Getting Started As A Real Estate Investor

Donna Robinson

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For most of us, the issue is getting started. How do I start? Where do I start? And so forth.

I know from my own personal experience years ago, just how intimidating it is to embark on a career change. I first became interested in real estate way back in the mid 1980's. I knew I wanted to increase my earning potential, and have a business where I did not have to worry about punching a clock. I wanted my hours to be my own.

I love being out doors on pretty days, and sitting in a little gray cubicle day after day is for me, like being in prison, no matter how much “security" the job offers. I am wired to be an entrepreneur. Anything less and I am miserable. I love knowing that my time off is not confined to weekends or 4 official company holidays a year. You only get one chance to live your life and I was bound and determined not to spend most of my years sitting in rush hour traffic, fighting the Saturday morning crowds at Wal-mart, frantically trying to squeeze all my “fun" into short weekends that seem to end all to quickly.

But, even with all that desire, I still found it very hard to get started in the early days.

In fact, it took me almost 10 years to get started. My readers are mostly aware that I have been involved in real estate in one way or another since 1994. But most do not realize that I spent about 7 years before that thinking about it, wondering what to do and how to get started.

It can be so intimidating when you are new, and the fear of the unknown can really hold you back. But by the mid 1990's, I had decided that I had do something NOW, or things would never change. That little gray cubicle was really beginning to get to me.

So I started the process. I made mistakes, lost money and even managed to damage my credit, but at least I started. None of the problems I encountered killed me. But they all taught me valuable lessons that serve me well today. More than anything else, I have realized the value of getting started and taking some action, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.

I have learned that there is no perfect time to get involved. There is no easy way to make big changes in your life. But once they are done, it doesn't seem so bad.

I still have problems to deal with, I still have tenants that don't always pay the rent on time, I still work hard. But, I don't know anyone who really loves the freedom of being in their own business who does not work hard. At least I am working hard for ME, not for someone else.

I may sometimes work 14 hours in one day. I may sometimes work until midnight. And on some pretty days, I go to the lake and don't work at all. But the point is, it is my choice. I no longer spend 10 hours a week sitting in traffic. My office commute takes about 1 minute. If I decide to take a day to go to the mountains I do it on a weekday when the crowds are all at work.

If this is what you are longing for, you can have it too. All it takes is the strong, unflinching desire to make a change. Entrepreneurs are not driven by safety and security, we are driven by a desire to control our lives. We have a vision for how we want our lives to be and we are willing to take the risks necessary to make it happen.

My point is this: If you want your life to change, you have to take action. And, like me, your life probably won't change overnight. You only have to be willing to hang in there for the long haul.

Persistence is the key. You may feel like you have been putting this off for so long that it will never happen for you. But, if you are learning and growing in your knowledge of real estate investing and persisting little by little, the day will come when you will wake up and realize that you did make the changes you wanted to make.

Failure only comes when you decide to stop growing. Successful investors are people who choose not to give up on pursuing their dreams, no matter how long it takes and in spite of their mistakes. Don't be afraid to take chances. It's the way dreams become reality.

Donna Robinson is a real estate investor, author, and consultant located in Atlanta Georgia. You may read more of her articles on her website at or you may contact her by email at or call 404 542-9903.


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