It’s My Birthday and I’ll Work 12 Hours if I Want to!

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In case you missed it, my birthday was this Thursday, October 2nd. While most people my age would be out shopping or celebrating with family and friends, I decided to go to the office and continue with my daily routine. (Check out this article to find out more about Engelo’s daily routine.)

The last full day off I had was on December 27th, 2013. Yes, more than 10 months ago.

Since then, the least amount of hours I worked on any give day, was 6. Regardless of the weather conditions, public holidays, minor colds, car troubles or any other excuse for me not to be able to make it in. I didn’t care, even if axes where falling from the sky, I would still somehow find a way to get to the office.

Related: A Slow, Boring, Incredibly Awesome Strategy for Building Wealth Through Passive Real Estate Investing

Some people call me crazy, while others say I’m passionate. I like responding to their judgments with these quotes: “Nothing exceeds like excess” or “To succeed, you must do common things uncommonly well.”

My question to all of you is this: Would you be willing to sacrifice a few birthdays now for a better future for you and your loved ones and for bigger-than-ever birthday celebrations in the years to come?

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You Would Work Too If This Happened to You

If you have read any of my previous blogs or listened to my featured Bigger Pockets podcast with Brandon and Josh, you will know that I need routine. I not only like structure but I really require it to keep me focused. Having a set time to start work each day and a set list of tasks each morning helps me manage my work load and grow the business.

In this way my birthday is no different.

No sleeping in. No laying off the coffee or skipping the office for a leisurely day. That’s just not me!

Of course I enjoy the well wishes and the Facebook messages, emails and phone calls. Who doesn’t? But can you believe that on this one day I had at least 10 important phone calls that could lead to the opening up of 5 new sales channels and an entirely new revenue stream for our business?

I worked my 12 hours, and potentially generated an additional $1 million in revenue for our company.

I still feel exhausted, and I know I could have stayed home, but when the purpose of what you’re doing is greater than yourself, you feel no fear, you feel no pain, you feel no hunger, just an extreme will power to succeed and withstand anything negative thrown your way.

Related: How to Never “Work” Another Day In Your Life…

I did go out to celebrate with a great sushi dinner though! 🙂

It’s All About the Numbers

It really is about working the numbers in this business — on your birthday or any other day.

It’s by doing the little things right consistently, the things that add up, that enables the big things to just fall into place by themselves. Sometimes we don’t even know how it happens — until it just explodes.

It’s like watching popcorn in the microwave. You put the bag in upside down for 2 1/2 minutes and push start. It sits and spins around and sits some more until in the last 35 seconds, the entire bag erupts into delicious, fluffy awesomeness.

And if you leave it in just 10 seconds too long, it’s wrecked and burnt. Perfect timing. Just as in life I guess. We have to just keep going until something happens and know when to hold on for the ride.

Sometimes it even happens on your birthday!

Are you a “workaholic?” How do you balance work and life? Do you work on your birthday?

Take a minute out of your busy schedule and leave a comment below!

About Author

Engelo Rumora

Engelo Rumora, a.k.a.”the Real Estate Dingo,” quit school at the age of 14 and played professional soccer at the age of 18. From there, he began to invest in real estate. He now owns real estate all over the world and has bought, renovated, and sold over 500 properties. He runs runs Ohio Cashflow, a turnkey real estate investment company in the country (Inc 5000 2017 & 2018) and is currently in the process of launching a real estate brokerage called List’n Sell Realty. He is also known for giving houses away to people in need and his crazy videos on YouTube. His mission in life is to be remembered as someone that gave it his all and gave it all away.


  1. I am a huge proponent of making yourself be successful, goals, planning etc. but, I can’t disagree with the premise behind this article more. One of the biggest life changing events I went through was personal coaching. Part of that coaching was reading the book “too perfect”. It’s all about obsessive compulsive behavior. I never in a million years thought I was obssessive; just look at my office! I found out I was extremely obsessive about work and I never stopped thinking about work.

    I learned that things go just as well, if not better when I take time off, hire other people to handle my work and I concentrate in being happy. That usually means spending time with the family. I stopped feeling stress, stop worrying if I wasn’t working and became even more successful.

    I commend you for working so hard as most people won’t ever come close. But I also think we need time off. Sometimes my best ideas and thoughts come when I am not working or even thinking about work.

    • Engelo Rumora

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks for your comment.

      I am very fortunate to have a family that supports my work ethic and believes in the same vision as I do.

      I have also decided to make a personal sacrifice over the next 2-3 years for the benefit of others.

