Overcoming Burnout and Learning to Live

In today’s business podcast, we hear from Diane Cassel and how you can live your life and overcoming burnout. Let’s jump right in!

Here are some things we cover in today’s Podcast:

  • How your lifestyle affects you as an entrepreneur
  • How to overcome burn out
  • How to network with purpose
  • How to say “No”

Thanks for listening to the OP Podcast. 

Make sure you check out Diane’s contact information below

Diane Cassel – Cassel to Castle


Diane Cassel is the CEO and founder of Cassel to Castle. 

She works with entrepreneurs to craft their message and mission statement.  Diane believes we all have a God-given gift and purpose.  She helps people develop their gift and become leaders.  Her mission is to enhance the lives of everyone she meets to turn their dream life into reality.

Diane loves to teach business owners how to network with purpose; how to select the right network group to maximize their time and how to go from a scarcity mindset to one of abundance.  She is known in her profession as a “master connector”.

Cassel to Castle is the solution to meet the entrepreneurial daily demands head on with the energy to burn the candle at both ends and be at the top of your profession.  She helps simplify your life with quick and easy ideas.  Cassel to Castle gives you the key to unlock the door to a healthy abundant lifestyle.

Diane lives life serving and sharing always.  She has a strong purpose to help people live boldly and make our world a better place.  Remember… life is not about the rock, but about the ripple you create”.

Bonus Business Training Videos

Check out the bonus videos and training from this episode.

Bonus: Healthy Living

In this bonus, Lyle Leads and Diane Cassel discuss ways to keep healthy on the ongoing business ventures you may experience.

Read This Podcast Episode’s Transcript Below

Optimize Profitability Podcast Transcript: Episode 13

Overcoming Burnout and Learning to Live

Lyle Leads: Hello, welcome to Optimize Profitability. Today, we’re here with Diane Cassel, she’s the CEO of Cassel to Castle.  They are on a rescue mission to help people live a healthy lifestyle and reduce risk of illness, teaching them how easy it is to build a strong immune system while on a budget that’s important to her. Her goal is to help others build residual income. And she’s one of my favorite people, I’ll just be honest. And I invited her and I told her I was like, I can’t believe I didn’t get you before today. Diane, thanks for being on here with us today.

Diane Cassel: Thank you so much. It was out of the blue that Lyle reached out to me yesterday and I was like, “wow, I haven’t heard from Lyle in a long time.” And it’s always good to hear from an old friend.

Lyle Leads: Diane, tell us your entrepreneurial journey, what’s brought you to be the successful person you are today?

Diane Cassel: Oh, my goodness. Well, we I’m going to try to do Cliff Notes version here. That’s what I call it because I love to make people laugh more than anything. So, you’ll do a lot of laughing in this episode. I hope and pray, but I am a recovering mortgage loan officer and I say it’s recovering because it nearly killed me, literally killed me living in the corporate world. And that’s my message to people and how I how I left that world and came to be an entrepreneur.

But being a mortgage lender was a twenty four seven gig. It was a tremendous amount of stress, the last company that I worked for was probably one of the most stressful companies I have ever experienced in my life. It was the epitome of how not to treat people, that kind of environment. And so that coupled with the stress of the job, the twenty four seven demands on you led me to have nearly a nervous breakdown. And my husband, my dear husband, for those of you that will get to know him and Lyle Leads met him before, is he’s my savior, my knight in shining armor because he actually rescued me from that.

He said, you are going to retire and retire early from that profession. And it really did save my life. It really did truly save my life. And so I was retired for a while and then I got a call not too much longer, and I was going on business trips with him. My plan was to go on business trips with him and he had most of the country. And so we were going to go and have fun while he worked.

I was going to go to the spa or hang out at the pool and read. I got a call from a friend of mine that I had met 30 years ago. And she said, “I’d like to introduce you to this network group and I want you to be part of it.” And so there ended my retirement. It was over in a flash.


Lyle Leads: A good flash, right?


Diane Cassel: It was a very good flash. And through that network group, I met my business partner. And my business partner was involved in health and wellness, and it resonated with me personally because I had watched my parents go from vibrant, healthy people to very sick people. And it was all due largely in part to their lifestyle and to their belief system. And so I watched them go to the doctor because they had a little ailment and the doctor would prescribe a big pharma pharmaceutical drug and that drug would give them another side effect.

And it was like a snowball, Lyle. It was it was like one illness led to another, and then they put a Band-Aid on that illness and then it just was it was never ending and I watched them disappear from me.  The people that I knew and that I loved. And so I vowed to myself that I was never going to take drugs, I was never going to take any pharmaceutical drugs, and I was just going to learn how to live a healthy lifestyle.

I also learned something interesting. I thought that if you were genetically inclined to have heart attacks, cardio disease or cancer in your family or dementia or anything like that, that you were just destined to that that was going to be your life. But what I learned is that it’s only 10 percent genetics and the rest, 90 percent is your lifestyle and your choices. That is what brought me to entrepreneurship. That is what brought me to do the research to find a company that I could back their products that I could back and that I could go out and share with everybody and impact their lives.

And that’s why I’m an entrepreneur today and my husband is still in the corporate world. That’s just his gig. He loves it. It’s his wheelhouse. But for me, he allowed me to do this. And it just has made such a huge difference. Not only my life, but everybody that I’m able to reach God puts before people that he wants us to meet every single day. It’s my job, my duty as a servant of God to share what God has taught me.

And I don’t believe in any accidents. I don’t believe that I met Lyle by accident. I believe that God introduced us for a reason and that we, the both of us, have the same belief system. And we go out and we teach people that they do make a difference in this world and how to make an impact in this world and how to help prevent you from illness.


Lyle Leads: I ask a question right quick before we get on this call, you talked about burnout. How did you go from burnout to being excited about life once again? Tell us what that journey look like to you.


Diane Cassel: Oh, wow. Well, if any of you have been in the burnout phase, if you’re in the burn out phase right now where it’s a very lonely place to be, and I want to talk specifically to you, because I think if you’re on this podcast right now and you’re listening to this, that it’s not by accident.

And so if you’re feeling burnout and you’re feeling overwhelmed if you’re getting into your car and driving from your office to your house and you pull up in your driveway or your garage and you don’t know how you got there. That’s burn out that is it and that’s a scary place to be, because you kind of go through what I call a blackout where you’re trying to remove yourself from the situation that you’re in because you don’t like it. You’re trying to protect yourself.

I’m speaking directly to you if you feel that right now. And so what did I do? How did I transition? I took a break. I think you need to take a break. I took a break, I surrounded myself with people that would lift me up and tell me the things that I needed to hear, not the things that I wanted to hear. Right. So they steered me in the right direction. They held me accountable.

But most importantly, they showed me love and that that is how I started the path back to wellness. And then from that point, I pivoted and I really said, “I am the sum of the five people that I hang out with the most. Who do I want in my close circle?” I call it kind of like in the in the old days, you know, when you’re out in the wilderness and you start getting attacked by whoever is attacking you and you’re circling the wagons, you’re circling the wagons, and it’s time to bring in the posse of circle the wagons and protect yourself.

Who are those five people that are going to help you, lead you to where you want to be, show you the path of where you want to go and help you get there. And that’s exactly what I did. I reached out to a person that I looked up to before and she led me. It was like a domino. She led me to people that she knew that had helped her. And that is what I recommend for each one of you.

The message that I send to each one of you today is circle yourself, surround yourself, circle the wagons and bring your posse close to you, the people that are going to protect you the most.


Lyle Leads: That’s a good word. I appreciate that. So what are you doing right now that you feel like is really helping you to win in life and win as an entrepreneur?


Diane Cassel: A couple of things I learned how to network with purpose. I don’t know about you out there in the audience, but I didn’t know how to network and people say, well, is that a skill? Well, actually, it is, because I was out there, I started with the Chamber of Commerce networking back when I was a lender because I didn’t know any different. And it was a great place to start. I met some incredible people at the Chamber of Commerce that are still my dear friends today that if I called them, they would be there for me.

But did they really give me business? No. Did I waste a lot of time? Yes, most assuredly. There was no structure. And it was just kind of push cards at people and not really create relationships, and so I went from that to a lot of other network groups and again, I felt like I was spinning my wheels. A lot of times I felt like I was meeting a lot of great people in the community.

But was I doing anything for myself in my business to elevate my business? And that’s really what you’re there for, to network is to make sure that everybody knows who you are and what you do and why you do it. I felt like I wasn’t doing that. And all I was doing was going from one meeting to the next to the next to the next. My calendar was filled up. I was busy. I kept telling people I’m very busy, but I wasn’t producing and I wasn’t feeling accomplished.

I didn’t feel like I ever accomplished anything. And then when I learned how to network from a dear friend of mine and I joined a network group with purpose, a network group that really taught me a network group that is a training and development company masquerading as a network company. So every week I go to that meeting and I learn something new. I also learned that transactions are not sustainable, that if I got a new client, if I didn’t take care of them and nurture them as a client and treat them as a friend, that they would not come back and do business with me again.

What I learned at my network group is that relationships are sustainable. That’s the only thing in this world. And if you don’t treat your relationships like a friendship and nurture them like a friend. That you will not grow your business, not the way you want to grow it, you want you want retention, you want customers to keep coming back to you. You just don’t want a one and done right. And that’s what I learned. Networking. It is an art. And I love teaching people how to do it with purpose. I love teaching people how to pick the right network group that fits their needs.

And then when they pick that network group, what do you do then? What’s your next step? You don’t just show up at the meeting. And so I love training and teaching. That’s the biggest thing I think that God gave me is that he gave me that gift of teaching people and listening. God gave us one mind for two ears. And unfortunately, most of us get that backwards. Networking probably is the biggest thing that you can do for yourself.

The other thing that I’m doing for myself is teaching myself how to say no. And that’s hard because when you are well known in your community people constantly call you.  They call you because they need something. Because you’re a resource, you have a huge sphere of influence and they want your time. They want to learn from you, and that’s the biggest compliment when somebody calls me and says, “hey, Diane so-and-so told me to call you because you knew how to do X or you knew how to steer me in the right direction.”

Well, here’s the thing. I do know those things. I’m old enough to know those things and I’d love to share those things, but I have to learn how to say no. When somebody calls me and says, hey, I want you to work on this project with me. And while it might be a great project and I love the person that’s calling and asking me, and I feel very honored that they’re calling and asking me. And I know you guys feel the same way, too, because there’s a lot of volunteering efforts out there right now.

There’s a lot of good causes out there right now. But sometimes the cause has to be you. Let me repeat that, sometimes the cause has to be you. And you have to take care of yourself first, right, it’s kind of like being on the airplane. And the flight attendants instruct you, if you lose cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop down. And you as an adult, if you’re traveling with a small child or an adult that needs help, you’re supposed to put your oxygen mask on first and then help them with theirs.

The same is true here in entrepreneurship. You’ve got to put your oxygen mask on first. You have to insulate yourself first. And I love teaching people how to do that. But you’ve got to say no because and tell them that you’re honored that they asked and then say, you know what? I’m going to think about somebody that would be really good for this and I’m going to connect the two of you. But if you if you don’t say no.

To a lot of things that come your way, that means you’re saying no to the things that you’re supposed to focus on, right. And so those are those are the things that I recommend. Those are the things that I’m implementing in my life right now.


Lyle Leads: That’s great, and what’s one tip you give an entrepreneur about networking or about saying, no, a lot of people have trouble saying no. So how what would be a tip? You would tell them how to say no in a nice way that they can do that feels comfortable to themselves.  Sometimes people feel like when they say no, they’re letting someone else down that self pleasing factor.


Diane Cassel: Absolutely. So when somebody calls me and asked me to jump on board, I’ll give an example, recent example. Somebody called me and asked me to jump on board a volunteer effort. They wanted to put together a fundraiser, a golf tournament for this non-profit. And they knew I had lots of experience with that they’d see me in the community do many of those efforts, they know that I’m a control freak and I’m a bossy redhead.

So I lead the pack. Right. And I get things done, but even though this was a good effort and a certainly a fabulous non-profit that I believe in. I had to say no. I didn’t want to feel bad about it. And so what I said to them was, “You know, I am honored, I’m really honored that you called me and thought about me.” Because, yes, I love doing those things. I love giving back to the community that I live and work in, and I believe it’s so important for us to get back, said, “Right now. I am not able to do this. Because I feel like if I if I accepted this offer. That I would be shortchanging you. I don’t believe that I could give it my all because I’m involved in too many things, I put too much on my calendar.”  I give it back to me like it’s my fault. But I put too much on my calendar that I need to clear my calendar. And I just wouldn’t be able to do a good job for you now. I want this to be a successful event for you. “I’m honored that you asked me and what I’m going to do is I’m going to sit and I’m going to think about the people in my life. That this would be a good match for. And I’m going to introduce you to that person or those people.”

Those are some powerful words. Because it validates them right? But it also validates me and it also makes me vulnerable, I show my vulnerability by saying I just couldn’t do a good job for you right now, but I’m going to help you.  I’m not going to let you down. I’m still going to help you.

So I hope that resonates with some of you, because I know it’s hard to say those two letters. And it’s a big it’s a big it’s a big word to a lot of people. Sometimes it’s a complete sentence. However, sometimes, depending on who is asking, can be a complete sentence, and you don’t have to give a reason. I think people that are reaching out to you for a good reason that it does it does require a reason and an explanation. It makes sense and if you do it that way, it just it’s warm. It’s just right. It’s not a negative. And hopefully that helps you learn a little bit more about how to say no.


Lyle Leads: Yes, that’s a good tip. I think you give them that warm factor. I love that concept. So we’re going to continue this conversation. We’re going to take a slightly different direction. We’re going to talk about how to live a healthy lifestyle.

It’s not your typical just get up and exercise type thing. There’s more to it than that. We’re going to talk about how to take care of yourself a little bit. We’re going have a fun conversation about a serious topic called health. Join us over at OptimizeProfitability.com. Before we leave out here, though, Diane, how can we get in touch with you?


Diane Cassel: You can get in touch with me a couple different ways. I’m going to go ahead and give you my cell phone because I believe in the power of connection. And so here you go. My cell phone is nine seven two. Six five eight four zero three five. Again, it’s nine seven two six five eight four zero three five in my email address is pretty simple. The name of my company, it’s diane at casseltocastle  dot com.

It’s a little play on words that I came up with a friend. We brainstormed and it’s from my home to yours teaching you how to live a healthy lifestyle like that.


Lyle Leads: Real quick before we get off there. You gave your cell phone is OK for people to text you before they call you or you just wanted to call you directly?


Diane Cassel: Either way, probably texting is going to be a better way for you so that I know the reason of your call and how you found me. It’d be really important for you to text me and say, hey, I heard your message on Lyle Leads podcast, or Optimize Profitability. And that will help me and Lyle with our marketing efforts and our tracking.

The Power of Adaptability in Business

In today’s business podcast, we hear from Justin and Alexis Black discuss the power of adaptability and how a business works in marriage. Let’s jump right in!

Here are some things we cover in today’s Podcast:

  • How adaptability and flexibility empower business
  • Understand the impact of mentors when getting started
  • How to get out of a comfortable mindset to grow intentionally

Thanks for listening to the OP Podcast. 

Make sure you check out Justin & Alexis’s contact information below

Justin & Alexis Black – Redefining Normal

Email: info@re-definingnormal.com

Phone: (248) 289-0844

Justin and Alexis are authors, speakers, and business owners. Together, they’ve created The Scholarship Expert and The ROSE Empowerment Group to support hundreds of young people. Now, with their new venture, Redefining Normal, they hope to continue the conversation on healthy relationships, mental health, and healing.

Bonus Business Training Videos

Check out the bonus videos and training from this episode.

Bonus: Finding a Mentor

In this bonus, Lyle Leads, Justin and Alexis Black speak on how to find a good mentor and why your even need one.

Bonus: Identity in Business

In this bonus, Lyle Leads, Justin and Alexis Black speak on how to find your identity in business.

Read This Podcast Episode’s Transcript Below

Optimize Profitability Podcast Transcript: Episode 12

The Power of Adaptability in Business

Lyle: Today on Optimize Profitability Podcast, I’m excited to be here with Alexis and Justin Black. They have three different businesses. Both of them come out of the foster care system, but both emerge because of their passion and drive. How cool is that? But they’re service oriented and they realize that their skills they were given were gifts to give other people.

 And I love that concept. That’s really awesome. I think Alexis said that.  They just came up with a new book called Redefining Normal, or they share their story of what it took from then to go from being the foster care system all the way through an entrepreneurship and successful people they are today.Tell us about your journey. What did it take for you to get where you are today as an entrepreneur?

 Justin: Yeah, well, it’s definitely a lot, you know, especially overcoming skepticism. And I think one of the biggest things that we’ve learned through our experiences in foster care and traveling is really how to be flexible and how to adjust to different situations. And it’s really a huge thing that we’ve learned. So for me personally, I’m from Detroit and I grew up in Detroit pretty much my whole life until about the age of 17 or 18 when I moved to a new foster home and where I lived for about two years and transition into college and Western Michigan University, which is on the other side of the state near Chicago, about a two and a half hour drive from Chicago, Kalamazoo, Michigan. 

And even though this is only like two and a half hours in Detroit, Kalamazoo, it was such a big change for me because it was something I was not used to. I’ve lived in Detroit my whole life and it was just really adapting and adjusting. And the idea of adapting, adjusting to being flexible is really a lot of entrepreneurship is about, you know, you can’t have the same model and do the same things and expect life for your audience that it’s hard to get to adjust to. 

You have to adjust the people and adjust to the times. And there’s so many things that will always change. And I feel like entrepreneurs are measured by how well they’re able to adjust. And since life is always changing, you know, like technology wasn’t as big as that as it is ten, fifteen years ago. So you have to always be able to adjust. And I think through our lives and our experiences, just that ability to be able to adapt and adjust and even we’ll talk maybe about while in college. 

We both studied abroad and about 13 programs combined, over 30 countries. And that ability to learn about other cultures and learn about their experiences and what they’ve done and just being able to adapt to different audiences is very important. 

Lyle: Awesome. I love that. 

Alexis: And so for me, what was what I was going to say, it’s a part of life, but I think actually it’s just around the corner.  As foster kids, we are the ideal individuals to be entrepreneurs? Because we are taught to be resilient and flexible and adaptable.

 And what’s the other word? I always say flexible. And so we’re we’re taught in survival mode to always employ those skills. And so I see those in my everyday life with companies and kind of pushing myself to the limit. I thrive off of being overwhelmed. It’s just that at all times, apparently, because that’s how I live my life with businesses. And for me, I started getting involved in entrepreneurialism when I was a college junior.

I went to the University of Michigan, Flint first. I’m from Flint. And then I transferred to my University of Western Michigan University and I joined Honors College. And there was this course, it was really cool. It’s called study in the States where you can travel around to different states studying different things or one topic. And it’s kind of like a study abroad in the US. And so we study startup communities. And that to me was just like a light bulb moment of I can start a company and it be something that I create for myself and nobody else can take away from me that it’s my own baby and I can make an impact with it. 

I think that was the biggest thing for me, because when I thought about making an impact, the only way that I saw that as being possible was through nonprofit. And that’s why I actually have a certification, a nonprofit leadership, because that’s what I thought the only outlet was. And so I got that first and then I discovered entrepreneurship. And so it was really through their class. And my mentor and my professor at the time, he was really pushing me and challenging me to ask questions and to get outside the box and get outside of my head a lot of times. 

I’m very hard headed and when I’m when I’m determined, I go for it. And I don’t take no for an answer. That’s just how I’ve always lived my life and gotten me to where I am today. And he was the one who challenged me to study abroad and to take advantage of different opportunities. I would say that even the opportunity to go abroad and learn other cultures, as he mentioned, and listening to other people and learning the the importance of active listening, especially when being an entrepreneur of what do people need, what do you need from me? 

Because the idea of build it and they will come, that doesn’t work. And what’s interesting is we actually use that skill. When we developed a study abroad program within our university, and it was the first program of its kind. And even the study abroad office was just so stunned by the way that we decided to do it, which to me, it makes sense as being an astronaut that we just did a study abroad night where we asked students, what do you want out of a study abroad program? 

Where would you like to go? How would you like it formatted? And we created an entire program based on those parameters. But every single other study abroad that has ever been created, our university has been a professor, has a skill set and wants to go to a certain country and they develop a program around that. 

