As I walk the Final 30 Feet once again, I reflect back on how a comedian made all the difference in the world for my business and real estate ventures, and more importantly, how it will make a difference for you.
Wow, it seems everyone I bump into this summer has an opinion on the real estate market: It’s a bubble; there are too many condos; there are not enough condos; it’s going to collapse; it’s a great opportunity; it’s better to rent than buy… and on and on.
As I write this I am sitting on the patio of the local Starbucks (supposed to be prepping for a meeting) and I overhear a conversation at the next table. The subject? No, not the weather or hockey – it’s real estate again. As I listened I both chuckled at the mistaken myths they were sharing AND was a little saddened as they were making big decisions based on these often repeated myths.
With candor, one young 20-something is sharing her enthusiasm/opinions on real estate. In just 5 minutes she included:
- “You won’t believe the deal I can get on a time share in the Okanagan – for only $80,000 I get two weeks a year at NO CHARGE. That’s like a free holiday every year! The rest of the year it is rented out. Too bad it isn’t by a ski hill but summer should be great!”
- “Downtown Vancouver is not that expensive – my friend has a 380 square foot condo and only pays $1,400/month rent.”
- “My friend really wants to get a place in the states ‘cause (sic) the dollar is so strong – I told him it was a great idea and that a bunch of us should pool our money then share the profits ‘cause there is no tax as a Canadian down there.”
From the gist of the conversation it was clear than no-one at that table had any experience with even one real estate transaction, yet they were speaking in declarative statements as if their comments were written in stone. They say confidence is good, no matter how mis-informed – I disagree.
This one young lady’s declarations were so strong, her friends were accepting them as real estate gospel (even those substantially older than her). She even stated clearly that she hadn’t ever bought a property, but had read a “Ton” (sic) on it so she knows how it works. Although not lacking in confidence, what she lacks is what I call The Final 30 feet experience. Missing this critical piece to the success puzzle makes her confident declarations and opinions so very dangerous.
You’re right, a few people having a conversation about real estate is not overly “dangerous”. We all have to find our way in the world by making mistakes and learning from them. However, it does get dangerous when I start to hear misinformation and opinions coming from people calling themselves ‘real estate experts’ who also lack The Final 30 Feet experience.
The Final 30 Feet Experience
My understanding of The Final 30 Feet all began while listening to Buddy Hackett (veteran comedian) warning a young and upcoming comic on how to deal with the mountains of advice that TV executives, promoters, friends and family will give her as she builds her comedy career. Buddy’s advice was simple yet profound: “Listen politely, smile and allow them to feel helpful… then turn around and seek out and take advice only from those who have walked The Final 30 Feet.”
The obvious follow-up question was: “What do you mean the Final 30 Feet?”When I heard the answer, I saved it and have used it ever since. Buddy said:
“Only take advice from those who have walked the final and most important 30 feet from backstage to alone in front of a mic with nowhere to hide. Then, and only then, will you know the advice comes from reality and not theory. They’ll understand the emotions, the work it takes to get it right. They’ll have made the mistakes and created the laughs, not just read about how to do it.”
This truism can be transferred into any business, career or investment decision. He is, in essence, saying that there are enough inexperienced pretenders out there who can and will steer you wrong (even if they are confident that their opinions are correct). Be very careful to choose advisors whom have The Final 30 Feet experience with the subject you need input on.
Back to the conversation at Starbucks. I’m sure that young lady thought she was repeating truths; she wasn’t deliberately misleading her companions. However, without having bought, owned, managed or experienced a lot of real estate transactions in all market conditions she truly didn’t have The Final 30 Feet of experience – standing alone with the emotions and realities.
Book theory, number analysis, charts and graphs mean very little if you haven’t experienced what it really takes to be a great investor. Books, friends and ‘experts’ can give you theories, math equations, opinions and analysis, but in the end theories are just that – theories. Veteran investors know there is no theory when you are in the trenches making real life decisions.
That is why Buddy Hackett’s Final 30 Feet advice has served me so very well as I built my business and real estate portfolio into what it is today. I continually sought out people who had already achieved what I wanted to achieve, who had solved the problems I wanted to solve, and who had made the mistakes I wanted to minimize. I let the inexperienced share their theories and opinions, I politely smiled, then quickly moved on.
So as you move forward in your real estate, your investments, your life, please keep the Final 30 Feet rule in mind. If someone has real life provable experience (both good and bad) in a subject you need answers on, seek them out for advice. What you will find is that those with the Final 30 Feet experience are often more difficult to find than the empty theorists (who have never left ‘back-stage’, leaving them with lots of time to post, share and pontificate). Let these empty theorists have their say. This is your cue to smile, turn on your heel, and speak to those who have taken that critical 30 foot walk. Your business, your real estate and your ‘future you’ will thank you for it.
你不一定有个富爸爸，但可以有个富老师。本书真实、实在、接地气， 如亲友一样将作者的房地产投资经验娓娓道来，深入浅出地解答了很多小白的疑问，特别适合于华裔技术宅。 -- 叶舟
很喜欢读丫丫爸爸的文章，他总能把一些很复杂深奥的道理、观点和思想，通过活生生的例子，讲得明明白白，真正的深入浅出. -- John
谢谢丫爸真实生动的记载着每一个故事， 就像读日记一样，随着笔者的心境一起成长。 受益匪浅！关于投资的部分很多是我自己这么些年慢慢琢磨出来，但没有上升为理论。 很感谢你的无私分享，若早读到你的这么贴地气的分享，就会少走很多弯路！ -- Mary
“一口气读完整本书,第一感觉是内容实际,笔调温馨。再回味一下, 更深的感受是丫丫爸爸对孩子浓浓的爱---- 可能我们每个父母都觉得自己特别爱孩子, 但真正的爱是陪伴, 是倾听, 是不随己意催逼打骂, 是有从天父上帝而来的温柔、忍耐、和智慧。为丫丫一家感恩。也愿我们这些做父母的可以从丫丫爸爸的分享得到提醒和鼓励, 好好照管上帝所赐的产业,让儿女在爱和真理中健康成长。愿主不断赐给你们全家新的祝福! --大立牧师
星期日的早上,一口气读完了所有章节,受益匪浅!感触颇多: 没有人天生就会做父母, 我们都是第一次做父母。合上这本书, 丫丫怕洗头、丫丫讲故事、丫丫被欺凌、丫丫赚零花钱等等一些细节历历在目, 父母在丫丫成长过程中的参与、介入、帮助、支持、放手都是那么的恰当好处, 不多不少刚刚好, 这个分寸的拿捏、这个火候的控制真的值得我们学习借鉴。陪伴孩子成长过程中、仅仅用心爱他 / 她们是远远不够的, 过火了容易溺爱, 严厉了又忍不住打骂。像丫丫爸爸一样, 首先学习做父母, 反思介入孩子成长的分寸、尺度, 做恰到好处的父母! --- Carrie
作者： 丫丫爸爸，金融危机后最早去美国投资房地产的多伦多华人之一，从中获得成功投资经验， 善于发现地产洼地进行房产投资，在多伦多也有不少成功投资案例，现为安省持牌地产经纪。
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