Moneeka Sawyer

Author Archives: Moneeka Sawyer

Moneeka Sawyer is often described as one of the most blissful people you will ever meet.   She has been investing in Real Estate for over 20 years, so has been through all the different cycles of the market.  Still, she has turned $10,000 into over $5,000,000, working only 5-10 hours per MONTH with very little stress. While building her multi-million dollar business, she has traveled to over 55 countries, dances every single day, supports causes that are important to her, and spends lots of time with her husband of over 20 years. She is the international best-selling author of the multiple award-winning books "Choose Bliss: The Power and Practice of Joy and Contentment" and “Real Estate Investing for Women: Expert Conversations to Increase Wealth and Happiness the Blissful Way.” Moneeka has been featured on stages including Carnegie Hall and Nasdaq, radio, podcasts such as Achieve Your Goals with Hal Elrod,  and TV stations including ABC, CBS, FOX, and the CW, impacting over 150 million people.

Live Fearlessly With Rhonda Britten – Real Estate Women

REW 43 | Live Fearlessly


Life can be tough. There will be moments where the only way we think we can cope through is by wallowing in fear and becoming the victim of what happened to us. Rhonda Britten chose the other way and decided to live fearlessly. This Emmy Award winner and master coach who has changed lives in over 600 episodes of reality television joins Moneeka Sawyer in this episode to share with us her inspiring story. Not without her own difficulties, Rhonda takes us to the worst day of her life, leading her to spiral out of control and, later on, finding her way into the person who helps others come out of the victim story, build the strength to overcome fear and take on life in a bold and fearless way. Join her in this conversation to start your way into the fearless journey of owning your power.

Listen to the podcast here:

Live Fearlessly With Rhonda Britten – Real Estate Women

Real Estate Investing For Women

I am so excited to welcome to the show our guest, Rhonda Britten. She is an Emmy Award winner, repeat Oprah guest and master coach that has changed lives in over 600 episodes of reality television. She authored four bestsellers including her seminal work, Fearless Livingtranslated into eighteen languages, and founded the Fearless Living Institute, the home of Fearless Living Life Coach Certification Program. It is considered the Ivy League of life coach training.

She was the first life coach on television in the world and appeared for three seasons as the head life coach and the hit daytime NBC show Starting Over. She was named its most valuable player by the New York Times and heralded as America’s favorite life coach, she brings the neuroscience of fear down to earth, giving you a path out of not being good enough using the “Wheels” technology she developed that saved her own life. She’s been read, heard and watched by millions, coached tens of thousands of clients, trained hundreds of coaches and wants to share all that she knows with you too. Welcome to the show, Rhonda. How are you?

I am so excited to be here. Every day is a good day to get fearless. Specifically, now is a good day to get fearless because of your topic. I love what you do.

Thank you. I love what I do too and I love what you do so we’re going to be a match made in heaven. Rhonda, tell us a little bit about you. I’d love to hear your story.

What you’re asking about is what got me here. What made me Rhonda Britten? Why me, why now, why do I get to even tell anybody about fear and how to get fearless? What gives me the right? Let me say I didn’t read it from a book even though I read a lot of books, and I didn’t learn it at a workshop even though I’ve taken a lot of workshops. The work of Fearless Living is from my own life experience and soul. As you said earlier about it saved my own life and it did.

I’m going to share the worst day of my life. It was Father’s Day. I was fourteen years old. I grew up in a little tiny town in Upper Michigan, 365 inches of snow a year, two restaurants, we’re talking little. My parents had separated. My father was coming to take us out to brunch. I don’t know about you but we didn’t grow up going out to dinner. There are three kids and two adults. There are five people. That’s a lot of people. My dad coming to take us to brunch is the biggest deal. I’m so excited because we never go out to eat. My mother made me a brand new dress. That’s how fancy it was. My mom is in her bedroom, putting on a blue eye shadow and fluffing for a beehive. My dad walks in. My sisters are fighting it out in our one bathroom.

Me, my mom and dad start walking out. My sisters still fighting out in our one bathroom. As me, my mom, and dad with my sisters still in the bathroom, go start walking out to the car. It starts raining. My dad looks at me and says, “I got to get my coat from the car.” He takes the key in, puts it in the trunk, and opens it up. Out of the corner of my eye, I see that he is not grabbing a coat. He is grabbing a gun and he starts screaming, “You made me do this,” and he fires. He shoots my mother. I start screaming, “Dad, what are you doing? Stop.”

He cocks the gun and he looks at me. I look at him and he blinks an eye. I’m 100% believe I’m next. I’m going to be dead in five seconds. My mother, with already a bullet inside of her, looks up and sees that gun in my face and screams, “No, don’t,” with her last breath. My father realized that my mother is still alive. He takes up a bullet intended for me and shoots my mother a second time. That second bullet enters my mother’s abdomen and goes out the back of her into the car horn. For the next twenty minutes, all I heard was a horn. The next second, my father cocks the gun again, drops to his knees, puts the gun to his head and fires. When I’m fourteen years old, I am the sole witness to my father murdering my mother and committing suicide in front of me.

When you understand how fear works, life changes for you, and you can be blissful. Click To Tweet

I don’t know how you would have responded. This is how I responded. I blamed myself because I was the only one physically outside that could have stopped it. I didn’t grab the gun. I didn’t kick my father in the shin. I didn’t jump in front of my mother even. I froze there saying, “Stop dad, stop.” That day, looking back on it, I split into two. The girl who had to be okay because I grew up in Upper Michigan, Upper Minnesota, suck it up, and everything is fine. I lived most of my life telling everybody I was fine where the internal part of me, the part that split off, was anything but fine. I was so not fine.

For the next several years, I had the battle within. The outside me, straight A student, I got a scholarship to college. I’m going to be all right. The internal me that started drinking and doing things in order to distract myself. I became an alcoholic, got three DUIs and had three suicide attempts. It was a third suicide attempt that I realized I’m not very good at killing myself. I got to figure out another way. I want to preface this by saying one thing. During those twenty years of me drinking, committing suicide, getting DUIs, remember, I split into two so there was another part of me that was perfectly wonderful. If you would have met me, I would have been like, “I’m fine.”

I read and I did everything to help myself. I went to workshops, I read books. You name it, I’ve done it. I have done everything. During those years, I tried to do everything to help myself. It wasn’t until that third suicide attempt that I realized all the things that I had tried were good information. It was a good knowledge to have but it fundamentally did not change how I felt about myself. It was good things to know but in the middle of the night, I still thought there’s something seriously wrong with me. When I got home from the psychiatric ward in my third suicide attempt because that’s where they put you when you try to kill yourself three times. They take you for evaluation. I was deemed not crazy. I went home, and said to myself, “If I’m going to live, I can’t keep doing this. I can’t keep living this. I have got to figure it out.”

Out of desperation, I started making exercises for myself. I thought to myself, I have to begin again. I got to go back to kindergarten. Shockingly to me, they started working. I didn’t think it was going to be for anybody but me. In fact, I was embarrassed that I had to create exercises because it seemed workshops, books, and therapy to helped everybody else but they didn’t help. I didn’t think differently of myself. I started making exercises and again, I didn’t think it was for anybody, but me and then a couple at church, chase me out one day and was like, “What are you doing?” I’m like, “What are you talking about? I’m not doing anything.” They’re like, “You’re doing something?” I’m like, “What? I’m not.”

