The Natural Progression of the Real Estate Investor

In his book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey introduces a model called the Maturity Continuum. We are born as Dependents, relying on others to meet our most basic needs. As we mature, we become Independent. We are self-sufficient and productive in our own right. However, independence is not the gold standard of adulthood. Covey points out that human beings are Interdependent by nature. We need to establish mutually beneficial relationships to achieve an end goal that is greater than that achieved independently.

Lifestyles Unlimited’s founder, Del Walmsley, has applied Stephen Covey’s Maturity Continuum to real estate investing. The natural progression of the real estate investor is a journey from Dependence to Interdependence and demonstrates how you can retire with real estate investments.


When you are Dependent, you have a job with an employer other than yourself. Do you have the ability to negotiate for a pay raise?  Yes, but you are not in control. You are dependent on someone else to determine whether you’ll get a raise each year. Can you make a difference in a job? Yes! But what happens when you make it look easy? The rules change; your territory is cut, your staff is gone, your quota is bigger.  No one is denying that you can make a lot money with a job. However, you’ll never be Independent. Corporate America has control over how much you make and when you can take a vacation. You’ll always be trading time for money, which leaves little time to enjoy a balanced lifestyle and build a legacy. So where does real estate investing fit into the progression from dependence to independence? When you start investing in real estate, you start on the path to Independence.


Many people with jobs first approach real estate investing as a way to diversify their investment portfolios. However, LifestylesUnlimited members are taught that they can achieve Independence (freedom from Corporate America) through acquiring, renovating, and renting single family homes. Establishing recurring rental property income from multiple single family homes provides freedom of choice. Many Lifestyles Unlimited members are able to retire and some do choose to retire within five years of joining our program. Others continue to work and do what they love to fund more investments. There is a difference between enjoying going to work and having to go to work. Once you no longer depend on a paycheck, a 401K, an IRA, or pension for your retirement you are truly free to spend more time with family, take a vacation whenever you want, volunteer for a cause you support, lead a healthier lifestyle, etc.  Many of our members are Independent because they learned the basics of real estate investing and generate passive income from a portfolio of single family homes.


Owning a portfolio of single family homes can only take you so far when you want financial freedom. You are still trading some time (albeit less time than spent at a job) for money. Banks also limit the number of loans you can have, which limits the number of houses you can buy. For these reasons and others, many Lifestyles Unlimited members either transition from single family to multifamily investments or they skip the single family investments and immediately begin investing in multifamily apartment communities. Due to economies of scale, it is easier and more profitable to manage one, 100-unit apartment community than 100 individual single family homes. Interdependence is achieved when you invest in apartment communities because you now own and control a business (the apartment community) and hire employees to manage the business. Each apartment community will continue to pay you whether you work there every day or not. The potential to build true wealth is unlimited when you are Interdependent. You can buy as many apartment communities with groups of qualified investors as you’d like because the bank makes a loan determination based on the value of the business, not your credit. For these reasons, 90% of millionaires have made their money from real estate.

Give Back

The best way to achieve Interdependence is to learn from someone who is Interdependent. This is the secret to Lifestyles Unlimited members’ success. We teach people how to invest in real estate and once successful, we ask them to give back to our community of like-minded investors. Members share their experiences locating, evaluating, negotiating, financing, closing, rehabbing, leasing, and managing property so that others may learn from their success. Our members are happy to share these details because someone did the same for them. They learned from the experiences of those who came before them. Giving back is foundational to what we do at Lifestyles Unlimited. We believe new members should learn from success rather than reinvent the wheel.

The choice is yours. You can work hard, retire, and hope you die before your money runs out or you can live the life you want. At Lifestyles Unlimited, we teach you how to become Interdependent through real estate investing. You can progress at your own pace from a starting point that makes sense to you and secure your future.


  1. My husband and I are new to Lifestyle Unlimited and we dream of retiring early to have more time to life in that purpose God has create us for and to give back to our community but now we are able to takes those dream and make it into a goal with a dates next to them. Thank you for writing this article I have read this book and now I can apply to my life in a totally new way.

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