I JUST Quit My Job to Invest: These 4 Lessons Helped Me Get Here

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It’s out there. On the interwebs. On Facebook. My wife and I discussed it for months. Now my parents know. My business partners know. And yes… now the world knows.

I QUIT MY JOB.

Real estate, we are on full time, baby. It’s time to focus on nothing but building this real estate empire.

Oh, and my assistant starts in a week.

Now let me backtrack for a moment. I’ve LOVED my job at the church. I am a worship leader and have been for many years. I believe I’ve been given a gift with music and have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the church. It’s been a very difficult time deciding what I am supposed to do and where I am supposed to go in my professional life.

But it was clear. The deals kept coming. And the partners kept calling. And the business kept growing, deal after deal, and month over month. Real estate it is…

Over the course of the last 6 months, we have flipped nearly 20 houses, found private financing in the tens of millions, are on track to nearly quintuple our rental portfolio in a year, adding almost half a million dollars to our net worth.

In a year.

I am writing this because I think it’s worth it to hear: If you want it badly enough, if you’re willing to work at it hard enough, if you put your mind to it — you CAN accomplish it.

Your dreams are at the mercy of your ability to create your world as you see it, visualize it, and put it into reality. Your dream is at your will.

I’m a huge fan of Tony Robbins, and one of the things I’ve taken from his teachings and reading his books is that we need to give consistent messages to our brain, our body, and out of our mouths. How much do you believe in yourself, that what you are saying is actually what you want?

Related: How I Acquired 18 Units (& Quit My Job) 2 Years into Buy & Hold Investing: An Interview

For years, I’ve said to every person I knew that I wanted:

  1. An investor/partner with $1M
  2. To have our entire household’s expenses covered by rental income in 12-24 months
  3. To own 100 houses and have 1,000 under my management company in 5 years
  4. To be a millionaire by 40

We are well on our way. We have amazing investors, private money funders and partners. We will have our monthly expenses covered in a few months with passive income. Our goal of 100 houses will be accomplished (at our current pace) within 24-36 months. And #4 we will be here sooner than we dreamed.

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It’s not just about the money. It’s about the lifestyle, the options and the time with my family. It’s about watching my children grow and spending time with them. It’s about changing communities by making beautiful, safe and affordable houses for our rentals. And creating incredible renovated homes through our fix and flip business.

Although some people are not about partners, we’ve found incredible success, friendship, and sustainable growth through the development of relationships with the partners we work with. It’s been a wonderful model that has worked well for us and that will help not only us, but also those few willing to work together with us to create a legacy for our families and the wealth to help change the lives of others.

I want to offer a few ways for you to think about how to move past your fears, to aid in your motivation, and to build your confidence.

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!

Click Here For Your Free eBook

4 Lessons Real Estate Has Taught Me

1. You’re going to screw up.

Face it: You’re going to blow it! I have. This year, last year, probably this month. I’ve blown it on inspections, on scope of work, on managing things.

And, you know what, that’s part of it. Things happen. Sometimes we’re at fault; sometimes we aren’t. But that’s part of this business. That’s why we have a cushion and why we have some cash on hand to fix stuff (like the THREE AC units I had to fix in the month of May… ouch). I don’t mean go and do something stupid. I just mean try your best not to beat yourself up if you miss something — or if you didn’t miss anything, and something didn’t go quite right.

It’s ok. Get back out there, and go get the next one.

2. You’re going to make money…  just maybe not how you think you will.

Real estate is a business of understanding the market. You have to change as the market changes. Right now flips are hard to find. But other kinds of deals aren’t. We are still making money. We are still adding cash flow and equity.

Be picky, but don’t be afraid to pull the trigger when you find a good deal. I made more money on a little rental contract for deed deal this week than I have made on some $150k+ flips with partners. You just never know.

3. You need to learn to enjoy successes, both big and small.

Did you get your first deal under contract? Awesome! Did you get a new rental? Or a couple deals? Or your first flip deal to close? These are important things. Don’t let them pass. When we close a new deal, sometimes we will have a little celebratory sushi dinner or grab a little something for my wife.

Most of the time for us, it’s about a little moment to celebrate and being grateful for what we have. No matter what, give thanks for it, and then get back after it.

Related: I Quit My Day Job, Retired Early & Started a New Venture Using Real Estate: Here’s How

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4. Make sure you have your big “why.”

