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.

Grow Wealthy While Paying Taxes With Mark Willis

 

Would you rather pay taxes now while you are still earning or simply want to postpone it during your later years? If Mark Willis is to be asked, he believes that it is better to pay taxes as early as possible, giving you a chance to enjoy a tax-deferred retirement. The owner of Lake Growth Financial Services sits down with Moneeka Sawyer to discuss the benefits of addressing your tax problems before it builds up and becoming a huge life obstacle. Mark also presents the Overton Window concept, emphasizing the alternative ways to pay taxes that have nothing to do with 401(k)s or IRAs.

Listen to the podcast here:

Grow Wealthy While Paying Taxes With Mark Willis

Real Estate Investing for Women

I am excited to welcome back to the show, Mark Willis. He has been on the show several times. He’s been on our summit. He was in my book. He’s been with me a while and I’m excited to bring him back to talk about taxes. For those of you who don’t remember who Mark is, let me go ahead and reintroduce him. 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 else 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 and number one bestselling author and the owner of Lake Growth Financial Services, a financial firm in Chicago, Illinois. Mike, welcome back to the show. How are you?

I am glad to be with you. I am doing great. I can’t wait to get into everything we have to cover together.

When you started talking about building wealth while paying taxes, I was all in. Let’s start by talking about tax-deferred retirement plans because that’s what people normally think is a good way to save on taxes.

REW 41 | Tax-Deferred Retirement

Tax-Deferred Retirement: Letting the tax problem build-up is oftentimes not a good idea.

 

I want to start with a story. Imagine you’re a farmer out in the middle of Nowheresville, Iowa or even more beautiful, California. I have nothing against Iowa, but California is awesome. Let’s say you’re a farmer and you’re up early in the morning, as you always are. You’re getting ready for your day. You’re pouring yourself a cup of coffee, there’s a knock at the door and you open the door. It’s an IRS agent of all people. You’re puzzled, but you welcome them in. You sit them down at your dinner table, you hand them a cup of coffee and you say, “What are you doing here?” The IRS agent looks you right in the eye and says, “Moneeka, we’re going to ask you one question and we’re going to treat you according to your answer in your taxes for the rest of your professional life.”

You say, “Okay.” They say, “Here’s the question, Ms. Moneeka, do you want to be taxed on the farming seed or your harvest?” You don’t even have to hesitate. You replied by saying, “Tax me on my seed. I want a tax-free harvest.” You know the power of compounding and multiplication. You’d rather be taxed on the seed. They make a few notes. He gets up to leave and he turns around as he’s walking out the door and he says, “I’m curious, you said the seed. Why are you doing it totally backward when it comes to your retirement plans?” That’s the story. The truth is most Americans are putting money into a tax-deferred system that goes against the grain. It goes against our intuition about taxes. I’ll hush right there, but I’m curious, does that story strike anything for you as we talk about it?

Absolutely. I’ve never heard that story before, but it is true and relevant. In our retirement programs, the money is a seed. Do you want to be taxed on the seeds that go in initially or on the harvest that is worth so much more later? I’ve never heard it that way and I love it.

If you think about it, the word tax-deferred would be everything from your 401(k)s, IRAs, 457 plans and 403(b) plans. At a lot of hospitals and nonprofits, they offer 403(b). They’re all tax-deferred retirement plans, which is a postponing of what’s due. What does the word postponed mean? What does the word defer mean? It means putting off until later. Taxes are about as fun as going to the dentist, in my opinion. If you want to defer a root canal, is that a good idea? It’s not a good idea to defer a root canal and similarly, letting the tax problem build-up is oftentimes not a good idea.

I don’t know everyone’s tax situation, but over the thousands of phone calls and Zoom calls I’ve had with clients over the past decade, having quick calls and long in-depth calls, evaluating people’s tax scenarios, we have pretty sophisticated tax software that we run for our clients, but we have brief calls with people too. We asked them the question, “What do you think as you look at the nation, as you look at your personal financial situation, is our tax going to be lower or higher in the future?” Moneeka, I can’t think of a single person who’s ever said other than, “Mark, I think taxes are going to go higher in this country over my lifetime.” I tend to agree with that. It’s not a matter of political left or political right. The math party says the taxes have to go up. It’s important to ask ourselves if taxes are going to be higher and we’ve put off the tax payment. Do you want to pay those extra taxes on the money or would you rather have a tax-free harvest? That’s the looming question every person has to ask, at least if you’re a tax-paying us citizen.

There’s also something else to consider that is relevant. We’ve been trained to think that we make a ton of money. We put a bunch of way. We have our kids. We have all these expenses that happen during our life, but then when we retire, we’re going to be living on our retirement income, which is going to be significantly less than what we’re making when we’re earning money. When we start pulling that money out, we’re going to be in a lower tax bracket. Whether the taxes go up or down, regardless, we’re going to be in a lower tax bracket. I want to ask you ladies, when you retire, after however many years you put in of hard work and bringing up your family, not getting to travel and making sacrifices.

Most Americans are putting money into a tax-deferred system that goes against the grain. Click To Tweet

Hopefully, you haven’t done too much of that. Hopefully, you’ve been blissful, but whatever you’ve done, do you want to be living on less than what you’re making now? I say, “No.” My retirement is not going to happen until I can live my current lifestyle or better. I want to travel more. I want to be more with my parents. I want to afford a nicer house, even if it’s a little condo penthouse. Whatever it is, I want more than this lifestyle, not less. I’m not going to work all these years for less. If you think about that, you’re deferring all of this income. You’re going to be paying taxes at the current tax bracket or higher and on more as opposed to on less.

It’s so true, Moneeka. Even if taxes are only 1% higher than they are now, on a mathematical basis, it makes more sense to pay our taxes today. I’m not telling everyone to do that, but you’re so right. Anecdotally, I can’t think of any retirees that were even moderately successful in their investments, their savings or their real estate investing who are in a lower bracket. It’s an old-fashioned myth. We’ve been living in low brackets.

It’s a marketing strategy. In the earlier days, when a lot of this stuff was developed, people were getting pensions. They were able to live on Social Security because the cost of living hadn’t increased so much. There were some fixed income things that they could count on. The average man could count on being able to retire without having to invest and without having to be financially savvy. If that in fact is true, they aren’t going to be in a lower bracket. When you start talking about a tax-deferred retirement plan, you are in a lower bracket. That’s how this whole thing started. Now in the modern day where most of us don’t have pensions. We don’t believe we’re going to be able to live off of Social Security. We are investing. We are hoping to create a lifestyle for ourselves, a retirement that we deserve and have worked for. That’s a big difference. It started as marketing. It’s just not relevant anymore.

With regard to traditional retirement plans, I have nothing against them, I just think we’re using them for the wrong thing. When I was a little kid, my parents would get on me if I was using my toys in a way that it wasn’t designed. If I was throwing my Game Boy in the bathtub, that’s not going to end well. The same is true with our financial toys or vehicles or whatever you want to call them. Everything has a place. Nothing is wrong or bad. It’s a question of what do you truly want your money to do for you. If you want your money taxed in the future, that’s great. Let’s think about it this way. Let’s say that you had somehow $1 million in your 401(k) on the day you plan to retire. You’re a 401(k) millionaire, but some or a significant portion of that money is not yours. You have a partner with you in your 401(k). It’s an equity partner you might say in your 401(k). If you tried to take $1 million out of your 401(k) after you retired, it would look suspiciously like $600,000. The $400,000 would go to the IRS.

Here’s something to keep in mind. How much of that million dollars was due as a fee to the advisor and the wrap account charges and the investment load costs baked into your 401(k). Even if you had a 1% fee, that could be as much as a third of your life savings, gone to fees over your 401(k)s lifetime according to the Department of Labor. Did the government help you with that fee? Did the IRS help support that fee since they were a partner with you in the 401(k)? Did you have to come up with the full fee by yourself? Now, the government is taking all of their money out fee-free.

By the way, while we’re talking about it, who bears the risk of that 401(k)? Did the IRS bear the risk? Did us, as citizens bear that risk of the market going down or whatever else? It’s a fool’s errand to try to beat the system when we’re using a product that was designed by the government. I’m not anti or pro any political party, but it’s important to realize that when the government creates a problem called high taxation and then creates a solution to that problem like tax-deferred retirement plans, you got to ask yourself, are you being manipulated here? That’s important to ask, especially when it comes to creating a financial life that brings bliss and brings happiness.

REW 41 | Tax-Deferred Retirement

Tax-Deferred Retirement: Even if taxes are only 1% higher than they are now, on a mathematical basis, it makes more sense to pay taxes as soon as possible.

 

That is true. It is such a good tax conversation, but I’m eager to find out what we can do. Talk to me about what you got for us.

There’s something I want to chat about quickly, which is something called Overton Window. It is a cool strategy or framework for talking about things that are acceptable and unthinkable. Have you ever done Mad Libs?

Yes.

It's a question of what do you truly want your money to do for you. Click To Tweet

Don’t you love these? I love cracking up with my buddies. I don’t care if you’re 34 or 11 years old, you love a good Mad Lib. I think what makes Mad Lib’s work is we are outside of Overton Window. This is what Overton Window is. A long time ago, you could say something on the street and it would be acceptable. If you said the same thing on the street in 2020 or 2021, it would be absurd to say something that may have been so acceptable years ago. Taxes similarly have gone through a major shift in our understanding of what they’re for and what they’re there to do for us.

