Think Like a Millionaire – Hustle Like You’re Broke!

I think like a Millionaire but every day I hustle like if I’m broke.  I am a hustler a doer a worker.  I have my parents to thank for that.  They were and still are to this very day a notable example of hard work, perseverance, hustling and never giving up but what they weren’t were Millionaires.  They never got even close.  I believe more than anything it was their mind set that kept them from reaching that goal.   I don’t think they ever thought like a Millionaire. My Dad was a great worker, incredibly talented handbag designer but he didn’t know how to manage money.  He lived way above his means and when the shit hit the fan, he borrowed from Peter to pay Paul.  I know for a fact he never had money put away for a rainy day and they always lived check to check.  My mother is the epitome of an independent woman.  My father was a hard worker I will give him that but he was not the best husband or father.  He was a cheater & a liar.  He was both mentally and physically abusive and he cheated on my mom our entire lives.   With that being said, his priorities or mindset were not on becoming a millionaire.

Back in 2001 I decided to change my situation.  My situation was not all that bad, it was decent.  From a distance, I’m sure the grass appeared super green.  I owned and operated a mortgage company, I was netting $120K per year and my husband owned and managed a property preservation company and he was netting approximately $150-180K a year.  You would think $270-300K a year is a pretty decent living but not for us and I wanted more out of life.   You see even with this income, we were about $80K in credit card debt, I had a first and a second mortgage & hardly any equity, I didn’t have any money put away and pretty much we lived check to check.  We spent it quicker than we made it.  Beautiful house with all the bells and whistles, kids in private school, exotic cars – The Grass was Super Green – had BBQ’s every weekend, had nephews and nieces over for pool parties all the time, entertained every weekend (very expensive to entertain), went to the best restaurants and lived pretty much a great life but we were in debt up to our eyeballs and all we did was work! 

Our days would start something like this, I would get up around 5am and start invoicing my husband’s work load from the day prior, I would have to invoice it, batch it up, organize it and deliver it to his clients before heading to my office.  I would then get the kids ready for school, uniforms, hair, homework and pack ballet and karate clothes for afterschool activities.  After getting the kids to school, I would head to my office and start processing, underwriting and closing loans.  At around 2:30, I would head out pick up the kids and bring them back to the office with me until it was time for after school activities.  Around 6ish, I would leave the office, take them to ballet, karate and then we would head home.  Start homework while cooking dinner and that’s more/less when hubby would walk in the door.  Hubbies day was a little different than mine.  His didn’t end when he walked in the door, we were just getting started.  You see before he walked in the door, he would have to stop by Costco and drop off 10-15 rolls of film from pictures that he had taken all day while working.  The only way to get paid from his clients was to prove we did the work by taking before, during and after photos of all the work we completed.   Remember he started in the business in 1997, incorporated in 1999 and now we were in 2001, no iPhone, no apps and they would not accept polaroid film.  Not only that but the film was too expensive.  After he glanced in the door, he would shower quick and run back out to Costco to pick up the photos that were developed.  By the time he got home, dinner was on the table and we would all eat as a family.  My kids would sometimes not get to bed until 10-10:30Pm but they were amazing kids and would not give me a tough time getting up in the morning.  They knew that mom/dad worked hard.  My daughter learned her ABC’s by filling daddy’s paper work in the office.   After we put the kids to bed, I would start cleaning, doing laundry going over the kids backpacks and prepping my day for tomorrow.  Sometimes I would sit next to my husband on the couch & catch a show here or there while he would match before & after photos of grass cuts, debris removal, lock changes and trimming that he did during the day.  Sometimes depending on how much work he had during the day, he would be up until 2-3am prepping the paperwork that I had to invoice in the morning.  He would sleep an average of 4-5 hours a night.  He’s been getting up at 5:00-5:30AM for work since 1997 when he started in the preservation industry.  The next morning it started all over again Mon through Saturday for him and Monday through Friday for me.

I wanted a change!  Primarily from the monetary situation.  I wanted more!   I typed up the following statement on a word document.  I don’t remember it verbatim but I do recall what it included and that it went something like this.

I am happy.  I am positive.  I will achieve anything and everything that I put my mind to.  I will own my Country – Victorian dream home. I will pay off all my debt.  I will have a savings account and it will have an abundance of money.  Compare to the statements I write today, this was very vague but it was a good one for being my first ever.

I then printed it in several sizes and fonts.  a few 2″x3″, 5×7″ and 8×10″.  I went to Kinko’s and got them laminated.  I opened a hole at the end of the 2×3″ and I attached it to the ring on my key chain.  The other 2×3″ I placed it on the inside of my visor in the car.  One 8×10 was taped on my mirror in the bathroom, another in the closet and lastly the 5×7″ I placed on the calendar on my desk.  It was one of those old calendars that had the black base and the 3 rings and you would flip the page every day, well the 5×7 sat on today’s page and for me to see my “to-dos” for the day, I would have to move the 5×7 back and forth.  Bottom line, it was everywhere and I read it at least 6-8 times a day.

