Month: September 2017

Go Out There and F****** Want It – Net Worth: $85.5K

Go Out There and F****** Want It – Net Worth: $85.5K

A few winters ago, I sat down on my couch after eating a bowl of my mom’s delicious chili and was settling in for a relaxing evening. It was the holidays after all. I flipped over to HBO and on the screen flashed images of the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins preparing for that seasons’ Winter Classic. Bruce Boudreau, who was coaching the Capitals at the time, had seen enough of his team after an abysmal first period in the midst of what was a significant losing streak for what should have been one of the best teams in the league that year. After minutes of giving his team an NSFW earful for not performing, Boudreau uttered a phrase that I keep top of mind to this day. “You can’t just go out there and think you want it. You have to go out there and *** want it!” While it was a comical moment on television, there’s no denying there’s real value in the words that the disgruntled coach spewed off that night.

So why did I decide I wanted to learn computer programming? There are a lot of reasons. Of course, like everyone else, I saw how glorified Apple became over the past 10 to 15 years, I watched The Social Network and envisioned massive success like Mark Zuckerberg, and I had this feeling deep down that coding was the way of the future. I dreamed of building the next big thing and at work I realized that everything I was best at included the use of computers. Eventually, I stumbled upon Codecademy, a free learn-to-code resource, that is a truly phenomenal place to begin developing basic skills related to computer programming. For a time, I was determined to start a successful web design business, and I learned just enough to be dangerous with HTML and CSS to pass as a real web designer. I once made $1500 on a web design project which felt like an incredible success to me even though it took 4 months to finish the project. At some point, life got in the way, and I was somewhat discouraged by the amount of sheer effort it was taking me that didn’t seem to have produced a significant pay off in my life yet. So for a few months, I forgot about all the hard work I’d put into learning to code and decied my efforts were better spent elsewhere. But then, on one of those Sunday mornings where you begin to wonder what direction your life is going, I read about the Flatiron School’s online web development program and was intrigued. It seemed like the perfect way to reignite my interest in computer programming with the structure to keep me motivated and dedicated to the task at hand. I took the school’s bootcamp prep course and realized that I was truly passionate about the consistent challenges and opportunities that go along with computer programming and committed to myself to equip myself with skills that would allow me to one day change the world. I no longer just thought I wanted it, I knew I *** wanted it.

The road to changing careers and the trajectory of my life will not be an easy one, but I like it that way. In addition to learning how to code, I believe the program I’ve enrolled in with The Flatiron School will give me the confidence and skills it takes to take my freelancing business to the next level while becoming extremely employable by all kinds of interesting and exciting companies at the same time. I’m ready to take on this challenge full speed ahead and to experience the things I’ve been dreaming about trying in the coming months.

Posted by CoffeeForTheBuzz in Personal Growth
The No Challenge

The No Challenge

As any baseball player (even the best) will tell you, it’s completely normal to go through a slump from time to time. The same can be said for those of us living normal daily lives. You know the feeling. You haven’t had any big accomplishments in a while and your motivation is kind of dwindling. You don’t really have any clear goals that you’re driving towards which makes it that much harder to stay focused and gain positive momentum. These kinds of ruts are normal and are to be expected in life. One method I’ve come to realize helps me break free from a rut like the ones described above is what I refer to as “the no challenge”. The best part is it’s nothing more than an incredibly simple shift in mindset.

When I feel like I need to switch things up to break out of a rut, I make it a point to say “no” to nearly any offer that comes my way for at least a week. During a slump, it can be incredibly easy to be swayed into saying yes to whatever comes up because there really is no downside to doing so. If you’re not making much life progress during your evenings after work, what’s another dinner at the new burger place down the street with your buddies? And that’s why, for me, the no challenge is so successful. When I force myself to say no for a sustained period of time, a few things happen.

  • I gain back an unbelievable amount of free time. All that time spent golfing, at the bar with friends, watching the newest episode on HBO, or taking the boat on the lake is now reserved for yourself to get things back on track.
  • I re-focus my priorities and am able to redevelop clear goals. Without the distraction of all the things I was just recently saying yes to, I am able to take a step back and think about the bigger picture. Where do I want to be in 3 months? 6 months? A year? Saying no allows me to dedicate more time to planning the way I want my life to turn out which allows me to begin building momentum for the days, weeks, and months ahead.
  • It helps me get my mojo back. Saying no to other people and things, in a weird way, makes you feel quite sure of yourself. It’s easy to say yes to things, but it can actually be quite hard to say no to that night out with your friends or the weekend getaway. Overcoming this difficulty can help you boost the way you feel about yourself.

