(Editor’s Note: The following article is a guest post by superstar entrepreneur and tech investor Jonathan Schultz.)
Think about this: some of the most exciting and innovative ideas have sparked from curiosity. So, why not be more curious at work? Why not ask more questions and dig deeper? The impulse to learn more and explore new possibilities can catapult your career into a higher level.
Curiosity allows leaders to gain more respect from their team and inspires team members to develop more trusting and collaborative relationships with their coworkers. Here are a few benefits being curious could have on your career.
#1. MORE POSITIVE CHANGES
In both creative and non-creative careers, encouraging teammates to be curious generates improvements in the workplace. Why is this? Simply because when we are faced with tough situations we often have to be more creative in implementing solutions. The answer isn’t so black and white, so we tap into our curiosity to see what other types of solutions will work. This results in positive changes in the workplace.
#2. REDUCES CONFLICT AMONGST TEAMS
Research from the Harvard Business Review found that curiosity encourages members of a team to put themselves in each other’s shoes and take an interest in each other’s ideas rather than only look at things through their perspective. This helps teams work together more smoothly and effectively. Conflicts are handled with less confrontation and more logic, helping teams achieve better overall results and reaching better solutions.
#3. BETTER COMMUNICATION
When you are willing to put yourself out there and offer ideas that have stemmed from your curiosity, you communicate better because you are being transparent. By being more open and less fearful of sharing your thoughts, you can grow. Think of how many ideas may not have come to fruition if the person had been too afraid to tell others what ideas they had? You don’t need to have a million-dollar idea every time, but you do need to let your curiosity propel you to share your thoughts with your team at work.
#4. FEWER ERRORS REGARDING DECISION-MAKING
According to research by the Harvard Business Review, when curiosity is triggered, we are less likely to fall victim to confirmation bias, which is essentially looking for data and information that backs up our beliefs rather than looking at the whole picture which includes evidence that we are wrong. Curiosity leads to alternative answers that may not be immediately available. If you look at all aspects of a situation and explore other options, you are likely to make fewer errors when making important decisions.
Your career will never grow if you continue to do what you are told and never ask questions. A company is only as good as it is challenged. Be curious, ask questions, challenge solutions. You never know what kinds of things you could accomplish just by testing the boundaries. Leaders never became leaders by staying in their comfort zones. If you continue to do the same thing, you will receive the same results. Step outside of the box and let your curiosity take over sometimes. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it will give your career new life if you let it.
Jonathan Schultz is an entrepreneur, real estate tech investor and influencer. He’s the co-founder of Onyx Equities, a leading private equity real estate firm, and has been voted one of the most powerful people in real estate. Follow Jon’s blog here.
Wealth-Building Conference Headed to Philly This Summer
Senator Sharif Street and Temple University are bringing community wealth-building to North Philadelphia with a big conference.
Co-hosted by fintech NYCE, the Senator’s office announced its inaugural WealthCon event July 23, 2022, at Temple University’s main campus.
Closing the racial wealth gap is a major challenge we face in creating a fair and inclusive society,” said Street, who represents the Third Senatorial District of Philadelphia, one of the poorest communities in America, “Investing in people is how we elevate communities with a history of divestment and educating folks on financial literacy is a critical step toward that goal.”
WealthCon is a community-first experience dedicated to providing direct access to wealth-building programs across Pennsylvania.“
We’re a big advocate of NYCE’s mission of wealth equality and are excited to help address some of the grave issues that have impacted the communities for decades,” Street said.
More than 1000 Pennsylvanians, including officials from state, local, and federal governments, will attend WealthCon, including leaders in housing, lending, education, and community development.
The conference will offer panels and keynote conversations, covering the latest opportunities in real estate investing, financial literacy (including stocks, NFTs, cryptocurrency), retirement planning, public safety, entrepreneurship, and more.
“Financial literacy is critical to long-term community building,” NYCE CEO Philip Michael said. “We’re excited to make that available to everyone.”
The evening will conclude with cocktails and networking at the invite-only VIP dinner honoring WealthCon’s Innovators of 2022.
Innovators are recognized for their commitment to closing the wealth gap in America, both within their communities and beyond. (To submit your candidate for this year’s Innovators Award, please email email@example.com.)
Tickets are free for members of the community. All ages are welcome.
Net Operating Income (NOI), Explained
Goes without saying, if you’re a new landlord, there are some metrics you just have to know. And if this is the most important metric to master, this one may be the most important, period…
(Pause for dramatic effect…)
Whether it’s vetting, buying or managing real estate, NOI—short for Net Operating Income—is arguably the most crucial metric for real estate investors.
NOI is simply your net profits from rental income, after your expenses are paid. Here’s why it matters and why it’s more important than you think.
Your bottom line
When you have a rental property, your end game is to make a profit. You get your rental income. Deduct your operating expenses like maintenance, repairs and so on. Now you have your net operating income, which is your bottom line.
