After graduating from Purdue University with an BSMT in 1979, I worked for two corporations during a twenty year period, earning "W2" income. Overall it was pretty cushy. But as an employee, I (not so quickly) realized that unless I aspired to upper management, I'd not likely achieve much wealth, trading life hours for discrete units of money. I wouldn't be home very much, and could lose my income at any moment. I found this to be very distressing.
So Denise and I began investing in real estate back in 1990, first flipping houses for a quick buck, but eventually in 1996 holding property to rent out (enabling pyramiding of wealth). In 2000, I left corporate life to pursue real estate full time, write my book Building Wealth via Toilets and Tenants, and spend time with my family and ailing father. This book details our many experiences (both good and bad) along the path of our real estate procurement and management.
Many of my friends ask how we did it, as many have similar aspirations of independence at an early age. The questions were so frequent, that I decided to write a practical and funny book that's easy for folks to understand, from the perspective of an ordinary guy, not not some guru trying to make money hawking semiars, DVD's, or by pyrmiding wealth from their "students".
I spent quite a lot of time and money publishing Building Wealth via Toilets and Tenants, with the hope that my musings, cartoons, and "how to" advice would help others who aspire to a better life for themselves and their kids, and remove some fear of the unknown.
But rather than paint ONLY the rosy picture and UPSIDE - that of fancy boats, cars, mansions, and adoration from scantly clad members of the opposite sex, I instead show and tell a much more accurate picture of what life is like along the real estate investment path. It's important to know "the price". Writing about some of these experiences, and sharing them with other owners in my local area has been great therapy for me on those "difficult" days.
Although I once again work for my old company (with all the medical and dental benefits), it's now for entirely different reasons than financial dependence. Having options really helps boost the mental attitude, which is EVERYTHING! I am now working with my former employer because many of my rational friends are now in management, I truly enjoy engineering and the atmosphere there, and really love the people I work with! Not being dependent helps you appreciate whatever you do. It enables another (happier) dimension of self to emerge.
It's great! You can do it too.