      Working 100+ hrs per week does not mean that I or my family are not happy. With any new business the start up stage (first 2-3 years) is the most busiest. Once all ducks are in row and the business has been automated with loyal, honest and not greedy people.

      Then it could be sufficient enough to pull back and watch your creation grow while guiding the people running it.

      Hard work and long hrs will make the difference of doing 10 deals or 100 deals per year.

      Building a $1million company or a $100million company.

      I already have set plans in place, where when a certain figure is reached I will shift focus from financial targets to how many people I can assist that are in need.

      If all goes the intended way, its well worth the 2-3 year sacrifice.

      Once all is said and done I want leave a legacy behind.

      Thanks for reading and have a great day.

      • I think your work ethic is great and new businesses have to have a lot of time put in to begin with. But I don’t think you can spend all you time in the business. I think taking some time off will make you more successful.

        When I go to a conference, go on vacation or even on the weekend whe. I don’t work I get my next ideas. If you are constantly immersed in the business you may be missing the big picture. Taking a break gives you time to let your subconscious do some work for you. It will take in everything and help us, but if you never quiet down your thoughts and work mentality you will never give your subconscious a chance to help you out.

        If you can take one day off a week and not think about work, you may see new and better ways to do things that will make you more successful.

        • Engelo Rumora

          Hi Mark,

          Thanks for your comment.

          I agree with your theory about the subconscious mind “moments of magic” when its not entirely immersed in the day to day repetitive tasks.

          It is free to think with even the smallest things prompting an out of the blue thought or idea.

          I have found that while reading books on business and finance I would get moments of inspiration or ideas and would quickly have to write them down 🙂

          Your comments are appreciated and have been taken on board.

          Thanks and have a great weekend.

  2. I could have a 60+ hour a week corporate job if I wanted one. I have all the qualifications. Real estate allows me to be at home when my kids get home from school, attend and coach some of their sports, and work as hard as I want to on my own terms…. and I do. Don’t get me wrong, I love real estate, but my day to day work in this field will be over someday (except maybe for cashing rent checks). Hopefully family will endure a bit longer.

    I hope you can balance work and family in the future. Yes, for many of us it takes the perspective that time provides. Things may change for you in your 40’s.

    • Engelo Rumora

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for your comment and well done on achieving freedom from Real Estate.

      This is also the end goal for me but not for the next 2-3 years.

      I am surrounded by many people that also believe in the freedom that you have.

      As I mentioned to Mark in the above comment, I have decided to sacrifice my “free” time over the next 2-3 years with the intentions of providing freedom for my loved ones and others that have jumped on board for my vision.

      Thanks and have a great day.

      ps. When I am in my 40s I want to be rubbing shoulders with Elon Musk haha

  3. I am often ask by new investors and real estate agents “What should I do to become successful in Real Estate?”

    My answer is “Something and be committed”.
    Do something everyday to push your career to the next level, keep the momentum, and have enough commitment to do it every day.

    I took a vacation over the 4th of July and loved every minute of it. I was up before everyone, getting in some work, and was up after everyone had crashed for the night. Not because I had to but because I am committed to progress. I could not just do nothing because it would have been hard to get back the momentum.

    • Engelo Rumora

      Hi Josh,

      Thanks for your comment.

      WOW, this blog is getting quite a bit of heat.

      100% agreed with your comment.

      I remember Donald Trump mentioning this when I attended a Nationals Achievers Congress in 2012 that I attended. He said “When you loose momentum, you might as well quit as your good as dead”.

      The only place that I can actually let go and not think about the homeless man at the traffic light that I just gave $2 while driving around looking at deals is the Bahamas 🙂

      That place makes me just completely let go and relax.

      Otherwise, I am always in laser vision mode thinking about everything and everyone and how to assist them.

      My family and close circle of friends and business associates are #1 priority.

      Once I know they are all good and set up, I can then live in peace.

      Thanks and keep the dream alive.

  4. I still have a day job that I work at least 50 hours a week. I also put a ton of time into my rental business. I juat turned 29 in August and since I was aorking 12 hour nights the weekend of my birthday we waited until monday to have my birthday supper. Work put me on long hours that night as well so I just got less sleep. It is not uncommon for me to work 30-35 (at least be awake and working on something) hours straight between my two jobs especially going on or coming off my night shift. I enjoy the work on my rental business so it is not an issue. I enjoy the pay from my day job but that is wearing on me.. my wife is primarily a stay at home mom for our 3 year old boy. We make the best of the time when I am available but I can’t wait to go full time treal estate…

    • Engelo Rumora

      Hi Kyle,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Your work ethic is amazing and I commend you for it.