There’s a number of places we can put our money that still may be outside of the acceptable, what’s common, and what’s regularly thought of as their retirement savings vehicle. You teach all the time. Moneeka, about alternative ways to prepare for fiscal sanity and financial bliss that has nothing to do with 401(k)s or IRAs. They’re even older than the 401(k). The 401(k) and IRA are not even old enough to retire you yet. The first 401(k) was issued in 1981, but some of your strategies in real estate, which provide incredible tax benefits on the seed and the harvest have been around since the pyramids. Investing in real estate is as old as time itself in human civilization.

We have some cool topics and details that we will be diving deeper into, but I want to remind your awesome audience, that it’s not a shoo-in. It’s not a locked-in strategy where we must follow the guidance of the person who gave us that 401(k). You probably want to take that company match most of the time, but for all of my real cash accumulation and investing, I’m looking outside amateur retail, investment products like 401(k)s. I’m looking at things that have been more time-tested and that aren’t going to sting me when I go to get my cash out in retirement or even before retirement.

I love how you talk about that there are all these different vehicles. There are some for more the amateur investment vehicle, and then there are some more expert type vehicles. You don’t need to know a lot to become an expert, you just have to start looking at that and studying it. I agree that if you have a 401(k) that matches, you take that. We completely max out our 401(k) with my husband’s company every single year. I’m not anti 401(k) either, but it’s a piece of the puzzle. Many people depend on it as being the puzzle. We don’t want it to be the puzzle. We want it to be a piece. Real estate could be another piece. Self-directed Roth could be another piece, and your programs could be another piece. There’s a lot of different ways that we can create and that’s what you want. You want a basket of diversified ways for you to create that wealth before you retire.

In fact, you have six streams of tax-free income to diversify against any taxable income. Here are a few fun ones. You mentioned Roth accounts. That’s a great one. That’s a smart one, especially as long as the Roth exists in the tax code. It’s only been since 1997 when we’ve had Roth accounts. As long as they last, let’s take them. Another one would be some real estate that we can continue to depreciate. If your accountant hasn’t already brought up things like bonus depreciation and cost segregation, bring it up to them and be concerned that they didn’t bring it up to you first. The next thing I’d say is to look at life insurance as a stream of income in retirement. Those life insurance cash values, not term insurance, can be a safe alternative to investing that provides a tax-free income in retirement.

Some people call it the rich person’s Roth because there are fewer restrictions than a Roth account in the way of, “How much you want to contribute to it.” That sort of thing. We’re talking about things that are outside the norm of Overton Window. If you think outside the norm, let’s think about some others. If you can take only your home equity and reverse it, you can be paid by the bank tax-free to live in your house for as long as you live. This is different than the late-night reverse mortgage infomercials. I don’t always recommend these home equity conversion mortgages, but that’s something PhDs and economists like Wade Pfau have been purporting and recommending people to look into as a fourth or even fifth stream of tax-free money.

If you can splice up and diversify your tax-free streams of income, all of a sudden, the remaining 401(k) money you have, it’s good to have some tax-deferred 401(k) or IRA money, as long as we have something called the standard deduction. If your audience knows, the 2020 tax code says the standard deduction for someone married filed jointly is $24,800. As long as your taxable income is below $24,800 out of that 401(k), you can deduct it all. You could be living on six figures of income from all those streams I listed for you and still report zero taxes on your tax return every year throughout your retirement. That to me is freedom because if tax rates do go up if they go twice as high, zero times, anything is still zero. It’s a phenomenal way to live free in retirement.

Thank you for that. What intrigued me so much is talking about your system for paying taxes because all of us have to be taxes unless you’re doing what you talked about, but we all have to pay taxes. Let’s talk about this crazy idea that you have about building wealth while you’re paying taxes. I know you’re only going to be able to give us a high-level. Ladies, I want to let you know that we are setting up a webinar with Mark because I’m so intrigued by this concept and it’s relevant now. Taxes are right around the corner. I want him to give you a high-level now. We’ll give you information on webinars so he can dive deeper. We’ll have a whole hour together and he can give you a lot more information there. Go ahead and introduce us to the idea.

We’ve been talking a lot about ways to lower our taxes both now and over the lifetime, but what about what we’re still having to pay at the end of each year? If you’re a business owner or if you have a small business, oftentimes you have a big check you have to write. Let’s imagine that you could somehow write that check to yourself first and earn some growth before you pay it to Uncle Sam. We’re still paying our taxes, but what if you could build a lot of wealth of the tax bill that you have to send to the IRS? I had to send a six-figure tax bill to the IRS in 2019 and it was painful. What if you could put that money into something that you could earn interest and grow wealth on while you’re still paying your taxes? That’s the quick byline for our webinars.

We spend more on taxes than we will on our spouses. Click To Tweet

Check out that webinar. Even if you don’t pay a whole lot or think you don’t pay a lot in taxes, I’ll give a quick story. We had a lady who came in. She was 35 years old. She was paying and we totaled it up. Her wage deductions and more were about $6,000 a year in taxes. She was making about $50,000 a year. We estimated over the next 35 years, $6,000 times 35 years of work was $210,000 for her taxes. That’s $210,000. That’s a lot of money to keep Uncle Sam happy. If she had put that $6,000 a year into a 5% interest-earning account, her money would have been an extra $500,000 at retirement that she won’t have and Uncle Sam will.

It’s important to think about how can we build wealth oftentimes, at the biggest expense of our life. I hate to even say that because we’ll spend more on our taxes than we will on our spouses. We’ll spend more on our taxes than our own children. We’ll spend more on taxes than probably any other major expense that I can imagine. The truth is taxes are a big part of each of our lives. If you could find a way to build wealth off that major payment every year, you’d be set for life without taking a bunch of unnecessary risks. That’s short and sweet of it.

REW 41 | Tax-Deferred Retirement

Tax-Deferred Retirement: It’s an old-fashioned myth that retirees in a lower bracket are moderately successful in their investments or savings.

 

You had six figures, let’s say we owe $100,000 taxes. Give us a quick high-level example of how that would look.

First of all, we had a great accountant to bring that money down to as low as possible, but profits are profits and you’ve got to report them. We still had a major tax bill at the end of the year. What we decided to do was say, “We’re going to put that into a savings vehicle that we can earn some interest on.” The problem with most savings vehicles is that when you withdraw money out, it stops growing. That seems obvious. If I put money into a savings account or a CD, and then I withdraw that money out, how much interest am I now earning on that cash? Nothing. I can only earn interest slowly as I pack money up for the next tax year. I’m always faced with falling back down the staircase down to zero networth and having to build that up again, only to spend it again. It was a never-ending cycle.

What we decided to do was put it into an asset that allowed it to continue to grow, even when we access the cash to pay our tax bill. Using it as a line of credit to ourselves, essentially, we used a cash value life insurance policy designed the bank on yourself way, for the readers who want to learn more about that. We’ll be diving deep into how that works, showing real numbers on the webinar, but we use that to use as a cash source to pay our tax bill. We’ll continue to do so on every tax bill we have. It will add millions of dollars to our networth over our lifetime just by how we’re paying for our taxes. Now everyone’s numbers are going to be different, but those are our figures. You could use that same person, that 35-year-old lady who called me up. We had a Zoom call. She was floored when we saw what we could do with a similar strategy on even a nominal amount of tax every year.

This strategy is so much cooler than what Mark has been able to talk about because you get paid interest on that. You don’t have to pay back that money. There are different ways to do this so that you can maximize the wealth that you’re building while you pay your taxes each year. I’m amazed.

Let’s expand it to real estate. You can do the same with your real estate. You can do the same with your own major purchases like vehicles. Any major purchase, including taxes, this fits as long as you’ve sat down with a competent professional to look at it first. You don’t want to just jump into this half-blind, but you can take back control of that money. It’s a tax-free income stream under current law alongside Roth IRAs and other accounts. It’s a phenomenal change in the mindset of how we make our major purchases.

I’m excited about the webinar. Let’s give them a brief and rundown on what that’s going to look like. First of all, the webinar is going to be on January 21st, 2021 which is a Thursday. We’re going to be doing it from 1:00 to 2:30 Pacific time. To get signed up for that webinar, you go to BlissfulInvestor.com/Mark. Tell us a little bit about what we’re going to be covering in that.

By building wealth off your taxes every year, you'd be set for life without taking a bunch of unnecessary risks. Click To Tweet

We’re going to have some specific ways in which you can lower your tax bill without building up a taxable time bomb in the future. We’re going to be talking about ways on how you can specify as a business owner or someone who’s got a day job, find some incredible tax gaps in the current code to take advantage of for yourself, paying what’s due of course, but never leaving the tax man a tip. That’s my mantra. Also, finding some specific ways you can use the strategy we described to build real wealth on your tax bill and all your other major purchases too. We’ll even be showing some real case studies and examples, and then a chance to see how we can even pull out of this asset a tax-free income stream that will last as long as you do.

