Working for yourself is unlike most other jobs. There is nobody telling you what to do and no paycheck waiting for you on your desk every two weeks. Not unlike most commissioned employees, as an investor you make your own schedule and ultimately dictate your own income. For many people, this is the main reason why they got started in the business – to avoid being told what to do and how much they can make. While this certainly seems like a great way to work, it is not for everyone. If you can’t push yourself to get the work done and find deals, you may not last very long in the business. Real estate investing requires self motivation.
If you do not have a business partner, you have nobody to hold you accountable. Even if you have a spouse and kids, they will not be standing over you every day telling you to pick up the phone or get in your car. You need to be able to motivate yourself every day and with every deal. Some investors are motivated by money, others by fear of going back to their nine to five job. Others have nowhere else to go and need to make their investing business work for them. Whatever it is that you use, you have to draw on it every day. The minute you start to take your business for granted, it will slowly start to slip away.
It has often been said that the difference between successful investors and those struggling for deals is that the successful investor will do what others won’t or don’t. Regardless if you work out of your house or at a dedicated office, there will be plenty of downtime and time spent by yourself. You can choose to spend this time surfing your favorite websites and looking at your fantasy football teams or you can separate your work and personal time and stick to the grind. Thirty minutes can quickly turn into an hour which can turn into half a morning of time spent doing nothing. If you add this up over the course of a week, you will see plenty of hours missed that should have spent working on growing your business.
It is very easy to get sidetracked once you close a deal and get a bigger check than you are used to. While this is a good thing, you need to remember that this check has to last you a few weeks or a few months. Once one deal closes, you need to have a new one coming in. The reality is that after business expenses, fees, closings costs and reserves, that big check will not take you very far. Most people are motivated by success and will work harder after getting a feel of just how good the business can be. There are, however, many investors who will basically shut their business down for a week or two after a closing and rest on their laurels. It is this valuable time when you should reach out to people involved in the deal and grow your business instead of hurting your shoulder trying to pat yourself on the back.
You are the CEO of your investing business and it is up to you to dictate the success or failure you encounter. The harder you work, the more successful you will be. How hard you work is entirely up to you.