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Turning Problems Into New Income Streams

The BiggerPockets Business Podcast
56 min read
Turning Problems Into New Income Streams

Being a business owner is exceptionally rewarding in so many ways… but as all successful entrepreneurs know, it’s certainly not all glitz and glamour! We ALL experience problems, and the way we navigate those problems can make or break our business. But what happens when we take it a step further, creating new opportunities by choosing to not only navigate, but instead TACKLE complex problems head on?

Check out Stephanie Betters, founder and owner/operator of SocialMediaREI, Left Main Real Estate Investment Lifeline and Better Path Homes. Mastering the skills of managing it all, Stephanie talks with us about how she started two new income streams that originated from complex problems she solved to help her own business. Realizing many other business owners faced the same challenges, she began offering her product solutions on a broader scale — all while raising three young children and continuing to practice medicine full-time as a cardiac surgery nurse practitioner.

Stephanie tells us about her creative approach to self-solving a problem that would have otherwise cost nearly $100K to outsource, which ultimately led the world’s #1 CRM, Salesforce.com, to come knocking at her door. She serves up a valuable roadmap of the right way to go about finding help (including that first daunting hire of a personal assistant); the critical importance of creating measurable, time-sensitive goals to move your business forward, and avoiding the all-too-common entrepreneurial trap of “starting to drive the bus without knowing where you’re going.”

And make sure you listen for Stephanie’s tips on working with your spouse, significant other, or partner… a challenge we all face when growing a business while keeping family front and center.

Check her out, and subscribe to the BiggerPockets Business Podcast so you won’t miss our next show!

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Read the Transcript Here

J: Welcome to the BiggerPockets business podcast show number

Stephanie: 80. First thing that helped me the most was to actually offload tasks. Like it just ended up being, I had a mountain of tasks to do, and I could do it, but not well or. Not without feeling like I was going to die.

Welcome to a real world. MBA

J: from the

Stephanie: school of hard knocks where entrepreneurs reveal, what it

J: really takes

Stephanie: to make it, whether you’re already in business or you’re on your way there. This show is for you. This is BiggerPockets business. Yeah.

J: How’s it going everybody. I M J Scott, I’m your cohost for the BiggerPockets business podcast and my beautiful. Co-host is here with me. She is Carol Scott. She’s my lovely wife. And I’m thrilled to be doing this today with you.

Carol: Oh, I’m always so thrilled to be doing this with you. Very grateful and very inspired, honey.

I got to tell you it’s just every single week when we talk to these amazing guests, everybody has such great tips, such great stories, fantastic, actionable advice, and people everywhere are just. Doing absolutely awesome and inspiring things. And so I’m grateful that we get that. We have the opportunity to talk to these people.

I feel very honored. And just to remind her anyone out there, if you know somebody who is also inspirational, who has a great business story to share, send them. To apply to be a guest on our show. You just go to biggerpockets.com/guest. So yeah, we would love to

J: see who else is out there. So we have a great show today.

Our guest, her name is Stephanie betters and she is just filled with amazing tips for our listeners. She has a full-time job. She’s a nurse practitioner, so she works a full-time job. She’s also a real estate investor. She does, uh multi-family and syndications and. She fell into additional income streams.

So basically she had a problem in her business that in the process of solving that business problem, and it was in her real estate business and the process of solving that problem, she ended up creating a product that. It is, she is now partnering with a company called salesforce.com, built billion dollar company, and is now selling that product to create additional income for her and to provide a great product out there in the world.

And on this episode, Stephanie talks all about her accidentally falling into that. New business stream and some additional income streams that she has. She talks about being a full-time employee as a nurse practitioner, also a full-time mom to three little kids and managing her real estate business and several other key businesses.

So on this episode, we talk about everything from how do you juggle all of those things to how do you build systems and processes in your business? We talk about hiring and hiring a personal assistant and. Stephanie really shakes things up and turns things on its head in terms of how do you hire somebody to help you accomplish all those things in your life that, that you really need to accomplish to make progress and push your business forward.

Then we have an amazing discussion on basically key performance indicators and measures in your business and how you basically can work backwards to. Set your goals and achieve your goals in your business. And then finally, we have a great discussion with Stephanie about working with your spouse because Stephanie works with her husband, her husband’s, her CEO of their business.

