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The Disgusting Experience That Led to My Biggest Real Estate Mindset Shift (The “Toilet Story”)

You might have heard this story on final week’s episode of The BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast. On the present, I mentioned I’d write a weblog submit about it. Well, right here it’s. I’m sorry…

Before you learn any additional, I want to warn you.

This submit could be a bit… gross.

So so long as you aren’t in the course of consuming that leftover Chipotle rooster burrito (half brown rice, half white rice, after all), stick with me and also you’ll study the story behind some of the transformational shifts in my actual property enterprise.

And all of it has to do with a bathroom.

(Seriously, I’ll tie this into a superb enterprise lesson by the top. It’ll be wrapped in a pleasant bow, excellent for you to share with your loved ones and buddies on Facebook. Hint, trace.) 

The Story (Don’t Say I Didn’t Warn You)

It was a number of years into my actual property investing enterprise, and I had simply bought my first condo constructing: a 24-unit property that wanted a good quantity of labor. Up till this level, my spouse and I have been doing completely every thing in our enterprise. Things like:

  • Answering each tenant cellphone name
  • Showing items
  • Shopping for properties
  • Fixing leaks
  • Turning over items
  • And just about each factor else a landlord does.

After all, it’s cheaper to simply do it myself than rent another person, proper?

Which brings me to the bathroom.

I had rented one of many items on this new condo complicated to a buddy of mine and three of his “bros”—all of their early 20s, with most each cliche you possibly can think about for a gaggle of this make-up.

So, in the future, I get a textual content from my buddy:

“Hey, I think one of the guys dropped something down the toilet, and it’s not draining real fast.”

OK, a reasonably frequent downside for a rental property proprietor. But as a result of the message didn’t undergo the “normal channels,” (that means, my spouse taking the cellphone name and scheduling a contractor), I fully forgot in regards to the concern the second after studying it. I assume my unconscious was considering, “Well, if it becomes a problem, they’ll reach out again.”


Instead, issues acquired worse.

Like… that is going to get gross.

One of the younger males within the condo acquired the flu, which shortly unfold to all of the members of the house. And this was not a pleasing “mom-gives-you-a-popcicle-and-you-go-back-to-school” form of flu.

This was a “spend-nine-hours-on-the-john-wishing-you-were-dead” form of flu.

And about that point, the bathroom determined to morph from “not draining real fast” to “not draining at all.”

Thankfully, my buddy took care of the issue, and I lived fortunately ever after.

No. That’s a lie.

It ended a lot, a lot worse.

Because if you find yourself a 21-year previous male in your first home, sick with the flu, you don’t name the owner once more. You don’t ship a textual content. You don’t stop your operation of mentioned rest room.

Related: This Simple Advice Will Help You Manage Contractors & Other Workers More Effectively

You simply hold utilizing it.

Finally, after the week-long-flu had handed, my buddy lastly will get in contact and sends one other textual content: “Uh… Brandon.. this toilet thing is getting kinda bad.”


I head over to the property, stroll within the rest room, and subsequently… die.

Not actually, however mentally, spiritually, and psychologically. I’m speaking scarred for all times.

The rest room was crammed, to the brim, with… properly, you get the thought.

FILLED. To the highest. Like my Starbucks Americano, so full I can’t match the lid on. But much less scrumptious.

Now, I’d love to let you know that I merely known as a plumber, paid the cash, and felt unhealthy for the poor idiot who had to repair the issue.

But I’m the poor idiot as a result of I’d NOT pay some plumber $100 an hour to repair an issue that “I can fix in a few minutes.”

After all, what a waste of cash!

My “Solution” to the Toilet Problem

So, after an hour of making an attempt to clear the clog with a hand-snake (Google it), I gave up and did the one factor left to do…

(No, I nonetheless didn’t name the plumber.)

I unbolted all the rest room from the ground, carried it throughout the room, and tried to dump the bathroom, the wrong way up, into the tub.

I say “attempted” as a result of I didn’t fairly accomplish my objective. If you’re a weirdo like me, you’ll know that it’s not simple to carry and carry a 50-pound rest room, crammed to the brim with one other 50 kilos of dying, with out spilling a lot of the contents on the ground, on my toes, and down the entrance of my total physique.

But in any case my work, I succeeded. I discovered the wrongdoer on the underside of the bathroom, which was now the wrong way up within the tub:

A contact-lens resolution bottle.

I carried that rest room and did the worst upkeep job possible—and I saved myself $100.

And that was the day I made a decision to by no means once more do upkeep on my properties.

That was the day I grew to become an actual property investor.

You see, I had all of it unsuitable. I believed that I used to be saving cash and doing the precise factor by doing every thing myself. I assumed that $100 to a plumber was $100 that I used to be dropping.

That, my buddies, known as “scarcity mindset.” It’s the idea that cash is a finite useful resource that should be guarded like your previous couple of french fries at McDonalds.

Sure, I saved $100, however what did I lose? And I’m not simply speaking about that one particular case. I’m speaking about what number of offers did I lose as a result of I used to be too busy working in my enterprise? How many dollars did I step over to decide up a dime? How many minutes did I lose doing issues I really like as a result of I used to be “carrying toilets”?

