From Combat Boots to Buildings: Getting Out of The Military and Into Real Estate

From 2010 to 2020, I was a Marine.  Being a Marine was the best and most transformative experience of my life.  I traveled the world, learned to lead complex teams, overcame tough challenges, bonded deeply with my brothers and sisters in arms, and grew immensely as a person.  As a young person, I doubt there is a more transformative experience than serving as a United States Marine.  

Military service, however, requires significant sacrifice.  I had tremendous responsibilities, limited freedom, and I was half a world away from all of my family and friends for most of my military career.  I missed countless weddings, graduations, births, and other big life events.  I met my future husband at the very beginning of my military career and we were stationed in different countries for three years.  Even when we were finally stationed close to one another, we rarely saw each other.  I was serving as an instructor at the Marine Corps Basic School, which was my dream job, but one that often also required 100+ hour work weeks.  When I was home, I fluctuated between zombie-like exhaustion and distracted alertness, constantly worried about work and only partially present to my husband, dog, and life at home.  Over the years, it became painfully obvious that between my Marine Corps career and my marriage, there would be only one survivor. It was time to make a change. 

In 2017, I decided that I would leave Active Duty, transition into the Reserves, and start my own company.  I never really considered getting a “typical job” or working for someone else.  If I was going to leave a job that I loved, the only alternative would be to work for myself.  After extensive research and exploring a few options, I decided to focus on building a real estate investment company.  

I was first inspired to venture into the world of real estate by my father and stepmother, fellow self-starters who had built their own successful real estate investment and development company.  They gave me ideas on how to structure my business and a lot of important connections in the industry.  I also loved the flexibility that a career in real estate investment and development offered, as well as the opportunity to achieve financial freedom.

Once I made my decision to build a real estate investment and development company, I immediately started taking steps to make my dream a reality.  I read tons of books, listened to innumerable podcasts, and was accepted into Georgetown University’s Masters Program for Real Estate Development.  My last day as an Active Duty Marine was also my first day as a graduate student at Georgetown.     

The new adventure was officially underway. 

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