The Marathon of Real Estate Investing: Why Sweat, Time, and Mentality Matter

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It was the pounding of drums and a faint sketch of a melody that coupled my alarm to wake me up early on a Sunday morning.

I couldn’t imagine who would be playing their music so loudly as to rattle my traditionally silent neighborhood this way, until I realized the PF Changs annual Rock N Roll Marathon was in progress.

Not only did it not bother me to hear the music so early, as an on and off again runner, I silently congratulated all the sweaty souls who had conjugated while the rest of us were just waking.

In many ways, what we do as real estate investors is much like a marathon, (whereas some might make you believe it’s a sprint!)

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    Just Do It

    Getting out there, even when you’re sore, it’s cold out, or you’re busy (Running wise, this is one I’m struggling with lately, so if any of you runners out there want to give me a hard time, I could use some marine-style motivation!) Liken this to, when it gets uncomfortable, when you get busy with other parts of your business, or when the last deal didn’t make you as much as you thought it would….tie your shoes and just get out the door. There’s been nights where I can barely make it 2 miles without walking, and others where I didn’t realize how much energy I had until I hit my stride and continued to push through mile 6, 7, and 8. The point is, nothing gets you muscle memory and discipline like getting out there consistently. Don’t over think it, just push through it and get out there; that’s the most important thing. I’ve found the more I do this in life and running, the easier it gets as you learn to work through the mental push backs.

  2. See What Others are Doing to Avoid Injury.

    Just with the amount of risk and diligence it takes in your business to become wealthy, it takes wear and tear and mileage on your body to be a runner. I read about the craze of flat shoe running (you know, the one where it seems like your running on a small flab of rubber wrapped around your foot and individual toes?) and decided it wasn’t for me. But, with consistent agitation in my joints, I researched and learned to run front foot forward and use different motions as the driving force, rather than digging my heels into the ground, to avoid long-term injuries. In your real estate business, learn from those who have gone before you and read, learn, and ask what they do and have done to protect themselves in the long haul. This could be consistent marketing, not over-leveraging their credit, putting all their rentals in trusts, etc. But, the “marathoners” of real estate investing are certainly doing something different. The sooner you can pick up on their nuances, the more you can avoid doing things in your business that can come back to haunt you in the end, not to mention make you a top level performer.

  3. Surround Yourself with Winners.

    Any professional athlete is encircled by a team, picked for excellence in their respective field, to adjoin with the star performer. Much like a sponsored runner will have an athletic trainer, masseuse, coach, and dietician on their squad, a professional real estate investor will have a CPA, Loan Officer, Private money lenders, contractors, vendors, management company, etc on their side. If you’re just starting out, you’ll be the one handling all the responsibilities of your business. But, as you start to close deals and gain more notoriety, cultivate the crème de la crème to accompany your efforts so you can focus towards the money-making activities. Just as crucial: only hang out with and hire people that are focused like you, and will be encouraging, positive, and supportive.

    Just like I was excited for the marathoners competing in the PF Changs race, I wish you the same congratulations. For, if you’ve been putting in the hours, working smart, and cultivating your team, the sound of your success is music to my ears. I’ll see you on the streets!

    Did you used to be an athlete or or in the military? Do you find that it helped build discipline for your real estate career? What efforts or cautionary practices do you use to protect the longevity of your investing business?

About Author

Tracy Royce

Tracy (G+) is an Arizona Short Sale Realtor, Investor, Rehabber, and Foreclosure Expert. She also is an avid blogger, vlogger and consultant on all things Arizona Foreclosures.


  1. Great analogy Tracy; comparing running to investing. They share so many attributes. One that really sticks out for me is to keep going when things get tough; when you think you just can’t take one more step. So many people throw in the towel before they can truthfully say they have given all they have to give. Love the post.


  2. Tracy, the analogy is a good one. And although I hate running, I love making money. Neither is easy! I especially love #3 and it is soooooo true. Create your own mastermind and surround yourself with winners. As soon as I realized this, slowly detached myself from the people who brought me down and boom – my business took off. Well done post! Mike

  3. Hi Tracy, I enjoyed the post, thanx. It adds a dollop of energy and focus to my afternoon. Great combination to re-energize the day. A corollary I might add to your analogy… when I was serious about running, hitting the gym, or even in business I apparently (probably subconsiously-I’m just not that astute) made it one of my daily priorities–it was not just an item on my to do list. I made time for it. I would skip other things that might be urgent as opposed to important (a huge difference) and always made time to run. It was a priority not an add on item. I often skipped lunch (I was never hungry after running anyway) postponed a meeting or combined the two. I found that it almost always worked out and that the things I skipped maybe were just not as important to me as I thought they were. I guess if I am serious about real estate, running or anything else, I will find time to do it. If not, I would be better served to re-evaluate my goals and shove that item back into the “dream column”. See, now you have me going. Gotta get back to finalizing that deal. Tenacious is my new word for today

  4. Hi Terry,

    Thanks for your addition. I like your re-invented focus towards important, not urgent. I still work on this as social media, etc can get so distracting and the pile of “to do’s” can pull you in 9 different directions.

    When you have a clear vision of what needs to happen, it truly helps decision making much easier. In my mind, like you, I just make it as if there is no other option. It (whatever “it” is), has to be done, it’s scheduled, and other things will just have to wait.

    Now go get em Tenacious Terry!

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