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Business Development

To Quit or Not to Quit? (Your Job)

everybodyHey Moguls, Doug Van Buskirk here…

Do you ever find yourself daydreaming about what it’s going to be like to “go full-time” as a real estate investor (i.e. say sayonara to your current employment and venture off on your own)?

From the moment I read “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” my first intro to real estate several years ago, I envisioned myself as a full-time investor.

If you’re currently working for someone else, then chances are good that your goal is financial freedom. Establishing the power to generate your own money, on your terms.

But the allure of going full time can be dangerous if it’s not put in the proper perspective.

In this lesson, we’re going to discuss how you’ll know when you’re ready and what to look out for on the way to full-time investing.

I started my career as a mobile home investor back in 2012. Within 6 months of buying my first deal, my passive income reached a point where it exceeded the income from my job.

…So I quit that corporate job and went full time with real estate.

Yaaa-hoooo! Cause for celebration, right?  Yes and no.

So many people told me how proud they were of me and how exciting this was, but as I look back, I realize that I fell prey to short-term thinking, what I like to call a “checkers vs. chess” mentality.

3 things you should do before making the leap into full-time investing.

I didn’t do these 3 things beforehand – I wish I had – so I strongly encourage you to:

1. Get Your Finances in Order

The major thing I (incredibly) failed to realize before quitting my job was that I was funding my rehabs and some of my purchases with money from my job. 

jobOnce I quit, I became cash-strapped. Sure I had $3,000/month in passive income, but now that was allocated to my monthly personal and business expenses. Gone were the days where that was “gravy” money that I could reinvest into my business.

In my eagerness to “burn the ships behind me,” I didn’t think through the situation.

Because I was low on working capital, I couldn’t buy mobile homes free and clear, like I had in my first 6 months of investing. Instead, I needed to structure my purchases creatively with seller financing. Well, that debt obligation ate into the NET cash flow I got from new deals. So my growth slowed.

I won’t inundate you with nitty-gritty details except to say that you need to look long and hard at your finances before leaving your bread-and-butter job. Do 3-, 6- and 12-month budgets to see the effect that no paycheck will have on your business.

Be conservative in estimating new deals that you’ll bring in. Overestimate the costs you’ll incur. Let the numbers, not the emotions, lead you.

2. Establish a Clear Plan

Before you give yourself the freedom of working for yourself, it’s crucial to get clear on exactly how you’ll be spending your newfound abundance of time.

That starts with understanding your priorities. 

Think about the key activities you’ve been doing in your business that got you to the point of quitting your 9-5 job?  How can you redouble your efforts in these departments?

“Figuring it out as you go” is not an ideal strategy. Two things you need to be aware of:

a) Not spending enough time working. Friends and family will likely see you as the “lucky” guy who doesn’t have to punch the clock anymore.  So that means you’re free to run errands and putz around all day, right? Wrong.

You’ve gotta be ruthless about your time and decide on the hours that you’re “at work,” where all other distractions are off limits.

Keep a routine that you know works for you. Getting up early. Staying up late.Working at home. Working at the coffee shop…

You’ve got the freedom to decide the best fit for you.Awesome, right?

said-no-oneb) Spending work time on the wrong things. This might be the biggest challenge. I’m guessing that if you’re at this point in your business, it’s because you’re driven to succeed…Sometimes, we can be so driven that we mistake “busy” for “productive.” I fell into this trap big time! Working 12-14 hours a day but not getting a whole lot done.

I focused on low-leverage activities that had next to zero importance – things like:

  • Designing my business card. Is anyone really going to do business with me based on the font I use on my business card? Exactly.
  • Website design and set-up (instead of working on getting traffic to my site)
  • Studying every new strategy under the sun. Invest in yourself, yes. But not at the expense of working on creating income. Better to be great at one approach than mediocre at all of them.

3. Establishing a Support System

It’s crucial for you to be able to lean on people for help and support, especially in the early stages of going full time.

Our Real Estate Mogul community is a key piece of that equation, but don’t stop there! Hopefully, if you’re at the point of investing full time, you’ve developed a strong network of entrepreneurs who understand the challenges and opportunities that come with running a business full time.

These are folks you can learn from and model yourself and your business after.

These are folks who will hold you accountable. 

These are folks who you’ll measure yourself against to stay motivated.

In my case, if I would have had a stronger support network in the first place, they’d have told me to wait before taking the dive. They’d have asked the tough questions so that I saw my situation for what it really was, rather than what I wanted it to be.

Your support group will keep you grounded and make sure you’re making choices with the bigger picture in mind.

Your biggest takeaway

It’s not all dangers and obstacles, though!

grateOnce you make this leap, you’ll wonder how you ever used to punch the clock every day. You’ll wonder how anybody manages to stay in the Rat Race. You’ll beam with pride, knowing that the blood, sweat and tears that you’ve put in have paid off.

But patience is a virtue, so make sure the timing is right. Recognize the logic vs. the emotion in your decision.

My intention is that one of your big takeaways from this lesson is:

Work your job until you absolutely can’t stand to anymore. Because the larger goal should be that once you leave, you aren’t ever going back to a 9-5. Create the future in your mind, with a solid plan of attack and then execute on it. Already have a support group of like-minded individuals that you know you can count on.

If you follow this recipe, your transition will be liberating. No joke, the air smells cleaner, the sun shines brighter and each morning becomes a fountain of opportunity – yours to do with what you please.

Something to add?

Got something to share about going full time as an investor. Tell us in the comments section below.


Do It To It! Immediate Action Steps

Be conservative in estimating your budget without a paycheck from your 9-5.

Allocate and use your ‘working time’ wisely.

Make sure you have a solid support system of other investors.

Create your plan and execute it.

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