Net operating income is real estate’s equivalent to corporate finance’s EBIT. Here’s how it looks:
NOI = all revenue from the property – all operating expenses
It’s a simple enough formula, but there are ways you can manage it.
In business, there are two ways to increase profits. 1) Increase revenue. 2) Decrease expenses.
Simple enough, right? With rental income, there’s only so much you can do to increase revenue. So managing your OPEX is a basic but extremely important metric to monitor — and very often the hack for value-add investors to unlock crazy profits.
Here’s the real beauty of NOI. Unlike single-family properties, the value of income-producing real estate (using the cap rate formula) is derived directly from the net income you can squeeze from it. Not supply and demand. Not the market. Not the S&P. Not bubbles. None of that.
“Net Worth Hacking”
In other words, if you manage your NOI, you can literally enhance your asset’s value. This is at the core of the value-add strategy. This New Jersey group bought a building for $57 million, hacked the NOI through upgrades and management, and BOOM! Sold it three years later for $101 M’s.
DIY: How To Improve Your Personal Finances
Even if you’re not looking for a property this exact second, you always want to be improving your position.
So, focus on the downtime to improve your finances, get your debt squared away, and put yourself in a better position when you are ready to buy!
It’s important to be sure of your financial position before you buy a property because you might find it’s harder to get that property than you would have originally thought.
Here are a few ways to quickly improve your finances to help you save more, pay down more debt, and qualify for better loans.
One of the most common reasons that people struggle financially is because they simply don’t pay attention to what is going on in their own financial life. If you are not paying attention, you can’t hope to know what is going on and therefore know how to improve matters.
So, the first item on your list is to start paying attention to your finances!
When I’m working on a project, I’m laser-focused on the budget, the details, the costs, etc. But, sometimes in my personal life, I let this slide.
The reality is, when we do have a budget and focus on sticking to it, our bank account balances grow so much faster than when we aren’t using one.
I love to eat out, and my wife loves to buy small things around the house. One day, we looked back over the previous year of spending and found we each averaged over $1,000 per month on our hobbies!
By pulling back a little in each area, we were able to save over $1,000 per month but still do the things we enjoyed.
So, start by having a budget!
Even if you are financially well off and can afford most of what you want, by budgeting for the items and spreading the costs out over several months, you’ll find that you buy less, spend less, and save more.
Also, if you budget to pay down certain debts faster, you’ll see those balances dramatically drop!
So, do not overlook the importance of a family budget.
Save On Other Purchases
There might be a number of other big purchases you need to make before you get hold of your next property, and it is a good idea to make sure that you are only spending as much on those as absolutely necessary.
For any big ticket items, we actually start searching for them months or even a year in advance. For example, let’s consider kitchen appliances.
As you know, a full set of appliances can easily cost $5,000-$10,000 if you are getting high-end products. It includes a fridge, double oven, gas cooktop, microwave/fan, and dishwasher.
The first thing we did was go to the store and decide on two or three brands, styles and product lines we wanted. It’s hard to compare prices unless you are looking at similar products between stores.
Then, for months we’ll watch these items and their prices. Occasionally there will be sales and by tracking the pricing all year, we know which sales are worth getting or not. When we feel we are getting the best price, we’ll buy.
And by doing that, we can easily save $500-$1,000 or even more.
We did something similar with our TV, computer monitors, etc. Basically, anything that is currently working that we want to upgrade. Over the course of a year, we are saving thousands of dollars.
You might also use a money saving app to help.
Saving money in all these places will make an enormous difference when it comes to saving for your next down-payment
Pay Down Debt
With all the money you are saving by budgeting and by planning out major purchases, you might want to use some of it to pay down debt.
You’ll have to decide if it’s better to pay down debt or have a larger down payment because both will hold you back on your next purchase.
But, generally, paying down $1/month in debt is worth about $3/month in income. At least, as far as loans are concerned.
If you do decide to work on paying down your debt, I fully detail a unique debt pay down method to get you into your next rental property faster.
Increase Your Income
Most people just focus on debt, but the reality is you can only cut your expenses so much.
Income, on the other hand, has unlimited potential. So, why not focus on growing your income?
Increasing your monthly income can be done in a number of passive and active ways, and it is worth looking into as many of these as you can to find the right one for you. I outline a number of ways to increase your income in this article on how to earn $10,000 per month.
While earning $10,000 per month in side-income might seem a long way off, it’s important to start! Even if you can earn an extra $500 month now, and grow it slowly over time, it’s worth it!.
Don’t Focus on Just One Thing
As I mentioned already, focusing on just budgeting, or debt paydown can be detrimental to your overall financial goals. It’s important to combine a number of different things into an overall strategy, which includes budgeting, debt paydown, and increasing your income.