What if you could find your way to financial freedom, not once, but twice? In this episode, Chris Miles, the founder of Money Ripples, tells his inspiring story of highs and ultimate lows and how he bounced back using the same principles that got him to be successful in the first place. Chris tells us how his own values pulled him through foreclosures, divorce, and massive debts. Tune in and get some lessons that will help you understand cash flow, passive income, and achieving true financial freedom from someone who learned the hard way.
In this episode, I am delighted to welcome back to the show Chris Miles, the Cash Flow Expert and Anti-Financial Advisor. He is a leading authority in teaching entrepreneurs and professionals how to get their money working for them. He’s an author and podcast host of The Chris Miles Money Show, which I’ve been on. He has been featured in US News, CNN Money, Entrepreneurs on Fire, and BiggerPockets and has a proven reputation with his company, Money Ripples, getting his clients’ fast financial results. In fact, his personal clients have increased their cashflow to almost $300 million in the last few years. Those numbers are incredible. I’m so excited to have you chatting with our ladies again. How have you been?
I’ve been great. I appreciate being back on, Moneeka.
Chris, could you give us a two-minute high-level story about how you got into what you’re doing?
Yeah. Funny enough, it wasn’t planned like a lot of things in life. Life takes you on the course it needs to take you. I was planning to become a business consultant, but I figured if I was going to do that, I should have real-life business experience. I figured I was going to drop out of college, take a one-year sabbatical and go find some business, some side hustle I could do.
I was looking around and the first opportunity that came up that zinged a little bit was becoming a financial advisor. Granted, I had no financial experience. I took a few little high school accounting and banking classes. I knew how to write a check and balance a check register back when we used check registers. That was it.
My dad only taught me to save. That’s all he taught me to do. While my mom was an artist, she was trained by the master painter that trained Bob Ross. She had this entrepreneur thing, but it was easy to come easy go with money while my dad was, “Save it and hoard it.” I didn’t know anything and I did that. She was a financial advisor. I stayed dropped out of college. I never went back. I never finished my Bachelor’s. I was one class away from finishing.
I ended up staying as an entrepreneur. I stayed as a financial advisor. I did that for a number of years. After a while, I’m one of those people who like evidence. I like to know that things work. I started to realize that even as I inherited clients from previous financial advisors, they weren’t financially free. They were still struggling, just like every other American. I had to ask myself. I’m like, “Is this working?” When your pocketbooks are tied to it, you want to turn a blind eye to some of those things.
I took it to my friend, Doug. It was just like yesterday. My friend, Doug, we’re talking to each other and he was saying how he and his dad partnered on some real estate deals. He’s double his dad’s income as a professor at the local university. I thought, “Come on. That’s too good to be true. There is no way you could do that in a matter of months.” He said, “No. We’re doing it.” After we got into this little debate because I didn’t believe him, I finally said, “Chris, let me ask you a question. How many of your clients are financially free? Really free, where they don’t worry about money?” He said, “None, because even the retired ones still worry about money.” I said, “Great job, Chris. I didn’t expect it to be that bad, but okay.”
I want to point out what you said. Even when we retire, many of us worry about money. We’ve got our number and we go for that number, but the number is based on assumptions that we’ve made when we don’t know what retirement is going to be like. I love that you’re able to acknowledge that, yes, they were able to retire, but they didn’t feel financially free. There’s a difference. Financially free gives you true time freedom. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to retire. You might still be working. You might be working on a passion project or whatever, but you don’t worry about money. It’s money, time and passion freedom. I love that you pointed that out. Thank you for that.
That’s a good point because I was thinking of a retired doctor or a physician. She may or may not have had enough money to last her lifetime and that’s the fear. Most of them don’t know if their money will last because you’re only supposed to pull out maybe 3% of your money per year. If you have $1 million, you’re only about $30,000 a year. That’s poverty.
What kind of lifestyle is that?
You’re a broke millionaire. That’s part of it. It is a numbers game, but even more so, as you’re alluding to, it’s an emotions game too. It’s a mindset game. You could have all the money in the world, but you might not feel like it’s enough because you’re in this scarcity mentality. That would definitely categorize some of the other people that maybe could retire but don’t feel free.
That was a key piece missing still for people. None of them were. He sealed the nail in the coffin a little bit when he said, “Chris, how about this? How many of you guys as financial advisors are financially free? None of the commissions you’re earning, all the renewals and everything you get paid that gives you residual income, but actually doing these mutual fund investments.”
