I received a few messages from readers of my blog which read something like this:
I like properties and I want to learn everything about it. My dream is to earn passive income from property investment. I hope to be financially free one day …
But I am only a 20-something guy who just started working a few years back. I live on a humble four-figure salary every month. I don’t have rich parents. I don’t even own an HDB flat …
Do you think I will ever be able to realize my property dream?
Don’t judge a book by its cover
Honestly, I don’t care who you are and what you are doing. How you are putting up with now is totally unrelated to what you will become one day. As they say, even heroes have their bad days.
I am more interested in what you want to achieve and what you are doing now to make that happen.
I won’t judge a person by the car he drives, or the place he lives, or the job title he holds. I believe in judging a man not by his social status, but his character and conducts.
Similarly, you can’t impress me by showing off your corporate title, celebrity status, nice house, fast car, country club membership, private yacht, etc. But you will immediately have my respect when you tell me the efforts you have made to achieve your dream, or what you have done to make this world a better place.
Motivational writer David J. Schwartz said this in his famous book The Magic of Thinking Big:
“Where success is concerned, people are not measured in inches, or pounds, or college degrees, or family background; they are measured by the size of their thinking.”
Stop comparing endlessly with others
Do you really think that all successful property investors begin with a handsome inheritance or a six-figure salary?
Everyone has his own strengths and weaknesses. Everyone’s situation is different.
We have picked up the bad habit to compare and benchmark ourselves against others since school days. Many of us end up being obsessively comparing ourselves to people we think are doing better than we do, especially on salary, net worth, house, car, etc.
Whenever we compare ourselves with others, there are four bad consequences:
- Our happiness becomes relative to others’ achievement;
- We often feel defeated. We want to be better than others but have no idea what to do;
- If we appear better, we feel contended and have no motivation to do better; and
- We are most likely getting the wrong facts or benchmarking against the wrong people.
- We live for ourselves, not for others. Why give a damn what others do?
My property story with humble beginnings
Sixteen years ago when Singapore was still in the doldrums after the Asian Financial Crisis, I was a 20-something girl who came to Singapore alone. I knew no one except a few ex-colleagues.
When the plane touched down in Singapore, all I had was a luggage of personal belongings and six hundred Singapore dollars.
I hadn’t paid off my college study loan yet. But I made up my mind to be financially free one day.
I had yet to start employment in this country to make ends meet. But I wanted to have a personal net worth of one million dollars.
I hadn’t seen the room I was going to stay that night and the following months. But I wish to buy my first private property here when I turn 30.
I didn’t even know how to pronounce the names of the non-English MRT stations. But I dreamed of owning properties in different parts of Singapore.
If I told you about my dreams at that time, would you laugh at me?
Maybe I belong to those type of people who don’t care what others think of them, except the ones they care. It also doesn’t bother me much when people think less of me or tell me that I am not going to make it.
Anyway, I bought my first condo unit for rent four years later. In 4½ years’ time, I added four more to my portfolio.
It is gratifying to prove them wrong. And I echo with what American baseball player Sam Ewing said:
“Nothing is more embarrassing as watching someone do something that you said could not be done.”
If I can do it, so can you.
Give yourself the chance to succeed
As we usher into the new year, take a fresh look at yourself and see what you are capable of doing. John C. Maxwell taught us this in How Successful People Think:
“If you want to achieve something, give yourself permission to believe it is possible.”
American real estate developer Jorge Pérez said the only real defeat is not trying. If you have a dream, you have to take action and try it out. You may not have a second chance. Live your life unapologetically.
Every master was once a beginner. You’ve got to start somewhere. One day when you look back, you may achieve what you plan to do, or somewhere on the way of getting there or you may find yourself back to square one.
But it doesn’t matter at all.
Remember: you can be defeated, but you cannot surrender without fighting.
This article was first published at propertysoul.com