And we have a great discussion about how you work with your spouse in whether it’s real estate or anything business, and how you do that successfully. Just an amazing tip episode. If you’re a business person you’re going to love it. If you’re a real estate investor, you’re going to love it. You’re just going to love this episode.

So if you want to find out more about Stephanie, if you want to find out more about her businesses, social media REI left main real estate investment lifeline, better path homes. Check out our show notes at biggerpockets.com/biz. Show 80. Again, that’s biggerpockets.com/biz show 80. Okay, now, without any further ado, let’s welcome.

Stephanie, betters to the show. How are you doing today, Stephanie?

Stephanie: Hey, I’m good. How are you

J: doing well, thank you for being here. We really appreciate it.

Carol: So, so looking forward to chatting with you today, Stephanie, my goodness. You have just so many balls in the air. You’re juggling so many different things.

But you are masterfully balancing them in such a great way. So our listeners are going to love, hearing your story, love, hearing the advice that you have to offer us. So I would really love to kind of set the stage about the fact that and correct me if I’m misrepresenting anything you are in addition to being a mom of three kids and not big, like grownup self-sufficient kids, they’re little, little, little kids, and you’re a nurse.

And you also have several different businesses going on that we’re going to talk about. But I think one really fun thing to talk about is the fact that you have this really great medical background in addition to business. So can you tell us about how you feel that your medical background and experience has really contributed to your success as a business owner?

Stephanie: Sure. So I mean, working, working as a nurse and then working as a nurse practitioner, Everything is all about people, right? People and their problems. And my specialty is cardiothoracic surgery. So they’re big problems, they’re complex problems and they’re scary. And we really have to kind of get down to how people are feeling and then help them transition to what the solution is.

And the solution is really scary. Open-heart surgery is really scary and we’ve got to, we don’t always have a lot of time, so you’ve got to make a connection with people quickly. Understand how they’re feeling, what the problem is, and then help guide them to the next solution and essentially sell us, cracking your chest open.

This is going to help you, right. So I think the reason why my medical background has helped so much, it’s just because I feel like I’m just good with people. I feel, I understand, I understand people pretty well. I can help them deal with complicated issues pretty well. And that all ties into business because business ends up being about people, right?

Either business to business or business, to customer. It’s all about people. It’s all about rapport building. So I think if you understand them, then you can help them.

Carol: That is awesome. And that’s really intense. So not only a nurse, and I apologize if I misrepresented you’re a full-on nurse practitioner in a cardiac cardiac surgery.

So I would also suspect that you are just an expert at problem-solving and expert in making sure that all of these different personalities, all of these different needs are met in critically urgent timelines. So I would suspect that that all plays into this at the same time. Right?

Stephanie: Absolutely. I’m kind of wired to be detail oriented and, you know, thinking about what am I good at?

Like what can I do? Um, I’m good at details and I’m good at complex problems. And I think that once I understood that that was really my identity. Not necessarily the label of being a mom or the label of being a wife or the label being a nurse practitioner, because then you kind of box yourself in to who you are, right.

Is by your job title or. Whatever. I had a real big identity crisis, kind of getting out of that. Like, can I do more? Am I more? Who am I? You know? And I started defining myself as my skillset. Like, I’m a people person. I am good at details. I am good at complex problems. I like complex problems. I like marketing.

I like the, you know, and then this is who I am. So that kind of helped me. Break out of my own mental box. You know what I mean?

J: I love that. And, and so, I mean, we’re, we’re early in this interview, but so far you’ve said two things that I think everybody really needs to take to heart because it’s kind of, there, there are two big keys to success in business and in life.

And one is business is about people. And we often forget about that. We often spend our time thinking, okay, if I create a great product and I create a great sales funnel and I create a great marketing, all of that’s important, but at the end of the day, business and life and real estate, you’re in real estate as well.

And your full-time job, it’s all about people. And so I, I definitely want to dig into that, but then something else you said that’s really important as well is how we look at ourselves and how we define ourselves. And too often, I talk to people who are jumping into something and they think, or they say to me, yeah, that’s just not me.

I can’t do that. That’s not who I am. And I think you, you put it masterfully. You are your skillset. You’re not what your head says. You are. You’re not what other people say you are. You’re not what you were 20 years ago. You are your skillset. And so. If you don’t think of yourself as a marketing or sales person, great.