And it’s like that’s backwards to me of how you should create it. And you wonder why some programs have difficulty with enrollment. And in and we had over 50 applications or something crazy like when we developed it that way. And so just through simple things like that, by creating a study abroad program and then using that skillset into into integrating our business. And also I want to mention the importance of whatever you say and what comes out of your mouth has power and and also who you’re strong yourself with has just as much merit. 

And I say that because my pastor actually planted the seed of being a business owner and also being an author because she’s my one of my closest mentors. And she sat down with me one day. She said, look, I need you to start a business and I want to be called the scholarship expert. Well, here we are a couple years later. And that night when I bought the domain, started creating the website, website was trash. This is my first website, but I’ve learned the skills and I developed and it was her planting that seed of doing that. 

And I went on hiatus for a little bit, but then we relaunched it again in December. And I mean, it’s just kind of skyrocketed since then. We’re potentially going through a merger now and then a lot of other things. So everything is a learning, learning curve for sure. I feel like I watch fifty two videos a day to teach myself everything. But you figure it out, you don’t have somebody that you can go and ask and you can go and say, hey, how do I do this?  What do I do. You figure it out yourself. But I love that because that fits into our resiliency and our our flexibility.

Justin: With the Internet, also, a lot of times is like an information age, because without the Internet, people didn’t have access to know how to do certain things or have certain abilities. But it really is amazing. It’s like almost a perfect time to be an entrepreneur, because you two can always do really anything, you know, you learn so many skills on YouTube and it’s like a big information bubble where you can just almost search everything you want and everything you need and ask you to learn something new every single day on how to function and how to how to work the website, how to send a mass emails. 

And there’s so many different things. And I to utilize YouTube as well on how to do certain skills and how to write a product email that look in Google that certain images and just this is so much on the Internet, so much information and really just trying to improve your business, improve their skills and knowledge so you can serve people better. 

Lyle: Let me ask you guys right quick, because you’re going the foster care. I’m sure you had some little things that you had to overcome because most people that go from, you know, to a college into a nice safe job and you guys took the exact opposite track. So what was that mental shift that happened in your brain that got you there? 

Alexis: I remember when I was going to say now, so I started college as an accounting major because to me that was the most that was the safest degree I could possibly get. Everybody’s an accountant. I’m good at numbers. And I figured I could be an accountant, but I did two internships and realized I hated it. And then meeting other people and networking, I learned that that’s a skill set that I have, but that’s not in the the realm that I should be. 

And whenever you take personality assessments and things for school, I was never on there because it doesn’t fit into a set career path. And so I had to figure that out for myself. After what, adding and dropping 10 different majors and minors? I mean, it was really crazy. And the year that I started my undergraduate degree was the year that it started at my university. 

Another huge mindset shift that I had to do was I had to learn that I’m not meant to be independent. I’m meant to be interdependent and depend on other people, because if I want to be successful in any aspect of my life, I have to learn to rely on people. And I think that for us and for individuals that come from the foster care system, when you’re in survival mode all the time and you’re always worried about being disappointed and let down and and all the negativity that can come with depending on the wrong people, that you kind of you miss out on all the people or even more people that could be in your corner, that could love you and support you and be there for you and to help take you to that next level. But if you don’t allow yourself to be vulnerable and open to that, then you’re always limiting yourself. 

I always tell people, if you want to be real bitter and unsuccessful, then stay in that mindset, because that’s something that you really have to outgrow in order to be successful. And I learned that when I met my parents, who are now my adoptive parents, when I moved into their house, they really showed me that in their everyday life and their commitment and their commitment to God and their faith and just watching that, because I learned from people’s observations. 

Whenever I find a mentor or anybody, I always observe them first to make sure that who you are in your daily life, through your behaviors and through that, I want to learn from and seek their skills and how you and how you are. And so I even do that, like even in counseling, when I go to counseling, I’m observing the first couple sessions of are you somebody that has integrity in the character that I can ask you for advice in your opinion over my life? Because I have to take everything with a grain of salt, no matter who it’s coming from and making sure that it fits my values and my core mindset. And that goes in every single aspect of my life.

Justin: When you talk about overcoming some of the habits of in foster care, I come from Detroit and I grew up in a very impoverished, very poor neighborhood, or at least the poorest in the neighborhood and my family and a lot of abuse and drug addiction and a lot of other things. 

And one of the things that. I always say as a teenager or even coming into college was I just want a comfortable job, I just want to be comfortable, I want to get something stable, something good, because I grew up in poverty. So anything you know, I got food on the table. I have a bed to sleep in. You know, you don’t get me wrong, like, those things are good. And I want to be humble and I want to appreciate the clothes on my back and food that I eat and the things that I’ve never had before. 

But as a young adult and as a teenager, I always told myself, I just want to be comfortable. I just want to live a comfortable life and I just want to be good. And that’s one of the biggest things that I really had to overcome, especially in my spiritual journey with God, is because there is when you pursue entrepreneurship, when you are a believer in God and you’re a Christian, that life and all of those things is nothing comfortable about all those things that you have to get used to being uncomfortable and not looking for the easy way out, looking for easy nine to five, look for an easy job.That’s not what entrepreneurship is about. That’s not what God is about, just being comfortable. 

I’ve really had to challenge myself in that poverty mindset in me of just being comfortable and getting a quick nine to five job and trying to get quick money and make it easy. I had to overcome that and understand that so much growth comes from being uncomfortable. And I learn so many things just from being uncomfortable and going through so many trials and tribulations. I’ve really tested me and I really had to overcome that mindset of of just the easy way out. 

And I think that’s probably the biggest thing I had to overcome of the foster care system. But it’s a challenge every day. I have to make the decision every single day not to take the easy way out. And I look at my to do list like I think I should just push it off another day. You know, so hard is going to require so much work. I should push it off another day. But I really have to challenge myself, like, no, just do it, you know, just get that hard test done. That’s it, just get it done. Look at these YouTube videos. I could learn a skill and take that time to. I don’t feel like taking time to learn. This is a struggle every single day. But we have to be intentional about making a decision.

Alexis: He is too humble. When he started college it was one major, no minor, no clubs, nothing. And then by the time he graduated president of Study Abroad, two majors created a study abroad program, went on five study abroad programs like he just did so much. 

And less than three percent of colleges graduate from college. And we have both graduated within the last year and a half. And he’s just too humble to say that. 

But I also tell people that if your dreams aren’t if your dreams don’t scare you, then they’re not big enough. And I can’t remember the last book I read it from, I think it was called The Circle Maker is from a pastor out of DC. And I just always love that saying if your dreams are if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough. And I always think of myself whenever we create our goals list for the year, we we do this every January. 

We create our goals list and then we break it down by month. And then in June, we reassess and we see what do we need to do, how do we need to do better? And when we create that goals list, I look at lik, “Holy crap, that scares me because it’s just so much.”  There’s no I’m like, there’s no way we could do half of this. And sure enough, we end up accomplishing more than half of it every year. 

But if we if we put our sights lower and just do half of those things or half those things on the list, then we will accomplish a half of those. So it’s just always pushing yourself further. And that translates into our daily life. When we create our To-Do list. I always put way more than I could ever accomplish in a day on my to do list, because I know that if I don’t, I’m not going to push myself and I won’t go as far as I want to go. 

And also with an entrepreneur, what’s difficult is that you set your own schedule, you set your own To-Do list and that’s difficult. Some people really need structure and they need to know what they’re going to do every single day. And they live by their job descriptions and the tasks that their employer gives them. And I think that was one of the hugest things for me is to figure out because I’ve always worked a job or at least one or two jobs. 

When you start a business and you don’t have that structure, the first six months, I struggle, I really, really struggle. Now I have a concrete schedule and what I’m doing every day. We’ve been working almost one hundred hours a week since March. We took time off for the wedding last month. But that’s about it. And I mean, we just we kind of set our schedule and priorities and everything ourselves. And so that’s also really been helpful in our marriage of understanding really. 

How do you define priority and what is that and what does it look like in every single day within our marriage, within our business, within my personal life with family, whatever it may be, and setting goals every single day. So I really love that aspect that I’ve learned is it’s creating priorities, still working on the balance part is still working on getting more time together.Because I do count because you can’t see in our room right now but. It’s literally our bed and our desk next to the bed, it’s a wake up, go right to work and we sit next to each other all day. And so I kind of count that as time together when it’s not time together and start working on prioritizing that, but it’s getting there. 

Lyle: So what’s something you’re doing right now in your business that’s helping you succeed even more? What’s a little tip you can give somebody that’s listening in as an entrepreneur? Maybe they’ve come through that struggle and they’re having trouble with that flexibility aspect or that balance aspect with something you tell them.  

Alexis: I would always just tell people to find mentors. That’s like the biggest that’s the biggest advice that I give every single person is find a mentor in whatever whatever you want to learn, whatever career path you have, whatever skill you want to overcome or whatever it may be, find somebody and have them hold you accountable and ask them what they are doing. Because having accountability partners has been one of the greatest things for me. And I just tell everybody what are my dreams, one of my goals, because I want to see how God aligns other people in my life. 

I have my pastor tell me that a couple of years ago, and that has been that has worked tenfold. And also just the accountability part of them reaching out to me and saying, hey, where are you with this? How is that looking? And if I dropped the ball, just being honest and say, hey, I need to do better or or, hey, I’m taking your advice and I’ve done this, this and this with it and and just kind of seeing how other people pouring into us has really just helped us be where we are today. 

But mentorship is just one of the greatest things that I could ever, ever just encourage people to do. And that’s and that’s not just entrepreneurship. That’s in every aspect of your life you’re going to have you’re going to have mentors and every season of your life, no matter what it is you’re like, we have personal and professional mentors. I have individuals that I can go to and seek guidance and accountability for with my personal crap that I have to do, and not just not just in a professional sense, but then I also have mentors and academic sense and then in the professional world. 

So they’re going to have different people in different seasons of your life. And it’s OK to have more than one mentor. Some people are stuck on just having one at all times, but really have as many as you can that you can keep up with and then are willing to hold you, hold you accountable to all your goals and dreams. 

Justin: I would say intentionality is the one thing which is really helped me, which is creating like the actual daily schedule. She talked about that a little bit, but just breaking down each hour of the day. And, you know, she’s like the alarm queen like any second should have an alarm go off. And we don’t have any now at this time do this, at that time. And I really adapted that from her. And it really goes near kind of like, OK, I need to work on this assignment for maybe like an hour and a half and I need to get this done at a certain period of time. 

And even when it comes to things that help with my mental health, like working out is really huge for my mental health and really stabilizing my life. And I give myself like I think six p.m. to like seven p.m. to work out like 45 minutes to an hour to work out. And when it comes to personal time and just taking care of myself just really be intentional about that, being intentional, about working on different assignments, working on business, laying out my day and being organized. 

And I’ve learned it all from her. And I think it was my freshman or sophomore year. We talk about this story in the book and how I came to her crying because I failed an exam my sophomore year, I think no, it was actually my freshman year. Freshman year, it was my freshman year. You know how freshmen we all come in, you know, overwhelmed and everything. And I was unorganized. I didn’t know how to organize at all. 

And I came to her apartment crying because I failed an exam and I was ready to go back home to Detroit. I didn’t know what to do. I’m like, I’m ready to give up. It’s like I’m dropping out, dropping out. And that day she sat down with me. She bought me a planner. We organized my life. And just like balancing had day to day things. And right now, I think, again, just being organized is a challenge each and every day, each and every week and just starting. 

All right. OK, Sunday I rest and Sunday maybe around four or five at the you know, I’m done watching the Lions lose again. 

But so Sunday I sit down, relax and organize my week and Monday I already know what needs to get done. I set all my alarms and I’m just rolling. So I think just being intentional and being organized, even on a personal time is so key for an entrepreneur. When you talk about giving to other people, you can’t give to other people if you can’t give yourself. So just take time for yourself and do what helps you mentally do it, make time for spiritual growth and just really organize your time. 

Lyle: So we’re going to continue a conversation with you guys. One thing I’d like. For all, share in our bonus section, we’ll talk about that in a minute, as I like to talk about what it takes to get a mentor. Give us some tips on that. But then we’re going to have a discussion just as a whole of what it means to understand your identity and bring that identity into your entrepreneurship and your marriage. They talked a little bit about it before we got started. I thought that was some really cool stuff. And hopefully this will whet your whistle to get into their book and buy their book and find out more about them. So tell them right quick before we get off here. How can they get in touch with you guys.

Alexis: You can get in touch with us through email, at info, at re-defining normal.com or just go to re-d efiningnormal.com. That’s where you can preorder us emails, whatever it may be. That’s the best way to get in contact with us and also to preorder our book, if you’re interested.

Lyle: We’re going to have links on our bonus page. Go to OptimizeProfitability.com. For all the bonus business trainings including how to get a mentor and situating your identity as an entrepreneur.


How New Millenials Are Aspiring For Greatness

In today’s business podcast, we talk with Matthew Zamutt and how he is aspiring other entrepreneurs. Lets jump right in!

Here are some things we cover in today’s Podcast:

  • Techniques to help cope with depression and anxiety in business.
  • Key tips in business for marketing
  • How to overcome being new in business

(Livestream coming Oct 6 at 12pm CST)

Thanks for listening to the OP Podcast. 

Make sure you check out Matthew’s contact information below

Matthew Zamutt – Aspiringpreneurs

Email: matthew@dfwtop.com
Phone: (214) 586-0893

Read This Podcast Episode’s Transcript Below

Optimize Profitability Podcast Transcript: Episode 10

How New Millenials Are Aspiring For Greatness

Hello, today, we’re on Optimize Profitability Podcast’s, we’re with Matthew Zamutt.

He actually hosted for us last week when we did our top ten wouldn’t be our top ten be our first 10 episodes. So I asked Matthew to come in and share his story and everything. So Matthew, as known as the Aspire producer and aspiring producer excuse me, REI for and he’s got his own business.

He does real estate investing. He does marketing, he does all kinds of things. And so he’s going to talk about what it took him to, to go from a different kind of mindset, to go into being an entrepreneur. So, Matthew, take it away, buddy. First of all, thank you so much for having me on this podcast. I’ve really enjoyed working on each episode. So as far as my story goes, I would say it started right after I got out of high school.

It’s kind of stuck in a situation where I couldn’t afford college, but I knew I wanted to do something in the medical field because that’s what my family did. That’s all I really knew. And so one of my friends just reached out to me, said, hey, there’s a business opportunity, go check it out. And maybe something that’s different from college in my life. So I jumped in to a meeting, kind of saw what entrepreneurship is.

It happened to be life insurance. I drove right out of that because that wasn’t just like I couldn’t sell life insurance at 18 years old. But when I met you, you were doing marketing. And I really liked fixing things. That was just something I really enjoyed. I like building computers. My computer’s been here since twenty twelve. It’s crazy. I just love fixing things and making the last a long time. And so when we discovered real estate together, marketing and how they work together, I really enjoy entrepreneurship.

And in that aspect of I could fix these houses and fix these neighborhoods and fix these individuals businesses so they can get more clients. So I really I really like that aspect of entrepreneurship and that’s really why I’ve dived in.

So tell us about the the emotional journey that you went through through all that, because you didn’t just pick up and go from life insurance to being a successful person.

There’s a whole process that you went through that’s that entrepreneurial journey. So people are listening. What’s the process you went through?

OK, yes, I made it really simple, but ultimately I went through a lot of depression growing up, you know, my dad passed away at a young age and I was left to my single mom, but she really didn’t know how to help me. I was our only son. She never had a son before. She not experienced that. So it’s kind of like up to me to figure out how to get over my depression. And so when I go into life insurance, I was really nervous.

I was like, man, if I tell somebody about insurance, I’m going to be instantly rejected. I don’t know what to do. And I would always every time I was trying to I a call a friend or cold call somebody, I get really scared and I would just never end up calling them. And so I had to get over this fixed mindset of being fearful to have an idea of confidence, because ultimately you have somebody told me this in a song or whatever.

There’s two things you can focus on fear and love and so like in this context to confidence. And so you can either choose to be fearful and never know what’s going to happen on the other end or just jump right into it. And so I did develop that mindset over time, especially working with you. You’ve helped instill that confidence in me. And I really appreciate it, but definitely, definitely had to go from that fixed mindset to that growth mindset.

So explain what that means, because somebody’s listening and they keep hearing you say stuff like fixed mindset. What does that mean? Fix my growth mindset.

Let’s throw a fixed mindset is somebody who just stays where they are. They it’s like an employee. So they have a certain amount of time. They got to get done each day. They work a normal nine to five. And so they have certain tasks. They got to get done. They got they got a mindset of like I see to make money and that’s it. And so they only focus on money and time. And there’s four different types of I don’t know what they call it, but it’s there’s knowledge, relationships, time and money.

And so those are your four occurrences of life. And so in a growth mindset, you realize you can leverage your time for more money, you can leverage your knowledge for you, can leverage your relationships for more knowledge and vice versa. And so I had to develop all those because growing up, I thought I would work them out this sort of time and make the set of money, go home, play video games, whatever I was doing. And so now with the growth mindset, I’m always growing.

I’m always looking to increase my currency currencies in all four levels. And that’s what a growth mindset really is, is somebody who’s always constantly looking to improve themselves and move forward. That is the fixed in growth mindset. And what are you doing right now? It’s helping you succeed in business. Well, right now, a lot of when I got started around this market to see a couple of years back, I didn’t realize that coaching was really important.

I thought, oh, I could just do this myself. And and with all the knowledge that I’ve had in schooling with Microsoft, I thought maybe I’d just use my social media skills and that’s it, just reach out to people. But I slowly realized I needed somebody to ask for help when I need something because I thought I was a know it all. I’m a millennial, so it’s coming within us to be a know it all. And so I was definitely helping me is being held accountable by these coaches that are helping me grow my marketing agency and just asking questions and reaching out to them when I have a problem, because if I try and fix it myself, it never gets done.

And what my brain does is if I have a problem, it shuts down. And I’m trying to learn not to do that. And if I have a problem, instantly ask somebody about it that can give you an answer. And so I’ve been talking with coaches every single day, Monday through Friday, and that’s definitely helped me. Another thing that’s also helped me is also just writing down like how much I make every week. I know you’ve helped me with that, but seeing how much you make and what you’re doing every day can help you also improve your business and how much money you make regardless.

Whatever you’re doing a job, being self-employed or being a business owner investor. And it’s really opened my eyes to my own self so I can better and improve when I’m doing. And so there’s a lot of things I’m doing. But coaching ultimately has been a big help for me the last couple of weeks. It’s definitely what I’ve been doing.

So the key is tracking it, right? You don’t if you don’t know, rolling or not. No, no, no.

You got to you definitely got to track what you’re doing, because if you if you stay where you are, you’re always going to if you don’t change what you’re doing currently, then you’re always going to stay where you are. And I realize that for a couple of years my business was up like a roller coaster. You know, I’d make money in real estate and then I wouldn’t make money. I make money in marketing and I have really high money go down.

And so ultimately, I just wanted to stop that roller coaster and make it as smooth as possible. So it was a very, very small roller coaster up and down months. And so I’m realizing tracking things your KPIs are key performance indicators are really, really, really key to your business.

Let’s unpack a little bit. You said that sometimes when you get you get problems happen, you just kind of freeze. What does that mean? What do you do to go over that? So maybe somebody else is dealing with depression? Yeah, we’re dealing with anxiety and something comes up in their lives and they just freeze and SOP they’re not sure what to do with it. What do you do in the situations and what are some tips you can give someone that may feel overwhelmed?

OK, so let’s did things with that. So when you’re just anxious so there was no depression involved, you know, you start just everything’s just thrown out the window. Everything’s going crazy. You know, wherever you are, everything’s just insane. You know, you could be sitting right here silent and in your mind is just like having a warfare inside your head. And so what I do is if I’m getting really anxious and really pent up, I stop what I’m doing.

I sometimes if I’m out on this balcony, I’ll just listen to some music. My, my, my music’s metal. So I go really hard. Like, I’ve got to listen to something really heavy for a good five minutes just to clear my brain. And then my next thing I do is I write down everything that’s in my head. I write it down on a notepad or I it on my phone. Whatever I’ve got ready most of the time, I don’t have a notepad laying out here.

