When I had my first 12-unit apartment building under contract, I was overwhelmed. This was a HUGE building to me, and I thought of the 134 things that could go wrong if I moved forward.
Now, an interesting thing happened. In the 3rd week after ratification of the contract, after a site visit, talking with investors, lenders, inspectors, and reviewing the financials, I became more and more comfortable with the idea of closing on this building.
In fact, I suddenly hoped the building was bigger! I found out later that it’s about as much work to purchase a building twice the size (or even larger) as it is a smaller building. In addition, the closing costs were actually less, and I could get a non-recourse loan and make more money.
As I reflect on this phenomenon of becoming more comfortable with something that was very scary just a few weeks before, I concluded that our comfort zones are proportional to our beliefs.
As I got more and more into the deal, my belief that I could purchase this building increased, and this expanded my comfort zone.
Now the question is: Is there anything I could do to proactively expand my comfort zone all the time and intentionally, rather than waiting on a circumstance to force me to?
I think the answer is “YES.” You can expand your comfort zone by exercising it like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the more it expands.
There are 3 specific things you can do to exercise your comfort zone muscle.