I love that. Ladies, the reason that I asked Mark to do this webinar specifically was that two of you called me or emailed me and let me know that you did join up with Mark or Amanda Neely in the past. The whole infinite investing idea is real and you’re discovering how to use it and you love it. I have some other mentors of mine that are also working with Mark like Chris Prefontaine, who you guys also know. There are some people that I trust are working with Mark on this strategy. There are some of you ladies that have given me feedback that this is amazing and you love it.

I wanted to highlight it for the rest of you to see how you might be able to utilize it for yourself. That’s why we’re doing this webinar. I think it’s going to be valuable. Go sign up. It’s going to be at BlissfulInvestor.com/Mark. If you sign up and you can’t make it, he will send a replay out for you ladies. The other thing is if you feel like you would rather speak to Mark and not go to the webinar, you’re already sold, he’s going to give you his calendar link. How can they do that?

If you go to LakeGrowth.com/schedule and then mention Moneeka in the calendar link when you fill out the appointment schedule and you’re setting your time. It’s a fifteen-minute phone call or Zoom call. We would be happy to answer your questions. If you can’t wait for the webinar and want to get right to the answers, I would be happy to schedule that with you right away, but make sure to mention Moneeka in the appointment that you sent. I would be happy to send you a free copy of the chapter that Moneeka and I co-authored together and the awesome book, Real Estate Investing for Women, which was so fun to write. Thank you Moneeka again for the opportunity.

For the people who want to be on that calendar before the webinar, I’d be happy to chat with you guys. I don’t know if this is too much to say, Moneeka, but it may even be that those that attend the webinar get that chapter as well. I’ll leave that up to you to decide, but I want to get this information out to people. I think it will be so much fun. I can’t wait to be there with your readers and your audience again. You’ve got the greatest people in the world.

REW 41 | Tax-Deferred Retirement

Tax-Deferred Retirement: If your accountant hasn’t already brought up things like bonus depreciation and cost segregation, be concerned that they didn’t bring it up to you first.

 

Thank you. I think so too. I love my ladies. We’ll get some time to go through it. We go high level. It’s pretty quick because not everybody’s interested. For those of you who are interested, we’ll get some good time to deep dive. I’ve scheduled for 90 minutes so we have that commitment on our calendar. We can go through the webinar, ask questions and that sort of thing. Ladies, come join Mark and me on January 21st, 2021 which is a Thursday from 1:00 to 2:30 PM Pacific Time and go to BlissfulInvestor.com/Mark. Mark, this has been amazing. Thank you so much for sharing this time with us again.

You’re such a giving person, Moneeka, thank you for what you give to the world, and keep up the great work. We appreciate you.

Thank you. Ladies, thank you for joining Mark and I for this portion of the show. We look forward to seeing you next time. Until then, always remember, goals without action are just dreams. Get out there, take action, and create the life your heart deeply desires. I see you soon.

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How To Accomplish What Matters Most To You With John Lee Dumas

 

2020 has been a long year. Now, we’re finally at its final chapter, and what better way to bring this challenging book to a close than to look back on the lessons we’ve learned and look forward to the next? In this episode, Moneeka Sawyer invites John Lee Dumas, the host of Entrepreneurs on Fire, to help us bring in the new year by talking about setting and achieving the goals that matter most to us. Taking with him wisdom from successful entrepreneurs, he shares The 100-Day Goal Journal that can guide you to your success as well as what is called the SMART goal. Join Moneeka and John as they break down its components and show you how you can greet the new year living your best self and being on fire.

Listen to the podcast here:

How To Accomplish What Matters Most To You With John Lee Dumas

Real Estate Investing For Women

I have a special episode for you. I am bringing on John Lee Dumas. He is the host of Entrepreneurs On Fire, an award-winning podcast where he interviews inspiring entrepreneurs who are truly on fire with over 2,500 episodes, one million-plus listeners a month, and seven figures of annual income. JLD is just getting started. I’ve asked John to help us bring in the new year by teaching what he lives better than most, setting and achieving the goals that matter most to us. I am excited to welcome to the show the only man on fire, John Lee Dumas. How are you?

Moneeka, it is great to be here. I love your energy and your vibe. It’s always awesome hanging out with you.

John, you put together a journal called The 100-Day Goal Journal: Accomplish What Matters to You. I know that you talk to entrepreneurs all over the place. Talk to me about why goals are important. Why did you put together this particular journal?

I’ve interviewed over 2,700 successful entrepreneurs. To be honest with you, I can only pull out a couple of themes that almost every single one of those 2,700 have in common. One of those few themes that are across the board is successful entrepreneurs know how to set goals, and then they know how to accomplish those goals that they’ve set. Frankly, unsuccessful people don’t know how to do either and they’re not doing either, and they’re suffering as a result. I wanted to create a strategy guide for people to step-by-step understand what it means to accomplish a goal that matters to them. That’s why The 100-Day Goal Journal exists, and I’m proud of that work.

I can’t wait to use it. Talk to me a little bit about what is a meaningful goal from your perspective?

Successful entrepreneurs know how to set goals and how to accomplish those goals. Click To Tweet

First off, you could step back and say, “Let me set a SMART goal.” A SMART goal is five components, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. It’s critical. Those five things need to be part of your goal every single time, and a lot of people don’t focus on the meaningful part of the goal. A lot of people accomplish a goal to be like, “I accomplished the goal, but why is my life still the same? It doesn’t feel like it’s moved forward.” It’s because you didn’t set a meaningful goal. You just set a goal and you accomplished it.

It has to be meaningful and it has to be something that matters to you. That’s why you’ve got to be specific with it. It’s got to be measurable. You got to measure what that goal is that you’ve accomplished. It’s going to be attainable. It can’t be unrealistic. Otherwise, you’ll quit. It’s got to be relevant. That’s that meaningful part. It’s got to matter to your life, then it’s got to be time-bound. You have to set a timeframe, which is why I use 100 days. Those are the critical components that a lot of people miss when they set goals, and it has to be a part of it.

Talk to me a little bit about the 100 days. To me, that seems like such an arbitrary number. Could you tell me a little bit about why you chose that?

I don’t want to say that it’s not arbitrary because it’s got some arbitrariness in there for sure. There’s no magical formula that 100 days is the perfect number. For me, I wanted to sit down and say, “What is a timeframe that feels realistic?” People are like, “I’m going to do this in 2021.” For me, a year is way too long of a timeframe. Yes, a year goes by like that but when you’re in the beginning part of it, it feels like you have all the time in the world to accomplish that goal because you have a full year. At the same time, anything like 25, 35, 55 goes by in a blink of the eye. I want people to not look at too short of a timeframe and say, “I’m not willing to create a stretch goal that’s going to push me.”

I want people to, number one, feel like they have a good amount of time, but not too much time that they procrastinate. To me, the 100 days slotted in there nicely where it’s enough time to accomplish something big, but not too much time where you feel like you can just slack off the beginning. You get 100 days and when you wake up the next day, you’re already down to double digits. You’re at 99 days. The clock is ticking. It’s time to get your butt moving and make things happen. It’s arbitrary, but it’s something that has worked for me, so that’s why I went with it.

REW 40 | Accomplish What Matters Most

Accomplish What Matters Most: A SMART goal is five components: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

 

If someone doesn’t succeed in achieving their goal in 100 days, what do you recommend?

I’m a big believer that if you get to the 100 days and you haven’t accomplished your goal, it’s time to assess. In fact, in this journal, you have reassessments where you’re looking back at day 25, 50, and 75 to identify your progress and hold you accountable that you are moving forward at the pace you should be. Frankly, you’ll know well before day 100 if you’re not going to accomplish your goal because there are all these specific check-in points on the way. There’s nothing wrong at day 75 to adjust your goal down, or maybe jack it up if you’re way ahead of the game.

Nothing’s wrong with that because this is not a perfect science. This isn’t like this recipe where if you get one ingredient wrong, the whole thing’s terrible. That’s not the case. This is a fluid process. That’s the best word. Challenge yourself. If you’ve got to tweak things down a little bit by day 50 or 75, you’ll know it and do so. If you’re going to jack things up because you’re way ahead of schedule, do that too so that by day 100, you’ll know 100% where you’re going to be by that point and you’re going to feel good about it.

How do you know if you’re succeeding?

If your goal is being accomplished and you’re seeing marked progress. That’s part of the process where you are grading and judging yourself every step along the way. You’re being hard on yourself. You need to be your own worst critic. This book, journal, guide, strategy, and system ensures that you are your most harsh critic because you need to be. Nobody else cares about you. I hate to say it, but they don’t care about you because they’ve got their own stuff they care about. It’s not that they don’t like, don’t love you, and not rooting for you. Frankly, they don’t care that much about your goal because they got their own crap that they’re worried about. Their life is crazy, mayhem, and tough enough without thinking about you every 10 seconds or 10 days or 100 days. Realize that you are your own best cheerleader. At the same time, you’ve got to be your own worst critic too.

You are succeeding if your goal is being accomplished and you're seeing marked progress. Click To Tweet

Nobody cares about you as much as you care about you. That’s the thing. We’ve got all our own stuff. Even an accountability coach or partner is not going to care about your achievements as much as they’re going to care about their own because they’re not in your head or in your life. That’s what I love so much about this journal. It makes you your own accountability partner. Could you talk a little bit more about accountability, specifically on why is that so important?

