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How To Invest In Real Estate Across Borders With Lauren Cohen – Real Estate Women

REW 58 Lauren Cohen | Real Estate Across Borders

 

If you want to invest in real estate across borders, you need to be actively involved in running the business. Moneeka Sawyer’s guest today is Lauren Cohen, an international lawyer, realtor, and foreign investor expert. In this episode, Lauren explains that you need to make a substantial investment in a non-marginal business. Join in the conversation to discover more of Lauren’s top tips for investing across borders. If you want to use real estate as a tool for immigration, you can’t miss out on this episode. Tune in! 

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How To Invest In Real Estate Across Borders With Lauren Cohen – Real Estate Women

Real Estate Investing For Women

I am excited to welcome Lauren Cohen to the show. She is a Serial Entrepreneur, an International Lawyer, Realtor and Foreign Investor Expert. She ioriginally from Toronto and now in South Florida. Lauren is also a bestselling author and sought-after speaker. She launched her podcast, Investing Across Borders, in late 2020. Lauren and her turnkey team believe in overcoming obstacles and navigating global expansion for business owners and real estate investors while providing access to unique passive income solutions. Lauren’s overriding goal is to help clients navigate the path to invest, live, work and play across borders. Lauren’s superpower rests in paving a path to immigration visas through real estate investments. Ladies, I’m sure you can tell why Lauren is on the show. Lauren, welcome to the show. 

Thank you, Moneeka. It’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you for making the time for me. 

REW 58 Lauren Cohen | Real Estate Across Borders

Finding Your Silver Lining in the Business Immigration Process: An Insightful Guide to Immigrant & Non-Immigrant Business Visas

It’s my pleasure. Ladies, I want to let you know that Lauren was booked for this show. We booked earlier in 2021. Since then, several of you ladies have heard her on other shows and gave me good reviews. I’m going into this interview with, “We’ve got somebody amazing on the show.” I’m super excited about that. I also want to tell you one other thing about Lauren. You guys know I’m all about systems. Systems equal bliss. I had all this system set up for my intake and scheduling. Lauren and I did it a little backward. We got the system. 

I went online to put together the whole, “I want to be able to introduce her.” I put together a little script and I noticed that nothing was in the intake form. It was 8:00 or 9:00 PM here at California time so it was late in Lauren’s time. I don’t start work until 10:00, so I’m like, “We have nothing.” There was a lot. I emailed her and I sent her something on LinkedIn. She happened to be online. Lauren did this thing. Anybody else that I would have talked to would have been like, “Can we reschedule?” I’m scheduling four months out. You ladies know that I pre-record. Lauren’s like, “Okay.” She got it all to me in ten minutes. 

It’s a problem that I have. I’m over-responsive. I need to go to the twelve-step program for responsiveness. 

The thing that I want to point out and one of the reasons that I’m excited to tell you a story, I know that it’s not sounding relevant. The way that we do anything is the way that we do everything. My focus is on bliss, pleasure, joy and relaxation. As a lawyer, it’s important that you are responsive. How many of us are freaked out about something? The things that we are dealing with lawyers are usually things we don’t know anything about. You want somebody who’s responsive, kind and generous. Lauren is all of those things. Thank you for making my process more blissful even though tech failed us. 

When I received it, I’m like, “How did that possibly happen? That can’t happen. There’s no way I’m going to miss this because I know how long it took us to get here. I’m going to get this done quick.” Believe it or not, I’m studying for the mortgage exam because I don’t have enough licenses. I decided I need something else. The reason is that I have so many clients in need of mortgage opportunities. We are in the middle of studying and I get this, “I have to go and deal with this right now.” My boyfriend ilike, “What’s going on?” I’m like, “Let me be.” My son’s like, “Mommy.” I’m like, “I’m going.” I got it done. Thank you. 

If there is one thing that I do pride myself on, it’s exactly that. It’s not that I don’t get into panic mode because I was in a little bit of panic mode, but it’s not the end of the world. It’s not like somebody’s sick, but I get it done. That’s what 2021 is all about. I joined a mastermind called Get It Done in ‘21. The truth is it’s about that. In 2020, we had many challenges, obstacles and interferences in our lives. What is going on? Not that there’s no uncertainty now, but you have to focus on what you are grateful for every day and come out of each day thinking, “How can I impact people in a better way?” 

One of the things that 2020 taught us is to be able to roll with the flow. It taught us about flexibility, resilience, caring about the things that are important to us, and focusing on those things because there are so little we felt we had control over. Those are the things we do have control over. How are we responding? Who are we caring about? How are we showing up? 

I was thinking of the same words as you were saying them. It’s true. How you show up for one thing is how you show up for everything. 

I honor you for your kindness to me. 

Thank you for acknowledging that. I had spoken with a gentleman before from Canada. He said to me, “I am impressed with you. You’re this and this. We Canadians love you.” I said, “I am Canadian.” He’s like, “I love you even more now.” 

Lauren, could you tell us the high-level, two-minute version of your story? Let everybody get to know you a little bit and where you came from. 

My story is a little unique. I don’t share it all the time, but I started sharing it more because your story is what dictates or drives you. I am originally from Canada. I moved here a long time ago. I have not been home in several months, but I’m not bitter, maybe a little bit bitter. I have not seen my mom, brother, nephews, niece, sister-in-law or anybody in several months. I came here with a dream. I was married at the time. I moved back to Canada and I came here again. It’s been an interesting ride. 

In 2006, I got married. Mthen-husband was deported on the way back from our honeymoon. We went to Thailand on our honeymoon. I wasn’t in the immigration space to the extent I am now, that’s for sure. I didn’t realize that he was inadmissible. I didn’t realize that these things he had in his background and his history would stop him from being admissible. I was in the process of getting my green card. I had a lawyer who now is my partner. I had a lawyer that was doing everything. I never contemplated this problem. He was in the process of getting his visa. 

We get married and we go on our honeymoon. We should not have left the country or maybe we should have because everything happens for a reason. We came back. They took him from me at Chicago O’Hare Airport. They expeditiously removed him. They put him in immigration jail and they deported him. Here I am with all this stuff from our honeymoon in Thailand. I’m like, “What am I going to do now?” 

It goes to show you that you have to turn adversity into prosperity and you have to find the silver lining, which is the name of my nonprofit and the name of my book, Finding Your Silver Lining in the Business Immigration Process. There is always a silver lining. The silver lining of that was iwas never meant to be that marriage. It pushed me into the immigration space. I knew that I had a calling to do something greater for people from all over the world migrating to the US and Canada because I’m licensed in both countries. I need more licenses. 

You are an education junkie. I can relate to that. 

I don’t like going to school, but I like learning, reading and getting licenses. Having a mortgage license and being a realtor is complimentary. That’s what happened. He was barred from entry to the US and I said, “I have to find a different path.” That’s what started me on my journey. My number one goal is to help people to invest, live, work and play across borders so that they can be anywhere in the world. 

This all started with an idea in Israel that I had that people should not be stuck to where they live but should be able to be completely mobile. My home is in Florida. My heart is in Israel, but my family is in Canada. I usually can go anywhere and do business. That is what I created for myself and what I wanted to create for others and give them the path to come and immigrate to the US especially through real estate investing. Many people want to invest in real estate in the US and here is the whole other benefit of doing that. 

When you help people with real estate stuff, you help them whether they are American citizens looking to invest internationally or if they are international citizens from somewhere else wanting to invest in the United States. Is that true?  

Yes. 

Turn adversity into prosperity. Find the silver lining in everything. Click To Tweet

The other thing that you help people with is if they are international, they are somewhere else, and they want to come to the United States, they can do that through investing. Can you tell me a little bit about that piece, helping them get citizenship, to emigrate or whatever that looks like? 

It’s extraordinarily complex and I’ll tell you why. Real estate investing, as a rule, is passive. Real estate investing to immigrate has to be active because to qualify for a visa, you need to be actively involved in running a business. The terminology is you have to make a substantial investment in a non-marginal business. I have created the ten steps to immigrate through real estate. It’s a step-by-step guide to take people from, “I want to invest in real estate in the US. How do I do it?” The first eight steps are for anybody that’s investing and the last two are for people that want to immigrate through that path. 

I’ve been working with real estate investors for a decade and working with them to get their visas, but only over COVID, I connected all of these dots together to say, “There is a path. It’s not going to be your single-family home, a couple of units, of condos or flipping. That’s not going to work.” If you add flipping to the BRRRR method, holding properties, Airbnb, commercial, self-storage, mobile homes, you create a strategy that can potentially pave the path to immigrate. 

I have a lot of international readers, but I don’t have a lot of people that talk about that stuff. I wonder if maybe we consider doing another show specifically about that for my international readers. I’m in 45 different countries. I want to tell you a cute story. Ladies, you haven’t heard this. Lauren, I hope you don’t mind that I tell you this, but this is funny. I went on a cruise to speak. I was talking about Choose Bliss on a cruise and we went to the Greek Islands, but we stopped in Spain. The first stop was in Barcelona. 

My husband and I are sitting at a cafe. We are talking, laughing. All of a sudden, I hear my voice walk by. David and I both look over and some guy is walking around with their iPhone listening to my podcast. I was like, “Oh my god.” We got off the cruise at Mykonos or something. We are sitting in a little cafe having some lunch and someone’s walking by with a phone. They are looking at the phone. They look up and they look over towards me in passing. All of a sudden, their eyes get wide. They look at their phone. They looked at me. They’re like, “Are you Moneeka Sawyer?” It’s in Greece. It was so much fun. It was twice in that one trip. We haven’t done a trip since then because of COVID. It’s exciting to see the impact that I’m making internationally. There is an audience on this show for you, Lauren. Maybe we can talk about that another time. 

That’s what my webinar series is. You should come to my webinars. It’s how to immigrate through real estate. We walk through the whole process and I’d love to have you there. The thing is not everybody wants to immigrate. Who can blame them right now? There is a lot of upheaval in this country. COVID has not been managed so well. That doesn’t mean that they don’t want to invest. 

We have had other people. Francois Braine-Bonnaire came on. He also came on talking about how to get people into turnkey properties here so they can take advantage of the American real estate market even if they don’t want to live here. There are all different levels of people that want to immigrate, people that don’t, people that want something hands-off, and people that want a good write-off reason to come to the United States. There are all different kinds of reasons that international people would want to invest here. 

The other thing that I want to focus on is about us Americans because this is a question that I haven’t covered at all. I have covered it once because I invested in Belize myself so that show aired about my process on that. We haven’t had anybody talk about Americans investing internationally. Let’s focus on that. Talk about some of the top tips for investing across borders. 

The top tips are going to be the same no matter if you are coming into America or going out of America. At the end of the day, you need proper cross-border tax guidance. I don’t care who you are, where you live, how small your portfolio is, how little you have to invest, you need somebody to guide you on cross-border tax. If you do not have an expert that understands both countries and has some knowledge or understanding, is there a tax treaty with the US or is there not? How is your investment going to get treated in the US? For US taxpayers, we have to be cognizant and concerned about our investments overseas. 

Let’s talk about Canada. It’s the easiest one. Lots of American investors have invested in Canada or do invest in Canada or now want to invest in Canada because suddenly it’s become that much more appealing. Maybe not Toronto because Toronto is a completely out-of-control market but other places. My business partner is in Calgary. We have lots of investors that are investing there because many of the properties are upside down. There is an opportunity to go in and find what is the equivalent of subjecttos in Canada or opportunities to wholesale properties. 

If you don’t get that cross-border guidance and you end up making $100,000, do you want to give 50% or 70% of that to the IRS or whoever the revenue agency is or the tax authority? I don’t think so. I have a prospect. He has been talking to me since we started talking. He came to a summit that I did with my Calgary partner. I call them Empowered Women in Real Estate. You need to speak at that. We do allow men. He came to this and he set up a call with me after. He said, “I paid $100,000 to the Canada Revenue Agency.” I said, “Why? How did that happen?” He’s like, “Because I didn’t talk to a lawyer first.” 

The number one thing that I’m going to tell anybody who is reading is don’t be afraid to talk to the lawyer and the accountant because fear is going to end up costing you so much more than you would pay to get the proper guidance in place. It so happens that I’m working with one of your members that I met through another podcast who’s investing in Spain. I have a client who’s developing properties in Honduras. I have clients that are investing in the UK, Canada, which’s an easy one for me and in Italy. 

My real estate license is with a company that is in ten countries and soon to be over twenty. It’s an international exposure and approach. Not everybody can even contemplate what that looks like. That’s super important. When you are looking at investing across borders, use and abuse your professional team. Don’t try to do it haphazardly and say, “I’m going to buy property in the Dominican or something.” I hope that answers your question. 

REW 58 Lauren Cohen | Real Estate Across Borders

Real Estate Across Borders: No matter if you’re plumbing into America or going out of America, you need proper cross-border tax guidance.

 

There is a good point here that you made and I want to emphasize it. Don’t trip over dollars to save dimes. You want to make sure that you are paying a little bit upfront to save you a lot on the back end. It feels sometimes that there is all this upfront stuff. If you buy and sell something and you save yourself $100,000 or 50% in taxes, you only pay 20% or whatever. I don’t know what the numbers are like. I know that those deltas can be significant and you want to make sure that you minimize those taxes as much as you possibly can. The only person that is going to know how to help you is going to be a pro like LaurenIs it easier to invest in the US or consider investing outside of the US? 

It depends on what your goals are. Investing in the US in real estate is not super heavily regulated industry. There are rules and opportunities. Each state has a different approach, opportunities and markets. For most, the US market is the biggest opportunity that presents the most volume, potential listings, properties and upside. Coming into the US is easier than going outside of the US. 

We invested in Belize because we are prepping for retirement. What are some good reasons to invest outside of the US if you are an American citizen? 

There could be tax advantages. It can be a tax haven. It can be an opportunity to move your money outside of the US legally and be able to have that nest egg built in a foreign country. You never know what’s going to happen here as we have seen in the past. That gives you an opportunity to have somewhere else to go. It’s all about a strategy and a lot of people forget that important part. If you don’t have a strategy, whether you are investing in the US or outside the US, you are going to fail. It’s like with everything we do. If you don’t have systems, you are going to fail. If you don’t have a strategy, you are going to fail. You have to create a strategy and work with a professional team to implement that strategy. 

Talk to me about building that strategy. What are some of the first steps to building that international strategy? 

We are going to first look at what you are doing in real estate, see where you want to invest, and how you want to invest? Do you want to have joint venture partners? Are you using your own money? Are you using other people’s money? What corporate structure do you have in the US? Do you have contacts and connections in that subject country, that new country? How does that all look? How was your professional team going to stack up? What types of properties do you want? What are your goals with those properties? 

