I figured I would share a personal victory here. @Bryan Hancock and myself have been ramping up our project volume over the last four years and this is turning out to be a banner year. So much so that I was able to quit my full time job as a Development Manager at Microsoft to take on real estate investing and development as a full time passion. My last day was in April, and I can't imagine going back. The business would suffer too much.
I started investing about 5 years ago, starting with fix and flips. My very first flip made $700 and took me 6 months. But the lessons learned were priceless. The next flip I did made $7,000. One power of ten is pretty good for deal #2. Then I started building. Deal #3 made about $30,000 and took 9 months.
Today Inner 10 Capital has 43 active projects with a full pipeline and I'm doing it full time. It's actually more work than my day job was, but it doesn't feel like it. It's fun, more lucrative than my day job, and scalable which is the most important part.
Five years isn't that long anymore, but it's long enough to have a complete transformation. Thanks to everyone who's been a partner, mentor, and cheer leader.
Congratulations on your success and being able to leave your job.
I wish you continued success.
Congrats on leaving Microsoft! (I hate Bill Gates.....)
CONGRATS! Hopefully BiggerPockets was able to play somewhat of a role in your success!
That's great we all wis you much success.
Just curious if you started with a coaching program or learned from the school of hard knocks? Congrats on the success!
@John Blackman that's a pretty impressive story! Congratulations!
Congratulations! Our local REIA just had 4 members speak on this topic last month. What they learned and what to overcome. What they had financially saved for monthly bills so they had time to make it work and not lose a thing. This to is one of goals!
I actually started by going to a local Meet-up. There a group was using the Robert Kiyosaki Cash Flow game to get people interested in deals and were selling Nouveau Riche education. I bought some of the classes and went to a few more meetups where I met @Bryan Hancock
Bryan was doing a coaching program at the time which I signed up for. He was my mentor for a year and we did a handful of deals together that he coached me through. They didn't make a ton of money but they taught me many valuable lessons, too many to list in one post.
The NR education that I purchased was a lot of fun. You went to a week long set of courses in a nice hotel in Phoenix to learn every strategy under the sun and which one suits you and the assets you have to bring to the table. I still have the stack of workbooks from that school. The education was all relevant, but they did not teach new construction which is strangely enough what I got into once I got back from that education. I meet someone who was also from Austin at that same event who was building new homes in east Austin. So I partnered with him and took out a hard money loan from another contact I had met at those meet-ups. That was my first new construction build. I was a stress monkey and in retrospect annoyed the hell out of the promoter that exposed me to that deal.
It was also a terrific learning experience, and we built a really cool 3/2 that is now about 5 years old.
Bryan and I partnered with my hard money lender on two more houses after that. We used all cash because even small banks weren't lending. Those taught us all even more lessons, but we made a nice profit on both of them.
Since then Bryan and I have been partners in new construction deals in the Inner 10 zip codes of Austin, hence our company name. The following year we started four new projects, then 10 more, and now we're up to 21 projects, many of which are duplexes that we'll condo out yielding 42 end sales.
I was able to quit my day job this year because our pipeline is large enough now and we're starting to see some of those 10 project exit with many more close to exiting. Since the pipeline is expanding, I'm confident we'll be able to keep up our pace and income.
Crowdfunding is also expanding our capabilities significantly since it reduces our reliance on banks.
Believe it or not John did start out in a coaching program. John was my BEST student when I ran a program for about two years to teach others how to invest. He was the ONLY one of the tens of students we had that took things seriously, got off his a$$, and made it happen. Fast forward several years and he is now doing over 40 projects with me. We have several other BP site members that are following a similar path although I don't coach any more. I meet with them every Wednesday and they're on their way to a similar amount of success. @Lamar Cannon is one of them. Uriel Castro, Sandra DeLeon, Eric Snethkamp, and a handful of others will hopefully be sitting in a similar position in 3-5 years.
Coaching does work if you find the right people to help out and figure out a way to provide value for them. This is contrary to what is preached on BP all-too-often.
