Investors need to have faith like potatoes:
Since Ashley and I got married, I’ve been trying to grow potatoes – notice I said “try”- It’s been crazy: every year something happens.
The first year I didn’t know you were supposed to mound. Mounding is when you put dirt around the stalk of the plant. If you mound as the plant grows, it stimulates the plant to produce more potatoes. Since I didn’t mound, my Yukon Golds grew to the size of large peanuts. It’s hard to make meal off of that.
The next year I decided I’d do it the easy way. I planted them in a 50-gallon trash can. The idea is you put dirt in the bottom of the can for the potatoes to start. As they grow, you just fill the can with more dirt. You do this until the can is full. Then, you flip the can over and out come all the potatoes.
I believe this strategy would work well if done correctly. My two attempts didn’t yield great results. One time, I forgot to cut holes in the bottom of the can so water could escape. This made my potatoes rot. The other time, things were going great. The plants were growing and I was mounding when I was supposed to. Then one day, in place of my beautiful plants was a very fat and satisfied green horn worm. That little sucker had feasted on all my potato plant leaves, meaning, yet again, no potatoes for the English house.
Last year I tried planting them in mulch. I mounded like I was supposed to, I watched to make sure no worms were on the plants, and I watered like I was supposed to. When it came time to harvest, I found no potatoes. What I found was a gelatinous sludge. Apparently, my mulch retained so much moister that the potatoes decomposed.
This year was different. I planted in raised beds with well-drained dirt. The plants were growing great. I mounded- things were still going great. Then I went outside to behold my wonderful plants and… some blankety-blank neighborhood animal had pulled up the stalks. I was fit to be tied. I was so mad I wouldn’t even tend to the ones I’d planted the previous week.
Then one day I decided I need to look and see if possibly there were any potatoes in the ground. To my surprise I found beautiful, perfectly sized red potatoes. AH- success!
Potatoes grow underground, which means you can’t see if the plant is bearing fruit. And it’s not until all hope disappears that you get to reap a reward- that takes faith.
Starting out in real estate investing is like growing potatoes. You try many different ways to find deals to no avail. Some deals look very promising, only to go sour. Others are going great, until someone swoops in and eats them right in front of you. (Like when someone comes right behind you and offers more than you did on the property.)
Every seller you talk to, every offer you make, every effort you take is a potato. You put it in the ground and let grow – and you have no idea what’s happening beneath.
Proverbs 14:23 says “In all labor there is profit, But talk of the lips leads only to poverty.”
Ashley and I door-knocked and road foreclosures in two counties for two years solid before we found our first house deal.
After that first deal, things just took off. We had been planting for two years and things were growing underneath – we just couldn’t see it.
Keep going! Keep looking at houses and talking to sellers.
Have faith like potatoes. Things are growing beneath and within you that you can’t yet see – but you will.
Here is a video clip from a favorite inspirational movie of mine called Facing the Giants. You keep going, don’t quit and watch how far you can go.
Joe and Ashley English invest in real estate in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to www.cashflowwithjoe.com