When Starting Out, You’ll Likely Be Terrible At It

I recently wrote about being a money noob. Having no background in finance, I’m having to learn a great deal about how money works, how to get it, how loans work, why a good credit score matters, and even now real estate investing. It’s like drinking from a fire hose and I find myself stumbling more often than not. But that is OK!

When Starting Out, You’ll Likely Be Terrible

I know I’m just starting out really trying to understand money. I have 30 years of bad habits and a lack of attention to my money to undo and overcome. So naturally I’ve made some mistakes now along the way like losing a few thousand in the stock market and wasting a couple thousand on a Universal Life Insurance policy. But all this is bringing me knowledge and experience.

I’ve also recently started building an Android phone application. Over the last few weeks, I’ve wanted to pull my hair out and take my phone and throw it in a lake. But it’s not my phone’s fault. It’s my fault for being delusional about what to expect when first starting out. I should know that as a new mobile phone developer, I’m going to be terrible to start with – even with having over 10 years programming and web development experience!

For instance, I’m trying to integrate with the little settings button on the Android phone – the one with three lines to show a popup that has an “About” and a “Help” option for my application. Seems pretty simple right? Not when you are just starting out trying to make it work. I feel like a blind man trying to spot for a sniper. It’s just not working.

Enjoy the Learning Process

This is where I’ve had to change my expectations and enjoy the process while not expecting immediate results. Because I’m so terrible at money, real estate, and Android phone application development, I have many opportunities to laugh at myself. As an amateur, it takes me hours upon hours to do things that probably take an expert minutes. But it’s ok.

I believe life is an opportunity for us to learn, grow, and to savor every moment. It’s difficult to do this if you are trying new things and just getting frustrated. Why not get fascinated instead, laugh at yourself and enjoy the process. One day you’ll be an expert in what you are trying to do if you stick with it. That’s how I became an expert web developer – just hours and hours writing code.

The point is, don’t avoid learning or trying something because you know you’ll be terrible at it. I’m new to real estate investing, but that isn’t stopping me from calling up agents and looking up properties. I even threw out some numbers to the agent and a potential lender (someone who would help finance the money) and called them “offers”. Little did I know that an offer is actually an approved document that is official. I was amused when the agent called me and asked where I’d gotten the offers from.

The point is, you’ll run into stuff like this all the time when starting something new. I say treat it like a child who is learning to walk. You’ll stumble, fumble, and look like an idiot. And enjoy that process. Because on the other side of all that fumbling is a new life skill. I believe this especially applies to money, technology, and entrepreneurship. There’s things in all those areas that require constant learning and refinement and it’s better to enjoy that learning than fear it.

Embrace Being a Noob

When you’re a noob (someone inexperienced at something), there is no expectation of success – you’re just learning. Consequently, I have no expectation on landing a solid piece of real estate – yet. I’m just enjoying the process and seeing what happens as I throw out numbers to agents and lenders. At some point, I may actually find a property that makes sense and go with it.

I also know that I’m a new developer for Android applications. Therefore making a button that has an “About” screen for my application might take me a week. And that’s fine. As I read and learn and create, it’s all fun. This applies to money as well. You learn one thing try it and the next day marvel that you have more money in your savings account, for example.

What are you a noob in? Do you get frustrated when trying something new, or is it a fascinating learning experience?

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3 thoughts on “When Starting Out, You’ll Likely Be Terrible At It

  1. You’re right about being terrible in the beginning. But if we can make it through the initial pain, things get so much easier and the momentum starts to build.

    This is the thesis of my latest post on FS. Don’t give up too soon. Don’t shoot yourself in the face. Keep on trying so that at least if failure comes, it was not due to a lack of effort!

    Sam

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