiring distressed apartment buildings and now have a portfolio of at least 100+ units right now.

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