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The Choice

encsteph

New Contributor
Nov 27, 2007
30
2
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49
Southern New Jersey
Hello all,

I write to you today for a couple of reasons: 1) To get everything down in writing (sometimes that helps me see the big picture) and 2) to maybe get some advice.

I am at a crossroads in my life and there are many, many options and it’s becoming pretty challenging to separate fact from wish fullness and logic from emotion.

I recently posted in the Fastlane area with a little bit about my background and what my plan is. Basically the short version is that my plan is to start an IT Services company that provides various services to the small business owners in my area. I will build that business up and use the proceeds to create cashflow via investments (property and paper assets).

To give you some more of the story, I was laid off back in mid-October and have been collecting unemployment while searching for a job. I took advantage of some of the free courses that they offer including one called “Follow your True Colors†which is a series of classes and homework intended to teach you what “color†personality you have and therefore what field or industry you would be best suited for.

It was actually a very interesting and insightful class and it made me think really hard, for the first time in awhile, about where I am in life, what I want out of life and my future. It also made me pick up Rich Dad, Poor Dad again. I read it several years ago and enjoyed but didn’t really get a whole lot out of it at the time. This time it completely changed who I am, what I want and where I am headed.

I have since finished Cashflow Quadrant and am partially through Guide to Investing and they are having as much impact on me as the first one did. I have come to realize that I am really, really tired of the rat race and want out desperately!!!!

During the investigation for the IT Service business and my continued job search (due to the unemployment requirements) I have realized that I have 5 different paths available to me and I am having a difficult time choosing the right path.

Before I lay out the various paths there is probably some personal information that you should have to get an idea of my entire picture. I am the proud father of two beautiful and awesome boys (9 and 11) as well as the husband of the best wife a man could ask for. We own a SFH, have about 6 grand in credit card debt, 1 car payment and very little cash reserves at the moment. We are a typical family in the rat race these days I guess. We are currently surviving on my unemployment check and my wife’s income. Before I got laid off I was making just under 6 figures a year.

So now on to the options:

  • Get a “developer†job. I was a web developer and have been a web developer for awhile as well as being knowledgeable and experienced in just about all other major areas of IT. I have had several recruiters chasing me for regular or senior developer positions but haven’t really been too excited about them because most of the jobs are 45 to 60 minute commute each way, $5 - $10k decrease in salary and just plain boring to me.

  • Get an IT Manager job. I have been contacted by a Career Development firm that will for a mere 5k “reinvent†me (resume, presentation, interview skills, negotiation skill, etc…) and basically guarantee me an executive position at $110k per year. The “basically guarantee†is because I pay half up front and if the job I accept is less then 110k I only pay $500 to them instead of the 2.5k. Before I realized I wanted out this is exactly what I wanted. I high paying job, lots of responsibility, lots of challenge, upward mobility, blah, blah, blah. Now I just see it as a detour away from my dreams and goals.

  • SEA IT Biz. The NJ Dept. of Labor and the Unemployment people have a program called SEA where if accepted into the program they will teach you how to write a business plan, marketing plan, general accounting info, tax info and business formation. This is a 6 week, 60 hour program and once accepted you stop collecting unemployment and they pay you the same amount of your unemployment check but you don’t have to search for a job or anything like that. They don’t give you a loan or anything but the do help in other ways.

  • Home IT Biz. I have also thought of starting my IT Services as above but without all the stringent requirements from SEA since I would be able to use all that time to build the business.

    There is a plus here for both “versions†of the IT Services business: I have a client already. I will be doing some web redesign and e-commerce work as well as general network infrastructure redesign and upgrading for a friend’s business in the very near future. At a minimum we’re talking about 60 hours worth of work but if they accept my suggestions it would be more in the neighborhood of around 150 hours over a couple of month period of time.