As I thought about the guys that have been working there since the late 1970s and still could not retire, I said, “None. I guess none of them are.” You have to understand. If you ever want to create real financial freedom, you want to model more of what you want to become like. He slapped me in the face with that one because as I was looking, I was like, “Is anybody in that company financially free?” Even the people I looked up to that maybe had good incomes still weren’t in a place where they could retire. I then realized, “You got me.”
He didn’t believe that I was open at that point because I was very obstinate for a minute. He’s like, “Chris, if you’re serious and you do want to know about this, please give me an answer here. Tell me something. Give me something.” He said, “If you’re serious, get this book called Who Took My Money by Robert Kiyosaki, which is a lesser-known Rich Dad Poor Dad book. To save you the three hours of an audiobook, mutual funds suck. That’s the basic message. They don’t work and that includes 401(k)s and IRAs.If you ever want to create real financial freedom, you want to model more of what you want to become. Click To Tweet
He then said, “Now listen to this radio show.” Like you’re doing right now, you’re reading this. This was an AM talk radio show pre-podcasts. He’s like, “Listen to these guys that are real estate investors and tell me what you think. I did. I listened to those guys for probably about 2 to 3 months. After a while, I get to this point of choice. I could either keep doing what I was doing because my practice is at an all-time high or because I’d built it up over the years. Either I can keep going knowing that my heart’s going to be a war and that I’m teaching something that doesn’t work. I can leave and go teach ballroom dancing on the side and also do mortgages and be a mortgage broker.
I chose the latter. As I said, my integrity is worth more than just trying to make money. I became a mortgage broker. I helped at the college and the local university, teaching some ballroom dancing, but it drove me nuts that I didn’t know what these guys knew because these were people younger than me. I was 28 at that time. There were people that were in their mid-twenties, like 25 and 26 years old, who are financially free.
I’m like, “How did they do that? I thought I had to save forever. If I saved every little penny I could, maybe by the time I was 40, I could retire with $60,000 a year. My goal was to save $2 million. Now, I started to realize that you don’t have to do that. As I started to learn what they did and started to understand cashflow and passive income, I was able to retire later that year when I was almost 29. I was like, “That was way easier than I thought.” It opened my eyes. This is a whole new world that I never knew was there. Everything I was teaching from a financial advisor standpoint wasn’t working. That’s where in 2007, I said, “What am I going to do with my life?”
I’ve got a lot of it ahead of me still, hopefully. I came out of retirement to essentially teach people how to do what I did. We may or may not go into the details. I went broke during the recession. I went over a million dollars in debt. I didn’t file for bankruptcy, but I had to pay that money back and get myself back out of the rat race a second time, which I was able to do by the end of 2016. I had to go through that recession. I got my butt kicked hard because I got lazy. I didn’t follow the rules that got me to be financially free in the first place.
I would love to hear that story. Can you share that with us?
Yeah. As I said, in 2007 I came out of retirement and I was like, “I’m going to teach people how to become financially independent just like I did. How to get out of the rat race.” I even partnered with a bunch of other guys that did the same thing. We were practicing what we were preaching.
I wanted to interrupt with a couple of things before we go on, on this. There are a couple of things I want to highlight that I want my ladies to hear. The first thing is you said something so important. We look up to people but the people that you want to take advice on where you want to be, take advice from people that are already there.
The very first question that might come up in our mind is, “I’m looking for a financial planner. How am I going to find a financial planner that’s financial-free? They won’t be working. It then comes to the next point. A lot of us work because we love working. We love helping people. Retirement doesn’t mean that you’re sitting on the beach for the rest of your life. That’s a really boring life. It can be very blissful for a period of time. I’ve done it, but everybody, especially successful people, needs to have their minds and their hearts constantly working. It helps us to grow and stay alive.
As you become successful, you will need that too. It doesn’t need to mean that you’re making money, but it does mean that you have to be fully engaged. You have to have something that fully engages your heart, mind, soul and your time because you’d get bored. I love when we talk about retirement the way that you’re like, “I came out of retirement.” If you’re at 30, you’ve got 60 more years of your life to go, “What are you going to do for 60 years if you’re not building something that fills you up?”
It’s the same for me. I could retire, but I can’t. There is too much going on in my mind. I can’t. There’s too much that I want for people. I love when you talk about retirement, coming out of retirement and also, who should we be looking up to? You want to make sure that you’re taking advice from people who are where you want to be. They’re not on that same journey. They’re not still struggling. I wanted to highlight those points. I’m sorry to interrupt.
