Fear of Failure.....an epidemic?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Client's Choice
I was reflecting on the adventure of re-inventing myself. Seven years as a single mom, then remarried, two more sons, getting them all raised, i.e. T-ball, soccer, Little League, basketball, Fire Fighter Academies, EMT school, College, etc. Now the last has moved out, at the ripe old age of 19. Through those years, I was too busy, as was my husband, to think about retirement. It was constant "catch-up" and keep going! Fear raised its ugly head when my husband asked me one day where I wanted to live when we retire. I said, "right here". "Then we better think of a plan, because I am not going to work like this forever....", he said....trying not to sound fearful..... 

But here it is, while I have never thought about not working, I realized that our contracting business would probably supply for our needs, but would probably send us to an early grave. What to do? Through a little reading, some seminars, and books on CD, we dove into real estate investing. I had no idea how much I was going to like this. Yes, I have heard all the stories that begin with "Do you really want to fix toilets at 2 a.m.?" Why is that it is always at 2 a.m.? We have yet to fix a toilet yet. We did have to fix a faucet, but that was in the middle of the day and someone else fixed it for us for a small fee. 

Back to the real estate. We bought our first rental in CA and the tenants are still there 3 years later, paying rent every month. The second purchase was a 2 bedroom cabin in  CA, which turned out to be somewhat of a nightmare and we sold it with a bit of a loss, but not without using its equity to purchase 2 more rental SFR in  CO. Those have been a sweet deal, with one tenant signing a 1 1/2 year lease and the other signing a 3 year lease, with an agreement to raise the rent in the third year. The wonder of this, is that all has been 100% financed, they are cash flowing with option ARM financing, (I know, I am taking my equity now), however, the tax benefits have been astounding. It has totally turned our tax picture around and put money in our pockets. Don't get me wrong, we are not ready to make Trump nervous yet, (well maybe we are, but not about his money). However, the gift in all of this what I learned internally that will be with me forever, is this...we did this all, walking in fear of failure  every step of the way. I should speak for me, not my husband, I walked in fear of failure every step of the way. I have learned a little more of what I am made of, that courage is walking in spite of your fear, and that faith and seeking are roads to payoffs in character. I am grateful for my mentors met and unmet, (authors, etc), that care enough to go before others and pave the way. I am grateful for healthy fear, not one that immobilizes, but one that motivates to action. 

In conclusion, the journey just begun, we are both over 50, launched a new career, tranplanted a business, which we are building with a new business model, uprooted ourselves from life-long family and friends, embarking on lifetime #2, and maybe we will plan a retirement this time, whatever that is..... 

Comments (2)

Joan Snodgrass
Midamerica Referral Network - Kimberling City, MO


Thanks for the encouraging words.  I'm impressed with all you've done.  Isn't it funny how time just sort of sneaks up on us after the hectic pace of raising and educating the kids, etc.  What books would you recommend on investing in real estate? 

May 06, 2007 09:11 AM

Joan, thanks for your comments. I started with the Kiyosaki books, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Cash Flow Quadrant, and Guide to Investing. Loopholes of the Rich, by Diane Kennedy and Making Money in Real Estate by Dolf DeRoos.

Dolf is one of my favorite, one would be hard pressed to beat an arguement with him, regarding real estate investing over the stock market. He is a believer, and lives what he believes!

I am currently reading Commercial Real Estate Investing by Jack Cummings. It is very good, will be a reference tool in my library.

May 06, 2007 10:56 AM