  • Real Estate Agent. I posted several messages to various discussion forums asking for any/all information about the NJ SEA program (just as I did here in the General Discussion area) and got a message from a broker to give him a call. I did and then I went to see him. We talked for a little while about SEA and then spent the next 2.5 hours talking about my becoming an agent in his brokerage. This gentleman has been in the business for 50 years, specializes in distressed property and mentors his agents and teaches them to develop relationships with their customers. This position/opportunity is probably the least logical due to the fact that it is commission based, the overall housing market is in the toilet and I don’t have a whole lot of financial reserves. It is also the position/opportunity that tugs at my heart strings the most. Real Estate is my passion and since I want to be a Real Estate Investor for the rest of my life being in the business and learning it from the inside seems to make the most sense to me. The idea of helping people buy a new home and/or get out from under a really lousy situation really appeals to me.

I have tried writing out the pro’s and con’s of each and that has been limited help as none of the opportunities have a clear cut advantage over the others. I have also discussed this with my wife and had her list the pro’s and con’s of each as well. She had similar results in so far as none of them was a clear cut winner. The difference (which was completely expected) is that she leans much more toward the “secure†developer job or the manager job and the business’s and the RE Agent positions scare her because of the lack of financial reserves we have.

If you have read this far, I applaud you for your diligence!

If anybody has any comments or suggestions for me please don’t hesitate to respond…even if it’s something you think I might not want to hear. At this point any information would be helpful!!

Thanks in advance.

Eric
 

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Jorge

Bronze Contributor
Oct 5, 2007
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First, good luck with this post, I'm in a similar situation but got very few responses:

http://www.thefastlanetomillions.com/showthread.php?p=17864

I'm starting to believe that nobody has the answer, the only one who does is YOU.

Personally, I would go towards the immediate positive-cashflow job/business and clear the debts. Then you can go to the broker again and ask him for a position. If the job is commission based I think that would be no problem for him getting you in.

So I would get the developer job for example, and clear the debts, also you could start part-time with the RE agent and get your feet wet, once you're without debt and more knowledge (and hopefully with the market a little healthier) you can quit the boring developer job and get into RE full time.

Whatever you decide, GOOD LUCK!!
 
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encsteph

New Contributor
Nov 27, 2007
30
2
9
49
Southern New Jersey
Jorge,

Thanks for the quick response.

I see your logic get rid of debt, put some money in the bank and then make a more sensible choice at that point.

Eric
 

Yankees338

Bronze Contributor
Jul 24, 2007
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Eric,

It seems like your heart is telling you to go down the real estate route, but your mind and wife are telling you to stick with something more reliable. Real estate is something that you can be flexible with, and it could give you free time to pursue other ventures.

What about doing both RE and starting up an IT firm catering to small businesses? To start off, you could favor the IT firm as it will be your main source of income, but slowly, you could ease away from that and begin to focus more on brokerage and investing. Once you escape your debt, you can let others do the work for you in your IT business while you still collect some passive income from that. In the meantime, you can learn the ropes of the RE business. Also, having the RE license will enable you to get a "discount" on the properties you buy when the time comes, so you won't have to put as much out of your pocket.

Hope this helps and good luck!

Ryan
 
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encsteph

New Contributor
Nov 27, 2007
30
2
9
49
Southern New Jersey
Ryan,

I like the idea but not sure because as I read your post the first thing that popped into my mind was from one of the Rich Dad books where he says to focus your investments and not "diversify" them.

Not sure if I would be able to truly give the IT biz or RE 110% if I was trying to do both.

I did think of doing something similar but instead of the IT biz it was getting the developer or even the IT Manager job and doing RE part-time (nights and weekends). I think I would be able to do that more easily since the job is a job and when I am done with the job for the day I am pretty much done for the day (except in emergencies of course). At that point I can focus soley and completely on the RE biz and learn the ropes, slowly but steadily without financial pressures.

Does that make sense?

Thanks for the post...even if you are a Yankees fan!

Eric
 

Yankees338

Bronze Contributor
Jul 24, 2007
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Ryan,

I like the idea but not sure because as I read your post the first thing that popped into my mind was from one of the Rich Dad books where he says to focus your investments and not "diversify" them.