Those are great points. Sometimes people will ask me, “Chris, are you retired?” Retirement is a funny thing because I’ve tried it. I did it twice and I became financially independent. I didn’t have to work anymore, but every time I tried not to do anything, it was maddening. In fact, it was depressing.
You get depressed.
You do. Compare it to fire. You got to keep that fire going within you. It doesn’t mean you have to burn out. You can overwork. You can overdo it and burn out. That’s not a fun place to be either, but I also realized that in my case, even if I’m doing what I love, like doing this. I love teaching. In my podcast, I was still doing that even after I became financially independent in 2016. I was still doing through ‘17, ‘18 and beyond. That was the one thing I was doing. I’m still working with a few people, consulting with them, but I was doing it at a very low scale, very low key. I was only working 5 or 10 hours a week. I realized that if I only worked for five hours a week, that flame, instead of burning out, started smoldering.
It was starting to fizzle out. For me, the magic number is around 10 to 20 hours a week. Working more than that now, we’ve got like documentaries coming out about our company and my story. We’ve got all this kind of stuff happening because the podcast kept growing. I had to get to a place of choice. Either I start turning people away and telling them no or do I believe in the mission of Money Ripples, which the whole aspect of Money Ripples is the ripple effect you create as you become financially free.
Is that it doesn’t stop there. You can create a ripple effect before financial freedom and you can create even a bigger ripple effect after you’re financially independent. That’s the thing I had to say as well. Money Ripples, the whole mission of it is that ripple effect I’m trying to create across people’s individual lives, their families and generations beyond them, their communities and across the world. If I let it die out saying, “I don’t have to do more work. No, go away. That’s one less person’s life that can be blessed. We already know exactly how to get people out of the rat race and we’ve done it with not just myself, but many other clients. Why hold that back? Why keep that information back from people? For me, that’s become a mission. You become more mission-driven versus being more money-driven.
I love your idea of Money Ripples. I feel the very same way that the wealthier you are, the bigger impact you can make and who you are as a wealthy person is going to determine what impact you make. That’s why I focus so much on bliss. If we continue to work on being blissful, which raises our heart and our vibe, as we become wealthier and wealthier, that ripple effect is going to be a good ripple effect. It’s going to be blissful. It’s going to help the world. Right from the bottom up, you want to make sure that as you’re building, you know that once I’m wealthy, there are going to be ripples out in the world based on what I’m doing. What do I want those rules to be?
That’s where I say money is a magnifier of the soul. It makes us more who we already are. It doesn’t make somebody different. It magnifies what’s already within you. It’s like what happened to me in the last recession as I became financially independent. Remember, I was a guy that grew up in an impoverished mentality household. I didn’t understand abundance. I started to learn about it and that’s what helped me become financially independent, but I was just starting to learn it. I hadn’t fully internalized it.
As I started getting more and more money, what I was doing was trying to cover up my insecurities. What it was is I didn’t want people to look at me because I felt insecure about myself. I want people to look at my stuff and my outer world. I’m not saying this is the case with everybody, but it’s like when people are starting to flash walking onto their jet planes, which is not even their own jet plane. They just happened to see a jet plane or have somebody that they know who can do it. They pay to get their pictures taken next to a jet plane or next to a Ferrari or Lamborghini.
They try to portray something amazing that’s going on in their life and you should follow it too. I’m probably going to end up doing a TikTok video about my car because I’ve got two Nissans. Even though I make more than enough money to buy the Lamborghinis, the Mercedes McLarens, or anything else, I don’t. I’m not a car guy. I don’t give a crap.
It’s great to spend money, but do it on things that are important to you, that provide value to your soul and that are not just status symbols. That’s another thing about being wealthy that I love is that you can choose that. I don’t care what anybody else. We’re doing a building project right now and it’s so funny because my business partner is all about the name brands for the faucets and everything. I’m like, “I don’t care. They’re buying a $3 million home. Buy something that is beautiful. I don’t care about the name brands.”
He’s like, “People will buy this and this. They need the brands.” I’m like, “I can’t relate to that because it’s not my life. It’s not who I am. It’s not what I want.” Certainly, it’s okay that people are like that, but I love that you say that. This is why I love chatting with you, Chris. I feel like we’re so aligned on what feeds our souls. That’s the most important thing. Wealth helps to feed our souls and then create ripples.
I wasn’t always that way because, as I said, I had this insecurity. I went and I bought a Mercedes. I bought a nice Mercedes that had nice rims and everything. I’d show it off to people. I remember I picked up a financial advisor at my old office one time. I picked him up in a Mercedes only to drive him across the parking lot to where the restaurant was to show them like, “Look how much better my life is now that I’m not one of you guys.” It’s so trashy.
