Personal Finance

How to Think Big to Achieve Big Financial Dreams

Expertise: Personal Development, Real Estate News & Commentary, Business Management, Personal Finance, Real Estate Investing Basics
62 Articles Written

I like to think I have been pretty successful in real estate. I have 11 rentals, I’m working on 10 fix-and-flips and I employ a real estate team of 10 that helps me sell over 200 houses a year.

Want more articles like this?

Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox

Sign up for free

My blog, which discusses my real estate investing and being a real estate agent, is doing great, and I manage to do this without sacrificing time with my family. One reason I have been successful is I don’t worry about the little stuff. I let my team worry about the small things, and I focus on the big things. There are many investors who do much more business than I do and have been much more successful, and I bet they don’t worry about the little stuff either.

Related: Using Real Estate to Escape the “9 to 5? and Find True Freedom

How Can I Forget About the Little Stuff When Everything Is on Me?

Most people who are starting out in real estate (or any business) are thinking, I can’t stop worrying about the little stuff because there is no one else to worry about it!

That may be true, but it is never too early to start thinking big and start planning how you will make it big. The people who make it big do not get there on their own. They get there with help — a lot of help. So if you have no one to help you with small tasks or dealing with the small stuff, start planning what you need to do to get to a point where you can get help.

Some things to think about:

  • What things do you hate doing now that someone else could easily do?
  • How much would it cost to hire someone part-time or a virtual assistant?
  • How much time would you save to concentrate on more lucrative business if you had help?
  • How much happier would you be if you didn’t have to do the tasks you hate doing?

When You Have Help, Train Them to Do Their Job!

I am guilty of assuming my staff knows exactly what I want without telling them. When you hire someone, you have to take the time to train them. Teach them how you want things done, be very specific and do not assume they know what you want. Once you have trained a staff person to do exactly what you want and you have confirmed they do their job well, you can focus on more important things.

When I have tasks come in to complete BPOs or enter listing agreements, I forward the email on to one of my staff members, and that is it. Much of my job is forwarding emails to the right people and then confirming that things were done. That is why I have time to think about big things (and play golf).

Once You Have Staff in Place, Life Gets Fun

When you have great staff, you can go on vacation, go to work conferences, take a day off with the family and not worry about work. You also have time to plan your life. Too many people get stuck in their day-to-day ruts and never plan for their future. Everyone needs to take time to think about what they really want in life and then make plans for how they will get it.

  • How much money do you need to make to cover your expenses, investments and have extra left over for fun stuff?
  • Where and when do you want to retire, and how much money will you need?
  • What is on your bucket list, and how will you start ticking items off?
  • How much time do you need to spend with your family and for leisure activities?

Don’t Be Afraid to Think Big!

Now that you have started making a list of things you want to do and how much money you want to make, review your lists and determine if you are holding yourself back.

  • Are you reducing the amount of money you need to make for leisure activities because you don’t believe you could ever make what you really need? I thought $100,000 was a lot of money when I was in college; now $100,000 doesn’t come close to paying my staff every year. The more money I thought I could make, the more I make and the higher my new goals get. Don’t be afraid to think big.
  • Are you basing the amount of free time you want on a typical American work schedule? How much time do you need? Don’t worry about what society says you need.
  • Do you limit the things on your bucket list because you don’t believe you could ever afford them? I always wanted a Lamborghini until I was about 22. Then I started to concede that normal people could not have cars like that, and I needed to be happy with a decent commuter car. Last year I started to believe that I could own a Lamborghini; this year I bought one. Don’t limit your bucket list to what you think you can afford.

Now That You Have an Awesome List and Are Thinking Big, Take Steps to Make it Happen

A list is great, but it does no good if it makes you sick to your stomach because you think it is all impossible. The first step is to be happy when you look at your list and think how awesome it would be if you accomplished those things. Remember if you don’t accomplish them you are not a failure; in fact it is more impressive to try and not achieve your goals than to be afraid to try. Regrets do not come from trying something and not succeeding. Regrets come from not trying and never knowing if you would have succeeded or not.

Related: How to “Really” Enjoy Your Retirement – And Why Most Americans Won’t

The way to take baby steps towards your big goals is to work them backwards.

  • How much money do you need to reach your goals?
  • How much money would you need each year?
  • How much would you need each month?

Then figure out what you would need to do in your current work situation to reach those figures.

  • How many products would you have to sell?
  • How many people would you need working for you?
  • How many investments and of what kind would you need to own?

Then make a list of what you can do right now to start improving your business or work situation.

  • Can you hire someone now?
  • Can you start advertising more?
  • Are there conferences you can attend or more education you can take?
  • Is there someone doing what you want to do right now, who you can talk to, to see how they do it?

Now start doing these things immediately.

Conclusion

The trick to thinking big is to remove the limitations you and society have placed on yourself. Don’t be afraid to want to make a lot of money or to want to be a beach bum. Dream what you want to dream and then take the actions necessary to start the wheels turning in the right direction.