Protect your assets as you're expanding your business. Click To Tweet

Do you want a property that you can go to a part of the time and Airbnb the rest of the time? How does that look? Bringing in those tax advisers, figuring out how you’re doing asset protection as well, looking at asset protection solutions and opportunities. You have to protect your assets as you’re expanding your business no matter if it’s in real estate or anything. Those are some of the steps that we would go through in analyzing how to make this all happen and execute it. 

What is the number one risk in not setting up that structure before you start? 

It’s twofold. The first is that you could be shut down legally. You could be precluded from visiting your properties or investments because you didn’t put the structure in place and you could be stopped at the border, whichever border that might be. The other thing is this huge potential tax consequence of not setting up your structure properly from the get-go, which could shut you down anyway because of numbers. 

In extra, we are going to talk about 1031 exchanges and doing that over borders. I’m excited about that. Could you tell us a little bit about what we’re going to talk about? 

I’m assuming that your audience knows what 1031 is. 

Yes, they have heard about it. 

I don’t have to explain what 1031 is. 1031 is awesome because it allows investors and property owners to transfer property no matter where they are from. What we forget is, this is especially true for Canadians, the exchange will be disregarded for tax purposes oftentimes when they go back to their home country. They may be legally allowed to do it here in the US, no matter where they are from. The impact could be negative when they go back to their home country if they take the money out of the US. 

We are going to be talking a little bit more about the intricacies around that. I’m excited about that extra because we have never talked about this stuff. Before we move into our three rapid-fire questions, could you tell everybody how they can reach you?  

I am easy to reach. Please find me on LinkedIn. I will tell you that you need to find me with my Canadian presence because that’s super important. There’s a little confusion about that. On Facebook, it’s LaurenESQEverything is LaurenESQ. I’m launching my podcast website, it’s LaurenESQ.com. That’s my brand. I’ve been using that email address forever and a day. That’s the best way to find me on Facebook. On Instagram it’s @Lauren_Cohen_ESQ. On Twitter, it’s @eCouncilInc, which is the name of my company. I’m on Clubhouse. You can find me on that new crazy thing. I hear that Elon Musk shut the platform down because you’re only allowed 5,000 people and he had 5,000 people in the first room he set up. I can understand that. I would be interested too but I was asleep. 

You can always email me directly. On top of the free gift, I also am offering a free consultation to anybody that would like to talk about US investment, cross-border investing, expanding out of the US, and bringing your business into the US. It’s bit.ly/lacexploreMoneeka makes easy URLs. I would be happy to set up a call, please reference that you met me here. I will be happy to set up that time with you. 

You have a free gift for the ladies. Tell us a little bit about that. The link for this one is BlissfulInvestor.com/laurenesq. 

When you said that, I was like, “LaurenESQ, that works for me.” 

I love that because I know that most of our links to reach our guests start with BlissfulInvestor.com. 

You are good at branding. It’s excellent. I am taking a few lessons from you. I already adopted one of your lessons on signing up for the podcast, so I hope it’s okay. 

Tell us about your free gift. 

I’m probably going to have to renew this free gift because many people have downloaded it. It’s popular. It’s called Eight Steps to Successful Real Estate Investment Across Borders. It’s the guide that will help you and it’s free for all of your readers. It’s a $47 value. It’s going to help you to think about the different elements that we have talked about here and a little bit more. 

When you go on there, BlissfulInvestor.com/laurenesqyou will see that it’s $47. You get a special code for my ladies so you get it for free. It is our REI4FREE. Thank you so much for that. I know that there are going to be a lot of people interested in that. 

It’s a pleasure to serve you, guys. I love working with real estate investors. It took me a while to find my calling. One thing I will tell any of you that haven’t figured all of it out yet, don’t worry. You will figure it out. 

Thank you so much for that. Are you ready for three rapid-fire questions? 

I’m ready. 

Lauren, tell us a super tip on getting started investing in real estate. 

Get a coach, that’s a super tip. Don’t do it alone. Whatever you do, work with a coach or somebody that has done that or somebody that can guide you. You don’t want to invest haphazardly and you need a strategy. 

What is one strategy for being successful in investing in real estate? 

Staying focused and staying in your lane. My four favorite words are, Stay in your lane. Don’t try to play realtor, lawyer or accountant. Get people on your team that can do those things because that’s how you’re going to make money in real estate. They are going to guide you, help you do due diligence, analyze the price perspective investments, deal analysis, for example. 

What is one daily practice, Lauren, that you would say contributes to your success? 

REW 58 Lauren Cohen | Real Estate Across Borders

Real Estate Across Borders: The U.S. market has the biggest opportunity and presents the most potential listings, potential properties, and potential upside.

 

I work out. I have the COVID20. There is no question. I cannot survive without some type of workout every single day, whether it’s a power walk, a workout, watching kickboxing or working out on my ski machine upstairs or something. You have to get your endorphins going because we are all stuck at home. I’m lucky that I’m in Florida. We are not all that lucky. 

Lauren, thank you so much for everything you have shared. 

It’s my pleasure. 

Ladies, we have more coming in extra. We’re going to be talking about 1031 exchanges across borders, so stay tuned for that if you’re already subscribed. If you’re not subscribed but would like to be, go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenExtra.com and you get the first seven days for free. You can check this out as much as you like for the first seven days, and you can decide one way or the other if you love it or not. For those of you who are leaving us now, thank you so much for joining Lauren and me in this portion of the show. 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 will see you soon. 

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About Lauren Cohen

REW 58 Lauren Cohen | Real Estate Across Borders

Lauren A. Cohen, international speaker, #1 bestselling author and immigration and business strategist, is an attorney licensed in both the U.S. (TN) and Canada (ON). As an active AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) member, Lauren boasts a stellar track record of success. She was also recently recognized as one of 2017’s “Super Lawyers” by Attorney-at-Law Magazine.

Although her role at e-Council does not involve practicing law, Lauren has first-hand knowledge of the visa process, having herself immigrated from Canada, and later becoming an American citizen in 2012. The overriding goal in all of her business endeavors is to help her clients achieve their version of the American Dream. Developing sound strategies designed to sustain long-term growth is a cornerstone of the e-Council Inc. brand.

After spending several years working as corporate counsel in various industries while delving into the field of immigration law, Lauren decided to combine her legal knowledge and business acumen. The result is e-Council Inc., a company offering concierge turnkey business immigration services ranging from professional Business Plans to comprehensive project coordination for all types of business visas, with a special focus on EB-5 solutions for direct investment and regional center cases. Lauren and her team help businesses raise capital, assist franchises seeking additional franchisees particularly in the form of foreign investors, and work with foreign investors seeking access to the U.S. markets.

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Mother’s Day Edition – The Impact Of Family On My Business And Success With Reed Goossens – Real Estate Women

 

Many see investing as a male dominating world but for Moneeka Sawyer, a real estate investor and author of Choose Bliss: The Power and Practice of Joy and Contentment, it is an industry where real estate women like her can be influential as well. She joins Reed Goossens as she shares how her experience recovering from an accident and her family have a great impact on her business’ success throughout the years. Moneeka also wants to use this opportunity to empower women in the industry and show the world what they got.

Listen to the podcast here:

Mother’s Day Edition – The Impact Of Family On My Business And Success With Reed Goossens – Real Estate Women

Real Estate Investing For Women

Ladies, I hope you had an amazing Mother’s Day weekend. I was trying to think of what I could do to honor Mother’s Day because I feel like it’s a very special holiday. I always want to honor our moms who supported us to become the women that we are now. I was on Reed Goossens‘ show and he did the most amazing interview, where he brought out so much about my family that hasn’t been shared. Since I think of moms as the core of the family, I thought of featuring a show about family, what it means to me and how it has impacted my life. Hopefully, it’s inspirational and helpful to you also. Enjoy the show.

I have the pleasure of speaking with Moneeka Sawyer. She is a lifestyle-focused real estate investor with an emphasis on helping more women succeed in the real estate industry. Moneeka has been investing for many years and she has truly created a life-by-design business, where she only spends between 5 to 10 hours a week working on her business and helping inspire other people to be more successful in real estate. She’s also the bestselling author of the book, Choose Bliss: The Power and Practice of Joy and Contentment, which was honored at the very prestigious Women of Impact Quill Award. I’m pumped and excited to have her on the show to share her incredible experience and her insight and knowledge. Moneeka, welcome to the show. How are you doing?

I’m doing great. Thank you so much for having me, Reed. I have to say one correction that’s worth mentioning. It’s 5 to 10 hours a month.

I must have skim-read that part.

That’s what people assume and that’s why I like to point it out. It’s amazing what’s possible. We can do 5 to 10 hours a week. We could also do 5 to 10 hours a month. It’s what’s good for you.

Tell us about more of your upbringing and how you value a dollar through your childhood. That’s an important step to start with to craft the story around what you created.

My story begins with my parents. My parents were immigrants. They came to the country with $200 in their pocket and a dream of building a life that was amazing for their children. They had heard that the golden ticket to wealth in the United States was to invest in real estate. When they got here, they immediately started saving their nickels and dimes. My mom is an MD, but she couldn’t work as a doctor here. She would sew the curtains for her house or the pillows for her sofa so she could save all those nickels and dimes but still have this beautiful home that she would expect for herself as a doctor, and then I was born. Their hearts were filled with love, joy and excitement for this new child. They’ve invested in their very first real estate investment project. It was land. They stayed focused on that their whole life and fast forward many years, they paid for my college education through real estate.

I grew up watching that whole thing. It was a topic of conversation. This is an interesting thing that happens in Indian families. Not all Indian families, but many. We do have a very open conversation about money. I got to hear about the stresses that my parents were going through, whether my mom needed to go through residency again to be able to practice here or my dad being discriminated against at work. They came here in 1967 and we lived in Ohio. It was a very white community. People were still very kind and they still had great jobs, but there were also people who were not kind who discriminated against them. I heard all of this stuff.

Bliss is a deep sense of joy, contentment, and that confidence that no matter what happens in life, you can handle it. Click To Tweet

One of the things that impressed upon me was that it was important to me to be able to make money myself and not be dependent on anybody else, which is an interesting dichotomy because Indian women wanted me to have an arranged marriage. A man was supposed to be able to take care of me, but then on the other side, I needed to be fully independent. Talk about mixed messages. What was interesting is my mom and dad would not let me work. I was a girl. I needed to study. I needed to go to college. I needed to get married, but I also needed to be a professional so I could support my husband to make a lot of money.

As I was growing up, I wasn’t allowed to work. I wanted to. I would read Entrepreneur Magazine. I don’t know if anybody remembers the old Entrepreneur Magazine where they had all these binders of businesses that you could start. You can pay $99 and you would get this business startup pack for anything, a wedding planner or a banker. There are all these things. I would buy them. I was so hungry, but I wasn’t allowed to work. I wasn’t allowed to go out there. My very first job was at Jack in the Box when I was seventeen and I bagged. I felt like I was dating because that was another thing I was not allowed to do. I was going to have an arranged marriage. I would sneak out so I could go work. It was so naughty. I had developed an appreciation for money. Dad had started to talk to me about real estate when I was very young. I got my very first allowance, which was very little. Even in those days, he taught me about budgeting. I opened a checking account and started writing checks. I was very fortunate that way. He taught me a lot about the practicality of money and the role that it plays in our life.

Thank you for being vulnerable and honest. That’s probably the most intriguing dollar story I’ve heard. I get so many people on the show like, “I have mowed lawns.” I was like, “Don’t say mowed lawns. Say something better.” You’ve had the opposite of having to try and fit in as a kid and probably see your other friends out working at McDonald’s or wherever it is. They had money to buy dresses and go out on the weekends and be teenagers. You had the other traditional side of your upbringing and your heritage, which is important. Not to pull you that, but it’s what your values that your parents wanted to instill in you. It’s very humorous that your parents were like, “You got to make money and land on your own two feet, but you can’t. We want to give you an arranged marriage.” What were the conversations around the dinner table when you wanted to break away from being that first-generation American and break away from the norms that probably your parents were brought up with back in India?

It was hard. I’ll preface this by saying, I am absolutely crazy about my parents. They’re the two most beautiful people on the planet. I am so fortunate to have had them guiding me through my journey in life, but growing up was hard. It was hard in our environment because I’m not white and we grew up in very white areas because of my parents’ jobs. Out in the world, it was tough for me. At home, that was my sanctuary and my parents were so scared. They used to watch General Hospital. They saw all the drama on television. Because they hadn’t grown up in this country, they were scared that horrible things were going to happen to their girls.

REW 57 | Real Estate Women

Choose Bliss: The Power and Practice of Joy and Contentment

They held on so tight and were so protective. Very young, I became very secretive. I would have to sneak out to go do my job. I sneaked out for everything. I didn’t talk to them about anything because I was afraid that they would be so afraid, then they would hold me up in the tower of safety in our home and I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t go out with friends. I couldn’t work. I was in all honors classes and my honors classes started at 7:00 in the morning. My mom and dad were afraid to let me go to honors classes because “Who goes to school at 7:00 in the morning?” I did. I wanted to get into a good university. You can see this misunderstanding of what life is like.

Indians do this too and a lot of cultures do this, yelling and screaming on top of our lungs, “I love you, but you are so wrong.” I don’t think it was dysfunctional. It was truly authentic and honest because we got to the bottom of stuff and there was never a dearth of love for us. No matter how angry we got, we were a unit and we loved each other like crazy. We always had that as children growing up. Even now, I never felt that there is a moment that there is no unconditional love in my life and that’s because of them.

I will also reflect back to you that I came from a very similar family, not necessarily traditional. We live in Australia. It was Aussies being Aussies. It’s that whole unconditional love and bringing in. I even remember bringing my wife and she came from a broken family, and how intense it can be sometimes. She felt outside like, “I didn’t have this growing up. You’re very lucky, not many people have this.” I was very similar to you that there was that unconditional love. Everything that they thought came from a position of love and they said, “I want to protect the girls and they can’t do this, that or the other,” but it probably made you very cheeky in terms of going out and escaping, and having to do things on your own ways to feel like you had a life.

I’m very independent, but it was also interesting. I went to UC Berkeley and I had a lot of my other Indian girlfriends who had had a similar experience. They went to UC Berkeley and we were all like, “We get to hang out at school.” What was funny was that I went out there and I was like, “I’m here to learn. I wanted to start a business my entire life. I’m going to go to business school.” For UC Berkeley, you have to re-apply for business school. I was like, head down, “I’m going to make this happen. My life is my life. I’m in control. I don’t have to sneak around to work or study.” I was so excited. All my friends got into drugs and alcohol and not in a bad way. They were all still smart. It’s just college kids being college kids, but they were all into the party. All my old childhood friendships fell apart because my version of freedom was creating the life of my dreams and their version of freedom was trying everything possible under the sun. It’s a very different perspective. I’m tenacious. I can be crazy, but it was all very focused on, “There is a life that I want and I’m going to go get it.”

