We have all heard of DIY do it yourself but slowly DIY can turn into DEY..... Do EVERYTHING yourself. Jake and Gino the Multi-family Investors call this the Ima mentality or ima do it myself.
This article will be talking about how we slowly take on more and more and resist handing off the lower $/hr tasks as we scale. I write this as someone who has spent many nights the last few weeks tiling his own bathroom and drywalling this week.
When I was buying my first house I met this inspector. He was telling me he used to build houses and he even designed several of them himself. In my head "you were a developer why are you here"? I asked "so why aren't you still building homes". His reply: "I felt like I had to do everything in my business - I managed my guys, ordered the supplies, and did even the payroll myself". Hearing him say that really stuck with me and scared me.
That stuck with me for some reason maybe because I always grew up with this mentality of if you can do it than you SHOULD do it. Whether it's about saving money or just a pride thing. You can get away with everything for awhile: doing the accounting, doing all of the work yourself, doing your job, trying to educate yourself etc... At a point things the hats you are wearing start to thin out because you're tired from doing everything and you start to weaken in those roles.
Some peaks and valleys I have hit:
Running my landscaping company out of college - it was a new company but I was working from 5am - 10pm everyday and extremely tired. For many reasons I decided to give it up. Part of which was having time to educate myself. I took a corporate job and everyday I spent 5-8 hrs listening to real estate podcasts and reading books when I had free time and hit my goal of being full time in real estate (this took 2.5 years not overnight)! My partner ended up going into sales and killing it. We make calls and drive around now, not moving thousand of pounds of dirt everyday much better!
Feeling like I needed to learn and do everything on my properties - I had a dryer break so I went on YouTube spent a few hours learning to fix it. I went to Home Depot bought supplies. Spent 2 hours trying to fix it . I eventually couldn't figure it out and had to call someone to fix it which he did in 20 minutes and charged me $250. I wasted so much of my time on a task I do not want to be good at.
It was a huge learning experience and after that I call people when I need mechanical things fixed or even if it's something I know I haven't fixed before.
Be clear with what you want to be! I want to be a successful real estate investor, not a dryer mechanic or an accountant (which is why I pay an accountant).
I did a few large projects this year my kitchen and bathroom and have learned quickly what I do not want to do again. I found myself pulling late nights tiling my kitchen and bathroom with my Fiancé ourselves. I could have done the easy work of putting the mason board down and just called someone to do the tile (which took me days). But I had done tiling before and knew enough to get myself into trouble.
Business is a lot of learning what you shouldn't be doing and delegating that out or as my boss Jesse would say "delegate and elevate". It is a scary thing because your first thing you think is "I don't have the money to delegate". But when you do delegate it out you use that time more effectively and usually end up making more money at your job or on an investment.
What 15-20$ / hr tasks are you doing that you could delegate in your business?
What do you hate doing in your business that you feel you have to do?
What is something you would like to do more like reading or network but you don't have the time because tasks you should probably not be doing get in the way?
What are you going to do to elevate your business?
Matt Tallent is a Realtor with The How Group. His passions include rental property investing and helping others achieve their real estate goals.
Real Estate Investing
Buy and Hold
720 Fayette St, Conshohocken, PA 19428