It can be exciting and scary
We went to dinner recently with a group of investor friends over in Dawsonville, Georgia. Some Ashley and I have known for years, and others we had just met that day.
As we sat around the table, we discovered that one of them had recently made the move to become a full-time investor. When I say recently, I mean three months ago. Ashley asked him how he felt about the transition especially since he had a wife and child at home depending on him. He said to begin with it was very exciting. And now, he said, “It can feel a little scary.”
I pondered that statement on the way home and compared it to my personal experiences when we decided to go full-time into the investing world. Our path was different than most investors I have talked to. You see, I had no job to quit, per say, because I’d been self employed my entire adult life. I started contracting in college, and that gig progressed all the way into real estate.
Ashley had a job, though. She was a volunteer coordinator for a hospice company. And from 2010 to 2011, that was the source of most of our income. At that point, my contracting working was down, and I was using that slow time to learn as much I could about real estate investing. But as I started going to more REIAs, I began to pick up work from investors rehabbing their houses.
The end of 2011 was very emotional. The first part had to do with me. You see, I have an all-or-nothing-type personality. I can’t just partially do something. I have to devote myself fully to whatever it is I’m doing.
So, when it came to real estate investing versus contracting, well, contracting was winning. I was devoting myself to that because it was safer and brought in money relatively quickly.
But I recognized I was using contracting to keep me from devoting myself to going out and finding deals. That’s because I was scared. You see, I was worried about what would happen if an offer got accepted because I wasn’t sure where I would get the money to back up that offer.
But after meeting some private money lenders, I became a little more confident and I decided that beginning in 2012, I needed to burn the proverbial boats, devote myself to real estate investing, stop contracting and either prevail or perish. That decision came at the beginning of November 2011, and I was excited.
Ashley agreed and supported this decision. But during the middle of November, things started getting bad with her work in regard to her management and the morals they employed. She was quite stressed. You see, Ashley will not do something immoral, and she was worried that steadfastness might get her fired.
It was the morning of Nov. 16 when Ashley tearfully brought this to my attention. I know that was the date because I was reading my Proverb for the day, which corresponds with the day of the month. And Proverbs 16:33 says, “The lot is cast into the lap, but every decision by it is from Yahweh.”
Based off that verse and Ashley’s angst, we decided to ask Yahweh if she should put in her notice by casting a lot. We did, and Yahweh told us that she should turn in her notice.
Y’all, things had just gotten real. I was no longer going to contract, and our source of income had just gone away. We had resolved to prevail or perish. That was both exciting and scary.
To add one more variable to this situation, I was finishing up the last contracting job I would do on a house on Cain Drive in Cartersville. I’ll never forget it. I was painting a large master closet when I got a picture message from Ashley. It was a pregnancy test with a positive reading that read “Congratulations, Daddy!”
We were going to be parents, and I was overjoyed, even though we now had no source of income.
As I think about that time, the emotions of both excitement and sheer fear are prevalent. There was excitement about the possibilities and fear of the unknown. But we had many indicators, such as Yahweh saying, “Quit your job.” And then there was the fact that we landed two flips right of the gate in 2012. These things let us know we were going in the right direction.
It took us nearly six months to receive a paycheck from a flip, but we did. And then we received another and another. And then, we got a rental house. And then we got another and then another.
I say all this to say that if you are new to investing, it is going to be both exciting and scary. But if you keep putting in the effort, if you keep moving forward making good moral decisions and keep helping people, you will prevail. And you will look back on this time and smile with a grateful heart.
Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to www.cashflowwithjoe.com or call Joe at 678-986-6813.