Not sure if I would be able to truly give the IT biz or RE 110% if I was trying to do both.

I did think of doing something similar but instead of the IT biz it was getting the developer or even the IT Manager job and doing RE part-time (nights and weekends). I think I would be able to do that more easily since the job is a job and when I am done with the job for the day I am pretty much done for the day (except in emergencies of course). At that point I can focus soley and completely on the RE biz and learn the ropes, slowly but steadily without financial pressures.

Does that make sense?

Thanks for the post...even if you are a Yankees fan!

Eric
Haha, it does make sense...and yes, a HUGE Yankee fan!!!!!

Anyway, the logic behind my suggestion is this: even if you're making $100k/year with your IT job, it's still a JOB (not necessarily saying that's a bad thing, but I think other things make sense in this situation). If you're planning on shifting into investing later on, you're not going to be able to stay at that position forever. Once you're done there, the paychecks are done, too. However, if you build a business, you control how high your profits go, not your employer. You control how much you work and when as well as how you will do things. Once you feel that your time has come to begin real estate, you can slowly ease yourself away at YOUR pace and still collect some income from your business based on how well you can establish systems within it (basically, it will come down to how reliant the business becomes on YOU...the sooner you plan for it to be run as a system, the more it will pay off when you choose to step away). Down the road, you can either have that income stream coming in as a bonus or collect a nice paycheck by selling off to a competitor. Having the job might benefit you more now, but IMO, building a business will have the most benefit down the road.

And regarding your post about "diversifying"...I definitely see where you're coming from with this. However, in all likelihood, you won't be ultra-busy with anything you do when starting a business, so you'll probably have some spare time to give the RE thing a shot. This doesn't mean starting up will be easy; you'll definitely have your hands full. Ultimately, though, it will pay off as long as you do it right. In some ways, when you think about it, giving them both a shot will enable you to give 110% to yourself and your financial future, not just your job.

I can certainly understand why you'd want to go for the IT job and try real estate on the side. That definitely offers the most for you right now, but I feel that when you have a business yourself, the sky is the limit. Good luck to you once again; I wish you all the best...and remember: I'm no professional so always take what I say with a grain of salt. :)
 
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encsteph

New Contributor
Nov 27, 2007
30
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Ryan,

Wow Great post!

You make some really good points about the IT Business. I definitely like the idea of building the business and creating the systems so that at some point I can step away from it and concentrate fully on my Real Estate ventures.

The more I think about it, I realize you are probably right about being able to do both at the same time especially in the beginning. I also think this might help me begin putting systems into place in the IT business since I will also have commitments to the RE business.

Thanks for the help and insight!

Eric
 

Yankees338

Bronze Contributor
Jul 24, 2007
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Ryan,

Wow Great post!

You make some really good points about the IT Business. I definitely like the idea of building the business and creating the systems so that at some point I can step away from it and concentrate fully on my Real Estate ventures.

The more I think about it, I realize you are probably right about being able to do both at the same time especially in the beginning. I also think this might help me begin putting systems into place in the IT business since I will also have commitments to the RE business.

Thanks for the help and insight!

Eric
Thanks! Glad to help...can't wait to hear how this unfolds. Good luck!!
 

Luke12321

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Jul 27, 2007
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Bottom line, go with whatever you think in your heart is best for you! Here is my 2 cents, just because you had a job in IT does not meet you will be able to run a business IT related with success. Alot goes into running a total business. Previously, you have been a employee only...but running a business is a totally different route. Just think it out...myself, I would rather focus on one (business or RE) and then after one is set up ( + cashflow) and running....step away from it and focus on the other.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Eric,

As others have stated, you have to do what feels right for you. My opinion is a clear as day: Start an IT business. However, I'd go one step further and cojoin your IT business with a website business itself.

As an IT engineer, you have incredible wealth building power, so much, it is mind boggling. You see as a developer, you have the power to BUILD ASSETS at a very cheap cost. Those assets are web properties. Web properties have FASTLANE power to generate wealth.

