I think it’s about that time to explain how in the world I got to where I am today, which is out of corporate, starting my own company, and huge into real estate investing.
I say that last part because, believe me, real estate was never on my radar for what I would be doing as a career. I knew I would own real estate investments because it’s one of the only ways to really do something smart with your money, but I never thought I’d be in real estate.
Four and a half years ago, pretty much right when I started my corporate job as an aerospace engineer, I knew I had to figure out a way to become rich. I’ve wanted to be financially free since I was 12. I knew there were two ways to do this: start or own a business (a good business), or get into real estate. I started reading every book on business, real estate, sales, money, and motivation I could find. I didn’t know what I would end up doing, but I started pursuing everything I could think of, ranging from buying a hotel to buying foreclosures in Orange County. I never did either of those, for one they weren’t good deals but more critically, I didn’t actually have any money, but I pursued them as if I did (you never know).
A couple years into studying everything I could find, and trying everything from network marketing to other side jobs, I finally realized that a source of the chaos in my brain was that I had not narrowed my focus. I was studying everything, so I learned a little about a lot, but I now needed to learn a lot about a little. I had to pick one- business or real estate. I picked business. My family has self-storage facilities, and I’ve always wanted one, so I decided that was going to be my route. Somehow, some way. It made sense… I needed money from a business to be able to dump into real estate.
I immediately pointed my focus. I was enrolled for the 2011 Self-Storage Expo in Vegas within a week, and I even paid $400 extra to attend the developers’ seminar. I put out a proposal to my family’s companies to create an improvement package for them, solely for the purpose of creating a self-storage resume for myself that I would have come time for requesting financing.
Two weeks later, bored at work, I received a newsletter that had an advertisement saying “Beachfront Bungalows, starting at only $99,000!” All I saw in that sentence was beachfront and 99. I had just looked at OC foreclosures that were a minimum of $270k with no cash flow, and who doesn’t love the beach.
Long story short, I had zero plans for pursuing the beachfront bungalow, zero plans for doing anything real estate related, and zero trust in the whole gig anyway. But out of shear boredom, I humored the informational webinar, the company putting them on, and eventually the 60-day due diligence period. I had heard a line at a Rich Dad seminar one time where the guy said, “If it’s a good investment, you’ll find the money.” That line had stuck in my head, and after casually inquiring about money options for this bungalow, the money came easier than I could have imagined. That was one of my big signs that maybe I should buy it. I eventually bought the bungalow, and from that point on, self-storage was lost from my mind, and I just closed on my 5th property in a year and a half (with very little of my own money). Two beachfront pre-constructions, and three houses in Atlanta. I kept finding money, and I kept finding deals.
In the midst of diving nose-first into real estate, I met some of the most rockstar guys in the industry. They aren’t scammers, they are totally cool and chill, super informative (I’ve never had to buy a how-to video from any of them), and they have all become like big brothers.
I ended up with multiple offers to work independently as a referrer for the various companies I work with, and since I was already making money off casual referrals without even trying, how could I resist.
So now I’m working from home, or anywhere I want, with only my laptop, and usually in my pajamas. Corporate is gone, the only aerospace left in my life is the thought that I need to get back into flight instructing soon, and I get to spend my time talking to awesome people, all day, and living the dream.
Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been an easy year and a half. Aside from exhausting my brain getting educated on how to be a (good) investor, I’ve tried multiple new things that have frustratingly failed, I’ve made the famous overly stressful entrepreneurial leap away from a secure paycheck and health benefits (if anyone knows a good private insurance policy in southern California, please put in your info into the box on the right of the screen!), and believe me, people aren’t exaggerating about the stress of that leap, and I’ve put everything on the line in hope that I know what I’m doing.
So far so good though. I’m happy, I feel great, and I’m ready to be a full-blown entrepreneur for the rest of my life!
I want to hear about your entrepreneur leaps! I’m sure no two are the same. Comment below and tell me about them. Or, comment below and tell me that you really want to hear about the amazing killer real estate deals I’ve found. Or just comment below because it will make me look popular.
Until next blog…