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Do You Have “Imposter Syndrome” When Working With Sellers?

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“Imposter Syndrome”—that feeling that we do not have the credentials to be doing what we’re doing—is something many of us face…especially when negotiating directly with Sellers. Imposter Syndrome and the self-doubt it brings can discourage or even prevent us from having the Seller conversations we need to have to grow our portfolios and reach our financial goals.

In this episode, Jeff explains how to handle Imposter Syndrome, embrace it and not let it slow us down.

Episode Transcript

When you go to talk to a seller, maybe over the phone or meet them in person, do you ever have any flashes of that feeling of being an imposter? You know, like they’re gonna see right through you and they’re gonna know that you do not have the qualifications to be there. And then it’s just this sort of bit of self-doubt that then spirals and snowballs. And all of a sudden, you’re not feeling confident in yourself at all. Well, we all have and it is really important to understand imposter syndrome, understand how to deal with it and even understand the value of imposter syndrome, especially as you talk to seller so in this episode, we’re going to discuss that let’s get some theme song going and we’re gonna jump right into it.

Welcome to Racking Up Rentals, a show about how regular people those of us without huge war chest of capital or insider connections, can build lasting wealth acquiring a portfolio of buy and hold real estate. But we don’t just go mainstream looking at what’s on the market and asking banks for loans nor are we posting We Buy Houses signs are just looking for quote, motivated sellers to make lowball offers to. You see, we are people-oriented dealmakers, we sit down directly with sellers to work out win-win deals without agents or any other obstacles, and buy properties nobody else even knows are for sale. I’m Jeff from the Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur. If you’re the kind of real estate investor who wants long term wealth, not get rich quick gimmicks or pictures of yourself holding fat checks on social media. This show is for you. Join me and quietly become the wealthiest person on your block. Now let’s go rack up a rental portfolio.

Hey, hey, thank you for joining me for another episode of Racking Up Rentals. I appreciate that very much. Show notes for this episode can be found at thoughtfulre.com/e87. Hey, please do us a big favor by hitting the subscribe button in whatever podcast app you are using. It really helps fellow thoughtful real estate entrepreneurs who have not yet discovered the show to find it onward with today’s episode.

And in today’s episode, we are talking about imposter syndrome. Actually even talking about it might make you feel a little uncomfortable, and I can certainly understand and appreciate that. And first, I should probably tell you, I certainly have felt it before. And I continue to feel it in different circumstances now all the time. And in a couple minutes, we’re going to talk about why that is actually not only okay, but it’s actually a good thing. So let’s just take a second to define what is this imposter syndrome.

Imposter Syndrome is just this feeling you get in your own head; it’s just the voice in your own head telling you that you do not qualify to be in a particular situation that you were in. And that voice of doubt is really insidious. And it gets in to your mind and you start to spiral sometimes that feeling starts to snowball a little bit. And all of a sudden you feel like I don’t deserve to be here I am. I don’t have the credentials to be here. They’re gonna see right through me, and oh my gosh, I have to get out of this situation somehow. So imposter syndrome can be very dangerous in the sense that it could prevent you from doing the things you need to do in your business to move forward and buy properties. But I want you to know, first of all, we all feel it. And it’s not necessarily even a bad thing to experience imposter syndrome, I would say when you experience imposter syndrome, it means that you are paying attention. You’re not just numb to what’s going on, you’re paying attention. And you see that? Yeah, you’re doing new things, you are growing, and you are pushing yourself. And those are all very good things that you will later thank yourself for. So imposter syndrome is really kind of a bit of momentary resistance to doing what you need to do. But if you can push past the imposter syndrome, then that’s what really, really matters. So why are we recording this episode right now? Well, the reason it’s top of mind for me is I have just been reading a book and this book is called The Practice by Seth Godin. And I have been really in love with Seth Godin’s ideas for a long, long time. And as you might know, I used to run a branding and marketing agency and Seth is, he’s known as being kind of a marketing thought leader, but more broad than that, as well. He’s kind of a leadership and creativity thought leader and I’ve always really, really loved his ideas and in the practice, he talks about imposter syndrome. And he says, you know, here’s the deal with imposter syndrome.

