And Still I Rise

I’m a 25-year-old, single parent who works 45-plus hours a week at my day job.
Within the past six months I’ve developed a great passion for learning about and investing in real estate. My long-term goal is to become a consultant and motivational speaker for first-time home buyers. Presently, I don’t have the extra time or resources to attend night classes to begin my studies. What books or magazines do you suggest? Should I begin reading in the evening until I can enroll in courses?
–T. Hill, Via the Internet

Congratulations on setting goals and taking steps toward achieving them, despite the demanding — though necessary — distractions of your job and your responsibilities as a young, single parent. A good first book to read is Investing in Real Estate by Andrew McLean and Gary W. Eldred (John Wiley & Sons; $19.95). This book covers everything from buying property for little or no money down to the best ways to finance your purchases.

To begin developing your public speaking and presentation skills, you should join a local chapter of Toastmasters International, the organization dedicated to helping its members become effective communicators. You can learn more about Toastmasters by visiting its Website at

It rarely pays to postpone the pursuit of your passion. Your attitude of doing what you can do until you can do what you really want to do will benefit you tremendously in the long run. By the time you are ready to enroll in classes to further your studies, you’ll be able to hit the ground running.