Even the house, I remember telling the realtor. I was like, “I want to walk into this house where someone says like, “Whoa.” I want that wow factor. I want the nice, cool little chandelier with the nice little dome lighting around and things like that. I was trying to wow people and that’s fine. I could have just kept paying for it the way I was, but the problem was that again, I was taking the focus off of what got me to be financially independent in the first place, which was passive income and cashflow. I started getting lazy. I started thinking, “I’m awesome. Look how well I’m doing. You know what, maybe I’ll take a little bit more risk. Maybe I’m going to start buying properties just so we can flip them.”
Which right before the last recession was not a wise idea. I was like, “I can buy a $100,000 property and if it appreciates 10% because I was banking on appreciation, I make $10,000. If I buy a $500,000 property at 10%, it appreciates $50,000. Maybe I should buy bigger properties. I’d rationalize these things hoping that there would be appreciation. I didn’t care about the cashflow. I didn’t care that it actually was profitable if I had a renter in it. It doesn’t matter because eventually, appreciation will make up for that loss that I have. The renters didn’t make sense.
When everything was hitting the fan, plus I’d launched a new business and that business, we were focused on teaching real estate investors that were doing the same thing, banking on appreciation. Pretty soon, they’re all broke. Our clientele is pretty much non-existent at this point or becoming non-existent. My own personal finances are a mess because I ran up my expenses and I also wasn’t focusing on the cashflow for the properties I had which also ran up expenses, but not necessarily the income to go with it. The next thing I knew, when I finally decided to look at my money, I was in the whole $15,000, $16,000 a month. I was making $5,000 or $6,000 a month because we were struggling in our business. After everything was said and done and paid for, I was short because the expenses were like $21,000 to $22,000 a month.
Where are you located?
I’m in Utah.
I just wanted an idea of the market.Take advice from people who are already there. Click To Tweet
If that were California, you’d be like, “That’s nothing.”
I didn’t have that experience, but it’s okay. I did all appreciation plays also, but we were able to cover everything. We showed no losses during that time.
They never have to make sense. You have to make it work and that’s the thing. It worked for a time, but eventually, that luck ran out. Here’s a mistake I made because I listened to Dave Ramsey before. Bless his heart. He is a wonderful man. He does great. Good for people. If you think of it, like if you’re going to college, they have Math 101, but then they also have the Math 99R for remedial. It’s like, “You got to take this Math even to get to 101. That’s what Dave Ramsey teaches. That entry-level like, “Here’s how to essentially0:20:40.”
There are some financial something so that you’ve got some education on this.
His first two baby steps are trying to track your money. Having a little emergency fund is great stuff. Going beyond that, though, you are pretty much going to go broke following his advice. I love hi poster children. The graduates, the ones that did go debt-free, but then they say, “I’m not free. I have no passive income coming in. I have to keep working, even though I’m debt-free and I saved and all these mutual funds, but yet I can’t retire.” I’m like, “Guess what. We can get you retired next year.”
Those are my favorite people because they did what he gave, but the problem is if you ever want to create wealth, it doesn’t work. I followed some of his advice, too, because again, I keep that traditional financial advisor background. The one mistake I made is I was putting all my money and equity into my house, my own personal residence, because I thought, “Worst case, you can always get a line of credit because you can pretty much cash out anything.”]
Remember, I was a mortgage broker. I was born in the market where you can even do stated income loans. As long as you had a good credit score, you could pretty much get anything you wanted, which is not the case anymore. Since post-recession, they’ve changed all those rules, which is why I tell people there’s not a market crash coming for real estate that way, because it was because of things like that why the banks were failing and everything was just a big, hot mess.
I was making the mistake of throwing money into equity thinking, “I just get it back out later.” In the middle of 2007, when I was realizing I was negative cashflow, I said, “I better go to the bank.” They said, “We stopped lending money to you guys.” All this equity was trapped and as we saw prices depreciate, I lost all that equity to the point where I ended up foreclosing on that house in 2009. A week after my fourth child was born, we ended up having to pack up and move out of her house and move into a new rental that was a quarter of the cost of the house that we had.
It was demoralizing because it was the house of my dreams and I lost it. I put those stuff in front of me to show my value. I didn’t want people to see my internal. I would use that as the front to show value, but now that stuff was all taken away. I’d already turned in the Mercedes. I turned it in before they repossessed it because I said, “I can’t make the $1,169 payment. Take it.” They auction it off. I owed $30,000 negative from the auction. Luckily with the house, I was able to get out from under that, even though they ended up selling it for about $300,000 less than what I owed on it.