In the beginning of 2002 we get a call from one of my husband’s clients asking us if we were interested in covering the state of Georgia for them.  Apparently, they had a lot of work in the area and they thought very highly of my husband.  He had proven himself and they offered him the opportunity.  My husband approached me about it and I told him that maybe we can hire someone to work for us and not necessarily us do the work.  We went back and forth, didn’t find the right people and so we backed away from the offer.   A few months went by and the opportunity was offered to us again.   Again, we thought about a potential candidate to run it for us but again it did not work out.   Finally, in September of 2002, I’ll never forget, Jose and I had taken the day off to drive to Captiva and have lunch and spend the day.  That was our little vacation for the year.  We worked so much that we never vacationed.  If we went to Disney with the kids once a year, it was too much.  We got the call while at lunch asking us if we would take the opportunity to perform property preservation in the state of Georgia.  This meant that I would have to leave my business, move our kids, take them out of the school they had both been in for years, friends, family and everyone we’ve ever known and leave to another state.  I looked at my husband and I said, let’s do it.  This opportunity has come knocking 3 times.  This is it! 

In 15 days Jose and I were in Georgia looking for homes.  I remember sitting with a realtor that I had been working with going over 10 homes that she had picked out for us.  My husband was sitting in the corner going through “house” magazines.  He spotted a home, looked at me and said, “Stop, I found your dream home.”  You see on Sundays we would go to brunch with the kids and afterwards we loved to drive around and look at houses and there was this one house in SW Ranches Florida that was a Country Victorian Dream Home.  It was 21K square feet, bowling alley, chef’s kitchen, 10 acres, you name it, it had it.  All the bells and whistles!  But what I mostly loved about the house was the “look” of the exterior.  Every Sunday, we would pass by the house and I would look at my husband and kids and say, “One day, I am going to own a County Victorian dream home, I don’t want it as big as this one but it is going to look just like it!”  Move forward now to my husband sitting in the corner of the real estate office and telling me “Stop!”   When he showed me the picture of the home, it was an aerial shot of a Country Victorian Home that was the splitting replica of the house in Florida the one that was passionate about except this one was 7k square feet (not too shabby) not 21k like the one in SW Ranches.  In addition, it was on 3 acres of flat beautiful land -which is rare in GA – in a small town called Cartersville.  If you want to look up an area of the house so you can see, the address is 485 Etowah Drive Cartersville GA 30120.  The house in SW Ranches address is 5550 Hancock Road SW Ranches FL  33330.  You can see by the areal how similar the two homes are.   For me they were splitting images of the other.  Twenty-one days later, we were moved in 485 Etowah Drive in Cartersville GA.  My County Victorian Dream Home.  We finished moving at 11PM Sunday night and Monday morning on our 14th Anniversary my husband got up at 5AM and headed off to work.  

This move by far is one of the riskiest decisions we’ve ever made but it was the decision that catapulted us to where we are today.  You see this move opened avenues of opportunities for us and it all started because of something I wrote down.  I wanted the County-Victorian Dream Home.  I never questioned how it was going to come to me, I just knew that’s what I wanted.  I wanted to be debt free, I didn’t know how we were going to do but just a couple of years later we were debt free.  We had a mortgage but no credit card debt.  By the time we left Georgia in 2005, we were debt free and had six figures saved.  Low six but we did it! 

When I wrote these statements back in 2001, I had no idea how I was going to do it and I didn’t care.  I just read the statements every day and believed that it was going to happen.  I have taken that thought process to an entire other level.  Today, I am self-made and I continue to think with the mindset of a millionaire but I still hustle everyday as if I am broke.  I still show up at this office every day and I have no need too.  I still look for clients daily.  I could retire today if I wanted but I don’t.  I get up and come to work every day as if I was broke. 

Funny story, I want to share with you.  This has nothing to do with me boasting PLEASE believe me it does not.  Just hear me out.  I own two multimillion dollar homes and both are paid off.  I own a building that is worth half a million and it is paid off.  I have half a million dollars in the market being managed by my financial advisor and I have a few hundred thousand in my personal & business accounts.  Let’s say Monday morning comes around, I get up in the morning start my gratitude, my prayers and my daily routine.  Next, I have things I need to do.  Let’s say I have to go online order dog food for the babies.  I go on my Amazon, look for my prior orders find the order and hit purchase.  Cost $87.79 for the two bags of food.  After I hit that purchase button and I get the Amex notification stating that $87.79 was just charged to my Amex.  Do you want to know what is the first thing that hits my mind at that moment?  ‘It is 8:00AM and I have already spent $87.79, I haven’t even made money today and I spent $87.79.  It literally drives a dagger in me.  I can’t stand not making money.  I need to work, I need to be productive, I need to hustle as if I’m broke.  In other words, my mindset when I get up in the morning is that I am broke and that’s how I go out the door.  That’s how I start my work day.   I am self made and worth approximately five million dollars and I get worked up because I spent $87.79 and I haven’t made the money yet.  Please I don’t consider myself cheap by any means.  My CL Shoe Collection is worth about $30,000 dollars.  I am a spender but I need to make it before I spend it.  Yesterday’s profits belong to yesterday.  Today’s income has to cover today’s expenses and leave me a profit.  That’s my mentality.  I don’t care if I spent $1,000 today between Costco, Publix, Home Depot, Home Goods and Entertaining as long as I made the 1,000 that I spent.   I never dig in to yesterday’s pockets to cover today’s expenses.  That literally drives me crazy. 