Even though nobody’s going to care about us like ourselves, we need that kick in the butt by people who care about us. When you are in an accountability group and you have people who you’re counting on and they’re counting on you, then there comes this bond together where you are rooting for each other, checking in with each other, and don’t want to let each other down. It’s critical. I have multiple masterminds for different parts of my life.

I’ve got a health mastermind and a business mastermind because I want to make sure that I’m excelling in both areas of my life. To do that, I need accountability in both areas of my life. That’s an example of why an accountability group is important because it’s going to ensure that you don’t just slither away and go watch Netflix all day. You know you’ve got a meeting with your partners, accountability group, or mastermind, and they’re going to want to know what you’ve done.

Would you call this journal your own personal accountability partner?

Absolutely. That’s why I wanted and liked the idea of a physical journal because you can’t hide from that. You can’t put the folder on your desktop and hide it somewhere. It’s on your bed stand, on top of your desk, and on your briefcase. It’s there taunting you, “I dare you not to use me today because the proof will be in the pudding.”

Realize that you are your own best cheerleader. At the same time, you've got to be your own worst critic too. Click To Tweet

I heard you on another podcast talk about focusing on your strengths when setting your goals, which many people do like, “I’m going to improve this about myself,” but they’re trying to improve the thing that they suck at. To be blissful, which is what I’m all about, you want to focus on what’s awesome about you and make it awesome. Do you agree with me on that?

We don’t need another C student in this world. That’s the problem. We will go down this rabbit hole but a big problem with traditional education is they’re like, “You got an A in this subject. Good. We don’t need to focus on that anymore. You got a D and a C here. Let’s spend all of our time here.” It’s the opposite. What are you naturally great at? What are you good at right now? How do you become even better at that? Why do you want to go from a D to a C? You’re going from crappy to still crappy. This world doesn’t need more crappiness.

What this world needs is you living in your bliss, living in your best self, and you being on fire, and that’s going to happen when you’re doing what you love and what you’re great at. That’s how you’re going to blossom and that’s what the world needs. That’s why I’m a big believer in saying, “What am I great at? Let me spend all my time doing that.” The things you’re not good at, hire people on your team to do those things or don’t do them at all because it’s not worth doing average. It’s not going to move the needle for you. I only do a handful of things in my business. I only do the things that A) I’m good at and that B) I enjoy doing. That’s it. The other things that happen in my business are because I’ve hired the right people to do those things.

If you’re good at something or you enjoy doing it, you’re still going to fail. Failure is part of the game. Could we talk a little bit about that?

Failure is 100% part of it. In fact, I was in an interview where I was talking about sports and they say, “Why do you love sports?” I’m like, “I love sports because it taught me as a child growing up that you’re going to lose and you’re going to fail, but there’s always that next game. You don’t know if you’re going to win or lose that next game, but there’s always that chance to win and hit that home run.” It’s even more applicable in business and life because you can fail 100 times in a row. If you win on the 101st time, that’s everything and that’s all that matters. That’s all people will know you for.

REW 40 | Accomplish What Matters Most

The 100-Day Goal Journal: Accomplish What Matters to You

Does anybody know me for all the failures I had before I launched Entrepreneurs On Fire? No, because they don’t care about that. I don’t care about that. We don’t spend any time talking about that. What they know me for is my one success, which was launching Entrepreneurs On Fire. That was my first and biggest win. That’s what propelled me to where I am today. It’s even better in business than sports because if you lose 100 times and you win 101 times, your record is 1 in 101. You still won, which is great, but it’s still a crappy record. In business, you just want to know you won the game and you can take that to the highest level. That’s why failure is part of it. It’s getting back up and swinging everything.

Thank you for that. That is a big difference. In business, you can become an overnight success immediately. It could take you 30 years to get there, but then suddenly, you’re there. It’s amazing. My perspective on failing is this. When we’re reaching for a goal and we’re trying to succeed, we are becoming the person who can succeed. We become a better version of ourselves as we’re reaching for that goal. The thing about failure is along the way, it shows us who we’ve become. How we deal with those failures and how we handle a challenge or a let down shows us who we have become along the way towards our success.

In a way, it’s a milestone and a necessary thing in creating success. Without it, we don’t grow better and we don’t become bigger. The goals aren’t as amazing in general. They’re also not as gratifying. If you buzz to the top, you’re not going to be as fulfilled as if you had to learn along the way. Failure is an amazing piece of the success formula. Could you tell us one daily practice, John, that you would say contributes to your personal success?

Every day, I do fifteen minutes of yoga. It’s stretching-focused yoga. It’s part of my daily rhythm. I love it because a stretch is a time that I’m contemplating my day in a meditative state. I’m relaxed and I’m doing deep breathing. I’m having this private enjoyable moment that’s great for my body, mind, and soul. It’s this nice quiet start to my day. I will take that over a cup of coffee any day. Although I still drink my coffee.

John, this has been amazing. Thank you for joining us and sharing all your amazing wisdom with my ladies.

What this world needs is you living in your bliss, your best self, and you being on fire. Click To Tweet

It’s been awesome, Moneeka. Thanks for having me. Take care.

Ladies, thank you for joining John and I for this portion of the show. Wasn’t it amazing? I am excited about starting off the year in a powerful way and helping you ladies achieve your goals. That’s what this show is all about. I’ve got more in EXTRA. I am going to be doing a process that helps you to integrate your goal into your future. What that will do is it will pull you forward almost seamlessly towards the goal that you want to work on that matters to you most. That’s what we’ve got in EXTRA. The other thing I wanted to mention is that I am going to be working on John’s journal so that I can reach my favorite goal, the one that matters most to me for the first 100 days of the year.

If you would like to join me on that, go ahead and purchase your copy of the journal. You can go to BlissfulInvestor.com/100dayjournal. Email me and I’m going to put together a list so that we can support each other towards meeting our goals. I’ll put together some videos about my process. I’ll help you, ladies, if you have questions. I have so much inspiration around this and I don’t want to let it go. I’d love you to join me through the whole process. We can do this together, but for now, stay tuned for Real Estate Investing for Women EXTRA so that I can take you through this amazing process to integrate your goals into your future.

If you are subscribed to EXTRA, stay tuned. It’s coming next. If not but you would like to be, please go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenExtra.com. You get the first seven days for free, so you can download this episode and you could download as many past episodes as you want to. You can just check it out and see if it’s for you. This might be exactly the time to get started on that extra step towards building your financial future. For those of you that are leaving us, thank you for joining me on this New Year episode of Real Estate Investing For Women. I appreciate you and 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 next time. Bye.

Important Links:

About John Lee Dumas

REW 40 | Accomplish What Matters MostJohn Lee Dumas is the host of Entrepreneurs on Fire, an award winning podcast where he interviews inspiring Entrepreneurs who are truly ON FIRE.

With over 2000 episodes, 1 million + listens a month, and seven-figures of annual revenue, JLD is just getting started.

Visit https://swiy.io/eof to set YOUR Entrepreneurial journey ON FIRE!

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Join the Real Estate Investing for Women Community today:

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Build A Business, Not A Glorified Job With Aaron Scott Young

 

Are you building a business or a glorified job? At The Unshackled Owner, Aaron Scott Young asks this game-changing question to entrepreneurs as the first step to helping them build stronger businesses while proactively protecting their dreams. Fully embodying the concept himself, Aaron lives a truly successful and blissful life that few other people can model. Moneeka Sawyer brings him in on this episode to share snippets of entrepreneurial wisdom that will surely be of value to all women real estate investors out there. Have you taken a look lately at how you’re approaching your business, whether you’re in real estate or something else? Listen in and take away a cupful of sure-fire secrets to success – whatever that word means to you.

Listen to the podcast here:

Build A Business, Not A Glorified Job With Aaron Scott Young

I am delighted to introduce you to Aaron Scott Young. Aaron is a renowned entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience in several multi-million-dollar companies under his belt. Aaron has made it his life’s work to arm business owners with success formulas that immediately provide exponential growth and protection. Fully embodying the concept of the unshackled business owner, he inspires others to do the same by empowering them to build strong companies while proactively protecting their dreams. This is what Aaron knows. When you have the right systems and culture in place, you can build a business that works for you, one that is optimized for cashflow, growth and progress.

A lifelong entrepreneur, trusted advisor to CEOs, outsource chief strategy officer and creator of The Unshackled Owner, a program for entrepreneurs looking to build a business, not just a glorified job, Aaron is armed with the expertise needed to quickly get to the heart of complex issues, identify solutions and eliminate the path to forward progress. His unique vantage point sets him apart from the crowd as a voice of real-world knowledge and authority. Aaron, welcome to the show. Ladies, I want to give you a little perspective on how I know Aaron. You all know Maureen. She’s been on the show many times. She was like, “Moneeka, you got to get to know this guy, Aaron.”