It’s probably a good idea. So I just pull my phone and start writing notes and I get everything out of my head. And then once I’ve assessed what I’ve done on my head, then I go ahead and find the solution to each problem that I’m having. Because ultimately, if you keep it in your head, you know, anxiety has a tendency to make you just freak out and cause absolute chaos and destruction around you and nothing ever gets accomplished.

You just worsen your day. And ultimately the anxiety just continues and continues and continues. And that’s why my brain, you know, when I freak out over the simplest things, all I need to do is write it down and get it on my head, listen to some music, show myself out and then jump into the task. And I need to get done first and then find solutions to the rest of them. Now, as far as depression, that can be a little harder because my mind is definitely not cycle.

Mine’s not like a clinical depression. So you might have medicine for that. But for my situation, mine’s just very psychological. I couldn’t figure out my depression and figure out what the sign is coming from and then cut that off and then continue my life with happiness. But what I do with depression is is almost the same. But I listen to a little bit more peaceful music because a tendency for people that love music and that’s like they’re they usually listen to really sad and depressed music and that just continues that path.

Being said, not getting anything done, you know, you turn on Netflix, all right, screw it, I’m going to do it tomorrow. You know, nothing ever gets accomplished. But you got to you got to shut everything off. You got to shut your devices off. Sometimes I pray I don’t know your belief system. I know you Lyle, but the individualising may not have the same belief. And so I just kind of science myself.

Either talk to God or I talk to myself and then I listen to really peaceful music. Sometimes I turn on video game music because it’s always peaceful. It’s really weird. And then I just sit there for ten minutes right out myself, sometimes takes 30 minutes and then forgot what I need to do. And ultimately the more effort I put into my business, it actually fixes my depression. I become happy again. And so that’s how I fix depression.

So that’s that’s you’ve got to think of it this way. Anxiety is a quick fix. Depression is a long term fix. So that’s what I do to fix all those issues.

OK, and you’re you’re noted as the a sparring partner. What does that mean? And how could somebody join you in understanding more about that?

So a sparring partner to me is somebody that always so like the three words I used to use when I started the name was a spiral inspired her fire. And that was just ultimately like encouraging other entrepreneurs to help other people, because a lot of entrepreneurs I see just in general, either they are so offish, they don’t want to talk to you or they want they need help. And so I want to be the guy that’s there as a helping hand as an entrepreneur and help guide them.

You know, a lot of people come to me and they’re like, I’ve never done real estate before. I can give them that path by being aspiring to them, by showing them. And so I created a spine for her as a community to help entrepreneurs that are struggling right now. Maybe just because it’s twenty twenty and things are crazy right now, maybe the election is freaking them out. All the politics on Facebook can be really overwhelming. Some people are just saying on their Facebook and they’re given up on social media forever.

But a lot of people rely on social media for their business. And so I created a Facebook community group on well, yeah, on Facebook. And so I’m I’m posting things on a regular basis. I haven’t in a while, but I need to jump right back into it. But the whole point is to build a community with other entrepreneurs locally here in Dallas that are millennials and help encourage each other and really grow each other and be the person that they can come to.

If they need help with real estate, then come to me. If they need help with marketing, they can come to me. If I need help with insurance, come to them. Whatever it is, it’s a growing it’s a constantly growing community. You can go to Facebook Aspiringpreneurs will drop the link in the video below or in the transcription later for you guys to see in our blog post.

But we also have an Instagram Aspiringpreneurs. You step it up, it’s right there. And so that’s how you can reach out to us. And you can you can message me personally or Lyle personally. But overall, it’s also you’re not alone because entrepreneurship can be lonely. When I got to start entrepreneurship, I was working a job and it was it got quite lonely driving around, working and never being able to have somebody, like, right next to you, talking to you.

And so I started listening to podcasts. And so this is a great podcast. Listen to for that, because we’re all entrepreneurs. We’re all here to help you and you’re definitely not alone. And so that’s why another reason why we created this podcast.

So and what’s one tip you give somebody that help the help them to win right now? There’s a lot of those tips, but the best that I can give to you is with marketing, because marketing is really key in every business with my real estate business, with my marketing agency business, obviously, and any business, I see a lot of people, they stick to the words of mouth and they don’t really put their name out there. But sometimes it’s just as easy as creating a page and just putting your face on there and just start making posts and commenting and reaching out to people on Facebook.

Because if you aren’t doing anything small on a daily basis, your business won’t grow as fast as you want to. It only grow as fast as you put in the effort. And so marketing is really simple. We can definitely help you. But marketing in general, just like reach out to your friends, reach out to people that you think might be be helpful with your business. Like if you for me, I’m in real estate, so I reach out to agents and I also reach out to wholesalers.

Those individuals, they might have some good deals that are off MLS. And so it’s the simplest thing I can do is just message them and say, hey, what deals do you have? I mean, Lyle and I, we went to Wichita Falls. You found an eight deal, eight package deal, just talking to people and using his marketing skills. And so. Marketing is really simple, and that’s definitely a really key tip. And also, just like a cyno also like we were just talking about earlier, is you’re not alone, please, if you’re feeling sad and you’re in business and just feel like it’s going nowhere, just reach out to us.

It’s a simple message on Facebook. Text us, call us. Whatever it is, we are there for you. And that’s why we created OP podcast. That’s why I created aspiring Panurge. That’s why I’m an entrepreneur, because we’re all in this together. And so that’s the quite, quite a few tips, those three tips. So I.

Right. Thanks for being on the Optimize Profitability podcast. You can find him on aspiringpreneurs.com on Facebook or Instagram.

Aspiringpreneur. Thanks again. All right. Thanks, man. I appreciate it.

Depression in Business and Recap of Ep 1-9

In today’s business podcast, we recap our episodes with Lyle Leads and talk about depression in business. Lets jump right in!

Here are some things we cover in today’s Podcast:

  • Recap of Episodes 1-9 and the power of being in business.
  • How depression affects entrepreneurs differently.
  • Simple tips to deal with down times.

Thanks for listening to the OP Podcast. 

Make sure you check out Lyle’s contact information below

Lyle Leads – DFW Top Business

Email: lyle@dfwtop.com
Phone: (214) 586-0893
Social:   – 

Read This Podcast Episode’s Transcript Below

Optimize Profitability Podcast Transcript: Episode 10

Depression in Business and Recap of Ep 1-9


Lyle: Hi, this is Lyle Leads with Matthew Zamutt over there on that side. Today is our 10th episode of our podcast. And we’re just getting started. We are still newbies. We’re not newbies to podcasting, but we’re newbies to developing this podcast. 

Today, we’re going to do a recap episode, but pay attention. It’s very important to pay attention because you’re going to see some little tidbits. We’re going to be doing some behind the scenes things and everything.

You always see me wearing this color shirt, but actually have like three or four of these shirts. They are different brands or different styles. You just don’t notice it on the screen. Lots of weird things about the body saying, well, you were wearing the same shirt every time.

No, I actually do laundry. Well, my wife does, but you get it.

I’m here with Matthew.

So Matthew over there, introduce yourself. He’s our co-host. He’s our co-pilot.

Yes. That’s what they call it. Coproducer, nowl 

Matthew: Executive producer

Lyle: The executive producer of the podcast. 

Matthew: And I’m really thankful that we are in episode 10 and we’ve had some awesome entrepreneurs and different stories. Some of them have definitely helped me. So I have enjoyed this podcast for a while now.

Lyle: Matthew, recap episode one. 

Matthew: Yes, so episode one, we met with Duncan Boyle, he’s a financial adviser and he talked about his story from living as a missionary in Africa, growing up there, and how he got into entrepreneurship when he found insurance. So he does health insurance, I believe. And he’s really thankful. So what did you get out of that Lyle?

Lyle: That was a good one. Yeah, one of the things he talked about was servant leadership, how you balance service and sales.

That’s very important to understand. And he also had a little tidbit about an online strategy that you can use using social media to connect with people on a deeper level and how to reach out. 

Oneof the really cool things about this one was the bonuses. He had two really cool bonuses. He talked about how real estate investors can utilize life insurance, and he showed how to do that to help actually with real estate investing. But the second one, I thought was even cooler.

I think we did three that one, but only one was on specifically on building a business plan. He talked about a very simple pattern. And he and I had this discussion back and forth and gave you some really good tidbits. If you’ve never developed a business plan, and we’re not talking about the executive summary and all the long ones, we’re talking about one that you can put into practice that was really cool.

So make sure you go to Episode one on our Optimize Profitability podcast, which you can find at DFWTOP.com/OptimizeProfitability. Or if you type in Optimize Profitability, you’ll take that same page.

Matthew: Awesome. And episode two, we had Joseph and Jasmine Mims. We actually love working with those guys. They are the owners of Abundant Culture and it’s an investment company that owns different coffee shops and different businesses. So I got a lot out of that just telling their story, getting into the army and then realizing, wow, my life is completely different. That’s not what I want to do the rest of my life. So I definitely, definitely relate to that.

Lyle, what did you get out of it?

Lyle: Well, that episode was kind of interesting because there are a newlywed couple learning to be entrepreneurs. At the same time they’re learning to be a married couple. So that’s kind of a fun little tidbit on them. But they also kind of cover some things like what happens if your family doesn’t believe in you as an entrepreneur? What if they don’t understand what you’re doing? They’re like, go get a real job, those kinds of things. And one of the outstanding things is they’re a young couple.

They’re in their 20s, but they talked about how relaxation and work, how relaxation works for your business. And they talked about a hustle may not be what you think it is. So it’s kind of neat because they talked about some really real stuff.

Like, what if you’re jealous of your spouse’s attention as an entrepreneur? How do you deal with that? And it does make a difference, because if you’re both entrepreneurs, you spend a lot of time in your business sometimes, and you get tied up there and then your spouse feels neglected, sometimes you’ve got to make sure there’s a balance there that you’re connecting, especially if you’re both entrepreneurs, because you both may be going in different directions to talk about. Yeah, we talked about debriefing, and that’s really cool.

Again, make sure you check out episode two to check out Joseph and Jasmine Mims.

Matthew: They’re really cool people. Great and episode 3was Patricia Daiker and her story was crazy. I mean, I can’t imagine what she went through as a triage nurse and just seeing her life experience and what she did with it was really cool. What do you think?

Lyle: Wow, that was really neat because she did talk about triage. She talked about how sometimes you have to pivot, you’re in the middle of doing something. You’re going in one direction. But all of a sudden you’ve got to go this direction, take care of this one thing that comes back to that one thing. And so those little incremental changes can make a huge impact on your business.

And she’s actually kicked out a new niche for her business. It’s a whole new system she’s developed for her own brand new niche. And so you’ll hear how she did that. So it’s really cool. 

Make sure you check out Episode three to hear from Patricia. 

Matthew: Awesome Episode four was Jenna Zebrowski, she’s a real estate lease lawyer, and she’s helped us a couple of times. Her story of just jumping right into entrepreneurship from the corporate world is it’s really cool and inspiring.

What inspiring thing did you find with her podcast episode?

Lyle: She talked about how she was laid off in her job and her job just couldn’t support her. So she went out on her own and did everything. So it was that struggle for her to make those steps.

But she talked about how and she’s a major marketer. She markets networkers, excuse me, she’s a major networker.

And she actually talked about her elevator pitch, how she developed the elevator pitch. And we kind of did a little mini training. So if you don’t have that elevator pitch, we actually lay out how to do that and everything. 

And then she talked about the balance and setting clear expectations for your clients and for your own personal life. That’s very important. 

Matthew: Awesome. Episode five was with Lenny Richardson and just how he started a marketing agency during covid is crazy to me and it was really, really interesting.

Lyle what did you get out of the episode?

Lyle: He’s a 20 year old. He started a marketing agency during covid. That’s just kind of crazy. So we talked about how he did that. One of the things there on this one is he talked about how to get past the gatekeeper when you’re doing cold calling. So if you’re one of those people that you do direct to B to C might be, excuse me, B2B. When you go directly to businesses, if you wanna get past that, that gatekeeper, he’s got some really cool tips.

The bonus for this one I was really good with. We were really good because we talked about marketing and we talked about a three step marketing plan using email marketing. Because even as a millennial, he still uses email in his marketing tools.

Matthew: Awesome! Episode six was Joseph Smith, and I loved that episode.

Lyle what did you get out of it? 

Lyle: I have so much to say. First off, pray for the guy. He’s going through a really rough time right now. I won’t give you the details if you know him. He and his family….

He’s in the hospital right now as we talk about this, he’s struggling, but he talked about how you build your credit. He talked about how he went through two foreclosures. Could you imagine going through two of them at the same time? 

But he still recovered from that and was able to build a multimillion dollar campaign using business credit without using your personal credit. So not only do we get to hear his story in Episode six, but if you go online and check out Episode six, the bonus training he actually goes through step by step, and tells you how he can do that.

And there’s links there of how you can access their mastermind for developing business credit. And also a thing called, what they call it, infinite banking. Episode six on our blog posts, our podcast posts, you’ll find it there.

Matthew: Great. Episode seven is with Rey Fleming, Joseph’s business partner. And I mean, his story was also just as impactful as Joseph’s. 

What did you get out of that episode?

Lyle: Well, I’ve known Rey for a while.

Rey and Joseph, both are great guys. We’ve worked with them directly on marketing, but we also worked with them because they helped us with business credit. So it’s kind of a back and forth thing.

And it’s great when you find partners that you can do that kind of thing with and you partner up with people and help people. But I did not know some of his story. I did not know that he dealt with alcoholism and addictions and everything. And so when somebody is dealing with those kinds of things it’s really rough for them to get past that and into entrepreneurship. 

One of the really cool things is this bonus session and he talks about how his faith helped pull him through that process and bring him into entrepreneurship and save his marriage ultimately.

And then he also talked about how to deal with building business lines of credit type things. So you got two bonuses with this one. That’s episode seven with Ray.

It’s really awesome.

Matthew: Awesome. Episode eight was with Nancy Laabs I believe.

Her story was just really interesting as well. I mean, all these stories are interesting to me, but they’re all different and unique in their own way. What did you get out of the episode?

Lyle: That’s what I love about hearing people’s stories as entrepreneurs. We sometimes feel like we’re alone or the only person going through this. And so hearing how different people develop their stories is really cool to me. And Nancy, she talked about how she turned a job into her business. And so she took her job, excelled at what she was doing, and then moved that into a business thing. 

So she has a different path than most people. But a lot of people, when they’re not sure they can be an entrepreneur, they start with her job and then build from there and everything.

So she talked about that a little bit. Then she talked about a couple of things. It was interesting to her specifically. She talked about how to create a deal flow. She’s a real estate investor, how to do that in any type market and how to overcome a business partners death in the middle of her processing and developing business. 

Her business partner passed away and she had to overcome that. And so, again, back to that story, her bonus session, she released a product on helping landlords do better as a landlord.

Matthew: And then lastly, Episode nine was Suzanne Johns and man, every time you hear her voice, you just want to smile. She is hilarious. And what you get out of that Lyle? 

Lyle: She talks fast. And in case you hadn’t realized that, I talk fast as well. And when Matthew and I talked to him, I was like, well, when I edited that one is really easy because we didn’t have to go through all the press and everything.

And so when I slow down, I take bigger breaths and everything, but I try to talk fast because that’s who I am. My brain goes fast. 

Susanne’s like that. And she really talked about really cool stuff. We talked, we dug in a little bit on networking. When you’re networking individually it’s different than when you’re networking online. And so we dug into what it means to network online, how to really maximize those relationships.

And then sometimes she’s got to take actions even if you don’t have all of the answers.

So that’s all the episodes. That’s Episode nine, by the way, with Suzanne John’s, really great people.

Each of these people share a portion of their story and some of them add some bonus trainings to help you take your business to the next level. The Optimize Profitability, somebody says, well, Optimize Profitability, you should be telling me how to make money. 

We are we’re giving you actual real life people’s stories. And when you optimize your life and optimize your business, that’s how you Optimize Profitability so many people go after the big dollar. But when you go out to the big dollar, you lose your life sometimes.

And I say lose your life because you may lose your wife. You may lose your health. You may lose your sanity. Oh, my goodness. I go through story of story. There’s a guy that we work with and I won’t give you details and everything, but he does a theme that we work with on programming and everything for websites. And the guy had to disappear for like six months because he was just so stressed, so overwhelmed by his business model that he had to separate himself out.

He ended up having to move and take action, totally different and just almost dropped the ball on this and hand it over to other people. And he had a complete business. He was making a ton of money, but it wasn’t about the money. It was about overcoming. And another entrepreneur that I am and a mastermind with, same thing happened to him. He was so inundated by all the success that he had that he had not prepared his mind.

He had not prepared his life. He lost his family. He lost his job and literally almost lost his sanity. He literally checked into a facility to help himself gain that balance back again. And so there’s story after story. And some of those people aren’t going to come on our podcast, to be honest, because that’s a hard story for them to share. But I’m sharing it because I’m in that world.

Matthew and I, let’s just let’s get real for a second. Sometimes we deal with depression sometimes. We deal with hard times in our life. So how do you overcome those things when you deal with that as an entrepreneur, you don’t want to tell other people, oh, I’m dealing with depression because in people like what I want to do business with him, he’s depressed.

That’s not the reality. The reality is we set high expectations for ourselves. And because those high expectations we set for ourselves, if we don’t reach those expectations, we kind of start beating ourselves up. And when as an entrepreneur, when you beat yourself up. You’re going to find yourself in depression, Matthew, tell us a little bit inside of depression. Oh, man, what they talk about yesterday. 

Matthew: Yeah, we talked about just, you know, when you are going through certain feelings, you just write everything out because it gets out of your head.

And then the next step is you’re definitely not alone. You definitely want to reach out to people, your friends, your family that really care about you because you’re not alone. And they’ve dealt with the same things you’ve dealt with, even though you don’t think so.

Lyle: Good deal.

Yeah, we talked about that, when we talked about that, because to be honest, Matthew deals with that.

Sometimes I deal with that sometimes and I kind of described it as this.

It feels like you’re in a car, the cars in drive and you’re pressing the gas, but you also get your foot on the brake. So lots of noise happened and you feel like you should be going somewhere, but you just feel stuck. And it’s at those moments you got to get things out of your head. You’ve got to separate yourself out. And when you take action to help someone else, when you take action as an entrepreneur towards your business, do those consistent habits that you know you should do, just get them done.

It’s that when success starts to happen and depression starts to disappear because depression basically is a lock, it locks you in place, it holds you in a single spot and you can’t get out of it. You feel like you’re stuck again. It’s a feeling feelings disappear when you take action, when you engage your brain to take action past that.

Now, I know there’s clinical depression and you don’t want to get out of bed.

I’ve been there. I have been there. But when you take action, we take your brain off of yourself, take your brain on to someone else, think about your business for a second, how is your business impacting someone else?

If you can directly figure out that you can directly figure out put your mindset on someone else, not just on the money, but put your mindset on someone else. That’s when you’ll overcome depression and get to the next level. Matthew and I, we deal with another entrepreneur. We deal with them on a regular basis and he deals with anxiety. It’s so bad that he can’t sleep for days at a time.

And can you imagine going for days at a time, not sleeping and then trying to do a business, it’s really hard to get that out of there. And so a couple of tools. And not to mention one is do what I call a brain dump. Write it down. I talked to a lady just last week, and she’s got all this stuff going on and she’s like, I just feel overwhelmed. You don’t understand. I’m like, I do understand, I understand you got to get it out of your head because in your head it’s not real.

Well, it is real, but that’s probably it. It’s bouncing around in your head and you don’t see it because it just compounds.

You got to release that, you’ve got to let that go, write it on a piece of paper, everything, just think I’m frustrated about this. This is depressing me. This is bothering me. And just write down everything that’s in your head. When you get it out of your head, you see it on a piece of paper, then you begin to analyze it differently. And I’ll just be honest, if you’re struggling with depression, you’re struggling with anxiety.

You just feel overwhelmed in your business.

Contact us. Go to our DFW Top page. We’re not going to charge you to have a conversation, and if enough people contact us, maybe we’ll set up a little Facebook group or we can connect a little bit differently and everything.

Butyou’re not alone.

The whole purpose of our Optimize Profitability podcast is to help you optimize your life first, then optimize your business, because those two things happen. That’s when you Optimize Profitability.

So I know I kind of get off track, but this is kind of where I’ll just be honest, I’m a Christian.