Many people do it and myself included. When that freedom does come when you go to university, you do tend to rip the lid off. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because you then test your boundaries and you test where you need to pull your socks up, “You have stuff up. You’ve partied too hard over here. Now, you need to pull your socks up because you’re grades are failing.” I can sympathize with your friends but also with you in terms of having that freedom and understanding, “There’s so much more control of my life.” Even when I went to high school with the deputy principal’s son, I was very goody two shoes and not doing anything when I was a teenager.

When going to university, I started like, “Girls and alcohol. Holy crap,” but then realizing like I’m still very studious and my grades were suffering. You had to make that choice in life. That’s interesting when you were at university back to the story of the girlfriends from Ohio, going to UC Berkeley and then having different perspectives. You do eventually drifted away because of different priorities in life. That’s okay. That’s the point of going to university. The point of figuring yourself out is for all these things to happen. I love that story.

It’s funny because sometimes I think I robbed myself of all that fun. I was so focused on what I wanted and I didn’t slow down and notice that there was fun out there. I could go party. I could have it all. It didn’t have to be mutually exclusive. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve relaxed quite a lot. I’m not quite that focusing crazy.

Don’t wish away those moments that you’re going to miss so much when they’re gone. Don’t wish away your life. Enjoy every single moment. Click To Tweet

It’s a good segue into the bliss. What is bliss? Part of what I’m hearing from you at a young age is what you thought you had to do in order to be successful. A lot of entrepreneurs that I interview on the show do get the blinkers on and are just crazy. They take certain priorities that are business over health, life or love, and things start to whine. They realize that they don’t have a life. The purpose of all that we do, whether it be at university or in creating something from nothing in businesses. It is to enjoy the journey because it’s not ultimately the mountain top we scale, but it’s you only live one life. Enjoy it now. We have this social media anxiety. We always got to be comparing ourselves and “I always got to have something more to do.” It’s such an interesting bliss that I want to talk about with you because I know you’ve got a lot to give on that piece.

We only get to the mountain top for a little while and then we look around and we got to go back down. If you don’t enjoy the journey, then all you get is that ten minutes on the mountain and then you’re climbing another mountain. Bliss is a deep sense of joy, contentment, and that confidence that no matter what happens in life, you can handle it. It’s about emotional mastery and emotional resilience. That’s how I’m defining bliss. My journey or my passion is to help real estate investors, women, business owners, people in general, to let you enjoy that journey. Let me tell you a story. Your story is perfect, but I’m going to tell you another one.

I was in Iceland and we wanted to go see a glacier. It was a two-and-a-half-hour drive. We decided to do it. We were driving along and there are two ways that we can approach this. We can drive as fast as possible and make the two-and-a-half-hour drive two hours, or we can drive below the speed limit. We’re on vacation. Everybody is like, “Really?” We’re driving and looking around and enjoying the scenery, the terrain and the way that it changes. Here, it’s plants and waterfalls. Here, it’s lava. We’re getting out, taking pictures and stopping for lunch. The experience of going to that glacier was completely different by doing it that way. We had this beautiful journey that ended up taking us three hours. We got to the glacier. We hung out there for two hours. It was gorgeous and worth the journey. We drove back and enjoyed the drive back too. We went to dinner. Our next goal was to find a hotel and go to dinner.

That’s a good metaphor for life. Are you looking around? Are you having good meals? Is it okay that you take longer so that you can enjoy that journey? When you get to that goal, as fantastic as it is, being at that goal only lasts for a little while and then there’s another journey to another goal. Do you want to live your life jumping to ten minutes of bliss or do you want to enjoy the entire journey so you can enjoy all of it? That’s what I want people to get is whether it’s in real estate, whether it’s with your families, people are like, “I can’t wait until my kids go to kindergarten.” Don’t wish away those moments that you’re going to miss so much when they’re gone. Don’t wish away your life. Enjoy every single moment of it.

Have there been any losses in your life to understand that mindset shift? You do slow down because you clearly are the person who is hungry, who wants to hustle, who wants to prove to their parents that they can go up, do it and stand on their own two feet. Has anything happened in your life? You can say no, getting older and all that stuff. I know personally, I lost my mom. I’ve got a story for you that I wish I was at the life I live now before so I can spend more time with her. I live in America. She’s in Australia and I got home three days before she passed. I did a whole episode on priorities versus goals and how that we can sometimes shift them. Was there anything that shifted along your journey in the way that made you realize, “This is not a sprint. Let’s take the long journey. Let’s do lunch. Let’s enjoy the scenic route?”

REW 57 | Real Estate Women

Real Estate Women: Find ways to make the hustle livable so that you don’t burn out. You don’t want to get to the other side and be completely burnt out.

 

I have been very fortunate I have not experienced loss yet. We all do and I know that it’s coming. As I mentioned before, I’m madly in love with my parents. I want lots of time with them and with my sisters and nephew. We’re very family-oriented. That’s been ingrained in me, but the hustle didn’t stop. It transformed. When I was in a horrible car accident, I lost my legs. I was a professional dancer. That was the one thing I was allowed to do. Since I was five years old, I was dancing. I had a world reputation. I danced all over the world. When I was 21, I was in a horrible car accident that was not my fault. Someone hit me and my hips got dislocated, my back got thrown out and I became a cripple for a couple of years. I should have been into a chair but that’s another story.

I went through a huge depression during that time because everything about my life suddenly shifted. I just had gotten out of college. My new job disappeared. My fiancé left me because I wasn’t the same person anymore. I was a dancer dancing six hours a day. Now, I had no exercise. The chemistry in your body changes so fast. I gained so much weight, which aggravated a lot of the problems. I went through this horrible time. Fortunately, somehow I ended up getting married. My husband is a dream guy, but even marriage didn’t fix it, even having the money and taking care of. This is one of the things that we do as people. When things go wrong, we think, “If I have the love of my life, everything will be better. They’ll take care of it. They’ll save me,” whether it’s a man or a woman. I had that mentality from my upbringing. I got married to this beautiful man, but he didn’t fix it. He couldn’t. Nobody can fix your life. Only you can fix your life.

I remember I had a moment when I had gone through a huge depression. The pain wasn’t going away physically. My legs still weren’t working quite right. It had been 5 or 6 years. My marriage wasn’t fixing all the problems. I remember one day, I was lying in bed. I had been in bed for a week. I had been depressed. I had been sleeping. I heard my mom’s voice in my head. She said, “Moneeka, get out of bed and go get some air. You’ll feel better.” I had the covers over my head. I pushed them off of my head and swung my legs around to get out of bed to go for a walk. As I tried to stand on my legs, I fell to the ground because they were so weak, they couldn’t hold me. At that moment, I thought, “I can’t do this anymore.” I prayed and said to God, “Either have mercy on me and bring me home or teach me how to live.”

A girlfriend called about an hour later, who I hadn’t heard from for years. She turned me on to a coach and this coach taught me how to live. The very first thing that he talked to me about and I do this in all of my coursework is, “What are your values? Design your life not based on anybody’s expectations, not even your own because your own have often been given to you, but create a life based on those values and what’s important to you.” What was important to me was my relationships. No matter how much I wanted to hustle, how important a business was to me, my highest value was my relationships. That was what slowed me down and made me realize, “I can’t spend 80 hours a week. I have the capacity, but I can’t do it because my life feels bad.”

What do you say to those people who are in the hustle right now? They are trying to make ends meet. They are putting one foot in front of the other. They are in the grind right now. For you and I, we’ve both been in that grind. We’ve both been in that 80, 90, 100 hours a week. For me, personally, working a W2 job, trying to get out and become financially free in these situations, and all sort of stuff. What do you say to those people who are in that right now? How do you give confidence that it’s going to be okay?

The very first thing that I will talk to them about is, “What are their values? Why are they doing that hustle? What are the values that you’re trying to satisfy? What’s the goal that you’re trying to get to?” Find ways to make that hustle livable because, for some of us, it’s necessary. It was necessary for me. It was necessary for you. Find ways to make that livable so that you don’t burn out. You don’t want to get to the other side either and be completely burnt out. Set milestones for yourself. You’re hustling. You’re working an 80-hour week. When does that stop for you? Is it a year? When are you going to re-evaluate? The other thing is you may be hustling. You may not be hustling towards your goal. Things may not be working.

For me, if you’re in the hustle and you’re working that hard, every six months, re-evaluate, “Is this hustle going to get me where I want to go?” That way, you can pivot or refocus if you need to. Keep going. You want to keep re-evaluating and then get to that place where it doesn’t become a habit because hustling is adrenaline-filled. It can be exciting on many levels. It can become a habit and a distraction to what you want in your life. Those are the sorts of things I would tell them.

It’s so important to keep a level mindset in terms of running your own race because so many people compare themselves to other people. Back to your analogy of going up in Iceland, going up to that glacier, taking the long journey and it’s your journey. That’s okay that it’s your journey. It comes a lot from being self-aware. You have to take care of yourself mentally to allow yourself the mental freedom to not compare yourself constantly to other people because that is what we were. We’re always in this constant struggle of like, “So-and-so is doing this and I’m in my job. I haven’t broken free. I haven’t got financially free.”

No one else can fix your life. Only you can. Click To Tweet

It’s okay that you’re in that position. Give yourself some permission to allow yourself to be okay in that situation. It will change and know it will change over time. I think people forget that because they’re only looking at the 4×4 inches box. They’re not looking at the big picture. Sometimes you do have to take that time to make sure that you’re checking in, recalibrating if need be, and understanding that this needs to be sustainable growth in a hustle, not necessarily a burning out type of growth.

My youngest sister had a little boy. He’s the dream of everybody in the family. He’s adorable. His mom said something about his eye was a little bit off. They got it fixed or whatever. My other sister said, “Everybody should realize that he’s perfect the way he is as long as we don’t compare to other people.” It’s true. That was so profound. We’re all in our perfect place and we are perfect as long as we don’t succumb to comparing ourselves to others. Our life is ours. You may not feel like everything is going perfect, but trust that you are perfectly where you are and that you will get to where you want to go. It doesn’t matter what anybody else is doing.

I’m going to stuff up the quote, but I don’t know who the author was. It talks about LA is three hours behind New York, yet it’s three hours in front of Hawaii. It’s not that Hawaii is late or LA or New York is early. It’s their own time. You’re not late. You’re not early. You’re just on time because you’re running your own race. It compares the time in the world and it’s so true. You’re not late. You’re not early. You’re on time and it’s your time. It’s your journey and that’s okay. Tell me more about what you do in terms of how you’re giving back to the wider community. I bet you’ve got a great book that has got an incredible award. You’ve got your show going on and you’ve also got your real estate investment business. Talk about those three facets of what makes you tick now in the world.

I have a real estate show called Real Estate Investing for Women, where we focus on mindset, heartset, emotional mastery, money smarts and real estate strategy. It’s a very holistic approach to creating a blissful real estate business and creating wealth that way. That’s my big focus. I invest in executive properties. If anybody ever wanted to know what that is, come listen to my show. I have very streamlined strategies on how to keep everything blissful. I have that going on. One of the big bliss things for me is I give back to the community in teaching right through my show. I also am very involved in a school for the poor in India. That’s where a lot of my money goes. This is one of the things that we think about like, “Why are we building wealth? What does it allow us to do?” For me, it gives me the time freedom and financial freedom to do things in the bigger world. I can run my show. I can help children in India. I can spend more time with my family and my nephew or my friends. Those are the sorts of things that I’m doing.

My real estate investing business could retire me now. I have the time freedom that I have always wanted. The show is my big thing. I do have a couple of other books. If you look up Moneeka Sawyer on Amazon, you’ll find several books under my name. I released another one called Real Estate Investing for Women and I have a fun one that’s called Your Amazing Itty Bitty Blissful Real Estate Investing Book. It’s 40 pages. That’s also available on Amazon. Those were my three big things. I built my real estate business in about 25 years. I put together a report of how did I do that so that I could retire. I started with $10,000 and now I can retire. I’ve put together that report. That’s available to your audience for free if they would like it at BlissfulInvestor.com.

You’ve got a whole brand in and around educating women. Why is there a lack of women in the real estate space? I was even looking back at my shows. I’ve only had maybe less than a dozen women over 220 episodes.

It’s interesting because real estate agents, there are a ton of women, but as far as being investors, I don’t know. Maybe we haven’t been educated right. I’m not sure what’s going on there. It’s so frustrating to me, which is why I am focused on women. The other thing that’s very interesting is that we see investing as a male world and it can be intimidating. What women don’t realize is that we are brought up in America. We are brought up in a male-dominant world. We are forced to learn how to succeed in that environment. We learn the skills. We learn the way to think. We learn all of those male-dominant ways of doing business.

We also inherently by default have the feminine ways of doing business. We’re intuitive. We can see the bigger picture. We can multitask. Men can multitask too. It’s just done differently. I just want to clarify that. We bring different skills to the world and the business world. As women, we have the benefit of having male skills as well as female skills, but we don’t value our female skills. If you marry those two together, we are amazing investors. We have an understanding that most men don’t have access to unless they plug into the other side. We’re amazing investors and I want to support that.

I have a hard time finding women speakers for my show for that same reason. It’s time for us to step into the leadership of our own lives and create the financial freedom that we can have and deserve. Everybody deserves that. I don’t know either because I was brought up in a household where I was taught all about money. I feel very fortunate. I didn’t realize how many women are like, “I don’t get it. I don’t know how to pursue that.” A lot of education is by men with the language that feels uncomfortable.

I think of this historically where the man is going out to be the breadwinner and the female is at home taking care of the kids and, “Don’t you worry yourself with the finances. I’ve got it sorted.” That’s completely shifting and hopefully, it continues to shift. You’re trying to put a megaphone up to the issue and enticing more people into the world of real estate, particularly female, a popular part of the population. It’s important because it’s empowering. The more people can be empowered to learn about something, particularly the female part of the population has not had the opportunities because of the way we’ve been brought up for many years. To want to take that stand and say, “I want to learn about something. I want to learn about this financial freedom. I want to learn about creating financial wealth for myself and my family because that’s the whole point, to give me time freedom to spend with my kids, to spend with my family, to grow as a human being.” You talked about feminine energy and that is important. We all have it in ourselves. It’s just an ability to tap into it in certain ways. You’re doing an incredible job of giving a megaphone.

The school that I support in India is a coed school. Because here’s the thing with empowering women. If a woman is fighting and screaming, “Pay attention. Respect me,” people are going to hear, but people don’t learn by words. We need the support of our entire community and that means our men. If men are not going to support the empowerment of women, it’s going to be a huge, long journey. As the men come on board, now we all are lifted up together. Every single one of you who is willing to be a voice as an ally of women’s empowerment, we need you and appreciate you. Your voice is important too.