She did an introduction to us. He and I ended up connecting while he was driving horses across country because he invested in horses. There was something that I realized about Aaron. He runs a huge number of businesses. He’s hugely successful and he lives his blissful lifestyle. There are few people that truly model that the way that Aaron does. I had to share him with you. What’s funny about this is he’s doing so many things we don’t even know what to talk about. We’re going to get this conversation going and see how it goes. I know no matter what we talk about, it’s going to be great for you, ladies. Let’s get this conversation going.

I’m excited to be here. It was funny that when that conversation first happened, I don’t know where I was. It was a long trip. It was like 5,500 miles round trip from Washington State to Alabama and back. We covered sixteen states and bought four horses on that trip and brought them home. That was during one of the scariest times of COVID. A lot of people were very concerned that my wife and I were going to get in the truck and drive clear across the country and back and be in different situations and not know if there’s an outbreak or something.

Here’s what I noticed on that trip, which was so exciting. People were still going about their lives. They might’ve been amending things a little bit, might’ve been putting on their mask, but you can’t stop the resilience of American business owners. We hear a lot of negative stuff, especially in a political period like we’re in right now, where there’s a lot of negative about businesses need to pay more and people making money need to pay more. Somehow, it’s unfair to be successful. It’s unjust in some way.

I watched these business owners like you and your readers who understand that the way we continue to be an entrepreneur, the way we continue to set the course of our own life is by not being damned or stopped by whatever’s going on in the society. Our job is to adapt, to figure out how can we engage. It was exciting to see that all the way across the breadth of the United States to watch people in different states, with different rules, with different levels of concern, still figuring out a way, and that’s what makes entrepreneurs so cool.

It’s why I’ve loved dedicating my life ever since I was young like 25 to working with business owners. That’s what we’ve been doing. I’m getting to be an old gray hair dude. That’s been the joy of my business life. It’s working with people that are business owners because they’re interesting and cool. You certainly struck me that way on our first chat. I thought I can’t wait to have this conversation. It was a little connection back to my drive, which was exciting. The horses are doing well, by the way.

I was going to ask about that next. This whole thing about entrepreneurs is we’re all watching what’s going on out there. Entrepreneurs are the heart blood. They’re what create our economy. It’s not big business. It’s all of these entrepreneurs all the way from the mom-and-pop shop all the way to big business. This whole concept of money is evil or if you’re too successful, that’s because other people are suffering. There are bad apples. There are people that think that way, but there aren’t a lot of us.

Being successful does not mean you’re doing something that is to the detriment of others. Click To Tweet

That’s such a good point for my ladies to know because so much of creating success is our mindset. If you think success is evil deep down inside your head, you’re never going to be successful because you don’t want to be evil. It’s important for us to understand that we are the economy. The business owner is the economy. We are what creates what’s all wonderful and amazing in this world or in this country. We lead the world. Our success is paramount to the bliss of the country. Wouldn’t you say?

The 86.3% of Gross Domestic Product or GDP is created by companies of 50 employees or less. That’s all the main street shops. That’s the person selling Tupperware. That’s the person that is working in the coffee kiosk. That’s the person who owns the landscape business. That’s the person who owns the restaurant, the dental office, the title company, the realtors, the real estate investors. Almost all of the velocity of money, the movement of the money is by small business.

Eighty-three percent of all new jobs created were created by companies of 100 employees or less. You’re getting into any number of manufacturing, jobs, office jobs, people like me who have dozens of white-collar medium paying jobs for the most part, people that are making $40,000 to $70,000 a year. I employ a bunch of people like that. These are companies of 100 employees or less. It is the lifeblood. Without it, we’re in trouble. Thankfully, the government knows it. I don’t want to be political because I’m not overly political in my way of dealing with the world. It is frustrating for me when I recognize that that politicians will create this divide of the worker and the boss.

Even if you’re the CEO of a three-person company making $250,000 a year and you’re taking home less than your employees, but because you’re the one signing the check, they think you’re more successful. It’s a real shame to see the division that’s created by trying to say the people that are owning the companies, that are employing people, the corporations, whatever the hell that is supposed to mean, they’re somehow nefarious. They’re cheating somehow.

It’s not true. If you look at the most successful people, a great story is Mark Cuban, who’s on the Shark Tank. He owns the Dallas Mavericks. He’s a billionaire. He talks about when he was young building his business, he was paying his employees, but he had no money himself. He was couch surfing. He would go into McDonald’s and he couldn’t buy a cheeseburger. He’d get ketchup packages and squeeze them into his mouth to eat something.

During the recession back in ‘08, by the time it caught up with us in 2010, my business partner and I had to talk about do we do a massive layoff of people or do we take the hit? We get paid more than everybody else. He and I both took 80% pay cuts. We both ended up having to short sell our homes and move into rentals, but we didn’t fire one employee. We knew that if we keep the employees together, that when the economy comes back, we’ll be ready to receive and be on the front of the wave of growth.

That’s how most business owners look at their business. They look at it as a stewardship, as a responsibility, not as some way to take advantage of other people. What do those employers do? They hire people. They pay for health insurance. We do matching on our 401(k). We give money to causes. We donate to charities. We give money to the food bank. We do a Toys-for-Tots drive at Christmas. We give a piano to an old folk’s home. The people that are successful are usually successful because they’ve built a team around them and they know they have to feed the team before they feed themselves.

If there’s a lot left over, they get to keep it. If there’s not a lot leftover, they get to not eat. They get to eat ketchup while the employees get to eat whatever, even if it’s macaroni and cheese. At least they’re not squeezing ketchup packages. One of the first things we want to do as business owners and as entrepreneurs is get a healthy understanding of why it’s okay to be successful. That being successful does not mean that you’ve done at the detriment of others. I was going to say that you’ve left people behind. You may have to leave people behind in your growth because they will not support you in your growth, but that does not mean that you’ve done anything wrong to them. It means that your relationships and your use of time has evolved to a different place.

REW 39 | The Unshackled Owner

The Unshackled Owner: Most business owners look at their business as a stewardship, not as some way to take advantage of other people.

 

I have a lot of very successful friends that are entrepreneurs. Every once in a while, we’ll be in a conversation. Someone else will be at the table. They sold an app to Starbucks or they sold something. They have a lot of money. They’re starting a new project and someone will say invariably to them, “Why are you starting another other company? You made all that money. Why aren’t you going to retire?” The thing about entrepreneurs is that it’s not about the money. They want to be successful so that they can sustain their vision. For most entrepreneurs, it’s about what can I do in the world to make the world a better place? How can I create jobs? There’ve been so many times where I’ve been in a class and I’m like, “I don’t know.” I’ve heard people say, “I’m going to do this because look at how many jobs I can create.” They end up with 50 businesses like you. They’ve got their whole structure of how they’re going to run those businesses. The whole thing is about creating jobs and improving the lives of others.

Aaron Young’s personal goal has nothing to do with anything specific to any one of my businesses. This is the thing that is my undergirding effort at this time of my life. I decided this a few years ago. I’m a big one about putting numbers and dates on stuff. I’m a real believer in doing that. I do that, but on this, you’re going to know a very conspicuous absence of either of those things. I decided the best thing I can do with my professional life going forward, the rest of my life is to help more companies stay in business for more years making more money. Why do I say it that way?

I heard on the news that a 194-year-old company, a retailer called Lord & Taylor, has decided to close shop permanently. An almost 200-year-old company is closing down. The whole time I grew up, Kodak was a mega company, so was Sears and Roebuck and JCPenney and on and on. You could buy Pontiac cars. These things are gone. Sears and JCPenney are still there. They’re both in bankruptcy and they’re not going to make it. Kodak’s gone. Pontiac’s gone.

Companies don’t last for forever, but if we can keep them in business for more years and making more money because of teaching best practices, keeping them up to date on what’s going on in the law, in the IRS code, different ways of leveraging their businesses, what are the advantages of taking it on a different marketplace? If you’re going to help them with that, they’re going to hire more people. They’re going to donate more money. They’re going to pay more taxes that fix the roads, pay for the schools and all the things that make the community work.

I’m not going to say I’m going to help 1 billion people. I hear people say that crap. You know how much 1 billion is? There are seven billion people on the whole planet. The odds that you’re going to get 1 in 7 of them is pretty damn low. I don’t care if you’re giving away free water. It’s going to be hard to get to a seventh of the whole population of the world. If it’s 10 or 100 or 100,000, I’m not hung up on it anymore. I’m going to keep pushing information out to help them survive a little longer, a little more successfully. That’s what will keep that backbone of America, that lifeblood flowing, as you described at the beginning. That’s what’s going to keep it going. If we help people get another 2 or 3 steps into that dark tunnel of entrepreneurship, help illuminate a little bit more of their path, they’ll survive longer. They’ll survive more successfully and they’ll spread the wealth.

That’s the thing is they spread the wealth. That’s the end game.

Even the people that the politicians gripe about and say they’re not fair, if you think about it. I watched the thing the other day on Netflix or something about Jeff Bezos real estate. He’s got these enormous homes all over the freaking place, big houses, big estates. I thought every one of those took people to build, people to maintain, people to do the yard, people to do the pool, people to come in and clean the house, people did protect him. A rich guy like Bezos not only is employing hundreds of thousands of individuals in their companies, Whole Foods, Amazon, The Washington Post, and so on, but even in their excess, even in their mansions, they’ve got a team. I’ll guarantee you nobody’s getting paid minimum wage to work behind the walls of Jeff Bezos’ compound.