Think back to your Rich Dad book and what RK was preaching ... real estate and lots of it. The problem therein is you can't just go buy a piece of land, and start building. It costs money. It requires skill. It takes time. The barriers to entry on real estate investment is not entirely easy. Conversely, your barriers to entry in the website property business is virtually non-existent since you possess the major barrier: Development time and skill.

Fastlane is about developing assets that build wealth -- real estate is a vehicle. So are website properties. You already possess the power to create a major asset group- you need no money, no hammers, no land, no nails, no contractors, nothing but your brain, your ideas and your skill.

With that said, here is what I'd do:

SHORT TERM PLAN
(Slowlane, pays bills, consumes your time)
1) Start freelancing - post your skills (your company) on all the freelancing sites that match your competency area. Elance.com is a great start, but there are many others. The Freelancing gigs will help pay the bills -- you gotta keep your family fed! Focus on IT development for small business; again, to pay the bills.

LONG TERM PLAN
(Fastlane, generates wealth, grows exponentially)
1) Start looking for a need that can be filled via the web.
2) Develop a website and fill that need - ensure to attach a revenue model that can be sustained and is viable.
3) Grow the business
4) Sell equity or sell entirely

Obviously, the Long-Term plan can get quite complicated. However, this is what I'd do -- the power you have in your skill is immense -- don't let it go to waste. Start creating ASSETS!

Keep us posted!
MJ:smx1:
 

Jonleehacker

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Oct 31, 2007
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As a developer myself I applaud MJs advice, it is exactly the path I am taking.

I'd like to add one method to squeeze some synergy from the plan and that is to think of freelancing as part of your business...the market research department :)

Look for solutions that your freelance clients require to improve their businesses. Then build the tools for them (and many other like them) and sell them the service/tools. Make it a part of your daily interaction with all of your clients to probe them for their unmet or dream needs.
 

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encsteph

New Contributor
Nov 27, 2007
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Bottom line, go with whatever you think in your heart is best for you! Here is my 2 cents, just because you had a job in IT does not meet you will be able to run a business IT related with success. Alot goes into running a total business. Previously, you have been a employee only...but running a business is a totally different route.
This is the very thing that keeps popping into my head. Can I really handle wearing all the hats necessary to really build a business? Can I be a successful salesman, project manager, designer, developer, etc... all at the same time.

I'm scared and excited at the same time!

I tried a web design business 4 or 5 years ago with a $10,000 loan from a family member and ended up $10k in debt and back in the rat race within 6 months! This time I have more drive and more desire but less money to start with.

Have I learned enough in the last couple of years to make this business succeed where the other failed? My emotions tell me I have but I know they can't be trusted completely since the desire to start my own business is so strong within me.

Eric
 
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encsteph

New Contributor
Nov 27, 2007
30
2
9
49
Southern New Jersey
As an IT engineer, you have incredible wealth building power, so much, it is mind boggling. You see as a developer, you have the power to BUILD ASSETS at a very cheap cost. Those assets are web properties. Web properties have FASTLANE power to generate wealth.

Think back to your Rich Dad book and what RK was preaching ... real estate and lots of it. The problem therein is you can't just go buy a piece of land, and start building. It costs money. It requires skill. It takes time. The barriers to entry on real estate investment is not entirely easy. Conversely, your barriers to entry in the website property business is virtually non-existent since you possess the major barrier: Development time and skill.

Fastlane is about developing assets that build wealth -- real estate is a vehicle. So is website properties. You already possess the power to create a major asset group- you need no money, no hammers, no land, no nails, no contractors, nothing but your brain, your ideas and your skill.
This I can do, have done, will continue to do. I have built business sites that are not for a client but are for revenue (affiliate / adsense based sites, blog sites, article database, etc...). To build sites that are Assets doesn't take me starting an IT business in my mind, just a couple of hours/days to come up with the idea, flesh it out, due diligence and then some coding.

