Hold me accountable…

Help me out…

In September last year, I sent out this message, which was a public declaration of one of my goals… To get my California Real Estate License.

The reason I committed to this goal publicly, was so everyone could hold me accountable, and encourage me if I fall behind or think about quitting.

Well, today is the day I need your help. I need a kick in the ass.

I don’t usually give up on my goals without good reason, so let me first explain my situation and why I’m considering quitting.

Current Status:

  • I’ve completed all my mandatory course work. 150+ hours of study, passed all quizzes and lesson exams, etc.
  • I’ve paid $460 so far in costs, including pre-paid state exam and license fee.
  • I’m officially cleared to sit the in-person State Exam. Just need to schedule it, BUT…
  • Due to covid shutdowns, in-person exams have been suspended until further notice in Los Angeles. (I just learned I could drive to Fresno to take the exam where the offices just re-opened)

Here are the reasons I’m thinking about giving up and cutting my losses:

  • I’ve forgotten most of the material. I’d probably need to sink another 80+ hours in study, and take a weekend bootcamp training ($150) to confidently pass the state exam.
  • I’ve somehow stumbled into a new job already (not in the real estate field), which I am really enjoying.
  • I could always stop now and pick it back up later in life, there is no rush to finish.
  • Tbh, I’ve lost interest and momentum in real estate. I’m just not as excited about it anymore.

Reasons I should probably stop being a baby and keep moving forward:

  • I’m at the finish line. It’s dumb to quit when I’m at step 9 out of 10, no matter how hard it is.
  • If I get licensed, it’s valid for 4 years. Although I’m not interested in RE now, I could be in a few years time.
  • Even if I helped 1 friend buy or sell a home in California, I could save them 10’s of thousands of dollars in commissions. Or, I could make that money in commissions.
  • Never hurts to have more certifications and options in life (which I kind of why i wanted the license to begin with).

So there you have it.

Tell me I’m nuts. Tell me not to quit. Pease tell me you’ve been in a situation like this and you struggled too?

Cooper has been zero help with this decision.

8 thoughts on “Hold me accountable…

  • Please don’t get mad at me for this view. Trying to help.

    You are falling for the Sunk Cost Fallacy.

    This isn’t black and white. Not all quitting is bad. If you were quitting only because it’s “hard” maybe that’s not so good. But quitting because your life and interests have evolved and changed. Then what’s wrong with pivoting?

    I always say it’s good to have options. Sometimes I’ve pursued options that I didn’t think I would use because there was a chance they could help and the COST to acquire was low.

    Everything you’ve done and spent so far is a sunk cost. Ignore that. The question now is what is the cost to acquire this option for your life? If you could just run up to Fresno and knock out the test and get your license, the cost would be low (in time and $) and I’d say go do it. Low cost to get one more option in the tool bag. But the cost isn’t low. Another 80 hours of study? And a weekend training session? And another $150 (which is realize is not much.)? The cost is high in my opinion, mostly measured in time. For what? An option that you don’t anticipate needing?

    I spent years getting an engineering degree. Right at the end of college you could take the EIT exam (I think it’s called the FE now). I went to multiple training classes on top of regular courseload to get ready for that exam. I took and passed that 8hour exam. Next for an engineer is to go get 4 years of work experience. Then you prep for, and take, another huge exam to get your PE license. When I got to the 4 year mark I realized it would take an incredible amount of prep work and study to be able to pass the PE exam. There was 0% chance I could pass without tremendous cost. I opted not to complete it and instead carry on with my career. I wish I could say I was a licensed Professional Engineer. But as modern philosopher Marsellus Wallace notes: “That’s pride f——- with you. —— pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps.”

    If real estate was what you were focusing on, I’d say get on it. But it doesn’t sound like that’s the case. Besides, when you started this journey, you likely didn’t expect the things to happen at Budgets/Soapbox you are talking about. New opportunities have presented themselves. And honestly, given you’re current situation and age, I would expect more opportunities to snowball in the future. No reason to spend more time and money on something that is no longer important in your current situation.

    It’s OK to move on to bigger and better things. Ignore the sunk costs.

    • JR: I would never get mad for you expressing your views. The reason I wrote this post was to hear your different opinions!

      I actually wrote an article 2 years ago about sunken cost fallacy… https://5amjoel.com/sunk-cost-fallacy/

      And now, 2 years later, I’m digging the same hole I warned others about.

      Since I can’t take the test *right now* I’m going to think a bit longer about it all. You’re right – the past costs shouldn’t determine what to do, the FUTURE cost and benefits should be the deciding factor.

      Thanks man, I love it.

  • Hey, so follow-up question. Does that mean you’ve lost interest in your rental real estate portfolio as well? It’s fairly passive for you at this point, isn’t it?

    • I think just my drive for buying new properties has softened. I’m still very involved with my current properties, and yes, they are fairly passive right now. The hard upfront work has been done, now I’m just in maintenance mode which is nice.

  • Ha ha. Good luck with that decision. It is called life. How busy are you now? Do you really want to? Is getting a RE License a game changer? If you get the license, are you going to use it? If not, why get it now? You still have the knowledge to help friends. You must be pretty busy already with a job you like, this site, the new site you are taking over, kids, and a marriage. Are you going to actively sell house now?

    Coulda, woulda, shoulda. Reaching 50 last year, I can reflect back at decisions I made at the time. Some I wish I had gone another way, but nothing earth shattering. I think you are in this boat now. Your life is good. If you go for it, fine. If you don’t, fine.

    I didn’t really give you an answer, but to me, you have sort of decided to not go for it. I could be reading it wrong…

    • Thank you! I agree that my life will be awesome regardless of whether I pursue this or not. I’m not a guy that lives with a lot of regrets either way – I move on quickly. It’s nice to hear you say the same at 50 looking back on your life.

      My biggest concern is accidentally making a habit of quitting things and always thinking it’s OK. That’s why I’m torn – it’s less about this specific decision and more about my philosophy of being someone with grit. I actually don’t have kids right now, no full time job, this site is pretty low maintenance and Budgets has a whole team of people to run things! So now probably is the best time to do any type of study. 🙂

      Anyway, thanks and have a great memorial day weekend!! Joel

  • Whoops, i thought you had kids. Sorry. Gotta read your “about” page again. Ha ha.

    I get it on starting and quitting things. However, if you start something and you began to see that it is not gonna work or help you, why continue? Why keep banging your head on the wall? You are not quitting, you are reevaluating. Life is constantly changing, you have to change with it. Now, if you quit everything and sit on couch all day, that is a different discussion. You are not doing that, you are constantly looking at the benefits and nonbenefits of your decisions. Making changes in the middle is ok.

    Have a good Memorial Day weekend too!

    • Don’t worry, sitting on the couch all day makes my back hurt. 🙂
      Cheers for your notes and encouragement – have a good one!

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