This is where God’s leading me right now to talk to people about. And if we can help you reach out, if you know somebody who would be really cool for this story, maybe it doesn’t have anything to do with depression or anxiety, but somebody who is really good to share their life, their entrepreneur journey, let us know. And that’s really cool stuff. Coming up, we got a married couple, been married for tons of years and they’re going to come and talk about what it means to be an entrepreneur.

We’ve got a couple of that are fairly newlyweds that are just writing a book. And they both came through the foster care system and they’re going to be sharing their story. And so we have some really cool stories. I can’t even tell you the rest of them, but I hope you stay tuned. Hope you pay attention. Leave some comments. This podcast on whatever platform you are on. Find us on Facebook, make sure you connect with us individually, connect with our DFW top business page, connect with Optimize Profitability page, leave comments, ask questions.

Because ultimately, if you ask questions, then we’re going to be able to gear these towards helping you and your business better. So I’m Lyle that over guy that has Matthew.

I think we lost you, Matthew.

You know, I think you did share your investment. All right, Matthew, any final words, buddy?

Matthew: No, just please watch this podcast, tell your friends and family I know this is a really impactful podcast and it’s only going to get better from here.

Lyle: Yes, sir. You guys have a great day. Make sure you optimize your life, optimize your business, and then Optimize Profitability. I’m Lyle talk to you later. Bye.



How Little Steps Of Faith Can Help You Win Big

In today’s business podcast, we hear from Suzanne Johns and how she began her entrepreneurial journey. Lets jump right in!

Here are some things we cover in today’s Podcast:

  • How to take action when you don’t have all the answers.
  • How to maximize online networking
  • Tips for networking via Zoom

Thanks for listening to the OP Podcast. 

Make sure you check out Nancy’s contact information below

Suzanne Johns – Managing Broker

Email: sj@suzannejohns.com
Phone: (972) 639-6396
Social:   – 

When it comes to Real Estate, Suzanne Johns is a consummate professional with an exceptionally strong background working with the Affluent. She has an exceptionally strong background providing exclusivity and elegance along with privacy and discretion typically working with Affluent, High Net Worth individuals who are in Business, Entertainment, and Athletics.  Suzanne provides a stellar level of personalized service and delivers with a world class “CAN DO” Spirit.  Properties include Palatial Estates, High Security Compounds, Opulent Luxury Homes, LAND and RANCHES.

Read This Podcast Episode’s Transcript Below

Optimize Profitability Podcast Transcript: Episode 9

How Little Steps Of Faith Can Help You Win Big

Lyle: All right, we’re on with Suzanne Johns and she’s going to show us her new baby. Suzanne focuses on luxuries, quality properties. Check out that puppy, they are so cute.

Suzanne: This is Maddie. Maddie. Say “Hi, Maddie.”

Lyle: Yes, that’s cute! She’s the kind of person who deals with luxury and unique properties like large properties, ranches and lands and all that kind of fun stuff. So today we asked her to come on to share a story.

Lyle: We thought it’d be fun to show her puppy, how is the puppy? 

Suzanne: She’s 10 weeks old. She’s cute playing with your homework. I think you said she eats my Post-it note.  

Lyle: All righty. So, Suzanne, take it over. Tell us how you got into being an entrepreneur.

Suzanne: I got into real estate, actually, straight out of college. I was supposed to be a schoolteacher. 

I was one month from graduating with my degree for my teaching and a friend of mine told me she was going to go to a real estate seminar.

And when I came along I asked why I should come? She goes, well, just because there are a couple of guys that you want to date are going to be at the seminar and we’re all going to go for drinks afterwards.

And I went, well, now that I’ll do it’s all about boys.

So I sat through the real estate seminar for a couple of hours and it just resonated with me. I’m like, wow, this is really cool. I want to do that. And I knew nothing about it.

No one in my family had ever been an entrepreneur, first of all, and they had never been in real estate.

So I went up to the instructor after this thing was over and I said, well, I want to do it. You’re talking about how I do that? And I said, well, you got to get a license, you know, OK, how do I do that? Because we got to take some classes. All right. All right. Where do I find those?

So he sent me to a real estate school that he was associated with.

And I took the classes and then I went and took my exam and I said I had a college degree.

I go straight for my broker’s license. So that was in California. And I graduated with my teaching degree. And of course, I did not want to become a teacher. And my parents think to this day they still wait for me to get a real job, which is not going to ever happen.

But I didn’t know anything about the business. Nobody had told me anything. I’ve never been in sales before and I just knew it was something exciting and I wanted to try it.

And, you know, when you’re young, you’re dumb and you just jump out there and, you know, I went into the deep waters and I get real lucky.

A friend, the same instructor, introduced me to a broker in town and he said, well, why don’t you go to work for her to show you kind of what to do? And it just started in commercial real estate.

I didn’t start in residential because that’s what she did.

And back then, you know, we didn’t have cell phones. We didn’t have it.

We have pagers, which I’m sure most people don’t even know what a pager is anymore. But we didn’t have any of that stuff.


We had a phone book and a phone and basically put a phone book in front me and said, start making calls, you know?

And I was sitting at the front desk and a guy walked in the door and he said, I’d like to look at some apartments. And I went, well, OK, OK.

So I ran back and said, I need to show some apartments, how do I find those?

And she goes, well, here’s three I know that are for sale in town, go shopping. Those one of them happened to be the apartments I lived in. So I knew the staff, I knew the maintenance guys and I knew most of the people there that lived on my floor so I could get into other apartments. And so I showed him that one last. And I stopped and talked to all the maintenance guys so he could hear about the history of the property.

Then I stopped, and talked to the leasing ladies so they could tell him all about, you know, vacancy and things like that, which I didn’t know that was what you were supposed to do. I’m social. So, you know, it was easy for me to do that.

Then we’re on and knock on doors so that he could get in and take a look at the units themselves that people already lived in. Had he been just a buyer, nobody would have gotten him into units. They’re already occupied.

So we came back to the office and told him, I hope he had a nice time. I didn’t know to ask for the sale. Nothing I did, nothing allowed me green. I was less and less than nothing. And I wished him in an honest, merry way.

About 20 minutes later, he came back in and he went, not really kind of like to buy that last one he showed me. And I went, Oh, OK, that would be great.

And then I ran back to my broker’s office and said, How do I write a contract? Because I didn’t know.

Nobody ever told me that either. They don’t teach that in school.

Lyle: Really? 

Suzanne: No. No, they don’t. So anyway, she goes, well, the title company is next door.

They’ve got Sparer contracts. They’ll give you one and you can write it up.

Well, I didn’t know how to do it. And luckily I was friends with people at the title company and I said I need help. So they said bring them in here, and we will write the contract for you. So they did and it closed 44 days later.

And the next thing, this is really stupid.

I guess I didn’t know what I was supposed to make when I sold those apartments.

Nobody ever told me what the commission was, so I was just figuring I’d make maybe fifteen hundred dollars and I’d be so excited about that it would pay my car payment for the next couple of years. 

So I’m like, this is a great deal. I’m doing this forever. So they gave me my check at closing and I went out to the car and opened the chec. I really wasn’t paying attention, you know, messing around, and so I’m thinking, OK, if you go to the bank, open it up and it was forty five thousand dollars. Well, this was 1978.

You get so much money that really is now, you know, well, I just about, you know, you know what, all over my car and I went, oh my gosh, they paid me the wrong check.

I really am back on the balcony.

I said, I think you gave me the wrong checks. Would you give me the right one? 

Let me see it. She opened up. She goes, Oh, no, honey, this is your commission check.

And when I’m doing this forever and that’s how I got into real estate, that’s great.

So it just, you know, it’s just little things where it was dumb luck. I wasn’t afraid to try.

And if I failed, it didn’t matter to me. I just wanted to do it, you know, and that’s kind of how you have to do it when you get into becoming an entrepreneur.

I don’t care what it is you choose.

I’m going to be a basket weaver if you got a passion for it and you’re not afraid to fail, because look how many times you know the guy, Alexander Graham Bell, you know how many times he failed before he was able to put together the phone or the telegraph or any of those guys.

You know, they didn’t do it first time or second time or fifth time or twentieth time

So that’s the most important thing you got to do. And they just kept trying from then on. And I tried something different all the time.

There’s so many different facets of real estate.

So that’s why I went from doing commercial, to other industries. And then I started doing investments and I started doing 1031 tax free exchanges. And every time somebody brings up something different, I would think, well, you need to learn that.

And so then I would make sure that I would take the classes and get educated on it and then go out and give it a try.

And it’s worked out every time that I’ve done that. So that makes it well-rounded so that I can work every facet of real estate from the commercial to the residential to the unique. You know, they are specific.

I think the only thing I really don’t want to do and I could, but I don’t want to. And it’s a little scary. I mean, that’s oil and gas leases.

Those are a little bit more specific and a little tougher.

And they have some, you know, unique expectancies when you’re doing those and some I don’t know those are a little spooky.

So I don’t do those. But everything else I do and I really enjoy. When I was a kid, I did ranches and land, so I lived on a ranch.

You know, I grew up. Riding a horse, and so all of those things resonate with me and I understand farmers, my grandparents were farmers, my great grandparents were farmers and ranchers. And so all that stuff is just not that usual, you know. I’m not the one that’s the residential agent that’s going to stay in the house down the street.

Lyle: Right. 

Suzanne: I’m going to do the other stuff that’s unique. I like that is so much more fun. 

Lyle: Well, they get to pick your lane. 

Suzanne: Exactly.

Lyle: The keys to what you’re talking about, though, as you say, it’s dumb luck, but it’s the relationship you already had in place. It was dumb luck. It’s being caring for people and knowing the people around you. I think the people around you and learning that those are your two key strong points for your life, you’re always going to learn something new. 

Suzanne: We worked together on a website and you were going to learn to like, show me what to do. Otherwise, just do it up. 

Lyle: Well, that’s true. 

Suzanne: You know, you’ve got to really have an open mind. And I guarantee you, there is no way in hell I know everything about this business. Even today. I’ve been in business over 42 years.

That’s a long time. But I don’t know at all, you know, and the day that you say you do is the day you will fail or you will fail big time. So you’ll get yourself in trouble. You do something stupid because you just knew it. I’m willing to listen to everybody.

I want to know everybody’s opinion. I want to know everybody’s, you know, whether they want to actually work the deal. And then then I’ll put together what makes the most sense. 

Lyle: So what are you doing right now to grow your business with something you can tell somebody help them with? 

Suzanne: I do a lot of networking, collaborating. I don’t do any advertising. I just don’t. There are so many agencies out there that try to sell you leads and sell you.

And I’m sure that’s in every business, not just real estate business.

And I guarantee you those leads are crap.

So the ones that you’re going to get are the ones through personal relationships. 

And so that’s what I work on. I’m very social. So this being in my house all the time does not work well for me because I am extremely social.

And I want to make sure that I connect with people and I want them when they think of something that has to do with whatever I do, they can immediately think of me and that’s where I get my referrals from. And then the collaborations are important.

I’m having a meeting with a guy tomorrow that we’re going to collaborate on doing a land development deal.

And that’s just because he has a great lender and I didn’t have access to that lender. So that’s pretty cool. 

Lyle: That’s cool. So help somebody understand, like especially now in our digital world, a lot of the networking you’re doing is online. How is it different than just talking to somebody in person?

How is it different from what you’re doing online?

You actually have like 12 people on a screen or something. How does that work?

Suzanne: Well, you know, I would say what I’m saying, right?

I start paying attention to what they do and and whether at especially if they’re going to have some kind of synergy for me so that I see if it’s something that I need to be able to get with them later. 

She’s right here. We’re trying to get the dog out. Sorry, she’s all wound up. 

Lyle: What happens when you call her? 

Suzanne: She’s too little to pay attention to.

Lyle: Oh, yeah. 

Suzanne: Anyway, we love it. 

Lyle: That’s right. 

Suzanne: Well, you know, life happens.

Lyle: Absolutely. 

Suzanne: But I really do pay attention to who’s on the screen and who’s on the call. So I’ll know whether or not it’s something I should ask them if they would like to get together off of that call on a one on one or face to face.

Everybody calls it something different. 

Lyle: Right. Of course.

Suzanne: And then we can figure out if we have something in common or if we have a way that we can refer business to one another. Because everybody does business with somebody that they know, like and trust. 

Lyle: Exactly. That’s huge. And when you’re on an online platform, I know you do like master networks, those kinds of things within that platform. Do you call them or email them? What’s your best way of connecting with those people?

Suzanne: Well, first of all, I connect through chat that’s on the resume.

And then after that, then I find a whole lot better results if I text them or are instant messaging.

So I try to text back and forth because then I get an automatic response, then give them a chance to forget that they met me right now or that they were in the meeting or wherever.

So that way I can get them on my calendar right away and figure it out. 

And if there’s more that we need to discuss, maybe we only have a chance to talk for 30 minutes. But we set up a second one after that.

So if it’s going to work that some of them have taken off where we actually are doing and live so that if they’re here local.

Right, then they don’t want to do a Zoom after we’ve chatted for the first time, then I’ll meet them for coffee, or meet them for drinks, or for lunch. And I use Facebook Messenger a lot. 

Lyle: Yes, I know. It’s great. So many people miss the point of that. Why do you think that’s so powerful right now in our society?

Suzanne: Because everybody is instant gratification. 

Lyle: That’s true.

Suzanne: So that’s exactly why. Because I know that’s the very first thing that you will look at as soon as you get an email. They’re going to look at it even before a text because it’s an alert.

Something’s happening on a platform that I know.

Lyle: That’s right. 

Suzanne: And then I can forward things or I can set it up or I send them information, and then if they want more information, then I will get them to give me an email address and then I’ll send that via email. But then I will also tell them in an instant message. I just sent that email to you so they know that it’s there.

Lyle: That’s smart. And do you find like do you do any prospecting letters at all, somebody you’ve already been warmed up to? 

Suzanne: Most of them are the ones that I’ve already met through my networking groups, and then I have different networking groups for different types of people.

So if I’m looking for CEOs and CFOs and anything like that, then there’s a different set like E women and things like that are more geared for that type of an entrepreneur or a business owner versus master networks, which is more of your B2B. You know, you have to. Decide what it is you’re selling and whether or not that particular individual can no one refer to the quality client you’re looking for or number to buy your services.

And most of those folks in master networks aren’t going to buy my services because those properties are going to be seven hundred fifty thousand dollars or more. 

Lyle: Exactly. 

Suzanne: Whereas you need to be doing something like insurance or bookkeeping or something like that, that’s a little bit a whole lot lower dollar figure, right.

Lyle: And did you find any more groups that you’ve been offline or in your house, more or less?

Suzanne: Yeah, I have found there’s and you know, if you want another group that’s really widespread, it’s called Happy Networks. Happy networks are networks. They are big.

And you can do it coast to coast.

And then if you really want, I think they’ve got a couple of meetings in Mexico or for Mexico, Canada and somewhere else in Britain. In Great Britain.

Lyle: That’s a group I haven’t heard of and how many different groups are you currently involved in? 

Suzanne: Because I think it does a lot, you know, I make the rounds, I really do make sure that and here’s what I learned.

People will say you’re everywhere. Not really.

But I make enough of the rounds that you think I’m everywhere. Because you’ve seen me enough times in different places.

So that now might be my first time that comes to mind. If something shows up that’s in my purview that I work on or that I do, I immediately come to mind.

But I work hard at making sure that I get that notoriety or that recognizability.

They all know my name. They all know who I am.

Lyle: Exactly. And it’s a pinpoint focus too. You have a very specific thing. You’re looking for people’s ranch’s. You said you’ve got to be over 50 acres, mostly people you deal with. And so that knocks out a whole bunch of people. So wasting your time. 

Suzanne: Yeah, that’s true. 

Lyle: You know, and that helps you. 

Suzanne: I also do really expensive houses. 

Lyle: But somebody knows if they don’t have a million dollar project, they probably don’t want to call you. That’s not your forte.

Suzanne: Not if it’s two hundred thousand. I probably will find much for you anyway. There’s nothing in that price range anyway anymore.

Lyle: No, no. All right. Well, how can people get in touch with you? Tell us how to get in touch with you and we’ll give a final thought and let you go about your busy, busy day. All right.

Suzanne: Easiest way is obviously my phone number. And you can text me or email me or instant message me as well.

But my phone number is 972-639-6396. My email is SJ because my name is Suzanne Johns SJ@SuzanneJohns.com. As you said, my website is only luxury estates.

Lyle: Perfect. All right, any last final tip you give somebody who’s thinking they might want to do something in real estate, but they’re not sure. 

Suzanne: Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid. And you know what? 

Pick up the phone if you really want something. If you want some honest advice, I have no problem answering questions because there’s a lot of sharks out there and you gotta keep your eyes open and your ears open. And don’t be gullible. There’s a lot of people who will tell you exactly what you think they think you want to hear. But it isn’t doesn’t necessarily have a ring of truth to it. It just sounds good. 

Lyle: Sounds good.

Suzanne: You bet, though.

Lyle: Thanks for being with us at Optimize Profitability Podcast’s. The Suzanne Johns Lyle. We’ll see you on the next podcast. Have a great day, guys.

Suzanne: Thanks. 

Lyle: Bye bye.

Moving From Fear To Confidence

In today’s business podcast, we hear from Nancy Laabs and how she climbed up the corporate ladder and became her own boss. Lets jump right in!

Here are some things we cover in today’s Podcast:

  • How to turn a job into a business
  • How learning can take you to the next level
  • How to create a deal flow for any type of market
  • How to overcome a business partner’s death

Thanks for listening to the OP Podcast. 

Make sure you check out Nancy’s contact information below

Nancy Laabs – KBN Homes, LLC

Email: nancy@kbnhomes.com
Phone: (469) 430-9885
Social:   – 

Nancy Wallace-Laabs is a licensed real estate broker in the state of Texas. She has more than
15 years of real estate investing experience, owns several rental properties, and was a property
manager for more than 12 years in the North DFW area. Nancy and her husband founded the
Profitable Landlord System – their goal: to help other real estate investors that want to create
wealth, experience financial freedom and leave an impact for their community by providing a
predictable, repeatable and simple step by step method for becoming a profitable landlord. The
Profitable Landlord System is full of real-life examples, case studies and risk factor
considerations that every profitable landlord needs to be successful. Visit
www.profitablelandlordsystem.com for your free assessment.

Nancy and Brian have pledged to donate 10% of all proceeds from the Profitable Landlord
System to their non-profit Map of Hope. They founded this non-profit due to the affect mental
health illness had on their lives – specifically chronic depression. You can read about Brian and
Nancy’s legacy on the website: https://mapofhope.net/

Bonus Business Training Videos

Check out the bonus videos and training from this episode.

Bonus #1: Vision Board

In this bonus, Lyle Leads and Nancy Laabs discuss how you can create a vision board for success.

Bonus #2: Landlord Product

In this bonus, Lyle Leads and Nancy Laabs discuss a special product for landlords.

Read This Podcast Episode’s Transcript Below

Optimize Profitability Podcast Transcript: Episode 8

Moving From Fear To Confidence

Lyle: Hello, I’m Lyle, I’m with Optimize Profitability and today, we’re here with Nancy Wallace Laabs, she’s a real estate investor, she’s a book writer, and she’s newly started developing products. She’s also started coaching people. She loves to think outside the box. And she told me to tell you she’s an all around great gal, so she’ll give me her dollar later.

All right, Nancy, how’d you get started as an entrepreneur? Tell us that story.

Nancy: Well, OK, thanks. Thanks so much for having me on. You know, I’ve had a really great journey, and I’ve just been a person that I know that I could just never work for anybody. I have that kind of personality. I don’t really like to be told what to do. So even early on, I was one of those people that was always questioning my bosses, and things like that. So I’m not going to say how many years because I’m kind of old, but I used to be a blood bank management consultant.

So I had gone to the University of Kansas Jayhawks, and graduated with a social work degree. And my goal was to help people and I did. I work for a Section 8 program in Kansas City. I actually helped establish the Section 8 office section. It was brand new at the time, and I wrote all the protocols, and I really, my boss just let me create the waiting list, that to this day, they still use there. And one of the challenges was that at that time, Johnson County, Kansas, was one of the richest counties in the nation, and people didn’t even want to admit that they had folks that needed help with rent, and that kind of thing.