With that said, here is what I'd do:

SHORT TERM PLAN (Slowlane, pays bills, consumes your time)
1) Start freelancing - post your skills (your company) on all the freelancing sites that match your competency area. Elance.com is a great start, but there are many others. The Freelancing gigs will help pay the bills -- you gotta keep your family fed! Focus on IT development for small business; again, to pay the bills.

LONG TERM PLAN (Fastlane, generates wealth, grows exponentially)
1) Start looking for a need that can be filled via the web.
2) Develop a website and fill that need - ensure to attach a revenue model that can be sustained and is viable.
3) Grow the business
4) Sell equity or sell entirely

Obviously, the Long-Term plan can get quite complicated. However, this is what I'd do -- the power you have in your skill is immense -- don't let it go to waste. Start creating ASSETS!

Keep us posted!
MJ:smx1:
Unfortunately or fortunately depending on hwo you see things alot of the freelance sites are very, very competitive. Lots of developers and companies from other countries have infiltrated the sites and have cost of living and overhead so far below ours that it makes it difficult to compete with them. Not impossible just challenging and time consuming. As I consider the IT business I wonder if the time spent building up a clientele and a reputation on the Elances out there would be better spent developing clientele and business within my local community.

Your Long Term plan makese a lot of sense and I think would be viable no matter if I start an IT business or continue creating sites to fill the needs as I see them.

MJ, thanks for your input it has been very helpful and has given me much more to think about and plan for no matter what I end up doing!!

Eric
 
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encsteph

New Contributor
Nov 27, 2007
30
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49
Southern New Jersey
Look for solutions that your freelance clients require to improve their businesses. Then build the tools for them (and many other like them) and sell them the service/tools. Make it a part of your daily interaction with all of your clients to probe them for their unmet or dream needs.
Now that's a great idea!

If you don't mind I think I will take it one step further and use your suggestion for everybody I know not just my freelance clients. Most of my friends and acquintances have websites and are constantly asking me for advice, suggestions, etc... for how to improve their site or more importantly the traffic, SE positioning, etc...

I think I'm going to start talking to each of them about specifically what they want, how they want to do it, etc... and then as you say "build them a tool" to do what they want.

Thanks!

Eric
 

Jorge

Bronze Contributor
Oct 5, 2007
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Yes, in fact, its a really cool idea. Lot's of e-biz started as a tool for the developer/client/whatever and then they realized that could be mass-targeted.

Take BaseCamp for example, its a project management service. And they started the site with the idea of using it themselves as an extranet for their clients!
 

kimberland

Bronze Contributor
Jul 25, 2007
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Unfortunately or fortunately depending on hwo you see things alot of the freelance sites are very, very competitive. Lots of developers and companies from other countries have infiltrated the sites and have cost of living and overhead so far below ours that it makes it difficult to compete with them.
I have to call slowlane on this thinking.
I can go down the street,
walk into a dozen small businesses,
talk to them for a half hour each
and get you a client.
From that client
(if you do a great job),
you'll get more clients.

What do you give them that the low cost players can't?
Hand holding.

Yeah I'm harsh
but the thing is...
you'll have plenty of competition in whatever area you play in
but you'll also have plenty of opportunities.

And I agree with MJ (who definitely knows what he's talking about),
use the skills you already have.
It may be fun to be a jack of all trades
but it sure isn't profitable.
 
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encsteph

New Contributor
Nov 27, 2007
30
2
9
49
Southern New Jersey
I have to call slowlane on this thinking.
I can go down the street,
walk into a dozen small businesses,
talk to them for a half hour each
and get you a client.
From that client
(if you do a great job),
you'll get more clients.

What do you give them that the low cost players can't?
Hand holding.
Harshness is not something that bothers me...if anything it makes me rethink my position and/or realize that I am incorrect in my thinking.

But your point is actually what I was trying to get at, people looking online for freelance gigs are not looking for handholding so much so my "edge" is dissipated.

Walking into 10, 20, or 50 small businesses in my area to get clients will give me that edge which is why I feel the time investment to get freelance gigs online would be a much less efficient use of my time then working my local/offline target market.

