I quit my 9-5 corporate job to focus on real estate investing this week. In the spirit of transparency, I am going to be working a short term contract (self-employed) until I reach Financial Independence with my real estate investments. This might sound like “oh you just got another job” kind of thing, but it’s much more than that. It is the springboard for the jump ahead of me. Let’s unpack this together.
Good Corporate Citizen (GCC)
In order to succeed in Corporate America, you must be a “good corporate citizen”. I completely fail at this time and time again. You see, I am a creative who often causes necessary disruptions. Not saying I am “disruptive”, I just question and often reject the premise of the status quo. One of my professional duties as an engineer is to evaluate everything and figure out “how we can” vs. “it’s too hard” or “it’s not possible”. There is always a way!
This goes against the traditional way most good corporate citizens think and operate. Most are scared to try anything new unless it’s been done countless times by companies just like the one they are in. Big corporations at times claim to stay ahead of the curve but are too timid when it comes to taking large steps. Many corporate citizens live in fear of losing their job (for good reason) and do their best not to upset their boss or cause waves. This is no way to live, especially working 40+ hours a week.
I despise corporate politics. It’s hard enough being a GCC. When you reach management status and above, corporate politics become very important to your career growth. Having to prove yourself becomes more about who you know and less about what you know. You can be the most decorated, skilled industry shaker, and it won’t mean anything if you are not “buddy buddy” with higher-ups and your peers. Couple that with being a GCC, and you’ve got a full-time mental job on your hands. For me, this took all of the satisfaction out of being a good manager. The only thing that kept me going is how awesome my team was.
Leaving My Job
Deciding to quit was difficult. I had fallen to the pressures of being a GCC and corporate politics. It wasn’t that I couldn’t survive, it was about my personal and financial health. I hated the fact that I was considering selling my house because I saw the end coming. Having trouble sleeping because my boss is stressing me out is one thing, combining that with personal struggles caused an all-out WAR to go on in my head. It totally sucked!
I woke up one morning and said to myself “I don’t want to deal with this sh… anymore!”. I spoke to God about it and started looking for another job. Here is where things get interesting. Applying for jobs was a very simple task. My LinkedIn account was up to date and I let it be known I was looking. This sounds like the typical scenario however, I had to take a step back and really think about what I was doing. I had come to the conclusion that I would just be exchanging one set of problems for another. Well, that’s not going to get me anywhere.
So I thought long and hard about the direction of my life and revisited my goals around excitement, satisfaction, mental stability, physical health, finances, etc. Then it became clear… Dude! You’ve got to grow your passive income so you won’t have to worry about working a 9-5 for money and stressing out like this. Don’t get me wrong, I will still work for myself building software, but I’m only doing it because I love it and not because I love it AND need the money made to live off of. I’m picking 1 struggle.
Why The Contract Gig?
The reason for the contract gig is because I will make more money and give myself room to focus on investing. There is a time limit on the contract, so I know it won’t be forever. Additionally, it plays to my strengths as an engineer which makes it feel less like “work” and more of a “process” towards my end goal. It feels good just typing that.
By going in this direction, I can use the extra money to invest at a much faster pace than I would if I were still at the corporate gig. I can work remote as well so there is more flexibility to where I don’t have to sit in an office all day. I can adjust my time accordingly.
Granted most of this is totally possible in a corporate gig, but working for yourself is the only way, in my opinion, to be free. This is not for everyone. The risk is greater as well as the reward. I know people who have stopped working for themselves and took corporate jobs for “stability” and/or “security”. I’ve been hearing more people are doing it for healthcare reasons and want the benefits.
If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking… is freedom. – Dwight D. Eisenhower
Let’s be real, there is no such thing as true “job security”. It is very common to stay on a job and retire after several decades but you give up your freedom. Hence the quote from Dwight D. Eisenhower above. Most states are “at will” states meaning they can fire you for any reason and you can quit for any reason. Sure there are different laws to protect people and all that, but you can still be let go tomorrow and will be replaced sooner than later for less money. I’ve been on both sides of that discussion.
This thinking might be hard for most people to grasp, but it’s true. I wasn’t taught to be an entrepreneur or how to acquire assets or how to build a business in school. Many schools don’t teach Economics and Finance anymore. Most teach you enough to get a job or career. It was always, get a good education so you can get a good paying job, and have a steady paycheck.
The Focus on Real Estate
I am focussing on investing in real estate because the returns are great with plenty of options to make more. This form of passive income is a fantastic way to build wealth and be financially free. This is what I mean when I say “buy my time back”. I’ve already given myself over to corporate life and accepted it as my future once before. Now it’s time to get my time back. Real Estate is just one avenue to pay for it without me having to consistently work a 9-5.
There will always be ups and downs however, this is something that can be built into a business with a system that runs itself. Having this in place, my family can live comfortably and we can spend time enjoying each other. When my time is up on this earth, my wife and/or kids will inherit the business and still continue to benefit from the system in place. Your kids can’t inherit your job. I want to make sure I leave them with something other than memories and bills.
I’ll keep you all posted on the progress!