As liberating as it was to finally make the commitment to do what I really loved to do, there was one problem...
I had no real estate to invest in.
Everyone tells you when you are first starting out in any business that you have to network to grow (or in my case launch) your business.
I had done it before when I started my own flooring business...but I had been a floor guy in my family's business for years.
When I launched that second flooring business, I actually knew what I was doing.
I had run my family's flooring business, left it and then started another flooring business on my own in a town where I knew no one - only to realize,Â less than two years into it that I had made a huge mistake.
Flooring was something that I had ZERO passion for. It was a J-O-B. I was completely burnt out and although leaving it and starting on a completely different path would be one of the biggest decisions I've ever made in my life - I made the decision to wind down the business and finally take the leap to full time real estate investing.
The Paralyzing Fear of Being "the New Guy"
There was one problem - I had no business. But what I did know is that networking was pivotal to my success as a full time investor. I knew this firsthand because, my first house flip (the one where I lost money/barely broke even) many years before had been with another partner. I felt that doing it with a partner was a good safety net.
But now I was going to do it on my own...with zero safety net.
This time, I had to do it all on my own.
But the thought of networking in a business I literally had no business in made me sick to my stomach nervous...
Sweaty Palms and Doing The Things you Fear Most
Sitting in my car outside my first networking meeting as the "new me", my palms were sweating, my legs felt weak. I half thought about shifting the car into Drive and heading back to the safety of home.
But I didnâ€™t.
The thought of walking into my networking meeting - my very first Chamber of Commerce meeting as a real estate investor - was paralyzing to me.
Why was I so afraid?
I mean, I had done this so many times before when I was running my flooring business - why was I so nervous now?
Now I was the new guy. I was the "wet behind the ears" real estate investor; with no contacts and no experience about to walk into a meeting where I knew NOBODY.
New title, new town, new networking group...sick to my stomach. But I knew I had to do it.
Sitting in my car waiting to go in...I finally grabbed the door handle, swung it open, got out of the car, slammed the door shut behind me and walked in...without a clue as to who I would meet and what I would say when I finally met them...