Eric
 
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encsteph

New Contributor
Nov 27, 2007
30
2
9
49
Southern New Jersey
Is it "slowlane thinking" to be considering taking one of the jobs (developer or manager) since I don't currently have hardly any cash to support my family while I begin building the business?

Allowing my kids to see me struggle to make ends meet while in pursuit of my goal is okay in my eyes becuase they will hopefully realize that some things are worth fighting and struggling for.

What's not okay in my eyes is to not be able to put food on the table (literally) because I want to be rich NOW instead of doing things more logically and having it take a little longer.

Eric
 

Jorge

Bronze Contributor
Oct 5, 2007
583
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Mendoza, Argentina
Maybe my advice isn't worth it because I'm in the slowlane at the moment, but I think theres nothing wrong in providing for your family.
In a different scenario (single, low expenses) I would definitely go with the business.

Even Onassis was a telcom technician! He used that money to survive and when his savings account was large enough for his business venture he quit.
 

kimberland

Bronze Contributor
Jul 25, 2007
825
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I'm confused.

Are you thinking about getting a job
or building a consulting company servicing your local businesses?

Both can pay the bills pretty much immediately.
Neither require financial investment
(other than a personal business card which everyone should have anyway).

The thing about the job
is that you're building someone else's business
while the consulting company is YOUR business.

Say you don't move it past an S business
(which would be a shame but...),
you still have a client list that someone else might find valuable.
You still have relationships with these companies.
Etc.
You're building something
plus you have flexibility.
 
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encsteph

New Contributor
Nov 27, 2007
30
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49
Southern New Jersey
Maybe my advice isn't worth it because I'm in the slowlane at the moment, but I think theres nothing wrong in providing for your family.
In a different scenario (single, low expenses) I would definitely go with the business.

Even Onassis was a telcom technician! He used that money to survive and when his savings account was large enough for his business venture he quit.

Jorge,

Your advice, comments and suggestions are always welcome! I learn best from interacting with other people that are where I want to be AND from people who are where I am but are going where I want to go and even from people who don't know where they are and don't know where they are going!

Eric
 

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encsteph

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Nov 27, 2007
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I'm confused.

Are you thinking about getting a job
or building a consulting company servicing your local businesses?
I am considering both at the moment.

Both can pay the bills pretty much immediately.
Neither require financial investment
(other than a personal business card which everyone should have anyway).
I guess this is where I'm stuck...I don't know that I can start paying the bills pretty much immediately with the consulting business. I have to go knocking on doors, talk to the right people, convince them to give me a shot and then do the work. Once the work is complete it would take 15 to 30 days for the money to start coming in (usually).

The cash reserves have been mostly depleted at this point, unemployment would be over the minute I file the business formation documents and the business formation will cost me $400 - $600 alone.

Minor things I understand but adding them together has me hesitating to take the plunge so to speak.

Eric
 

phlgirl

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Aug 29, 2007
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With regard to whether or not you should get a job - it is entirely up to you but here are some questions I would ask myself:
  • How long can you sustain the family based entirely on the income you have now
  • How long will it take to start producing income? When will it be enough income to entirely replace what you need to sustain your current lifestyle?
  • How much risk are you comfortable with? Are you willing to take a loan (401k or otherwise) in order to carry you over, into start-up, if necessary?
  • What went wrong in your last business? What would you do differently to make this venture successful?
  • Start testing the market – craigslist is huge up there – post an ad, detailing your services and see what type of response you get (can sample other marketing as well)
If you go the business route, I think MJ has the right idea here:

I'd go one step further and cojoin your IT business with a website business itself.
My thought on your IT venture is why limit yourself to your local area, when there is absolutely no need to do so? I know I have mentioned this before but when I have an issue with my system or a question about an application I am using, I want to call someone on the phone. I, like many small business owners, come from Corp America, where, when we had an IT problem, we CALLED someone. We did not even have to move from our shiny little cubes. We submitted a help desk ticket and someone either called (90%) or arrived (10%) to fix our problem. As someone who works from home, I really don’t want people coming to my house anyway.