Go get the skills to be a marketing sales person. And in a year or two or five, you will be a marketing and sales person. You don’t think you’re great at developing products. Go work on those skills. And in a year or two or five, you’re going to be a product person. And too often we put ourselves, like you said, in this mental box of, I can’t do it.

So I’m not even going to try. And then there are these other people who are just like, that’s not who I am today, but let me tell you something. By six months from now or a year from now, that’s going to be who I am and they become that person. So I don’t mean to belabor that point, but those two things are just so, so good.

Thank you. So let’s talk about, we talked about your full-time job. Let’s talk about your. Businesses, your side, your side stuff. So I know number one, you do some real estate. And number two, you have a couple of other companies before we dig into each of those, can you kind of give us a general overview of what your, your professional life looks like outside of your W2 job and how all that

Stephanie: came to be?

Sure. And I’ll kind of start that I was full-time in medicine until two years ago, two years ago, I went part-time so I work 30 hours a week. That’s what part-time medicine is, but, so what my, what my professional life outside of medicine looks like is we have a investment company in Charlotte, North Carolina.

That’s kind of the, how it all started. That’s the mother company. That, um, my, I founded with my husband and, and it was his idea. I will say, I will admit that. And, uh, then we, we merged with a third partner two years ago. So there’s three partners in that company. And from that, from running that investment company, two major problems came up that I felt like I had to tackle.

I was the COO and marketing was a big one getting good and good leads, getting good motivated sellers, finding kind of finding the edge in the competitive market. And getting people and getting in the door. And the second major problem that came up was systems and processes and clarity of data. So two companies kind of spinned off of that, that I didn’t anticipate when we first started, but marketing company spinoff called social media REI that specializes in motivated sellers online on Facebook.

And the second company that spun off was my software company, which is powered by Salesforce called left main. So it’s essentially a extensive. Amazing. I love it so much a CRM system that we can run our businesses off of. That’s very clear. I can, I can build in processes. I can monitor metrics and make really good decisions based on really good data.

So those three kind of encompass my real estate life. And then of course we have some short term rentals that we own that bring some passive income in, and we’ve just started jumping into some syndications for large multi-family.

Carol: Very very cool. So talk to us more Stephanie, about these two off companies from these.

Uh, these from, okay, let me back up. I want, I think this is also real important. Let’s make this connection. So you have this big, successful real estate investing company, right? And lots of our listeners are real estate investors. And you saw just like so many of us see as real estate investors, you saw two big problems.

So rather than whine about them, or figure out an excuse of why that was going to stop your business, you decided to take those two problems in off. Two more related companies. Right. And help me understand though, your background before this is in medicine, you’re a nurse practitioner. And if I’m understanding correctly, these two companies are both technology related.

Is that accurate? Yes. So how in the world did you go about developing these, these programs, this software, all this technology with the medical background, how did that even happen?

Stephanie: So I think at first starts with a problem. I think business in general, a successful business solves problems. I don’t care what kind of problem it is.

It can be a technical problem. It can be a house problem. It can be, I dunno, a button problem, whatever, a clothing fastener problem, right? It’s all starts with a problem. And the better you are at solving problems, the more successful you’ll be because the more people that have that problem will seek out your solution.

Right? So. Looking at it from that framework, it’s the same as medicine. Like it’s all about solving the problem, right. And medicine, by the way, it’s pretty technical. There’s a lot of all medical records are electronic dealing with computers and documenting that and dealing with high tech tools to get things done.

Um, anywhere from invasive procedures, with invasive monitoring, all very technical, all the way to, to real estate and dealing with, you know, uh, software solution and then social media, social media has become a part of our life. I’m on Facebook, your grandma’s on Facebook, you know, so that kind of, kind of became second nature.

And then how we were successful in each platform was again, focusing on what the problem was. So I wanted to offer our social media REI accompany. I wanted to solve. The problem of getting in front of motivated homeowner. So that was understanding our avatar, who are we marketing to? Who is, who has the problem that we’re trying to solve.

And then once you kind of figure that out, you can start building out a demographic and start targeting, making marketing materials for that specific person to respond to. And then the better you are at that, the more people respond and that we had such tremendous success with that in our company, that other companies, and we were in, in other masterminds, sorta asking like, so tell me what you’re doing on Facebook and, and you know, what, what is it?