Everybody’s vetted. Everybody’s getting paid well. He wants you to keep your mouth shut about what you see around the house. These are good jobs, even for those unicorn individuals who go, “Look at their excessive lifestyle, they could pay more.” I promise you, they’re paying more like the entire neighborhood over here is paying. Even if their tax rates a little lower, they’re paying a lot more money for all of these free programs, for all of these trillions of dollars of COVID bailout. People think, “The government saved us.” The top 50% of wage earners are going to be paying that bill for a long time. The bottom 50% have taxes taken out and they get all their money back. The top 50%, especially the top 10%, pay almost all the tax. If you don’t want rich people around, you’re in deep trouble.

Money won't make you happy, but it will make you happier. Click To Tweet

It’s important to remember that successful people are the ones carrying the risk. Everybody that gets a paycheck assumes it’s going to cash. Everybody, all of my employees twice a month assume that check will be good. Guess whose responsibility it is to make sure the check is good? It’s me. I can have a nicer car, home, or I can have luxury pets like the horses that we breed and raised. I still have to make $500,000 payroll every month just for my internal team. Somehow that has to be accomplished and nobody else has the risk. There’s only us, the owners that have the risk. It’s good to have money. Ladies, don’t be afraid of money.

It is good to have money. I am so with you on that.

Money won’t make you happy, but money will make you happier. Money is a magnifier. If you’re a jerk, it’s going to make you a bigger jerk. If you’re a kind, generous person, you’re going to be more generous. If you’re a builder, you’re going to build more. If you’re a hoarder, you’re going to hoard more, but money will only magnify who you are. If you want to make a big dent in the world, make sure who you are as a human, and then go make a ton of money and you’ll do good work.

That’s the message of my entire show. I’ve got a huge range of ladies on the show. We’ve got people that are single moms trying to get by. We’ve got CEO women who have reached the top echelons of their companies and are like, “Is this it? I don’t want to work this hard for the rest of my life.” We’ve got all these ladies. Let’s talk to them about how you define unshackled and how this applies to real life.

I started that program, The Unshackled Owner, a few years ago after I’d been at my beach house for almost two months. My wife and I were down there and hanging out. We’re posting on social media and when you first go on a fun outing, people get excited for you, “Have fun, beautiful sunset, you guys look so happy.” After a few weeks, they’re like, “What are you doing? When are you heading back?” After a month, they’re demanding answers.

I’m getting all this messaging because we’d already been to Europe for three weeks twice that year where I’d go speak for a couple of days and then we goofed around for a few weeks. That year was an interesting year leading up to June and July at the beach house. It was the first time it had ever even occurred to me that maybe other people didn’t do things the way I did them. It wasn’t that I was trying to create a course to go sell and make a bunch of money. Financially, I was great. I was golden. I didn’t need to do it. I’d never even thought of teaching a course.

When I started responding back to people and talking to these small business owners, it became clear that things that I had learned through mentors, reading, life’s challenges from the time I was nineteen because I started my first company with a payroll right before my nineteenth birthday. I ended up selling it and taking that money and starting another company when I was 23 or something like that. I learned these things, but it became clear to me a lot of other people hadn’t. The reason I used unshackled and believe me, our marketing department freaked out when I use the word unshackled.

They hated that word. They said, “That’s a negative word. That sounds like slavery. That sounds like bondage.” I’m like, “That’s what it feels like for a lot of people who own businesses.” They feel like they work for the business. The business owns them. They went into this to achieve some financial or life freedom or abundance and instead they’re locked in doing crud they hate doing. They hate balancing their checkbook. They hate doing the marketing. They don’t want to do the sales. They want to make candles, but they don’t want to sell them. Whatever it is, they were in bondage. I said, “I understand that you don’t like the word unshackled, but that’s because you’re an employee, not an employer.” The employer will get it.

REW 39 | The Unshackled Owner

The Unshackled Owner: No matter how smart you are, you can only do what you can do. Refusing to recognize that is what turns you into a shackled slave for your business.

 

I want you to know that that was the thing that completely ignited me on our conversation. It was that word, unshackled. What I want to highlight is there is such a big mindset difference between the employee and the owner.

The owners get in and they’re working their tails off. What most people do is they start with a little tiny bit of money, or maybe no money. If you’re doing real estate investment, maybe real estate sales here. Maybe scrapes somebody together, takes the real estate exam, pays for all their fees to have the little R on their business card. They don’t have any money. They have to go out and have to get a listing. They’ve got to sell something or they take some of their retirement money out of a 401(k) or an IRA and self-direct it into their first rental house or first duplex or something.

They’re hanging on by their fingernails. They’re barely surviving. They’re wondering, “What did I get myself into? Why did I do this? I’ve quit a job now or I’m letting my job slide while I’m trying to do my side hustle. What if I lose the job?” There’s this very real stress becomes in that transition, that beginning. You get a little success. You make a few bucks. All of a sudden, you go from squeezing the ketchup packages into your mouth to being able to not pay that much attention when you go out to dinner. When you go to the grocery store, you can run your debit card and you don’t worry about it cause there’s enough money.

You’re working ten-hour days. You’re taking calls at 9:00 at night. You’re doing things on the weekend and your revenue and your earnings are going up. Your lifestyle is improving, meaning your acquisitions, the place you live, the car you drive, the food you eat, maybe even sending your kids to a charter school or private school, that’s all improving. Your life itself is going in the tank because the only way to make more money is to work more hours, more days. You say, “I cannot go on like this. I need to hire an assistant. I need to hire a bookkeeper. I need to hire,” fill in the blanks. “I need some help in this particular area.”

You get it here in your brain. You think, “If I hire a decent person to do that job and I have to pay them $3,000, $4,000 a month to start working for me or I’m going to pay this admin person $1,000 or $1,500 a month part time to work for me, that’s coming out of my pocket. What element of my lifestyle is going to have to go down in order for me to make the risk of hiring this employee? I’m a little afraid to do that because I don’t know about hiring people. I don’t know about managing people. I don’t know if they’re going to steal from me. I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

I don’t know if they’re going to do a good job.

Maybe they’ll do a crummy job. How many people am I going to have to go through to get a good one? You get into this tug of war between, “I know I need help, but I don’t dare risk the money. I don’t want to move into a cheaper apartment. I don’t want to get a different car. I don’t want to take my kid out of that school. I don’t want to give up on my yoga meditation retreat to Loom.” They wait and they stay in startup mode and they become an absolute shackled slave, indentured servant, whatever, to their own success.

Plus, their success has as a ceiling because without a team of people, you can never do more than you can do. I don’t care how gifted you are. You could only do what you can do. A lot of people who end up as a good employer, hiring good people, generating revenue, still get a lot of juice, get a lot of buzz because there’s a line of people at their door knocking on the door, “Boss, can I get five minutes? Can you help me understand this? Can you help me close this? Can you talk to this person?”

Don’t try to make money from your passion. Find something the market wants to buy and then get passionate about the results you deliver. Click To Tweet

The owner’s like, “I must be smart because looking at how everybody lines up outside my door and why would I want to teach everybody everything in my head because then they won’t need me. They’ll go off and do it themselves or what will I do?” A lot of people get stuck in that fear of who am I if I’m not the font of all wisdom and knowledge? These are characteristics of shackled people. Not everybody wants to be unshackled. Some people love the shackles. They love it.

Some people have a lifestyle business. They want to sit on the beach with their laptop and coach their clients or look at that list of bank properties or look at the tax lien companies. They want to do it. They don’t want anybody else. They can make money. I was on the phone with a great friend. She has a lifestyle business. She makes about $500,000 a year. If she stops working, the revenue stops flowing. If she got sick or she broke her back, or she had to go take care of an ailing parent, she couldn’t do her work and the revenue would slow down or go away. There’s nothing wrong with it as long as you acknowledge that you are self-employed.

You’re not an entrepreneur. You’re not a business owner. You are self-employed. Self-employed is okay. Not everybody needs to be an entrepreneur. As a matter of fact, according to the data from 2018, the median income, that means there’s as many below as above, not average, median income for entrepreneurs is $24,000 a year. It’s a crappy job. You may not want to do that because you’re probably going to be broke and stressed. Real entrepreneurs, somebody who’s what I consider mentally-ill entrepreneur, is someone who cannot help it. It’s like Tourette’s, you are going to say something that you didn’t want to say. You can’t stop. It’s a problem. If you don’t have resources to do it, you end up becoming spread very thin on ten things that you think all of them might be the magic golden ticket. You end up broke and stressed.

Unshackled owner, which I’m not trying to pitch, but you asked me what I mean by it. Unshackled owner is about getting the pieces in place, the formula, or let’s call it a recipe in place so you get the outcome that you want. The example I like to give is if I give you, Moneeka, a recipe for chocolate chip cookies. I give you the recipe. If you follow the recipe, do what I tell you to do, you’re not going to get a bicycle or sourdough bread, or a tire. You’re going to get chocolate chip cookies every time.

