• Christie

How I quit my TV job to run a full time real estate business

Updated: Mar 9

Waiting to go live in 2015. President Obama was in town.

Why I quit...

1. Freedom

The singular most important reason I quit: I want to do what I want, when I want, how I want, with who I want.

You have one life. Your days are limited. Why let someone else control how you spend them?

2. Money

I've been in news for 13 years. It was my dream job coming out of college. But I want control over my earnings.

Going live in Hoboken, across from NYC.

I got to 6-figures in the first 6 years of my career, but since then, it's been one 3% raise after the next, no matter how hard I worked.

I was nominated for an Emmy, same salary.

Every rental we buy earns a minimum of $12,000 in net income in a year. That's a 10% raise on top of a 6-figure salary.

When I bought my first investment property, I added $30,000 in gross income to my tax return that year. And thanks to depreciation and interest, I got a bigger refund.

So, for the past 4 years, I've plowed over 40% of my take-home-pay into savings to buy rental properties.

3. Time

One-on-one with Governor Phil Murphy.

I loved telling stories on TV. It was exciting to be in the thick of the action, behind the police tape or face-to-face with the Governor, CEOs and some celebrities (Jennifer Lopez; Shaquille O'Neal; Michael Strahan and Eli Manning the day after the Super Bowl; and my favorite, Buzz Aldrin).

Interviewing Buzz Aldrin
Sitting down with Shaq.

But my earnings or hours had nothing to do with who I interviewed or how good of a job I did.

In fact, if I did better, my hours may be worse. The most valuable broadcasts are late at night and in the morning. To be on air in the morning, you have to be on the east side of Manhattan by 2 a.m.

Interviewing a 9/11 first responder.

4. Risk

It's no secret that some people just don't like the media.

One of my colleagues was carjacked at gun point. Another had a gun appear behind her in a live shot.

Others were attacked at protests. Some got COVID and then their children got sick too.

I am fortunate in that I've never had a major incident. But simply being near or holding a camera, I have been harassed, stolen from, and experienced one minor assault.

My 'I quit' plan...

To get ready to leave my W-2 job, my husband and I worked together on this plan. It was NOT spur of the moment. I have been working towards this goal for years.

Sitting outside a nearly completed project.

1. Safety Net

The first thing I did, was hoard money! Right now, I have about 1 year of my former salary in the bank (after-taxes). This means I can live the same lifestyle for one year even if I do nothing but sit home. Of course, that's not the plan, but it helps me sleep at night.

2. Pipeline

Our existing portfolio plus what we have in the pipeline will replace my old salary within one year. In fact, I anticipate I will be earning more than when I was employed.

During construction on a flip.

3. Office

We are building a small home office by transforming a mudroom/unused area of our home. I bought a new Macbook (I had to turn in my old Mac to work). And my calendar is already filled with 'to do's for the next two weeks. I also set up a schedule for myself: the mornings will be for making calls and working on existing projects and the afternoons will be reserved for going out on appointments, meeting with people, etc.

Payday: the day we closed (sold) the flip.

4. License

While we are primarily investors, my husband felt it was important for us to not leave any money on the table. And he's right. So, I am now a licensed realtor in New York and I am (impatiently) waiting to take the test in New Jersey.

Fixing an old porch on this flip.

5. Cue the tears

I had no idea what a mental and emotional shift this would be. Or maybe I did, but experiencing it was different. I cried hysterically after telling my boss I was leaving. It was mostly tears of happiness because I had finally reached my goal, but I am sad to leave this huge piece of my identity behind. But I have also never been so sure.

I hope you feel inspired to take the leap and go for your goals. All you need is a plan.

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A small business based in Bloomfield, N.J.