And I would explain, and they’re like, you know what? I don’t want to learn that. Can you just do it for us? I was like, I guess I can. So we kind of leveraged what we learned into. Then it kind of accidentally became this agency that had its own little snowball and its own little arc, you know, and the same thing with the CRM, you know, we had this problem of keeping things organized.

Now our business, as it was growing, we had increasing complexity. We had multiple marketing channels, multiple employees, all trying to communicate at the same time. Trying to make sure we had good records. We had good follow-up with people so that we would, you know, not miss out an opportunity to help them.

And we were so scattered all our different softwares we were using or trying to integrate. I felt like we just didn’t have a really good stable platform that had everything in it and then could show me what was happening. Well, we were scraping stuff, putting it on spreadsheets. Like it started becoming messy, you know, and I just felt like I don’t have the information.

I need to make a good decision. I felt like I was going. Based on gut instinct a lot. And I believe that helps, right? Like we need that gut instinct of like where, what kind of moves we need to make in our business. But it comes a certain point that you need to have measureables. Like, I need to have things that support my decision, especially when things get scary.

And we’re talking about like multiple million dollars coming in and out, like, I want, I want to base this on some sort of like fact, right. And there is a big part of me. That’s very data-driven and very metric and algorithm driven. Um, and that, I think that’s my, my medicine background has helped me be that way.

But. I, I felt like this was a major problem for us and, and, and we weren’t, we didn’t have that good central system. So I went out and looked for a solution and I got very frustrated and I’ll be just, I’ll be real honest that I was, I just got real angry that nothing existed and the things that were out there were really rudimentary and clunky and didn’t integrate things.

So I decided that I would go try to build a platform on Salesforce. Because that was the number one CRM in the world. I was just done dealing with crap. And I was just like, what’s the number one CRM. I’m going to go out. And I’m just going to have them build me something. And I had so many discovery calls with them, trying to having them understand our industry, having them understand what I was looking for, how I was trying to integrate things.

And honestly, at the end, they were like, okay, well, we can develop a framework of what you’re looking for. And it’s going to be approximately a hundred thousand dollars for that framework. And it made it’s pregnant. Take six months to roll out and get live. I kind of just got really mad. I’m just going to be, that was like a hundred thousand dollars.

Are you crazy? And the six month I’m like, I need a solution now. So I just said, I’m just going to build it. I’ll just do it myself. And they were like, That’s cute, but you probably won’t. And I was like, don’t doubt me. Don’t you know, like I was so upset that this would cost this much and there was all these barriers.

So I just decided that I was going to teach myself and it was. Salesforce is very smart. I mean, they’re a fantastic partner now, but they kind of make you, they’re very good. They’re very good bit. And they’re a billion dollar business for a reason. All their tools to train you are very expensive. You have to take thousands of dollars to spend thousands of dollars on their courses to train you how to be a Salesforce developer, et cetera.

And I wasn’t going to spend $10,000 on another education, right. So I found some. 10 year old training videos. And I bought those. They were much less expensive. And then I taught myself and I was so angry that I did it in about 200 hours. It took me like. A month and a half or so to build. And I was like a psycho.

My poor husband is like, are you still on the computer? I’m like, I’m coding. I’m going to figure this out. I built it. And then Salesforce followed up with me and they’re like, okay, Hey, are you ready now to like, you know, go with our developer? And I was like, Oh no, I built it. It’s running. We just actually just launched.

And they’re like, what, what do you mean you built it? Can I see? So the rep shared screen. I showed her what I built and she’s like, I’m going to come to Charlotte. I need to, we need, I need to meet you. And like, let’s, I want to see what your operation looks like. So she came to my office and she said, I think this is fantastic.

You’ve clearly identified a white space. We don’t have anything available in our system for your industry. There are some things that are relatable with like real estate in general, but more so for brokerages and financial firms, she said, how would you like to partner with us and bring this. To other investors.

Do you think that there would be a need? And I said, absolutely. I think there would be a need. I went through this big partnering process. I didn’t even anticipate that. Honestly. I really just built it for myself. I was so desperate for something and they were the ones who were like, come do this, you know?

So I was like, Oh, okay, I’ll do that. So it took quite a while. You have to go through all the security testing, all their people, try to break your app and get it to crash or be, you know, To be unstable and it passed all those things. And about a year ago, and it will be January. So we’re, you know, 10, 10 plus months in it launched and now other real estate investors can use it.

And it’s been amazing.