I got out from that, but it was rough. I still had several hundred thousand dollars I had to make makeup. I borrowed money from friends and family thinking, “This is going to be a short moment. We’re going to pull through this thing. I’ll work my way out of it.” No, I didn’t. I was in a rough spot. I was in a hole. I remember the movie Cinderella Man with Russell Crowe and Renee Zellweger. It was such a good movie based on a true story of boxers in the Great Depression. I had very similar experiences. There were times when I was going in and getting welfare, food stamps from storehouses, and food because I couldn’t afford to buy groceries for my family.
A guy dressed up in a suit telling people, “You can get out of that race too.” I was back in the rat race trying to deal with all this stuff. I was struggling. My wife at that time was threatening to take the kids and move in with her sister until I figured my stuff out. All this kind of stuff was going on and not to mention the collector calls were coming in daily, multiple times a day. In fact, my friends stopped calling, but those collectors sure didn’t. They kept calling better than my friends did at that time. When you lose everything, that’s when you find out you have everything because when I lost it all, it was just me left.
I had to be okay with that. It’s like, “Am I okay with who I am? Am I okay with this value?” As I started to strip that away and strip away the ego, the pride and everything and started to surrender to the experience. It’s surrender in the sense that I should’ve gone bankrupt. That would have been so much easier. Bankruptcy would have been easiest if that reset button then worked from zero, but I had to work from a negative a million. I had to work my way back out. The best time is when you get that place of surrender and knowing, “I keep doing the same values and applying the same principles in my life that got me to be successful in the first place, specifically cashflow.”
I started to rebuild and focus on that. How do I get my expenses under control? How do I start creating more value for people, which generates more income? The real secret to making more money is creating more value for people, even if it’s for your boss. It’s always about how you go about creating value for them. As I started to do that more and more and more, that’s where things started to turn around. It took time and it was about six months after we were foreclosed on, my son was born, my fourth child, and things started to turn around a little bit.
I was able to dig my way out more. I still had ups and downs because as things started to get going good. The partnership I had broken up and I had launched Money Ripples with a two-year non-compete and I had to go to the brand new market. The market I focused on what were women entrepreneurs in Utah specifically because I knew that was the market that he hated because he was a chauvinist.
He was not great. He did not like women coming and becoming clients. I said, “I’ll play in the sandbox that you don’t want to be in. I’ll focus on women and entrepreneurs and stuff.” That’s where I went and built Money Ripples from scratch. I had to get through that. Even with the divorce in 2015, that got me laser-focused on that cashflow and passive income, especially. I was already starting to have dug myself mostly out of the debt I was in. I was focusing on how do we get that passive income up? It then gets to the point where I can work because I want to, not because I have to.
I was being very intentional about it. Focusing and watching the numbers, I was able to do by the end of 2016, right after I remarried. It was awesome. It was a hard, hard path, hard road. I learned so much from that because it wasn’t just, “I got lucky.” It wasn’t like that. I had to redo it during the middle of a recession, almost the depression that we were in. To do it a second time really showed me that this stuff works. If you follow the right principles and then the strategies to back it up, it’s going to work. Every single time it will work if you apply the right principles.
Talk to me a little bit about the idea of bankruptcy. What you said was, “It would have been so much easier, but I decided to pull ourselves out.” Why did you make that decision even though the other option was easier?
It was more of a spiritual decision, actually. I was praying about it a lot. I was like, “Should I do this or not?” Someone told me, “Don’t do it.” In hindsight, now I can see it was the best choice because being in the financial space like I’m in, where you hold certain licenses, it’s nice to know that you don’t have to keep answering that dumb question of, “Have you filed bankruptcy before in your lifetime?” I have to explain that every time. It’s nice not to have to do that, but it was hard because all those collections, judgments, and liens were eating away at me. I had to re-contextualize it. Right before I got out of that hole or things started to turn around, I turned around my attitude too. I started calling those collectors calls I love you calls.
When they would call, I thought, “My friends don’t call anymore. These are the only guys calling me.” When they call up, I would answer them like it’s my friend’s calling and be like, How’s it going?” “Good. I’m here to call to collect a debt.” “Yeah.” “Great. Are you going to pay that debt?” “No. Not today. I don’t have any money, but I would if I did.” “When are you going to pay it?” “I have no clue, but I promise you I will.” “Okay. You know we’re going to call back again. Maybe tomorrow, maybe next week.” “Yep. I hope so. I look forward to seeing you. I love you.”