You may not make them the first time as well as I make them, but at least now you know the recipe. The more you work on the recipe and adjust to your altitude and put in the flavor, the little spice that you want, or I want to add walnuts or whatever you want to do, you can make it your own. At least if you follow a recipe, you will get a certain outcome. People have said, “How have you been a millionaire in recycling, cellular phones, barter, corporation, real estate, manufacturing?” How have I done it in all these different industries? How have I worked with hundreds and hundreds of people through this a few years in fertilizer, intellectual property law, publishing, and cosmetics? How? If you have the recipe, you will get the outcome.

There is no magic. There’s a reason Richard Branson can be in records, airlines, space travel, tourism. There’s a reason. There’s a formula. There’s a reason Steve Jobs made it in computers, telephones and animation. There’s a reason because there’s a formula. If you’ve learned the formula, you will get the result as long as your ingredients are good. People are always like, “Follow your bliss. Follow your passion,” to which is say crap, that is not true. My passion is my wife, my grandchildren, our farm, the ranch where we raised the horses. This is where I’m passionate about. Horseback riding in the mountains. I did that. I went for five days to one mountain range. I was out for twelve hours in the deep backwoods riding horses. That’s what I’m passionate about. Do I make any money from that? No. I lose money constantly on that. It’s a money loser. Find something the market wants to buy and then get passionate about the results you deliver. That’s magic.

Be passionate about how you fix things for people, solve problems, change lives. One of my companies, we do corporate minutes, minutes and resolutions. Every company that’s LLC or corporation is required by law to hold regular board meetings, keep minutes, pass resolutions. Yet 95% of small businesses don’t do it because there’s only one shareholder, one board member, one officer, one employee. It’s all the same person. It’s them. They’re like, “Why would I have to have a board meeting with myself? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”

The only reason to do it is because it’s the law. It will never matter until you get caught not doing it and then everything you have will be wiped out. How dull are board minutes and resolutions? That is the most boring thing in the world. We do this for tens of thousands of companies, provide this service. It’s dull as hell, but I had a guy stop me in a hotel. I was walking from the hotel to the convention center area. I was late. I was supposed to be backstage already. I was supposed to speak in like 30 minutes.

REW 39 | The Unshackled Owner

The Unshackled Owner: The team is critical to being able to do things that make a difference in the world, become unshackled and let your crazy entrepreneurial brain go to work.

 

This guy all crippled up on those crutches that wrap around your biceps. He’s all bent up and he’s hobbling down this long, wide hotel convention center hallway. I was a keynoter. They had big banners of me up at this convention thing. I thought, “I hope this guy doesn’t talk to me because I need to get backstage.” That seems maybe a little stuck up except for that’s what happens. There’s only the two of us in this great big hall. We meet and he says, “Aaron, can I talk to you for a minute?” I don’t know this guy from Adam. I said, “Sure, of course.” I stopped and I’m trying so hard to focus on his eyes and not his broken body. I know he’s aware of his physical condition. You know how it is sometimes hard not to stare.

He said, “I know you don’t know me. I’m sure you don’t recognize me although we met several years ago, but I’m one of your customers. I use your corporate veil protection service to do our minutes and resolutions.” I said, “Thank you so much for trusting us to help you with your business. I’m so grateful for that.” He’s like, “Let me tell you something. I was in a bad car accident a couple of years ago and that’s what happened to my body. I was in this horrific accident and I was at fault in the accident. Other people got very hurt. The insurance paid them, but it wasn’t nearly enough. They sued us. They took our home. They took our beach house. They took our retirement. They took our furniture. They took everything, but they couldn’t take our business because we’d separated it.”

“We’d legally done the work, the minutes, the resolutions, the formalities so that the company was separate from the personal estate. I was able to rent a house and feed my family and take care of things.” He said, “I want to say thank you that I’m still in business.” I didn’t mean to choke up but I get passionate about it. That’s a great story. I went to in Indianapolis, Indiana for an all-black women entrepreneurs, it’s called Sisterpreneur. I was the only white guy there speaking. I’d done it before. I come in to the cocktail party thing the evening before the whole thing is starting. This maybe 40-year-old, full of energy, full of pep woman comes up and, “Aaron,” and she throws her arms around my neck and she hugs me. I’m like, “Who is this?”

She said, “I need to tell you something.” I said, “What?” She goes, “I became your client like 3 or 4 years ago. Your team does a great job. Every time it was time to renew every year, I thought, ‘Am I a sucker? Am I stupid? Is this real? Do I need to be doing minutes and resolutions?’” She goes, “Then I went and applied for a government contract as a double minority, a black woman. Guess what the very first thing they asked for? Three years of minutes and resolutions. The first requirement is am I acting like a real business before I can even get considered for this contract?” She said, “And I had them.”

This is why it matters to do something that helps people in real world situations and then get passionate about the results you deliver. I can tell you stories about all kinds of different businesses that I am involved in, where by doing something that people need and want to buy when they know that it’s available, by doing a great job, which isn’t me. I stand in front of the team and say, “I go out and say this stuff from a stage in front of 100 or 1,000 people. You guys are the ones that keep me from being a liar when I say it from the stage. You’re the ones who deliver the results that I get the hugs for and I get the handshakes for.” It’s the team.

The team is critical to being able to do things that make a difference in the world and becoming unshackled where you can let that crazy entrepreneurial brain go to work. Once you get this one going and you get a team in place, then they’re following the recipe and now that’s working. Now you can do this next thing and then this next thing. The idea is do one thing until it’s working right before you start the second thing. Too many entrepreneurs try to do too many things and they do them badly. They do them badly, but they love telling their story.

They love the stories. It makes them in their poverty feel to sound cool at a networking event. I’m telling you get one thing dialed in working well with a team that understands how to operate. When that’s working, go to the next thing. You asked me before we started this, do I want to talk about Laughlin Associates? Do I want to talk about structuring, entities and corporate compliance and all that stuff? I said, “We can. I own that company.” Let me tell you, I haven’t visited the company. We have all these people. We have all this stuff going on. I have not walked in the door of that company for three years.

You don’t have to be there in order to have something that makes an enormous difference to tens and tens and tens of thousands of owners not even counting their employees, their families, the people that they buy from. Our ripple effect is big. You don’t have to be there if the recipe is working. That’s how you become wealthy, but also how you make a big difference is by getting stuff working, and then going to the next thing.

Don't let the things you want to accomplish in your life be limited because you're afraid that you're imperfect. Click To Tweet

The thing that sets entrepreneurs, real entrepreneurs, the mentally crazy ones, the ones that Steve Jobs talked about, what’d he say, “Here’s to the crazy ones.” He’s talking about Einstein and the Wright Brothers and Henry Ford. If you’re one of the crazy ones, you have more ideas than you have ours. That means you’ve got to get a team together so that you can become unshackled from that project and begin the next one and the next one. When you have your parent diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and you have to go take two years off to take care of your mother who doesn’t remember who she is, you’re still making money. You’re still making a difference.

I have a hockey stick story of success. You can see from the time I was sixteen, I can tell you a story that looks like a fairy godmother was waving her wand over me all the time. It’s a lie. It’s not true because did I have success? Yes. Did I have failure? Yes. Did I go bankrupt when my wife was pregnant with our second child, nine months pregnant, sitting in bankruptcy court? Yes. Did I have a heart attack and have to have a bypass? Yes. Did I get sucked into a criminal action against one of our clients and ended up going to prison? Yes. I’ve had one challenge after another. The year I was in prison, my take home pay was $974,000. Sitting in a hospital, strung out on morphine for three weeks, trying to get over having my chest opened up and everything, still making millions of dollars.

It’s a freaky story to me. Let me tell you, never talk to anyone without your lawyer. That was my mistake. They didn’t ever say I did anything wrong. They said I knew or I should have known what this other company leader was doing tax-wise. How insane is that? We spent $2 million and 3.5 years fighting. Finally, I took a plea and got it over with. I spent fourteen months and one week in federal prison. My wife said, “At least I had money. Any problem that came up, I throw money at it.” That’s what happens when you build a real business. We came out of it. The day my wife picked me up from the prison door was the day the movers were moving us into a new 7,000-square foot custom home on six acres with a giant pond and this gorgeous home. I went from prison to this big, beautiful house. Why? It’s when you build a real company, it doesn’t require your presence. It’s a terrible story, but it’s a huge juxtaposition of what I was doing with my day to day. What was happening with our business interests?

It’s not magic. I had a 1.9 GPA in high school. I went to one year of junior college. I started my first business that Christmas during that only year of junior college. I got married at 22, had four kids. My wife was a stay-at-home mom. My parents and her parents had no money. I never borrowed money. I never took investor money. I bootstrapped everything. This is not magic or silver spoon. The one thing that my wife pointed out to me, smacked me upside the head years ago and said, “Here’s the one thing that you forget about yourself.” I will admit this one side because I didn’t know it. It took somebody else saying it to me. She did say, “You tell me that everybody should be able to pull themselves up by the bootstraps. You came from nothing. Everybody can do it. No, that’s crap. You’re a white man in the United States of America. Your parents stayed married. You grew up in a church community that supported you. You had people that told you, you were smart, that you were capable.”