In full disclosure, I am all about living life to the fullest and accepting as many opportunities that come my way as possible. But if you ever find yourself in a rut that you can’t quite seem to get out of, try giving yourself the no challenge for just a week. You’ll be amazed at the change in perspective such a simple task can have on your life. It might just be the fuel that gets you right back on track.

Have you ever tried something like this before? How did it go? Leave a comment below if you’ve tried this in the past or plan to try it soon. Excited to hear about your experiences!

Posted by CoffeeForTheBuzz in Personal Growth
Real Estate Investment Guide – Net Worth Update: $86.5K

Real Estate Investment Guide – Net Worth Update: $86.5K

This week marks the launch of our comprehensive real estate guide. We’ve put a lot of effort into this guide and investment model over the past few months to help make it possible for you to have the most successful experience in real estate investing possible. The guide is information-packed from front to end with the key considerations you should have when purchasing a multi-family home, mistakes we made that can be improved upon, and things we did really well that we recommend you do as well. Additionally, we are selling our real estate investment model which allows you to input all the numbers for a property you are considering investing in, and based on your investment criteria, will allow you to project whether or not you are making a sound investment. But enough talking, below is a preview of the guide which you can buy at this link.

For a limited time, the guide and model can be purchased 50% off using the code: Introduction

Introduction to the Guide

Why Should You Invest in Real Estate?

If you’re reading this guide, you’re probably similar to us: ambitious, motivated, in search of a side or passion project, looking for a route to financial freedom, or some combination of the above. For most, it’s the prospect of a financially secure future that sparks an interest in real estate investing.

Our real estate investment was sparked primarily by our desire to achieve financial freedom. While financial freedom can mean different things to different people, for us it means earning enough money that we can afford to not work for someone else or choose lower-paying careers that inspire us and ignite our interests.

While there are many routes to financial freedom, many people consider entrepreneurship, real estate, and finance (investment banking, trading, etc.) the three traditional paths to massive wealth in the United States. While there are advantages and disadvantages to each path, we elected to invest in real estate for three key reasons:


  • Higher return on investment. We had extra cash from our day jobs to invest and we wanted to earn a higher return than the 10-12% that investing in index funds would yield in the long run; this was one of our criteria for selecting a property.
  • Lower risk. While real estate markets suffer the same ups and downs that financial markets do, if you’re able to buy a property with strong cash flow in a high-demand area, you’re likely to have fewer losses in the long term.
  • Better fit with our lifestyles. Unlike entrepreneurship and finance, real estate investing, though still demanding, requires less of your time and effort and pairs well with a day job.


We wrote this guide because we wanted to share what we learned by going through the process of buying our first investment property. We began the process as complete rookies and while we’re not seasoned professionals just yet, we learned more than we ever expected by buying and managing our first property and we want to share that information with you because it will set you on the path to financial freedom if you’re willing to commit to real estate investing.

How Does This Compare to Other Investments?

We strongly recommend comparing potential real estate investments to other potential investments before making any buying decisions. While investment options can vary between investors based on risk tolerance, capital, etc., we primarily compared our real estate investment to a passive investing strategy. We both continue to invest in index funds and/or ETFs that track the performance of markets around the world (mainly US and foreign stock funds, bond funds, and some alternatives such as REITs).

For this reason, we compared the long-run return on investment (ROI) of all of our potential real estate investments to the projected long-run ROI from our current investment strategy. For purposes of comparison, we looked at historical ROI for investing in the S&P 500, which is remarkably consistent even if you select different time periods; consider these average annual ROIs for the following time periods (adjusted for inflation):

    • 1900 to 2016: 6.6%
    • 1950 to 2016: 7.5%
    • 1970 to 2016: 6.1%
    • 1990 to 2016: 6.8%
    • 2000 to 2016: 2.3% (includes dot-com bust and Great Recession)


  • 2007 to 2016 (includes Great Recession): 5.0%


We used a comparison rate of 10% when comparing our investments to the market. This is higher than the 6-7% that the market earns in the long run because a) We wanted to account for inflation and b) Investing in real estate takes a bit more time and effort than a passive investing strategy.

If your financial investing strategy is similar to ours, we recommend the above approach. If not – we recommend determining the appropriate metric for comparison (typically ROI) and considering additional financial factors such as timeline of investment and relative risk as well as non-financial factors such as time and effort required. It’s important to make sure that real estate investing is a good fit for you and your goals.