REW 57 | Real Estate Women

Real Estate Women: We’re all in our perfect place and we are perfect as long as we don’t succumb to comparing ourselves to others. Our life is ours.

 

There are some weird statistics out there in the S&P 500. There are only less than fifteen women who are CEOs, yet more than 25 of those CEOs are called David. It takes all boats to rise. Everyone needs to be pulling in the right direction, not just the female community saying, “We want to do this.” It’s about also the other side of the coin, the male community saying yes and acknowledging and telling that community, “We’re seeing and hearing you. You have a place at the table and you should always have a place at the table.”

We all value that. Men are greatly improved and evolved by recognizing that also. Like I said, my husband is an incredible, beautiful human being and so much of that is he values me. He’s not just an incredible, beautiful human being to me, he’s also respected everywhere because he has a good understanding of what respect looks like for everybody.

I have one question before we dive into the top five investing tips. What are your plans for 2020 and beyond, both business and personally?

I’ve got a summit coming up, my very first summit. It’s online virtually. I was originally going to have it live in person and then I felt very limited by that. I want to be able to reach as many people as possible so making it virtual allowed me to do that. I’ve got that going on. I’m probably going to release a book because that’s what I do. I love being an author. Look me up as Moneeka Sawyer on Amazon to see what happens there. Everything in life is a surprise. I love the new surprises that I’m inspired to do. Honestly, I want to invest in one more property. My goal is to be able to retire in Silicon Valley. Right now, I could retire. I would have to move. I want to be able to retire here so my husband can continue to be supported in working because he loves being a software programmer and this is where the work is. I’m going to be buying a couple of more properties, probably changing my strategy from an equity strategy to a cashflow strategy. Those are some of the things that I’m learning about, growing in and excited about.

At the end of every show, we like to dive into the top five investing tips. What is the daily habit that you practice to keep you on track towards your goals?

I have a good morning routine and anytime I miss it, I feel out of sorts. It’s super simple. I can go through it in a couple of minutes. I wake up and my alarm goes off and I push snooze. Everybody says, “Don’t push snooze.” I always push snooze and that time between my two snoozes is when I do my gratitude practice. I have a very specific way that I do that. Anyways, I do my gratitude practice, get out of bed, get dressed and feed the dog. My husband and I go for a beautiful walk together with the dog and have some coffee together. We make some eye contact before we split between for our days. I come home and I do some mindset tools. It depends on what I’m into. On that day, maybe I read, watch a video on YouTube or recite something. I do some positive affirmation and then I sit down at my desk at 10:00. I get my exercise, meditation, affirmations and gratitude. I get it all.

It’s so important to keep that morning ritual sacred for yourself because it helps you start the day and get involved into the next 8, 9 or 10 hours, however long you work for. Who is the most influential person in your career to date?

It’s my dad.

In your business, there would have to be an influential tool. When I say tool, it could be software or it could be a physical tool like a phone or a person. What is the most influential tool in your business on a day-to-day basis?

Books.

Books you’re reading or you’re writing?

REW 57 | Real Estate Women

Real Estate Women: You may not feel like everything is going perfect, but trust that you are perfectly where you are and that you will get to where you want to go.

 

I would say I’m reading. I’m always reading something. That’s not necessarily part of my morning routine, but at lunchtime, I can’t help it. I love to read. At some point during the day, I will read something that moves me forward to what it is that I’m doing tomorrow and what I’m doing in my business. I would say my Kindle, specifically.

In one sentence, what has been the biggest failure in your career to date and what did you learn from that failure?

I bought this place that I live in, my dream home. I bought it in 2008 and within six months, it lost 50% of its value. I lost $500,000 in six months. What I learned is it’s so important to stay blissful because my whole life would have blown up. If I didn’t have the skills that I had, I would never be where I am now, but instead, I engaged my bliss strategies, held onto the property and kept my head. It turned around and turned into a good thing. The truth is stay blissful, manage your emotions, be resilient and have mastery. Be very intentional about how you’re living you’re life. When things go wrong, be intentional about how you solve those issues.

Moneeka, where can people reach you to continue the conversation if they want to be in your sphere and want to learn more about what you do?

Moneeka Sawyer is where you find me everywhere, @MoneekaSawyer on Facebook and Instagram. You can go to BlissfulInvestor.com to find out about my books, my programs and my podcast is called Real Estate Investing for Women. You can find that anywhere podcasts are.

I want to thank you for jumping on the show. I want to reflect on the things that I took away from the show. I think the number one thing that I took away from the show is that no one can fix your life, only you can. That’s so important in this world of, we want to blame other people for the situation we’re in and not taking control and not owning up to your shit and turning it around. Blaming your parents, your upbringing, your husband or the dog. We all get into that mindset, but it’s also making sure that you’re self-aware enough to take yourself out of it. Have your morning rituals that are going to keep you grounded and make sure you are in a blissful state to not be so reactive in the situation, and understand more what the long-term game is. Did I leave anything out?

No, that was beautiful. Thank you for that summary.

Thank you so much for jumping on the show. Enjoy the rest of your week and we’ll catch up very soon.

Thank you.

There you have it. It’s another cracking episode and jam-packed with some incredible advice from Moneeka Sawyer. Please make sure you check out all her stuff. She’s all over Facebook. She’s all over Instagram. She’s all over the Google webs in terms of making all her books on Amazon. Make sure you head over to BlissfulInvestor.com or check out her show, Real Estate Investing for Women on any way you podcast. I want to thank you all for taking some time out of your day to tune in to continue to grow your financial IQ because that’s what we’re all about here on this show. We’ll do it all again next episode. Be bold, be brave and remember, go give life a crack.

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The Role Sabotage Plays In Our Money Relationship With Jennifer Love – Real Estate Women

REW 56 | Money Relationship

 

There is so much more to our relationship with wealth than the things it can afford us. It also goes deeper into our mental and emotional state and wellbeing. While working hard to earn, we can’t help but sabotage ourselves by being sucked into overwhelm and anxiety. It is time to develop a healthier relationship with money as Moneeka Sawyer sits down with Money Therapist, Wealth Philosopher, and CEO of the Living Wealthy InstituteJennifer Love. In this episode, they discuss the different money personalities that can help inform us about how we are with money, the nature of money, and how we can learn to start living wealthy by making financial decisions that are in alignment with who we are. Join them as they take us further down into developing a healthy relationship with wealth and do what we can with it in the world.

Listen to the podcast here:

The Role Sabotage Plays In Our Money Relationship With Jennifer Love – Real Estate Women

Real Estate Investing For Women

I am so excited to welcome to the show Jennifer Love. She’s a Money Therapist, Wealth Philosopher, an ally of nature, advocate for emotions, top 5% internationally-acclaimed business advisor and dark chocolate enthusiast. She’s an award-winning five times career entrepreneurial with many years under her comfy Keds. She retired her high heels years ago. She is a thought leader with a heart that matches her name. Her degrees, Training and Research in Human and Organizational Behavior Psychology are the foundation of her clinical work.

She’s the visionary CEO of the Living Wealthy Institute helping rural leaders develop a healthy relationship with wealth free from overwhelm and anxiety by following a regenerative money equation for a holistic and nourishing experience. Leaders who know how to raise, manage, grow and contribute money can live soulful wealthy lives to become allies for future generations to come. She believes anything is possible while remaining grounded in science, real business practices and hard financial analytics. A former client once said about Jennifer, “With Jennifer, the only possible outcome is success.” Jennifer, welcome to the show.

Thanks.

Why don’t you jump in and give us a bit of your story?

It doesn't matter how much money we have. It's not about the money. It's about what's going on inside of us. Click To Tweet

I’ll take us back to the three-year old me. The three-year-old me was standing in a dark hallway in my parents’ home in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. My brother is taking a nap in the other room. I’m hearing my parents fighting. I can hear my father punching holes in the walls. Before I knew it, my father is walking down the hallway past me and out the door. I turned and look at my mom. She’s sitting on the bed and she’s crying. I go to her. I crawl up on the bed. I see the cut up credit cards sitting next to her. She looks to me. She’s crying and she says, “We don’t have any money. Your dad’s leaving and he’s not coming back.” My father was an entrepreneur. We lived quite rich up to that point.

That was the day that we went from being rich to being in poverty for a while. I lived in an ant house. We call it the rat house. What was the impression that was made on me that day was watching my mother become financially disempowered and not ever recovering from that fully. That made a big imprint in my life. There were a few other imprints that were made that day too. If it’s okay, I’ll go ahead and share how those imprints were made, what I did with them and how they ended up sabotaging me in the long run. We all have our own stories and money narratives. This is part of the work that I’m doing to help leaders unpack this for themselves.

My story coming through that day was one, I’m not good enough because I’m not good enough for dad to stay. I’m going to save the day. I’m going to make it all okay for mom somehow and rescue her. That ended up turning into overcompensating through achievement. In high school, I was the gal who was getting great grades. I was on the flag team. I walked our high school down the Rose Parade. I was front and center doing that. I won an art competition. Universal Studios won the competition. This goes on and on, going all the way through Missionettes, which is the girl scout version all the way through. My list goes on and on.

By the time that I was 29 years old, I had already started three companies. One of my clients asked me to come over and take over as CEO for a short period of time. It’s a mortgage bank. This was what brought me from San Diego at that time to New York City. There were 100 people in that company. By the time I was 30, I was running a mortgage bank with over 100 people. It’s pretty impressive we might say. In my early 30s, I was the CEO of an award-winning wholesale chocolate company doing millions and all that great stuff. The problem was that, in theory, this all sounds great on paper. By the time that I was in my early 30s, while I had all the accolades, I had all the credentials, I was emotionally bankrupt. I had sabotaged my own ability to feel like I could live wealthy in my life.

REW 56 | Money Relationship

Money Relationship: When we shove that emotion down, and we don’t deal with it, it’s going to begin to express itself out in other ways.

 

During this time, I was also bulimic. I was bulimic for a few years. Behind the scenes, I’m a hot mess. In front of the scenes, I looked like I got it all together. I was miserable and suffering inside. I was making it all about the money. What the story that was running me was I got to save the day. I got to make it all okay. I got to prove that I’m enough. I prove that I’m enough. That was driving me. These are the kinds of stories that are driving us a lot. What did I do about all that? Clearly, I’ve been doing work for a long time to move through all of this for myself.

I’m the gal who moved from my twenties drinking two pots of coffee a day and not sleeping two nights a week to having a 2 to 4-hour morning ritual and routine. It’s a big shift in my life. What I learned through doing my own inner work and reclaiming my living wealthy power, I found out that I matter. I am enough. I care deeply. I have a lot of tenacity. I’m incredible at building things. I have great capacity for wealth. I began to unpack all that for myself to understand that what I needed was to become my own best friend, to find compassion for myself, to accept myself exactly as I was with what was happening underneath the covers, which was all this unprocessed emotionality.

It is interesting because someone who was very wealthy but couldn’t live like they were wealthy. People must think, “That’s easy for you to say. I like to get there.” There’s a whole range. You call it money personalities. There’s a whole range of money personalities from wealthy, not able to live wealthy, poor and trying to get wealthy. Could you talk a little bit about these money personalities and how that shows up for different people?

Before I do, to bullet what you’ve said, underline and bold it as well, you’re right. There’s an interesting distinction that a lot of people hold because a person has money that somehow their life is easier. I’m here to say, I work with those who are struggling financially to the millionaires, billionaires and everything in between. What I find is that we can all be prisoners inside of ourself. It doesn’t matter how much money we have. It’s not about the money. It’s about what’s going on inside of us. That affects how much money we have. Going to the person, the money personalities, there’s the avoider, which is the most common especially amongst women leaders and women entrepreneurs I find.

Often, emotions in this world are not given a space. Click To Tweet

We’re avoiding money. Even those who might have a lot of money in the bank, they’re still avoiding. Maybe they’re emotional avoiders but they’re still avoiding money in some way. I’ve worked with those who’ve made $10 million and lost it twice. That’s its own form of avoidance and how they’re being in relationship with those in their life, their relationship with money, how that’s even happening and how that’s playing out in their life. We’re all avoiding. The avoidance isn’t necessarily just, “I’m not looking at spreadsheets. I’m not managing my finances.” It comes in these increasingly nuanced ways and becomes very sophisticated overtime. It’s the money avoider.

The second one is the one where we’re trying to keep up with the Joneses. This is where it’s never ever enough. There’s the cautioner. The cautioner we can think of the Ebenezer Scrooge. Ebenezer Scrooge is curmudgeon-y. He’s got lots of money. His finances are in order but they’re a prisoner inside themselves as well. They’re not happy. They’re not living wealthy. They’ll sacrifice themselves for $1. These are some of the money personalities. There are more. There’s a rebel as well who’s like, “I’m going to do whatever I want, whenever I want, however I want.”

I’m beginning to over time with some of the research I’ve been doing with my clinical work to identify a few more. We’ll see how those begin to express themselves over time. It’s been interesting to have my research and the research that I’ve been doing on these many personalities confirmed by some of the other financial psychologists out there and what they’re seeing as well. We can see that some of how we express ourselves as primarily through one of these forms usually or there might be a secondary. There’s a personality type test and many personality tests that we can take. If someone’s interested in doing that, they can certainly head over to our website. I’d be happy to walk them through it.

There was something interesting in your bio where you talked about being an emotions advocate. I know that a lot of these imprints happen through an emotional response, an emotional reaction or something that was emotional in our life with you watching your dad walk out and see your mom crying. There’s a whole image that happens that imprints in our mind. It creates an entire emotional response. For me, I wrote a book called Choose Bliss. Bliss is about allowing ourselves to have all of those emotions but not living in the emotions except the ones that serve you.

All of them are clues whether you’re in ecstasy or despair. All of those are clues about what’s going on in your life. Where you want to live is in that place where I call bliss, which is this deep sense of joy and contentment. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have all the other stuff and we don’t have challenges but we have to honor the emotions. Bring ourselves back to an emotional home that serves our life and helps us to feel joy. That’s my perspective on emotions. I’d love to hear yours since you talk about being an emotional advocate, which most people will not even talk about. I’d love to hear your take on that.

We’re living in a world where emotions are often especially the intense emotions. Even what we would classify as positive emotions is often poo-pooed. “Don’t get too excited. Don’t celebrate too much.” It can be too muchness. Often emotions in this world are not given a space. My story is a perfect example of how repressed emotion begins to express itself. I see and I hold that there are all these different aspects of ourselves. I call it the four worlds of humanity. Nothing new about what I’m about to say, spiritual, mental, emotional and physical aspects of ourselves. What is interesting is we are not listening to our emotions. Let’s say anger, for example. I’m angry that my father left but I’m not processing it because I’m pretending like I’m fine. It’s the “I’m fine” syndrome.