It’s because I was embarrassed that I was so screwed up that workshops, books, and therapy didn’t help me and purge me of my negative thoughts. They kept badgering me. I’m like, “I’ll make it up in exercises.” They’re like, “Give me one.” I gave him one. The next week they came back and said, “It’s working. Can I have another one?” I’m like, “What?” That was the first moment that I was like, “Maybe this isn’t just for me. Maybe I just didn’t go through twenty years of how. This might have another purpose and another meaning.” I didn’t start teaching and coaching firm for years after that. There was no such thing as coaching when this happened.

I slowly but surely started doing the steps necessary in order to teach and coach. I was introduced to a mentor. Shockingly, Fearless Living, not only has it changed my life significantly but it has changed my clients’ lives and my students’ lives, and it’s miraculous. I’m very grateful that I had the opportunity to experience the life I’ve lived so far. People ask me all the time, “Would you rather have your parents alive or be Rhonda Britten?” I go, “Of course, I’d rather have my parents alive.” I am very grateful that I was willing, out of desperation, to do the work necessary in order to change my life.

It’s such an amazing story, Rhonda. It is true that there are so many people that will not do the work instead of being fearless or blissful to choose to wallow in the victimhood of, “Look at what happened to me.” I will say more people will do that than less. There’s a comfort zone about being the person that lived that life. Identifying yourself as that person, rather than trying to recreate who you are.

When I give a keynote, teach a class, or we’re talking about excuses, I say, “I have the ultimate excuse.” If I was an alcoholic on the side of the road, messed up somewhere, not living my life as me, or not living my true nature, nobody would say, “Poor Rhonda.” Everybody would be like, “You know what happened to Rhonda.” They would give up on me because I have a good excuse to be messed up. This is why I do what I do. It’s exactly what you’re saying right now. It takes tremendous courage for some people to get out of bed in the morning.

REW 43 | Live Fearlessly

Fearless Living: Live Without Excuses and Love Without Regret

For many years, it did me as well. It takes tremendous courage to get out of the victim’s story. I do believe that the only reason I got out of the victim’s story is because I got so desperate. I had tried so hard to change my life as well as keep my victim’s story but that doesn’t work. You have to let go and transform the victim’s story. You have to make it a victor story. You have to become victor but that takes great courage. There are a lot of people that stay in victim mode but I don’t blame them for that because we’re not taught.

We don’t understand how fear works because this is, again, why I do the work I do. I went to therapy and I did workshops but no one explained. They told me a lot of stuff but it didn’t fundamentally change my view of myself. The work that I do is I help people that feel like, “I’ve done everything. Why can’t I get this?” “I’ve done so many great things but why do I still have this it’s that?” It’s, “Why do I still or why can’t I get?” It is a new awareness, transformational and view of how fear works. Once you understand fear in the way that I do, all that guilt and shame fall off and that victim can be put to bed.

I would never blame someone for staying in that victim’s place. A lot of people are in that place and don’t even realize it because that’s not what it looks like. Victimhood comes in so many different shapes, forms, words, thoughts and all of that stuff. I don’t blame anybody. A lot of it is propagated by television, advertising, and news, all of those things which is why I don’t watch television. I’m careful about what’s around me but we can’t completely seal ourselves off from the world either and we wouldn’t want to.

We want to live fully. Building the strength to move yourself out of that is a hard thing. What’s interesting here is that your story is not the same as mine but I too have dealt with a lot of trauma. On the other side of that, I also became a coach. For me, I decided that my path was to focus on bliss, you have chosen the path to focus on fear. They’re the same but with different clothes. It’s not fear but fearless. It’s the lack of fear. Could you talk to me a little bit about why you made the choice to go that route?

That’s at the heart of what is stopping all of us. I believe that when you understand how fear works, life changes for you and you can be blissful. I’m sure that you’ve experienced people that want bliss but they keep getting tripped up. That trip is a sign that fear is in control. Also, for me, I’m committed. Let’s put it this way, for all of my life when I was going through alcoholism, suicides, etc., I never would have said I’m afraid. That’s the irony of this all. If you would have asked me if I’m afraid, I would be like, “No,” because I also think that people don’t even know they have fear and they’re being a victim.

They know that their life is stuck, they’re not doing what they want, they’re overwhelmed, procrastinating, perfectionism and anxious. That’s what they know. What they don’t know is all of that stems from fear. You can’t be anxious, overwhelmed, procrastinate, or infectious without a fear. When I understood how fear worked and it was God-given insight, it didn’t come from me, my life clicked into place. Everything was clicking.

I saw myself completely different. I saw the world differently because neuroscience says, “You can change your thoughts, feelings, values and beliefs. It’s a good exercise, but if you do not change the fundamental filter and system in which you operate out of, you will not create lasting change.” I help people move from that fear-based filter which they don’t even know they have to one of freedom such as bliss so that they can shift at because there’s no getting rid of fear. It’s part of our neurobiology. If you don’t understand how fear works, fear will always win and it’ll always trip you up. For me, fear is the fundamental building block of a blissful and fearless life. Without it, you’re going to keep getting stopped by it.

I have a thought around fear because this is the question that I get a lot because I talk a lot about fear in my work too. You’re right, it is foundational. Some people will say to me, “Fear is here to help us to survive. It’s a natural, good thing.” If I see a fire, fear is what makes me not put my hand in the fire. If I see cars whizzing by, fear is what makes me not jump in front of a car running across the street. Let’s talk about that. The fear that’s healthy, real, and serves us and then the fear that you’re talking about.

If you don't really understand how fear works, fear will always win. Click To Tweet

You’re talking about two different fears. You’re talking about fears instinctual to stay physically alive and we’re talking about emotional fears. I coined the term emotional fears because there was no way to describe the fears that I was talking about every day. When people talk about the whizzing traffic and the hot stove, that is instinctual, physical survival. That is physical fear. What I’m talking about and I’m sure what you talk about is emotional fears like fear of rejection, failure, inadequate, incompetent, worthless, being a loser, being stupid and being selfish. People get caught in like, “Isn’t fear good?” Yes, fear is good but if you do not know how to identify when anger is being used in fear versus freedom because anger in and of itself is neutral.

All feelings, beliefs and values can be used in service to fear of freedom. Everybody wants to have integrity. It’s one of the biggest goal like, “You have so much integrity. You’re so authentic.” A lot of people use the value of integrity through the lens of fear. If you have integrity and you’re in freedom, you’re flexible even though you have integrity. You can renegotiate. You can put your needs forward but people that use integrity out of fear, which is many people, is very rigid. They say things like, “I said I was going to do it and I’m going to do it, no matter what.”

Integrity is superseded like fear has danced with integrity. They’re using integrity as a positive but in reality, it’s fear-driven. What I always say there is no such thing as negative feelings. One of my clients said to me, “When my husband came home, he’s so negative.” I’m like, “What did he say?” “He was telling me about some guy at work that having a heart attack. I told him to quit being so negative.” I go, “That’s not negative. That’s information.” People have confused this whole conversation of what’s negative and positive. The frame needs to change to fear of freedom. We have this whole negative and positive. It’s so limiting and false. It keeps us trapped.

