Where Does the Time Go

by Lifeonaire Shaun McCloskey

Being a real estate investor can either be the most rewarding, exciting, exhilarating and fun aspects of your life, or it can be the most stressful, time consuming headache that you’ve ever been involved in.  I meet people from both ends of the spectrum almost every day, and the differences in these two types of people can be easily identified by asking one simple question…

How do you choose to spend your time each day?

Notice that the word “choose” is in italics and underlined.  Think there’s a reason why?

I hear from so many people in all aspects of business that they “just don’t have enough time” to do all of the things that they want to do… or they “have to do EVERYTHING around here!”… or “If I don’t do it no one else will”… 

The reality is that there IS enough time.  There’s enough time in life to do everything that we’ve always wanted to do and more!!  The reality is also that all too often what we really want to do and what we actually do every day are two different things.

A True Story…

When I first got started investing in real estate in 2003, I remember being completely excited, and at the same time, completely overwhelmed.  I was trying to do the right thing by getting the proper education up front, so I saw my share of guru’s, and I bought my share of CD’s and tape sets.  And although I don’t regret buying a single one of them, I must say that I was force fed so much information that I didn’t know what to believe any more.

I had learned so much and yet there were so many steps to take in order to get my first deal that I very quickly became overwhelmed.

It seemed like every time I turned around, there was one more thing that I needed to have set up FIRST before I could ever be successful.  Every time I turned around, there was one more “TO DO” on my to do list, and no matter how many things I crossed off the list every day, there would just be twice as many things on the list the next day.  No matter how hard I tried, I could never get caught up.

Needless to say, it didn’t take long before I was frustrated with this business and thought that this whole real estate gig only worked for “other people.”   (Ever had that feeling before?)  I was completely frustrated, and even though eventually I started doing a few deals (and was proud that I did), I was still overwhelmed.  I now look back and can see why.

I didn’t know how to spend my time every day.
And I didn’t know how to ask for help.

At the time, I was trying to create and do everything myself… because after all, no one does the job as good as I do, right?  WRONG. 

The day that I started having fun in this business (and seeing any level of success) was the day I realized that the most successful people in this world don’t try to take on the entire world by themselves!  They seek the advice and help of other people that are just as good (if not better) than they are.  And guess what?  The successful people get to CHOOSE the things that they want to do every day, then they delegate all of the things that they don’t want to do to other people.  And do you know what the best part of this is?  These “other people” that are doing all of the stuff that I don’t want to do will do an even better job than I will if they actually LIKE to do these things!

Let me give you a real example…

I love creating things.  This is why I love the real estate investing business.  I love the fact that real estate deals are kind of like snowflakes… no two deals are exactly alike.  When I got started, I just knew that in order to find deals, I had to start marketing.

I knew that sending mailers to a pre-foreclosure list was probably one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get my phone ringing, so I sat down and created “The ULTIMATE MAILING CAMPAIGN”, comprised of 5 different letters that went out to homeowners over the course of 10 days.  This thing was unbelievable!  I was SO excited about this!  I had revised the wording over and over and added pictures and graphics and everything that I could think of that would make a homeowner more comfortable and WANT to call me.

I spent a lot of time on this project and I loved doing it.  I just knew that this was going to make a difference in not only my business, but other people’s lives as well!

But after I was done writing the letters, I actually had to mail them.  This part wasn’t as much fun.  As a matter of fact, I HATED doing this part.  I hated sitting there doing the same thing over and over again, stuffing the same envelopes, licking that same stamp, putting it in a nice and neat pile, taking them to the post office, blah… blah… blah!

But I did it.  I did it for two weeks.

And guess what?  My phone started ringing.  And ringing.  And when it did, I would get excited because that was my opportunity to help people.  But when it came time to mail more mailers each morning, I DREADED it!!

As a matter of fact, I hated doing it so much that I was complaining about “having to do it” to a group of friends one night at dinner.  In the middle of complaining about this absolutely boring part of my new career, my good friends’ wife Terra said, “Are you kidding me?  I LOVE doing that kind of work!  Can I do it for you?”   Next thing you know, I had just hired my first marketing assistant.

