There would be no FI Team without our incredible agents who support our clients and each other to achieve Financial Independence through real estate investing. Highlighting our agents allow us to celebrate who they are, but also shares insight into how the “average” person can transition their spending habits, career and purpose by embracing FI/RE.
Keep reading to hear how Dan Guenther left the classroom, journeyed through New Zealand and landed in Boulder County to launch his real estate investing career.
Why did you pivot your career from being a teacher to being a real estate agent?
Leaving the classroom was a very tough decision to make. After five years I was very comfortable and stable financially but deep down I knew that I would not be able to make major changes for my future family.
What steps did you take to transition your career?
My last year of teaching, my wife and I committed to saving like crazy. I’ve always been a hustler and when I left the classroom I was grinding hard in order to prepare for a big change. On top of teaching full-time, I also tutored two days a week and delivered packages for Amazon on the weekends and evenings. Once the year finished, we sold everything we owned and moved to New Zealand where we bought a camper van. This is where I went all in on finding out how average people get ahead of the rat race and create a life of freedom. Most of our jobs while traveling involved farm work (picking kiwi’s, working on vineyards, and random farm work) this allowed us to listen to podcasts/audiobooks for 8+ hours a day. While this is not realistic or possible for everyone, if you are able to take a slight pay cut to a job that allows you to also learn while paying the bills, this can make the transitioning careers much less stressful.
Are you just naturally good at real estate? Or what work have you done to improve your skills?
Definitely not! When I set my mind on a goal, I focus all of my energy and time on education and learning from others that are already doing what it is that I am trying to do. Before getting my license and first investment property, I had listened to 300+ hours of podcasts, countless books, and hit YouTube University hard. Once I arrived in Boulder at the end of 2020, I started networking with other investors that were willing to give me the time of day and eventually got connected with The FI Team and it was off to the races.
For those who are considering a career change, what advice do you have for them?
Change is hard for most people, but staying comfortable (or uncomfortable for some) to me is much worse. For me, my worst-case scenario was to go back to teaching if all else fails. Force yourself to get outside of that comfort zone and trust the process. There are endless resources available to us today which means there are no excuses for not being able to self-educate.
Why Boulder County? What makes it a good market to invest in?
We landed in Boulder County and more specifically Longmont unintentionally. When we got back from New Zealand it was the height of COVID and we needed a place to reset after a long year abroad. We reached out to an old college friend who had a place in Boulder and was kind enough to take us in while we got settled. After a few weeks, we fell in love with everything that the area had to offer. Quick access to the mountains and the small-town vibes of Longmont really drew us in. Boulder County is a great place to invest for a lot of reasons. Longmont in general has great outlooks for population growth and a very strong community feel. The prices here are similar to that of the Denver market but there is a lot less competition overall.
What excites you about real estate investing? What scares you?
What excites me most about real estate is that there is endless evidence that anyone willing to put in the work can truly change the trajectory of their entire life. There is no ceiling to the wealth and freedom that you can build through real estate investing. The only thing that scares me is not scaling as fast as possible!
Do you have a favorite joke? Let’s hear it!
Did you hear the joke about the roof? I doubt you’d get it—it’s over your head.