You are an imposter. You are an imposter. That’s why you’re feeling imposter syndrome. What does it mean to be an imposter? Well, you’re an imposter because you are doing something new. You are doing something that has never been done. You are doing something that you don’t know, will work. And that is what being creative is about. That’s what leadership is about. But you are attempting to do something that you’ve never done, you do not know that it will work. And there’s thus you are an imposter. And that’s okay. So what if we were to actually embrace the idea of being an imposter? So okay, let’s pause there.

Now you might listen to that and say, “What do you mean, I’m doing something new that’s never been done? And I don’t know if it will work. people sit down in other living rooms and negotiate to buy properties all the time. Jeff himself does that all the time, Jeff tells me this approach will work. What do you mean, it won’t work?” Okay, let’s talk about what new means. Every seller situation is new, every single time because the seller is a different person. Now, you might be the same person from Monday to Tuesday to Wednesday and three separate seller meetings, but the other party is different. And as you’ve heard me say before a negotiation, a conversation with a seller about buying a piece of real estate is like a dance. And a dance, of course, like if you were just to go grab somebody else in the room right now and start to waltz or salsa, or whatever a dance is a reflection of both people’s reflection of both dancers and your dance partner is changing. In each of these situations, and even the same dance partner can change from day to day based on what else might be going on in their life. If they’ve had a good day, they’ve had a tough day, just anything else that has come up. And so this interaction between you and the other person is new, and it’s fresh, every single time. So you might say, well, sitting down with a seller is nothing new. That’s true. But sitting down with this seller on Tuesday afternoon, at 330. In the middle of winter, that is a 100% unique scenario that is totally different than sitting down with that same seller two Saturdays later, at nine in the morning, over a cup of coffee in the beginning of spring, that’s a different conversation. Because life has changed, you’re a little bit different. They’re a little bit different. The set settings a little bit different the situation the time of day, the time of year, the beverages, everything’s a little bit different.

So the context of your conversation is ever so slightly different. So you are every time you sit down to talk with a seller doing something new. And you’re not doing something you’ve done before. And you know what, when you do something new, you don’t know if it’s going to work. So what is our fear when it comes to sellers and imposter syndrome? What is the voice — that annoying, annoying little insidious voice inside our heads, saying to us about sellers, when we’re thinking about imposter syndrome? It’s saying, “Oh, this seller, they’re gonna see right through me, oh, man, they’re gonna see that I’m new, they’re gonna see that I’m green, they’re gonna see that I am not as wealthy as they are. I haven’t owned as many properties as they are, they’re gonna see right through me, they’re gonna know that I don’t have that much experience. They know they’re going to feel like I’m bluffing. I bluffed my way into their living room by sending them this nice letter. And now they’ve called me back and oh, my gosh, now I’m going to actually have to buy this property. They’re going to see right through me, no, I don’t have that experience are going to know I don’t have the money to do this.” Those are the those are the things that the voice inside our set, our head is saying that make us feel this sense of imposter syndrome. But here’s what I would tell you. The seller is indeed sizing you up. Oh, there’s no doubt about that. That’s just one of the basic elements of humanity and of human interactions, we’re always kind of just assessing the other party and trying to you know, put them in a box in our mind and understand them and be able to categorize them. So they are indeed sizing you up. But they’re not judging you as much as you think they are. Because you know why? Because they’re way more focused on themselves because that’s an even greater human truth is that we are, we are way more focused on ourselves, and they’re wondering as much what you’re thinking of them, and what your, you know, perception of their situation is as much as they’re thinking about you and whether you do or do not have this level of experience. I will also say that one of the key things that we talk about in this community and with our school of thought here of thoughtful real estate entrepreneurship, is that we are with our marketing, positioning ourselves as normal people. And when you position yourself as a normal person as opposed to being a quote, professional house buyer or a professional real estate investor.