Talk to me about this whole concept of “I’m not good enough” that you address quite a lot.

I am not good enough as we know, from a spiritual perspective, that’s an illusion. We know that logically. We can understand that yet. It feels real when we’re feeling it. When I feel I’m not good enough, I feel it. One of the things that I work with my clients on is separating themselves from the feeling and all of the work out there that’s like, “Feel it.” It’s like, “No.” I could go on and on with feelings. There are people like, “You have to go with the feeling tone.” If you do not have awareness of where that feeling tone is coming from, you are going to be courting a feeling tone that is going to get you in places that is not good for you. That is fear-based even though it looks like it’s not.

What’s that healing tone mean?

For instance, there’s a lot of teachers out there that are like, “Go with the positive feeling tone. Get into the feeling. Let the Law of Attraction work.” It’s like, “Get into the feeling. Be the feeling. Feel the car in your hands.” That’s awesome. There is no problem with that, but if you’re driven to Law of Attraction and you want to get the car because the car is a status symbol, it’ll make you feel better, and you think you’re worthy of the car, you’re being attracted to the car out of fear. People don’t know that. They’re courting a feeling that they think is positive but it’s fear-based.

REW 43 | Live Fearlessly

Live Fearlessly: Your victimhood comes in so many different shapes, forms, words, and thoughts.


When I talk about people not feeling good enough, one of the things that I work with people on is separating themselves and having the awareness of how fear shows up in their life versus how freedom shows up in their life. I give people a little quiz and I ask them to rate themselves because again, as I said earlier, most people don’t even know they’re afraid. I am not good enough is an illusion. It’s a lie or fear. By the way, fear is smart. It is as smart, educated, spiritual and knowledgeable as we are. If you have evidence because excuses need evidence to make them excuses, fear takes that excuse and evidence and makes it real. You believe that you’re not good enough you because you have evidence to point to.

If you have evidence to point to, you believe the evidence because it’s right there. You’ve had three people say something, you failed three times or you have these two things happen and it’s clearly true and it feels true. What I want to do is help my clients separate from the feeling versus what freedom is. I want to have them separate those feelings, thoughts, and behaviors and choose freedom which is going to feel uncomfortable and not be something they want to do which they want to do intellectually but they don’t want to go through it. It’s like, “You got to go through the eye of a needle.”

I always say, my job and I’m sure your job is, “I hold your hand while you’re going through it. You’re not alone.” It’s not as scary as you think when you have the support and the tools that will help you get there. You need to see some guidance. My clients and my students are apprentice. I’m apprenticing them. I’m going to teach them how to be fearless as I’m sure you do as well. I’m not good enough as an illusion and the minute you believe that, fear wins.

I want to sit in everything you say for minutes and take it in. Let’s talk a little bit about this whole thing like you were saying about your client that, “My husband is so negative.” This has happened to me too. There are people that I love in my life that every single time I talk to them, they’ve got something to say that feels bad to me. They have some political spouting that they feel they need to do or they’ve got some complaint about that person. I’m like, “That’s all they do.” I would say those people are complainers and they’re negative. I want to spend as little time as possible as I can with them. I try to have as much compassion as possible but they feel negative. How do you deal with those kinds of people?

I don’t see them as negative. I see that they’re hanging on for dear life trying to find connections through their fears. Are they complaining? They might be complaining but people complain for connection. If you listen to complainers, they’re advertising their fears. They’re telling you what they’re afraid of. If you talk about the fears rather than the complaint, the conversation has an opportunity to change. Do you have to stay in a relationship with people that aren’t your cup of tea? No, but I do want my clients to have the skill to go to a family event. Their uncle is there and doesn’t believe what they believe or grumpy, old and complaining all the time.

I want them to be able to look at that uncle, love them to pieces, be able to be in somebody’s presence and recognize that the person itself is not flawed. The person who’s complaining that is “negative” is for you to see them and to give them empathy, compassion and innocence. That’s what they are crying for. The more that you can see their innocence, listen to anything in anybody and be completely sending love, innocence and connection then you do know who to hang out with and who not to hang out with. I’m not saying hang out with all those people that are complainers but I also believe that complainers, not everybody are doing it to be heard.

Can you hear what they’re saying underneath the words? Not label them negative. Anytime you call somebody negative, it writes them off. That’s not what you do because you give them compassion. I’ll preface this again by saying I am not saying you have to be in a relationship with abusers, betrayers, and people that reactivate your trauma every day. No, I do not want that for you. I also want you to have the skill of knowing what’s happening rather than you running. I don’t want my clients to hang out with their trauma abusers, the perpetrators. I want them to be awake to what’s going on underneath the surface like what’s really happening so that they don’t get caught in it themselves and keeping themselves afraid.

It’s very empowering to know that you can walk into any room and handle almost any conversation. Even if you don’t want to engage in that conversation, you can still have compassion. It’s a very empowering, uplifting filter, as you might call it, to see people asking for help rather than trying to offend you.

Enough is an illusion. It's the lie of fear. Click To Tweet

I love that you brought this up because having fearless conversations is one of the superpowers I have and one of the things I teach my students because not only do I want you to be able to go to a room and have a conversation with anybody but I also want you to be able to say, “No, thank you,” as well. Be able to be like, “That’s not happening.” Your no is as powerful as your yes. One of the things that I say all the time is, “If you can say no, your yes is meaningless.” If you don’t have permission to say no or yes for any question or invitation asked, then you are being driven by fear.

I’m not talking about your high school reunion where you’re like, “I’m going. Yes, I want to go.” That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about if somebody asks you to do something and you’re like, “I better do it,” out of guilt and shame. If you’re doing something out of should, you haven’t put through the filter of what if I say no or yes and made a choice to say yes, then you are being a victim of circumstances. You’re being driven by fear. We all do that all day long. One of the exercises I give to my clients is keeping track of their shoulds every day. It’s shocking to them because they had no idea how everyday decisions were increasing their fear and powerlessness.

What came up for me around that is how much we should on other people too. We don’t feel we have a choice of yes or no then we expect others to be okay with not having a choice of yes or no. The more that you allow your own freedom, choice and power, you can then open yourself up to be that person for the people around you and then everybody expands. Love can be so much more intense, beautiful and learning expansion business, all of those things.

I’m so grateful that you said that because that is true.

I feel like we could talk forever. We’re soul sisters, Rhonda. We do have EXTRA. Rhonda and I are going to be sharing more in EXTRA. She has an interesting thing that she wants to share with you that’s called the Control or No Control Process. Could you tell us a little bit about that?

Let’s say that I had an actor come to me once as a client who said to me, “Acting is luck. I can’t seem to get any lucky breaks.” In acting, we all heard that like, “It’s a lucky break.” All the exercises that I create are either myself-generated because I need it and/or client-generated. One of my superpowers is creating unique individualized, personalized exercises is to help people truly transform in a matter of quick minutes. In that moment, he’s sitting in front of me and I’m like, “I’m going to make up this exercise.”

