Why You shouldn't ask your nan for deadlift advice
(Unless, of course, she is or was once a great deadlifter)
I want to share with you one of the greatest lessons I ever learned.
In 2016 I was crushing it.
I was making more money than I knew what to do with, I was the most single person I knew, I had just graduated uni, recovered from anorexia and was was about to start working as a nurse. At 22 I was ready to buy my first home.
I had a budget in mind, had been pre-approved for a mortgage but didn’t see any properties that I liked.
Then I found this house that was listed at a price that was under 50% of my budget.
Now; you get what you pay for.
This house was on the outskirts of a pretty shitty area. Across the road from it was classed as a different suburb, which wasn’t a bad area... But the actual house was on the wrong side of a main-ish road.
The house was nice enough. Updated kitchen, bifold doors, polished floors. But it was small, had no off-street parking and was only 2 bedroom. Honestly it was still a comfortable little cottage.
My savings rate was such that I had saved the amount needed for a 20% deposit on my intended home in 5 MONTHS. Yes, 5 months.
So I figured if I bought this house and put a minimum deposit on it, it would only be a month or so until I saved that money back, so I could still buy a nice house for myself to live in, and rent the cheap one out.
I knew that if my saving power was poor, I could end up Chasing the market (this means trying to save for a bigger and better house, but while you’re doing this, property value is increasing at a greater rate than you’re saving, and now entering the property market is further out of your reach).
But that wasn’t me. I was ADDICTED to saving money.
So I had a theory. This house was SO CHEAP that it was INEVITABLE that it would jump drastically in value eventually.
It had also been on the market for over a year, so I was sure the current owners would be greatly negotiable.
I had been studying real estate in my spare time (which I had a lot of), for about 9 months now. I was pretty good at valuing houses, and I had studied property trends in my area.
So I did what I believe most 22 year-olds with limited investing experience would do… I ran it by my parents.
They told me it was a huge mistake. They said that area is shit.
I knew the area was shit, and I ran my theory past them, I told them how much research I'd done and spat figures at them.
But they couldn’t get past the fact that it was a shit area. They’ve lived here for 40 years. They know the suburbs, right?
Here’s the problem.
My parents have only ever purchased or built houses to raise a family in.
They’ve never bought anything with the goal to profit from it.
By that theory, they were spot on. What a shit house to raise a family in.
But I wasn’t a family. I was a 22yo who didn’t even plan on living in it.
This was an investment property, not a home for me.
My parents gave me advice on what they have experience in – buying a haven.
So now I’m thinking ok if I buy this house, and everyone I’ve spoken to has advised against it and I lose money on it, or make very little.. I’ll feel like everyone is thinking “I told you so”.
Imagine if the market collapsed and I had to move back home for the first time since I was 17, because I did something they tried to warn me about.
Plus, my parents are clever people, they have more life experience than me, and they’ve successfully (IMO) helped me navigate my entire childhood and adolescence.. Why shouldn’t I take their advice?
So I didn’t buy the house.
Someone else did.
And I bought a lovely 3BR 2Bath house in a substantially more reputable area, which has grown in value at a greater rate than the average for my city. Good for me, I should’ve been stoked.
But then one day I was driving by the little house I missed out on, and there was a “leased” sign out front. Naturally I jump online and check out the leasing price, and it was astronomically higher than what the repayments on it would be.
For a day I was shattered.
Then I started to reflect on how I got in this situation, so that I could prevent ever feeling this sick feeling of lost opportunity again.
And I realised my parents weren’t the right people to ask.
My parents are smart.. Heck probably smarter than me.
But not in this area. This was my area. I knew more than them on this specific topic.
And I realised I had come to them for validation, not actual guidance.
I wanted their approval so that if the investment failed, I could say “well other people in my situation would’ve done exactly the same thing, so I can’t be a total idiot”.
18 months after I bought the first house, I bought a second. Another 3bed 2 bath.
This time, I didn’t tell anyone until I had signed the papers.
To this day I’ve only visited the house 2 or 3 times myself.
I knew it was right, I knew the price was good, I knew how to negotiate and most importantly, I knew that it was a risk, and that’s ok. Every investment is a risk. That’s the sexy part.
There’s one other reason why my parents weren’t the right people to ask.
Because they care about me.
They want to protect me, and that means doing what is safe.
I mean, they want me to keep a hand in my nursing career despite the fact that it’s the lowest income I’ve earned in my adult life. That’s because it’s a steady paycheck that is reliable and certain.
To me, there’s nothing less sexy than a stable job where I have a time limit on my lunch break.
Recently I applied for a commercial lease on a big ole 2 storey property. I was driving with my mum and she asked if we could drive past and check it out.
As we got out of the car, before she even saw it, she said “Don’t rush into it, there will be others… I think you should wait”.
I physically stopped her and told her “please never say that to me about anything ever again”.
I told her that everyone has had a million-dollar idea, but almost no one brings anything to fruition.
Being in that situation would be my greatest regret.
I told her what I need from her: I need her to trust that I’ve done what I can to mitigate reasonable risk… but to accept that there is still a HUGE risk. I could lose everything I have. And that if I do, that’s ok. I’m young, I can start again.
I need her to support me if it fails, and not say “I told you so”.
I could live with trying and failing, but I can’t live with not ever taking a leap.
She gave me the spiel about how she is just protective, and when I told her that it’s toxic to me and it pushes me away, she understood.
I’m not confident because I’m certain it will succeed, I’m confident because I know I need to find out either way.
MORAL OF THE STORY.
If Gavin from your globo gym who has been training for 6 months tells you their PT says you’ll hurt your back if you arch in the bench, but literally every single top powerlifting athlete is doing it… Let’s maybe review their credentials.
Your Cousin could have a PhD in anaesthesiology; but if he’s never been overseas, let’s consider other avenues for travel tips.
Not relevant to my story, and not something I’ve experience first hand.. But please also consider that sadly, another reason people may try to talk you out of taking a leap, is because they’re worried you’ll leave them behind...Or they’re just straight up jealous that they never had the balls to do the same.
So before you ask someone for advice, ask yourself why you’re asking.
Are you seeking validation, or advice?
Are they the right person to be giving that advice?
And what are their motives?
I still have no mentors at all in business or investing. It makes shit way scarier but way more satisfying when it goes well.
You can do things on your own, you just have to be brave and be at peace with failure.