What do you work for

What do you work for

What do you work for? My friend Jeff Watson asked several of us to fill in the blank in the following statement. “Please briefly complete the following sentence.  “I work for _______________?”

What do you work for? What is your why? That is a question every real estate investor needs to ask themselves.  The answers Jeff received ranged from the humorous to the serious.  Here are ten examples of how that question is answered..

  1. Peanuts
  2. My business which in turn means service to our clients
  3. My Daughter
  4. Myself
  5. To see what I am capable and to get the light of God shown
  6. Fun
  7. Grades
  8. The benefit of the world around me
  9. Cash
  10. Jerks

Let me ask you, “What do you work for?” Is it possible you don’t really know?  What if you don’t know? That is a real problem.  The next question is, “How do you find out?”

What Do You Work For?

It is possible to find out. Set aside an hour without distractions.  Get away from friends, family, television and of course those pesky electronic devices. Then set down and try and determine, What do you work for? Once that is done ask yourself these questions.

  1. Is it only for a paycheck?
  2. Do I have other options
  3. What do I love that to do that can support me?
  4. Am I willing to take the risk?
  5. Is it for me or for someone else?
  6. What would it take to make me change?

Is it only for a Paycheck?

If the answer is yes you might have a problem. It could mean that you are stuck in a dead end job with no future. It could be that you have never heard of the term multiple streams of income. An example of this is owning several rental properties. It could be that you never looked around for something new. Money buys nice things. If that is all you are working for then your life cannot be as fulfilling as it could be. Think outside the box and figure out what would make you happy instead of what you are doing.

Do I have other options?

You Do! What do you work for?  The problem is that many of us focus on the job and then go home and focus on forgetting about the job while amusing ourselves with our toys. How much computer solitaire do you play? There is an old saying you work at your job from 9 to 5 but you work on yourself from 5 to 9. If you think you have no options, you are not thinking about ways to improve yourself.

Consider joining a local Real Estate Investor Association as a student. Go to https://nationalreia.org and click on find a local group. If you are in Saint Louis or southern Illinois send me an e-mail to [email protected] for our schedule and meeting locations.

Once you join a group look for someone to mentor you. Going to a meeting once is not joining. Paying the dues, showing up for meetings and volunteering to help is what joining really means. Anything else and you are just a guest who may not come back. Mentors don’t usually waste their valuable time on one time visitors.  They need to get to know you. No matter how great you are, they don’t know that. Be willing to invest in the group so that they can invest in you. You have to be noticed to be helped. Helpers get noticed. Once you connect with a mentor, at their convenience take them to lunch, dinner or just out for coffee. Have your questions prepared in advance but be prepared to go off topic.

What do I love that to do that can support me?

If you like writing, be a writer. If you like to rehab properties, then do that. This is the one of the areas where no one else can help you. You call all the shots. What do you work for?

Am I willing to take the Risk?

Leaving your safe zone cold turkey is hard and quite frankly, we don’t recommend it. Start small with small risks and work your way up the ladder. Many feel that since they took risks at their job that didn’t pay off then nothing else will. That is totally the wrong attitude. The problems with risks at work are many. Back when I worked in corporate America I was ambushed many times by office politics, Machiavellian co-workers, corporate nepotism, political correctness, gossip and worst of all my own flaws. You cannot avoid those things, they are inevitable. What you can do is know that giving 100 percent at work during working hours will help you keep that job. But after hours you need to devote 110 percent to your goals and future success.

Is it for me or for someone else?

What we work for changes over time. When first starting out, it was my family. My wife and daughters mean the world to me. Their happiness and success came first. Investing in real estate helped send them to private schools and pay for their college as well. Both children graduated college with no student loans.

But the children grew up and moved out. All of a sudden It was time to find a new why. Why am I doing this? To be honest the reason is because it is fun. Helping people is rewarding. Being self employed is phenomenal. Not having a boss is one of the greatest feelings in the world. Working with my wife of almost 40 years, who is also my business partner, priceless.

What would it take to Make me change?

It took the worst day of my life to make me change. When it happened I was devastated. Looking back it now turns out to be the greatest thing that ever happened to me. Don’t wait that long. Start working on yourself and get things lined up. Join a REIA, Find a mentor, start learning new techniques and whatever else it takes to motivate you to grow.

What was my answer?

My answer to Jeff was simple, I work for self improvement. In the end that is the only tangible asset we can take with us.

Remember our military and veterans, They work for us and let us live free.


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