If you’re feeling lost in life and in a rut, you’ve come to the right place. Here is how I got out of the rut and started taking action to change my life. This post is going to be pretty high level. I’ll provide the general steps I took but this isn’t going to be paint by numbers. You will need to forge your own path. The process of self discovery is just as important as the end goal. With that being said, here are my thoughts on the journey so far.
I view the path to financial freedom as a 3 step process:
- Get Woke
- Get Smart
- Get Moving
Get Woke: Morning Coffee for the Newly Indoctrinated
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
– R. Hunter
The first step in changing your life is realizing you are the master of your own destiny. Only you are to responsible for where you are at right now. While that may not be entirely true, you have to adopt that mentality if you’re going to change. The sad fact is that the world doesn’t care if your parents favored your sister over you, or that a new technology made your job obsolete. If you’re unhappy with your current standing in life, you have two options:
- Feel sorry for yourself, complain, drown your sorrows, and blame everyone around you OR
- Do something about it
The first thing I did was start meditating. I can’t stress enough how much benefit I’ve gotten from dedicating the first 10 minutes of my morning to meditation. I use the Headspace app but there are tons of free resources out there. Look up a morning meditation on YouTube, start doing it every day. Take note when all of the sudden your mood improves, your focus increases, your thoughts and priorities become much clearer and you become a generally happier person. If you’re not into that sort of thing that’s fine. Try closing your eyes and taking deep breaths and counting each one until you get to 10. You don’t need to be a level 10 vegan yogi to enjoy the benefits. The important thing is to take a few minutes out for yourself every morning to gather your thoughts.
Next I started reading, a lot! The books in the Reading List of this section helped me realize a few very important things:
- If you’re employed by someone else, it’s not your boss’ job to care about your health, wealth, or happiness. It’s entirely up to you to ensure these things.
- We live in a time where opportunity is abundant. You just need to get out there and seize it.
- No one can automate, outsource, or fire your personal investments. Your key to financial freedom is to keep as much of your earnings as possible and start investing it.
While none of the books below are required to wake up they offer a great motivational boost and can really help you get your head in the right place. The Obstacle is the Way is a great existential kick in the ass. Rich Dad Poor Dad opened my eyes to a bunch of hard truths I had been willfully ignoring.
- The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holliday
- Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
- The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
- The Millionaire Fast Lane by MJ DeMarco
- The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris
- Set for Life by Scott Trench
Get Smart: Preparation is the Key to Success
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I’ll spend the first four sharpening the axe.
Ok so you’re all amped up and ready to do your first real estate deal. What now? You have a lot to learn. Fortunately there is an abundance of great free resources out there.
The best thing you can do is start an account on BiggerPockets.com and go through their intro. Start posting on BP and you will be flooded with responses of people willing to help you out. Always offer to reciprocate in any way you can. Buy people meals, drinks, or coffee if they are willing to meet up with you.
Next start reading real estate books. Not much of a reader? That’s cool, there are a ton of platforms for audio books out there. Podcasts are another great way to learn for free. If you commute to work every day then you can start your education process without having to dedicate any extra time. Listen to both podcasts and audio books while driving. If you take public transportation then read as well.
Pick a niche: becoming an agent, flipping, single family rentals, multifamily rentals, apartment syndication, land deals, etc. Find one that fits your personality and investment goals and dive in.
- The Real Estate Game by William Poorvu and Jefferey Cruikshank
- The Book on Rental Property Investing by Brandon Turner
- The Book on Flipping Houses by J. Scott
- Finding and Funding Great Deals by Anson Young
- Just Start Real Estate
- The Real Estate Guys
Get Moving: Talk is Cheap
Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.
All this education and planning is great. You’re a leg up on most people now. But how do you ensure that all this time spent educating yourself on the realities of the world and how to change your circumstance isn’t wasted? Action, on an action ciabatta, with an action aioli and a side of action.
You should start networking, attending local real estate meetups, and analyzing deals. Start goal setting and tracking your progress. You don’t need to take over the world in one day. But you will be amazed by what you can accomplish by making small regular incremental steps towards your goals.
I’ll be the first to admit I was scared to do my first real estate deal. It’s okay if you are too. There’s a lot to be afraid of. If you invest money in the stock market, the most you can lose is your initial investment. If you invest in a bad real estate deal, using leverage (a mortgage) you can lose everything. Putting a personal guarantee on a mortgage means if you default on it, the bank can go after your personal assets and potentially force you into bankruptcy. Fortunately you’ve done a bunch of reading, networking, educating yourself, and deal analyzing to spot a good deal. Real estate like any investment is not risk free. The goal is to understand the risks and mitigation techniques so you can take calculated risks with sufficient reward and protection.
One of the founders of BiggerPockets, Brandon Turner, put it best. Real estate is like a funnel analyze 100 deals, offer on 10, buy 1, repeat. It’s not that hard, it just requires a little grit and determination. So get off your newly educated ass and go do a deal!