So many of the people I encounter dream about owning their own business and being their own boss. And when you think about it, it sounds pretty great. You get to set your own schedule, you can work from home, and best of all, you don’t have to answer to an annoying boss!
Of course, this is all the awesome stuff that comes with being an entrepreneur. I didn’t mention the “dark side,” if you will, which includes the many hours of work required for success, and the intense stress that can come with the knowledge that everything is riding on you.
I don’t point this out to scare you. I’m a realist, and I think that knowing exactly what you’re in for with entrepreneurship is critical to your success. I’m not here to sugarcoat things; in fact, I think that would be completely detrimental to your success. Instead, you must be prepared for the realities of entrepreneurship, both good and bad.
One of the best ways to do this is to tap into your inner entrepreneur, well before you get started. Long before you quit your day job to become the real estate investing superstar you’ve been envisioning yourself as, you need to discover your inner entrepreneur. Here’s a good way to go about that.
Ask Yourself Some Important Questions
Start with a period of reflection. No, you don’t need to light a candle and play soothing music, but you do need to think long and hard about who you are as a person, what kind of work ethic you have, how well you handle responsibility and stress, and basically whether or not you have what it takes to even be an entrepreneur. Some of the questions to help get your brain moving along the right tracks include: What’s the reason driving this potential career change? Are you capable of asking for help when you need it? Are you able to finish things that you start? Can you market yourself effectively (this is huge in real estate investing, by the way)? Are you comfortable with being uncomfortable? Are you prepared for failure both financially and emotionally? Because here’s the reality: there will be a lot of uncomfortable times, especially in the beginning when you’re figuring things out, and there is a chance this could all blow up in your face. You need to ask yourself these questions and more, and most importantly, you must be honest with yourself.
After reflecting, if you’ve decided that entrepreneurship is for you, it’s time to hit the books (or, more likely, the internet). One of the foundations of your success is education, and as a new real estate entrepreneur, you’ve got a lot to learn, my friend. Not only do you need to start studying markets and their performance, you have to figure out how to even go about buying your first rental property. If you’re using a turnkey strategy, there’s a bit more flexibility in terms of learning as you go, because your turnkey provider is there to help you along the way. However, if you’re using another buy-and-hold strategy or flipping a property, you’ve got to figure out all sorts of things, from financing to calculating risk to not getting screwed by contractors. Read, read, and then read some more until you feel like you have a good understanding how how it all works. Also, take the time to talk to other investors who can offer first-person, real-world perspectives that are invaluable.
Find Your Niche
Speaking of different real estate strategies, it’s also important that you find your niche. Different investors excel at different aspects or types of investing. While one person may be a stellar house flipper, another could be terrible at it. They’re great at buying and holding or wholesaling or some other type of investment strategy instead. My point is, do some research into the different options out there, find what appeals to you and what you’re good at, and make that the bread and butter of your business.
Find Your Community
Real estate investing, and entrepreneurship in general, works best when it’s not done as a one-man or one-woman show. Even though you’re your own boss, you still need a great team of people, either who work for you or who work with you. This may include real estate agents, other investors, lenders, contractors, brokers, attorneys, accountants, and others. Having a community of people to turn to when you need help or even when you just want to talk with like-minded people is important when you’re the one steering the ship.
Don’t Just Invest in Real Estate…Invest in Yourself Too!
Finally, don’t forget to invest in yourself along the way. As a self-employed person, you don’t have to answer to a boss, but you also don’t get to enjoy glowing reviews when you’ve done a great job. In fact, there may be times when you feel like you’re all alone in the great, big world of real estate investing, and that can definitely take its toll….and so can stress and late nights and all the other drawbacks that come with entrepreneurship. That’s why it’s so important to invest in yourself. Do this by taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Take a vacation or a day off when you need one, treat yourself to a nice meal, go get that pedicure. Because at the end of the day, you shouldn’t just be investing in real estate – you need to be investing in yourself too!