Confusing Motivation for Fear

Recently I heard Alex Hormozi say that most entrepreneurs confuse motivation with fear.


Lego Land Roller-coaster

When I heard it, I thought, yes, that's me.


As I thought about the implications of this, I felt it was important enough to share with you.


Why this matters?


Understanding the difference actually gives me a bit of peace of mind.  Knowing what drives me to take action (not what I would like) allows me to structure things differently.


If you've watched either Man in the Arena (Tom Brady) or the Last Dance (Michael Jordan) - both of these guys use their dark side (lets call that negative emotions) to drive them.


For a guy who likes to be positive and focus on the good - this is contrary to getting things done.


Because I know, when my back is against the wall, is when I perform best.  When the stakes are high, people are stressed - is when I find I'm able to do my best work.


Be it in sports or business.


Until I heard Alex make this comment, I'd never put 1 and 1 together.  What helped me so much in sports (being down with a few minutes left in the game) could be used to help me in business.


How Am I Going to Apply This?


One of the first things is knowing that when I set a goal - that motivation (focusing on say the positives) are not likely enough for me to follow through.


Let's take dropping down to 190lbs.


This has been a goal of mine now for 3 years.  As soon as I drop below 200, I let up and go back to what is comfortable.


Understanding what drives me, I need to set negative reinforcements.


Examples could be:


  1. making this public (like I am right now).  Sharing this goal, alone sets into motion a fear of failure.
  2. creating negative consequences.  I could make a bet with a friend or family member.  If I don't lose 14lbs by "Date" (Dec 31, 2022), then I owe you $x ($1,000 or something large that would be painful).
  3. Going to the doctor and getting blood work done. Finding out that I'm far more unhealthy that I give myself credit for and now my health is in danger.


These are all examples of how I could leverage 'fear' to push me.


In business or investing, the same rules apply.


Often, I work with people who are very comfortable in life.


They already make high 6 and 7 figures/year.  They have a nice house, cars, fancy vacations.  From the outside, life looks pretty good.


They come to me, looking to invest in commercial real estate.


In practice, there are 2 groups of people:


  1. Passive investors (have money, no time) and just want to invest in someone else's deal.
  2. Active investors - have money and time and want to learn the business and invest direct.


In both cases, I tell them the importance of understanding the fundamentals of investing.


I share stories of people I've met over the years that have lost millions.  Lost their wives because they invested every penny into a (bad) deal that lost their life savings.  I share my dad's story of refinancing his house (after he'd just paid it off) and lost more than $100,000 in 1 bad investment.


These are not exaggerations or cherry picked stories.  In most cases, people only ever talk about their wins.


But, I've been around long enough to know, that more people lose in the game of investing in CRE, than win.


Sharing these stories hopefully motivates people into taking the time to educate themselves enough to avoid losing money.


Now, I realize I was trying to instill enough fear that they take time to educate themselves before investing.


If you read or listen to most of my podcasts - I don't really focus on the 'blue sky' make money fast or easy investing in commercial real estate.


Because, it's not reality. It isn't easy.  And, it's not fast.


And more importantly, my hope is that people take the time to really understand 'why' they are investing in the first place.


It could be to send their kids to private schools.  Retire early.  Replace their income so they have the choice to work or not.


But, it could also be out of fear.


Fear that one day your business won't be around.  Fear of what will happen when you're gone and what are you leaving behind for your kids.


Fear, that life goes fast and you don't want to wake up one day and ask - where did the last 20, 30 years go?  What am I doing now?


I don't know what drives you.


I do have a better understanding what drives me. And, based on this realization, I will take appropriate actions to ensure, if a goal is important enough, how to 'get leverage on myself' (I think Tony Robbins says that).


This was a divergence from the typical real estate posts.  If you found it helpful, let me know.  I typically share things that have helped me, and figure it might help someone else.


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