You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

Here’s something to consider, it’s called William Ashby’s Law, or the Law of Requisite Variety.  There are many different formulations. One of the simplest non-technical ones is: “the variety in the control system must be equal to or larger than the variety of the perturbations in order to achieve control”.statue.jpg

I know, you’re probably saying, “Doug has really gone ‘round the bend this time. What the heck does that mean, and why should I turn my brain on for this?”

Well, the answer to that one is simple; it equates to money for the real estate investor.  Please be patient as I explain the interesting way in which Mr. Ashby is teaching us how to be better investors with larger profit margins.  His teaching will carry over automatically into other areas as well, and serve faithfully and powerfully in all those areas to your best advantage.

Requisite Variety refers to having a lot of choices you can make in any given situation.  If the only tool you have is a hammer, then everything tends to look like a nail to you.  If you have a whole lot of tools or responses or different ways to accomplish things, then you have a better chance of coming out the winner in a situation.  Let me give you an example in real estate.

If all you know how to do is a “subject to” deal on a house, then if the property doesn’t fit into the “subject to” category, then you miss out on the property.  Now if you know one other way to take the property, then you’ve got yourself two chances to get the property instead of just one.  If you knew three more ways to take the property, then your chances of prevailing begin go up astronomically.

Your time becomes more productive and you become more productive.  You will spend less time in seeking out potential properties, and make better, and more successful offers on these properties.  That’s requisite variety.

Consistent, persistent education unlocks all the requisite variety you could ever dream of.  Think of it. Where do you find out about another way to buy a house other than “subject to”?  You educate yourself.  You attend webinars. You attend good real estate investment meetings in your area. Start talking to other investors who are buying properties.  Ask questions.  Ask everybody a question.

The way to learn is by putting in the time to learn.  Put in the hours, get the results.  Reward yourself by investing in your future.  Make a plan on how much time you are going to spend learning and participating in your real estate career. And then sit down with a calendar and schedule time to read about real estate or go to real estate meetings or talk to other investors.

I personally challenge you to make a plan such that you are able to consistently and persistently apply yourself to the manifestation of your dreams.  No more excuses.  Get out there and make a go at it.  Plan your work.  Work your plan.  You have a goal or an idea of where you want to be, but you will not get there with the tool kit you have now.  You need power tools now because you’re up to bigger things.  Learning gives you access to all those tools and more.

My friend Archie Salch told me; “The gospel I preach is focus”.  And he couldn’t be more right. Apply a liberal amount of focus to your studying and learning and doing.  If you commit to spend 1 hour a day reading real estate investing articles, the time you spend “social networking” with your friends doesn’t count as time spent learning.  It’s not learning.  You’re cheating yourself if you do it that way.

When you educate yourself, you begin to know what you don’t know.  Educate yourself so that you will have more options.  More options mean you have a better chance of getting what you want.  Getting what you want is what you want, right?  Good.   Now go out there and make some offers on some houses.

Until next time, happy (and profitable) investing!

Doug Smith

P.S. Need some houses to make offers on? Get access to hundreds in your area by starting your 30-day FREE Trial at

Posted on Aug 6, 2008

Author: Doug Smith

MyHouseDeals was founded in April of 2005 and has since provided information on thousands of bargain-priced properties with over $7 Billion in equity (and growing!) In addition to property lists, we help investors succeed by providing valuable tools, resources and education. Most of the properties on MyHouseDeals are single-family houses. Many of these properties are wholesale deals, which are for sale by other investors. Others are motivated seller leads, which are for sale by homeowners who are often in a bad situation. These properties are typically discounted by far greater amounts than bank foreclosures.

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