When you position yourself as being a normal person, you are already building in grace for yourself like if you position yourself as a normal person, normal people are not perfect, normal people don’t just waltz into someone’s living room and blindfolded Say I know how to buy this property, just hand me a pen in some blank forms. I don’t even need to be able to see normal people don’t do that normal people say, Okay, well, let’s talk about it. You know, I’ve bought some properties before, but it’s not like I do this every day, blindfolded and in my sleep and one hand tied behind my back, no, no, I’m a regular person, you’re a regular person. Let’s figure this out, together. And when you position yourself in that way, it actually gives you more grace. So even if that person on the other side of the conversation, the seller looks at you and says to themselves, I’m not sure they’ve done this a lot of times before, that’s okay. Because you know what, you position yourself as someone who’s a normal person, who hasn’t necessarily done it a million times before. Now, if you position yourself intentionally in your marketing as a professional property buyer, then yeah, there’s going to be a different set of expectations. When you show up, they’re going to expect that you know exactly how everything works all the time, and you’re going to lead that conversation. But in this case, you have positioned yourself as a normal person. And that actually grants you a little bit of grace in this conversation to be imperfect.

So here is what my advice is to simply keep going despite feeling imposter syndrome. Don’t try to banish the imposter syndrome. Just embrace it because you are an imposter. SF Good would say, “Because you’re doing something in that moment that you’ve never done before, that’s never been done before that conversation with that person in that moment. And that’s okay. embrace the fact that you are new in that exact moment, in that exact situation.

And I’ll leave you with one final thought, when I think about imposter syndrome. It’s something I continue to experience in new settings myself. But in the settings that used to give me that feeling of imposter syndrome, I don’t necessarily experience that so much, because I’ve done those things many, many, many times. But as I try to grow, as I try to look at bigger properties, or have a bigger conversation or bigger seller financing loan, that’s going to be part of this conversation, I would feel imposter syndrome, too, because I’m growing. But here’s a beautiful thing. Trust that if you keep going if you keep doing the work and showing up and having these cellar meetings and battling the imposter syndrome, and just not letting it stop you, there will come a time that you will walk into somebody’s living room for the first time and realize that you are probably the more experienced party in this conversation. I remember feeling that way. The first time. When I when I had this sort of lightning bolt of a moment where I realized, wait a minute. All these last few years, I’ve been sort of feeling like the small fish here who has to work hard to account for being inexperienced and newer and not having as much money but the lightbulb went off one time. And I thought No, you know what? Chances are, I know way more about real estate than my seller. Chances are I own right now, way more real estate than they own. Chances are I’ve had so many more of these conversations that they have. Now. I’m not going to point that out to them. I’m not going to make them feel like I am way more experienced. But deep down inside my mind. In my gut, I realized I had that that revelation that realization. No, I’m actually very experienced. And the other party is the one who is really lacking experience compared to me. And that was a lightning bolt like, Oh my gosh, how did I ever get to this point because as recently as it seems like yesterday or last week, I had that imposter syndrome in my mind. So just know that if you keep going and keep getting through the imposter syndrome, you will get more and more experience and that will someday lead you to the point where those scenarios you won’t feel like an imposter anymore. And you will have the opportunity to go find bigger, greater, newer, more challenging scenarios where you can seek that feeling of imposter syndrome because when you were being an imposter, you’re doing things that are new, you are growing, you’re pushing yourself, you are moving into new levels of achievement that you have not accomplished before. So embrace the imposter syndrome.

That’s it for today’s episode of Racking Up Rentals. Again, show notes for this episode are thoughtfulre.com/e87. Please do us a big favor by hitting that subscribe button in the podcast app and rate and review the show.

Did you know we have a Facebook Group also for thoughtful real estate entrepreneurs? It is called Rental Portfolio Wealth Builders. We’d love to have you join us over there. Just go to group.thoughtfulre.com and you will be redirected right to the page and Facebook where you could just hit the Join button.

If you liked this episode, and I hope you did please take a screenshot of it and post that screenshot to Instagram. Tag us, we are @thoughtfulrealestate. Hey, I’ll see in the next episode until then. This is Jeff from a Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur, signing off.

Thanks for listening to Racking Up Rentals where we build long term wealth by being win-win dealmakers. Remember solve the person to unlock the deal and solve the financing to unlock the profits.

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