When we shove that emotion down and we don’t deal with it, it’s going to begin to express itself out in other ways. That might begin to express itself out in thought, which it did for me. “I’m somehow not good enough. I need to go prove that I’m good enough.” That was a thought process that I was having because I wasn’t dealing with what was happening for me emotionally with that imprint in my life and that experience. It started also showing up behaviorally. I became bulimic, its form of trying to sooth myself. I’m trying to move and process something out of me that I can’t seem to deal with. It’s expressing itself in another form. If I had continued with that, that could have brought all kinds of other things, stress, anxiety. It creates all kinds of things in our life, our hearts, cancer. We know this has been proven over time in science and research.

REW 56 | Money Relationship

Money Relationship: The simple truth about the nature of money is that it’s our natural state of being.

 

It also shows up spiritually over time. I call it the scar tissue that begins to build up when we’re not dealing. We’re not handling the repression in our life or the ways that we’re operating in our life that are not what we desire, that are not wholesome. In the spiritual aspect, what that might look like is I’m feeling very disconnected from my purpose. I don’t even feel like I belong. I don’t have a sense of belonging. What are my passions? What am I passionate about my creativity? I’m not even connected to it. I’m not even been doing any of it. Emotions have a lot to do with everything coming back to this. When we repress anger, sadness, despair, fear or whatever other emotion we can insert, it’s coming out in some way, shape or form. It just looks different.

Much like you, I see emotions as our friends. I’m like, “Come on, anger. Sit down right next to me. Let’s have a talk. What’s going on?” We hear a lot about emotional intelligence but we don’t necessarily know what that means. I see that emotions are packed. They’re like nutrient dense soil that’s super-packed with information about what’s going on. I call it our North Star. It doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong. There’s a very big distinction between our truth in the moment and right or wrong, good or bad. We’re not going to be dualistic about this. It’s, “What’s happening to me? I’m angry. No wonder my chest feels tight.”

What are the thoughts that are happening? I’m feeling upset that my father walked out the door. At three years old, I’m not doing this practice but I’m walking you through the example. “I’m angry about the situation. What do I need?” We can begin to understand what our needs are in that moment. What are our unmet needs? I believe that we’re walking around in a world with a whole bunch of people that have a whole lot of unmet needs. They are making all kinds of financial, world and business decisions that are based in fear, anger and sadness. They don’t even know it.

We’ve talked a little bit about the nature of us. Let’s move to the nature of money since we’re talking about being wealthy. Talk to me a little bit about your perspective on that. Tell us a simple truth about the nature of money.

I believe that the simple truth about the nature of money is that it’s our natural state of being. I think we’re born naturally wealthy. Why I bring nature into the dialogue and conversation is because I believe that nature is one of our greatest teachers. We’ve lost connection with one of our greatest teachers and gifts in life. That’s Mother Nature herself. I’ll give you an example. A couple of years ago, I was in Tulum, Mexico. It’s a great spot. I learned that the soil there is primarily made of limestone so it’s super hard soil. Most of the ecosystem has a hard time rooting down, especially in times of drought. Below this limestone and soil are these cenotes. Cenotes are caves that are filled with water.

Most of the ecosystem above the cenotes can’t root down to access in a time of drought, except that there are some trees that are strong and big enough to be able to break through that limestone, go down into the cenote and bring the water up into itself. Here’s a cool part. This is where it gets interesting to me. It begins to share the water with the ecosystem around it through the microbiome, fungi and bacteria in the dirt in the soil. It communicates with the other ecosystem around it so that it can support the system around it being incredibly generous with what it has to support what is suffering and what’s having a hard time.

We're walking around in a world with a whole bunch of people that have a whole lot of unmet needs. Click To Tweet

Does it have to do that? No. Why does it do that? It’s because a more flourishing ecosystem creates a better environment for the trees. All that microbiome and the fungi, when it goes on the tree it’s supporting it. It’s helping it. It’s feeding it in its own certain way. The tree knows inherently that if all of the ecosystem is taken care of, that not only is it better for everyone, it’s better for me too. Nature has all these incredible, simple principles that I believe we can look out in relationship with wealth, money, how to behave, to learn from and reconnect with. To me, coming back to the question, I believe that our natural state is much like nature. It’s naturally being wealthy.

I believe that the biggest joy of being wealthy is what we can do with it in the world. It’s not who can we give to. I believe that people also do not value what they’ve been given. I don’t know if you disagree with me on this but there has to be some level of deserving your own respect and wealth. It was handed to you. You may go into that whole thing about, “I don’t deserve it. I’m very entitled.” There’s weird stuff that happens when things are given. However, I do donate. There’s a lot of stuff. There’s no need to talk about all that. The point that I’m trying to make is our ability as wealthy people to make the world a better place through the work that we do is the biggest joy of being wealthy and is the most fulfilling piece of it. I love that you talk about it that way because that was a perfect example of how that shows up. It’s not as obvious in our human community of how that works.

What you described that being generous, being in relationship with our wealth, that’s how it can be. It’s not for everyone who has wealth. It’s not but it can be. Much about that state, which is what I call living wealthy, that natural state of beingness, feeling free, feeling full where it’s regenerative rather than just like, “I want to suck it all up and store it over here for myself.” That is not a natural principle. Money is meant to flow. Money is simply energy. In fact, money only becomes what we make it. Money, I believe, is that quietness in space, that nothingness. Money is what we make it mean, what we make it be through our energy.

This is how I see it here. If we clear ourselves of what is blocking us, clogging us, the traumas, the stories, the emotional pain, it’s so much easier for everything to flow in and out. I had a vision several years ago. It’s a cool vision. I drew myself. It was on a New Year’s Eve evening, intention setting, party. I loved it. I had this vision of myself. I was standing out in nature with the trees and the birds. My face was tilted up to the sun. The sun was beaming down on me. My arms were open wide. I’m standing there feeling totally free and open. The sun was pouring these beautiful rays, different colors, red, orange, yellow and white into my heart.

I was standing there not needing to do anything just receiving it. Out of my stomach was a magnification, 10 to 100 times bigger light coming out of my stomach feeding the world. I was being filled. I didn’t need to do anything because it was coming right through me. It was like I was a prison for more being shared. That is how I hold myself in my life. The only way that we can live into that fully, that kind of an experience where it’s like receive and share, however sharing means for you based on your values, I hope. That’s what’s possible but if we clear it.

You have created something that you call the living wealthy model. They know that we’re going to do a deep dive on this, which I’m excited in EXTRA. Could you give us a high level what that means?

The first phase of the living wealthy model is getting awareness. This isn’t a new concept out there in the world. Getting awareness of what is identifying what’s happening inside of you. That’s what we’ve been talking about in this conversation in a certain way. It’s getting clear on what are the emotions that I’m having, what thoughts are those creating, what’s happening for me behaviorally and how’s that showing up in my purpose in life. We can’t get around it. I work with a lot of folks who have done a certain amount of personal or spiritual development. They come and meet with me. It’s like a whole other level.

I had a client at the end of 2020. She’s like, “Jennifer, I feel like I was the marble and you were Michelangelo. You created the Dave.” I said, ” Let’s make sure that we’re clear here. I handed you the pick. You were Michelangelo creating your own David.” That’s what the experience is. It’s like taking away all of the things that don’t belong there. Once we have an awareness of what is there, that creates understanding, it creates another level of understanding about what’s going on inside of us, how it got started, why. We get to this construction zone, I call it. In this construction zone is a constructive choice.

We can either beat the hell out of ourselves. The three-headed drama lama, I call it, comes out. The bully comes out. My expression of the bully is the Hulk. We all have it. Is the bully coming out? Is the victim coming out? Is the hero coming out? What is that looking like? It’s this inner critic that we all have in here. Do we understand what happened by the unpacking, getting the awareness, identifying what’s there and going, “No wonder?” In which leads us down the path into compassion for ourselves. When we can access that compassion, we can get to this place where we can move into acceptance, acceptance of what is. We can move into forgiveness, whether that’s of self or of other. With that, we can then begin to excavate.

This is where I have a lot of fun with clients. I take their hand and I’m like, “Come on. Let’s go inside. Let’s take a look. Do you see all that shit over there? Let’s clean it up. I’m getting the dump truck. We’re backing it in. Get the shovels. Load it up. Let’s get this out.” What’s left is all this beautiful gold inside of them. It’s like, “How do we clean this all up? How do we get that gold inside of you to shine so bright?” We enter then into the phase that requires discipline. It’s integration. I call it the practice field. This is where I do a lot of practices, all kinds of practices of clients. We often think that, “I got the information. I’m clear on what is happening inside of me. I’m good.” I’m like, “Did you decide that you got the awareness, you’re going to go climb Mount Everest? You went. You got the backpack, some of the equipment and you’re going to go up to the summit. Is that how it goes? No.”

REW 56 | Money Relationship

Money Relationship: Make sure that when you’re making these financial kinds of decisions that you’re doing it in alignment with who you are. That’s part of living wealthy.

 

We don’t expect ourselves to do that in a physical aspect. Somehow when it comes to our mental and our emotional aspect, we seem to have a lot less patience. We got to enter that integration practice field for quite a while so that the full alchemy of remapping that whole humanness can happen. Once we do and we’re fully committed to that process, then we enter embodiment. That’s where we become liberated where possibility, choice and freedom like I was describing that flow. Freedom is possible where we are open and live wealthy. That’s the wealthy living model.

We’re going to do a little deeper dive in EXTRA. What does that look like?

I’m going to share some contemplation questions to get the ladies here started on the first phase of awareness by helping them unpack and identify what’s there.

Ladies, that’s going to be cool. Let’s stay in tune for that. Jennifer, could you tell everybody how they can reach you?

It’s easy. Head over to JenniferLove.com or you can find me on Instagram @TheJenniferLove.

I know that you had a free wealth assessment. That’s at JenniferLove.com.

That’s right. Free wealth assessment gives you a lot of great insight into what’s going on for you with your wealth and living wealthy.

Thank you for that. Are you ready for our three rapid fire questions?

Yes, ma’am.

Jennifer, tell us one super tip on getting started investing in real estate.

My tip here is to leverage your network. A lot of what I see, whether it’s investing in real estate or investing in your business doesn’t matter. People think that they don’t have the network that can support them in doing the funding. I call bullshit. I wrote a Huffington Post article several years ago. There are 600 people that want to fund you and those 600 people are in your own life. There was a New York Times article several years before that showed how the average person, the average American at least, knows 600 people in their life who would be willing to support them in some way, shape or form. Not necessarily direct money but be able to connect them with other. I’ve done a lot of fundraising over the years with my own companies and with other people. I’ve helped to raise over $100 million. I know a little bit about asking people for money. Whether that comes to real estate deals or anything else in your life, you can leverage your network. There’s one tip here. Sit down. Make a list of the 600 people you know and ask.

What is one strategy to be successful in real estate investing?

First of all, investing yourself greatly. Making decisions when you’ve got all that stuff inside of you is not going to go so well in long-term. Believe me, I know. The second suggestion I have here is especially for the newbies or those who are still figuring it out. Put on your science lab hat and make it the experiment. It doesn’t have to be perfect upfront. It’s not like you’re going to get all the great returns right away. Make it an experimentation process and go in like a scientist. My grandfather was one of the first scientists in the United States to work on penicillin. If he hadn’t put on his science hat, where would we be?

The same rings are true for anything in our life, including being successful in real estate. Start by being realistic. Invest in real estate based on your values. That might mean doing it a little different. Maybe one of your values is sustainability. You’re all about investing in revitalization. You can still make great money investing in real estate based on your values. Make sure that when you’re making these financial kinds of decisions that you’re doing it in alignment with who you are. That’s part of living wealthy.

Running our businesses through our values, through the filter of our values makes it much more meaningful too. What would you say is one daily practice that contributes to your personal success?

I started out there with the morning routine and ritual. That is huge for me. I’ll share what that looks like. For me, that’s breath. That is contemplation. I spend time in the mornings contemplating. It’s where all the magic for me. I’m a 4:00 to 6:00 AM wake up time. Contemplation, meditation, visualization, all of the things but also pandiculation. Pandiculation is a form of stretching. It’s like what the animals do. It’s not stretching out as far as we can go range of motion. It’s resistance against so that we create the tension to get rid of the tenseness in our body. Pandiculation is a very powerful way that I open my body up. I open my heart up. I open my mind up. I turned myself on. I have a connection practice where I connect with myself and the planet. That’s my morning ritual.

Money is meant to flow. Money is simply energy. In fact, money only becomes what we make it. Click To Tweet

Thank you for that. This has been amazing. Thank you so much for what you’ve shared on this portion of the show.

You’re welcome.

I can’t wait to talk in EXTRA more about the living wealthy model. Ladies, thank you for joining Jennifer and I for this portion of the show. Stay tuned for EXTRA. We’re going to be talking more and doing a deep dive on how to get started in that living wealthy model, which is what we’re all here about to live wealthy, blissful lives. I’m excited about that. If you are subscribed, stay tuned. If you’re not but would like to be, to go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenEXTRA.com. You get seven days for free. You can download a ton of great content and then stay or not, whatever you prefer. For those of you that are leaving Jennifer and I, thank you so much for joining us for this portion of the show. I look forward to seeing you next time. Until then remember, goals without action are just dreams. Get out there, take action and create the life your heart deeply desires. I’ll see you soon. Bye.

 Important Links:

About Jennifer Love

REW 56 | Money Relationship

Jennifer Love is a wealth philosopher, money therapist and the founding CEO of The Living Wealthy Institute. She is a sought after advisor to world leaders and an international speaker, author and educator weaving the aspects of our humanity into her garden conversation about the nature of wealth.

Award winning, 5x career entrepreneur with 20+ years under her comfy Keds, Jennifer Love is a thought leader with a heart that matches her name. For almost two decades, Jennifer has studied human and organizational behavior, and the relationship leaders have with their wealth and money. Metamorphosis and the patterns of nature inform her methodology. She unpacks our dichotomy of emotional poverty to reunite us with our innate desire to be free.

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Using Both Sides Of Your Brain In REI – The Art And Science Of Off-Market Acquisition With Jeff Stephens – Real Estate For Women

REW 55 Jeff Stephens | Off-Market Acquisition

 

If you’re following an extremely conventional path of looking only at listed properties, you only get to grow at the rate the market says you can grow. There’s freedom in off-market acquisition that allows you to focus more on connecting with your clients. Moneeka Sawyer’s guest for today is Jeff Stephens, the founder of The Thoughtful Real Estate EntrepreneurMoneeka and Jeff discuss using both sides of your brain when interacting with your clients. Real estate tends to be very left-brain. Jeff explains you work best when you use both. You need to be analytic but also empathetic. Tune in to learn more! 