J: That is. Awesome. I love that story. And I’d be remissed as, as the host here, not to go back and highlight something. You said that is so important and is, is basically one of the keys to, to all of business success. And, and you said it a few minutes ago, which was, it all starts with the problem and the better you are at solving problems, the more successful you’re going to be.

And this is true in any industry and the number of people I talk to that become successful because they have a problem themselves. They don’t go out and look for other people’s problems. First, they start by solving their own problem. And it sounds like you started this CRM, you started your, your partnership with Salesforce, not looking to build a business, not looking to build an income stream, not looking to do anything other than solve your own problems.

You built this for yourself and you happen to show it to somebody who said, wait a second. That has value outside of you let’s turn that into a business. And so for anybody out there, I mean, that’s, I’ll let you say it, but that’s, that’s just great advice to just start with your own problems.

Stephanie: Absolutely.

And I think that’s how it all starts, you know, and that’s how I real estate journey in general started even departing from medicine is that there was this problem of like, there’s only so much time. Right. So how do I get. More stability with my time. How do I control my time? I have young kids, you know, what am I going to do?

I’m going to work a hundred hours. How do I, how do I find my own stability? I need, we need some passive income. We have so much debt from school. My, my husband’s a physician assistant. You know, we had graduated with $200,000 worth of debt. Like, how do we overcome that? You know, so that’s where we look started looking into real estate in general, was to solve that problem for us of, we needed some sort of passive income.

We needed some longterm wealth building because we clearly were going to have to work the rest of our lives and medicine to even overcome it. And then the real estate journey started and then it became less about us. It became more about the people we were helping. Right. It’s yes, it’s scratched our own itch, but it started.

Working because we were helping other people and creating win-win scenarios. And then that kind of like, you know, again, made these other little snowballs off of solving problem.

J: So let’s talk about how you handle your, you now accidentally falling into a new business. So you’re creating a product for you to, to benefit your real estate business.

Presumably you’re doing that because your real estate business was taking a lot of time on top of your full-time job, which was taking a lot of time. Um, and so you, you were. Building this product basically to save you time. And now suddenly you wake up one day and you have a new business and that business is going to cost you time.

So obviously there are benefits there. It’s going to make you money, but it’s going to cost you time. So how did you then that, that day after Salesforce said to you let’s partner on this, how did you, how did your life. Change did you say, okay, I’m going to take time from my real estate business and focus on this business.

How are you distributing your hours? Did you have a team that was going to help you? Like what did that look like the day after you magically one day woke up with a new business?

Stephanie: So I’m going to preface this answer by saying that I’ve identified that I’m addicted to opportunity now. Right? Like I see problems everywhere.

Once we started our first business. I literally see problems everywhere. I’m like, Oh my gosh, this restaurant could run more efficiently this way. Look at that, look at this. And I literally became obsessed. We could do that now. Now, now the world has opened up. Right? So really the most important thing that comes next after identifying a problem or an opportunity is like that gut passion check, like.

Can I invest myself in this again. And like, because every business has a launch period, right. Where you kind of got to dive in, organize it, get system set up, and then you can step out again. And is this going, do I feel passionate enough about this? That I’ll do it, that I will sacrifice a little piece of meat for this, at least in the beginning.

And if it meets that gut-check, then it’s a go right. And that’s why we ended up with these two things or these two companies off of that gut check, but how it all, how I was even able to even have this brain space started with organization and putting systems and processes into place and learning how to build a company the first time, right.

With our real estate investment company. And let me tell you, like, I hit my head a lot on this. I really, this was very difficult for me to learn because. I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m a workhorse. Like I can work really hard. I can do all the tasks, but it’ll kill me. Right? Like there’s only so much brute force you can do to get over things.

Brute force will only get you so far and being a task master will only get you so far. So you’ve got to learn at some point. To hire, to have systems, to train people, to like collaborate and to build a team. And when you’re building a team, you’re building systems. So I really started learning how to do that with better path homes or a real estate company.

So by the time a year or so, went into that. I was able, we identified somebody in our company to be our new COO. So I was a COO forever. My husband was a CEO and there came a choice to be made there. It’s like, is, am I going to be the CEO? Am I going to run the ship all the time? Or do I want to kind of elevate out into like an owner’s box and, and look into other opportunities and kind of, you know, Sprinkles, some magic and other places.

