Cash Flow With Joe

Mental quicksand

by | Jul 2, 2018 | Motivational, Newbie | 3 comments


So, I had an epic fail this week … in front of everybody.


We have a praise day at my congregation a couple of times a year. The praise offerings range from the reading of psalms and other verses that have spoken to the reader to recitations of poems — and then, of course, music.


I had planned to sing and play a special song on my guitar that had spoken to my heart.


One thing you should know is that playing and singing at the same time doesn’t come naturally to me. Can I do it? Sure. I’ve helped lead praise and worship for years. But it’s difficult for me.


Part of the reason is my voice is not my instrument of choice. Some people, like my wife, have that gift. There are people who sing, and then there are people who can sing. I am the first; Ashley is the latter.


But Ashley has the opposite issue that I do. She can play guitar; it’s just not her instrument of choice. So most of the time, she sings, I play, and life is good.


So during this praise day, I hit my guitar as I got on stage to do my solo. Then, I promptly hit it again on the podium. That’s always a gut-wrenching feeling. My guitar was OK, but my nerves were on edge.


Next, the words to my song had gone missing.

I had left them on the podium where Ashley and I had just performed, but they were no longer there. After searching for what felt like forever, we finally found where someone had picked them up by mistake.



I got the words, introduced the song and as I went to strum the first chord I distinctly remember saying in my head, “Now how does this song go again?”


It was bad. This song was supposed to be more of a finger picking tune, but my fingers wouldn’t cooperate. I had to resort to strumming the whole thing, which threw off the singing rhythm I’d practiced with. I lost my place, had to start a verse over, and the list goes on.


I finally finished and took my seat while avoiding eye contact with anyone. Ashley whispered that I’d done well by making it through the song. “I’m not a quitter, but apparently, today, I’m no guitar picker, either,” I said.



So what happened? I got caught in mental quicksand. I made a mistake and then another, and the harder I struggled, the more mistakes I made. Before long, I was stuck.


I have to tell you it wasn’t a good feeling. But getting caught in mental quicksand is something that can happen to anyone — including investors.


I see this phenomenon happen the most with what is commonly called “the paralysis of analysis.” That’s when you get caught up in analyzing all sorts of details, and the result is that you in never accomplish the thing you were really after.


For a beginner investor it looks like this: I need to find the right area to invest in, but I need to know what house will make the best deal. But before I do that I need to learn how to write a contract. And I need an LLC in order to buy property anyway. Before I can do that, I need a good attorney. And before I can do that … see what I’m saying?


The more you analyze, the harder you struggle, and the further into the mental quicksand you go. The result is you never move forward — paralysis of analysis.


Don’t fall into that trap.


The biggest mistake you can make is trying to do all that before you get face to face with sellers. Once you have a deal, all the other stuff will fall into place. And then you won’t have to worry about the quicksand.


Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to or call Joe at 678-986-6813.

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