This past year marked my 10-year anniversary being a full time real estate investor. As I reflect the past 10 years, it has been quite the journey.

Unfortunately, when I first started, I didn’t see the value in investing in my education. During those early years, I was too stubborn (prideful) to seek out a mentor or budget for ongoing education. As a result, I had to learn a lot of things the hard way, resulting in losing money on a lot of preventable mistakes. As they say, “Hind sight is 20/20,” and I tend to learn best by jumping in the deep in of the pool and doggy paddling as hard as I can to keep my head above water. Just how I learn best. However, I will admit, looking back,

I would give my right arm to have sought out experts and training earlier because it would have made me or saved me several hundred thousand dollars!

Lucky for me, I eventually recognized the value of investing in my education. I started to set aside money from my deals to invest in attending seminars, buying “how-to” programs and paying for coaching. It wasn’t long before my results skyrocketed. To this day, I am a junkie on learning as much as I can about real estate, business and marketing as well personal areas in my life such as fitness and parenting. Don’t forget I have 6 kids and another one on the way (I want 10 but I haven’t told my wife yet).

Remember what Donald trump once said, “Learn everything you can about whatever you do.” Make it a goal to become a life learner.

Several years ago when I began teaching others my systems and methods for making money in real estate, I had the chance to be at the other side of the table.

This was a real eye-opener for me because I was able to witness first hand education that DIDN’T work in many cases. I noticed that 2 people could attend the same training and 1 person would go on to achieve tremendous results and the other person would not achieve any results. This has and always will be mind-boggling to me.

Whether you purchase a home-study course, online program, attend a live seminar, or do group or personal coaching, here are 7 suggestions to get the most out of your education.

1). Take Personal Responsibility:

Ultimately, your success is your responsibility and no one else’s. I’ve seen too many times that when a student doesn’t have immediate success, it’s someone else’s fault. Whatever training you invest in, ask yourself, “what else can I do to implement what I’ve learned.”

2). Custom Taylor Your Education.

No training or program will work exactly the same for you. Be willing to adapt it to your specific niche, interests, style, goals and situation. I once attended a live training and for the first half of the training I kept thinking, “none of this applies to my situation or business.” I had a sour attitude and then realized, “Hey, I’m here and should make the most out of this.” I changed my attitude to be creative and began thinking of how I could adapt what I was learning to my business and I ended up coming away with several break-though ideas.

3). Set Realistic Expectations.

No program is perfect and has all the answers. Success in any endeavor is never a straight line but usually a zig zag. Go in with your eyes wide open. I now look at any educational program a huge success if I can walk away with 1 or 2 good ideas.

4). Implement, Implement, Implement:

Have you ever attended a webinar training and took down a bunch of notes only to never look at them again? Ummm, me neither (J/K). Identify 3 things that you can implement immediately after the training. Not 10 or 15, just 3. If you can just put into practice 3 things during the following week, your training would have been well worth it.

5). Focus on You:

I’ve talked about this before…(“Odds Are You Won’t BE Successful in Real Estate”). Most training focuses on specific strategies or skill sets when the reality is that success is 90% mindset and 10% skill set. Make it a goal to work on your personal development so you can overcome the self-sabotaging negative beliefs that hold you back.

6). Make Time For It:

Develop a love of learning. Instead of listening to music at the gym or while driving in the car, have some type of training/educational audio on. Instead of watching TV, watch a webinar or if you have one of my training programs, watch the online video modules. In fact, I’m going to make a confession. I didn’t watch the recent super bowl. I know, probably the only person in the country. I didn’t watch it, not because I don’t like football, but because I don’t have TV/cable at my house (I did watch the highlights the following morning online just so I could have an intelligent conversation with my buddies). My point is the only way to get ahead in life is to make time for it.

7). Have a Big “Why:”

I have found that people who truly recognize their purpose in life, bring their passion to the table. When you have clarity about what God intends for you to accomplish in life (the big “why”), making your education a priority becomes part of your daily routine. You crave it, you look forward to it and you hunger for it because you know it will help you move 1 step closer to fulfilling your life mission.

Leave a comment and share with me your big “why” and what you are doing to improve your education in real estate and life.

Until next time, Happy Investing,

Jerry Norton