So I was there for about four years. And then I moved to Phoenix, Arizona, and I answered a blind ad like younger people that are listening to this are planning to go, what is she talking about? But I found my next position at the newspaper. It was a blind ad, said field rep. I had no idea what that was. So I applied for it. And it was a job for a blood bank representative. So my job was to go around to colleges.

I had Arizona State University companies like Motorola, hospitals like Baylor, and coordinate blood drive. So that’s what I did. And I did that for about a year and a half. And then I was promoted to the manager over the call center, which at that time they were still using rotary phones with Rotary. If you don’t know what that is, you are way too young. There were no cell phones. I think cell phones at the time were really big.

And they had those big green data sheets that they came up with those big printers with names, and that’s how they used to call blood donors. So I was put in charge of consolidating and automating the call center, which was really cool because, again, I was able to use my creative I still worked for a company, but I created the department I worked with, and we were actually the first beta testing for automated calling for blood banks.

So we automated that. Then from there, I started going around the company, of those dialer systems, I would go for free. I did this for free. I would go to different conferences and basically talk about my experience with them, and how it works, and how they’re productive and efficient. So I kind of got known as the person that could basically cut costs for a blood bank. So then I was hired as a blood bank management consultant and I’ve traveled all over the United States, Canada, and I even did a stint in England working with blood banks and their call centers to basically help them become more cost effective by getting donors, blood donors into their centers rather than having mobile units.

And when I did the one in four Canadian blood services, I literally for a year and a half traveled back and forth from Toronto to Vancouver, and we consolidated forty five different locations. So that’s kind of, you know, so I was able to be this entrepreneur, be very creative. I wrote all kinds of job aids and protocols and things like that. So fast forward now I’m in Arizona and now the housing market is just going crazy and I’m always in the back of my mind.

I always thought it would be so much fun to get into real estate. Wouldn’t it be so much fun to be one of those house flippers or what not? I never really wanted to be a realtor or anything like that, but I was like, no, that’s probably a lot of fun. Well, in our particular neighborhood, which we had lived in our house for eight years, it was just a regular basic Middle America house in Gilbert, Arizona.

And Gilbert was just booming. And we started noticing houses were flipping in our neighborhood, like what’s going on here? So we went to a couple of open houses. We couldn’t believe what people were paying for houses. We could not believe it because the house prices have quadrupled. So you know what? I just said, you can get a job anywhere and we literally put our house on the market, and quit our jobs, and we moved to Dallas, Texas, within a matter of three weeks.

We just took a leap of faith because we knew that we had skills that we could get a job, we could get a job anywhere. He was in I.T. and I was in blood bank management. They had blood banks everywhere. So we moved to Dallas, Texas, and that’s kind of how we were able to start to realise. It sounds like, dang, you can make some serious dough in real estate investing. So that was actually the first time in my life I was able to, like, just sit back for a few minutes and not have to really go get a job.

So we started looking into real estate investing and I really was like, I really want to flip houses. That’s what I want to do. So I met a lady through introductions and I said, I want to flip houses. That’s what I want to do. And so she turned around and she gave me Gary Kellers, the real estate millionaire investor. It’s blue. You can buy it at half price books now. And she goes, read this.

And when you get done with it, come back and see me. Well, I called her within a day and a half because that’s how fast I just ate up that book. I just, what do you call it? Absorbed the information. And I was like, this is what I’m going to do. And it was about buying rentals. And to this day, I kind of use his model to buy three bedrooms. So that’s how I got started in real estate investing.

So, again, I didn’t know anything about it. And I wanted to learn more. So I talked this lady into hiring me. She didn’t want to hire me as a property manager because I had no background. But you know what I had, I had smarts. I had skills and had the desire to work. And she paid me, like, hardly anything. But within 30 days, she realized that she had somebody. So I created this position and we grew a property management company that I was in there for like 12 years as a property manager.

And we owned a property management company and we had all of our landlords by referral. So fast forward 2015. My partner unexpectedly passed away and. Yes, and here’s a tip, a valuable tip. So at the time, everything was a handshake. I had worked with this person. She mentored me day in and day out. And we always had intended to put things in writing, but we never did. So when she passed away, I guess there really was no partnership.

And you know what? It was just best for me at that time to walk away. And it was hard because I had a hole in my heart from losing my friend unexpectedly. And when you have a property management company with somebody, part of the intrigue and what I liked about it, because we could call each other up and go, oh, my gosh, you know what Mr. and Mrs. Smith did? Or, you know what? We have a vacancy over here.

So we worked in tandem together. So it was kind of like she was my wife and she was really great. She was also a real estate investor. So we did a lot of partnering. So then I kind of found myself without a partner. I was no longer a property manager. So then I said and all along I had been buying rental properties because I became a property manager so I would learn how to be a better landlord, how to be a profitable landlord, if you will, which we’ll get to later.

And so in 2015 and along the way, I came across, I said, you know what? When we first started buying, you know, we’d have some money. We gave up our money to buy a house. It was money. Well, after a while, you run out of money. So I had to spend a lot of time figuring out, OK, well, where am I going to get more money? Because there’s always, always deals.

So I believe in two things. One, you can create your own deal flow in any type of market, but you have to have deal flow for lenders as well. I spent a lot of time in both areas so I now have great access to money when I found a deal.  I continued to buy properties in 2015. I had never flipped a property, believe it or not, I hadn’t really reflected on owner financing.

So I thought, you know what, I’m going to try some of these other strategies. So we went around to different areas and we ended up in a coaching program that was really great. And because I do believe in coaching, because if you want to get to the next level, you cannot learn. I mean, yes, there’s so much information out there that you can get for free. But at some point you do need that kind of almost like an accountability partner and you’re paying for a network.

And so we joined a particular group and the network was phenomenal. I learned, I mean, I literally took my business from here to here within a matter of months because of the network. And then I started doing other strategies and in my marketing and so one of my claim to fame properties that I’ve done a lot of speaking about is we bought a property here in Fort Worth. I paid ten thousand dollars for the house. I had no idea what I was going to do with it.

Would it be a flip? Would it be a rental? What would it be? So while I was trying to figure it out, I stuck a sign in the yard in Spanish and English, handwritten, just got a Home Depot get blank sign. And in three days I had sold that house for fifty thousand dollars. Owner financed my terms because when you do owner finance, it’s your house. You can do whatever you want. We did 20 percent down and we financed the 40 for 15 years, so guess what with the buyer giving us the ten thousand dollars, so I was made whole and I’m financing forty thousand for 15 years at nine and a half percent interest.

And that was two years ago. So that was now kind of made a believer out of me. So I’ve done a lot of voter financing, and then the owner financing ,and you can sell the notes and you can get all kinds of creative. So I guess kind of back to my story is I am from a very young age, I always had that mindset of creating something out of nothing. So where there even if it was a job and I was working for something, I always ask a lot of questions.

And employers, when you ask a lot of questions, if you have the right employer, they’re always, always looking to save money. So if you can ask the questions about how can I help them save money? How can I help them be better? Your job, even in your own job, so I’ve never been laid off, I’d never because I’ve always been in demand and I’ve chosen to leave to go on to other bigger things.

So I’ve been self-employed for over. A long time, we didn’t have to talk about that, and it’s just a mindset, I think it’s been a mindset and I do have drive, but it’s a mindset like I just am always asking questions. And you and I talked about that earlier saying that if you don’t know, don’t be afraid to ask. And through the course of my journey as an entrepreneur and entrepreneur like mindset always has been and no state is, I never stop asking why.

I never like to read a lot. Even as a coach now, I don’t think I have all the answers, but I think I have some of the answers. And if I don’t have the answers, at least I know how to ask the questions to get the answers. So I think it’s just that mindset when you’re an entrepreneur because I mean, did I have failure? Sure. Did I buy houses that I was like I wasn’t my Best Buy.

But you know what? Because I had a good mentor, I never did. I made mistakes, but I didn’t make huge financial mistakes that would bankrupt me. You know what I’m saying? Like, I didn’t buy a house where I, I, I did lose money on one house one time. And I’m convinced it was because it was a three bedroom, one bath, not in the right area. My rehab was a little, you know, not probably the best from the contractor standpoint.

And I did have to sell the house and I had to bring twenty five hundred dollars to the table. Well, you know, at the end of the day, at least I didn’t lose fifty thousand dollars. And I have walked away from deals, you know, pain, earnest money or whatever, because I would rather lose fifteen hundred dollars than fifty thousand dollars. So I think also knowing and having confidence in yourself, this is going to sound kind of who we believe.

I believe in my that, you know, if I get kind of a bad feeling about a situation or whatever, I’ll either kind of stand back and say, you know, something doesn’t feel right, because I think most of us, if we kind of are intuitive about ourselves and have confidence, you know, you’re going to be guided more. And I’ve always been a transparent, truth, honest person. And if such a thing that I want people to be as successful as I am, I love helping people along the way.

And one of my best stories is when I was doing the blood bank management consulting as I was leaving, because I grew through that company, that part of the department went into the millions where they were, I think it was like nine million, which was a lot of money at the time.I’d like to hire high school students because sometimes high school students have drive and they really want to know things. I think they get a bad rep.

You know, a lot of times that I hired this guy, I gave if he’s ever watching this. And he was 17 at the time when he came to work for me in the blood bank. And I am so happy to say that when I left, he took my job as the director. So I helped him cultivate his skill level and his management style, so much so that he was able to step into my shoes.

When I left, he was a manager and they asked for a recommendation and I said it’s him. And they gave him the job and he did an awesome job. And then he went on to do bigger and better things. So I always like to think I have a lot of success stories like that with young people, but it makes me feel good to know that I really made a difference in their lives. 

Lyle: Yeah, I agree. That’s great. So what’s one tip you would give someone if they’re just getting started? Entrepreneurship, maybe they haven’t even made that leap yet. What’s a tip you would give them to take that step of faith?

Nancy: So I would say you’re going to have fear. You’re going to just feel like, oh my gosh, can I do that? And you know what? You just need to do it, because I think when people have to take some action and it doesn’t have to be huge and it won’t, it’ll feel completely uncomfortable. But that’s OK. That’s normal, because what really prevents people from getting the life they want is they’re afraid. They’re afraid to make mistakes.

They’re afraid people will judge them. You know what? If you have friends, this is how I learned this. If you have friends along your journey as you go up the ladder, you will have so many people criticize you. You’re crazy. I can’t even tell you how many people thought we were nuts for quitting our jobs and just moving to Arizona or to Dallas. They were like, what? So if you have those kinds of friends just now, you need other kinds of friends.

But what happens when you go through those journeys is that when you finally get here, those same people are like in oh, oh my God. Because when we now tell the story, people like, wow, that’s amazing. At the particular point in time when it was happening where we were scared, did we? My husband and I were like, oh my gosh. But we looked at the age we were at, our daughters were coming up and graduating and we saw it as an opportunity to make money.

A lot of money. Where the stock market wasn’t going to do it, you know, Arizona’s right to work state and so both of our jobs could be over with tomorrow, we wouldn’t have any say about it. So there was no, like, testing kind of thing. So I would say my tip would be to follow your gut. If your gut is telling you, even if you make a mistake now, I will caution you don’t go and take your retirement savings.

One, don’t take the equity in your homestead house. Don’t draw all that money to go buy real estate. Just that sometimes that’s what people are advised to do. Do not do that. There are ways that you can make yourself financially attractive and less of a risk and not use conventional lenders. And that’s kind of what we teach people. So that would be one thing. But I think the biggest tip is follow your dream. But remember that you’re going to be scared and just to overcommit.

And even if you write down what we did,  I’m a big list person, so write down the top things. Like I always said that I wanted to write a book that was just a goal from when I was a kid. So I finally did it. I mean, it took me many years to do it. And I was yeah, I was really happy.

So we have to show you this is the book I wrote, Winning Deals in Heels. It’s My Journey and nine other successful women, real estate investors. And I’m a big one about giving back because I always feel like, you know, in the universe, whatever you give out, you’re going to get back. So part of the proceeds of this book are donated to her bookstore here in Plano, Texas. And it helps families heal from domestic violence.

So they just get a check from me. And it was kind of cool because we actually had a book signing at the resale store when we first launched the book about a year ago.

So, you know, follow your heart, follow your dreams. And, you know, I would say if you have people in your life, family, friends that criticize you, try to go outside and find some other people, like minded people. If you want to be an entrepreneur and find a meetup group for entrepreneurs, if you have an interest, if it’s in real estate investing, writing a book and just meet other like minded people, because if you are in a situation where you don’t have any positive kudo’s coming your way to do what you really want to do.

And if you mean, most of us don’t want to be stuck behind a desk nine to five, that is not how humans were built. We must be in a cubicle. So what is your ultimate goal? And just I mean, it sounds silly, but vision boards and all that really do help because it helps you visualize where you want to be? And then you know what? You just back it up and say, OK, here’s where we want to go and back it up.

And what’s the first action that you need to do to get to that ultimate goal? And it took us years. I mean, this especially in real estate investing. I mean, yes, there are people overnight that make a lot of money. Yeah, I’m not one of them. It’s taken me years to get where I want to be and really have the life I want to put. I’ve taken a faster path. Maybe I could or would have should have.

But I don’t really spend time about that because I just it was my path, my journey. And everyone has their own journey and not everyone would just up and quit their job, you know. So I think that would be my biggest tip is just to really think about one action that you could take towards your goal. 

Lyle: Great. Thank you. We’re going to take this on to another conversation. I want to talk about two things. I don’t want to get on the spot, though. I’m going to share a little bit about what she did with their vision board and what that looks like in her life. And then she’s going to share about her profitable landlord system that she’s just developed. She developed her first product. How cool is that? You’ll go to OptimizeProfitability.com

 Look on there for Nancy and we’ll meet you over there. Thanks for being here, Nancy.

 Nancy: Thank you. You all have a good day.

Overcoming Addictions with Entrepreneurship

In today’s business podcast, we hear from Rey Fleming. He discusses his addiction of alcohol and he overcame it and became a successful entrepreneur. Let’s jump right in!

Here are some things we cover in today’s Podcast:

  • Can you overcome addiction and be successful?
  • How to learn to accept yourself instead of having others accept you.
  • How to start over no matter what life throws at you

Thanks for listening to the OP Podcast. 

Make sure you check out Rey’s contact information below

Rey Fleming – Wise Guys in Ties

Email: rey@wiseguysinties.com
Phone: (520) -276-7575

Rey Fleming is the cofounder or Wise Guys in Ties.

His mission is to help entrepreneurs obtain the capital and credit they need to fuel their dreams.

Whether you are just starting your business, or looking for millions in capital to expand, we have solutions that can help you fund your endeavors.

Bonus Business Training Videos

Check out the bonus videos and training from this episode.

Bonus #1: Faith

In this bonus, Lyle Leads and Rey Fleming discuss their faith.

Bonus #2: Raising Capital

In this bonus, Lyle Leads and Rey Fleming discuss ways to raise capital for your business.

Read This Podcast Episode’s Transcript Below

Optimize Profitability Podcast Transcript: Episode 7

Overcoming Addictions with Entrepreneurship

Lyle: Hello, this is Lyle Leads with Optimize Profitability Podcast. Today I’m excited to introduce Rey Fleming, he’s a co-founder of Wise Guys in Ties. He’s married with two kids and one on the way.

He’s co-authored a book on business credit and he’s currently working on another book on credit repair. He’s a serial entrepreneur, just like the rest of us. He does all kinds of fun stuff. And we’re going to have some really cool stories.

Lyle: So Rey, let’s start us off. How did you get started as an entrepreneur? 

Rey: Well, we’ll take it kind of back a little bit to what school growing up really looked like for me. I was a middle child growing up, which I adapted some very good skills in the art of negotiating, learning how to become a peacekeeper. And so, as you’ve heard about middle child syndrome, I definitely had a lot of that taking place. The other thing that was really difficult for me was learning in the traditional school environment.

I was the kid that was always artistic. So during class I was drawing and getting into trouble for doing so. I did not like to do my homework. I wanted to be outside. I wanted to be free. I didn’t want to have to sit down, and do work after I got out of school. So that resulted in bad grades because homework was heavily weighted. So as I’m going through this process, and I barely got out of high school, I believe it was the last semester of high school where I had to take four extra classes just to make sure I graduated on time.

And then as I moved into college, which my parents never even thought was going to be an option, I went to community college. And then from there I just felt lost through this whole process.

I felt lost because in high school when I was 16, I started flipping cars. As soon as I could drive, I started buying cars, and then I would get tired of the car. So then I would sell it. And then I realized because I cleaned it up, they just paid me more money. And then I started skipping class, you know, towards the end of high school where I was literally going to buy cars just so I could flip it.

My brother and I, we got into basically restoration of cars, painting cars, hot rods, imports.

So we did it all in any given time during high school, we would have fourteen cars in our driveway and my mom was OK with it.

So that kind of, I believe, started this thought process where I could take something, and I could spend my time, and turn it into a profit.

And I grew up with my grandparents owning a publishing company.

So I’ve been around entrepreneurs my whole life. It just didn’t really sink in until I first made that payday on my own.

Moving forward, I started working in restaurants, and trying to find really anybody that would pay me money. And I ended up having about 30 jobs before I was 30 just because I ran into the situation where I didn’t feel appreciated. I also was somewhat of a lone wolf. I liked living life on my own terms. I liked being able to choose my own schedule.

I’m a night owl. It’s very, very weird. I’m not necessarily a morning person, besides my wife.

My wife is super bubbly, five a.m. she’s ready to go.

And me, I want to wake up naturally at eight or nine in the morning.

But every book I ever read about success told me that if you’re going to be successful, you got to wake up early. And so I tried that for a while, but it just didn’t necessarily work for me. I just found that I really thrive when it comes ten, eleven o’clock at night, and I get a lot of work done when there’s no distractions around. And so I was able to figure out that that worked for me. Some things work for other folks, but what’s most important is being on some type of schedule with yourself now, as I was basically in these jobs trying to make money, doing it for money, not for the enjoyment of it.

It was basically just working for a paycheck. I found not only was I dissatisfied with the work I was doing, I was just satisfied with my life. And that kind of led down another path.

When I was working in restaurants, I became a bartender. And if you’ve worked in a restaurant, you know that there’s a lot of partying that takes place.

So when I turned 21, I turned into a lot of alcohol consumption, and it was basically working to pay for drinking that led down a different road. I was unhappy, I was overweight. And then since I wasn’t feeling fulfilled in life, I had these little side hustles going on, but it just wasn’t enough, I didn’t pay enough attention.

I ended up dropping out of community college, and then I was lost, and then the alcohol became more, and more of a relationship in my life, and it started to create some real big problems for me. It was creating not only problems in my physical relationships with girlfriends and things like that, but my mental health. It was messing with me. I started ending up getting 2 DUIs and two years I was looking at prison time, and then I couldn’t even stop drinking.

And it turned into this. It turned into an addiction where it had consumed my life because I needed something. I was looking for something. I was searching for something. And I knew that if I didn’t correct what I was doing, if I didn’t find what I was looking for, that was literally going to destroy me, and put me in a grave. Thankfully, I never hurt anybody. Thankfully, the cops stopped me before I ever did crash into anybody.

But as I was sitting in jail for, I think the sixth time I was in there for about a month due to, you know, drinking and causing problems around, I think at this point I was probably around 24 years old.

And I picked up a very, very important book, the first book on personal development.

It was the Bible. And as I picked that up, I just turned to a page and I started reading.

And I get chills just thinking about it, because this was the first time I ever picked up a book. I never even read books throughout my high school career or anything like that. I would look at the Cliff Notes, but I typically just copied off of other folks. And what I found in that book was some very thought provoking questions and the fact that Jesus spoke in parables, it allowed me to reflect on what was taking place in my life.

And I realized that this need, needed to be filled, but I was trying to fill that with external things. And that kind of led me down this road of Christianity, which I’ll talk about a little bit.

But it also opened up my mind to, if I was able to get this from this book, what else am I missing out there?

So then as I started to develop a relationship with Christ, he started to put books into my path. And so there was a book that was called Think and Grow Rich. But then it was like, OK, I have this love for money, but is it money that I’m actually looking for? And then that came to my four second realization that it’s not money that I’m actually looking for, it’s the change I can do with the money. And then I’ve always had this care for folks.

I’ve always had this will to want to help others. I could be driving down the freeway. It’s 110 outside. And not to brag or boast, but I will pull over if there’s somebody that needs their tire change just because of what I am and I don’t tell anybody about that. So I do these things all the time that I don’t ever tell anybody about. But because it fills that void that’s inside that need that I have.

