As an aspiring real estate investor, there are a ton of things that compete for our attention, our time and our effort.
So many of us can get lured in by the dream that we end up distracted, spread thin or worse, burned out.
Today I’m speaking primarily to those just like me, who are starting out and are either in the rabid “saving phase” for their first rental property, working under a mentor in a wholesale or fix and flip business, or who is in some capacity in the beginning phase of their personal pursuit of real estate investing.
Though this is the case, a lot of you more experienced investors will benefit from this as well, as the following questions will help uncover things we all need to reflect on.
There is a right way and a wrong way to go about this real estate thang, and the needed clarity to move forward starts with asking yourself the right questions.
How I Bought, Rehabbed, Rented, Refinanced, and Repeated for 14 Rental Properties
This is the dream right? Going from zero to 10+ rental properties, providing stable cash flow and long-term wealth for you and your family, and building a scalable business model to boot! Learn how this investor did just that, in this exclusive story featured on BiggerPockets!
The 4 Questions Every Investor Needs to Ask Themselves
The following are pretty intense, soul-searching questions that you need to ask yourself, but that can be extremely difficult to answer.
It can be hard to answer them because, honestly, they will most likely mean change and might even go so far as to reveal how much time you’ve wasted.
A wise preacher once said,
“The truth will set you free, but it will first make you mad!” – Rev. Curry Blake JGLM
and it is so true today!
Don’t allow the fear of being wrong or needing to change get in the way of your success and growth… With that, let’s jump into it!
1. What is the Real Reason Behind Why I Want to Invest in Real Estate?
What motivates you?
It is really important to have very clear motivation. Money and “I just want to be rich,” usually don’t cut it either. Speaking from my experience and to give an example of my “why”, I invest in real estate primarily because of two things.
1. I want to get to a point where I don’t have to worry about money so that I can focus the majority of my time on helping people. I used to be really active in Christian ministry, even leading a homeless shelter for a couple of months back when I was 19.
There is nothing that makes me feel more alive than serving people and impacting the lives around me, and I want to be in a position where I can do that on a full time basis without having to worry about taking care of my family’s financial needs.
Real estate can provide that for me, and it can provide that for you…
2. I want my wife to live a spoiled life 🙂
My wife grew up in a developing country and has fought hard for what she has. I want to make this real estate thing work, so that she can live VERY comfortably as a stay at home mom (which is her passion and dream).
You see, your motivation can’t simply be “I want to be rich. ” How rich do you want to be? What does “rich” look like to you?
To some it means driving the newest cars (which is awesome) or the ability to travel at will and on the fly. To others, it means living in a 10,000 sq ft house with luxurious design and comforts.
Even more so, to others it looks like being stay at home parents who live 100% off of investments.
The point is, being rich looks different for different people and it’s completely based on what you value and hold dear to your heart.
But do you know what those things are?
What’s important to you, really?
Once you know, you can catch a vision and gain the needed drive to make the dream of being a full-time real estate investor a reality.
2. If I Knew I Only had 1 Year to Live, what Would I Be Doing Different than I am Right Now, and What are the Implications of That?
This question is really sobering because it puts your values into perspective.
I bet, if we were to be honest for a second, that 99% of us would say we’d be spending more time with our friends and family.
A lot of the time when we are “chasing the dream”, we neglect those around us. We justify it saying to ourselves, “once I’m wealthy I’ll be more of an asset to their lives any way…” but this isn’t healthy.
When I was working for the fix and flip company that first exposed me to real estate, I’d work literally 10-15 hour days, 7 days a week. My family and friends didn’t know me, because I was never there.
I’m all for working hard, but there has to be a balance. You only live once and eventually you will die. Be sure to live a life you won’t regret on your death bed.
I don’t know what that looks like for you, but what I’m trying to say is make sure your relationships and values are maintained as you “chase the dream”.
3. What Kind of Lifestyle Do I Really Want to Live?
Reverse engineering your lifestyle is a crucial component of goal setting.
For example, I spent 9 months of my life working for that fix and flip business I mentioned above, only to realize I care far more about passive income streams and buy-and-hold investing than I do about fixing and flipping, wholesaling or development.
If I would have started my approach to real estate with “Okay I want my life to look like X. I want to make X amount of money, in such and such way, and make sure these components are incorporated,” I know now I would have never quit my job and wasted 9 months of my life.
You need to know what you want in life, so you can actually go after it.
Otherwise you’re going to work super hard and end up with something you don’t want, in some crazy mid-life crisis.
4. Do I Even Enjoy the Type of Investing I’m Pursuing?
This question feeds off of number 3, but there is an aspect of it I want to bring to your attention.
I want to free you up a little bit:
It is okay to quit what your doing, if you don’t enjoy it.
Our culture may say otherwise, but don’t base your life on what culture says. You see, I remember feeling really guilty when I realized that I wanted to quit, when I had put so much effort into learning everything I could about fixing and flipping.
I had the mentality, “I have invested so much, I can’t leave now…” but you know what? It was WAY better that I left.
Life is short and precious, don’t squander it with doing things because of obligation or because it’s the “right thing to do”.
Live by passion. Period.
This concludes my article for today.
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