Everyone carries bogs. Maybe your “toilet” isn’t as gross as my rest room, however the analogy holds true. We all do issues that we may and may rent others to do. We maintain on to sure duties as a result of we would like to get monetary savings, or we imagine that nobody can do nearly as good of labor as us, or as a result of we really feel that it’s “our job.”

Maybe it’s altering your oil.

Maybe it’s answering your cellphone calls from tenants.

Maybe it’s mowing your grass.

Or altering your locks.

Or certainly one of one million different duties we do which can be “simple” duties.

What Toilets SHOULD You Carry?

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t work. Work is nice, work is wholesome, work makes you rich.

But what sort of work do you have to do?

In his glorious e-book 80/20 Sales and Marketing, Perry Marshall (visitor on episode 217 of The BiggerPockets Podcast) shares an idea of making use of a “dollar per hour” determine to each activity you accomplish, based mostly on how a lot you’d have to pay somebody to do a activity.

Mowing your garden? Probably a $10 per hour activity.

Changing a bathroom? Probably a $100 per hour activity.

Negotiating an actual property deal? Depending on the deal, this might actually be value tens of 1000’s of dollars per hour.

Don’t imagine me? Think of it this manner: If I spend 5 hours on the few duties concerned in an actual property deal that I bodily have to do (making massive selections, wanting on the property, signing paperwork, analyzing the deal, and so forth.) and that deal makes me $100,000 over the various years I personal the property (which, making an allowance for appreciation, the mortgage pay down, the money circulate, and the tax advantages, isn’t arduous to obtain in any respect), I’m primarily incomes $10,000 per hour for these hours I work on these duties.

Therefore, Marshall makes the purpose: do extra $10,000 per hour duties (even when it’s only for a couple of minutes) and fewer $10 per hour duties.

In concept, you can work only one hour per week doing a $10,000 per hour activity and make many, many instances greater than working 40 hours per week doing $10 per hour duties. (I say “in theory” as a result of, as everyone knows, we aren’t going to ever be excellent at this. But the extra you’re employed towards the higher-valued duties and delegate the lower-value duties, the extra you’ll see your revenue climb. You don’t have to be excellent to see a large change.)

Related: Here’s Why Work-Life Balance is Actually a Fallacy

This is the key all nice enterprise leaders know. In actuality, it’s the key ALL of us know, deep down, but we nonetheless cling to the $10 per hour duties. We really feel snug there. We really feel protected there. We really feel achieved there.

But we’ll dwell in mediocrity so long as we proceed to carry these bogs.

So ask your self in the present day (and every single day), “What toilet am I carrying?”

What “toilet” are you able to quit, outsource, delegate, or remove?

What $10 or $100 per hour activity are you able to hand over to another person, so you possibly can add only one extra hour monthly of a $10,000 per hour activity?


$10,000 Per Hour Tasks

When I inform folks this idea of the $10,000 per hour activity, I inevitably get requested, “Well, what are some examples of this? No one is going to pay me $10,000 an hour. I flip burgers for $8.55 an hour!”

First, perceive that we’re not speaking about somebody paying you $10,000 per hour at a job. We’re speaking about specialised duties in your life that might convey you large wealth down the street for a comparatively few variety of hours inputed now.

For instance:

  • Analyzing an actual property deal (you ain’t going to purchase a deal in case you don’t analyze ’em!)
  • Connecting with native traders for lunch/espresso (a one-hour lunch may lead to partnerships, funding, and so forth.)
  • Reading an actual property e-book or listening to a podcast (one idea in a single e-book/podcast may shift your mindset or change the route of what you are promoting—I do know it has for me, many instances)
  • Writing junk mail letters (although, even this might be outsourced!)
  • Driving for dollars (this, too, might be outsourced!)
  • Negotiating an actual property deal
  • Touring a property

Get my level? In actuality, once I take into consideration all of the duties wanted to purchase an actual property funding that’s going to internet me a whole bunch of 1000’s of dollars over the following few many years, there are literally only a few duties that I HAVE to do.

Think about it.

How many duties HAVE to be performed by you to put collectively an actual property deal? And in case you added up on a regular basis wanted, how a lot time actually does it take?

Less than you’d suppose.

Of course, when shopping for actual property, you may have to kiss loads of frogs earlier than discovering your prince, which is why discovering others to do the kissing is so necessary.

Do the duties that matter, and cease doing the duties that don’t.

In different phrases, cease carrying bogs.

The Toilet Lesson

To conclude my story, that occasion of the bathroom and the tub taught me a invaluable lesson. My time isn’t greatest spent fixing bogs. My time isn’t greatest spent fixing leaks. Or speaking with tenants. Or any of these duties.

After the bathroom trauma, I employed a part-time “in-house” property supervisor to reply cellphone calls and cope with contractors, and I started to do few $10 per hour duties, fewer $100 per hour duties, and extra $10,000 per hour duties.

And you recognize what? The time I spent engaged on my actual property dropped DRAMATICALLY, but my internet value and money circulate climbed sooner than ever.

Because I ended carrying bogs.

So let me finish this lengthy, gross weblog submit with a easy query:

What bogs are you carrying?

Let us know what duties you refuse to carry out anymore—and what you’re prioritizing as an alternative!

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About Scott Morgan

Scott B. Morgan writes for Debt Management and Real Estate sections in AmericaRichest.

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