And, you know, as I started going on this personal development, if you’re going to be an entrepreneur, you have to go down the road of personal development. The world is not a crazy enough place to start rewarding undeserving people.

And so you have to become valuable. You have to be better yourself. And that all comes around helping other folks.

And I met a very successful person named John McCants, and he told me, he said, Rey, if you realize now that you can’t focus on money, you’ve got to focus on helping people. You realize that now just get the number of how many people you want to help in your mind.

So he said, start with ten thousand people. You go out and you help ten thousand people. You focus on helping 10000 people get what they want. You will never have to worry about money or taking care of your bills ever again. You’ve already got this key component where, you know, you have to first fill yourself up with your spirit, what’s missing for your spirit, and then you’ve got to go out there and start sharing the good news of what that transformation inside that has taken place.

And there’s somebody else out there that needs to hear what has happened. And so that’s what I did. I was like, OK, well, I’m going to start building a business. We’re going to go help other folks. And then I started making some money and then businesses were failing. But this time when I failed, identified back to drinking, I feel about back to their original self development book. And I relied heavily on that book. And then the Bible.

It helped me find other books. So successful habits of highly effective people. I went from basically at age 28 to having read maybe three books in my life to reading about 200 books a year, and however you can digest it, if you have a hard time reading, get the audio books. My REI that was one of the best investments I’ve ever made is the thousands of dollars that are sitting in my audible account, because you can turn your entire life into a self development project where if you’re in the car instead of listening to music, let’s listen into how to improve your sales skills, because if you’re going to be an entrepreneur, you’re going to learn how you have to learn how to sell.

And like I said, when I had these failures, because when you first start out, your first business isn’t going to make you a million dollars.

I mean, that’s like winning a lottery. You’re going to have to fail. You’re going to have to learn things. And then the next time you do it a little bit better. So, you know, I learned how to flip things and I got on to eBay and sold things on eBay. Then we got on Amazon and did things on Amazon.

And then from there it’s, hey, what do people always look for? And then it turned into a kettle corn business. And then I was doing landscaping for a company for a while. And so I had all these different businesses and each way or each journey on the new business down the path, I would learn something new. One thing that I realized has helped me tremendously is as I read those books, as I met other entrepreneurs, they were able to curb the time curve, that learning curve, I should say, reduce the time that it takes to learn something new.

So as I would absorb the gold nuggets out of a book that was somebody’s life of lessons, and now I can move forward and I don’t have to, I don’t have to learn from my own failures.

I can start learning from the failures of others that set me down, you know, a better path of success.

As I continue to learn from others, I learn that I don’t always have the answers. And it’s interesting for if you’re an entrepreneur, you’re listening to this.

And I know Lyle, it’s like the more that you learn, the less you feel you actually know.

And you’re like just there’s so much out there that I got to learn and understand. And then you become almost addicted to knowledge, to bettering yourself, to helping other folks achieve what is possible in this life and just reflect on my life. And at a really dark, deep time in my life, you only have up to go.

And I’ll tell you what, I’ve been broke. I’ve been well off. I’ve been in the middle.

But I’ll tell you, it is hard, no matter where you are in, being broke is really, really hard. And having money is hard, too.

But if it’s going to be hard, you know, being an employee is hard, owning a business is hard. It’s going to be hard no matter what you’re doing.

So if it’s going to be hard, you might as well at least have a little bit of money and have a business because it’s going to be hard no matter what you do.

And that’s really what’s kept me going today, finding folks and now being able to say, hey, I’ve just barely started to get my head out of here. We have some real estate. We now focus primarily on helping businesses build business credit. We help them get funding for their business. And they came from, you know, being a popcorn popping landscaper, and now we’re funding businesses in the millions of dollars, and doing these hundreds of thousands of dollars of real estate transactions, but it didn’t happen overnight.

It’s that you’ve heard them talk about the iceberg illusion where, you know, I felt last year like I needed to kind of start to pull myself away from Facebook because I was fighting to have people accept me almost.

And so I had been really trying hard. And then I made a connection with this person from high school and they’re like, wow, you’re like you’ve really done something yourself, in the time I was like, I was thinking to myself, that’s really what I wanted to hear.

But at the same time I said. I’m not, that’s not why I’m doing, I’m not doing it to impress other people, I’m doing it to maybe make an impression on their life, so they can see that it’s possible, no matter where you come from, whether you’re struggling with the current situation, maybe it’s relationships, maybe it’s the family that you grew up in, or whatever the struggles that you’re facing. That’s actually the moment when God takes that struggle to mold you to who you’re going to be tomorrow.

So embrace that difficult embrace when times are tough, because when that’s taking place, it’s going to allow you to have better days tomorrow. And so as I look at all these tough situations that have happened over my life.

The sitting in jail, the almost going to prison, and the addiction, and the hardship, and the breakup, and the seeing of my family, and suffering, and almost losing my current wife, and the children just because I’m having a hard time pulling it together, you know, seven years ago. And it’s amazing what can be done. But I realize that now. I would not change any of it at all because it had to happen, so if you’ve had a hard time growing up, I understand that had to happen in order for tomorrow to be better.

That molded you to be able to understand something that God wants you to be able to see and wants to show you in through that you’re going to be almost like a Phoenix rising out of the ashes, because to be a successful entrepreneur, you’re going to have to get punched in the face by life multiple times.

You’re going to keep getting punched in the face. But your goal is not to become successful. It’s just to keep getting up after you get punched in the face by life. That’s really what it is.

And that’s what I do every single day. Just keep getting up.

You know, you learn to like bob and weave and not get hit so hard, but, you know, still going to pop up and just, oh, I totally did not even see that coming.

But when you get hit, it’s easier, it gets easier. You can start taking the blows. But yeah.

I mean that’s where, that’s what kind of brought me to where we are today. Plenty of struggle and plenty of hardship.

And I just don’t let it stop me, and let it stop me, that’s for sure. It’s really cool.

Lyle: I look at the progress of that, and you went from valuing things to valuing yourself to valuing others. That’s biblical. That’s kind of cool. And get into that.

What’s one thing you’re doing in your business right now? That if somebody is listening and they’re like, you know, this guy’s been through a lot and he struggles and he keeps getting up, what’s one thing right now? You would tell somebody if they’re struggling and they just don’t feel like they can, they can get up? Well, it’s something you would tell them to do right now?

Rey: You know, you are going to die. If you don’t know who you really are, you’re going to die. If you don’t, you really are in. And I mean that metaphorically because fear can overcome and it usually is fear that prevents us from getting back up. It is the uncertainty of is this actually going to work? Well, you can run as many analyses on the situation as you can. A lot of us like me, I kind of have a track record of analysis paralysis, where I overthink things and I try to be as safe as possible, but you just got to try it, you don’t know if it’s going to be right or wrong.

Take the best information you got and just go with it and try it. And if it doesn’t work, it was not a failure. It was just an unsuccessful attempt. But the next time you start, you’re going to be better. And that’s what I needed to learn, is I needed to learn that it’s going to be hard. It’s not going to be easy. And if it was easy, everybody would do it.

But it is more worth it than anything else to be able to see what that could do.

And I think that’s the other thing, too, I would say is make sure you get up, but you got to make it bigger than you. You get to see what it’s for, who you can help, the lives that you can change. Because unless you have a dream big enough and you can see that dream of what you’re going to be able to do with your life for somebody else or for others. It’s just not enough.

I used to think like, oh, I need a Lamborghini. That does not keep you going. Lamborghini is not going to keep you going. But I’ll tell you what will keep me going. A plaque, one of the things that keeps me going is I want a plaque on St. Jude’s wall that I ran it for a day and it costs like a million dollars to run it for a day.

So I got to figure out how to get a disposable one million dollars just to fund that for one day.

But that’s one of these goals I have. I want this plaque that’s going to cost me a million dollars and probably change a whole bunch of lives. And it may not even be that, too. It’s like when I get to that level, it’s just going to be that change that we can see in the world, because money is not good or bad. It’s just a tool. It will enlarge who you are. If you’re a jerk, you’re going to be a big jerk.

If you are good, you’re going to be able to change so many lives.

So think about that. And that’s the reason you have to get up. It’s your children’s children. It’s the children that you haven’t even met yet. It’s the families. And they are going to have employment because of what you create. It’s bigger than you. It’s bigger than all of us.

And you’re just part of this giant story. And the reason that you even found this podcast is because you’re trying to be somebody who is trying to show you something. And so I would take that to heart is what you were supposed to hear. 

Lyle: That’s great. I sure appreciate it. Now, we’re going to flip the script a little bit because we’re going to pause this podcast.

Hopefully you’re motivated. Hopefully his story just kind of took you to the next level because it’s so important to hear those stories and know that you’re not the only one going through these things. We all struggle. We all have those issues. He’s got to keep going. Just take that next step, one more step. Just keep saying one more step. One more step. I love that. I love that. I do.

So on our next bonus training, we’re going to talk about direct funding and business loans and how you access capital, whether you’re in real estate investing, whether you’re in business or you’re just getting started. You got to know, especially in our world, has changed a lot. So you can hear from somebody who struggled through all those steps. And how he’s developed the system helps you understand a little bit better. So make sure you tune into OptimizeProfitability.com and real quick, Rey, how can they get in touch with you?

Rey: They can go to wiseguysinties.com.

Lyle: How else can they get in touch with you?

Rey: Easy. Just if you want to hear more about it and see what we do, just go over to YouTube. Google Wise Guys In Ties to come check us out. We’re putting our best stuff out there. That’s really what it is. Stuff. 

Lyle: This has been Optimize Profitability with Rey Fleming and Lyle, and make sure to tune in on the bonus where we talk about accessing capital on stuff. 

Rey: Thanks, Lyle. 

Lyle: Thank you.

Overcoming Personal Credit Issues with Business

In today’s business podcast, we hear from Joseph Smith. He discusses his story from two foreclosures to running a full time business. Let’s jump right in!

Here are some things we cover in today’s Podcast:

  • Can you get through 2 foreclosures and build your credit?
  • What can you do when the right things happen and still fail?
  • How to start a business while working full time
  • How to start business credit without using personal credit

Thanks for listening to the OP Podcast. 

Make sure you check out Joseph’s contact information below

Joseph Smith is the co-founder of Wise Guys in Ties. He specializes in helping people start, build, and grow their business, and achieve their God given purpose. He shows you how you can build business credit without using your personal credit/SSN.

Bonus Business Training Videos

Check out the bonus videos and training from this episode.

Bonus: How To Use Personal Credit and Business Credit

In this bonus, Lyle Leads and Joseph Smith discuss how you can utilize both personal and business credit.

Check out our Additional Bonuses below!

Read This Podcast Episode’s Transcript Below

Optimize Profitability Podcast Transcript: Episode 6

Overcoming Personal Credit Issues With Business

Lyle: Hello, this is Lyle with Optimize Profitability Podcast. Today we’re with Joseph Smith! He’s a co-founder of Wise Guys and Ties. He’s written two books. He has four children. Three of them are boys and one is a girl. And he specializes in helping people start, build, and grow their business, and achieve their God given purpose. So Joseph, I wanted you to join us today, because I really want to hear you story and how you became an entrepreneur. So, Joseph, take it away.

Joseph: Lyle, thank you so much for having me on your podcast today. Thanks for being here. So you asked me to tell my story and my story starts about seven years ago when I had been through two foreclosures, back during the 2007 collapse of the financial market, I’d been through two foreclosures. And I’ve been trying to just stay ahead as much as I can. But about seven years ago, which would put us at 2013-2014, I just couldn’t keep couldn’t keep juggling all those bills.

And so I was headed into bankruptcy because of those foreclosures. And I’m the kind of person where my wife and I, we decided early on that we wanted her to be a stay at home mom, and really make our kids the number one priority. So we’re home schoolers. And that meant we had to live off of my income. And I went to college. I got good grades. I did what I was supposed to do. And I got a job in social work which was my degree.

And I was a CPS case manager. I actually worked all the way up to the top of the pay scale. And I was bringing home after taxes, $30,000, a year for a family of four. And, you know, another thing that people asked me about is, well, how did you get into foreclosures if you can’t even afford one? Well, one of those wonderful things is where I had my own house, and then I had a relative that wanted to get into a house, and they didn’t have good credit at the time.

So I gave the personal guarantee right then. 2007 led and in 2008, we both went into foreclosure and I got stuck with two foreclosures on my record. 

Lyle: Ouch!

Joseph: Yeah.I’m a man of faith, and I’m somebody who is like, I really thought I did everything right. I mean, what did I do? I went to school, I got good grades. I played college football. I mean, I practiced, studied hard.

I got a scholarship to Boise State University. And this was a big deal. This was you know, these are things that I attributed to my hard work and success. And I eventually got my degree. And I’d worked all the way up to the top of the pay scale, right. They were saying they were paying me like $50,000 a year. But when you’re a government employee and you’ve got to take out all these dues for union and whatever, I mean, where’s all my money going?

Mandatory pension and all the benefits. All these things. My annual take home was thirty one thousand, which, you know, that was pretty crazy. But you know, it’s nice to have the benefits of course. But I mean with the two foreclosures and headed into bankruptcy in my profession as a social worker, having a bankruptcy was going to lead to me losing my job. Because you can’t be in many government positions.

If you’re compromised by finances then and people are entrusting you, in my profession with children, say I was a child. I was a CPS case manager. They weren’t going to be able to allow me to keep my position. So I was sitting here watching my finances just build up, and build up. And because, you know, you try to take one credit card to pay off another, you float one bill and hope that you can make it up the next time.

But I mean, my finances were a car accident in slow motion and I just headed over the cliff. And so I reached this point where I was like, God, I don’t know what to do. I feel like I’ve been doing everything right. Everything everybody told me to my parents. I’ve been doing everything the bank told me to. And some reason I am like, I’m going to go into bankruptcy, I’m going to lose my job.

And I don’t know where my wife and our kids, where we’re going to live, what we’re going to do. I mean, this was like a serious tale of woe. I mean, it’s like a really bad country music song, you know? 

Lyle: Yeah.

Joseph: So I’m sitting here, and then I’m listening to the radio, and I don’t normally listen to the radio, but I have a case that was taking me across the state to deliver a kid to a home and so I was listening to the radio on a long trip.

I turned to the AM dial in and this was kind of spinning it around like one of those things. Have you ever, like, opened up the Bible and you’re like, God, just let me find the right scripture, and you point your finger in some random page, and then you’re like, hopefully that’s going to be something inspirational. Well, I just kind of spun the dial and I was like, Lord, help me find some financial programs, some religious programs, something that inspires me, and tell me what to do next with my life.

And it landed on a Christian station. And I was listening to a guy named Gary Lawrence and he was telling me about how he had lost everything and the financial crash. And he was 64 years old at the time, and how he had learned how to become a real estate investor, and in like 3 years was making $200,000 a year through his real estate investments. And he attributed it to his faith in God, and his willingness to not give up.

And so he’s speaking to people out over the radio saying, you know, if you’re going through the same thing, that you’re full of the power of success, you can do the same thing. And I was like, wow, this is great.

This would be good for Emily, my wife, to try.

I didn’t even think of myself doing it. But it’s like, yeah, because it was all this whole work from home thing. It’s like, well, Emily could do that while I’m trying to go out and find the next job. And anyway, they have different local meetings, networking events. I went out there and I met a man named Anne Gleason, who is a successful business owner, not a business owner. Sorry, he was a successful businessman.

He was an auditor for one of the top credit card companies that are out there. But he had just started a business and was getting into real estate investing. And he had gotten educated through a program called Renatus. It was an excellent program. I ended up getting educated at that, too. But I didn’t have any money to pay for an education. So that wasn’t anything on my radar when I went down there. But here’s this guy and he’s really a Christian.

Him and his wife instantly just took us under their wing. Emily and I took us both under their wing. And, you know, it was difficult for us at that time. They actually chipped in and paid for our gas so that we could come down to their networking meeting. And, you know, here’s this guy who I met with him, like for over the course of like three or four weeks, we’d met maybe three or four times.

We got some lunch together, and we had stuff, and they were showing me their program, and how they got educated, and how they also got their money together. And the deals that they were currently looking at working on. It was all really fascinating. But, you know, I was like, you know, that felt like way over at levels, way over my head. I mean, I couldn’t imagine doing that. I’m just a CPS’s case manager.

And so after sharing all this, they started encouraging me. You know what? You should get educated. You should become an entrepreneur. You should start a real estate investing business. And I was like, have you not been paying attention to my story? I have 2 foreclosures on my record, but all I know how to do is fail so far, right? I mean, I don’t know anything about investing in real estate.

I don’t know anything about owning a business. But they just continued to believe in us. And, you know, that was so inspiring. You know, when you have somebody that believes in you, you know, a coach, a mentor, a teacher, somebody who believes that you can be more than what you are, and just continues to encourage and inspire, you can pray for you, and hold you accountable. And a lot of ways that’s really what Dan and Lori Gleason did for us.

That’s what they would like for us. And they kept coming back to my pain point, which was, well, what are you going to do if you’re going to lose your job at the end of the year? What are you going to do? And so, I mean, it’s like I had no answer. I was like, what jobs can I apply for that I can get with the bankruptcy on my record that would still allow me to make enough money to pay all my bills.

And when you’re looking at the time, we were in the middle of a recession at that time, so there wasn’t like a whole lot of job availability out there. So I was convinced to now dip my toe into this education program. You know, let me buy the first ten classes, not not all seventy five. I’m not ready for the whole thing, but just show me the class on how I can get out of debt, and how I can get some money together, and start a business and all that.

You know, just give me that. Let me see if I can do that. So I started taking the classes and I was able to make a shift in KPS where I could move to a desk job where I wasn’t working with kids. I was actually working on the hotline where we take the inbound phone numbers, and maybe from a police officer, or hospital, and then we dispatch the case manager. So that bought me some time so that I wasn’t necessarily at risk of losing my job right away, but it was definitely still on the horizon.

They weren’t guaranteeing I could keep my job forever. But, you know, because of my financial situation, you know, if we put you here on this desk job, they could keep me around a little longer. So I was working, and the only shift that was available was nights, so I work overnights, but you don’t take very many calls and have a lot of time. So I just took all my classes.

I mean, it was an online education. So I was able to just put it on my phone and listen to it in between phone calls. And man, I just was just devoured. It took me about…Well, I mean, some people do it faster, but I took about 18 months to really master each of these classes. I mean, I took some of them over a couple of times. But I mean, this is talking about how to establish a business, how to set up your legal structure, how to take advantage of tax write-offs, how to raise capital, all these things.

This was great stuff. I was learning how to invest in real estate. All of this was amazing. But, you know, I was still swimming in debt. And so they had this at the time I started. They didn’t have this class. But 18 months into it, they added a class called at the time, sweep strategies, and then they later changed it to velocity banking. But that’s when I was totally blown away, because then I was like, oh, my goodness.

I could actually use my situation. I could use lines of credit to get rid of my debt. And so, I mean, that was very powerful. But at that time, I didn’t really go to any of those networking meetings. I’ve kind of fallen off of the radar. But, you know, Dan and Laurie, they never gave up on Emily. So they kept coming around. They kept coming around, giving us a call, checking in on us maybe once a month.

And there was this guest speaker that was coming into town, and he was a really big entrepreneur out in Chicago, a big marketer, big real estate investor. His name was Scott Rowe. And they were like, oh, man, you have to come see this guy because he will help you figure out how to make some money. And I was like, well, yeah, I need to make some money. So I went out and I learned about myself. I had never once thought of myself as a businessman, a salesman, a marketer.

But I’ve learned that that’s what every entrepreneur businessman is. You are a salesman. You’ve got to sell your idea, your, whatever your concept is, your product. But this guy told me he showed me, not just me, but this whole seminar, how to take your marketing business, and break it down into a machine, into several steps, and to create sales funnels. And he gave sample pitches, and how to have phone conversations.

I mean, it was a whole practical Hands-On seminar. I mean, and I just left that, and I was like, I went to Dan and I was like, I can do this. And I wanted to get the full Renatus education at that point. It’s like twenty thousand, twenty five thousand, something like that. And I knew that I could do it because I knew that I could make money marketing, and making sales, and getting into building up capital for real estate investing.