Listen to the podcast here:

Using Both Sides Of Your Brain In REI – The Art And Science Of Off-Market Acquisition With Jeff Stephens – Real Estate For Women

Real Estate Investing For Women

I am excited to welcome Jeff Stephens to the show. He is the Founder of The Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur and host of the show, Racking Up Rentals. Jeff is a full-time real estate entrepreneur by day and a real estate investing mentor, coach and podcaster. His focus both as a real estate entrepreneur and coaching others is on growing a rental real estate portfolio that builds long-term wealth through the timeless fundamentals of relationship and negotiation directly with the seller to buy off-market properties with seller financing. You can visit him at ThoughtfulRE.com for more information and we’ll talk a little bit more about that. Thank you, Jeff, for coming to the show. It’s nice to see you again 

It’s nice to see you too. Thank you for letting me be a guest on your awesome show. 

It’s my pleasure. Ladies, when I was on Racking Up Rentals, that was probably one of the nicest, most blissful conversations I’ve had on someone else’s show. You need to go check it out. It was good. I love this whole idea of thoughtful real estate. It’s very aligned with my idea of bliss. Jeff, could you tell us about your story and what brought you to where you are now? 

The right approach to real estate investing is the approach that feels most authentic and aligned. Click To Tweet

I first fell in love with real estate probably in the way a lot of peope did, which is we picked up a book that has a lot of purples and the word Rich Dad in the name. This is going on many years ago. I got excited and I’m a high-action taker. We bought a property. It was a very conventional deal and that went fine. It was not the most exciting transaction but it was okay. I got more excited. I got started, then learning some of the more entrepreneurial ways to do real estate. I went down the rabbit hole of all that education, but I’ve hit two walls that led me to where I am. 

The first wall was when I was attempting to do some wholesaling. Deep down, it didn’t feel super authentic to me, but I was taking action. I thought that’s what you were supposed to do. I had this traumatic experience one day, where somebody showed up on the doorstep of my own home. I had gotten myself into a transaction and I was trying to wholesale it. He was standing on my doorstep, angry, pointing at me and saying, “I see what you’re trying to do here. This is sleazy. We don’t do that kind of stuff around here.” 

Maybe that doesn’t sound that traumatic but for me, my whole life up to this point was like, “Jeff is a good boy. Jeff follows the rules. Jeff does the right thing, and this was my early twentiesThat rattled me to my core. It practically knocked me out of the game for about seven years. I continued to dabble, but I would do very benign types of things in real estate. Eventually, I thought, “I have to do more because I want to learn this.” I got back on the horse and I started learning again. I found that the more I connected with people, the more success I had in the sense that they liked me. We could come to an agreement, but I couldn’t always figure out how to structure the deals. 

The second wall I hit was when I saw that I had some peers who I respected who were getting deals done that I could not figure out how to do. When they would explain it to me, it sounded like they were speaking a completely different language. At that point, I hit that second wall. I did what I needed to do to learn more creative deal structuring. The two things clicked for me, an approach that felt authentic to who I was and secondly, the technical toolbox I needed to be able to get deals done. Those two things together then catapulted my progress from there. 

It’s interesting the way that you talked about that because one of the taglines of this show is, “Goals without action are just dreams. Get out there and take action.” First of all, when I say that, it’s because taking action is one of those barriers. A lot of people won’t act. They want to learn and learn. We get stuck in analysis paralysis. We get stuck in, “I need to take one more course. I don’t know enough.” However, just taking action is also not the solution. We want to take action, but we want to take intentional action. 

What I love most about what you talked about is this thing about feeling inauthentic or sleazy. It doesn’t matter one way or the other what anybody else thinks. What matters is what you think of yourself. A friend of mine, Leeza Gibbons, will often say, “You need to earn the right to your own respect.” Earning the right to your own respect is feeling good about who you are, how you’re showing up in the world, and what you’re doing. There are a million ways to make $1 million in real estate. Choose whatever makes you feel good. Learn about that and then take action. 

It’s the self-image of how you see yourself. I can’t think of anything much more important than either be an enabler or absolute restraints to where you’re trying to go. The right approach to real estate investing is the approach that feels most authentic and aligned. A word I think about a lot is alignment. Until you get that alignment, you’re just trying a lot of different things, but once you get it, for some reason, things seem to take off. 

They’re simpler. You’re more successful. You’re able to stick with it when challenges happen because we both know challenges always happen, then you’re able to get through them. It becomes more of a growth experience rather than a taking you off the horse experience like you had. 

It becomes a North Star. You get to a point. You find that challenge and say, “I know that my guiding light is in this direction because that is authentically who I am.” It does help navigate difficult decisions or situations. 

Let’s talk about what you do. You focus on owner financing, which means your acquisition process is going to be a little bit different. Let’s talk about that acquisition. You do more off-market rather than listed properties. 

My heart is in long-term holds. I love the fun, excitement and entrepreneurial opportunities of things like flips and whatnot, but I primarily look for long-term holds. In that process that I described there when I was stumbling around in the dark, trying to find alignment. I realized that I like to connect with people. I feel I’m an introvert, but I like to connect with people. They seem to like to connect with me. I thought, “There’s clearly a correlation between the success I’m having and my contact directly with the person on the other side of the table.” I started to think, “Do I need people or agents standing between me and a seller?” I started to realize, “No, I feel like it’s almost like I’m a tailor. If I can measure the seller in a lot of different ways, I can propose something that’s going to fit them well.” 

My whole approach now is finding the people with who I can connect and sit down face-to-face to see if we can work something out together. Oftentimes, that does lead to seller financing. I have a belief that as real estate entrepreneurs, we should get to have the right to grow our portfolios at the rate that we want to. I feel like if you’re following an extremely conventional path of looking only at listed properties and going only to banks and credit unions for loans, you get to grow at the rate that the market and lender say that you can grow. I like the freedom of these off-market deals and the seller financing that can come with them. 

REW 55 Jeff Stephens | Off-Market Acquisition

Off-Market Acquisition: Find people you can connect with and sit down face-to-face to see if you can work something out together.

 

Talk to me about this phrase that you use, “Solve the person, and then you can solve the deal.” I know you’ve already alluded to that, which is why I wanted to continue that conversation. 

I have a framework called the Y.E.S.S.E.S Framework. The two Ss in the middle are solve the person and then solve the deal, but solving the person comes first. What this means is real estate is dirt, sticks, bricks, but real estate doesn’t sell itself. People sell real estate. To me, even though the words it’s a people business might sound a little trite, I can’t believe how true it is. I believe that you have to solve the person before you can solve the deal. If you don’t understand the person on the other side of the transaction, what they’re trying to accomplish, what matters to them, what they think about their own property, what they think about the economic climate, the market or a million things. If you don’t have the empathy to be able to understand the other person, whatever proposal or offer you put in front of them is going to be a version of a shot in the dark. 

I know that so much of the time, when people are teaching real estate, there’s an adversarial attitude like, “I need to get the best deal.” They give a lot of lip service to, “I’m going to help that person.” I’m like, “You’re getting a property at $0.60 on the dollar is helping them get out of a problem.” To me, that feels inauthentic, not because it’s not true. In many cases, it is true but it’s the approach about it. It doesn’t feel like you’re on the same team. It feels like you’re on opposing teams. I love how you talked about when you’re solving the person, you end up being on the same team to make everybody happy. You’ve got something that will make you happy, and they’ve got something that will make them happy. 

One of the most powerful questions I’ve ever asked a seller is, “Paint a picture for me here to understand how you’d like to see this thing come together.” In “normal” real estate, nobody asks that question because it’s more about protecting your own interests. I believe that Jeff is going to get more of what Jeff wants if Jeff helps somebody else get what they want. Not to talk about myself in the third person or quote Zig Ziglar too much, but I do honestly believe that. There’s this coexistence simultaneously of self-interest and helping somebody else. I believe it’s best for me if I do what’s best for them. That’s been my experience. 

Talk to me about this belief that you have that you need both sides of the brain to be successful in real estate. 

Real estate tends to be a very left-brain. They’re very analytical. 

There’s one that’s analytical. 

There’s one that’s relational, intuitive and creative. I think that we are at our best when we have both of them firing simultaneously. A great example is when I’m sitting in a seller’s living room. That’s my venue. That’s my arena. That’s where I go to step onto the stage. I am talking to that person and trying to solve the person, which is very right brain. It’s relational. I’m trying to ask good questions, listen and read between the lines. Meanwhile, there’s this computer apparently in the back left corner of my brain that is calculating like, “Here’s the possibility with this. We could buy it for this. The rents would be that.” 

Both things are happening simultaneously. What we do ilike a dance with the seller. Like any dance, you got your arms around somebody. There’s a leading and following that happen at the same time. I feel like that’s the left brain, right brain thing here a little bit too. There’s so much value in thinking through the possibility and then asking a thoughtful question to that seller that may tests out that opportunity. It’s a dynamic balance of the two thought processes. Most real estate people grab a clipboard, and they’ve got a worksheet of questions. They’re like, “How many bedrooms are there? When was the furnace replaced?” They’re just making entries into a database and a computer. They’re going to hit the submit button and come out with an offer. That’s not how I do it at all. 

In real estate and in any kind of investing, the numbers have to work. We don’t make money unless the numbers work, but I agree with you that it is a people game. We talk about selling real estate and people think of it as hardcore, but it’s also buying. We are buying so that then we can sell too. Both sides of those are all about the relationships that we build, whether we’re building with a seller or buyer. There are a lot of other relationships we’re building. We’re building maybe with agents, vendors or a bunch of different people. I love what you’re talking about here that it is a relationship business because once the numbers work, the rest of it is all how we show up and build those relationships. 

I couldn’t even say it any better than that. It’s true. We’re not going to get the level of collaboration, cooperation and flexibility that we need if we don’t have sharp people skills to deal with the most important ingredient in the whole recipe, which is the humans. 

Could you tell me the five myths of seller financing? 

Yes. I love talking about seller financing for reasons we’ve already discussed. When I observe people talking about seller financing, there are a few things that they make as assumptions. These myths are assumptions. These are the five that stand out to me, and then the quick way I can refute each one. Number one, people think that seller financing is what a seller does when they can’t sell their property in the other way. We’re looking at something that’s been sitting on the market forever, funky or not financeable. While those things might be levers that would lead to seller financing, there are plenty of sellers who want to do seller financing. 

With a little light bulb that you could help come on in their brain, they would realize that it is in their very best interest to do so. To put it very simply, those are the people who might have capital gains concerns. A well-structured seller financing deal would help significantly with that. Those are the people who want to sell a property but they don’t want to give up the income stream that they have. I’ve had sellers call me and in the very first contact, they said, “By the way, I want to sell this on a contract.” It doesn’t get any better than that for me, but there are people who want to do that. That’s the first one. 

The second one is the inverse of that. That is seller financing is only offered because the buyer can’t find any other way to pay. That’s not the case either. A lot of people like me could finance a deal in lots of different ways. At the end of the day, I believe a well-negotiated seller financing deal is framed around what the seller wants to accomplish. It isn’t that the buyer can’t do it in any other way. Maybe there are some scenarios like that, but that’s not always true by any stretch. 

Number three is that people tend to think seller financing loans have above-market interest rates. This ties into the first two, which the seller doesn’t want to do this but if they’re going to, they’re going to demand something super high-interest rate. While there are scenarios where I’m sure that that does happen, if you can find a seller who has the proper configuration of motivation, maybe you can unpack that conversation with them in a way that helps them understand the benefits. They will be more than motivated to simply provide very reasonable terms. It very well might not be much different interest-rate-wise than what you could get with a financial institution. 

The fourth one is that people tend to think seller financing loans are for short-terms. That also sprouts off this idea of, “The sellers don’t want to do this anyway. I better be fast if I’m going to have to carry this note.” There were a lot of people who want to sell their property and continue to get an income stream for selling it for a long time. They want to take their capital gains and punt it as far into the future as they possibly can. Short-terms is not another issue for me or for most of the people that I work with at all. 

The fifth one is that seller financing is only possible when a property is owned free and clear. It’s probably simpler, and there might be more options when it’s owned free and clear. Seller financing is a broad umbrella of things that could fall underneath it. Mostly what I do and teach people is about what I call note and trustee investing, “I am becoming the owner. The seller is now becoming the bank and I make payments to them.” There are other things that would be creative deal structures like lease options, land sale contracts or lots of other different things that could be considered seller financing. I think of it as a bunch of tools in a toolbox and based on what the seller’s situation is. One of those elements of their situation is outstanding debt, then you pick the right tool out of the toolbox and get to work. 

I’ve had a few other people on the show talked about they create the notes themselves so they become the bank. They’ll buy a place and put their 20% down. They might get a loan at 4% or 3%. Someone else who might not qualify for a loan but is looking to buy, they’ll then sell it to them and carry it back at 5.5% or 6%. They’re making the delta. They’ve got some cashflow and also helped someone get into a home who wouldn’t normally be able to get into a home. Other people can also be doing this. I know that there are a lot of people, especially here in my area, where their houses have appreciated dramatically, but they’re no longer working. They’re looking for ways to create cashflow. They know in real estate investment, they’re not going to be able to make more than a couple of percents. You’re able to offer them something attractive that helps them supplement their Social Security or whatever it is they’re planning to retire on. 

Solve the person, and then you can solve the deal. Click To Tweet

There are a few simple clues that you can listen for that a seller might say. For instance, they might say something like, “I’d love to sell this property, but I don’t want to deal with the capital gain. I feel compelled to do a 1031 exchange, but the truth is I don’t want to trade one responsibility for another.” They might say, “I want to sell this property, but I don’t know what I would do with all the money anyway. I want to sell this property, but I don’t like the stock market. It makes me feel uncomfortable. I like tangible assets.” All of those things are clues. It can be a very great solution for you to propose to them that is also excellent for you as the buyer. It scratches their itches perfectly. They might not be aware of that yet, but if you unpack that conversation with them in a thoughtful and sensitive way, they’ll get the picture for sure. 

Could you share with me how do you structure it to avoid capital gains? I know you’re not a lawyer or CPA. Could you give us a high level of what that looks like? People have said it all the time and nobody will explain that. 

I will explain it to you like I would when a seller asks me that question. Thank you for the disclaimer. I always make that disclaimer to you. I’m not a CPA. Here’s the big picture as I’ve understood it in a non-technical way. When you sell your property, you will find yourself receiving a capital gains tax bill in a way that’s correlated with when you receive the gain. If you bought a property for $200,000, now it’s worth $700,000, factoring all your things like depreciation and all that complicated stuff. The main idea is you have this big gain of $500,000 or so. As you receive that gain back, that’s when you will be expected to pay the tax. 

The concept with a 1031 exchange is, what if I don’t receive that gain back at all, it goes straight into a third-party intermediary and then I’m not getting the bill? The same idea applies here to our seller financing structures that say, “Let’s make sure that you are receiving your gain on a schedule that correlates with when you want to pay this tax.” As the buyer, if I come along and say, “I’d like to give you a down payment and then make monthly payments to you over time,” the basic idea is if that down payment is going to be part of the gain that they receive, they might have a little tax bill from the down payment. 