And the answer to that for me was yes. And I don’t think that’s yes for everybody, but it was yes, for me. I wanted eventually to be in the owner’s box box, I wanted to be a consultant in my business. I did not want to give up medicine. That, that became a question because especially when we were busy and I was working full-time in both, I kept asking, I haven’t asked myself, well, what do I really want?

Like, do I want either, do I want both. And I, I came to the conclusion that I will never give up medicine. Like that is a huge passion for me. I love it. Like I get, so I, I personally get so much out of it. It provides a little stability too for my family. Cause I have a W2 income is easy to get in, you know, loans and things like that.

So when I made that decision, I knew like eventually I’m going to have to hire out my position as COO. So. When we, we had social media REI, I was able to run side-by-side because I was able to make a couple key hires there that helped me do a lot of the customer service and the building of ads. And a lot of that kind of spun off of what we had already built and continue to build.

And it kind of just like duplicate. It was very duplicative because we were literally doing the same exact thing in our business. So a couple of key hires there made that run really smoothly. I only had to put maybe an hour, maybe two hours a week into that company. And I was working 40 hours and better path homes.

And in early 20, 20 this year, it feels like this has been three years. We hired our new COO to take over. So I was training him for better path homes and I launched left name. So better path home. His time requirement was going down quite a bit from 40 hours a week to. 20 to 10 and now I probably spend five hours a week in that company.

And that’s mostly because I’m the technology officer now. I we’re, we build out cool things that are Salesforce and beta test them. So I spend. About 30 hours every other week. Now in medicine, I spend one to two hours a week and social media REI five hours a week in better path homes and probably another, probably 10 hours a week or so in left.


Carol: Very, very cool. Stephanie, one thing that you talked about. But I think we really haven’t heard a lot of on the show. It really struck me is so many of us, so many people in our audience, if they haven’t started a business yet, and they’re still working a W2, they’re striving so massively to be able to leave that W2 and go on to quote unquote, live the dream, start their own business and so on.

But you really look at it. In a different way. And even the way you’re talking about the way you spend your time now is a very big, I guess, opposite way of looking at that, right. You’re talking about how passionate you really are about medicine. And I think that might almost be a bit of a sigh of relief to a lot of our listeners, right.

Because it always, you know, we’re all just. If people are conditioned, of course, in this, as we’re growing up and everything to work hard and to fit into this box of working for somebody else and climbing the ladder and so on. And then after you’re kind of done with that, making a career shift and doing your own thing and not having to work for somebody else.

Can you talk to more about our listeners who are maybe struggling with, if that, I mean, did you struggle with that at all when you started doing these other things as well, or do you have any advice for our listeners who are. In a W2 as far as, you know, whether you should stay or whether you shouldn’t and just kind of what that all looks like.

Stephanie: Yeah. I mean, I think that, that really, that question came up so much in the beginning for me, because, and that was really where my identity crisis really just kind of happened because I didn’t know if it was okay. You know, I wanted the main, when we first started. No. We had young kids when we first started our business.

We had a six month old now she’s six and my oldest is 11 and I have an eight year old in the middle and it really was this, like, we want to build passive income. We want some, some longterm stability, but we feel like our jobs. So how do we do both? And can I do that both? And should I do both and am I more and am I not?

And do I give up my job and in the entrepreneurial space? As you hinted at, everybody’s like, quit your job, burn the boats. Like don’t you just gotta leave. You’re never going to achieve what you want, unless you leave your job. And it came down to that like gut check for me, like, what’s my passion. And I want to do the things in my life that I’m passionate about.

And even if I can divide my time into a couple different things, I only want what I want to spend my time doing are things that I’m passionate about. And I am passionate about medicine. I love my job. Now the problem with medicine is that it’s very dependent, right? Like I’m expendable. I don’t care who you are.

Everybody, everybody in medicine is, is expendable. And there’s a vulnerability to that. I want to make sure I’m, my family is safe and I have long-term stuff and I’ve got my own thing going that I can fall back on and have income. It should anything happen? Like COVID. By the way a lot of providers got laid off, providers like got laid off during COVID.

It doesn’t even make any sense, right. Because the, the hospital’s not making money. Right. No one, it’s all craziness how that happened. And that’s a whole another side note, but I didn’t want to leave because I loved it. And I decided that the, the thing that would work the best for me is to be part-time.