What it does is when you go through the exercise and when you do the follow-through, you will no longer have that feeling of powerlessness or that “should” feeling. You’re going to take your power back. You can finally get through uncertainty. You can get through the unknown and what ifs. All of those things that stop us from making decisions or makes us feel that life isn’t fair. The control, no control exercise is also going to take away that fear like, “They got something that I didn’t,” “I need a lucky break. If I was raised them then my life wouldn’t be this.” All of that conversation of powerlessness, frustration and insecurity, you’re going to see it through a very different lens and I’m going to give you some things to do so you can move from that place whenever you feel it into a different arena.

That’s going to be amazing. That’s coming up in EXTRA. It’s so awesome. Rhonda, how can people get in touch with you?

REW 43 | Live Fearlessly

Live Fearlessly: If you do not change the fundamental filter and system in which you operate out of, you actually will not create lasting change.


Go to I do have a free gift if I may.

Please share.

Go to When you go there, you’re going to see a page for an exercise called Stretch, Risk Or Die that will take your to-do list. That procrastination and perfectionism. Why don’t I get this done? You get your ten things on your task list and you do 1, 2, 3, skip 3 and 4, do 5, 6, 7, skip 8. Those 3, 4, 8, you put to the next day and you keep on skipping them. I’m going to show you what’s behind that skipping and what to do instead. I’m going to start you on the fearless journey of taking your power back so that you can take Stretch, Risk and Die in your life because that’s how you’re going to get comfortable in your own skin and take your power back.

I knew that when we were talking about it. As you said, this is the ultimate cure for procrastination.

It is the absolute, actual cure. You going to put your to-do list on its ear. The way you think of your goals and dreams you have for your life, you’re no longer going to think of them as a task list. You’re going to think of them through a different lens. You’re going to think about them through the emotional risk it takes because every action and new thought you have has an emotional risk to it. You’re not doing things in procrastination, perfectionism, overwhelm or anxiety because you’re not awake to the emotional risk it takes.

This exercise is going to show you how to take worksheets in there for yet. It got everything for you. It’s a very quick class. It’s three videos, fifteen minutes each so you’ll be able to have worksheets. The third video talks about the wheel of fear which is the core of my work. You’re going to see a little preview of that and it’s going to give you space to get off your back and quit beating yourself up about not doing things when you think you should.

The link for that is Go get that amazing gift by Rhonda. Thank you so much for that. That is so generous.

You’re welcome. It’s my pleasure.

Success is based on your ability to live in uncertainty. Click To Tweet

Rhonda, are you ready for our three rapid-fire questions?


Give us one super tip on getting started investing in real estate.

Number one thing, you must be worth your future. You must decide that you’re worth your future because investing is a short versus long game. It’s a long game. Short-term thinking is based in fear. You’ve got to decide that you are going to make yourself worthy of long-term investment because you are worthy of success. You are worthy because fear no longer plays with you because you’re going to do Stretch, Risk Or Die and you are going to know what to do.

Give us one strategy on being successful in real estate investing.

Nothing is going to happen on your timeline. If you can embrace the uncertainty of success, you will be successful. If you are looking for certainty in success, you will never be successful. You might have one hit there. You might be randomly successful, but success is based on your ability to live in uncertainty. When you can live in uncertainty, you can then have the freedom to take the risks necessary to get where you want to go in the timeframe you want to get there per se. Success is never going to happen on your timeline.

By the way, I’ll tell you one other thing, a bonus tip. What you think success is now will transform in the future. I don’t want to say nothing as you think but trust me, it is going to be better than you can imagine. What I imagined my life would be 25 years ago when I started, I could never have imagined where I am. Your imagination is less than what’s possible for you. You keep following the breadcrumbs of your imagination and your desires. Remember, uncertainty is the skill that you must embrace in order to be successful.

I have to say that I feel exactly that same way because I tell my husband all the time, “How did we get here? We never could have planned for this. We could never have imagined. This life is so much bigger than we could have ever dreamed up.” Thank you, we stayed open for that.

REW 43 | Live Fearlessly

Live Fearlessly: All feelings and beliefs can be used in service to fear of freedom.


It takes courage to be open. People have this timeline and it’s like, “You don’t understand.” Timelines are nice. It’s good to have goals and dreams but they’re loose structures. If you make them your God, savior, and answer, you’re missing the point.

What would you say is one daily practice that you use that contributes to your personal success?

Acknowledgment is critical in the world of Fearless Living and there are so many. We have a daily practice of three things a day every day. Acknowledgment is my number one. Acknowledgment in the world of Fearless Living is “I acknowledge myself for” and you acknowledge yourself for any stretch, risk or die that you take during the day. That stretch, risk or die might be a new thought, new feeling, or new action but being willing to embrace that changes everything. Acknowledge yourself now. “I acknowledge myself for,” I got to write it down, five a day, and you will start recognizing your confidence increase within three days. I promise you that.

That’s beautiful, amazing stuff. Thank you, Rhonda.

You’re welcome.

Ladies, thank you so much for joining Rhonda and I for this portion of the show. I’m looking forward to what we’ve got coming up. In EXTRA where we’re going to be talking about control versus no control. Stay tuned for that if you are subscribed to EXTRA. If you’re not subscribed for EXTRA but would like to be, go to and you get the first seven days for free. You get Rhonda’s EXTRA. You can get as many as you can listen to in seven days. Check it out and see if it’s for you. If it is, you can stay with me and if not, you got a lot of good content. Thank you so much for reading this blog. I look forward to seeing you next time. Until then remember, goals without action are just dreams. Get out there, take action and create the life your heart deeply desires.

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About Rhonda Britten

REW 43 | Live FearlesslySpecialties: Top of the talent pool for changing lives through the mediums of television and radio. World-Class Speaker. Founder of “Ivy League of Life Coach Training” Life Coach Certification Program and Fearless Living Institute. 4x Bestselling Author. Named Coach of the Year. Teaches Advanced Coach Training @Fearless Conversations Workshop.

Rhonda Britten – Emmy Award-winner, Repeat Oprah guest, Huffington Post Contributor and Master Coach – has devoted her life to one thing: to teach people how to master fear.

Whether that’s a fear of rejection or loss; fear of failure or success; fear of abandonment or pain, she brings the neuroscience of fear down to earth giving you a path out of “not being good enough” using the “Wheels” technology she developed that saved her own life. What she teaches is what she’s lived.

Rhonda was the first Life Coach on reality television in the world on the first-show of its kind, Help Me Rhonda. Next, Rhonda changed lives on the hit NBC reality show Starting Over and named its “most valuable player” by The New York Times and heralded as “America’s Favorite Life Coach.” To date, Rhonda has altered lives in over 600 episodes of reality television that aired in more than 25 countries and impacted millions worldwide.

Media list includes: Today Show, Good Morning America, New York Times, Sunday London Times, Good Housekeeping, USA Today, Bill O’Reilly Show, etc.

Rhonda is a recipient of the “Coach of the Year” Award and keynoter for organizations such as; Southwest Airlines, Blue Shield of California, Northrup Grumman and many more.

Her “Life Coach Certification Program” is considered the Ivy League of Life Coaching Training. She also hosts Train-the-Trainer Programs using her work as the foundation to educate the world.

Rhonda’s four books include her bestselling Fearless Living, Change Your Life in 30 Days, Fearless Loving and Do I Look Fat in This.

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Learn how to create a consistent income stream by only working 5 hours a month the Blissful Investor Way.
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6 simple strategies for lowering today’s taxes with Mark Willis

Today I’d like to welcome to the show our guest Mark Willis!