Now I know what some of you are thinking:  “I can’t AFFORD to hire an assistant to do this kind of stuff for me yet.”

But remember this:

If you have parts of your business that you absolutely can’t stand to do,
and it’s draining you of your time, energy,
and motivation to do the other things that you DO like to do,
you can’t afford NOT to do this.

Think of it this way: Terra works for me for $10 per hour and works about 10 hours per week.  That equates to about $100 per week, which equates to a grand total of $400 per month.  And in that time, she does ALL OF MY DIRECT MARKETING FOR ME!

And the best part?  She LOVES her job!!!  Terra is a stay at home Mom, so I brought all of our marketing materials to her house and she gets to do it from her own home every day.  She loves her job, loves the flexibility, gets to work at home with her kids every day, and I love the fact that I don’t have to do all that stuff that I hated doing any more.

Not only that, but her working 10 hours per week on marketing equates to me not having to work on marketing for those 10 hours per week, which also equates to me not having to work on marketing for 40 hours per month, WHICH IS ONE TOTAL WORK WEEK PER MONTH!

Think about this…  I just got back one total work week of my entire month all for the low price of $400, not to mention the fact that I got my sanity back.  Now I can spend that extra time doing the things that not only I’m good at and love doing, but I can also focus on those things which are most profitable for my business as well.

Do you think that you’re worth more than $10 per hour?

If so, and you’re still doing all of the day to day chores that you hate doing, understand that you’re doing these jobs that you hate for a mere $10 per hour.  Is that really all you’re worth?  Maybe it’s time to hire an assistant.

When I got this task off of my daily “to do” list, my production went up 1000%.

I have never every looked at this amount of money that I pay Terra every month as an expense.  I now look at it as an investment which frees up more of my time to do what count – HELP MORE PEOPLE and DO MORE DEALS!

Guess what?  Over time, I realized that there are other parts of the business that I don’t like doing…

  • I don’t like writing checks and balancing my checkbook… I now have a bookkeeper.
  • I don’t like cleaning my house or office. I now have a house cleaner.
  • I don’t like selling our houses, I’m better at buying them. I now have a salesperson.
  • I don’t like doing all of the paperwork involved in every deal. I now have an office manager.
  • I don’t like putting out bandit signs. I now have a part time sign person do this once per week.

Get the picture?  I’m certainly not suggesting here that you build your team up to this level over night.  What I do want you to know however, is that:

Successful people have a choice as to
what they decide to do each day. 

What are you choosing to do today?

Even though you may not be able to immediately go out and hire ten people to do all of the parts of your business you don’t love, this doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking in the beginning.   Right now, in most areas around the country, ten dollars per hour will buy you a lot more than you think.   What if you picked just one thing you don’t enjoy doing in your life or business and outsourced just that one thing?   What if that one thing only took someone else 5 hours per week to accomplish?  That’s only $50 per week that it’s costing to you eliminate something in your life that you can’t stand doing!   Think about it, that’s not a huge dollar amount, nor is it a big time commitment that you have to stick with the rest of your life.  But wouldn’t it be worth a try to see if it could impact your life?

When I made the conscious decision to choose what I was going to focus on and what I was going to hand off to others, it made all the difference in the world to my business.  It not only freed me up from doing the things that I don’t enjoy doing, it also freed up my mind to the point where focusing on the things I am good at just got that much better!   When I began to understand this, I immediately starting making more money than ever before, and even more important, I was really enjoying what I was doing!

Shaun McCloskey is a full time real estate investor and LIFEonaire Coach located in St. Louis, MO specializing in short sales and pre-foreclosure property acquisition.  He has successfully bought and sold over 300 properties since 2003 and loves the every day thrills of the residential real estate business.  He and his partners coach students nationwide on how they too can become a LIFEonaire.  His partner Jason Roberts will be sharing his Lifeonaire Story at the January 12th, 2015 MAREI meeting and the Lifeonarie Team will be presenting one of their 3 day Retreats the first week in March.