“If you had one shot, one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment, would you capture it or just let it slip?”
Most well-known personalities, singers, movies, etc all talk about saying YES when opportunities pop up. Eminem talked in many of his songs about seizing the opportunity, just like the quote above.
There is value to this because most people won’t take advantage of the opportunities they are given. I’m not an avid listener of that genre of music, but Marshall Mathers really strikes into a vein of our society via music in a way that I’m not sure others have done.
The fact is most people let fear stop them from achieving something greater.
But, for those of us with an entrepreneurs mentality, we naturally say yes when opportunities pop up.
“Yes, I’ll buy that property.”
“Sure, I’ll partner on that deal.”
“This is a great business idea to create another stream of income!”
The problem is that almost no one talks about saying no.
As real estate investors or any other business minded person, it’s Often, saying NO is more valuable than saying YES.
It’s Hard to Say No
It’s easy to make excuses but it’s hard to say no. Be honest with yourself, when was the last time a friend asked you to help them move and you said in simple terms “no”?
Maybe you found something else to do that day. Perhaps you were ‘busy’. Whatever it was, you didn’t just say no.
It’s similar with business. Many people find excuses to not be successful, but few say “no” to success.
But, once you start saying “yes”, it’s addicting. More opportunities, more revenue, more income, more potential.
It’s HARD to say no to those things. But, sometimes we need to. Here are a few reasons why.
Think of Opportunity Costs
I recently met up with my good friend Jennifer over at REIMillionaire while we were both in Oklahoma City checking out some opportunities. She is really successful in real estate and has a number of income streams from various sources related to real estate.
We were assessing some solid BRRR Strategy opportunities. I asked her, “So, what do you think about these?”
“The numbers work. I have a few concerns but I think they are solid.”
“So, are you going to do it?” I asked.
“No, I don’t think so…”
After some more conversation, she pointed out that pursuing those deals don’t fit well into what she was doing elsewhere She wanted to focus on syndicating some new-build multifamily near Seattle that we’re working on together as partners.
It’s important to think about opportunity costs when evaluating a potential opportunity, be it in real estate or in other business.
We all have a ‘bandwidth’ meaning we can only focus on a certain number of things in a given period of time. When you take on a new opportunity, it will take you away from other things that you are working on.
And that is opportunity cost – what you give up in order to get something else.
As entrepreneurs, this is so hard to determine!
It’s Hard to Estimate Opportunity Costs
Think about it, imagine you’re earning money on your real estate, as an agent, with your website, doing some wholesaling. You’ve got a lot of revenue coming in.
Then, someone asks you to partner on a new build, or to start a property management company, or to do…whatever else.
So, you take the opportunity. You can make money doing it for sure.
You also don’t lose any money in your other areas. You’re still earning the same amount, so it’s good, right?
The hard part is going back and assessing if you could have earned even more if you had spent that time building up one of your other revenue streams.
Chances are if you had dedicated the same amount of time to buying more rentals, building your agent business, wholesaling real estate, or whatever else it is you do, you could have earned more.
Say No If You’re Too Excited
One of the problems investors run into is the excitement about a deal. It’s more common in newer investors but it happens with experienced investors as well.
If you find yourself overly excited about something, you might be trying to convince yourself to do it. If this is happening, it’s time to take a step back and take a deeper look.
When you’re evaluating any potential investment, regardless if it’s business, stocks, or real estate, you need to be totally detached. If you catch yourself fudging numbers to make it work, you’re probably too excited.
I’ve done it before tons of times. In real estate, you’ll find yourself bumping rents a little bit or dropping expenses in some way trying to get the numbers to pan out.
Remember, it’s always cheaper to lose a good deal than to say yes to a bad deal! So, it might just be time to walk away if you’re doing this.
Focus on a Few Things
The moral of the story is to focus on just a few things. Don’t get distracted by shiny objects and don’t chase things just because they could earn money.
When you are looking to chase a new project, be skeptical and avoid it if you find yourself getting too attached to it.
