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From Lazy to Laser-Focused: How to Find Your Real Estate Motivation

Nate Shields
3 min read
From Lazy to Laser-Focused: How to Find Your Real Estate Motivation

I’m lazy. Often unmotivated. Did I mention I lack focus, too? Oh yeah, and I’m hopelessly unorganized. And yet, I’ve had some success investing in real estate. As of this writing, my partner and I have 28 units and we’re still expanding.

So how does a lazy dude acquire 28 doors? Let’s back up for a minute and rewind the tape.

Related: Quit Your Day Job and Find Financial Freedom: Here’s How to Become a Real Estate Investor (Full-Time!)

Where I started

Back in my 20s and early 30s, I got stuck in a dead-end job that was truly a bad fit for me. And since I’m lazy I didn’t do anything about it—until I couldn’t take it anymore. They had cut my pay and my hours, and yet required more output all at the same time. I desperately needed a way out and I thought real estate was the way to do it. It was one of the few times in my life I’ve actually been right about something. 

Except that my timing was off. I thought getting into real estate as an agent would give me the flexibility, income, and lifestyle I wanted. I met with a Realtor over coffee to ask him some questions about the business. Long story short, he talked me out of it.

What? Yep, he talked me out of it, or I talked myself out of it based on what he was telling me.

So I kept grinding it out at my miserable job for two more years. I’m such an idiot.

Moving to real estate

Fast forward past the “two more years” part. I saw a post on Linkedin about getting into real estate part-time. I figured, what do I have to lose at this point? I met with the broker, got licensed, quit my job after eight months, and the rest is, well, history.

Related: 8 Reasons Smart Investors Get Their Real Estate License

After a couple of years as an agent, I got the investing bug. As luck would have it, so did my buddy. We educated ourselves, lined up financing, set up an LLC, and were off to the races.

Now, let me be honest here. I don’t think I would ever have gotten started with real estate investing if it wasn’t for partnering with the right person. So let’s get into why that was so critical. How did my laziness, lack of motivation, lack of focus, and disorganization play into our partnership? Here are four ways that I’m winning now.

Why you need a partner


Once we started our venture as 50/50 partners, there was an immediate shift to shared accountability. If it were just me, then I would have had the world’s worst boss. Instead, I’m accountable to my partner and our business. Win number one.


I have a very real financial vested interest in the business. That is a motivating factor like none other. Skin in the game, as it were. I have a shared responsibility to manage and grow those funds in our real estate investing. Win number two.


For a partnership to work, there needs to be a shared vision. My lack of focus when it’s just me can lead to the oft-talked-about shiny object syndrome. But when we share a vision for the future of our business, that is a powerful way to achieve laser-like focus. Win number three.


Businesses need systems. It’s what makes them run as efficiently as possible. Since my buddy and I are across the country from each other (and our properties as well), we need to have organized systems in place (thank you Dropbox!). Win number four.

If I can invest in real estate as a lazy, unmotivated, unfocused, and unorganized dude, then anyone can do it. Don’t let your perceived weaknesses hold you back a second longer. Real estate investing is incredibly rewarding and the world needs more good people like you to offer up their unique skills and vision. Now go get it!

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Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.