About Mark Willis

Mark Willis is a man on a mission to help you think differently about banks, Wall Street and financial uncertainty. After graduating with six figures of student loan debt and discovering a way to turn his debt into real wealth as he watched everybody lose their retirement investments and home equity in 2008, he knew that he needed to find a sane way to meet his financial objectives and those of his clients.

Mark is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER, a #1 Best Selling Author and the owner of Lake Growth Financial Services, a financial firm in Chicago, Illinois. Over the years, he has helped hundreds of his clients take back control of their financial future and build their businesses with sophisticated. tax- efficient financial solutions. He specializes in building custom—tailored financial strategies that are unknown to typical financial gurus. As co—host of the Not Your Average Financial Podcast, he shares some of his strategies for investing in real estate, saving and paying for college without going broke, and creating an income in retirement you can’t outlive. Mark works with people who want to grow their wealth in ways that are safe and predictable, to become their own source of financing. and to create tax—free income in retirement.

In this episode of EXTRA we talked about:

  • 6 simple strategies for lowering today’s taxes. 


Learn how to create a consistent income stream by only working 5 hours a month the Blissful Investor Way.

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Control vs No Control – Getting past overwhelm with Rhonda Britten – Real Estate Women

Today I’d like to welcome to the show our guest  Rhonda Britten

About Rhonda Britten

Rhonda Britten is an Emmy Award-winner, Repeat Oprah guest, and Master Coach and has changed lives in over 600 episodes of reality television, authored four bestsellers including her seminal work “Fearless Living” (translated into 18 languages), and founded the Fearless Living Institute, home of Fearless Living Life Coach Certification Program, considered the Ivy League of Life Coaching Training. 

She was the first Life Coach on television in the world and appeared for three seasons as the head Life Coach on the hit daytime NBC show, “Starting Over.” Named its “Most Valuable Player” by The New York Times and heralded as “America’s Favorite Life Coach,” she brings the neuroscience of fear down to earth giving you a path out of “not being good enough” using the “Wheels” technology she developed that saved her own life.  

She’s been read, heard, and watched by millions, coached tens of thousands of clients, trained hundreds of coaches, and now wants to share all she knows with you!

In this episode of EXTRA we talk about:

  • control and no control – taking back control from feeling overwhelmed 
  • A specific exercise you can use quickly to get back into feeling in control


Learn how to create a consistent income stream by only working 5 hours a month the Blissful Investor Way.

Grab my FREE guide at

Maximize Your Power Of Negotiation With Justin Pogue – Real Estate For Women

Today I’d like to welcome to the show our guest Justin Pogue

About Justin Pogue

Justin Pogue is an award-winning author and real estate consultant based in San Jose, CA. His services are sought after by property management companies, investors, and real estate consulting companies alike. FOX News, The Mercury News, SFGate,, and have all featured his insights for the benefit of their audiences. He got his start in real estate by purchasing properties on the Lands Available list in the state of Florida. Since 2003, he has developed and managed apartments, rental homes, and student housing across the United States. Justin holds a degree in Economics from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as an MBA from The Darden School at the University of Virginia. As a San Jose native, he also attended Bellarmine College Preparatory and the Harker School.

In this episode of EXTRA we talk about:

  • How can people maximize their power of negotiation?
  • Can anyone really use these Strategies?
  • If you are renting how specifically to move towards RE investing.


Learn how to create a consistent income stream by only working 5 hours a month the Blissful Investor Way.

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Yes, Even You Can Be A Property Investor! With Justin Pogue – Real Estate For Women

REW 42 | Rental Properties


Creating passive income through rental properties is certainly a good decision to make money. But as its landlord, you are putting a huge responsibility unto yourself, not only in taking care of the place itself but also the renters residing in it. To help aspiring property investors know where and how to start with this, Moneeka Sawyer sits down with author real estate consultant Justin Pogue. Together, they discuss how to jump into this industry the right way, the best strategies to apply when managing and keeping renters, and the proper way to negotiate a lease. Justin also explains how landlords can properly deal with the most unexpected challenges in rental properties by sharing how he dealt with his own flooding problem.

Listen to the podcast here:

Yes, Even You Can Be A Property Investor! With Justin Pogue

Real Estate Investing For Women

I am excited to welcome to the show, Justin Pogue. He is an author and real estate consultant based in San Jose, California. Fox News, Mercury News, SFGate, and have all featured his insights for the benefit of their audiences. He got his start in real estate by purchasing properties on the lands available list in the State of Florida. Since 2003, he has developed and managed apartments and rental homes across the United States. Justin holds a degree in Economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as an MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia. Justin, how are you? Welcome to the show.

I’m great. It’s fantastic to be here.

He lives in San Jose, but there are fires in San Jose. He happens to be in Texas. I’m glad we’re chatting. Justin, give us a brief high-level story. How did you get into real estate?

Real estate wasn’t my original plan. I was in graduate school, getting my MBA, planning to go into management consulting, got the interview set up, got the internship all lined up, twelve weeks. I was all set and the dot-com bubble burst. The bottom fell out of that industry completely. Now it’s like, “What do I do next?” I’m trying to figure out what I want to do next. My mother who had been a real estate agent back in the ’80s, although it never took off as a career for her, she was learning about tax liens and how do you acquire property via tax liens. Florida was a good state to do that in. We took a road trip from California to Florida. We’re going between the different county recorder’s offices. We ended up purchasing three properties via the tax lien method, clearing the title, and flipping those to developers. That’s how I got started in the real estate industry.

That’s interesting that just like that, it happened.

She’s like, “You’re trying to figure out what you want to do next. Let’s look at some properties.” We went to look at a few, and we looked at a few more, and then we got one off of the lands available list, and it snowballed from there. We eventually got up to a total of 72 units that I was managing that were down in the Southeast of the United States.

That’s an amazing story. One of these things that I love about this story is the way that you took a bad situation. The bottom fell out of our markets and turned it into a huge success for yourself. I think a lot of people during that time. I remember I was in it. I lived in San Jose and we were in the heart of that complete bust. I remember the pain that was going on around then. Kudos to you for taking the bull by the horns and making something good happen.

REW 42 | Rental Properties

Rental Properties: Networking is a huge factor in real estate investing, property management, and business in general.


It’s a real lesson of the value of resilience and looking for other opportunities that you can get involved. Having that lesson in my back pocket from that period in time has helped me in other periods of time moving forward from there to ’08 and other situations even beyond that.

I’ve been there too. It’s amazing. I know that you focus a lot on renters, which is a very interesting perspective. We haven’t had anybody come on the show talking about the renter’s perspective. There are a lot of ladies that are renters. My first question for you is if someone is renting and they want to start investing, how do they start moving towards that path?

It all starts with education. You go down to the bookstore and you start looking at real estate books about investing. Start exposing yourself to the topics, the concepts, different case studies, that kind of thing. That’s a great place to start. Another step would be to go to local real estate investment clubs. Start networking with people who are doing what you are potentially going to do in the future. Ask them all the questions that you have. They’re more than happy to answer those questions. That’s why they’re part of the club. Networking is a huge factor in real estate investing and property management, and business in general. Understand that no matter how many books you read, no matter how many people you talk to, no matter how many seminars you go to, the butterflies in your stomach are not going to go away until you pull that trigger on that first property and then you’re in it.

