No matter how long you have been investing in real estate you will fall somewhere on this outline below. In fact while changing specialties or investing in other forms of real estate that you are not normally accustomed to you will find yourself repeating these levels to learn and grow within new real estate niches.
Level 1: Unconsciously Incompetent
During this level a person is just arriving and discovering the skill, job, or real estate niche they wish to master. It can be easy to be cocky or over confident in making assumptions during this first stage because “you truly don’t know what you don’t know.” You will have a general concept of the skill you are wishing to learn but you will have no idea how it is to be accomplished. During this stage it is so important to be around people you admire and want to be like. Real estate investing clubs, online websites like this one, and other real estate investment books are all great sources for you to begin understanding what questions you should be asking. The answers to these questions will often times spark more and more questions. Once you begin to see the depth of your incompetence in your desired field you will then start to move to the next stage.
Level 2: Consciously Incompetent
Once you know more and more of the questions to ask then you are becoming more consciously aware of how little you know. During this stage I have found an excitement to learn as much as I can as fast as I can. When you love something and see the possibility of your achievement you should have a fire burning inside you and a true thirst for knowledge. This stage of incompetence is a big learning and growing stage. Once you complete this stage you should have a small number of deals under your investing belt. You will not be the same person once you are leaving this stage compared to when you first arrived.
Level 3: Consciously Competent
After your first few deals you are starting to find your rhythm. Occasionally you may hear yourself speaking with sellers or buyers and surprising yourself with how or where you learned these sentences. During this stage you are able to successfully find, negotiate, and close deals however you will often times need to have a checklist handy to ensure you do not miss anything. While consciously competent in your skill or real estate niche remember there is still much to learn. Continue seeking out education and understanding of any questions or thoughts you do not understand.
Level 4: Unconsciously Competent
You have reached the final level of understanding in a particular skill or field. There can still be rough areas to polish to help systematize or streamline your success, however you have seen most situations and have practiced your skill for approximately 10,000 plus hours.
Confucius is quoted to say, “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s own ignorance”. So many times I help others that believe themselves to know more than they truly do. In my experience an attitude of humility is always better than one of expertise.
In conclusion life is not a race to the top of any one niche but a constant and ever growing understanding of real estate and all things educational. We should always be striving to live, grow, teach, and learn more.