A lot of people think I must work 100 hours per week to do all the things I do. I have 19 house flips in progress; I have my own real estate brokerage; I own rentals; I write a blog; I have a YouTube channel; and I have written 6 books. It takes time to accomplish these things, but I also did not do everything overnight. It has taken me many years to build up my business to where it is. I have also had a lot of help to get to where I am today. While I can spend a lot of time working, most weeks I work 40 hours or less. When I am working, I love it. The things I work on are things I would do even if I was not being paid. It can be hard being successful and achieving a work/life balance, but it is not impossible. You have to be able to trust people to help you, and it takes discipline to use your time wisely. You also may need to work long hours at some point in your life to get things set up right. You don’t want to work long hours your entire life. What is the work for if you cannot enjoy it?
How did I achieve a work/life balance?
At one point in my career when I was selling 200 houses per year as a real estate agent, I would work many 12-hour days. I was having a lot of fun because it was exciting to sell that many houses. I was a HUD and REO listing agent, which meant I listed foreclosures. While I was having fun, I did not like working that many hours. I not only would work 12 hour days, but I would have to work on the weekends as well. When my wife and I went on vacation, I would spend hours each day working. I loved the work, but I also knew I could not keep that up forever. I was making mistakes because I was tired and had too much work to keep track of.
I hired an assistant, and my life got instantly better. It took some time to train her, but I could give her busy work that I hated doing. That, in turn, freed up my time to pursue more lucrative activities. I had more time, and I enjoyed the things I was doing more. I also saw that things were getting done better. I like to think I do everything better in my job than anyone else could, but that is not true, especially when I am tired. Tasks were getting done faster, the work was higher quality, and I was happier.
Eventually, I was able to hire more people and delegate more and more tasks. I flipped more and more houses as I automated the real estate agent business. I bought more rental properties because I was making more money. I also delegated the management of those properties to a property manager. I started a blog because I had time to write with the help I had on my other businesses. Eventually, I have gotten help with the blog as well, although I still write the articles and make the YouTube videos.
How do I spend my time during the week?
I spend time in my office, but I love working. It does not seem like a job to me because I have set things up to do the things I love to do. I recently opened a real estate brokerage, and it is a great space. I usually get to work between 8:15 and 8:30 and leave around 4:30 or sometimes 5. I also leave early on Wednesdays for golf league and only work half the day on Thursday for another golf day with friends. Occasionally, I leave early to take my kids somewhere, and we go on at least three vacations per year. I almost never work on the weekends.
When I am working, I have set things up so that I do what I love to do, which is buy houses. I am the one who finds most of the deals. I am scouring the MLS, looking for FSBOs, working on our marketing, and talking to wholesalers. When I find a good deal, I go see it and decide what to offer on it. I also spend time looking at our current projects and sharing what is going on with all of you on here, on Facebook, on Instagram, and on YouTube.
Anything that I do not like doing I delegate to other people, like accounting, paperwork, paying bills, etc. I do not sell houses as an agent anymore because I enjoy doing other things more. I refer out all my buyer and seller leads to other agents in my office.
How do I save time so that I have more time with my family?
I have 7-year-old twins and a wonderful wife. We spend time together every day, on the weekends, and while on vacation. I am very guarded about my time because I want the time I have as best I can. I have worked with many people over the years and have seen how people can save time and waste time. Here are some things I do to save time so that I have more of it.
- I rarely, if ever, talk on the phone. If I talked to everyone who wanted to talk to me, I would be on the phone 24 hours a day. I can email or text someone in 30 seconds or talk on the phone for 10 to 15 minutes and get the same result.
- I rarely meet people for lunch or coffee unless there is a good opportunity. This may sound selfish, but I also cannot meet everyone who wants to meet me. People ask me to go to lunch all the time. I decline most people because I have work I can be doing. Someone even got mad at me once because I would not drive an hour to meet them in Denver to have lunch with them. If there is a good opportunity where that person could help my business or join our office, I will most likely meet them. Often, when I meet random people, they are not prepared for the meeting; they don’t have much to talk about; and they just want to have lunch because they heard that is what you are supposed to do.
- I don’t mow my lawn. This is a huge one for me and other people. I have a half acre lot with a lot of grass. I have lived in my house for 5 years and never mowed the lawn. I used to mow the lawn because that was what men are supposed to do, but I didn’t like doing it. My lawnmower broke dow;n, I am allergic to grass; I can’t hear anything while I am doing it; and it takes time away from my family. I pay someone $45 per mow, which saves me hours of time. I also do not have to buy gas, get the lawnmower tuned up, or feel bad when the grass is a foot long because I did not have time to mow it.
- I don’t multitask. I actually do multitask, but I try to do as little as I can. When I try to do many things at once, I forget what I am doing, get distracted, and it takes me more time to complete things. I do my best work when I am short on time and know I have to get things done now. I focus on what is important and leave the other stuff for someone else or for later.
The more time I can save, the more time I have for important work and for my family. Here are some more tips on saving time:
Could I make more money if I worked more hours?
I could work more, but I would be missing my kids growing up. Even if I worked more, I am not sure I would make more money. I get some of my best ideas when on vacation. Often, when I work all the time, I am too engrossed in the business to see new opportunities. Just because you are working more hours does not mean you will make more money. It is also easy to get burned out, get tired, and not do good work when you work more hours. Working too many hours can cause stress on the family and make you unhappy, which can cause even more problems. Working more hours does not always mean you will make more money in the long run. You might make more money this week or this month, but it could cause you to miss opportunities that would make you much more money in a year or five years.
If you want to be a billionaire, you may have to sacrifice your family and work all the time. However, you can do very well in life and have a work-life balance if you take time to plan your life and how you want things to go. It is not easy. It will not happen overnight. There may even be some long nights, long weeks, or long months, but it is possible.