“Simple” vs “Easy”

woman standing in front of blackboard with IDEA written on it multiple times

Do you know the saying “If it was easy, then everyone would be doing it”?

It’s often applied to real estate (and business) by many people, including me.

Well, people often mistake “easy” with “simple”.

I wanted to explain the difference because understanding it may clear up why so many people (maybe including you?) are stuck running around in circles trying to get started or to grow without success.

See, real estate is often positioned (and sold by gurus) as an easy business.

“Buy low, sell high, make money.”

“Easy” means it doesn’t require much work. Anyone can do it, anyone can be successful overnight.

But when you get into the nuts and bolts, all excited by the possibilities of quick paydays and big riches, with visions of big mansions and yachts and fancy cars that you will undoubtedly be able to afford by next month, you realize that there’s a lot more that goes into this business than you were told.

And then you come to the realization that this real estate business actually takes a lot of work.

Defining “Simple” and “Easy”

What the gurus and the media and the late-night informercials mean when they say real estate is “EASY” is actually that it’s “SIMPLE”, not “easy”.

Easy = doesn’t require much work and can be done by anyone.

Simple = the concept itself is easy to master, though it requires work to bring to life.

“Buy low, sell high” – simple concept, but one that still requires execution and work. Thus – not easy!

“Find a motivated seller, connect them to hungry buyers” – simple concept, but one that still requires execution and work. Thus – not easy!

“Find a house, rehab it, rent it out and collect checks for life” – simple concept, but one that still requires execution and work. Thus – not easy!

Think about these simple real estate concepts for a moment.

You Need to Hustle in the Real Estate Industry

The most successful people I know in real estate are NOT the smartest. They didn’t start out wealthy or have fancy educations. They are not the most analytical, or thoughtful, or mathematically gifted. They don’t need to be super smart because the concepts are simple.

But they execute ferociously. They are hustlers.

They go deep into one niche, they don’t go wide and try to learn every real estate strategy there is.

They don’t overcomplicate this business – because remember: it’s SIMPLE.

But they realize it’s not EASY and that it requires real hustle and hard work and building REAL relationships.

And it requires execution.

But not just any kind of execution, the power of execution. Because execution in and of itself can be a trap and can get you further into the same rat race you’re trying to get out.

How to Approach Executing Real Estate Strategies

Here’s what I mean and here’s how you must approach execution:

Simple Concept => Execution

It may seem like there’s a bazillion things you must have in place to start and then successfully run a business.

Taking real estate as an example, before you start something as simple as a wholesaling business, you may think you need to figure out:

    1. Corporate structure
    2. How to open an LLC
    3. Find a real estate attorney and title company to do business with
    4. Set up an office
    5. Set up voicemail
    6. Build a company website (or multiple websites for buyers and sellers)
    7. Get business cards made (even separate business cards for sellers and buyers)
    8. Find bird dogs
    9. Get a 1-800 # set up
    10. Build a large buyer’s list

All of these things can make your business more successful and if you start knocking these tasks off the to-do list, you will likely feel pretty damn productive for months and months into the foreseeable future.

But I’ll tell you what you won’t be doing during these months of “building your business”:

MAKING MONEY! You won’t be doing the one thing that your business is meant to do and that is doing deals!

Instead you need to realize that wholesaling (in our example) is a SIMPLE business and create your EXECUTION plan accordingly:

Wholesaling requires you to find a cheap off-market deal, lock it up under contract and then assign the contract to another buyer. That’s it!

So now that you’ve simplified the concept, your execution plan should be to forget all that other crap (for now) and go find a few great off-market deals. Your execution plan should involve one, two, or three (tops) steps aimed at sourcing off-market deals.

As I discussed in this post about finding real estate buyers and sellers, it may help to know what your buyers are looking for.

So the execution plan would be:

    1. Research what cash buyers are buying in what market
    2. Go find similar deals and put them under contract
    3. Flip the contract to buyers (they’re everywhere – trust me)

This is the kind of execution plan that will make you money out of the gate.

And same thing applies to any other business: In the sea of endless tasks, ideas, checklist items, t’s that need to be crossed and i’s that need to be dotted, there will be one or two crucial execution steps that will lead to most of your profits and results. Everything else is secondary.

Simple Concept => Targeted Execution => Results

Final Thoughts on “Simple” vs “Easy”

See where I’m going with this? Good. So let’s recap:

If something is easy, it means anyone can do it and there’s probably a ton of competition because the business has no barriers to entry, requires little work, and can be done by anyone.

If something is simple, then the concept is easy to grasp, but the business requires hustle and execution. This makes for a great business because it doesn’t require a business degree, a PhD, or lots of money to start. But, it requires the one quality that most people lack: the ability to execute fearlessly and strategically.

So as you approach any business, be it real estate or anything else, ask yourself these questions:

    1. What is the main concept – the core concept here – in a few sentences?
    2. What are the core steps to executing this concept that will lead to results the fastest?

Then focus on those steps from #2 above first and foremost, then do everything else.

Avoid distractions from those steps at all costs and execute methodically and unyieldingly.

The ability to do this fully, completely explains the difference between (and I have hundreds of each type on my list):

    • A middle-age man with higher education, decades of corporate experience, and modest savings in the bank floundering for the past 5 years trying to do their first deal


    • A 21-year old kid still in college or just out, with zero savings, closing real estate deals left and right just months into even thinking about doing real estate

Get to the core of the business concept, figure out the core crucial steps, then execute those steps.

That’s it!

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