So all of these things were exciting to me. And so this is where I was seven years ago. And I didn’t have a business yet, but I had a little bit of education on how to start a business. And I had gone to a seminar with somebody who told me how I could make money in business, marketing, marketing for other businesses, marketing for my business, just all kinds of network marketing, all kinds of ways to do referral based marketing.

And it just totally intrigued me. And so all I had to do, and that’s a specific situation, was to come up with like twenty five thousand dollars, you know, no big deal. Everybody’s got an extra twenty five thousand dollars laying around right under the mattress, right?

But you know what? This guy named Scott Rowe also taught me how to go out and get the money. And what opened my eyes that day was that a real entrepreneur, a real business owner, doesn’t beg for money, doesn’t borrow money. You know, they give people investment opportunities to work with them and their business. So what I did was I put together my business model, and I showed people what I was going to do, and I just had conversations.

He encouraged me to come up with a list of two hundred people that I knew, and I thought I knew about like five people. So it’s like two hundred people. Are you kidding me? But we worked through some memory joggers. Emily and I were able to put a list together of 173 people, and we just started calling them, and showing people our business model, and asking them about their opinion. What do they think we asked people for that most everybody just completely rejected it.

Like now. Now that’s ridiculous. And, you know, for those who are interested, we showed them a little more information, some videos, or we invited them to come to a local meeting if it was somebody local, because I was calling people that I knew that were spread out over the country. But if it’s somebody local to where I lived, I could take them down to meet Dan Gleason and the group of investors that they were working with there.

And so what happened for me was, I was just like, Lord, if this is what you want me to do, you’re going to help me find twenty five thousand dollars on these phone calls. And so for four days straight, I just called people all day long just saying, hey, I’m super excited about Emily. We’re going to start a business. This is what we’re going to do. Here’s our business plan and our model.

And I was just curious. I mean, I really respect you. What’s your opinion? What do you think? And a lot of I mean, I heard a lot of no’s. In fact, I heard sixty two no’s in a row. In fact, I heard a few, hell no’s. I heard a few, Are you kidding me? You as a real estate investor and people would laugh like, oh, you know, things that didn’t hurt.

But, you know, you’re calling a lot of family and friends. So it’s really you’re starting to learn what they really think of you. But I didn’t argue with any of them. That wasn’t the goal. I was just processing interest. And so when somebody said no, or somebody was a little bit insulting, all I would do is to say, you know what, you’re probably right, and just change the subject, and move on. But the 63rd person I called was my brother in law.

And what was amazing was I didn’t know this about him, but he was already a real estate investor himself, had a couple of rental properties, and he thought the idea, and the plan was great. And he ended up not lending me the full money because I wasn’t asking to borrow anything. But I gave him a chance to invest 20 percent of what I needed, because I could get 80 percent of it financed. And then as long as I was making money, marketing and stuff like that, I knew I could pay the monthly financing fees.

And so that’s how I got started. So he helped me put the seed capital. I think it was about four thousand dollars right around. There may be a little bit more down into helping me get my business. Know you have to get your business started up off the ground. It takes money to make money. And by that I mean, I just started my marketing business. I started marketing for Renatus. I marketed for other people’s real estate.

And I just started to, you know, if anybody needs it. What do you need? Everybody needs people, property and money. And so it’s like, OK, I’m going to find you what you need. And that always would turn into some kind of payday for me. Well in seven months through doing referral base business, I was able to generate forty one thousand dollars of total profit. Keep in mind, what do I make annually at that time?

Thirty one thousand. So bringing in forty one thousand was pretty cool. And so every business is a little 20 hour a week side hustle that I’m working here just trying to connect buyers to sellers, and find people that are interested in getting educated and learning about doing real estate investing. So this was really amazing and I was super excited and I was like, not only so. So with my brother in law, we we went ahead and paid back his investment plus twenty five percent interest, but let me tell you, that was it was a blessing to to get the seed money and to be able to know that the system that I was using worked and that I was able to pay him back.

And I had the confidence to move forward. I mean, at that point, that was my first year. That was six years ago. Each year after that, I made about sixty thousand dollars alone in my marketing business. So that was great until I got a bill, a letter from the IRS. Did you know that when you make money as an entrepreneur, they don’t dare not point out FICA, anything like that? So I had this bill off of the forty one thousand from that first year, not a bill.

A letter from the IRS came and said that you owe us eight thousand dollars. You know, it was more like congratulations on your new business here. Here’s an eight thousand dollar bill, but I told you about how I really spent a lot of time on those overnights work and taking those classes. So, man, I was prepared. I had all my ducks in a row. I had my itemized business expenses all out.

How much do you think I ended up owing for that eight thousand once I submitted all my write offs?

Lyle: No clue.

Joseph: I ended up getting two thousand dollars back and it was money into our next transition

Lyle: So we’re going to kind of parse your story for a minute. We’re going to go into a whole another segment. So if you guys are listening to the podcast, he’s going to be talking about personal credit and how it impacts your business. 

You want to stay tuned and know how to do those kinds of things in your own business, your own personal credit. So what we learned from him is you have to be dragged into the business of somebody who believes in you, but then you’ve got to believe in yourself.

That’s what I heard there. You believed in yourself and you started taking action on what you believe and that’s what made the difference. You finally get that point. Somebody else pushed you until you were able to take on your own self. And I am honored to know you. I think you’re a successful person. I see the things you’ve done with your life, and the way you’ve impacted people. And to me, that’s more important than the money you’ve made.

Before we go to our next session, join us on DFWTOP.com/OptimizeProfitability for our next section, where he’s going to talk more about personal credit, how it impacts your business, and how you can utilize that to help your life and your business. Thanks for being with us today, Joseph. And we’ll jump on the next section in a moment.

Joseph: Thank you, Lyle.

Learning To Take Action Before Perfection

In today’s business podcast, we hear from Lenny Richardson. He’s in the marketing landscape and he’s a real estate agent, and decided to start a marketing company in the middle of 2020. Let’s jump right in!

Here are some things we cover in today’s Podcast:

  • Do millennials think email marketing is dead?
  • How to you build confidence as an entrepreneur
  • How to differentiate your business from the competition
  • Tips to get past the gatekeeper of cold calling

Thanks for listening to the OP Podcast. 

Make sure you check out Lenny’s contact information below

Lenny Richardson is the Co-Founder of Affinity Agency, a Digital Marketing and Advertising Agency as well as a licensed Real Estate Agent in Northern VA. Over the past 5+ years, Lenny has been in the digital marketing world. Lenny’s overall goal is to promote self-education and encourage others to constantly improve themselves.

Lenny Richardson – Affinity Agency

Email: len@affinityagency.co

Bonus Business Training Videos

Check out the bonus videos and training from this episode.

Bonus: 3 Simple Steps To Market Your Business

In this bonus, Lyle Leads and Lenny Richardson discuss the 3 simple steps to market your business this year!

Read This Podcast Episode’s Transcript Below

Optimize Profitability Podcast Transcript: Episode 6

Overcoming Personal Credit Issues With Business

Lyle: Hey, this is Lyle with Optimize Profitability podcast, I’m here with Lenny Richardson. He is a millennial entrepreneur. 
He’s in the marketing landscape and he’s a real estate agent, and decided to start a marketing company in the middle of 2020. Figure that out. So we’re going to have fun hearing his story today. 
Lenny, I’m going to turn it over to you. How did you get started on entrepreneurship and what did you have to overcome to bring you where you are today?

Lenny: All right, thank you so much, first of all, thanks Lyle for having me on. As far as getting into entrepreneurship, I sort of got in in mid-college. I first started with a website designed for college students and high school students called College Conqueror.

And the basic premise behind it was….. well I wasn’t taking classes, and I kind of realized that college sucks when it comes to teaching about finances, budgeting, taxes, all of this very important stuff that we never learned about. Unless maybe if you’re a finance major or something, I don’t know. But I made the website for those college students, which is where I first started with marketing. 

When speaking of mindset and beginning as an entrepreneur, two things come to mind. The first main thing that I think a lot of people don’t necessarily consider is it can be stressful. When you are trying to push something out, you expect the support of friends, and family, and your social circle, and they might not see the product, or the service the same way you do.

And the second thing is just wondering, can you do it? There’s so many people that have something similar to a similar product, similar service. Can I actually make a sale? Can I actually sell my product or make any money at all? Will this work? So I think those are kind of the main two things, the two barriers to hurdles, at least for me, that I initially had to overcome.

Lyle: But as I hear you talking about understanding how to represent your value to the world, you believe in yourself. So how did you achieve this belief in yourself? That feeling like I can sell something, and I have something valuable to offer. 
Lenny: A part of it is a comparison, and that’s weird. It’s a weird double edged sword, because you compare yourself maybe too much to, I don’t say the wrong people, but I feel like a lot of us compare ourselves to people who are way further ahead.

And we’re seeing, like, for example, in real estate, I would compare myself to agents that have been doing it for 20 or 30 years, or very popular real estate agents. But it’s like, I can’t do this. These guys are killing it. And we think alike that they have 30 years of experience. You might be brand new. And in a weird way, I think the solution is to kind of compare yourself to the general person and realize that, 

For example, real estate again. You might not know as much as someone like Ryan Saurian, or the people that have been in the industry for 10, 20, 30, 40 years, but you do have values, and you do have something to offer. You don’t need to come out of the gate, at least in my opinion, being a superstar. You can just do well and provide value to whoever your targets are, and slowly work your way up. That’ll help you build confidence.

You know, as you make that first sale, as you sell that first product, you kind of realize I can do it. And at least for me, you kind of realize if they did it, you can too. If I don’t. That was too confusing or that kind of makes sense. 

Lyle: I heard it put this way, you can’t compare your ABC to somebody else’s X, Y, Z.

It’s all about the journey. Everybody’s in a different spot on the journey. And so you had to overcome a belief in yourself. Did you read books? Did you listen to podcasts? How did you do that? If you compare yourself to someone, you’re seeing this big shot and that’s where you’re headed towards. But what did you do internally? 

Lenny: Books help a lot. When I first started out, I read a lot of books, and that kind of helped with the confidence because as you start to read more, you get more information on the books you read.

I would say one of the first books that was super influential was The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I thought that was a really big one for me. It kind of taught me that habits really impact your game life.

And then I would say another good book is, how to win friends and influence people. That’s a pretty good book as far as just building that confidence. Realizing that the people who’re doing good, started with low confidence.  

Again, where they started off,and it’s good to hear their story and realize that when they first started, they weren’t great. They didn’t just start off making tons of sales, or being a rockstar real estate agent, or marketer, or entrepreneur, or whatever they’re doing.

They started at square one like the rest of us. And then you kind of get back to realizing the human flaws. I have flaws, but just like them, they built themselves up. I can do the same thing as well. So you just keep pushing yourself, read books, or information on your body and everything.

Lyle: What is it that went through your mind? What helped at the point of getting past that for the sale?

Lenny:  That is a very good question, you know, to be honest. I would say to me, it’s going somewhere, you have to just kind of do it. You have to realize that if you want it, you have to get it done, and you’re going to have fear.

This was big for me in real estate, and when I had an ecommerce store. I think more so in real estate markets face to face than ecommerce stores online, so it’s not as much, but you try to set that meeting, that consultation, that listing agreement, and you don’t want to say something dumb. So at least for me, this is the case where you kind of self sabotage.

And I did very dumb stuff to mess up the meeting before the meeting even started. I kind of self disqualified myself. There was no real solution. It is just kind of if you want to get it done, just get it done. You’ll probably be afraid you might be rejected. It will be very uncomfortable, but you’ve got to do it. 

That’s kind of what it came down to for me. There’s nothing wrong with that because so many people think they have to have it all figured out and know what to do. And you just do something bigger as you go.

There was a point where I tried to get into something and make it perfect, and you sort of realized, one, you can’t make it perfect, it’s impossible, and it’s part of the process you have to kind of build up as you go on. I’m sure even the entrepreneurs that have been doing it for someone like Mark Cuban, for example, a billionaire, I’m sure if he were to invest in a company, he’s helping somebody.

He might suggest something. It might not work. And he might say, you know what, it didn’t work. Let’s fix it. Let’s change it up. We’ll take the loss on that one. I think that’s part of business. 

And another thing I think people should realize is that internally, I think we look at something and we’re very critical about it, and other people, I don’t think they care nearly as much for example, videos. When I first started, it had been about two or so years since I’ve tried to speak on camera, getting better on videos just because I think that’s where the Internet businesses are heading. Speaking on camera like we’re doing now, I hated being a video. It was nerve racking. I would do a video and delete it 50 times.

Eventually, you kind of mess up, you put it out and you realize nothing happened. Probably no one really watched it or very few people watched the big issue.. It’s all the fears you kind of have internally. They’re unrealistic, they’re sort of an exaggerated reality, whatever you think will happen as far as, like the negative part, it probably won’t happen. So again, probably pretty well watching this. Just do it. Just put it out there, get it done, have the imperfect version and then tweak it as people react to it or as you sort of see flaws change over time.

The voting process, especially like with video, because you see yourself, and you never hear your voice outside of your head, and all of a sudden you’re seeing yourself and everything, you’re judging everything. But people don’t judge you as much as you think. They don’t care about you. So, yes, put value out there if you put value on the world. The videos are value-based. People can hear the value beyond your words.

Lyle: Yes, absolutely. Yeah, that’s huge. Before we started this, you said there’s a lot of steps you want to do as an entrepreneur. A lot of failure that you learn from. Talk about a couple of failures that you kind of had to deal with and how you grew. 

Lenny: Well, I guess sort of starting with the college conqueror, the education website. I would say one failure is specifically with what I tried to market it.

I got basically no positive feedback from college students and looking back on it, I think what the issue was, is that I was trying to directly market to college students in a way that doesn’t say education based because the website is education based, but you kind of realize you might have to use humor or sports or something that a college student can relate to, and draw them in, and that over time, as they are kind of in then we’ll it be a tribe or part in the brand long enough, then you might say this is also educational.

Try this out and be more receptive, and they’re open to it. I didn’t do that initially. I just kind of said here’s some educational stuff. And it’s like trying to force someone who reads books to read. They won’t do it. The best way is probably to show them something that they like reading. And then over time they’ll kind of realize, OK, I got to read if I want this prize or this reward, that was a big one.

With the ecommerce stores a little bit different. It was more technical failures, I’ll call them as far as putting out like Facebook ads, bad copy, no copy or I just say no copy the sense that it’s just one sentence that’s not very catchy, not very eye grabbing photos, that website, that SEO.

It’s more technical things that’s online and then failures in real estate, bad marketing in the sense that I think applies to a lot of businesses. I think a good business needs to differentiate itself enough from its competition that when I first had my first real estate deal that was non-existent, I was just another agent and there’s millions of agents.

Those are kind of the main mistakes I would say I made. And so when you did your college page where you thought you were talking about them rather than with them, they say that. In hindsight, yeah, it was sort of like, I understand, because when I first made it, I wasn’t taking classes and I was just reading about because I didn’t have a lot of money. So I read a lot of finance books and learned a bunch of things that I knew college students did not know.

At least the majority of them would not know. And I would say, hey, guys, if you’re doing an internship, consider an externship or try to budget this way and no one cares. So, yeah, it was me talking at them instead of trying to get them to see the value in what I was suggesting. I put it that way.

Lyle: But let’s let’s unpack this just a little bit for somebody listening to an entrepreneur and they’re having trouble communicating to their audience. How do you help somebody understand that? 

Lenny: Try to meet them on the same page. Meet them at their level. I mean, as far as being an entrepreneur and doing this, the main job, at least in my opinion, as an entrepreneur, is to solve problems, every good business of solving problems in some way, shape or form.

So you want to figure out what their problem is and you don’t want to guess what the problem is. You want to actually know what the problem is, which is another mistake I made. I didn’t do that. I assumed and once you kind of have an idea or what, you know what their problem is, you can sort of reverse engineer whatever you have to do to solve that problem. Bringing it back to real estate, because I’ve been doing that the longest of all the other things I’ve done.

When people go to buy a house, for example, and they’ve never bought a house, there’s a lot of terminology. The whole process itself is so confusing. If you’re a first time home buyer, your needs are very different than someone who has purchased a house and maybe they’re in their 40s or 50s and they’re thinking of downsizing or just selling or say, for example, an investor, everyone’s needs are different. 

And if you try to just kind of market to them or suggest your services to them the same way, it’s not really going to work because what an investor needs is very different than what a first time home buyer needs, what a first time home buyer needs, different than what a third time home buyer needs and what a third buyer home buyer, what a third time home buyer needs is different than someone who is a seasoned home buyer who just trying to downsize because their kids are all good and they’re empty nesters, so.

Yeah, so long story short, figure out what they want and then give them what they want. It is that simple, but it takes some processing to make that asking questions, finding out where they’re hanging out and what they’re doing, using their lingo, that kind of thing. 

Lyle: So what’s it that you’re doing right now in your life that you’re winning? 

Lenny: It’s helping you really increase your business. So for me, I would say it’s being proactive and this is still somewhat new-ish for me.

But, yeah, kind of I think internally we kind of know what we should be doing. And there’s a little bit of a barrier to doing it. And I think it’s a little bit easier to kind of say we can kind of just wait for someone to do the thing for us or, for example, if you have a business. It’s easy to expect if you have a phone that people call, it’s easy to want the phone to just ring.

What I’ve been doing lately is trying to be more proactive, how can I go out there and find business, find people that are interested, and that might be something as simple as just going in forums, talking to people. But I would say something new for me, being proactive about life in general, but business, too, and I think being proactive rather than reactive in general is a good strategy. 

Lyle: And what’s something you’re doing in your business that somebody can take that little tidbit of something you’re doing?

Lenny: One thing we’ve been doing a lot is called email, and I hate it. I don’t like it, but it’s, I think it’s a little bit more proactive. We also do marketing and building the brand and things like that. 

The more active method so far, at least, that we’ve been doing is just going online, going on Instagram, Facebook, finding people who own a business that might be interested in our services and just reaching out, tailor the email, of course, to the person or the business, the business, the owner, but emailing and getting lots of rejections and getting lots of people who just don’t answer.They get angry because they hate being called or emailed.

Lyle:  So if somebody doesn’t know what cold emailing is tell them what that looks like, what it actually is and what that process is, 

Lenny: You have a little three part series. So what we’re doing now and we’re likely going to switch things off kind of based on what happens, but essentially is just there not a lead.

You find Company B or A or whatever online, maybe you’re Googling or maybe one of their ads come up and you kind of reach out and see if I can convince them to hire me. And you reach out through email. What we like to do is find the owner.

Just because I’ve worked in businesses that reach out to us, I’ve been the person on the phone who marketers call or sales people call and from personal experience, I know it does not get to the owner usually. There’s lots of reasons why I think the person answering phones sometimes just is not motivated to take down the salesperson information and pass it on to the owner because the owner might just not care. There are a lot of reasons why they won’t show the owner the information.

But we like to go specifically to the owner, find the email, find their Facebook, find their Instagram. LinkedIn is a good place to use as a sort of a template. I can’t remember word for word, but essentially we try to identify specific problems that they have on their website or on their social media, maybe the marketing on Facebook, you can tell if people run ads. If they’re not running ads, we might reach out and say, hey, person, you’re not doing this or let me try.

Have you ever tried doing this? We try to give them value first and suggest things that might not be working. And nine times out of ten, you just don’t get an answer.

But. Sometimes we get an answer and then we kind of lead them down, a process where. What usually happens is they say, maybe you or tell me more or something like that, we sort of do an audit, give them information, give them more value, follow up a lot. That’s a big one, because they might just see the email and forget about it. Lots of things can happen. We have a right now it’s about a five step process where we follow basically five times.

And on that fifth time, if they’re not if they just don’t respond, if they say they’re not and if they’re not, actually we take them off the list.

If they don’t respond at all. And that might just be because they’re busy or the emails are not catchy enough, we sort of put them on a campaign where we don’t actively match them personally, but we give them valuable emails, of course, of the call to action email and. That’s essentially it, if eventually they come out, reach out and say we’re interested, then we sort of start the next process. If they don’t respond, it doesn’t matter because it’s all essentially automated.

So it’s not too much time on our part. And if they unsubscribe, that’s fine, because there’s no point in reaching out to people who aren’t interested and we don’t take it personally.

Lyle: So as a millennial, you’re saying email marketing is not dead? 