Not saying you should not take on local business clients, merely that you might want to open up a few possible streams and see what works best.

Bottom line, as Kimber said, you have to differentiate yourself. Offer things others do not. To me, the fact that you are in the United States and speak English well, are two points in your favor, for certain types of services (namely those that require excellent communication skills). Are there services that can be done by anyone/anywhere which might cut you out, as the more expensive option? Of course. Do not offer those services.

You can also differentiate yourself with marketing. I don’t have expertise in marketing but I envision a business mascot (think geico gecko). Something memorable!

Ok, now I am getting carried away…….
 

santiago

Contributor
Aug 20, 2007
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I don't particularly have a suggestion for you - it depends on your risk tolerance, desires, etc. But, you may learn from what I did - I was in your situation about 10 years ago. I chose the following path..

1. Got laid off.
2. Got job to pay bills.
3. Got RE license and became an agent on the side.
4. Started web business.
5. Web biz took off and I quit the job in step 2.
6. Determined that I wanted to be an investor and not an agent - quit being an agent and started buying Single family homes.

So today I own a few businesses (B&M and web) and also own some property. Took me about 3 years to go from where I was in step 1 to where I am now.

My 2 cents regarding real estate - owning an investment company is building assets and wealth for you , being an agent is a job. Both are rewarding and can be profitable but figure out which one you want - I don't think many people choose to do both. i made the mistake of thinking one might flow into the other, but really I think I wasted my time with being an agent.

Good luck with your choices!!!
 
OP
OP
E

encsteph

New Contributor
Nov 27, 2007
30
2
9
49
Southern New Jersey
I don't particularly have a suggestion for you - it depends on your risk tolerance, desires, etc. But, you may learn from what I did - I was in your situation about 10 years ago. I chose the following path..

1. Got laid off.
2. Got job to pay bills.
3. Got RE license and became an agent on the side.
4. Started web business.
5. Web biz took off and I quit the job in step 2.
6. Determined that I wanted to be an investor and not an agent - quit being an agent and started buying Single family homes.

So today I own a few businesses (B&M and web) and also own some property. Took me about 3 years to go from where I was in step 1 to where I am now.

Santiago,

Sounds like you were where I am now. As you saw I am thinking of doing something very similar to the path you took.

I know you said that you quit being an agent because you wanted to be an investor, did you get any value out of being an agent? Did it help you get a handle on the details of RE?

Eric
 

santiago

Contributor
Aug 20, 2007
108
25
22
Santiago,

Sounds like you were where I am now. As you saw I am thinking of doing something very similar to the path you took.

I know you said that you quit being an agent because you wanted to be an investor, did you get any value out of being an agent? Did it help you get a handle on the details of RE?

Eric
Well yes and no.

Agents when it comes down to it fulfill two roles.

1. They are salespeople selling themselves to clients who might enlist them to sell their house or help them find and buy a house. I'd venture to say the majority of time is spent on this role and well, aside from sales experience, is of little use to an investor.

2. Once a buyer bites on a property you work through the offer/negotiation process that leads to the contract which then ultimately leads to the closing. Certainly, you will become quite familiar with the process of helping another negotiating and working their way through the process. If you aren't familiar with thie basics, this will be a great learning experience. I learned a lot through this process, but the reality is I think you could probably obtain this knowledge by reading and/or using an agent in transactions who you could learn from.

Investing, in my limited experience really comes down to constantly looking for and evaluating deals, partners and properties. You might be exposed to this as an agent, but it isn't your focus. I found myself specializing as an agent who assisted investors in finding/selling their properties and that lead me down the path to where I am.

Hope this helps - let me know if you need more info.
 

WheelsRCool

Contributor
Aug 12, 2007
447
51
25
So I go to the Rich Dad site and do a search for "cash flow net worth" and encsteph's post comes up! Small world!
 

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