Real estate is often chosen as a cure for the hated 9-5 grind. But what is the best way for you to participate in real estate and leverage it to get more of what you really want in life? Want more articles like this? Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox Sign up for free Escaping the drudgery of the 9-5 job is a hugely popular topic. We spend hours talking about it, bookstores are full of bestselling works on how to do it, the internet spouts out ideas on how to get out, and there are even multiple industries surrounding it, each with million dollar companies selling the dream of freedom. The truth is that real estate can be the best way for many individuals to kick their old 9-5 jobs to the curb. It can be the most reliable and rewarding path — IF tackled correctly. But in reality, there are many different ways to participate in real estate and its rewards. This includes everything from being a real estate agent to a mortgage lender, to fixing and flipping houses, to simply investing. What is it You REALLY Want? What most of these new ways of generating income share is the additional scheduling freedom. Yet it is important that each individual takes time to understand their options and what they really mean and offer, and then matches them with what they really want deep down. Should you kick the whole concept of a 9-5 to the curb, or do you just reinvent what you do with your time? Related: Should You Quit Your Current 9-5 to Get a Full-Time Real Estate Gig? Consider THIS First. The biggest myth that shocks the system for many who get into real estate is that it can be very time consuming. You can start out with a few hours a week if you still have a regular job. But full-time investing — flipping houses for a living, running a real estate company, having self-managed rental properties, or even being a real estate agent — is a real job. Much of that work may need to be done during business hours. And if you aren’t careful and proactive, real estate can become a 80 to 90 hour work week (speaking from experience). It may pay an awesome salary and be a ton of fun, but if real estate is all you are doing, it can be consuming. Realize What You’ll Get From Real Estate If this is the path you are going down, then recognize this in advance. Decide how many hours you will work and when. You don’t want to wake up one day realizing you’ve let the last six years slip by in a frenzied fog while juggling multiple mobile phones through your daughter’s birthday parties and son’s soccer games. A disciplined 9-5 can actually be efficient in this respect. Just consider what exactly it is you hate: the hours, the job, or the pay. Many others just want the financial results real estate can provide. They want the security and peace of mind of the passive income and solid asset. Maybe they even want the prestige of being a property owner. But they actually love their job. Maybe they aren’t handy with property maintenance or construction at all. Maybe they would be totally lost without someone else setting their schedule and giving direction. That’s OK. Related: 10 Tips For Leaving Your 9-5 and Adjusting to Life as an Entrepreneur Conclusion We are all different, and that’s what makes us awesome and better working together. Maybe you absolutely love the career you have, the corporate path you are on, your coworkers, the small business you created, etc. That’s great. Don’t give it up. If this is you, then you can find ways to invest in and profit from real estate without any major changes. You can profit from real estate in an hour or less a week with hands-free investing options, such as REITs, real estate stocks, partnerships, private lending, professionally managed rental properties, and crowdfunding. Maybe you’ll invest in them all. Just do your homework to see which really fits your individual goals and needs best. Is your ultimate plan to quit your job and invest full time — or would you rather keep real estate as a side gig to your 9-5? Why? Let’s talk in the comments section below!