What financial steps are you taking to achieve your dreams?

We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Mark Ferguson has been a real estate investor and real estate agent/broker since 2002. He has flipped over 165 homes in that time, including more than 70 in the last three years. Mark owns more than 20 rental properties that include single family homes, as well as commercial properties like a 68,000-square-foot strip mall. Mark has sold more than 1,000 homes as a real estate agent and is the owner/managing broker of Blue Steel Real Estate in Greeley, Colorado. Mark started the InvestFourMore blog and website in 2013, which has hundreds of articles on real estate. Mark is constantly sharing his insights, case studies, and interesting things that happen to real estate investors on both his blog and well-known sites like Forbes.

    Brandon Turner
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Hey mark, this is probably my favorite article you’ve written in a long time. Thanks for the encouragement to get out there and think big! I really need to hire more people to do the small stuff in my business 🙂
    Mark Ferguson
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Thank you Brandon! It is not easy to do, but once younger started it is so much easier.
    Mark Ferguson
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Thank you Brandon! It is not easy to do, but once younger started it is so much easier.
    Brandon Turner
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Hey mark, this is probably my favorite article you’ve written in a long time. Thanks for the encouragement to get out there and think big! I really need to hire more people to do the small stuff in my business 🙂
    Sharon Vornholt
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Hey Mark – Great post Mark! It takes a great deal of time to hire and train people to help you. But once you do that, your life will change dramatically. I am still working on this piece but you have given me a firm goal; I will get this done before the end of the year. Thanks for the kick in the butt. Sharon
    Mark Ferguson
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Very true Sharon, but once you have a great staff it is so awesome!
    Mark Ferguson
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Very true Sharon, but once you have a great staff it is so awesome!
    Glenn Schworm
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Great article Mark, really enjoyed it. It is so true, it is also so important to hire and train the RIGHT people and realize the minute they are not the right person and move on. Having the right people will certainly change your life. When you find them, appreciate them and they will stay for many years. Thanks for taking the time to write, well done. Glenn
    Mark Ferguson
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Thanks Glenn!
    Jeff Brown
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Superb!
    Shaun
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Another great thought provoking article Mark. What I love about this is that while it gives you the high energy kick it up a gear motivational feel, you actually give concrete things to think about and action steps to take. Not just motivational fluff (which does have its place too) but real guidance on the path to get to this audacious goal we need to set.
    Shaun
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Another great thought provoking article Mark. What I love about this is that while it gives you the high energy kick it up a gear motivational feel, you actually give concrete things to think about and action steps to take. Not just motivational fluff (which does have its place too) but real guidance on the path to get to this audacious goal we need to set.
    Chad Carson
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Mark, I like the think-big idea and of course a team around you, properly trained is valuable asset. Great points. But I want to make a counter point. “When you have great staff, you can go on vacation, go to work conferences, take a day off with the family and not worry about work.” The theme I read is that a growing business with a $100,000/year staff & overhead leads to less worry. Really? Sounds pretty stressful to me. I don’t doubt that you do an incredible job of team building and training. It’s obvious. But I think for most people this kind of business is not the path to more ease, less stress, and more time for vacations. Even most well run systems and staff require your presence because those inevitable and unpredictable fires come up that require the boss. And the bigger the staff, the more fires come up. If you’re shooting for the moon to make $100 million, to do some other really big bucket-list type items, or to change the world, yeah I get it. But if you want more vacations, more days off, more time with family … it doesn’t take a bunch of money or a big machine. It just takes enough money and a lot more time and flexibility. Smaller might be better to achieve this. Smaller might mean a part-time staffer or a virtual assistant plus some automated systems. Just my take. Thanks for the great topics. Reply Report comment
    Chad Carson
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Mark, I like the think-big idea and of course a team around you, properly trained is valuable asset. Great points. But I want to make a counter point. “When you have great staff, you can go on vacation, go to work conferences, take a day off with the family and not worry about work.” The theme I read is that a growing business with a $100,000/year staff & overhead leads to less worry. Really? Sounds pretty stressful to me. I don’t doubt that you do an incredible job of team building and training. It’s obvious. But I think for most people this kind of business is not the path to more ease, less stress, and more time for vacations. Even most well run systems and staff require your presence because those inevitable and unpredictable fires come up that require the boss. And the bigger the staff, the more fires come up. If you’re shooting for the moon to make $100 million, to do some other really big bucket-list type items, or to change the world, yeah I get it. But if you want more vacations, more days off, more time with family … it doesn’t take a bunch of money or a big machine. It just takes enough money and a lot more time and flexibility. Smaller might be better to achieve this. Smaller might mean a part-time staffer or a virtual assistant plus some automated systems. Just my take. Thanks for the great topics.
    Thomas Elijah III from Charlotte, North Carolina
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    This was an insightful article Mark. I needed that incentive and butt kickin’ to get in gear. Now, let’s work backwards and get some real numbers. Thanx again!