What a Tanzanian wildlife guide taught me about opportunity

Written by Guest Author: Irene Byrne, Real Estate Investment Coach

“If you happen to come across a wild animal, DON’T run…food runs.” This was the message my wildlife tour guide drilled into my head as we were trekking through Tanzania.  And every single time I go back there or think about that lesson  I’m reminded of how much it applies beyond the wild of Tanzania. 

The idea of “food runs” is that our natural instinct of running away from a wild animal, does more harm than good because that wild animal associates running with food that it chases and eats. 

When it comes to novel, uncertain and potentially risky situations (like meeting a wild animal) our instincts are often wrong simply because we don’t have the experience on how to navigate the situation correctly (which my guide fortunately did!). 

I see the same thing happening when people think about increasing the certainty in their financial lives.  Their instinct in times of uncertainty (like this COVID pandemic) is to freeze…to hold out and wait for “normal” to reset itself before making any moves. 

Yet as my experienced guide pointed out to me, following our instinct can be the wrong action!  And when it comes to creating financial certainty, your instinct to do nothing or stand still can get you ‘run over’.

In terms of creating more financial certainty, always look for opportunities regardless of what the market is doing.  Right now interest rates are at an all time low and with more people ‘standing still’ there may be even more opportunities right in front of you.  

Just like it takes courage to stand still in the face of a wild animal, a strategy I was fortunate not to have to put to the test, it takes courage to look for opportunities while everyone else is standing still.  But it is those exact moves that are the exact opposite of your instinct that may be the thing that ‘saves’ you.

In essence, following your instinct to stand still could mean becoming the “food that runs”.  And of course while each individual situation is unique the instinct to freeze is universal, which makes the opportunity in front of you even greater. 

Irene Byrne is a real estate investment coach and author of the ‘90 Day Investor’.  Irene lives in Ontario, Canada and can be found online at www.irenebyrne.ca or on facebook at ‘NotTooLateRealEstate’.

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