      People in similar situations like yours are within my close circle of family, friends and business associates.

      This is why I do what I do everyday. And when you combine 2,3,4 people with the same vision and work ethic. You can really see a shift to the next level.

      I have some great people around me and its a pleasure knowing and working with them.

      Below are some powerful words:

      Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:

      If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.

      Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?

      Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.

      A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

      Thanks and keep the dream alive 🙂

  5. Dawn Anastasi on

    Happy birthday!

    I also worked 7 days a week for almost 3 years straight because I was working toward something that I considered important. It did mean I lost out time to spend with friends and family. Now I have more time to spend with friends and family, but no longer have the opportunity to spend time with 2 of the family members.

    So to me, it’s a mixed bag — yes, I like the idea of compressing my time into a smaller chunk of very focused time, but then again, I can’t get that time back.

    • Engelo Rumora

      Hi Dawn,

      Thanks for your comment.

      You know what, I was actually thinking today. All of us Real Estate entrepreneurs are working so hard to make a living and there are kids out there pushing a few buttons and selling their tech companies for hundreds of millions.

      Maybe a small in house shark tank strategy is needed to get on board of this tech buzz lol

      Invest $25,000 into 3-4 start ups and get a percentage of their company. I have actually been playing with this idea for a while now. One problem tho, I don’t know anything about tech hehe

      Thanks and have a great day.

      • “Kids pushing a few buttons” – Haven’t been around tech much, have you! That’s like people thinking landlords always make tons of money for doing nothing!
        The techies I knew who “sold for millions” had been at it since they were 14, and typically worked 10am-midnight (or 2am). Others I’ve known worked 100+ hr weeks for years then their start-up went bankrupt, maybe because someone else came out with a similar program sooner, or happened to have better timing, better connections, was better financed for an IPO, etc. They got to start all over again.

        • Engelo Rumora

          Hi Djo,

          Thanks for your comment.

          Well as I mentioned in my comment above that I don’t know much about tech. I also meant no disrespect with my comment to anyone in the tech field. I am sure they work as hard or even harder than myself or Dawn for instance.

          I guess my point was that if Dawn or myself wanted to sell our Real Estate business after 3-5 years of running them, it would be very hard to push the price anywhere near what someone selling a tech company could get. Even if we had them entirely automated and very profitable.

          Tech companies are much more valuable than a Real Estate company and the multipliers received are also much bigger.

          Thanks and have a great day.

    • Engelo Rumora

      Hi Siva,

      Thanks for your comment and I am glad you liked the podcast.

      As Zig Ziglar said “Motivation doesn’t last, neither does a bathing. That’s why its recommended daily”

      Keep getting inspired everyday and keep the dream alive 🙂

  6. The thing about momentum that you mentioned must be true because I have heard that from other highly successful people. It takes all types and there are 7 day a week people that do fine. They say if you love what you do you will work a lot of hours which is required anyway. It is also said you have to pay a price for success. Sometimes that is at the expense of other important events. You are fortunate to have a great support system. Keep up the good work.

    • Engelo Rumora

      Hi Jeff,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Having momentum on your side is like whatever you touch, turns to gold. Its a very powerful feeling and I am a firm believer of riding the wave for as long as possible.

      The same goes for not having momentum on your side. Where everything you turns to s… and you just keep sinking further and further with very action. This is where you just have to keep your ahead above for the sand for as long as possible until a breakthrough happens and you jump out of the slump.

      I have experienced both of these, in sport through soccer and also business over the last 4 years.

      Thanks and have a great day.

    • Engelo Rumora

      Hi Brandon,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Yep, that’s a goodie.

      I remember Elon Musk also saying that if the average person works 40hrs per week, you need to commit to 80hrs in order to stand out and make a difference.

      Have a great day.

  7. Hi Brandon:

    I will not give an opinion about your work hours. That is personal choice. I will say that billionaire J. Paul Getty worked 15 hour days much of his career and stated it cost him 5 marriages. However, that was a choice he made and he did good in the world with his considerable wealth.

    The reason i am writing is to commend you on your work being about something bigger than just you. So many entrepreneurs don’t get this this extremely important principle.. For many it is all about what they can get. The greatest businessmen tend to see
    providing their products and services as serving humanity. The Chinese have a saying, “To Rule is to Serve”. The greater your vision of service the more spiritual power you have empowering your dream!!! Wishing you great success in your endeavors.

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