So I wanted to kind of situate myself that I could be part-time. Or will they call per diem, you know, PRN, and then I could choose, choose when I want it to work. And that was a huge freedom. Like if I’m choosing to go in, you go in with like a, such a different attitude, right? Like I want to be here. I want to see my coworkers.

I’m excited about my patients with all these crazy problems, you know, like it becomes less of a burden and more of a joy. And honestly, that’s the way medicine should be practiced.

J: That’s awesome. And so you made a decision, but then there was carrying out that decision and being able to carry that out with three young kids and everything else you have going on.

So you talked about one way of kind of starting to systematize your business and that’s bringing in other people, bringing in employees, bringing in potentially a COO or a CEO, basically hiring. To offload and delegate some of those big tasks. Can you talk to us about some of the other things either you did or that we, anybody out there that’s listening can be doing to kind of systematize and process ties their business so that they can do more in less time, whether it’s because they have a W2 job or they have kids, or they just want more free time.

What are other things besides hiring that we can be doing? I think

Stephanie: learning is probably the next most important thing, because when you start, you don’t even know what you don’t know. I had no idea how to dream. I didn’t know how to build multiple companies or managed multiple. I had no idea. I had to go out and learn and listen to bigger pockets and go to masterminds and read books on leadership.

And I had to go out and start consuming information on how to even figure this out. I didn’t go to business school. Right. And even still, I don’t think business school teaches you really had to be a true entrepreneur, but we need a network. So I needed information and I needed to be around other people who were trying to do similar things as me and we’re living this kind of crazy life.

And that opened up my brain to a lot of different possibilities and also a lot of different kind of like personal strategies on how to cope with all this, right. How to cope with the chaos. So they taught me about. Personal productivity, like how do you start your day? How do you brain dump all your ideas?

How do you even like how important exercises that’s really important for me? Right. I just need to like go out and run because my brain is full incorporating these like personal coping skills into this. Crazy life for living, you know.

Carol: Excellent. Excellent. And can you talk to us a bit more about those are some of your, the overall learnings that you had to achieve, but again, like we talked about in the very beginning, you are clearly balancing again, so many different things and, and some people are fantastic at multitasking.

Things, some people can only, you know, look at one thing at a time and then move on to the next and onto the next. But what is your key? Like what are some of your systems and processes to be able to, from a personal standpoint, just be able to really be effective in all of these different things that even though they’re connected, they truly are different animals.

What, what are some of the things that you do that our listeners can do?

Stephanie: Sure. I mean, so. The first thing that helped me the most was to actually offload tasks. Like it just ended up being, I had a mountain of tasks to do, and I could do it, but not well or not without feeling like I was going to die. So instead of waiting until you feel like you’re going to die, let’s back up and look at all the tasks that you’re doing and what tasks can be delegated.

And hiring somebody that loves those kinds of things. There are people out there who are passionate about the things that you don’t want to do or don’t have time to do. So the very first person that we hired was somebody to answer the phone when it was ringing, because life was nuts. I was either at the hospital or was that homeless.

It was screaming kids in the background, and that was not very professional. And I would be hiding in closets with the door closed, like shushing my kids, or giving them some sort of. Screen so that I could have a phone call. Right. So that became just super stressful and I needed to figure out a way to give somebody else that task.

So that was the first thing I offloaded. And that was terrifying. Are they going to mess it up? This is like the lifeline, how are they? What are they gonna say? What if they, you know, like, how am I going to teach them at home time to teach anybody? You know, that, that overcoming, that was huge. And once I saw that everything was going to be okay.

I was like, Oh my God, I can hire people to do this. Like, it’s okay. I had so much fear with that first hire. So much fear.

Carol: Can you talk to us more about that first hire Stephanie before you move on? Because I think a lot of new new entrepreneurs and so many of us are in that same exact boat. Right. And especially the example you use just simply somebody to.

He answer the phones. So even though this might sound like, Oh, that’s just, it just is what it is. That’s kind of a big daunting task. So where did you find the person? Is it a VA? Is it a full-time person? It is a part-time person. Is it somebody that’s at your office where physically is the person located?

Just what are all of the logistics about how we as small business owners can go about finding that first critical person? And how does that work out? Tactically on a daily basis?

Stephanie: Yeah. So first the first thing I did was start searching all the groups I was in. How do I hire someone to answer the phone?

