What Fireworks Teaches Us About Real Estate Investing


Happy 4th of July!

I want to take a moment to reflect on fireworks. Not the little ones, but the big fireworks we all love to watch. Isn’t it fun to sit back and admire the explosions? To marvel at the bright lights and loud booms? To delight in the grand finale and wish for more when it’s done?

It’s a great time for everyone. It’s a 20 minute show that fills you with wonderment.

20 minutes. That’s it.

But of course, like most great things there’s a ton of hard work leading up to the 20 minute show.


20 Minutes of Fun. 8 Hours of Work.

I actually got to help set up a fireworks show and do some of the lighting. Check out these 18 seconds of the crazy experience:

That was a ton of fun.

But what you don’t see in the video is the 8 hours of work to set those up. Each mortar needed to be loaded into the tube. Each tube needed to be aligned and secured. We also had cakes (pictured above) which are a whole bunch of fireworks linked together. They’re too dangerous to be near when lighting, so they each need to be connected to a electronic lighter and moved into position. The lighter needs to be programmed to go off at the right time. The timing needs to be thought through and choreographed so there aren’t any slow moments during the show.

People are need to light the big fireworks. People are needed to spot mini-fires and put them out. People are needed to keep pedestrians out of the blast area. People are needed to do the set up. People are needed to provide food and drinks during set up. Official people need to make sure all the safety protocols are being followed.

And one person is need to be in charge: to provide the vision and direction during set up, be the responsible party if something goes wrong, and ultimately pull the literal trigger when it’s time.

It’s an intense operation for 20 amazing minutes.


Real Estate Investing Is Like Fireworks

I love the first of the month. That’s my fireworks show when my phone lights up with online payment notifications. It’s awesome to see a bunch of notifications lined up of people who paid. It seems so easy and magical doesn’t it?

But of course, getting to that point isn’t easy. That’s because real estate investing produces gyroscopic cash flow, not passive income. That means a lot of effort needs to be put in at the beginning.

I’m actually sitting in a newly vacant rental semi-procrastinating because I know it needs work: a new window, new inside and outside paint, and a slew of other smaller fixes that need to be done before I can rent it out and see the payment notification on my phone.

And just like the fireworks, it’s worth it.

It’s worth the hours finding the right property. The hours cleaning and fixing issues. The hours screening tenants. Depending on how many rentals you own, it’s also worth wrangling together all the people to manage your property: an agent to buy the property, an agent to insure it. Possibly people to clean, make repairs, and track your income for taxes. It’s can be a lot of work.

But it’s worth it because you’ll eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor: a rent payment that pays down your mortgage and recoups the costs of the repairs, and a tenant who’s excited to call your rental their home.

Happy 4th of July. Enjoy the fireworks!


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