It made it fun to answer these collector calls because before, I would ignore them and every time the phone rang while I was in meetings, it would bring the energy down. That stress would weigh on you so much and be able to let that go and say, “You know what? I don’t know how I’m going to get out of it. I just know I will.” That was the thing that I felt that there were no accidents. It’s that law of synchronicity. Everything happens for a reason and I thought, “Maybe if it was just one person’s life was blessed from the pain I went through. If my pain became somebody else’s gain, would that be worth it for one person?”
I thought about it and I was like, “No. I think it would be.” “How about two people?” “Yeah.” “Ten people?” “Yeah.” I haven’t realized that now. Literally, thousands, if not hundreds and hundreds of thousand people have heard my story and my experience and even use some of the financial strategies that we teach to be able to help out of that situation.
I know a lot of people have been more blessed than that, but it’s one of those things that I felt like, “No. I felt that bankruptcy for me,” and this is a personal choice. I’m not judging either way again. Look who you’re talking to right here. If you think I can judge, “Hello.” If anybody can judge, I was over a million dollars in debt. I can guarantee your situation has never been as bad as mine. Rarely do I ever find that person that does have that bad a situation? Usually, they’re multimillionaires or billionaires now. If they did, I guess I did. That makes sense. I am a multimillionaire, but not a billionaire. That’s the thing. It was one of those things that you can’t judge for.
Sometimes bankruptcy is the best decision. For my credit, it would have been way easier to rebuild my credit if I had hit the bankruptcy button. Resetting things and starting over and building new credit again would have been easier than having all these judgments and liens and collections on my credit for years and carrying over and then they show us old history. You then finally get it all paid off years later versus hitting the reset button. They’re all gone and then you start over.
Sometimes it makes sense, but for me, I knew. I’m like, “Listen, I’m in a position that I can do this. I negotiated with some collectors. I paid less than what I owed, but they were happy. They were like, “At least pay us something.” I said, “Will you take this much money?” “Yes, we’ll take it. That’s worth it to us.” “Great. Deal.” Like that Mercedes, I owed $30,000 after it got auctioned off and fees and everything. We settled for about $7,000. I was able to negotiate out of that and it was tough.
I had to have my dad loan me money to do that and then had to pay my dad back. We got through it, but the thing is that it took some time. It took a lot of effort, focus and commitment but looking back, I feel no regrets. I do feel regret that I borrowed money from friends and family. I feel bad about that because some of them had to wait years before they got paid back, but I don’t regret the experience I received.
We’re not going to be able to go through your questions, but I feel that just your story helps people to realize how real life is for us as investors. It’s not a cakewalk. There are moments where it feels like a cakewalk and it’s wonderful. I love my life too, but I think that most of us have been through some rough times. Much of the time, my readers are reading about people that are very successful. I only bring people onto the phone onto the show that are successful because I want my readers to learn about success from people who are successful.
What we don’t often hear about is the story behind the success and I think that’s important not only to make us understand that it happens to all of us and if you’re in a low place, what’s possible for you. I think when you talk about how you pull out of those low places, those things that you focused on, the things that you talked about, the things that you did, that you shared with us, can be a model or a beacon for what other people can do.
I think it’s a real learning moment when you get to hear a story from a successful person about what happened to them. Ladies, don’t disregard that. You want to make sure that you read this with an ear for what were the lessons that Chris learned and what are the lessons that I can take away from that so that you can learn from his mistakes rather than experiencing them yourself. I think that’s the power of stories and the stories of successful people. That’s one of those things that I love listening to. They’re interesting, but they also have so much information that I can learn from and model after.Money is a magnifier of the soul. It only makes us more who we already are. It doesn't make somebody different, it just magnifies what's already within you. Click To Tweet
Thank you for that. Chris, I’m going to have you on the show again because you’ve got so much to share. I know my ladies are like, “How did you create that passive income? I want to know more.” They also know that you talk about infinite banking and I love that topic. I’d love to talk about that also. I’ll bring you back on the show a few more times, but thank you so much for sharing your story and being so vulnerable with us. That was powerful.
If there’s anything you learned from my story, that there’s always hope. If I can battle back from a negative million bucks and become financially independent and free, obviously, you have more hope than I do at that time. That’s the good news.
