A blog post by Nick Johnson a few weeks ago (Nick if you read this could you help me find it?) spurred me into thinking about what is my motivation for wanting to become a real estate investor. Nick talked about his life and the hardships he had gone through which motivated him to make a change. For me, my life has been easy compared to most and I freely admit that. My parents are great, my brothers and I are great friends and I’ve never experienced any money troubles. Life was good in the Costello house. I’d even call myself spoiled for the shear fact that I never worked a day in my life up until I was about 20 years old. I was lacking motivation and thus just fell into the path of go to school, get a job and a steady paycheck.
In the beginning of my working life I really enjoyed being a programmer and creating custom financial and project management software. It allowed me to be creative and offered immediate gratification every time I would successfully complete a portion of the program. I loved it and found it rewarding.
Fast forward to the present and the need for new programs have dried up and now all I do is act like a help-desk. I answer peoples questions, help them understand and use the programs that I have written and fix any problems that may arise. The only programming left is when I have to add a small feature here or modify the program to accommodate a new government regulation. Some might wonder why I don’t just go out a look for another programming job where there is a need for a new application. I loved the programming part of my job in the past right? Yes I did, but I’m not to sure I do any more…
You see, my life has changed drastically from when I was 25 years old. I am now married to a wonderful woman, own a condo and a little dog too. What has also changed is my way of thinking. I can attribute that to getting older and wiser as well as reading such great books as Rich Dad Poor Dad, The Millionaire Mind and Crush It.
Sometimes you don’t know what you want until life takes you in a direction you don’t want to go. Some people never figure out exactly what they want, or they do but don’t know how to get it. I was like that in my twenties and the reason for that, as I know now, is I hadn’t found my motivation yet. On July 4th, 2004 that motivation entered into my life. At the time I didn’t now Valarie would be such an influence on my thinking and behavior, but as the years passed and we fell in love, got married and bought our condo a realization hit me. I wanted to spend as much time with my family as possible.
I started observing how other families around me worked. What kept them from each other the most? It was simple to see actually. It was the 9 to 5 (and many times the 9 to 9) corporate job that came between families. My father was very much like this growing up. As we grew, it seemed, he had to work longer and harder hours with each passing year just to support me and my two brothers. My dad would routinely come home at 11pm. He was brought up to work hard, go to college, get a good job and provide for his family. He is a WONDERFUL father and I wouldn’t trade him for anyone else in the world. The only problem is that he taught me the same thing he was taught by his father.
My Dad is 68 years old now, and is forced to work in an office that is 1 hour and 45 minutes away from his family. The drive was killing him, so now he stays in a long term hotel during the week so he can get some sleep. You can hear the depression in his voice when he has to leave on Sunday evening and when he arrives home on Friday night the smile comes back to his face. He could retire but a life time of working hard and resigning himself to that life has left him not knowing how else to live. So he just keeps working hard.
That is my motivation! I do not want to end up living 5 days a week, almost 2 hours away from my family. As it is now, I only see my wife on weekends because we work opposite hours and it’s killing me! This is a dangerous path we are on that is pointing us to the same place my father and mother are in. I’m not willing to accept that and I will change our future right now!
What is your motivation? If you have a story that you would like to share please leave a comment. Or if you like send me an email describing your motivation. It’s inspiring to read them.