When is the perfect time to leave my job to do real estate investing full time? That is a question for the ages (and for the brave!). Now that I am approaching a decade of leaving the corporate world to pursue a life as a full-time real estate investor, I can look back and honestly answer that question. I wish I had more space and time to write about this, but I don’t, so I’ll cover enough to get you thinking and in the right direction hopefully.
But first, let me recommend probably the two most important things for you to do: number one, keep your full-time job until you build up enough cash flow from your real estate investments to pay your basic living expenses. In fact, it is wise to do this for at least six months. At the six month point, you have hard proof that it can be done. As your portfolio grows, you’ll find that your job will start to get in the way of your investing. Although you won’t find a perfect time to leave your job, you’ll know when it’s time. Secondly, in those six months, save up six months of living expenses. This will be your reserves during the “tight” months – and there will be tight months, I guarantee you.
Before you leave your job, you’ll have to work on being somebody you’re not right now. Do you remember the concept of “Be-Have-Do”? Well, that concept is incorrect. The correct concept is “Be-Do-Have”. In order to have something, you first have to Be that person, then the Have comes by Doing. Okay, sorry if I confused you (it’s early morning!), but to get straight to the point, you’ll need to develop an entrepreneur’s mindset. Going from an employee way of thinking to an entrepreneur’s way of thinking is key to successfully leaving your job (and staying away!).
Once I left my job to do real estate investing full time, I realized that in order to have freedom, I need to let go of security. So, what I did was to let go of my security (my pay check) a little at a time by spending my free time working on my real estate business and then transitioning my job to a part-time basis. It was a four year (yes, 4 years!) period of uncertainty, constant planning, investing, and hard work (and raising a teenager).
At the four year point, my job was getting in the way of my real estate business that had grown pretty well. At that point, I had to make a decision. I had a great job with benefits plus I had enough real estate income to live off of. Life was great. But was it really? Was I living a purposeful life? Could I realize the potential my real estate business had? On Dec 31st of that fourth year, I handed in my resignation. Life has never been the same. Now it seems like I was destined to do this full time. But had I not planned this carefully, worked on my character, and took the leap, I never would have discovered that the grass is actually greener on the other side.
The moral of this story is that cannot predict the future, but your future will be determined by what’s going on in your mind, the actions you plan and take, and your desire to stick with it when tough times come and go.