I love that you made decisions based on your own core values because in the end, no matter what we do, we’ve got to live with ourselves. We’ve got to sleep with ourselves at night, we’ve got to wake up in the morning with ourselves. We’ve got to be able to look at ourselves in the mirror and know that we’re right by ourselves. It’s a really hard thing to live that way when you’re feeling desperate and when everything has hit the fan. I know myself how tough that can be and I love that you model that, one, it was a spiritual decision and that’s why I made that. It doesn’t have to make sense to anybody, but your soul needs to feel good about what you’re doing in your world.
I would like to talk about in EXTRA knowing your numbers because I think that’s a big piece of pulling yourself out of a hole, but also when you move to create financial freedom, you need to know where that is or what those numbers are like. I do want to talk about that in EXTRA. Before we go, can you tell everybody about the free gift that you have for them? Could you tell me a little bit about your free gift?
Absolutely. All the pain and the effort that we had can become your gain. We started coaching clients on how to free up cash. I stopped teaching them to go to the rat race and started teaching them how to find the money. How do I get the money so that you can get to the next phase of starting to create more passive income?
We have an eBook on there called Beyond Rice & Beans: Seven Secrets To Free Up Cash Today. Yes, you don’t have to be like Dave Ramsey and live on rice and beans, but you can live free and still have more. We have a free download for you guys. It’s a very short read. That’s the good news, but it talks about the seven main ways that not just myself but hundreds of my clients were able to free up on average $34,000 a year. You find that internal link there, MoneyRipples.com/women.
That’s for you, ladies. Go check it out and use that link, please. When I give you a specific link, there are a couple of things that can happen. Usually, it’s a marketing tool so that we understand how many of you ladies are interested in this topic. It helps me to decide whether to bring people back on the show or not and what topics you guys want to hear more about. It helps to direct the show. That’s one thing.
The other thing is sometimes, it’s an affiliate link and it supports the show, so that it helps to pay for me to continue to produce this because it’s an expensive thing to run a high-quality podcast. That’s what I want to do for you, but I need some support, too, around that. Sometimes it’s an affiliate link and I do get paid on that. There are two benefits. Please, when you hear a link on the show, please do use that specific link even if you can go to other places to get the same information. In this case, it is MoneyRipples.com/women. Thank you for that. Before we sign off on this show, Chris, let’s do three rapid-fire questions. Tell us when super tip on getting started investing in real estate.
Besides just getting an education, start to find ways to find your money. I call it getting money out of prison. There are usually three big places where people keep money trapped. That’s because financial advice tells you to do it. One is your home. I mentioned this before. I made the mistake of keeping money trapped in my house. Find ways to see if we can get that out.
A lot of times, you get up to 80% of your equity out like a Home Equity Line of Credit. Look at ways to get access to that money, such as a Home Equity Line of Credit. Number two is savings. A lot of people have been billing savings but let it sit there and they’re losing to inflation, but that’s one place. That’s a good funding source beyond your emergency fund that you have to have there to use to fund that.
The third place is often old retirement accounts, IRAs, 401(k)s and things like that. Definitely, I’m not a big fan of 401(k)s because it locks your money in prison and you don’t have any control of your money, your life or your destiny if you keep it locked up there. Being able to get that money away from that place allows you then to be able to make more money with it.
What is one strategy for being successful as a real estate investor?
One of the best strategies, I call it boring and sexy. That’s the one thing I learned. I learned that trying to chase the hot things like, “What’s that newest crypto or what’s the latest stock you might go for like GameStop or whatever. All the stuff that’s hyped-up topics in the news is the things you should keep your money away from. You want to go where people aren’t going. Focus on, “What are people not talking about? Where are people not going? Where’s the steady, predictable place I can put the money that allows me to have that steady stream of income? To know what I’m going to make, not in gambling it hoping that you’re going to make a huge home run where most of the time you’ll end up striking out.
Hope is not a strategy.
No, we don’t like to live on hopium.
Give us one daily practice that you do, Chris that contributes to your personal success.
This is actually a daily practice I was doing when I was going through those worst, roughest times and it pulled me through. It pulled me through my divorce when I was going through that, which was rough. I do a morning ritual like a lot of successful people have done. Maybe you heard me talk about the subject. Tony Robbins has this Hour of Power. There’s The Miracle Morning and all that stuff. I have my own morning routine. I focused on really three areas. I call them the three Es, which are exercise, education and enlightenment. Exercise, I try to get my body moving and focus on pumping to wake myself up because I’m in my mid-40s. I need something to wake me up in the morning. I exercise first. I can do things like more enlightenment-type stuff.
