Many of us have started to think about becoming an investor because we read a book like Rich Dad Poor Dad or went to a class on real estate investing. At least I did. Actually my mom gave me Kim Kiyosaki’s Rich Woman back in 2009 that she got from an Amway meeting. She brought me a bunch of books, but the network marketing idea wasn’t for me so I didn’t touch those books for at least a year until a regular spring cleaning. Kim’s book sparked my interest and I loved the fact that there were rich women out there who do not depend on their men and know how to make money while not going to a job they hate.
Needless to say I hated my job. Well I didn’t use to because I was lying to myself that I wanted a career in my field. I spent all my adult life in the restaurant industry going from a hostess to a GM of a nice restaurant on Capitol Hill owned by a Star Chef. I loved my progress and I studied hard to be a good resta, learning leadership skills, learning to cook the traditional French cuisine in the prestigious (and expensive) Art Institute of Washington, going to TV shows with my Chef and thinking I want to be like him when I grow up. Little did I know that I would get burned out by bossing people around and pleasing customers and the boss. I started to long for a quiet day without incidents, so that every employee shows up to work, every plate goes out the way it supposed to, every customer leaves happy and the boss stays pleased with the shift. That just never was the case. It was super stressful, aggravating, tense and upsetting, although I was listening to positive audio books and working on my personal development day in and day out.
But one day I got lucky, I didn’t think that way at first and cried for a couple days feeling betrayed and mistreated, but my impulsive and irrational boss decided to fire me out of nowhere when I just showed up for one of my shifts. Of course now I see it as the best thing that ever happened to me because I don’t think I’d ever have the guts to leave although I was so unhappy and tired. It was just a piece of a puzzle that fall into a perfect place and made a big picture of my life to start to come together.
I was waiting for my wounds to heal while looking for a new job. That’s when I got my spring cleaning going and came across the books I mentioned above. If I still had my management job, I’d never have a chance to read them. Long story short here I was swallowing one page after another. Next thing I know I was shopping for Rich Dad Poor Dad on Amazon and making plans for investing. After Rich Dad Poor Dad, I found a free real estate investing class coming to my area and the rest is history.
People often complain how much money they spent on their education and that it was scam, because they haven’t learned anything and weren’t able to make their money back using the knowledge from classes. I always feel sorry for those people because for me it was the best thing ever. Although I did spend all my savings to buy an expensive Rich Dad package, I never turned back! Did I become a millionaire like my first 3 day trainer who drove a Bentley and wore a Rolex? No (or should I say not yet). But I certainly changed my life and started to invest – my money, my time, myself – all I can into my future, financial and spiritual. It has never been easy but as they say, it was worth it. Every failure and every success! Every bad partner and every new like minded friend! Every experience, every phone call and every FSBO lead!
Now back to our topic. I wanted to talk about it because all of you going into investing must understand, that in order to succeed it this venture you have to start with the end in mind. To travel to China, you gotta first figure out where you are departing from, if you are going from the US, a train is not an option; however if you are traveling from Russia, you may choose to take a train, a plane or even a car. You know what I mean? Figure out where you want to go, then where you are starting and then choose your transportation! Not in any other order.
People say “I want to be a real estate investor so I will wholesale a house”. Hmmm really? I don’t think so! First of all you must understand that there are so many things that can be considered as investing:
- Rehabbing properties
- Wholesaling/Assigning contracts
- Lending money and so on…
Do you want to take on a new career and build a business or you want nothing to do with showing houses and speaking with sellers? What are your strengths, talents and experience? Be honest with yourself, don’t get hung up by people telling you “Just do a deal”! Oh if I only closed one assignment deal after each time I heard that in my first year!
My suggestion, follow these steps and listen to your heart (not other people) when you do that:
- Figure out what you love doing and whether or not you need a new career
- Decide where you want to be financially, how much money would make you financially free. Be realistic and don’t go straight for “millionaire” because it could also mean many things, e.g. in DC or LA many home owners are millionaires just because they own one home, so be careful with what you wish for.
- Consider where you start: how much time you can realistically spend, how much money you can invest on recurring marketing efforts, how much help you will get. Note: not how much help you would like to get from your spouse, children, neighbor or a realtor friend you know… Who will commit to help you and what will they put into this venture?
- Identify your budget. No, it’s not the same as #3 where you just through a number in! Look into your finances, figure out how much you can commit spending each month. Is it $3000 or $300? It’s very important because it will bring you to the next step
- Identify what marketing strategies you can commit to for your budget. Commit for at least 6 months! Here is the tricky part, 100 yellow letters each month will not bring as good of a result as 1,000 letters. But even 1,000 letters must be sent right, and you need to follow up with your lists. So here calculate very carefully how much it will cost you to buy a list, material for the letters, pay for the help of people who will handwrite your envelopes, or if you THINK you will do it yourself, again, be honest! Are you willing to spend a full 8 hour day weekly to prepare a campaign of 300 letters? Because that’s how long it will take to handwrite these letters. Ask me how I know…
- Look into your local REIA offers and see if you can get on some sort of an apprenticeship program where you will work as a team member and get a small cut of a deal. Or see if any guru in your area might take you on. Be careful and don’t fall in the trap of overnight success for $15K! Again, ask me how I know. The best advice and help I ever got were FREE from people I became friends with. So use your charm, be likable and remember your Network is equal to your Net worth!
- Never give up! This is probably the most important step on this list.
Be ready to make mistakes and deal with many failures. Be ready to waste money on marketing that doesn’t work and even be ready for bad partnerships.
Not all people from your 3-day class will really DO it, most of them are just talk… And many of them will simply give up and say these education was spam and they want their money back. Some of them will try but won’t handle the failure. And only a few will push forward and get to their first deal! What’s the true percentage of people who become full time wholesalers or rehabbers no one knows, but it’s tiny. Those people spend a lot of money on marketing and a lot of time on follow up, they build teams and systems, they learn from failure and keep working on their personal development. Because…
Business is a tough game that spits out the weak ones very quickly!
Do you want to be a real estate investor, or you just say you do? It’s up to you and there is no shame in either answer. Just follow the steps above and decide for yourself! Forget other people, we are all unique and we have unique life situations. Good luck!