If the payments are interest-only, they’re not receiving a principal or gain back during each of those payments. They’re avoiding that capital gain at that time until there’s maybe a balloon payment at the end. You have to reckon with the gain one way or the other. It’s about asking the seller, “When and how do you want to do that? Let’s work backward to structure the timing of your receipt of that gain in a way that works for your financial strategy.” 

I am in the process of creating notes. I’m buying small houses and creating notes. One of my ladies is doing the same thing with me. She was talking about you can structure it so that you pay the capital gain. Let’s say we structure a note for seven years. You can either pay the capital gain at the end of the seven years, or you can pay it annually so that you don’t have this big capital gain that you’re paying at the end. Is that true? 

Part of that is a little above my pay grade as a non-CPA. If the loan was amortizing heavily over seven years, then I can see how that would trigger an equally amortized capital gains bill. Perhaps there are other provisions that allow you to make installment payments on future capital gains. I don’t know how that part works. Most of the people I work with are thinking, “I’ve got this gain. I’ll figure it out later. I know I don’t want to deal with it now. Give me a small down payment, so I know you’ve got some skin in the game, but not too much because there’s going to be a tax bill associated with that.” We’re going to set a ten-year term and I’ll deal with it then. 

I can see why some would be like, “I know I’m going to sell this. I don’t want to have this big bill at the end.” Although if you get the big bill at the end, there are other ways to deal with it too. I hadn’t heard of anybody talking about that. I wasn’t sure if you had heard about it. 

An important point off of that is to do this as the buyer, you don’t have to be CPA-level informed on every nuance of that area of the tax code of the installment sale. There certainly comes a time when, as a thoughtful person who’s dealing empathetically with the seller, you’re going to want to say, “Seller, I want to make sure that you have got all your questions answered and you feel good about this. Do you want to call your CPA and ask some questions? You don’t have a CPA? Do you want to call my CPA and ask some questions? I want to make sure you know what you’re doing.” That’s part of the nature of being a good direct-to-seller type of buyer. You give them the opportunities to check with the outside resources to feel good about what they’re doing, especially on a complicated potential topic like that. 

I love your verbiage around a lot of this stuff. It’s a great demonstration of what talking to somebody to help solve their problems looks like. I’m looking forward to our conversation in EXTRA because we’re going to be talking about this Y.E.S.S.E.S Framework. Could you tell us a little bit more about what that deep dive is going to look like? 

I’m going to talk about how the Y.E.S.S.E.S Framework applies to intentionally source deals that you can buy with seller financing to hold for the long term. There are a few key strategies I’ll share in there about how we’re not shopping for a property. We’re shopping for a person. That’s one thing we’ll talk about. The idea of seller financing is that you buy your financing when you buy the property. That is a very different mentality by itself. We’re not going to talk about that. Overall, we’ll talk about if you want to buy properties with seller financing. It’s critical to start with the end in mind and reverse-engineer the whole marketing process so that from the very first step, it’s all about finding those people for whom seller financing would be an excellent solution. Their Y.E.S.S.E.S Framework will be our step-by-step process for discussing those strategies. 

Can you tell everybody how they can reach you? 

If you look up The Thoughtful Real Estate, that’s who we are, ThoughtfulRE.com. We have a Facebook group called Rental Portfolio Wealth Builders. We’d love to have anybody join us there to talk about this specific way of doing acquisition for investment real estate. 

I know that you’ve got a gift for my ladies. Let’s talk about that. 

I am putting together a download that is called the Three Ways Women Can Have a Real Competitive Advantage in Real Estate Investing as Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneurs. These are my thoughts, reflections, and experiences. When you take a look at what it means to be a thoughtful real estate entrepreneur, women are well-suited naturally to be great with those skills. I hope that’s very encouraging to your audience. I wish that I saw more women in my own communities trying to do these things. They’ve got so much potential. If someone wants to get that, they can go to ThoughtfulRE.com/bliss. It will be very easy to download that special guide. 

Ladies, Jeff and I were having this conversation. He’s putting together a gift, especially for you and this show. One of the things I’d like to talk about in this download is empathy. It’s funny because I have never thought of myself as an empathetic person and yet he was like, “Really?” You noticed that as human beings, we take for granted our gifts. We don’t notice them. It’s nice to have someone to shine a light on what your strengths are and what you should be highlighting in a way that maybe you can’t see. Maybe you’re blind to it. I love getting this different perspective. 

Women all have ideas of what we’re good at. It’s fun to hear from the other side like, “What do men do? What do they look at?” Then say, Women are good at that thing. I wish I was better at that. I need to learn that. That’s a skill that they know and take for granted. I need to develop that.” I know that Jeff, Based on the conversation that we’ve had, I know that Jeff is going to give us some good ideas about what our strengths are and what we can amplify, utilize and value in ourselves. 

It’s such an important point. We can’t help but undervalue the things that come naturally to us. We don’t even necessarily realize they’re gifts. I’m going to try to point some of those things out and see how they can be aimed at being a great real estate entrepreneur. 

Thank you for that. Jeff, are you ready for our three Rapid-fire questions? 

I’m ready. 

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

Here’s what I would recommend. Maybe this is not common advice. Instead of thinking about, “I want to buy a property. What is available for sale?” I would say, “Everything is available for sale.” I don’t mean, “Everything is for sale at the right price.” I mean, “Everything is available when there’s a relationship. Here’s what I would like you to do. I would like you to go into your town and identify ten properties that you would like to own, “It sure would be awesome to be the next owner of that property. Maybe I see potential or think it’s beautiful. You love it, that’s all that matters. Grab a pen and a stack of paper. Sit down and write a simple, nice handwritten letter and send it to the owner of that property. 

Don’t say, “I’ll make you an offer of thisI’ve got the cash. I can close quickly.” It’s none of that stuff. Say, “Hi, this is my name. I see your property all the time. Frankly, I love it. If you would ever consider selling it, would you please let me be somebody who could talk to you about that? Hold onto my letter for whenever the time is right. I hope to hear from you.” Send that handwritten letter ten times. Chances are your phone will ring whether it’s immediately or not too much time. That is a great practice. It’s emblematic of overall what we need to be doing more and more as real estate entrepreneurs. 

I have to ask a question. If someone doesn’t respond, do you write it again and again to the same person? 

Yes. I’d say send it 3 or 4 times a year. Every 3 or 4 months, write another letter to the person. Make it seasonal if you want to. Don’t photocopy and send exactly the same thing. What I used to do is I would go sit in my car in the neighborhoods where these properties were. I would write the letters by hand so that I was soaking up the environment of where these properties were. You could do that. If you ever get to go to a coffee shop again, you go sit down in the coffee shop and do it. 

What is one strategy for being successful in real estate investing? 

It is very much what we have talked about in the broad sense, which is to take a people-oriented approach to real estate. It’s people who sell properties. It’s not properties that sell themselves. I saw in a Facebook group that somebody said, “I’ve identified 3 or 4 properties on the market that would be good for seller financing.” I had to comment, “I appreciate your enthusiasm but properties aren’t candidates for seller financing. People are candidates for seller financing.” Take a people-oriented approach. Don’t be afraid to talk directly with people who own properties. Don’t be afraid of saying the wrong thing, screwing it up, or overcommitting yourself. Get comfortable with the idea of talking. Practice talking directly to people who own properties. Good things will come of that one way or the other. 

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

I’ve been trying to think of a catchy way for this to be articulated, but you know how they say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” This is a work in progress, “A handwritten thank you card a day keeps the poverty away?” I’m still working on the last part. One of the best things you could do would be to go online or go to your local office supply store, buy a giant box of thank you cards, get a bunch of stamps and have that pen sitting there. Every time I meet with a seller in person, maybe a potential lender or a regular person, I always send a handwritten thank you card. Sometimes people comment about that, but even if they don’t comment about it, just the fact that you did it says so much about you and shapes the way they perceive you in a very positive way. It’s very difficult to send too many handwritten thank you cards. If you send one a day, that’s a great rhythm that you can get into and it’s not a difficult habit. 

It’s also like your own personal gratitude practice in a way. Jeff, this has been amazing. I loved this portion of the show. Thank you so much for all that you’ve shared. 

REW 55 Jeff Stephens | Off-Market Acquisition

Off-Market Acquisition: If you don’t have the empathy to be able to understand the other person, whatever proposal or offer you put in front of them is going to be a version of a shot in the dark.

 

Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity to share this perspective. I know I’m the oddball in the world of real estate investing. This is not how most people do it, but I’m cautiously optimistic that the more people who hear this message will go, “That would be authentic for me too.” I hope some of your readers can have that light-bulb moment. 

Ladies, thank you so much for joining Jeff and me for this portion of the show. We have more in EXTRA. We’re going to be talking about his Y.E.S.S.E.S Framework. I always say, “Say yes because it’s so much more fun than no. He’s got a six-step process that he’s going to be talking about. We’re going to be doing that in EXTRA. If you’re not subscribed but would like to be, go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenEXTRA.com, and you get the first seven days for free. You can check it out. I appreciate you. I look forward to seeing you next time. Until then, remember, goals without action are just dreams, so get out there, take action, and create the life your heart deeply desires. I’ll see you soon. Bye. 

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About Jeff Stephens

REW 55 Jeff Stephens | Off-Market AcquisitionJeff loves delivering presentations to great organizations!  In his first entrepreneurial career, he was a paid speaker at banking and credit union conferences all over the US and Canada, and even spoke at a marketing conference in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

Today, Jeff speaks to groups of entrepreneurs and real estate professionals.

 

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The Secrets To Dating Money And Having A Friends-With-Benefits Relationship With It With Olympia Hostler – Real Estate Women

REW 54 Olympia Hostler | Dating Money

 

Having a good relationship with money is like finding a date. You have to overcome the fear factor and actually start dating it. You need to cozy up to it until you form a friends-with-benefits relationship with it. How exactly does this apply to the world of real estate? Well, for one thing, it helps that a lot (like a lot) of the people who know anything about money have been involved in real estate in one way or another. Moneeka Sawyer is excited to unpack this topic with Olympia Hostler, an award-winning business consultant and speaker who is known as the “Queen of Wealth.” Take a moment to listen to their conversation as Olympia reveals the secrets towards achieving time and financial freedom in the shortest time possible. 

Listen to the podcast here:

The Secrets To Dating Money And Having A Friends-With-Benefits Relationship With It With Olympia Hostler – Real Estate Women 

Real Estate Investing For Women

I am excited to welcome to the show, Olympia Hostler. She loves working in playing in the realm of millions and billions. She is an award-winning business consultant and speaker of Fortune 500 companies. She’s a partner and a leader of the highest natural national securities program worth billions of dollars. By the age of 33, she was a corporate executive leading multimillion-dollar programs making more than $50 million in sales, facilitating sales for more than $10 billion, and leading teams of up to 100 people. As the Queen of Wealth, Olympia unshackles business owner’s freedom to scale their companies and fast forward their success without working harder or longer on their fastest path to freedom of time and money. Olympia, welcome to the show 

I’m excited to be here. Thank you so much for having me. 

This conversation is going to be fun. Let’s start by giving a version of your story. Tell us about yourself. 

I’ve done a lot of things in my life. I started out as a corporate executive at 33. That’s where we’re going to start our chronology. I quickly realized that Corporate America was not for me. I went off and started my own business consulting company. I’ve been doing that for over 25 years. I’ve helped all kinds of businesses, products, services and real estate. I’ve been in real estate for over twenty years as a licensed broker. I’ve had a partnership with CBS Television in New York for real estate. 

Tell us more about that. 

When we get our unconscious and subconscious mind on board, there are no limits. Freedom is all around us. Everything we do is free. Click To Tweet

That was super fun. We did a groundbreaking state-of-the-art joint venture partnership and also a website. We spent $1.5 million on the website alone, creating these new searching technologies. We were the first to implement VOW or Virtual Office Website, which is collecting all of the other listings from the other brokerage houses and putting those into our website. We also created the first real estate television show in New York. That’s what we did. It was a lot of fun doing it. 

Have you ever noticed that anybody who knows anything about money has been involved in real estate in some way? 

Yes, I have. It’s a training ground. 

I read on Instagram that 90% of the millionaires got that way through real estate. It’s the original get-rich strategy. I love your topic. This whole thing of money as friends with benefits. I want my money to be friends with benefits. Tell me more. 

To have friends with benefits relationship, first of all, we need to start cozying up to it. We need to stop being afraid of it if there is a fear factor, which many people have, and start dating it. To do that, we need to get rid of the obstacles that are in our way. Those obstacles typically come in the form of mindset, heart set, and body set money blocks, as I call them. These blocks are programmed in from our experiences in life, from the people we’ve hung around when we were younger, our parents. 

There are all of these blocks have been created. Whether we have created them ourselves or our parents and other well-meaning loved ones, it was their blocks and then we adopted them. The key to having that awesome relationship, friends with benefits, is we have to get rid of that stuff. If you think about it, if you wanted to date people, you have to get over your fear of dating, but you also need to get out of the house. You need to get out and start doing some things. Addressing those core blockages, clearing them, and resetting them is going to be beneficial in your entire life, not just with money. 

Talk to me about unshackling. You can have the business that you want without working longer or harder. 

This is super fun. We started talking about the shackles with our favorite question. The shackles are the ones that we put on ourselves. How are we going to unshackle ourselves? One of the best ways to do it with a business, in particular, and the real estate business is a great example. We have to be able to know what our big worldly why is. Why are you doing what you’re doing? That is what will drive you. Why are you doing it for the world if you’re doing it for the world? There’s a second why that I’ve created called my self-care why. Why are you doing it for yourself? You might know it, but if you’re not in touch and connected with it, then it’s a hard road to unshackle yourself because you’re always wondering, “What’s the point of this? What’s the point of that?” If you’re not consciously thinking that, you are definitely unconsciously thinking that. It will drive you so you’ll never work another day in your life. It’ll be fun and play, and who doesn’t want that? 

You ask a good question which is, what’s more important, time, freedom or money? From my perspective, the freedom of time and money is a thing that I’m reaching for, but I like how you distinguish them separately. Tell me about that. 

We all know that there are different types of resources. Some are non-renewable. They have a finite amount, and that would be time. Money is a renewable resource. You can always get more money. You can never get more time. Freedom spans both. Freedom is very subjective. One person’s freedom is not another person’s freedom. That one can go either way. Freedom has the potential to always be there. In that regard, it is renewable because it’s always there. Whether you’re tapping into it or not, that’s up to you. 

I would define freedom as time and money. Having enough time and money to do what I want, where I want and with whom I want. 

