One of the best pieces of investing advice I’ve received didn’t come from an investor.
Instead, it came from a journalist and nonfiction writer named William Zinsser.
What wisdom does a journalist have to provide about investing?
Well, his wisdom isn’t explicitly about investing…but the value still applies.
In his book Writing to Learn, Zinsser says, “Reduce your discipline—whatever it is—to a logical sequence of clearly thought sentences. You will find out whether you know your subject as well as you thought you did. If you don’t, writing will show you where the holes are in your knowledge or your reasoning.”
This piece of advice—and the practice of reducing your real estate investing strategies and knowledge to a logical sequence of clearly thought sentences—is easy to undermine and neglect.
After all, it’s not particularly exciting nor does it feel like it’s a game-changing activity.
However, if you want to get better at investing, this practice is one of the best ways to do it.
Because as Zinsser says, writing down something like your real estate strategy with detailed step-by-step plans will tell you if you know what you’re talking about as well as you think you do. It will also help expose poor logic, potential missteps, or gaps in your knowledge so that you can correct them before making a big mistake.
This training can be the difference between accelerating your growth or remaining stagnant and making mistakes.
Get Better at Investing When You Have Time (Not During Crunch Time)
As investors, we regularly take on significant risks under the constraints of deadlines or sudden opportunities. Acting with uncalculated haste in these moments can cause us to make grave mistakes that can take significant effort, time, and resources to fix.
Therefore, when you’re in critical moments, it is imperative that you’ve mastered your discipline. This concept was emphasized by ancient Greek poet Archilochus when he said, “We don’t rise to the level of our expectations; we fall to the level of our training.”
Clear writing is clear thinking, and clear thinking will help you get better at investing.
If you want to improve the level of your training, improve your ability to write about your investing strategies and deals in a logical sequence of clearly thought sentences.
Practice: As you learn how to invest in commercial real estate, write about what you learn in your own words. Describe concepts, document strategies, and continually strive to articulate your knowledge concisely. Doing this will strengthen your real estate investing knowledge and help you achieve a higher level of training to fall back on during critical deals.
If you’re just starting with commercial real estate investing, read our complete guide to real estate investing for beginners.