I’ve written on this before, but write our your “why.” Make it compelling. And then go after making it happen. For me, it’s my family. It’s leaving a legacy for generations. It’s about philanthropy for children in need and providing our wounded veterans a safe place to live after serving our country. It’s about building a business that serves the city I love, doing something I love.

Real estate has changed my life. I wish you the biggest successes in your own real estate business and hope this compels you to go and DO whatever it is that drives you. Grow it, dream it, built it, believe it, and whatever IT is will come to fruition. You just have to have the patience, the persistence and the intestinal fortitude, to see it through.

Have you quit your day job to invest — or is it your end goal to do so? What have you learned along the way?

Leave a comment, and let’s chat!

About Author

Nathan Brooks

Nathan Brooks is a dad, husband, worship leader, and real estate investor in the Kansas City market. Foodie. Coffee addict. Crossfit junkie.

24 Comments

  1. Joe Howell

    Thanks for the motivation Nathan! Your “it” is the same as my “it”; namely, family. I want to be able to have both my wife and myself home with the kids (we have 4, ages 6, 4, 2 and 10 weeks). I want to coach and go on vacations and be an involved school parent and so on. These motivational reads are always a highlight of my day, in anticipation of the “it” happening. Thanks!

  2. Lisa DuFaux

    Congrats, Nathan! I quit my job 2 1/2 years ago and it was too soon. My husband just quit his in February and it was also too soon but we are making it work. I’ve had a similar experience to what you described…money and deals just seem to keep falling into place, which makes me think this is what we are supposed to be doing. We are right on the edge of either making it work or going back to an employer and my motivation to avoid that is HUGE! 🙂 The four points you talked about are right on track!

    • Nathan Brooks

      Thanks Lisa! What an incredible reminder how putting these things together are able to change the trajectory of not only your business, but your personal life/family life too. Keep after it … and I believe you can do it!!

  3. Hattie Dizmond

    Thank you! We chose our company names, because they mean “legacy” in Italian. We’re trying to build a legacy. You have no idea how much I needed your message today, but God did. So, thank you for being obedient and willing to be used!

  4. Sharon Smedley

    What an inspiration Nathan, I am currently trying to get things going and considering how best to accomplish my goals. I live in Redding, CA, I am in a unique situation which can benefit my business, however I will still need to pull an investor or two in to help. I have operated transitional housing for women since 2009 renting homes from others, so I would like to find buy and holds to lease back to my business. My credit is lacking so I cannot do this on my own, I I am also a real estate broker, which allows me to utilize commission as well. I would like to try and be a part of the real estate investment as a joint venture if possible, by using my commission as capital while giving investors the security of knowing the property is being maintained and managed by a partner, thus taken care of. What would you suggest for my strategy to make this happen or does it seem to complicated?

  5. Brit Foshee

    Nathan,

    Thanks for sharing this. I too am a worship leader/real estate investor and am on the verge of being full time REI and volunteer worship leader. I would love to chat some time to find out more about your relationship with your church as well as how you arrange your financing.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    Brit

  6. Al Williamson

    Nathan,
    I’m happy for you! Very inspirational.

    But, can we talk? Why 100 houses when you can get the same net income with 25 houses operated in an alternative manner. Less headaches, less risk, and fewer headaches.

    Anyway, rock on. I’m watching and cheering.

  7. Colin Smith

    Good Job!!!
    And I must say I found this article to be extremely motivating. I am working towards quitting my job here in a few months and I can’t wait. I just hope it all goes according to plan as I am replacing my income with being a Realtor which is certainly less stable and than being an engineer. But it is by far what I want to do and I have to trust the Lord that He will provide. It may not be in the means I expect, or the amount I hope for, but if I trust in Him then there is nothing that could go too wrong.

  8. Chantelle W.

    Awesome job, Nathan!
    I am also a Tony Robbins fan and I agree that if you keep on telling yourself something, you will start to believe it. A lot of us, including myself, let fear get in the way of our success. I am working of overcoming a few mental obstacles and move forward in accomplishing my dream and creating a legacy for my children.

  9. Garrett May

    Nathan,

    I truly enjoyed your article. My biggest fear of getting into real estate was the fear of failure/screwing up. I finally purchased my first rental unit last month, when I have been sitting on the sidelines for about 7 years. Thanks for your inspiring words of wisdom.

  10. Michael Williams

    Excellent. excellent article. Congrats on quitting the job and building your empire. It is very important that we realize the magnitude of our thoughts and how we can shape our lives by shear mental power. This power is in all of us, we just have to connect to it. I am also on this track of building my empire to leave a legacy for my family and improving my community. Stay on the path.

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