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Are You Coachable?

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One of the most valuable skills you can develop is “coachability.” What is coachability? It’s the ability to be open-minded, to take constructive feedback well, and to be willing to try new things when suggested by those with more experience. Great real estate investors are coachable…but the truth is, most people aren’t.

In this episode, Jeff discusses what it means to be coachable, how to recognize if you’re inadvertently NOT being coachable, and how to make sure you distinguish between being coachable and just the following advice blindly.

Episode Transcript

We are all students in some way we’re all learning, or trying to learn or pursuing some new thing, whether it’s real estate investing or learning to cook or trying to be a better parent or getting in shape for a marathon or whatever it is. We’re all students, you and I. Now, if you’re listening to this podcast, I’m guessing that one of the things that you are trying to become more expert in is real estate, entrepreneurship. So let me ask you this question. I can ask all of us this question in all these different ways, but as it relates to your learning real estate investing, are you coachable? Are you coachable? In this episode, we’re going to talk about what it means to be coachable at all and the importance of being coachable so that you maximize your ability to grow. Let’s cue up the theme song and we’ll 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, thanks for joining me for another episode of Racking Up Rentals. This is Episode 89, which means that show notes can be found at thoughtfulre.com/e89. Hey, please do us a big favor by hitting the subscribe button in the podcast app that you’re using right now. It would really help other thoughtful real estate entrepreneurs to find the show. Alright, onward with today’s episode.

In today’s episode, as I mentioned, we’re talking about being coachable. Now, being coachable applies in so many ways in life, right? If you could be seven years old and learning soccer, and your ability to be coachable, will have a big impact. You can be 27- or 57-years old learning real estate investing and your level of coachability will have a huge impact on your success rate. So what does it mean to be coachable? Well, I think we keep the definition really pretty simple. I would say that being coachable is when you are open minded. And that when you come asking a question or seeking to learn that you see the input from the others who are trying to share with you as a gift, you see that they’re answering your question in a way that is an act of generosity of trying to help you and having that mentality. Having that mindset. Being coachable means you are willing to try what people are recommending to you, and actually apply it to give it a shot to give it a go and see how it goes for you. And it means also that you are able and willing and ready to take feedback constructively. Even if the feedback is about you and what you’re doing or how you’re doing it. You’re able to take that feedback well and take it constructively.

Where does this idea of coachability play out? Well, it could play out in lots of different ways. I mean, maybe in a very literal sense. You might have a coach, you might pay somebody to be your coach, or you have a mentorship type of arrangement. So that’s kind of an obvious. You want to be coachable when you are having a coach there to coach you. But there’s also other places where you can be coachable. You know, if you show up in somebody’s Facebook group, and you post a question, asking for input about something that you’re struggling with, that’s another venue where you can practice your coachability and be coachable. Another situation might be masterminds if you get together with several peers or friends online or in person. And you are talking about the challenges that you’re having and troubleshooting together. That’s another place where you can be coachable. So it’s important to be as coachable as you can, everywhere that you possibly can. So I want to give you sort of three signs that I’ve observed a lot from people who are not so coachable. And of course, maybe you’re guessing one of the reasons that this episode is prompted in my mind is because I see the signs of not being coachable. Often, and as somebody who likes to coach both in terms of delivering a podcast or answering people’s questions on mind, or literally being somebody coach in a group coaching program, or one on one, I definitely see signs of people who are not coachable. So I thought I’d give you three warning signs so that you can make sure you don’t find yourself saying or thinking these things. And accidentally or inadvertently not being as coachable as you could be, and perhaps, should be.