What about you, have you ever had to say no to a new project or investment even if it was a good one?
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The Main Benefits of Being Financially Independent
Being financially independent means different things to different people.
To some, it means retiring and traveling the world, relaxing at home, or doing whatever you love.
For others, it means having the financial stability to have at your back, while you continue your career or business.
In general, financial independence is defined as when your passive income is higher than your living expenses. Here’s the issue though…
It can be a moving target.
You need different levels of income at different points in your life. Let me explain
How Much Money Do I Need?
If you are 18 years old and have no debts, are healthy, and can get by with little, the amount of income you actually need to get by is very low.
Eventually, you might get married, have a family, a dog, etc. So, the income you need to sustain this is a lot higher.
Then, the kids move out and you downsize. You need a lot less again.
Then you start to get older and you find your health failing you. Your costs will go up once again.
So, at a minimum, I’ve already outlined 4 different points in your life where your “financial independence number” will go up or down.
Regardless of the difficulty in calculating exactly how much you’ll need, there still are a lot of benefits to strive for financial independence. Let’s take a look at those.
Freedom of Choice
I already alluded to it a bit, but the biggest benefit to financial independence is freedom.
As soon as your passive income is higher than your wages, you’ll find that you don’t need that job. You can continue to work, but you don’t have to. So, all the stress is gone.
Same goes if you’re a business owner. You can continue to grow your business if you want, but you don’t need to.
You could opt to walk away from it and do something else entirely. It allows you could leave the high paying job and find a job that is more rewarding.
Whatever you choose to do, it’s because you’ve achieved Financial Independence.
You’ll Be Able to Make More Money
You can never unlock your true potential as long as you are a slave to your job or business. It’s hard to pursue other opportunities when you can’t afford to leave your job.
As an employee, you can earn money by working more, getting a raise, or getting better positions. But, you are actually very limited because most of your time is dedicated to the job.
And that brings us to the heart of financial independence – time. The most valuable commodity is time, and if your time is spent working for someone else, it isn’t spent finding new opportunities for growth.
By growing your passive income to the point where you don’t have to work anymore, you can unlock that time and harness all of your intelligence and creative power to pursue more valuable endeavors.
You’ll Actually Get to Retire
If you haven’t realized it yet, Social Security is going to go broke, pensions can disappear overnight, and even state or municipal government benefits can be slashed to pennies on the dollar.
While some people will be able to retire with these, we should not depend on them entirely. Doing so will make it far less likely that you’ll have the security you need or want in retirement.
But, retirement isn’t something many of us worry about until it’s far too late. We don’t save or prepare, then find ourselves unable to retire.
So many people work until they are no longer able to work and they are forced to retire. By then, they have no way to actually enjoy any of their ‘retirement.’
If you are financially independent at a young age, you are kind of already retired. Additionally, you can continue to work and just save everything to get to a point where you are truly prepared for retirement.
You might even be able to afford to retire early and enjoy your later years to their full potential.
Passive Income is Like Unemployment Insurance
Unemployment insurance covers only a portion of your lost wages. But, if your passive income is already at or above your wages, then it’s like a really good insurance policy.
The fact is that many industries are changing and advancing, which is leaving its older workers behind. Having financial independence means that you’ve got something to fall back on and can take your time to find new work without worrying.
You Can Plan
A lot of people never plan ahead. While they might plan their next vacation, wedding, or Black Friday shopping spree, most people aren’t planning for their finances next month let alone 20 years from now.
A lot of that comes from the belief that it’s impossible to get ahead, be successful, wealthy, and secure. Planning ahead would just be depressing.
But, if you work to attain financial independence, planning for the future becomes fun. Who doesn’t want to think about the future when the world is your oyster?
You’ll Be Less Stressed
Money is one of the leading causes of worry and stress in our society and in most households.
Having more passive income can help with your finances, allowing you to enjoy the company of your spouse and children. It can allow your family to actually enjoy each other rather than always being stressed over paying bills.
Why Aren’t You Chasing F.I.?
What is holding you back from pursuing financial independence? Comment below.