Let me ask you:
What makes you want to become a real estate investor?
Many investors say the answer is financial freedom. Others may say passive income. But these answers aren’t good enough to keep you going through the tough stuff that you will encounter.
If you got into real estate to make $5,000 a month in passive income or to buy 50 properties, you might get there but you’re probably not going to be happy (Read: The Real Estate Investing Costs You’ve Never Considered).
Real estate investing success is not about getting to some number. If that’s what you’re chasing, it’s going to be very hard work; and when you hit the really big obstacles, you’ll give up or make yourself miserable.
It’s not enough to pursue financial freedom or passive income. There needs to be a much bigger reason. There must be a clear vision. And that vision has to go beyond money.
When your tenant pulls a knife on her roommate, and then stops paying rent when the roommate moves out, and it takes you three months to evict the knife yielding tenant; money is not enough to keep going. When you discover that the roof you spent $10,000 repairing the year before is still leaking and requires another $7,000 to fix; and at the same time you discover a tree growing from the inside of the house out the window; giving up on real estate will be top of mind – right behind how the heck am I going to pay for all of this? (Yes – all those things happened to us.)
So you need to ask yourself: Why do I want to invest in real estate?
If the answer is for financial freedom or passive income, then the next question to ask yourself is:
Why do you want financial freedom / passive income?
Because I want to be able to leave my job and live my life the way I want.
Because I want to spend more time with my family and because I believe I have a bigger purpose in life than working for someone else all my life.
If you keep going down this path you’ll eventually end up in a place that lets you know that you are pursuing all of these things for the simple reason that you think they will make you feel happy and fulfilled.
We used to believe we were passionate about real estate.
We like doing deals. Dave loves running the numbers. I like looking at properties and finding the deals. I like thinking strategically about the risks and how we can make money.
That’s not passion though. I think that’s excitement. I’m excited about what real estate offers. It offers financial comfort and security; and that comfort and security allows us to dedicate more time to helping other investors avoid mistakes and create a life they love, thanks to rental property.
Making money is exciting. I like it a lot. I like that real estate is a fantastic way to make money over time.
I’m not passionate about real estate though, and here’s how I know:
If I was told I could never do another real estate deal in my life, I wouldn’t be devastated. In some ways, if I’m honest with myself, I would feel a bit of relief. It’s so much work to continuously do deals, and being forced to take a break from it would be nice.
On the other hand, if you told me I wasn’t allowed to teach others anything for the rest of my life, I would be lost. I would have no purpose in my life.
You have to dig deep. If you want to be a real estate investor for money, it’s not going to be enough to get you through the low times.
A good friend of mine started down the road of becoming a real estate investor. He had the big goal of buying 50 properties. There’s nothing wrong with that. The problem was he was really seeking fulfillment in his life.
Today you would never know he’s the same guy that was chasing all those properties. He’s writing books, loving time with his family, and they’re choosing where they live and what they spend time on – and he didn’t get there through real estate. Real estate is not the only possible solution – it just might be the only one you’ve considered so far.
When you realize that, and when you understand that it’s not that quick, and it’s definitely not that easy, you may find that real estate is not at all the place to start.
Or you may find, as we have, that real estate is an effective vehicle to help you take a big step towards the big WHY’s in your life.
Don’t get me wrong … we all need money. But once your basic needs are taken care of, you need a lot more than money to feel happy. You need to figure out the WHY in your life.
Next time we’ll talk about who is setting your real estate investing goals… After years of asking our clients what their goals are … I’ve come to some startling conclusions. Most people aren’t setting their own investing goals!
Image #1 Credit - Dave Peniuk (it's my dog Maya on the beach in Tofino living the life but not catching the ball!) Image #2 Credit - © Andrey Kiselev | Dreamstime.com
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