The BLOG! - MD WV HOMEBUYER
I remember the day it happened. It wasn’t long after we found out we were expecting our son and as I sat on the couch that evening, I felt several emotions. Excited, scared and grateful were just a few of the feelings that dart through you when you realize you’re now responsible for another human being.
At the time, my only source of income was my full-time position as a fireman with a mid-size fire department in the Washington D.C./ Baltimore metro area. It is an amazing career and one I have wanted to do since I was very young. Most kids want to grow up and become professional athletes, astronauts, etc. Me? I wanted to be a fireman. After graduating from college and having a management position for a few years, I decided to pursue firefighting and have done so for 10+ years. However, my entrepreneurial thirst wasn’t always quenched with the work and there were things I wanted to do that firefighting wouldn’t be able to provide.
After the initial wave of emotion, I found myself dreaming of all the events, experiences and moments our soon-to-be family of three would share. One experience in particular had me curious; the quintessential American kid vacation…Disney. Then I wondered what it would cost to go there. A few minutes later a number north of $5,000 was staring back at me.
A few quick calculations and I realized that based on my income at the time, it would be in the neighborhood of two extra months of work. Great! I can afford to take my family but it’s at the expense of spending time with them.
That was the day I decided to do something different. I began to devour every piece of information I could find about franchises, businesses, real estate and more. Over the course of the next few months I evaluated everything from buying into a SUBWAY, Liberty Tax, lawn care business, real estate and carpet cleaning company. I kept coming back to real estate. Something about real estate always seemed to interest me. Even better, it provided what I initially set out to find: a way to not trade time for money. It was a way to leverage both.
The more I began to research real estate and the many facets of the way you can participate in it, the more I began to think of the possibilities. So, as I continued down my education path, I started to work overtime shifts and a part-time job to acquire some money to get started. How many times I’ve heard “I’d love to do real estate but I don’t have the money”…guess what?! You can find a way or you can find an excuse but you can’t do both! I had saved up about $5,000 working extra shifts and a part-time job and I had found my new vehicle to reach my financial goals and quench my entrepreneurial thirst: rental homes.
In my next post, I will outline the highlights of my first deal, what I learned and my journey since that time. With these articles, it is my hope to share with anyone, especially public safety professionals, which are willing to learn how financial independence from real estate is possible. So, how many sources of income do you have? What if you got hurt or for some reason could no longer put on your uniform anymore? How would you provide for your family? Are you going to count on someone else to show up, pay your bills and keep food on the table?
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes by fallen Marine 1st Lieutenant Travis Manion: “If not me, then who?”
Mike is a partner with MDWVHomebuyer.com, a real estate investment company in the Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania markets. Mike is a co-founder of the Berkeley County Real Estate Investor MeetUp – a networking group specializing in investment real estate. He works full-time as a career fire lieutenant with a mid-sized fire department in the Washington D.C. / Baltimore Metro area. Currently, he resides in Maryland with his wife and son. For more information or to connect, visit MDWVHomebuyer.com.
I recently watched a special about college football coach Nick Saban getting his Alabama team ready for the upcoming college football season. He is widely respected as the best in the business and a native of West Virginia. He has won six national championships, tied for the most of all time.
He runs a large organization and as a CEO his focus is on vision and performance. A clear mission (We will win the SEC conference and win a national championship) has become the standard for his organization/team.
In a full team meeting, he told his team that because of their past successes, people were starting to copy them and hiring people from their organization to find out how they do what that do. He told them that What We Do and How We Do It are now more important. What we do - Do the right things. How we do it - Do it the right way.
He told them they are on top and they are now the hunted. The differentiating factor will be Mental Toughness. We will have to do the right things and do them the right way every time but when it comes right down to it if you can be mentally stronger you will win the battles that will in the end win the war.
He explained what he believed mental toughness to be.. How much does it take to break you?
When you start to wear down and lose focus that is when you lose your mental toughness. That is when you make mistakes and one mistake can lose the game.
He explained, to maintain the discipline to do what you are supposed to do, when it is supposed to be done, the way is it supposed to be done will be in direct proportion to your mental toughness. Will you let the process break you? Will you let the competition break you? That is the real question. Understand What and How then make sure you don’t back down.
How does this translate to your real estate business? Very simply, Make sure your daily actions are in line with your priorities. When you are doing the right things you have to make sure you are doing those right things correctly. Finally as Winston Churchill famously said
“Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
If you want it bad enough you can have it. Period