April 17, 2018
Joe Fairless

Do You Want Financial Freedom or to Build a Real Estate Empire?

There are many ways of building a real estate empire. Some investors dive in and immerse themselves in the business, working early in the morning to late at night, seven days a week. Others welcome a steady income and how that wealth allows them to live a lifestyle in which their time is their own.

I posed this question to active investors on how to build a real estate empire: “Would you rather spend minimal time per week (5 to10 hours) maintaining your business that makes $500,000 per year or work 50 or more hours per week on your business that makes $2 million per year and growing?”

Building a Real Estate Empire is Just One Driving Factor

I really like this question because it is a reflection of the two main reasons why people are attracted to real estate investing: financial independence or empire building.

Real estate investing allows you to build a portfolio that generates enough cash flow to cover your living expenses so that you can quit your corporate 9 to 5 job and do whatever you want with your free time. Real estate investing also provides you with the opportunity to build a multimillion- or multi-billion-dollar company, which allows you to create jobs, donate MASSIVE amounts of money, build a legacy, and pass on your wealth for generations to come, and ultimately automate the business over time to gradually increase your free time.

Whatever financial or lifestyle goals you have, there is a real estate strategy for you, if you want to know how to build a real estate empire or just how to earn a good living.

That being said, here are the responses:

Generating Capital

Overall, option A (the 5 to 10 hours per week for $500,000 per year) defeated option B (50 or more hours per week for $2 million per year) 46 to 32.

The majority of the people who selected option A did so for similar reasons. They would use the $500,000 per year and the extra 30 to 40 or more hours per week to generate more capital in building a real estate empire.

Scott Bower would take the $500,000 and spend some of his free time to learn how to put that money to work to get to the $2 million per year without having to work 50 or more hours per week.

Similarly, Charlie Kao would select option A because if he was able to generate $500,000 per year while only working 5 to 10 hours per week, he’d likely have great systems and processes in place that would allow him to scale, if he wanted, in the future to build a real estate empire. Kimberly Banks Fawcett agreed because she couldn’t help but imagine all the other ideas she’d have time to make a reality with all of her free time.

Ryan Groene would select option A, but it would only be his side hustle. He would still work 50 or more hours per week in total, with the remaining 35 or more hours spent on creating a business that would generate $1.5 million or more per year.

Jamie L. Ware likes option A because his time is more valuable than money, and he would use that time to work on other ventures that could potentially add to the pot.

Having More Free Time

Others selected option A because their real estate goals are to achieve financial freedom and enjoy their free time however they want. Eddie Noseworthy would take the $500,000 while working 5 to 10 hours per week because even though money is important, it isn’t the most important. Finally, Eric Kottner’s whole point in starting a real estate business is to eventually make enough passive income to become lazy, which is achieved with option A.

Building a Real Estate Empire and a Smaller Time Commitment

A few people provided a hybrid answer. Joshua Ibarra would start with option B ($2 million for 50+ hours per week of work). But, after 10 years and automating the business, he would reduce his time commitment to 5 to 10 hours per week while still making $2 million or more per year.

Similarly, Ben Steelman would put in the 50 or more hours now. Then, he would work towards ensuring that he was the “dumbest” person in his organization by building a great team. This will allow him to achieve his real estate goal, which is to create a business that thrives without him being the day-to-day driving factor so that he can eventually reduce his working hours.

For the Love of the Biz

Michael Beeman selected option B because, if he just maintained a business rather than building a real estate empire, he would feel like he is dying. Additionally, he already works 50 or more hours 6 to 7 days a week between his full-time job and real estate business and doesn’t have an issue with it.

Finally, Carolyn Lorence would go with option B because she loves her real estate business and enjoys creating. That’s because she doesn’t work “in” her business, she works “on” her business. Also, if she is growing her business, she will be able to provide opportunities for others in the process. She’d have a blast with this and make time for all the fun stuff by putting the right systems in place.


Overall, people selected the $500,000 per year working 5 to 10 hours per week so that they could use their free time to generate additional income or just be lazy. And people selected the $2 million per year working 50 or more hours per week so that they could work towards automating the process and reduce their work hours.

What do you think? Would you rather spend minimal time per week (5 to 10 hours) maintaining your business that makes $500,000 per year or work 50 or more hours per week on your business making $2 million per year and growing?

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action.
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