I highly recommend when you start out in this industry that you don’t quit your current job. That contradicts some of my philosophies and beliefs, but in this industry I want you to keep your job, what you’re currently doing, and build part-time. That way when you sell a home you can take your profit. Sock it away. Build another one. Sell it. Take your profit. Sock it away. And then you’re going to get to a point where you have enough money in the bank to feel comfortable quitting your job and going into this industry.
Students always ask me, “How much money does it take before you can quit your job and go into this industry full-time?” This is different for different people. The acid test is if you have enough money in the bank to quit your job and sleep well at night, then you can quit your job. When I started construction in 1975 I was absolutely broke. I didn’t even have coffee money and I slept like a baby. Now it’s probably like one gentleman said, “that’s ’cause I didn’t have anything to lose.” That may be true. I notice now that I’m older and have accumulated more assets, I’m not as risky as I once was. You constantly have to push yourself out of that comfort zone. Life is like a turtle; you only move forward when you stick your neck out. I know people that have millions of dollars, wringing their hands and worrying themselves to an early grave in fear that they’re going to lose that money. So it’s different for different people.
The problem with quitting your job and going into this industry when you’re not financially prepared is that you’re thrown into a situation where you’re forced to live off your construction draws from the bank. And as long as everything’s rolling along real good, you can possibly do that. But the first time it rains for two weeks, you get this queasy feeling in your stomach. The carpenter doesn’t show up for two or three weeks. Oh NO! Then you start borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. That’s when home building is no longer any fun.
Keep your job, so your bread money is taken care of, and that way building can be a lot of fun.
In order to build successfully part-time, you could hire a full-time superintendent but that’s pretty expensive. I’m going to repeat what I teach in my How To Build A Home course. Place an ad in the paper for an individual like an old carpenter or a builder or job superintendent who is either retired or semiretired. Specify in the ad that you don’t want them to do any physical work. They will be your eyes and your ears on the job. You’re going to find so many people that will work for you for minimum wage just to get off that front porch and have something to do or to supplement their income. And to have somebody like this on the job eight, nine hours a day, five days a week while you’re at work is a gift.
In summary, I know an airline pilot that builds about four homes a year and he spends all of his profit on wild, exotic vacations and toys and stuff like that. For him, building is a piece of cheesecake. He can’t imagine anybody having a hard time with it. It’s so much fun because his bread money is taken care of.