I want to talk a little bit about this networking piece. We’ve had people come on the show talking about networking. My ladies hear me say this until I’m blue in the face. I’m sure they’re sick of hearing this. It’s that this is a people business. The numbers have to work, but it’s a people business. One of the things that you said was emphasized that again in real estate, but in any business. You have a degree from the Wharton School of Business. I have a degree from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. We understand what we get taught in business school. Here’s the primary thing that we get taught in business school, in addition to finance, accounting, and all of those interesting things. The big thing that we learn in business school, and ladies you’re getting it right here, is learn how to network. Any business in the world cannot be successful if you cannot get along with people, inspire, engage and negotiate. That’s how we build businesses. That’s how we make the world different. That’s how we change lives.

Part of what trips people about networking is, “I’m going to go in and I’m going to talk to these people. I have no idea what I’m going to get out of it or what the payoff is going to be.” For some people, that scares them off like, “I’m investing this time, but I don’t know what I’m going to get for it.” That is the beauty of networking. You don’t know who the person you’re talking to might know. You don’t know what ideas they might share to inform what you’re doing. You don’t know what ideas you might be able to share to inform what they’re doing. Too often many people think, “I don’t have any ideas or concepts in my head that could possibly help this person. They’re so successful.” Remember, you have a different perspective than they have because you have a different experience than they have. There might be some nugget in your experience that can help propel them forward. When that happens, they will remember that. When you call them with a question or a concern later on, they will be more than happy to help you. That’s how networking works, even though you don’t know quite what you’re going to get out of it before you start.

Especially in something like this, if you have an agenda when you go into networking. I know there are a lot of people that teach about networking. You have to know what questions you’re going to ask. Have a plan because for a lot of people, that makes them much more comfortable to have the plan. The truth is a lot of times when you go in fully prepared like that and you appear to have an agenda, it tends to be a turnoff. If that’s the best that you can do, then you do that. If you can stay open to what the possibilities are for what you can learn, who you can meet, and what you can offer, then you’re not caught up in your own head. You are much more open to having real conversations, to showing an interest in somebody else, rather than filling their ear with everything you’ve decided you have to say.

Your skills at networking will improve over time. I was not perfect coming out of the gate in networking by any stretch of the imagination. The good news is you don’t have to be. Go out there, make an effort, and it will benefit you over time. You will see.

Any business in the world cannot be successful if you cannot inspire, engage, and negotiate with people. Click To Tweet

Let’s talk about how you had the confidence to finally pull the trigger the very first time.

It’s interesting because the very first time we’re looking at buying properties for tax liens. What that means is every year the county collects property taxes. If those taxes on a particular property are not paid, what the county does is they auction off their lien to someone else, a bank, a private investor or what have you. They need the money to pave the roads, pay for the schools, and all the stuff that the county does. Depending on the rules of the state, once you control a certain number of years of those liens, you can then take that interest, jump through some legal hoops, and gain ownership of a property. Typically, that property is going to be vacant land, especially if it’s in an urban area.

Sometimes it can have structure on it. In our case it was vacant land. Getting back to your question, since our investment was only the back taxes and not the full market value of the property, that made it a lot easier to pull the trigger and get started. Something else that made it easier in my situation is I was working with a trusted partner. My mother and I were the ones that were going on this road trip and this experience together. Having a partner can be helpful. It gives you somebody to bounce ideas off of, and to check the concepts that you have floating around in your head. Sometimes the ideas in your head sound great. Until you give them voice and you start working them back and forth and then, “Let’s tweak it here. Let’s tweak it there. Maybe it can be great.” I also felt I was ready to take a chance on this. I was ready to try something. This was early 2000s and you’re seeing a lot of people who have much less experience than I had become multimillionaires, investing in real estate and other things. I’m like, “I can do that too. I can take a shot at this and see what we can create.”

How would you translate that to someone who doesn’t have a specific thing that they’re looking at? They’re interested in, “I want to invest.” This is the thing that I get so much for my ladies is, “I don’t even know where to start.” I’m promoting education, listen to podcasts, read some good books, but there is that moment where you have to pull the trigger. It’s scary but it’s exhilarating too once you do it, but it’s getting there. What would you give the ladies advice around that?

Investing is this huge arena and there are many different types of investments that people can do. It’s important to understand who you are as an individual, and what you want out of this investment experience. Let’s take a few examples. You could invest in the stock market. You could buy some index funds. Understand that when you do that, you have no control over what any of these companies do. If they go out and buy a private jet, you can’t call up the president of the company and say, “I don’t think that that was a wise use of the company’s funds. You should return it.” They’re not going to take your phone call. You’re investing in businesses and they’re out there earning money. The stock price will hopefully go up over time and there may be some dividends and that kind of thing but understand there’s a level of control that you do not have in that experience.

When you look at real estate, when you buy a property, you have pretty much 100% control over that property. What improvements are you going to make to that property? What particular clientele you’re going to target that property towards? Are there any additional amenities that you want to add to the property? Do you want to invest in a property that’s near a community park? Do you want to invest one that’s maybe near a recreation center, or near that new restaurant that got five stars, and whatever that review was? You’re in charge of those things, which gives you total control. However, there’s more of a personal involvement in that than in the stocks. The stocks, you can just buy and forget about it. Real estate needs to be managed and it needs to be nurtured. Even if you’re going to hire somebody to manage that, you need to manage the people who are managing, and be aware of what they’re doing and what their relationships with your residents are, and who your residents are.

Those are the two ends of the spectrum. There are other things that people could invest in. The idea is if that level of control is something that you want, you’re not going to get it in stocks. You’re going to get it in real estate and starting your own business, which quite frankly, investing in a property is starting your own business. Know what level of control you want and what level of involvement you want to have in your investment. Those are two things that people starting out need to think about. This is all part of setting up your mindset before you even get started. That’s going to be the foundation for having a successful business regardless of what you invest in.

REW 42 | Rental Properties

Rental Properties: By having a great relationship with renters, landlords can get the most out of their investment with the least amount of stress.


When you started in real estate, did you feel like you were prepared for all the things you were going to experience?

I thought I was prepared. I had read a bunch of books. I had gone to I don’t know how many different seminars. They talked about property appreciation, forced appreciation, residual cashflow, and the depreciation you can take. I thought I was ready. What I didn’t know is that a lot of those seminars, they leave out a lot of information. There’s virtually no discussion on how a property operates. How is a property managed like boots on the ground, day-to-day basis? What does that process look like? If it gets to this point, what does an eviction process look like? What are the steps involved in that? What are the steps involved in marketing your property to attract quality renters to it? What do you do once people start showing up? How do you vet those people? They don’t go into any of that.

They present you with all the sexy, seductive stuff. They are then off to the next city to sell seminars to somebody else. I didn’t know that, like most investors who are starting out don’t know that. I had to learn all of that stuff. It’s unfortunate the lack of education on the landlord side because people are making investments. They’re taking their life savings and they’re putting it into an investment. That lack of education that’s not provided by most of these seminar services is a disservice. A lot of people are learning by the seat of their pants. That also points to why those local real estate investment clubs are important because they will help fill in some of those blanks for you.