That’s how I define it. Many people will go around and say, “I want freedom.” If they haven’t defined what it is, then you haven’t given your unconscious mind the target. We were speaking earlier about neuro-linguistic programming. When we get our unconscious mind and our subconscious mind on board, there are no limits. Freedom is all around us. Everything we do is free. 

We’re talking about this relationship with money. One of the things that happen with investors is they have a house. They want to rent it out. They’re like, “What should I ask for the house?” They list it and put up this beautiful ad. They list the price that they think is right in the market and people are not knocking on the doors. The very first thing that they say is, “I priced it too high,” which is not the first place that we should be going. The first place we should be going is if you want to think about it, “What is it that I’m saying in my ad that’s not attracting the right person for that house,” and not, “Is this too high?” Price is only one factor when you’re renting out a house. Could you talk to us about this relationship with premium pricing? 

REW 54 Olympia Hostler | Dating Money

Dating Money: The price you pay for not detoxing your money blocks is high because these money blocks are also driving the show for every other area of your life.

 

To talk about premium pricing, we need to understand pricing’s place in the marketplace. My commercial real estate broker, the first one I ever had who I worked underneath, told me, “Olympia, I can make any deal happen. It’s a matter of price, terms and time.” It’s one of those three. If your price is right, the other two can float. When you’re not getting the traffic that you want, I wouldn’t go first to price. If you’ve done your research and you know you’re in the money, then stick to your guns. Maybe it’s something else. Maybe you haven’t painted it. Maybe it needs a fresh coat of paint. Maybe something’s happened in the neighborhood and you need to do a little research and know what that is. I would look at many other places before I would look at the price. I would say stick to your guns on the price. 

With commercial real estate, it was price, terms and time. In residential, that whole heart set piece is a big distinguisher on how we view a home. When I’m looking at something and people aren’t knocking on my door, I don’t immediately go to my is too high because I know, based on what the market conditions are, that I’m not. I’ve done that research. I’m not evoking an emotional response in the people that are looking to buy a home. A lot of people will say, “I need a three-bedroom, two-bath, this many square feet, this close to my work, this kind of school.” They have all their statistics. The reality is that there might be five houses on the market that meet the criteria. What was different?  

It could be some of those things that don’t get checked off that’s on their list. The biggest thing is, are they having an emotional response to your home that you’re providing for them? For me, yes, maybe it needs a coat of paint, but that’s all external to the real indicator which is, are they emotionally attached? How can you get them there? Your premium pricing isn’t about pricing. It’s about their emotional attachment to the product that you’re providing. Would you agree with me on that? 

I agree with you. If you can appeal to their five senses when they walk in the door, this was something I used to do when I dopen houses. I would always bake chocolate chip cookies. No wonder I was so awesome at sales for real estate. People come in and they automatically get that emotional response. They’re like, “I like it already.” They haven’t even opened their eyes necessarily. If you can appeal to the senses, that’s going to go right to the emotions. 

I used to do the cookies thing too until everybody started doing cookies. I don’t know who started teaching that. I was doing it long before. That was by mistake. One time, I brought brand new cookies from Mrs. Fields. They are home-cooked cookies. I brought them in and served them, but they were fairly fresh. I hadn’t baked them there. People were like, “I love the smell of cookies.” I then started baking them. People then started teaching this. I’m like, “Now everybody’s doing it.” Now I bring stargazer lilies or fragrant candles or something. I might have a fire in the fireplace. It’s like touching their senses and some different ways that are a little bit unexpected and make them feel something new. Talk to us about detoxing money blocks. What happens? What do you give up if you won’t do it? 

The price you pay for not detoxing your money blocks is a high price because these money blocks are also driving the show for every other area of your life. The program that creates the money blocks is also creating blocks in relationships, spirituality, personal growth, health, all of those areas of life. You’re going to have some glitches in more than just your money. Why not take care of the money piece, get squared away, get clearing done, get a reset done. Once you’ve reset these programs, they are running in the background just like they are now. Now, they’re running in the background. They’re running amuck, but you don’t think about it. You don’t have to give affirmations. It’s just happening. Once you change it to a more positive, healthy program, it’s as if you flip the switch, then you don’t have to think about it. You don’t have to say one million affirmations. It’s running now. You have your new normal. 

How do you do the detox? I know that we’re not supposed to talk about processes but I’m curious.  

I use neuro-linguistic programming. I use trauma recovery techniques because I treat money like a trauma. I’m training from another business that I own in trauma recovery and helping people recover from abuses, accidents, surgeries and pain. I’m using brain science and resetting the nervous system of the body from being in a fight-flight-freeze response. I’m doing that. At the same time, I was changing the program using neuro-linguistic programming. We’re resetting false beliefs and limiting decisions. Stuck emotions is a huge one, conflicting parts, and strategies that have gone amuck. It depends on what’s happening with the person, which technique we’re going to use. Almost always, everyone is going to need a roto-rooter job on the top five stuck emotions. 

What are the top five stuck emotions? 

If you don’t have the money you want, you don’t even have to look at the symptoms. You have money blocks, period. Click To Tweet

It’s anger, sadness, fear, hurt and guilt. Those are the top five. I was working with a client on this. We’ve gone through those, and those are just the top five. We then go into the next layer. The next layer is usually some flavor of abandonment, rejection, shame, and those types of things. The top five have to be cleared in order to get to the others because the others are like a house of cards. They’re based on those other five. Typically, those are relationships. You knock those legs out and then you are left with these, then those will clear much easier. 

Many of the ladies that are reading this are saying to themselves, “I’ve done a lot of work on this. I don’t have those money blocks.” Our money blocks are like blind spots. Even if I look at myself, and as you’re talking, I’m thinking, “I’ve made multiple millions of dollars. I’m a very successful businesswoman. I’m proud of that.” I have hit a plateau in my life. It’s such an interesting thing. There’s the next level for me. I’m trying to figure out how to get there. I realized that I’ve dealt with a lot of my money blocks, but there’s more to go because otherwise, I wouldn’t be at a plateau. What prevents us from seeing those blind spots? Help us to be motivated to look at that because it can be a little bit scary, overwhelming or even intimidating. 

It could be a blind spot because we are not consciously aware of it, or we have been consciously aware of it and we don’t want to go through the pain, the challenge or the hardship to clear it. We sweep it under the rug. It doesn’t matter which scenario is active. It’s the same way to clear it. What happens is the blind spots are there to protect us. It’s our nervous system that has activated our fight-flight-freeze response, which causes a lot of things to happen in our mindset, body set and heart set. Things like pumping our body with adrenaline and cortisol. It feels like you’ve got your finger in a socket 24/7. You’re pumped up because your mind, body and heart think that you’re going to be chased by a saber-toothed tiger. 

It’s the reptilian part of our brain. It’s right about here. It’s called the amygdala. Welcome to your amygdala. It only knows the input from these five senses. It will determine, “Am I safe or am I in danger?” It can create a blind spot if you’re in danger. It’s doing that to protect you. What it seems like is self-sabotaging. The key is to go into and calm the nervous system. Once you do that, then we can work on taking these patterns away. If you think about it, if you’re running from a saber-toothed tiger and somebody says, “Moneeka, I’d love to give you a hug. Could you please stop? I want to give you $1 million.” You’re going to go, “No, thank you. I have a tiger chasing me at the moment. I’ve got to keep going. Give me your number. I’ll get back to you.” I’m simplifying it but that is what it is. 

How do we notice them? How do we know they’re there? 

You have to look more at symptoms for that like, “Am I having a heart attack? Let’s go through the checklist.” I have a whole checklist called, “You might be a money blocker if,” and then all of these things. There’s the checklist, “You might be a money blocker if you are not doing all of these other things.” It’s all kinds of things. As you said, you’re at a plateau. That’s a sign. That’s a symptom. If you’re at a plateau, there’s a money block happening. Do you wake up to do work and you’re resisting? Any resistance toward money or money-making or having fun is a money block. There are many of them. If you don’t have the money you want, you don’t even have to look at the symptoms. You got money blocks. That’s the shortcut. 

Tell us how about how we can rewrite our story with money so that it is a love story with a very happy ending? 

It’s so nice because all we need to do is to understand a couple of things. One is, how you do money is a seven-step process. We need to make sure that we go back to the beginning and change it there, then that ripples through, because the love story or the horror story, as some people have. Whatever your story is or the oh-ho-hum story is related and directly coming from step number one. Most people think, “I can change my thoughts.” I’m going to say good luck with that because that doesn’t work. Thoughts are the 5th of 7 steps of how you do money. Steps 1, 2, 3, 4 all feed into 5. If you’re trying to change it here at 5, which is a conscious mind activity, what happened to 1 to 4? They didn’t change. They’re going to always keep producing a number 5. You’re always going to have those blocks.  

You need to go back to the very beginning, which are these things we’ve talked about, the false beliefs, limiting decisions, stuck emotions, conflicting parts. Strategies are another fun one, the process of how you do things. To go back and change them at the beginning, that will ripple through. It will automatically change your story. You will find yourself saying things or doing things or feeling things differently. I’m working with one client and she’s tripled her income in six months. It’s like she got this superpower persona because we’ve been working on this at the ground level. It’s rippling through. The things she used to do that didn’t make money, she doesn’t do those anymore. She’s like, “I’m doing this. I’m doing that.” A new business I’m branding into is called Business Titans. She’s saying, “I’m a tiny Titan.” She only wants to play with other Titans. She’s like, “I’m not playing in the kiddie pool anymore.” It has this whole ramification and you will have that happy ending and the love story. 

This is also true with relationships. This whole thing about you can see what’s going on in your mind, by what showing up in your life. It’s like your mind is a movie projector and it’s got a reel in there. Your life is the screen. Whatever the story is in the movie reel, whatever that story arc is, whatever those characters are, they are in the movie reel and they’re showing up in your life. You know if you’ve got a story you like in your head based on what’s happening in your life. It’s not an immediate translation. There’s momentum and things take a little time to change. Someone’s got to get in there and change the reel. 

It’s interesting because I think that we forget to see that those symptoms are outside of us. They are glaring right in our face with big bright lights on a big white screen showing us what’s going on inside. If you’re only going to play with Titans and you’re noticing that your best friend is a cat lady, no offense to cat ladies, maybe the reel inside your head is different than what you think you want. This is true with relationships. That’s how I started this whole conversation. The relationships that show up for you, whether it’s your relationship with money, a guy or your children. Most relationships are being dictated by the reel that’s in your head. 

The reel that’s in your head has a starting point where this whole process started. It’s the beginning of the movie. The beginning of the movie changes the trajectory. Every movie does not start the same way and the same story. How many times does Hollywood tell a love story? Boy meets girl, girl falls in love with the boy, boy and girl get married, and they live happily ever after. It’s the same story, but there are different beginning and different characters. That beginning is what launches us into where we’re going to go. I see that in relationships, in our health and with our money. 

One of the newest realizations that people are having is that collaboration, which is relationships. It’s fancy word, relationship, but collaborations in business are the new juicy carrot. In collaborations, you can get a lot more done in a lot less time, with a lot less money, and you can have more fun. You’re going to leverage lots of resources. You can potentially make more money as well, depending on how you’re leveraging those relationships into a collaboration. 

I love that in business, we’re moving more towards collaboration rather than, “If I win, you have to lose,” which is the old way of doing business. A lot of the big business titans from the old world still built their businesses that way, but the new generation of businesses are realizing that collaboration is the key. I love it because we’re leading the world in that. You see it even in our small businesses. Collaboration with your tenant, vendors, sales, real estate agent, and all of those things. The better those relationships, the better the business is. 

The business is all about relationships. You are not going to have a great business unless you have great relationships. That’s according to Olympia Hostler. That’s what I believe. 

Let’s talk about what we’re going to be continuing on with EXTRA. In EXTRA, we would talk about how I can avoid being sucked into the busyness and distraction vortex to start supercharging my success. I’m excited about having that conversation in EXTRA. Could you tell us how the ladies can reach you? 

I am so available at Olympia@WomenChooseWealth.com. My phone number is (917) 288-7477. Do you want me to talk about the quiz now? 

Tell us about the free gift. 

The free gift is a quiz. Who doesn’t love a quiz? They are so much fun. You get to take this quiz at MyMoneyBlocks.com. Within two minutes you’re going to know your relationship with money and what’s standing in your way. Have fun. 

Are you ready for our three rapid-fire questions? 

I’m ready. Let’s go. 

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

I’m going to address this as investing in a business. A super tip is to treat your time like it’s money. Think about your time as I call them money blocks. How are you going to spend and invest your time? Treat it like it’s money. 

What’s one strategy for being successful in real estate investing? 

That would be to make sure that you know with as much certainty as you can what your ROI is going to be or can be. Weigh that against your risks because all of life is a riskreward. Whether it’s business, real estate or relationships. It doesn’t matter what it is. Make sure that that ROI is what you think it’s going to be. Within your risk tolerance, whatever that is, that might change, but it’s within what it is now. 

What is one daily practice that contributes to your personal success? 

REW 54 Olympia Hostler | Dating Money

Dating Money: You are not going to have a great business unless you have great relationships.

 

Every morning, when I go in the shower, I sing a James Brown song. I dance and get the whole thing going. If for some reason, I haven’t done that, which is rare like if I’m in a super hurry, I miss it. I have different energy for the whole day. 

This has been so much fun. Thank you for joining us for this portion of the show. 

You’re welcome. Thank you for having me. I had a blast. 

I can’t wait to talk about how to get out of the distraction and busyness vortex and supercharge our business. Ladies, if you are not subscribed to EXTRA but would like to be, go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenExtra.com. The first seven days are free. You can get this EXTRA. You can get a bunch of others, and then you can decide if it’s for you. Go check it out. For those of you that are leaving Olympia and me, thank you so much for joining us for this portion of the show. We look forward to seeing you next time. Until then, remember, goals without action are just dreams. Get out there, take action and create the life your heart deeply desires. 

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About Olympia Hostler

REW 54 Olympia Hostler | Dating MoneyOlympia works with 6 and 7 Figure plateaued business owners who are overworked and want more. She helps them radically 2X their income, fun and freedom.

Olympia loves working and playing in the realms of millions and billions. She is an award-winning business consultant and speaker, a Fortune 500 companies’ partner, and a leader of the highest national security programs worth billions of dollars.

By the age of 33, she was a corporate executive leading multi-billion dollar programs – making more than $50 Million in sales, facilitating sales of more than $10 Billion and leading teams of up to 100 people.

As The Queen Of Wealth, Olympia liberates business owners’ freedom to scale their companies and fast forward their success without working harder or longer on their fastest path to freedom of time & money!

Since she earned her MBA in Finance, she specializes in business growth strategy that fast tracks success while also having a joyful and meaningful life. Olympia works with high-achieving business owners who seek success and wealth to make a difference for themselves and humanity.

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