Personal Development

Balancing Your Business ‘Why’ With Your Personal ‘Now’

Expertise: Personal Development, Real Estate Investing Basics
22 Articles Written
Mother Carrying Son And Daughter As They Play In Park

We’ve heard that it all starts with “why.” We need to know what we are both working for and working toward in order to be most productive.

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My “Why”

Even as I sit here at my desk in a tiny closet in military housing, listening to my girls giggling their little heads off, all I want to do is get out of this hole and go hang out with them. But right above my computer screen sits my “why,” and I am grounded. I know what I am working toward. I know why I am spending time in here while they are out there, living their best lives. It’s for them, their future.

But it’s also for me, right now.

Working on my real estate portfolio, and building my legacy, drives me every day.

We will all move on from this life someday. I am faced with a potentially fatal heart condition that could make today that day. And that is terrifying. Debilitating, even. Sometimes all I want to do is bury myself in my bed and cry.

But it is also liberating, and incredibly motivating.

I sleep better at night knowing that I am working on something I can physically hand down to my girls. This big goal is what keeps me moving forward. I know that when I am gone, I will have taught them the value of hard work and the ability to commit to something and see it through. And as a bonus, I get to hand them a tangible and valuable asset: my portfolio.

What I do every day centers around my “why,” and I am grounded in the future that I am working toward.

Finding Your “Why”

Your “why” is basically your overarching purpose, your belief that motivates and pushes you every day. This is what drives you!

We are constantly told to make this big and commit to it. The bigger the better, right? The higher we reach now, the more we will achieve. It makes sense—until it doesn’t.

When this completely overtakes you, it is almost impossible to be in the present and enjoy the journey. This can be a huge problem, and potentially make you want to quit.

Related: The 7-Step Morning Routine That Transforms My Entire Day

Remembering the Now

Adorable little girls playing with a sprinkler in a backyard on sunny summer day. Cute children having fun with water outdoors. Funny summer games for kids.

Your “why” tends to be very future-oriented, and sometimes you can totally miss the present. The present can become nothing more than collateral.

But you do not need to sacrifice the now for your future. What you do need is discipline, and you need consistency. But you also need to give yourself some room to do and live out the things that you are hoping for in the future.

If you give yourself some spending money to buy the nice things that you want in your future, or to travel, or to just enjoy some of the luxuries that you see yourself enjoying down the road, you can have a real reminder of what you are working toward. And this can drive you further, faster, and harder.

This very true and tangible thing can become a huge motivator and can allow you to truly live here right now while driving you to reach your future.

Related: How to Get Stuff Done While Working at Home in Your Underwear

So, right now, when you are stuck at home, and motivation is tough to harness, cut yourself a little slack. Give yourself a chance to truly take in what you are working for. Allow this to recharge you and keep you moving forward.

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How did you find your “why?”

Share your story in the comments.

Erin Helle is an Army veteran turned entrepreneur specializing in flipping houses, turnkey renovation products, and real estate investor coaching...
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    Andrew Tyree Rental Property Investor from Highland Park, CA
    Replied 7 months ago
    Thanks for this! My “why” is my daughter who will be born later this year. Pandemic or not, she’s coming and I’m using this time to make some progress or getting some more income properties to help her future. Thanks for the reminder!
    Erin Helle Investor from Monterey, CA
    Replied 7 months ago
    Love this, Andrew! Thanks for sharing!
    Kim Martin Rental Property Investor from Wenatchee, WA
    Replied 7 months ago
    Erin - I LOVED this article. Working hard on my real estate business has allowed me to retire early, help my daughter pay for college, and be there for my aging parents. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story.
    Erin Helle Investor from Monterey, CA
    Replied 7 months ago
    Thanks, Kim! That means a lot! Good for you- keep crushing it!
    Greg Houts Flipper/Rehabber from Bermuda / Atlanta GA / Greenville SC
    Replied 7 months ago
    Hey Erin, thanks for posting this (and being willing to personally open up to such a large community). You're not alone. I have been personally "struggling" with finding the right balance between pushing my vision for a better future forward, while also not becoming so consumed in the future that I forget to live in the present. Every day is precious, and I believe that each day is a new gift from God. Pushing forward with my "Why" and vision is motivating. But as you alluded, it is also a lot of work! Anyone hoping to become successful at real estate investing, or anything for that matter, without rolling up their sleeves, committing to it and sticking with it when the going gets rough is never going to succeed. That can be hard and wear us down along the way. I love what you shared about how spending time with family and friends (and enjoying life's simple pleasures along the way) rekindles your motivation and re-energizes your desire to progress towards a better life and vision for ourselves and our loved ones.
    Erin Helle Investor from Monterey, CA
    Replied 7 months ago
    Hey, Greg! This is awesome! And very well put! I agree, it’s all about mindset and gratitude, and both of these take very deliberate and continuous effort!
    Alex Jones Rental Property Investor from Rochester, NY
    Replied 7 months ago
    Hi Erin, thanks you for sharing your heartfelt story about your “WHY” and by adding “NOW”. I think both balances is very important to live in the moment while working to build for the future example a legacy and leave generational wealth for your family. I started my business with idea of providing financial support for my daughter college and achieve financially secured future for me and my daughter in event I lost a job or health crisis happen. That is what drive me with the right mindset. Over time my “WHY” change and expands to include my wife, purpose greater than me as I’m working to scale my real estate business to other level. I also like the idea of “infinite game” where you build for the long term and beyond our lives on the earth. Great article Erin
    Erin Helle Investor from Monterey, CA
    Replied 7 months ago
    Yes! All so true and I love your why! It’s so important to constantly refine this if for nothing more than your own understanding. I grew up in buffalo, btw...so cool to connect with a western New Yorker!
    Sebastian Ekstam
    Replied 7 months ago
    Love it! I have been strugglinh with this exact topic since my why and goald are so strong the present easily gets sacrificed!
    Erin Helle Investor from Monterey, CA
    Replied 7 months ago
    Well now that you know this, make an effort to try to be in the present and enjoy every day. I'm right there with you, but we can do it! :)
    Elena Shrode Rental Property Investor from Santa Clarita, CA
    Replied 7 months ago
    So true! It's important to enjoy the journey while getting to your destination! Thanks for sharing your story.
    Erin Helle Investor from Monterey, CA
    Replied 7 months ago
    Thanks, Elena! I always look forward to your comments! :)
    Wenda Kennedy JD from Nikiski, Alaska
    Replied 7 months ago
    I spent my whole adult life on this quest -- similar to yours. This path has had a lot of bumps and it has taken me on a lot of unexpected detours. Overall, the journey has taken a lot longer than I expected -- BUT, it can be done. And you're right. My "why" was the guiding light in whole thing that kept me going. When I was young, everyone around me told me that I needed to get a life -- all I did was work and go to school. When I was older and started to show some successes, they told me that I was just lucky. When the economy and the real estate market fell apart, they told me that I should quit and get a real job. Now, that I'm older, those people who knew so much, seldom talk to me anymore -- unless they want to ask if they can borrow some money, or they want a favor. That's OK and I usually retort with a gentle no. There's only guy in the world I really want to impress -- my husband. He's my "why". You see, we did all that work for love and for each other. Sappy, uh? But true.
    Erin Helle Investor from Monterey, CA
    Replied 7 months ago
    I LOVE this and can relate in a lot of ways! Good for you for realizing this and being able to say no. Keep it up, Wanda!