You focus on renters and educating renters, and that sort of thing. I focus on that piece. Much of my coursework, the Blissful Investor Masterclass is all about being a landlord and filling in all of those pieces that nobody else talks about. I found the same thing. I had to create my own systems. I had to work my own mindset. I had to know how I was going to be thinking when I walked in to talk to a tenant that was not happy because my mindset was going to change the entire conversation. Those things are important and nobody talks about it. Your network is going to make a big difference. There is some education out there on that. There are many investors that have found out that it’s not that sexy and awesome. Tell us a little bit about the challenges you’ve had to face along the way.

This was in 2007. This particular property was a 32-unit garden-style walk-up property. It had a drainage ditch canal behind the building for stormwater and that kind of thing. One day during the summer, it rained all day. That canal was filled up with water. It got plugged up down the line somewhere. It flooded the first floor of both buildings in the apartment building. I’m standing on the second floor watching the water rise. I’m like, “Those seminars did not cover this.”

It’s my first flood. I have no clue what to do. My first phone call was to one of those flood recovery services. I was able to get somebody on the phone. They said, “Yes, we understand the situation.” They were going to charge $2,000 per apartment to come in, tear everything out, and sanitize what was left. That’s 32-unit apartment buildings, 16 apartments have been flooded. Sixteen apartments times $2,000 is $32,000. That’s a hole in my budget. I cannot afford because I was not planning for a flood.

What ended up saving me was not panicking. We had a vendor who was our carpet cleaning vendor, but they also had water extraction equipment. I talked to them about how to deal with the flood, and how can we get the carpets out, and that kind of thing. Talking with the vendor, we put together a plan to get the carpet out, get the apartments cleaned up, get things sanitized. We go in and put back clean carpet. It was 3 inches of water. It wasn’t waist deep. It doesn’t have to be that deep to ruin your day. We were able to get those apartments back together in livable condition in three days. The only person who called me to thank me was the mother of one of my residents. She was happy her son did not have to come live with her.

If you look in the media, the relationship between landlords and renters is broken and dysfunctional. Click To Tweet

Was that something not covered by insurance?

You can get insurance to cover that, but insurance comes later. It doesn’t cover you in the moment, in the situation. It all comes afterwards, assess, take pictures, and all of that. Meanwhile, I’ve got sixteen families that were displaced who are coming to me like, “What do we do?” That’s a part of property management that was never covered, let alone the flood and mitigating the damage and all of that. The fact that sixteen families are looking at you like, “What do we do now?” You can’t say, “I don’t know.”

“I’m going to call insurance and find out.” I see what you’re saying. Did you never get reimbursed for the insurance because they didn’t get to come out and take pictures and stuff? Tell me a little bit about what happened around that.

What happened around that was the area was determined a disaster zone. FEMA did come in and they provide loans and assistance to the people who were affected by that flood. What was most interesting about that is we had this conversation with the government about applying for the loans, and what information you had to submit, and all of that. We got down to the approval part. They said, “This is what we’ll approve you for. This will be your monthly payment on that disaster loan.” I looked at that and I said, “I’m not comfortable with adding that payment into my budget. What if we take half of the loan amount?”

They said, “The payment would still be the same,” which I thought was interesting because every other loan I’ve ever been involved in on the planet, how much you borrow affects the monthly payment for that particular loan. In this case, they said, “Your payment will be the same. We determined what we think you can pay. That’s what your loan payment will be based on the information that you’ve given us. That was an eye-opening experience for me because I had never dealt with a loan like that. We decided to pass on that loan for that reason. It wasn’t the only source of funds to get us back to where we needed to be, and to make us whole and all of that. Those were the reasons why we went ahead and passed on that loan. It was interesting to have that experience of going through that process, and then getting to that end result where they determine what you pay, and push you out of determining what you pay. You either get to say yes or no.

You said there were other sources of funds to make you whole. What other stuff did you do? It’s interesting to hear. You’re right. Nobody talks about this and I’ve never heard of this. Tell me what those other things were.

This is opening up a lot of different topics. First of all, when you acquire a property and you get your mortgage, the bank may or may not require you to get flood insurance, depending on where the property is located. In this case, the bank did not require us to get flood insurance. Don’t let the bank determine whether you get flood insurance or not. This is a lesson that we got out of this experience. You need to look at your own situation and determine whether you want flood insurance or not because you’re the one that’s involved in the investment. The bank is involved but what I’m saying is don’t let the bank determine what you need. You have to go through it yourself. In this case, we did not get flood insurance.

REW 42 | Rental Properties

Rental Properties: Determine the level of control and involvement you want to have in your investment.


What we ended up doing was pulling from some of our reserve funds to recover and recoup, which brings up the lesson of having reserve funds for things that are unanticipated. The other thing that turned up to be important was the value of your relationship with your vendors. I was able to call our carpet cleaning service. This is 7:00, 8:00 at night. This situation has affected more than just us. They have other customers calling them and they answered the phone when I called. The only reason that happened was because of the relationship that we had with them. If we hadn’t had that relationship, we would have waited until tomorrow or the day after for them to get back to us. The relationship with your vendors is key, and they are a fantastic source of information, in this case, related to flooding.

Also, think about, what needs to go back into your property? We’re tearing out carpet and pulling out baseboard. What needs to go back into your property? Where can you source those items from? What kind of financing you might be able to get from those stores or vendors on those cabinets, carpet, or whatever it is you’re purchasing. Especially if you have to purchase things in bulk, which for sixteen apartments, I was. All of those things go into this recovery process. That’s not to say that everybody’s going to have this type of experience. There’s going to be something that occurs relative to your investment that you weren’t prepared for. Relationships with your vendors, being inquisitive and curious enough to ask questions so that we can come to some reasonable solution and plan, and being able to communicate that plan to your resident, those are huge lessons out of that experience for me.

I appreciate that conversation. There aren’t many people that come on this show and talk about the details of when something goes wrong, the process of how you pull yourself out of that. That was valuable.

That was one thing that went wrong.

We’ve all got our stories. The big thing that I want the ladies to take away from this is things happen. They’ve happened to a lot of us. Justin’s been able to handle it. I’ve been able to handle it. You’ll be able to handle it. Things come up in life and there’s nothing you can’t handle. You just have to not freak out. You create the bliss practices that I talk about all the time. They get you centered and grounded so that you can look at things rationally, start to problem solve, and start to take action rather than starting to freak out, freezing, and making bad decisions. There isn’t much that will be handed to you that you can’t handle. You do need to have your bliss practices in place so that you can keep your head around it when things happen.

There are millions of landlords before you that have handled all of this stuff. You’re not alone. If you have a network, not just with your vendors, that you’ve created, whether you’re going to meetups, REIAs, or whatever real estate organizations, having those people will help to shore you up also because you can have these conversations. You have a larger network of people that can help you through problems and give you vendors.

Half the battle is knowing who to call and what question to ask.

The butterflies in your stomach will not go away until you pull that trigger on your first property. Click To Tweet

You’re a landlord and you wrote a book for renters. Why would you do that?