So one thing I see is when somebody posts a question about a challenge that they’re having, and then somebody maybe like me responds with an idea or a suggestion. They say, Oh, yeah, I know that I’ve tried that it didn’t work. Okay, when I hear somebody say, I’ve tried that it didn’t work. It makes me realize that they are not thinking in terms of little nuances. They’re thinking of things in a very one-dimensional way. So for instance, seller financing would be a great topic, one of my favorite topics, of course. Now, if somebody says, I’m having trouble getting the loans, I need to buy rental properties. And I say, Well, have you considered specifically going after seller financing opportunities? And they say, Oh, yeah, yeah, I tried that it didn’t work. Or that it didn’t work, because it doesn’t exist in my market? Well, first of all, they’re taking seller financing, which is a big, broad topic. And making it as if it’s one topic and then saying, I tried that one topic, and it didn’t work. Which is really, of course, absurd. Because seller financing is a great example of something that could take 1000 different forms. And your success rate using it has as much to do with you and how you have the conversation. And the other party in the marketplace. And the type of property has so many little nuances. So instead of being open to that idea, they push back and they say, I’ve tried that it didn’t work. And so what that shows that they’re not being coachable. They’re not being open minded. Now, it would be totally different if they said, Okay, well, I’ve experimented with that a little bit in the past, but I haven’t gotten it to work yet. What are some of the things that you do that make this successful, so they respond to the feedback with additional questions, that’s a great sign of coachability. That’s a great sign that there’s somebody that who’s truly seeking to learn as much from the interaction and the exchange they’re having with the person who is providing the feedback.

A second example, is sort of when you find the person who’s having trouble, and who’s seeking feedback, if all they want is a simple, easy button type of an answer, just a simple, tactical, we’ll just do this. It’s totally simple type of answer. If they don’t get that answer, then they tend to resist the feedback. Well, if you know me at all, I don’t always provide personally super specific and tactical feedback, because I believe that we can all learn a lot more from thinking about principles than thinking about tactics, but there are a lot of people who don’t want to hear a strategic answer. They don’t want to hear about how they might shift their entire paradigm on a certain topic. They just want to be told, press this button on the computer, then press this button and then say these things and voila, magically, the results will come. So the second type of person who’s showing that they’re not coachable is one who is resisting any feedback that’s not just super-duper easy and quick to apply. Now, we all would prefer things to be easy, right? I mean, I’m no different to that. If all else equal, I would like my solutions that I put in place for anything to be easier, if possible. But I also realize sometimes that the process that I need to go through in order to conquer my problem is not one that’s about just simply pressing a few buttons in a different way, or in a different order or using slightly different words in a script, that there’s actually a bigger underlying issue that I need to address first.

And the third example of when people are not so coachable is they will often find themselves debating the person who’s providing feedback, and they’re debating it based on theory. I’ve got one particular person in mind who I seem to interact with a lot with on Facebook. And we find ourselves talking about ways of generating off market seller leads. And this person knows that I am very much an advocate for doing it in a particular way, using what I call thoughtful direct mail so that I can create off market seller conversations using a nice type of letter that I send to people. And this person who I’m pretty certain has never actually sent an email is always pushing back and saying “Well, that’s too expensive and the response rate is too low.” And so your cost per lead is too high. And then your cost per deal is too high. And they’re making this very theoretical argument based on their understanding from other things they’ve read, but not their understanding from actually doing it. And so when somebody asks, how do you generate leads for off market purchases? And I explained the way I do it, if they’re arguing with me, because they don’t feel like it would make sense. That’s fine. But the arguing could be in the form of questions. Oh, tell me this. Here’s one thing I don’t understand yet. If your cost per lead, is this, how do you make that work? Instead of arguing and saying, No, you’re wrong, saying, I’m still not clear, can you help me understand a little bit more, I must be missing something still. Because when I have those conversations, I’m thinking to myself, I’ve sent 70 or 80,000 letters in the last many years, I definitely have enough of the data set to know how it works for me.