I mentioned about 1000 words ago the statement that I wrote back in 2001 was vague compared to what I write down today.  Here’s to give you an idea of today’s statement.  This is for real, I write and or read this daily. 

I want to sell my house for $1,850,000 net to me by October of 2017.  I want to invest $2,000,000 and earn a rate of return of 8.5% and yield $170K a year in passive income by the end of 2018.  Brandon will graduate with his Master’s Degree by December of 2017 at the top of his class.  I will obtain a new client that will bring in an additional $1,000,000 gross to SFFS/TRASHOUTS this year.  I will net 35% from the new account.  I will save an additional $250K in 2018.  I will live way below my means and save more than I spend.  I will travel first class to Africa in 2018 and go glamping.  Alex & Kenny’s business will grow in 2017-2018 and obtain new clientele so that they can net $250K a year to start.  Alex will graduate with her bachelors and start her Master’s degree in 2018.  Alex will obtain her Real Estate License and make an additional $100K a year in commissions.  I will buy a home for my mom and pay it off in cash for $250K.   I don’t know how the above is going to happen and frankly I don’t care.  I just know that it is.  Someone is going to come and offer me way above asking price for my beautiful home.  I am a lender and not a borrower so I am going to “lend” 2,000.000 and yield 8.5% return on my investment.  I know I am going to do it, I don’t know how and I don’t care.  Everything will come to me.  I know like I know like I know that you Ask and it will be given to you, Seek and you shall find, Knock and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7 My Father’s Word says so. 

Think like a Millionaire but hustle like you’re broke!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winging it!

I am on my third day “blogging” and I feel as if I know less than I did when I first got started.  I feel so alone in this so-called Blogging world.  I wish I could snap my fingers and there be someone next to me that can just tell me what to do and how to do it but I have chosen to go about it the hard way.  I have chosen to do this on my own and figure it out (wing it) until I get it done.  This is how I have managed to get things done my entire life.  When I don’t know what I am doing, I dive in and I wing it.  I truly don’t believe this is the right way to go about it but it is my way. 

You see, whenever I am passionate about what I am doing, I dive in head first.  Nine out of Ten times it has worked out for me.  I’m not saying it has been easy but it has been worth it.    I’ve put myself through the School of Hard Knocks and I graduated “summa cum laude”.  Today I feel as if I walked back in to a class where the professor speaks Chinese and I speak Sign Language.  We’re on complete opposites of the spectrum

Just to give you a little history, my husband and I have been in the property management, preservation & maintenance industry since the 90’s.  Our first company incorporated in 1999 and successfully sold in 2006 and our current company opened in 2006 and is still chugging along today.  My husband and I like to call it, The Little Red Engine That Could. 


Speaking about the Little Red Engine that could, back in 2006, I got a call from a new and prospective client.  She wanted to know If I can handle the work load that she was about to send me.  Knowing the business, the way I do, I knew there was no way that we could physically handle the work she was going to send me but back then I would get calls like hers every day and none of them would pan out so I said Yes.   I winged it!  Move forward 6 years and as of 2012 this client had given me over ten million dollars’ worth of work & best of all they are one of our dearest friends today.  We’ve vacationed together several times and we visit each other’s homes every year.  What an amazing connection!

In 2013, I get connected with a large asset management company.  I’ll never forget that day, I was at a tile store picking tile for my daughter’s bathroom and I get the call.  The client we’ll call her “E” is going on and on about the scope of work that is required for all 2500 properties in their portfolio and I am politely listening to everything she is telling me knowing deep inside that we’ve never done this type of work before & I had no idea how we were going to manage this.  Nonetheless, I said “Yes, no problem, send them to me and we’ll get them done for you!”  I winged it!  This call lead to over three million dollars’ worth of work in a year and half.

In 2015, I get a call from one of the branch managers from the above company that had left said company and started working with another asset management firm.  He called me up one day and said “Hey, remember me? ” I knew this was going to be a good one.  His new position managing 200 assets and several Section 8 Housing buildings lead to another two million dollars’ worth of business.  I had never worked on Section 8 Housing before and learned so much from this new venture.  I winged it!

“Winging it” has worked out for me with flying colors but it hasn’t been easy.  It was the will, hard work ethics and most importantly the passion behind it that lead me to where I am today.  So here I am “winging it” this time with a venture that is completely out of my realm in the hopes that it inspires you to “wing it”.   Do it with passion or not at all!