Successful Investing while Holding a Full Time Job – Key #6: Delayed Gratification

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As we wrap up our 6 part series on successful real estate investing while working full time I want to first review the previous keys to successful real estate investing while working full time.

Our initial key required securing full support from your significant other. We followed up this key with the idea of investing time in during the required homework to learn your market as key #2.  With this base information on your market we asked you to establish a buying criteria to run your business as key #3.  After gathering base metrics and information on your market we asked you to review your business and understand what is “Core” to your business and what is “Context” with the key #4 being outsourcing non core activities.   Key #5 revolved around leveraging time, dollars and equity to insure maximum return on constrained or managed resources.

The sixth and final key to successful real estate investing is all about not stopping the momentum you work so hard to build.

The sixth key can go by lots of names like:

“Delayed Gratification”

“Don’t Buy Toys”
Put simply I think of it as:

“Don’t Spend Real Estate Cash or Equity on anything but more Real Estate”.

If you are running your business based on these six keys you will likely have some positive success and start to see the trickle of positive cash flow or equity gains depending on your chosen model.

If you are three or five years into a ten year plan and you decide you need a new car or an expensive trip based on your Real Estate success you are wasting precious assets and making a big mistake.

A mentor of mine Rich Weese (Author of Janitor to Millionaire – Great Book!!!)  likes to talk about a penny doubling every day for 30 Days.  Do the math it is pretty impressive (.01, .02, .04, .08 etc – It gets to over 10M by Day 30 – Crazy and so Cool).

If you spend money during year five of a ten year plan it would be like stopping the doubling at day 20 and starting over (not a good idea).  I would say stopping at day 20 and going back to zero is a huge mistake so don’t do it.

If you do the first 5 keys correctly but screw up key #6 you will at best be stuck in neutral as you continue to stop the compounding of your assets. Watching your assets compound can be a lot of fun!!!

If you need to spend some money on toys or extras then only use your W2 income from your full time job.  In our model you work full time so use those funds to support the extras.  But don’t go overboard as you want to maximize dollars invested in Real Estate.

Delayed gratification isn’t fun and it won’t allow you to keep up with the “Jones Next Door or Down the Street“.

But what do you want: another toy or better quality life for your family as you execute your plan.

Generational wealth can be accumulated by slow and steady progress towards your long term goals.

With that we will close our 6 part series on what it takes to be a successful real estate investor while working full time.

Quick Wrap up

Key #1 Get Significant Other Buy In
Key #2 Do your Homework
Key #3 Set Buying Criteria
Key #4 Focus on Core and Outsource Context
Key #5 Leveraging Time, Dollars and Equity
Key #6 Delayed Gratification

Good Investing

Photo: Jay Tamboli

About Author

Michael Zuber is an active buy-and-hold real estate investor who still has a full-time job. Michael is not an agent or broker, and simply uses the internet and agent relationships to drive his business. He currently averages at least one deal a month and has developed laser focus on his 5 step process.


  1. The compounding effect, and its impact on the delayed gratification concept, is a deceptive law. You may not consider it to be that big of a deal to take a little of the “house money” out of the pot and spend it. But as you say, it’s impact on your long term goals is dramatic.

    My wife and I will always discuss the impact on the future value of our savings of any potential major expenditure before making the purchase decision.

    Thanks for the series Michael, great reads!


  2. Jeff Brown

    Your advice in this last of your excellent series will ‘rescue’ many plans from underperforming, or failing altogether. Dad strongly emphasized the same thing as I entered the business. The result was that I didn’t buy MY dream toy (car) ’til I was over 50. Owned it for five years. Was totally worth it, as the car was awesome on wheels. Was also well worth waiting ’til it wouldn’t sabotage my plan.

    Superb series, Michael.

    • Arthur

      You are very welcome it was a lot of fun. As for the car that was just a years worth of tuition payments …. Kids are expensive!!!

      Good Investing

  3. -Mike
    I am enjoying your posts and learning more about real estate investing from good people. This post reminds me of what my Dad always tells me. “Do the things today that most people won’t, and tomorrow you can do and have the things that most people can’t.” Thanks for giving back.


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