Now, that’s not to say that this is the only thing a person could ever do to generate leads, or that there’s not a different direct mail strategy that might result in something that would be worthwhile. But here I am telling you sharing my experience, in what I consider to be a generous way of here’s been my experience with this method of marketing, other things I’ve tried, and the types of results I’ve gotten. And it feels very odd when that person is then arguing with that, rather than asking questions of clarification. And my belief is that at the end of the day, people who are not coachable, who are acting in a non-coachable way, are, in many ways, simply looking for excuses to justify their lack of results, you know, they’ve come up against a problem. And they want to point to outside influences that say, hey, it’s not my fault that I’m not where I wanted to be. Because, you know, seller financing isn’t common in my area, or this direct mail idea that somebody taught me doesn’t really work, or the cost per lead is too high. Or they gave me feedback. Yeah, but it just was too complicated. And I, you know, it’s not my fault that the feedback wasn’t easier.

For most people who are not being coachable. It’s sort of a defense mechanism, because they’re not really looking for success. They’re looking to justify where they are and why they’re not further, because people who are looking for true success, have a level of curiosity. And that’s when I say if, if you need to ask somebody a follow up question, because you don’t yet understand. That’s completely fine. That is completely acceptable. But questions, additional questions come from a place of seeking to truly understand. And that brings me to maybe the most important word I believe about being coachable is humble, or humility. I believe somebody who is very coachable, has a great deal of humility. They have no need to try to save face or posture themselves or make it look like they know things that they don’t they just come with a level of humility that says, gosh, I’ve got a lot to learn in this topic. And I so appreciate that you are willing to share your perspective so that I can indeed learn from it. So why is being coachable, so important? Well, first of all, I think there’s two reasons. The first one is simply that if you are coachable, you will grow more. If you are open minded, if you are humble. If you see other people’s input as a generous gift, if you are able to take constructive feedback and try and apply what they’re teaching you, you will grow faster. But the second really important reason it’s important to be coachable is that when you are coachable, you attract better coaches, because I can tell you, as somebody who does provide coaching to others, my favorite people to coach are the ones who are coachable. Because I know that my thoughts, my ideas, my advice to them is not landing on deaf ears or landing on a thick skin that’s trying to repel the constructive feedback that I’m giving them. I know they’re hearing me. They’re seeking to understand and they want very sincerely to put to work what it is that I am sharing with them. They’re appreciating my generous contribution to their growth, and that makes the coach feel good. And when the coach feels good, more great coaches want to coach you.

Let me finish this conversation about coachability with one important question, where do you draw the line though, between being coachable? And just being you know, a sheep? Where do you draw the line between taking someone’s advice and acting on it but still thinking for yourself and not just becoming a drone that’s just controlled by somebody else, right, you still want to be an independent thinker, you still want to be on the hook for your own decisions, you still want to be accountable for your life and your business. So here’s how I think about it’s simply two steps. The first step is you need to choose very, very carefully, who you want to listen to. And then once you’ve chosen them, just listen. So the first step is you have to choose very carefully who to listen to, you have to be you deserve to be very discerning here, if you’re going to exert some, some control or some pushback in this whole process, have it be in the process of deciding who you are going to listen to, because that is extremely, extremely important. But once you have made that decision, that this is the voice I’m listening to, this is the school of thought that I am joining. Then put the guard down. And just be open. Just listen. Be open to the feedback you get, be open to the ideas that come to you. And that is how you can be coachable while still thinking for yourself. But you’re still you’re thinking for yourself upfront by deciding whose voice you’re going to put your trust in. And then you are making yourself vulnerable by opening up and doing what they say. listening to what they say taking all of it to heart. Be humble my friends, and when you’re humble, you’re coachable. And when you’re coachable, you will make it a lot further.

That is it for today’s episode of Racking Up Rentals. Again show notes are thoughtfulre.com/e89. Please do us a big favor by hitting the subscribe button in your podcast app and rate and review the show we had so appreciate that. I personally see those and I really, really grateful.

Did you know that we have a Facebook group for thoughtful real estate entrepreneurs also? It’s called a Rental Portfolio Wealth Builders. Just type that into the old search bar on Facebook or type group.thoughtfulre.com into your browser and you will be redirected right there.

If you liked this episode, please take a screenshot, post it to Instagram and tag us. We are @thoughtfulrealestate. Hey, I’ll see you in the next episode. Thanks for listening! Until then, this is Jeff from The Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur, signing off.

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

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