What Will You Get From This Guide?

This guide will provide you with the knowledge, resources, and motivation to stop thinking about investing in real estate and start actually investing in real estate. With the right information, drive, creativity, and patience, just about anybody can begin a successful real estate investing career. We’ll share our successes and failures and if you’re serious about investing, we’re also offering an easy-to-use financial model that we built to evaluate potential investments for sale at

Throughout this guide, we will walk you through the process of purchasing and managing your first real estate investment property by:


  • Explaining each step in the process and suggesting key next steps when you’re ready to get started
  • Offering our opinion and guidance based on our experience
  • Relating the insights of our broker, who also owns investment properties and guided us through the process


Our Experience

Before we get started, we also want to share a bit about ourselves and our experience because if you’re reading this guide you’re probably similar to us, and we want you to realize that real estate investing is more attainable than you might have thought:

  • We grew up in middle class homes in the Midwest and earned undergraduate degrees in finance/economics
  • At the time of our first investment (2017), we were 24 and 26, living in Chicago and working full time advisory jobs, each earning $80-90K annually (pre-tax)
  • We both utilized gifts from our parents for our first purchase ($20K in total), which you can do tax-free (we’ll cover this in more detail later)
  • While there are many different styles of real estate investing (“flipping”, hold and rent, “house hacking”) and several different types of properties (single family homes, condos, multi-family homes), we invested using a hold and rent strategy in an owner-occupied, multi-family property

Keep in mind that you don’t have to share our background to invest in real estate. There are thousands of stories out there about investors who started with next to nothing and built a successful business by following the same principles we describe in this guide. By the time you have finished reading this guide, you will have absorbed knowledge that took us several years to acquire. Your future as a real estate investor starts now.

Posted by CoffeeForTheBuzz in Real Estate
How To Reverse Engineer The Path To Your Next Goal – Net Worth Update: $84.4K

How To Reverse Engineer The Path To Your Next Goal – Net Worth Update: $84.4K

Remember when you told your buddies at the office that last January would be your last day working for the company? You were going to be on to bigger and better things like starting your own business or working for that new startup? But then it never happened? Why is that? I am guilty of this myself. It’s far too easy to set an arbitrary goal and deadline for yourself, but never follow through. There’s a significant level of thought that must occur to ensure you are able to provide yourself with choices throughout your life.

What This Post Will Cover:

  • I am going to pick one of my major goals, becoming a software engineer (freelance or employed by a company), and develop my plan to get there using the reverse engineering process.
  • My goal is to lay out a brief process that you can mimic to accomplish your biggest goals in life, even if the work to get there seems insurmountable now.

What Is Your Biggest Goal Right Now?

This is a simple, but important question that allows you to focus your efforts in the coming months. My biggest goal right now happens to be becoming proficient in JavaScript and Ruby (the programming languages). This is because learning these languages will allow me to begin doing freelance work while at my current job as well as add to my marketable skills if I choose to look for another job while building my own businesses.

What Will It Take to Get There?

I think of my goals in terms of time and money that it will take to achieve. There is always a balance between the two. For example, I could learn both languages in 3-4 months if I quit my job and enrolled in an expensive boot camp. That would be a low amount of time, but a high amount of money. On the flip side, I could learn both languages in 2 years or so if I never left my job and went the self-taught route with free online resources and books. Low money, but lots of time. What you really are asking yourself is:

What balance of time and money am I willing to trade in order to get to my goal?

I’m willing to spend some money, but since I have other goals that are capital intensive, like investing in another real estate property, I don’t want to go all out and quit my job and enroll in a coding boot camp. At the same time, I want to dive in to my learning and be held accountable to finish my learning in a reasonable amount of time. For me, the best option ended up being an online coding boot camp that I pay for monthly. This incentivizes me to finish the course as quickly as possible and is much more cost effective than quitting my job and enrolling in a full-time boot camp.

This process isn’t rocket science, but it can be a simple mind shift for many people when they think about the way they currently look at their goals. In the past, I’ve been guilty of being a dreamer rather than a goal setter. A dreamer thinks it would be nice to live abroad for 6 months. A goal setter looks at the dream to live abroad for 6 months, asks what his working situation would need to look like, what things he/she will need to do before moving, where the best place to move will be, when the best time to go will be, and then executes. This is a subtle, but critical shift in thinking that leads to results. I believe this change in approach will help me get where I’m trying to go over the next several months.

Posted by CoffeeForTheBuzz