How Fast Can You Act?

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Richard and I moved to Baja California full time in 2009. We’d taken a major economic hit in 2008 and thought it was time to just semi-retire at the beach.  We spent a lot of time traveling, gardening, hanging out at the beach and a little bit of time working.  Then things changed, this time for the better, at least economically.

In 2008/2009, things changed and we reacted. Then in 2012, things changed again. One was the slow and steady growth of our full service tax firm, US TaxAid Services. The other was a crazy serendipitous business that started because my partner Megan and I used the wrong URL address. It’s an international business, with all of our sales outside the US, so it’s taken a lot of research to figure out how to do this.

With the growing company and the crazy growing company, our income is up. That means more options. And a company that goes through rapid growth means more hands on time is needed for systems, hiring and technology.  So, we need to move back to the US.

Our businesses are virtual so we can work and live and anywhere there is good internet. Our first stop was Austin, TX.  We spent hours in online research so we knew the area and knew what was happening with real estate prices. Then, we spent hours in key areas we’d identified. After all the hours spent, we knew what was a good deal for us and we made an offer, with a short window. We actually surprised the sellers because we were so certain in our offer. In the end, the deal fell apart, I think largely because the seller and especially his agent couldn’t keep up. Our offer never wavered and it made them nervous that we were so certain and acted so rapidly.

We went back and forth on whether it was worth it to do another trip to Austin to go through the process again. (I love DolfdeRoos’s rule of thumb:  Look at 100 houses, offer on 10, buy 1. That is so close to what we do.)

We instead went to my old hometown of Reno, NV. There are some interesting developments in Nevada that have created a very small market of houses to buy with low rents.  We expect that to flipflop in the next 18 months. Meanwhile, we found a deal with an experienced real estate investor seller. We did a deal quickly and are closing in less than 30 days. (Actually 2 weeks now)

The reason I’m telling this story is that some people looking from the outside in may think we’ve acted without thinking and are jumping from one thing to another.  Texas or Nevada? That’s kind of a crazy jump. The fact is we did a lot of research first. We put in the time first so we can act fast and with clear focus when it’s ready.

That’s how we’ve been able to turn our finances around so quickly. From the bottom at the end of 2008, we were financially free August 22, 2010. And we’re moving up from there.

For us, the answer is research carefully, be really clear about our goals and then act decisively.

I know decisive decisions and actions can be hard for some people. It’s a habit just like any other habit. The first few times you try something new, it will feel uncomfortable. As you get more experienced, it’s easier. The habit of making instant decisions for your business may seem impulsive and it is, only if you haven’t done your homework first. If you dither back and forth, not making any decision you basically derail any chance of ever having a successful business.  People won’t wait for you.

I experienced it again when Megan and I did a webinar this past weekend. I made a special offer, a REALLY good offer, for 5 people for a strategy. There were 2 or 3 people who jumped on it right away. They had signed up because they knew it was a good deal, they knew what they needed and they trusted me and our process.  But then it stopped. Some people needed a lot more information. And sure, we’ll provide it.

And there are still two spots left (at least as of Monday, when I’m writing this blog post) for the special deal at But I bet those spots end up being gone before the people with all of the questions get those questions answered.

Do your homework FIRST, so you know a deal when you spot them. The good deals never wait.  That’s how we’ve been able to grow back so quickly. Homework and decisive action – it’s a powerful feeling to be in control.

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