I can do prayers of gratitude. If I’m out for a little jog, counting my blessings and doing prayers of gratitude. It could be doing a gratitude journal. It could be yoga. That could be a little of both. It could be reading scriptures, the Bible or whatever it is that you like to do. Those things tune you into your highest self or God and then in education. Learning your trade. It could be learning different skills. It could be emotional intelligence that you’re trying to create and whatever it might be. Whatever it is you need, you do that through audiobooks or reading books. You can do that through podcasts like this. All these ways you can have access, to increase your knowledge. What it does is it gets you the best wind for the day. You start the day and you know that no matter how bad things are, you have a win.
You have something going for you and you start with the right frame of mind and everything seems to just work better throughout the day.
In Choose Bliss, that’s the first chapter. It is about our morning routine because I think the thing that we all need to realize is we all have a morning routine. Most of us don’t have an intentional morning routine. Most of us have a morning routine that supports our frazzled crazy getting started in the late morning.
We all have a routine, but once you make it an intentional routine, you can have it support your bliss and your business and your life significantly better. Also, choosing your priorities for those mornings, that morning routine, I can’t choose your priorities. Chris can’t. Hal Elrod can’t. Tony Robbins can’t. We can choose the priorities. A big part of my morning routine is the walk with the dog and my husband, sitting and having coffee and making eye contact with him before we start the day.
That’s a big piece. Connection is a big piece of who I am. It’s a big piece of my bliss and my morning routine, so you get to choose what’s important to you. Certainly, you can structure it after successful people. We found that there are strategies for success. You probably want to include those in your morning routine, but you need to include what is important to you too. Take steps towards success and support yourself also. Thank you for that.
I’m looking forward to EXTRA and talking about money, like knowing our numbers, knowing what’s necessary to create passive income, and what our real expenses are. I was telling Chris that for me, I haven’t had a budget in a very long time. I’m very lucky and grateful that we’ve built a life where I don’t have to worry about a budget.
As I think about real financial freedom, like really being able to retire and live my life with passion, I’m looking at more passive income, so I need to know what those numbers are. I’m interested in going back to the basics. Chris and I are going to do that in EXTRA. If you are subscribed to EXTRA, stay tuned. We’ve got more and if you’re not, please go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenEXTRA.com.
For those of you that are leaving Chris and me now, thank you so much for joining us for this portion of the show. I look forward to seeing you next time and until then, remember, goals without action are just dreams. Get out there, take action and create the life your heart deeply desires. I’ll talk to you soon.
I’m not your boring, suit-wearing financial guy telling you to give me your money. Instead, I am the CASH FLOW EXPERT, and ANTI-Financial Advisor, teaching you how to increase your cash flow, create passive streams of income, and make a boat-load more money than what traditional financial “experts” teach.
In other words, I get your MONEY working for you TODAY so you don’t always work for MONEY!
As founder of Money Ripples, I am a leading authority on quickly creating wealth by increasing monthly cash flow. I have shown hundreds of entrepreneurs, high-paid employees, and hundreds of thousands internationally, how to free up or generate TENS OF THOUSANDS of dollars each year! I was the VP of Coaching for the highly reputable Freedom Fast Track company, and have been featured in US News, CNN Money, Bankrate.com, Bigger Pockets, and have a high reputation for getting my clients fast, life-altering results. Many of my clients accelerate their results where they have the option to retire in less than 5-10 years!
My passion is helping entrepreneurs, and high-income employees, become financially prosperous TODAY, and in the future, by finding & fixing their money leaks and creating passive income, so they can live the life they want NOW. To date, we have helped over 850 of our clients find an average of $34K a year!
To listen to the EXTRA portion of this show go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenExtra.com
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Moneeka Sawyer is often described as one of the most blissful people you will ever meet. She has been investing in Real Estate for over 20 years, so has been through all the different cycles of the market. Still, she has turned $10,000 into over $5,000,000, working only 5-10 hours per MONTH with very little stress.
While building her multi-million dollar business, she has traveled to over 55 countries, dances every single day, supports causes that are important to her, and spends lots of time with her husband of over 20 years.
She is the international best-selling author of the multiple award-winning books “Choose Bliss: The Power and Practice of Joy and Contentment” and “Real Estate Investing for Women: Expert Conversations to Increase Wealth and Happiness the Blissful Way.”
Moneeka has been featured on stages including Carnegie Hall and Nasdaq, radio, podcasts such as Achieve Your Goals with Hal Elrod, and TV stations including ABC, CBS, FOX, and the CW, impacting over 150 million people.