@Joshua Dorkin we have literally raised millions of dollars from BiggerPockets. In our last crowdfunded raise alone we probably raised $100k or so from BP. That doesn't count the numerous other resources that have come from this site, many of which have been very helpful in our growth of late. My goal is to help 10 people become millionaires in the next 5 years. We have set up the Wealth Investment Network (WIN) and several other channels to hopefully make this happen either passively or through active development participation. One thing I can promise you is that John won't be the last person that has a huge success as a result of hard work, dedication, and drive. John has committed to making at least 10 posts on BiggerPockets each day until he catches me in post totals. Let's help to hold him accountable for this goal ;-)
Well now that you've called me out, I've really got to throw down.
Wow that's a great success story. Thanks for answering the question & giving us the roadmap. So it sounds like you would recommend a coaching or mentoring approach for getting into it?
If you can find the right coach, yes. Make sure they have a track record and the relationship is mutually beneficial.
@John Blackman Congratulations on all your success!! Do something you love, and you'll never have to work another day of your life. Great to hear you're having fun now. Keep it up!
@John Blackman congrats again. I was there to see you quit your day job and it was awesome, but it's good to read the detailed story of how you got there.
I'm glad to be working with / learning from you and @Bryan Hancock In our short time working together, the info I've learned has been invaluable. I have no doubt I will have a similar story soon. Thanks for the willingness to share your knowledge guys!
Congratulations on your success and I am glad you have spoon up about your mentor experience. I recently started investing in Non Performing notes and have had a great experience with my mentor. It is an expensive program but so far it is paying for itself. I understand why people are leery of high priced gurus (HPG's) but not all of them are bad, just be very careful and do your DD to make sure you are dealing with a reputable company.
This is an awesome post. Having worked at MSFT myself I know how good of a gig that is so it's inspiring for you to give that up to do what you really want to do.
Awesome John, keep up the good work. Your success motives and encourages me to continue.
You have achieved something that many of us are striving for. I was just talking about this very thing yesterday to my fiance. I am beginning to live by something you have already putting into play which is to be consistent and take massive action!
@John Blackman Congratulations on your achievement. QQ - when did you realize your job was starting to interfere with your biz and how long before you decided to quit?
@John Blackman Congrats
Congrats John! It is always great to hear of success. Please let us know of your journey along the way, in your posts. I'm sure you have some interesting topics for all of us, needing and wanting to learn from.
@John Blackman This is a great achievement! I'm still learning from BP and hope that within the next six months or so, I'll have my plan written and will be ready to move into a specialization that I can move into.
I know my ultimate goal is to retire in 15 years. That puts me over 59 1/2 so I can start taking from IRAs if needed. But I haven't decided on the best way to achieve that is.
I'll probably start with a buy-and-hold strategy at first and move into rehab and sell after that for more active income. Turn some of that into additional buy-and-hold.
From what I can tell, property management companies that are any good could really make a nice living if they existed, but they are hard to find. So if I can do it well, I'll probably make that my third area to explore. But I plan on finding a strategy that works and trying to master it and the processes first. Then four-hour work week it and let others run it for me as I move onto the next area.
If I'm able to leave the 9-5 in the next five years, so be it. But I like my current job and think I can leverage some of my salary to help me leverage into deals.
Congrats to you on being able to achieve so much in so little time! Best of continued luck to you.
@John Blackman That's very impressive! I myself have been in this business for a LONG time, but have learned so much from @Bryan Hancock . We lived in an area where we knew everyone, and were one of the main developers in town. Once the market crashed, we decided to take advantage of the times, and relocate. Starting business up in a new area, I wanted to find out new ways of doing things, as we were out of our comfort zone. That's how I found BP. Realizing Bryan has been blazing the trails on crowdfunding, etc., and has knowledge on JV's so I've been picking his brain apart, but he's full of information, and so generous with his time (Thank you!)
I know there are people on BP every day wanting to know about the development business, etc. Maybe you can tell everyone what the structure of your business is, how many of you are there, who does what, etc., are you contractors, brokers, do you sub out most stuff, etc.? As you are scaling up, what are your plans?
@John Blackman Congratulations John! Thank you for sharing your story! I am hoping to make it out and leave my day job to full-time investing in a couple of years. Thanks for the inspiration!
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