The planning page
“If you can’t explain it simply you don’t understand it well enough”
You gotta have a plan, a strategy, an idea of where you want to be and when you want to be there and how you’re going to achieve it and it has to be simple.
Mr Einstein was no doubt referring to some complex mathematical theorem but the same applies to everything really. The details can be complex and it may not be easy to achieve but the plan has to be easily understood.
Think about the Dragons Den. If you can’t explain to Theo Paphites in a couple of sentences what your business plan is then he is not going to invest. Now obviously you will also have to convince him that Mrs P would buy whatever you’re selling but without the initial pitch then you will not get past first base.
How many times have you seen Deborah Meaden say something like “I don’t understand what your strategy is and I believe that means you don’t understand it either and for that reason alone I’m out”
The Americans call it an elevator pitch, as follows:
“Imagine you have this great idea and all you need is an investor. You just happen to get into an elevator and find yourself standing next to Donald Trump and you happen to know that he gets off at the 27th floor. That gives you just under 3 minutes to sell him your plan, so you need an elevator pitch.”
So you see if you cannot tell me what your plan is in a couple of sentences then you don’t understand it and will have the Devils own job putting it into action.
In other words KISS
OK so lets get to your plan.
First you need to decide on an outcome, what you want to achieve.
Most people will say something like:
“I want to retire from work by the time I’m 50”
Well frankly who doesn’t, but how are you going to do that? How much money will you need to amass by that birthday; what will you do afterwards ; perhaps you have an ambition to change peoples lives; what is your motivation: how are you going to get the money you need and what are you prepared to do to achieve your goals?
Lets take something simple. We like simple!!
“I want to become a full time ski instructor but that pays no money so I will need to cover all my costs and expenses from my own funds as well as keep my family well cared for.
In order to fund this lifestyle I will need around £1million pounds which I will invest in property and get a return of 7-8% representing £75,000 per annum.
To achieve that I need to purchase £1miilion worth of property and wait for it to double in value, sell half, pay off my mortgages and continue to rent the rest.
It will take me ten years to qualify as a full time ski instructor.”
Now clearly that would not go down too well in the Dragons Den, I really don’t see Duncan Ballantyne giving me £1million to get started, but it is a plan.
It’s simple, it’s time sensitive, it has a specific amount of money attached to it and it has a formula.
Most of all it has motivation, a reason to do it and that is what is going to make it happen.
That is what is going to make you not watch EastEnders three times a week.
That is what is going to make you not listen to your mates down the pub.
That is what is going to make you not believe everything that’s written in the newspapers.
That is what is going to make you go to the trouble of securing your future.
The motivation is the key!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So going back to our simple example above all you need now is £1million worth of property, but how are you going to get that?
Or perhaps you have a different plan. Perhaps you already have a large pot of cash that you want to put to work for you for income. Perhaps you’ve worked and saved a lump sum, or inherited a large amount of cash or even won the lottery.
(The fact is that if you buy the right properties in the right place you can out perform every other asset class in the long term.)
In any event you still need to acquire some property but in a different way although almost certainly the same kind of properties.
Ok you’ve taken the first step, you’ve identified your outcome, you’ve established your motivation, now how do you get there?
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