Rental Secrets came out of an experience I had in the bookstore. I’m sitting in the bookstore and I’m looking at the real estate section. I see books there for owners, managers and investors. I’m like, “There’s a group that’s missing here.” It’s the 43 million households that bring half a trillion dollars with a t to the table every year in terms of their rent payments. It struck me as odd that there are all these guides out there for buying a car or a computer but not for renting, which is what people are spending a third or more of their income on every month. It struck me that in writing books for landlords, owners and property managers, it’s a very top-down approach, as opposed to a bottom-up approach, which is the perspective that I take in my book. The other reasons why I wrote the book is because if you look in the media, the relationship between landlords and renters is broken and dysfunctional. If you’ve ever watched one of those judge shows on television and there’s a landlord-tenant dispute, typically there’s a chair that flies across the room during the proceedings at some point.

It’s a dysfunctional relationship. In many cases, it’s leading to bad governmental policy decisions. It’s leading to a lot of fear and frustration among renters and landlords. The idea is if we can get some education and understanding going on amongst renters about what landlords are dealing with, we can hopefully move towards getting better policy paths. We can hopefully move towards having better relationships between renters and landlords. We can do a way with this myth that renters have in their heads about landlords. The myth is that the landlords are sitting on their yacht in the Caribbean with their umbrella drink, watching the sunset in the background. That’s not what being a landlord is for the most part. I use that picture in my presentation.

People think that if you own property, you’re rolling in the dough. It is possible that your landlord may have a high net worth. What happens with a lot of landlords is that they’re net worth rich and cash poor. They are property rich, cash poor because running these properties, you suddenly have a $32,000 expense. Who can even come up with that? These things happen to landlords and we want to take care of our tenants. We end up in these sticky situations. You’re right and I love what you were talking about this top-down approach versus the bottom-up approach. It’s about respect.

A lot of the stories and the dramatization of what these relationships look like screw up the respect for one another. The reality is there are a lot of landlords that are not responsive. I know that there are a lot of tenants that are horrible to houses. These things all happen, but those are the exceptions more than the rules. Those are the things that are highlighted because they’re dramatic. It’s not a good story that everything is great, unless you’re on this show, I like to say that a lot, “Everything is awesome.” That doesn’t make for good television or good manners.

It makes people frightened to invest in property when they see that, “Why would I want to get into that relationship?” You’re right when you say that a lot of landlords end up being of high net worth, but they’re not necessarily cash rich. They are all tied up in terms of the equity in the property. When you want to go out on a Saturday, you can’t walk through a wall of your building and say, “I’d like $20 please.” It doesn’t work that way.

If we’re providing you a home, we probably don’t have cash. That’s not totally true, but that’s one way to think about it. It’s a roof over your head.

REW 42 | Rental Properties

Rental Secrets: Reduce Your Rent – Get Better Value – Create Quality Communities

It gets back to this concept of once you become a real estate investor, you’re in effect starting a small business. All of the issues and challenges that come around that concept, you’re now going to be exposed to. The other picture that I have in my presentation is sometimes being a landlord can feel overwhelming. It can feel like you’ve got one hand above the surface of the water and you’re trying to stay afloat. Especially if you don’t have a network or if you’re not plugging into a lot of these different resources that we’ve been talking about.

That’s not to scare everybody away. That’s not the experience for everybody. I’ve been in real estate for many years, and there have been those moments and they happen. They’re going to happen in life. They’re going to happen in your marriage. They’re going to happen with your children. They’re going to happen with your dog. Anything that you care about, these things happen. It’s a part of life and reality. It’s not a reason to stop living. It’s not a reason to not invest. It’s a reason to have that emotional and relationship tools to help you get through it. This has been a fun conversation. It’s a different one from anything I’ve had on this show. Thank you for that.

In EXTRA, we’re going to talk about negotiation. Part of what Justin talks a lot about in his book is the negotiation of renters with their landlords like, how to get better rents? How to negotiate your lease? He’s going to be talking about negotiation skills. What I wanted to do because it’s such an important piece for everybody’s business, whether you’re a renter, a landlord, a business owner, a client or a customer, negotiation is a big deal. He’s going to be talking about how to maximize your negotiation skills with regards to being a renter and also, can anybody use it? We’re going to be talking about that in EXTRA. I’m excited about that. Before we go there, could you talk to us about how people can reach you, Justin?

My website is They can get more information about my book there. They can also reach out to me by personal introductory site, which is

Are you ready for three rapid fire questions?


Tell us one super tip on getting started investing in real estate.

REW 42 | Rental Properties

Rental Properties: If there is an understanding between renters and landlords, better policies can be created.


The super tip I would say that we’ve already touched on is those local real estate investment clubs, but I’ll add one little twist on it. Choose a club that is in the geography where you are investing, not necessarily a club where you live. They know who in the county departments to talk to, ask questions to, and who can get things done.

Thank you for that. What is one strategy for being successful in real estate investing?

My success strategy is you want to have great relationships with your residents. You screen them first, and then you maintain great relationships with them going forward, as long as they’re living in your property. Sometimes, even after they live in your property. Some of my residents I’ve kept in touch with. It will allow you to get the most out of your investment with the least amount of stress.

I always say that your tenants are going to be the biggest determining factor on how blissful your strategy or your business is going to be. For me, they’re everything and I feel grateful to have them in my world. The only reason they call me is to wish me Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas or Happy New Year. They don’t call me to bother me or to get more out of me, which is special. What is one practice that you would say that you do daily that contributes to your personal success?

It’s remembering who your target resident is, and understand that your investment property is not for you, it’s for them. Many people jump in and they’re like, “We’re going to remodel. We’re going to do this. We’re going to put marble in here.” That doesn’t fit your target market. You’re setting yourself up for failure, not necessarily because those aren’t nice things because they are, but the clientele you’re renting to is not going to value it the way you would. Keeping that in mind as part of every decision that you’re making relative to your investment property. It’s the actual tip that I would suggest.

Thank you for that. This has been a fantastic show. Thank you for all that you shared so far.

You’re welcome. It’s been fun.

Ladies, stay tuned for EXTRA. We’re going to be talking about negotiation skills as a renter and also business in general. Stay tuned for that. We’ve never covered this topic before. We’ve never covered topics that are renter-specific. I know a lot of you, ladies, are renters. This will be valuable for you. If you are subscribed to EXTRA, stay tuned. If you are not but would like to be, go to, and you get the first seven days for free. You can listen to EXTRA, as well as many others. See if it’s for you. If you want to stay on board, you can get subscribed. Otherwise, you can unsubscribe, no problems there. Thank you for joining Justin and me for this portion of the show. I look forward to seeing you next time. Until then, remember goals without action are just dreams. Get out there, take action and create the life your heart deeply desires. I’ll see you soon.

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About Justin Pogue

REW 42 | Rental PropertiesJustin Pogue is an award-winning author and real estate consultant based in San Jose, CA. His services are sought after by property management companies, investors, and real estate consulting companies alike.

FOX News, The Mercury News, SFGate,, and have all featured his insights for the benefit of their audiences.

He got his start in real estate by purchasing properties on the Lands Available list in the state of Florida. Since 2003, he has developed and managed apartments, rental homes, and student housing across the United States.

Justin holds a degree in Economics from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as an MBA from The Darden School at the University of Virginia. As a San Jose native, he also attended Bellarmine College Preparatory and the Harker School.

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