Lenny: I don’t think it’s dead. I think even marketing, I think if you can make it catchy and with the subject line, they’ll open it. I think the issue now is so many people are just emailing it. It’s hard to stand out, I’ll put it that way. It’s not dead, but it’s difficult. In my opinion, at least. 

Lyle: We’re going to continue this conversation, we won’t get into deep dive of marketing, we’re going to talk about the three-step formula it takes to get clients.

If you go to dfwtop.com/optimizeprofitability, which services will be on the screen somewhere, we’ll let you know. But look for Lenny Richardson. Lenny, how can they get in touch with you, what your website looks like? 

Lenny: My website is it’s affinityagency.co, if you want to get in contact with me in the team, if anyone’s interested in reaching out to me personally, Instagram’s probably the best way I check it.

I’m going to spell it to you because no one can ever spell it. It’s Leviticus Rich and if anyone needs me or follow me or talk to me, I’m there.

Lyle: So join us on the conversation at OptimizeProfitability.com. We can talk about the three steps it formula it takes to get clients. And I tell you my number one trick, I’ll say trick tip or email marketing that will blow your mind how simple it is and you won’t believe you never did. So join us there.

How Self Expectations and Boundaries Keep a Business Growing

In today’s business podcast, we hear from Jenna Zebrowski speak on her journey from corporate to her self practice and how she overcame her obstacles in business. Let’s jump right in!

Here are some things we cover in today’s Podcast:

  • How being in business gives you options when you are laid off?
  • What do you do if you want security and safety, but still want to be an entrepreneur?
  • How do you develop an elevator pitch?
  • How is networking like a series of conversations?
  • How does having a solid fee structure help you reach more clients and balance your work and life?
  • How a structured calendar helps your keep the life and business in focus (even with kids)
  • How setting clear expectations helps smooth out the entrepreneurial life

Thanks for listening to the OP Podcast. 

Make sure you check out Jenna’s contact information below

Jenna Zebrowski is fanatical about affordable, customized legal solutions for commercial real estate professionals and small business owners.  With a focus on business owners and commercial real estate, and over a decade of experience, rest assured that you will understand the legal and financial risk and reward, and you can confidently make an informed decision.

Business owners and commercial real estate professionals turn to The Law Office of Jenna Zebrowski, PLLC when:

  • Faced with unexpected (and expensive) surprises after the fact and wondering, why didn’t someone tell me about that?
  • Continuously worrying about unexpected legal bills and fees.
  • Frustrated with trying to locate a responsive, knowledgeable attorney.
  • The transaction is taking forever because no one can get it done.
  • You need to know it’s done right, and it’s customized for your business situation.

Jenna provides personalized, tailored legal solutions for your business or commercial real estate transaction, at an affordable rate.

Bonus Business Training Videos

Check out the bonus videos and training from this episode.

Bonus #1: Diving Deep in LLC’s and Business Entities

In this bonus, Lyle Leads and Jenna Zebrowski discuss about business entities and how they operate.

Bonus #2: Free Ebook on What You Need to Know About LLC’s

Click here for your free eBook

Read This Podcast Episode’s Transcript Below

Optimize Profitability Podcast Transcript: Episode 4

 How Self Expectations and Boundaries Keep a Business Growing

Lyle Leads: Hello, this is Lyle with the Optimize Profitability podcast, we’re with Jenna Zebrowski, how’s that for a fun name? She’s a real estate lawyer. She works with helping people with those fun documents like leases, and business setups, and entities. 

According to her, she likes to ‘keep your fanny out of the fire,’ so she makes sure the documents are what they’re supposed to be. She’s been an entrepreneur for one and a half years, and as of one month ago today, at time of recording, she’s a mom. How cool is that? So we look forward to hearing your story. What was the mindset it took from you to get from the nine to five to being your own boss? 

Jenna Zebrowski: Well, it’s been quite a journey. I’ve been in corporate for over a decade. And then I had two layoffs in two years. It was really disheartening. What am I going to do with my life? All of this. And, then, I finally did what I said I was going to do. I’m going to start my own practice. And it was the scariest thing I’ve ever said to myself and the scariest thing I’ve ever done. 

I took a contract job for about six months and worked really hard to get all of my documents in place, my practice, networking, everything that you need to have to start a law practice. And then as of January 2019, I stopped looking for corporate jobs and doing all of that, and set out on my own practice. And it was absolutely terrifying. And here I am a year and a half later, I have that practice and I’m not going to go back to corporate. 

Lyle Leads: Great. What do you mean it’s terrifying? Explain that to us. 

Jenna Zebrowski: I am an attorney. I am risk averse. I do not come from an entrepreneurial background. So it’s not, “Oh, this is fun.” I’ve always wanted to start my own business. I’ve always wanted to be my own boss. I want security, and safety, and predictability, and I had that for a decade and that was really hard to give up. I enjoyed having that knowing I was getting a paycheck. 

But at the same time, I’m strapped down to this desk and I need to know what’s happening, and I’m still trying to balance everything. And it wasn’t working anymore. I got some really good experience from the corporate side that I could bring into my practice. But after a decade, it was time to put my money where my mouth was and really go forth and do it. So just that uncertainty, I want to know, OK, if I follow the formula and do all these things exactly right, then I’ll be good. 

And these are the steps in the process, and the timeline, and you can’t get that as an entrepreneur. I want it. I asked everybody, how do I guarantee, or how do I get this? And everyone said, you just have to trust, and have faith, and do it. And that’s really scary, and terrifying, and horrifying, and oh, my gosh, I can’t do it. I didn’t have a backup plan, so I went ahead and did it and, oh, my gosh, the crowd sourcing was right. 

Everyone said, you get through the grind, you do it. That first year was tough in a lot of ways. But I’m here. I’m going forth, and I’m going to keep going so I can do it. Anybody can do it. Whether you’re ready, whether you want to, you can.  You just have to hang on by your fingernails and get it done.  

Lyle Leads: Did you read any books or go to conferences? How did you develop that mindset to go into entrepreneurship? 

Jenna Zebrowski: Well, it was making up my mind to do so. So I said I’m not going to have a backup plan. I’m not going to try this for six months and get out of it. I have to succeed. I don’t have a backup plan, which is very unusual for me. So I’m throwing myself into this wholeheartedly. And I did do a lot of networking. I got on LinkedIn and Meetup. I talked to everybody. It didn’t matter what it was. 

It didn’t matter if it was real estate, or legal related, or they were my audience. I need to go out there and practice. I didn’t have my elevator speech down. I didn’t know how to introduce myself. Who the heck wants to work with a real estate attorney when you’re hanging out with a bunch of, you know, small business owners, what the heck? Right? So I figured nothing to lose, everything to gain. So I probably went back, when we could do that, I was probably at three or four networking events per day. 

I was not dealing with clients or doing anything, but for about three months, that’s all I did. I have breakfast, lunch, dinner, one or two meetings. And it was practicing my elevator pitch in real time with a real audience and getting feedback, meeting people. You go to a room of 30 people. Who’s that one person that might be someone that can get me to the next level, practicing one on ones, getting my pitch. 

What do people care about? What I think they care about is not necessarily what they really want. So that first three months, I did not land a lot of clients, I did not have a lot of business. And I was tired because I was driving to a lot of meetings, but after those first three months, things started falling in place and going the right direction. It was a good move on my part, but there was no plan. The plan was to go out there, and figure it out, and I did. 

Lyle Leads:That’s great. And see, that’s one of the things I love about you. You’re a lawyer, but you have personality, and personality is key in your business. I love that. 

Let’s unpack the one liner, the elevator pitch, whatever you want to call it. When somebody is a new entrepreneur and they’re like, I have no idea what she means: elevator pitch? Tell us how you developed your elevator pitch. How did that develop in your head? Did you write it down? Did you write one hundred copies of it? Did you just start spouting it out? Tell us what that looks like to you.

Jenna Zebrowski: Well, for those of us that don’t know yet, the elevator pitch is you’re trapped in an elevator with your absolute primo candidate. You got 30 seconds to get them to be interested and get your card. And how do we go to the next steps? And as an attorney, you know, you can find a lot of us and we do all different things. And everyone thinks that I go to court, or deal with criminals, or have a high powered something, or other. 

I sit behind a desk with a lot of paper and it makes me very happy. Don’t get me wrong, but it’s not what you’re expecting. So obviously I had to get my name out there and I worked really hard on my branding. I set up my website for my law firm as LawbyJZ.com. And I spent a lot of time trying to figure that out, and how to set myself up as opposed to the law Office of Jenna Zebrowski. 

So the branding was there. And then the next step is to think about who you want to talk to. Everybody is not your audience, right? I was thinking, who can best service? And it’s been commercial real estate professionals, both commercial, and residential, and small business owners. That’s a lot different than everybody. So when I say those words, those people might only be one or two in a room, or someone who knows someone. 

But those are the people I want to talk to. And then what do I provide for them? Safety and security. A lot of people sign documents they do not understand. They trust someone to tell them what it is. That person doesn’t have their interests at heart. And that may be what you understood or what you thought you signed. It is not the case and it will not hold up in court. So that’s identifying who you want to talk to, what you can do for them and doing it in 30 seconds or less. 

So my elevator pitch is: Hi, I’m Jenna Zebrowski. I’m the attorney behind Lawbyjz.com. I work with real estate professionals and small business owners to lock down your legal rights in your contracts, leases and other legal documentation. Understand what you’re signing on the dotted line before, not after. Check me out at Lawbyjz.com. 

That took a year and a half to get there. And I practiced it a hundred and five different ways. I would say it in the shower, or while I was driving, or anywhere else that I had a few minutes of downtime. And you meet a lot of people and I did it to every single person. It’s a lot more natural than, “I’m an attorney, and I do leases and contracts, and you should totally check me out.” So it doesn’t have to be something that you peel off every time you meet someone, but again, who are you, and make sure that they know your name. Make sure they know who you’re looking for, and what you can do for them. 

Then I have my little tagline at the end: The key is that you understand what you’re getting into before, not after.  So what is it that sets you apart from everybody else? That’s what I do. And that’s what everybody needs to figure out. If you’re just telling me how great your product is, I don’t care. So what do I do for you, and that’s the focus. That’s what I would tell entrepreneurs to look for. How can you help your specific audience? 

Lyle Leads: I think the term is what’s their favorite radio stations WIIFM: what’s in it for me!

Jenna Zebrowski: Exactly. And once I started looking at that, it made a huge difference as opposed to I’m a lawyer, and here’s all these great things I do. It’s like I’m a lawyer. I want to help you. What can I help you with? And really making that effort to listen to and say, yes, I can do that or no, I can’t, but I have someone that can. And that was another really important thing for me, making those connections. 

I have a lot of people asking me about insurance, banking, CPAs, marketing, none of which I handle. So I can say, no, I can’t help you, but I know someone who can. Only thing worse is saying, no, I can’t help you and stopping, that’s a really awful feeling to have. So I play with a bunch of people, and what comes around goes around. Some of the times those people come back to me and help out,like in a rising tide that lifts all boats. 

Lyle Leads: Exactly. So it’s networking; it’s connecting with people and then knowing who they are enough to tell them, hey, there’s a person that can help you. 

Jenna Zebrowski: One of the best things I ever heard, it’s not even necessarily networking, or contacts, or anything I’ve heard, it’s a series of conversations to get to. And I really thought that was great. I like to talk. I can have a series of conversations. 

So who are you? What do you do? What do you need? How can I help you? And let me do that, and sometimes there’s some people that you can’t help, you’re not there for everybody. I’m certainly not. But when you find the right audience that you can help with, that you can do stuff with, then I have a series of conversations. I’m not selling a service or a product. I’m saying here’s what I can do. Are you interested? Let’s work together. And that has really helped me focus on my practice, and what I’m doing to be successful to help other people be successful.

 Lyle Leads: That’s great. I love that. So what are you doing right now in your life that’s helping you grow your business and develop and stay sane as a mom sleeps? 

Jenna Zebrowski: I wish I had more of that, but that mythical work life balance, having it all at once, I think we all realize that’s just not going to happen for everybody, but it’s being really selected, and focused on what I want. A part of the reason I started my practice is when we decided that we were going to start. A family is being able to be there for my family. My husband is also in the Army National Guard. So on occasion he’s gone for weeks at a time for Hurricane Harvey or covid-19, he’s gone. 

So someone’s got to be at home to keep the house going and make sure that the dog gets fed and the kid as well. So that helps. So it was really important for me to have that. I got really clear, really fast on my fee structure. This is how much money I need to make per year backing into that. OK, take out 30 percent for taxes. These are my business expenses. So how much do I need to charge per item and create that certainty for my clients, either an hourly rate with a retainer or flat fee and making sure that I can do it for that flat fee. 

So that was really important and I stick to my guns on that. Could you do it for a little bit less? Could I get a little bit more? This is what you get for that price. So really knowing that and people who respect that are good clients, people who don’t can go work with another attorney. So getting real clear, real fast on how I was going to make this work from a financial perspective is really important. And scheduling time management. 

I carry around an old fashioned piece of paper and a pen everywhere I go, and I write it down, and before I go to bed every night, it doesn’t matter how tired I am, I get out my phone, and I put it in the calendar. Then I see I have that meeting. Oh, I have that Zoom. Oh, I have that doctor’s appointment. Oh, I have to make sure that I’m feeding my child and I don’t know what day it is. 

I don’t know what I’m doing next, but it’s in the calendar and the alarm goes off and I don’t miss appointments, I don’t make clients wait. That’s really important to them and that’s important to me. So making sure that you’re not over scheduling, it’s OK to say, no, I can’t do tomorrow. What about Thursday being clear on that? If it’s that important, they’ll work with you. I’ve also said, hey, sure, I’ll give you a call at nine o’clock Saturday morning.

Sometimes you just have to work around people’s schedules, especially if they’re doing an eight to five with their own business. Sure, I can have a conversation at six. You might hear me getting the baby in the background or walking the dog, but this is what you get. I had a document we needed to get signed for a client. I drove up to their house about a twenty five minute drive, and we wore masks, and executed the documents out of the tailgate of my car at 6:30 on a Friday because it needed to be done. So that’s the important part. 

Lyle Leads: There’s so many little tidbits you put there. You have a digital brain that keeps you on track, so you don’t have to remember everything. I love that. And you feed your child. You said that like four times. It’s so important. 

Jenna Zebrowski: Pretty proud of myself on that one. That’s key because he’s on a schedule and he’s not going to let me forget it. So that means everything else has got to be on a schedule to write it down, make sure it’s in there, have a system that works for you and keep using it. Consistency is so key because if not, oh, I forgot I had this meeting. This didn’t get signed. This didn’t get paid for me. That could be a malpractice issue, maybe not necessarily for every entrepreneur, but if your clients or people who want to give you money and work with you, can’t trust you or can’t rely on you, that’s not the impression that you want to give them. 

So you treat them the way you want to be treated, and that means respecting their time as well. If that means, hey, we’re going to do this right now, I’m bringing my baby in a carrier and we’re going to execute these out of the back of my car. But yeah, we’ll get it done and people get it. 

People, especially other small business owners, are accommodating and they’ll come out in front of their house, and we’ll pull in their garage, and wear a mask, and sign things, and get it done. It’s what we do. Yeah, that’s great.  

Lyle Leads: What would be a tip that somebody could do right now? If they’re a mom, they’re just a new entrepreneur. What’s some tips that you would give them to help them become a better winner as an entrepreneur? 

Jenna Zebrowski: Systems is what I would say, you need to sit down and you need to get someone else to watch the baby or find some time, you need a two or three hour block. You need to sit down. You need your computer, your phone and a paper calendar. And I have actually sat down. I try to do it at least once a month on the first day of every month. And I sit down and I have all of the personal stuff and all of the professional stuff, and I get it in the calendar and the paper one goes on the refrigerator where my husband and I can see it. 

And then I back it up with my professional one, which he doesn’t need to necessarily know that I have three clients on Thursday, but I do. So I can’t schedule anything before one o’clock. So making sure that all of those appointments are on there that month. And then obviously as things go on, you can add them. But before you say yes, let me look. Oh, it’s right here in my phone. I’ve got this going on. 

I can’t do one o’clock. What about 2:30? And using technology is important. Maybe I can’t meet you in person. I’d like to, but we can set up a meeting, we assume via Skype, via a phone call, being creative in accommodating. You can only work after your workday at 6:30. Great. We’ll have a call at 6:30-7 and just be aware that you might see the dog in the background or something. 

You know, I work out of a home office a lot, especially right now. So this is what you get. I work lean and mean just like everybody else. So no, this is where we’ll be. You’ll get it done. But it may not look like a fancy downtown law firm with high heels and marble floors.

Lyle Leads: And I love that you set expectations. That’s so crucial because somebody is expecting this marble floor in this big mahogany desk and everything. If they had that preconceived expectation, it can be hard for them to come in and say, well, who are you again? Where’s the real person I talked to, you know?  

Jenna Zebrowski: Yeah, well, I mean, It’s important to be professional. Whatever you’re doing, you can be professional in a three piece suit or you could be professional in a t-shirt and shorts. I try to have the same persona no matter what, which is professional and competent. And I can solve your problems no matter what I look like. And I tell people, that’s part of my pitch. You know, I keep my billing rates, and everything where I do, I make a living. 

Don’t get me wrong, I got a mortgage, too. But I work out of my back bedroom, and my computer’s a couple of years old, and I do a lot of stuff off of my phone and running around in my car, which is my part time office. You’re not going to necessarily have to come to any eight to five, and have a formal meeting, and do all of this. I do a lot of stuff online, a lot of things electronically, and I get how we’re all busy.  I get it. So what can I do to accommodate that? 

But at the same time, boundaries, like you said, are really important. I can meet with you, but I don’t take meetings after seven o’clock at night, it does not work with me. So we’ll either have to set another time or you’ll have to find somebody else. The more things I say no to, the more things I turn away, the better I find.

Because if you close the door to one opportunity, another door opens and that’s the client you want. Because if they’re being unreasonable or they have expectations that don’t match yours, they need to go find someone that can. It is not my job to bend over backwards to make sure that I fit everybody. It is my job to accommodate the clients that I have that we can work together every time I try to do somebody a favor or do something outside of my boundaries.  

I’ve ended up to some extent regretting that it took too much time. Effort wasn’t worth it, even though we got it done. The people that understand and respect my time and theirs are a much better fit, and that’s kind of helping my practice evolve as well. 

Lyle: I love that: expectations, boundaries and accommodations. That’s a great little three piece tidbit. I love that we’re going to continue this conversation. 

We want to touch base with Jenna’s story and everything. If you were a real estate entrepreneur, you definitely want to check out the bonuses. We’re fixing to have a deep dive into LLC’s,  how to set those up, and what they’re about, and all that fun stuff. 

We’ll talk more about real estate investments, whether you’re an investor or thinking about being one.  

We’re going to do that on OptimizeProfitability.com. So join us for the bonus tip. And before we leave you, Jenna, you’re a mom and you just started a new little thing where you’re helping people, you’re helping moms with estate planning. Make sure if you’re a mom, reach out. If you need some estate planning, help with things and all those fun things or any parents you got, even if you don’t have children, let her know.

Jenna Zebrowski: Everybody, let me put it this way. The state has a will for you. Is it the one you want? I don’t know. Give me a call. Let’s find out.  And a lot more affordable than you think, believe it or not. 

Lyle Leads: Yes, I agree with that. She’s very reasonable and she’s, like I said, fun to be around.  I like hanging out with her. How can we get in touch with you? What do they need to do? Can they call you? You want to send an email? What’s the best way to reach out to you? Any way you want.

Jenna Zebrowski: Because I’ll work with you. My phone number and this is my direct dial. Don’t text me because it won’t work, but you can give me a call, leave a voicemail and it’s my phone. So I answer it and I call back. That number is 817-841-5762. My email, which is probably the best way, but some people like the phone, is my name jenna@lawbyjz.com. 

And it’s also on my website lawbyjz.com. You can see what I’m about. There’s also a contact me form, or if you talk to Lyle, he’ll make sure that I get the messages as well.  

Lyle Leads: And on our page, OptimizeProfitability.com, or dfwtop.com/podcast. I have links to social media. 

So if you want to dig in about LLC’s… let’s do that on our bonus video! 

Thanks for being on today. And we’re going to jump into our deep dive in the bonus materials for this podcast. And I look forward to having a deeper conversation. 

Jenna Zebrowski: Looking forward to it, Lyle. Thanks.