That’s an advantage. You’ve talked about mindset multiple times in this conversation. When your mindset is somebody’s going to do it, why not me? If that’s your mindset, you can do anything. If your mindset is, “I’m not white. I’m not a man. I’m divorced. I’m a single parent. I don’t have any money. I don’t have anybody to turn to.” If your attitude is everything’s wrong, everything’s against me, that’s how you’ll live your whole life. You’ll always be a victim. You’ll always have an excuse. You can leverage the heck out of those excuses.

You can leverage it like crazy and say, “It’s not my fault. It’s everything around me is fault.” If so, then you deserve what you get. I feel inspired to share a poem off top of my head. It popped in my head and I it’s for something that I said. The poem and I hope I get it all right. It says, “I bargained with life for a penny and life would pay no more. However, I begged at evening while counting my scanty store. For life is the just employer. It will give you what you ask, but once you’ve set the wages, why you must bear the task. I worked for a menial’s hire only to learn dismayed, any price I had asked the life, life would have willingly paid.”

“You get what you believe you’re going to get. You accomplish what you believe is possible to accomplish. You will simmer in your own stew of excuses and regrets if that’s what you choose to do.” The most successful people I’ve ever met and I know I can tick off people that are my friends who’ve done things, founder of WebMD, founder of Make-A-Wish Foundation, founder of UGG Boots, founder of Teladoc. I can keep going on and on. These are my friends. Every one of them has had things that could have been used as the excuse for why they couldn’t be successful. All of them thought someone’s going to do this. Why shouldn’t it be me? All of them put the acknowledged challenges said, “Yes, that’s true, but that doesn’t define my future. That’s where I’m starting from. That’s the launch pad. We can do what we want.”

There is endless unrestricted room at the top. There is room for people who are successful always. There isn’t a limited number of seats. Everybody can be there. They have to make a choice. Success can be financial success. It can be relationship success. It can be health success. It can be number of jobs you’ve created, number of ladles of soup at a soup kitchen you’ve distributed. It’s however you define your own success. Just don’t let the things you want to accomplish in your life. Be limited because you’re afraid that you’re imperfect or that things aren’t perfectly organized.

REW 39 | The Unshackled Owner

The Unshackled Owner: If your attitude is “Everything’s wrong, everything’s against me,” that’s how you’ll live your whole life. You’ll always be a victim.

 

You don’t have the perfect website. You don’t have the perfect body. You don’t have the perfect bank account. You don’t have the perfect speech member. Moses was slow of speech. He had to have his brother, Aaron, do the talking. Clearly, I’m a benefactor of that talking. Moses was an old man who stuttered, who struggled, who was now an outcast from Egypt. He still went in and changed the world as we know. All the major religions acknowledged Moses and what he did. Whether you’re Christian, Jewish or Muslim, everybody looks at Moses and this unbelievable accomplishment of moving these people and building this kingdom. He established something in the name of their God, against all the odds, including the largest, most powerful government in the world.

You can do what you want to do if you decide to do it, and you decide to learn how the heck to do it. I meet so many people that say, “I’ve got this idea and I believe it will be a $50 million idea three years now. I need your help.” I’ll say, “How much revenue do you have now?” They say, “I’m making $1,800 a month.” I said, “You’re going to be $50 million in three years. Yes. Why do you believe that? That’s stupid. You’re insane.”

How are we going to get you from $1,500 a month to $5,000 a month? How are we going to get from $5,000 to $20,000? How are we going to build a real business? Not how are you going to sit there with your Excel spreadsheet or your calculator and dream big dreams based on nothing real. If you learn how to do the work, you never have to lie, cheat or steal. You can learn to do the work and you will get the result. People that are reading this I assume are seeking that input in their lives to not think they can do it alone.

The old proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” You can be a flash in the pan. You can make a couple of bucks now, or you can build something real that will sustain you. As you have other things that come up in your life or other opportunities that you want to take on or other responsibilities, you cannot shirk. You can be the person that seems to have it all if you decide to go with a team to do something the market wants and you learn how to do it and follow the formula, you’ll be successful.

Thank you so much for that. Ladies, this is something that we talk about a lot on this show is this whole networking thing. Real estate is a people business. The numbers have to work, but it’s a people business. Life is a people business who you hang out with, who you have the conversations with will expand your mind, your life, your business. It will expand to everything. Aaron is one of those people that came to this show with a lot to share and expanded our mind. These are the sorts of people that you want to have in your life when you’re out there spending time with people, spend time with people that expand you that have a conversation with you, that your eyes are wide open.

You’re like, “I didn’t know that.” It’s such a big piece of success is who are we hanging out with? Who are we having conversations with? Who are we inspiring to work for us, with us as partners, employees, vendors in our business, our tenants? My tenants are my biggest source of income. They’re my biggest business partners or my biggest clients are the most important people in my life. Not my contractors, not my vendors, my tenants. It’s because of that, that my relationships with them are a big deal. I network around that. Who are you spending time with? This has been amazing, Aaron, getting to spend some time with you.

It’s been my pleasure and thanks for letting me talk to your people. The goal is to help more people stay in business for more years, making more money. If this helped one little person in one little way, then was time well spent.

Thank you so much. Aaron and I are going to do an Extra, Ladies. We’re going to be talking about, when you’re shooting for those goals, why? I want a lot of money so that I can make a big impact on the world. Does that pull your heart forward? There has to be a why. You have to be able to tell when you reach that goal that you’ve been shooting for, for so long. There’s gratification in that. It’s also someplace to go to. It pulls us forward. Aaron and I are going to be talking about that in Extra. If you are not subscribed to Extra, but would like to be, go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenExtra.com. You get seven days for free. You can download a ton of stuff, get some great content and then you get to stay subscribed. If you’re already subscribed, stay tuned, we’ve got some amazing stuff coming for you. If you’re leaving us now, thank you so much for joining Aaron and I for this portion of the show. I appreciate you. I look forward to seeing you next time. Until then, remember goals without action are dreams. Get out there, take action and create the life your heart deeply desires. I’ll see you soon.

Important Links:

About Aaron Scott Young

REW 39 | The Unshackled OwnerAaron Scott Young is a renowned entrepreneur with more than 30 years experience and several multi-million dollar companies under his belt.

Aaron has made it his life’s work to arm business owners with success formulas that immediately provide exponential growth and protection.

Fully embodying the concept of the unshackled business owner, he inspires others to do the same by empowering them to build strong companies while proactively protecting their dreams.

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To listen to the EXTRA portion of this show go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenExtra.com

To see this program in the video:

Search on Roku for Real Estate Investing 4 Women or go to this link: https://blissfulinvestor.com/biroku

On YouTube go to Real Estate Investing for Women

Discovering Your Why with Aaron Scott Young – Real Estate for Women

Today I’d like to welcome to the show our guest Aaron Young

About Aaron Scott Young

Aaron Scott Young is a renowned entrepreneur with more than 30 years experience and several multi-million dollar companies under his belt.  Aaron has made it his life’s work to arm business owners with success formulas that immediately provide exponential growth and protection.  Fully embodying the concept of the unshackled business owner, he inspires others to do the same by empowering them to build strong companies while proactively protecting their dreams.

This is what Aaron knows.  When you have the right systems and culture in place, you can build a business that works for you.  One that is optimized for cash flow, growth and progress.

A lifelong entrepreneur,  trusted advisor to CEOs, Outsourced Chief Strategy Officer and creator of The Unshackled Owner (a program for entrepreneurs looking to build a business … not just a glorified job),  Aaron is armed with the expertise needed to quickly get to the heart of complex issues, identify solutions and illuminate the path to forward progress.  His unique vantage point sets him apart from the crowd as a voice of real-world knowledge and authority.  Connect with Aaron at www.aaronscottyoung.com.

In this episode of EXTRA we talk about:

  • What is the biggest factor to success?
  • What do we need to know?
  • How do we get it?

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

Grab my FREE guide at http://www.BlissfulInvestor.com

Stay in Your Own Lane to Reach Success with Dr. Sheri Prentiss – Real Estate Women

Today I’d like to welcome to the show our guest  Shuri Prentiss

About Dr. Shuri Prentiss

Dr. Shuri is a proven visionary, best-selling author and highly sought after physician leader. She is a board certified occupational & environmental medicine physician, public health expert, and a breast cancer survivor. 

After breast cancer treatment left her disabled from lymphedema in her right upper extremity, stripping her of her life-long dream of being a practicing physician, she re-invented herself and went on to become a national public figure, professional speaker, and entrepreneur/owner of her own healthcare consulting business. She has been the catalyst for transformation in the space of cultural and workplace diversity for a myriad of organizations for more than two decades. As the former national spokesperson (six years) and the former national African American Health Equity Ambassador (two years) of the world’s largest breast cancer organization, Susan G Komen, she is no stranger to media, be it tv, radio, print or internet. She recently launched her new show, The LIVE Today, on CANTV channel 21. The show is designed to increase exposure to her nonprofit organization and provide valuable education and resources to individuals living with lymphedema.

In this episode of EXTRA we talked about:

  • Anyalyse how to stay in your own lane.
  • Find the top 3 things that you can do and excel at them to sustain and grow your business

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

Grab my FREE guide at http://www.BlissfulInvestor.com

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