What does that even called? And then I learned it was called a lead intake person. So then I started searching around for lead intake, virtual assistance. I won, we didn’t have an office at that point. We were working out of our home office and we didn’t have a location for anyone to be. So that would be fine if it was virtual.

And we didn’t have a huge budget. Like we were just trying to get off the ground. So I couldn’t afford to pay an onshore person, 15 bucks an hour to answer the phone. I truly couldn’t do that. So we searched and we found real estate investor trained virtual assistants, and the company was called IVs. I believe investor VA services.

I don’t think that I’m not sure if they’re still in business anymore. I think they’ve merged and changed things. But, um, I found a VA through there. We interviewed a couple of VAs via video there in the Philippines. And I was so nervous again. It was like, Oh no, are they going to, what if they accent? We live in the South.

We get out, are people going to tolerate that? All the sphere again? And we found somebody named Raine who has just the best spirit and the best energy. He’s still with us. He’s we hired him five years ago. He’s still one of the best employees we’ve ever hired. He’s phenomenal. And we just, we didn’t know what to tell him to do.

Right. We’re like, okay, call these lists. And we just started answering the phone, but if the phone wasn’t ringing, try to do this, and then we would just keep like one by one putting things on his plate and he, he tackled it and he did great. And I was like, Oh gosh, he can do more, take more stuff off my plate.

You know? So once I, once I got over that initial fear and saw that it was okay that they can do these things, I don’t have to do it. I don’t have to like micromanage. Then I found more and more things for him to do. And then now my brain started opening up. I could think about other things, right. It became less of a problem with the phone.

I’m like, okay, now what’s the best way to follow up with these people? Like, what if we didn’t have an appointment, right. If we didn’t get the deal on the first call. How, like, how do we follow up? And then I started thinking of like what the best way to follow up with people were. And I started building a little system.

Okay. Let’s call them in two days. If we, you know, if we didn’t get ahold of them, let’s, let’s call them five times in one day. And you know, then the system started, started creating. I was able to think a little bit bigger than the task, and that was monumental for me because I was very task oriented before.

So once the tasks were handled, I’m thinking about the system instead.

J: I love that. And that’s such a mindset shift from, and I know the cliche is work on your business, not in your business and being task-based cause very in your business. And you’re focused on getting things done day to day. And it’s so important that sometimes we step back and we say, okay, I’m going to do something right now.

That isn’t going to check anything off my, my to-do list, but it’s going to create a process that will allow me to not have those things on my to-do list later, or help me get them checked off faster later. And so, yeah, that’s such a great monumental shift in, in mindset. Focus on your business, not in your business, not on those individual tasks.

I do want to talk about something because. This is something I happened to be having a conversation with somebody yesterday about this. And I know I have this problem. I know Carol has this problem. And so I’m just curious to get your take. So you talked about reign, it sounds like he’s kind of your personal assistant.

Is that the, is that a.

Stephanie: He started off that way and then he’s just lead intake.

J: Oh, okay. Well, I want to go back to when he was your personal assistant. And I know so many people that have this difficulty bringing on somebody that can help them in their business that can help them in their life, this personal assist assistant type role.

And again, Carol and I have this problem too. We we’ve tried this so many times and we, we, we can’t get, get it right. Give us some advice for bringing in a personal assistant. Is it somebody that needs to be. Physically located near you. Can it be somebody remote? How do you deal with giving them tasks? How do you deal with training them without taking all the same time, doing the work yourself?

Like what are just some advice for bringing in somebody that first person to help you

Stephanie: first starts with writing down all the things that you do. And I really resisted this for a really long time. So now that I say that my husband laughs at me because he’s been telling me to do that forever, but you start by listing down literally what you’re doing in a day.

What are all the things like, or as you’re going about your day, like, just write down what you’re doing. Checking email, answering phone. Kids interrupted, reading, whatever, all the little tasks are follow up. Just make a big, long list as you go throughout the day. And then look at that list and say, what should I be doing?

Like what, where am I making money with? What do I do in the day that actually moves the needle for the business? Like, how do I move forward without being like crushed? So, cause tasks will crush you. They don’t necessarily move you forward. Right? Hopefully the key tasks that you do in the day are the ones that move you forward.

Not all the little incidentals. So I took that list and I said, okay, what do I need to do? Like, what are my top three most important things that I need to do in a day or this day, or this week? And I need to be focused on those. And if those are going to take several hours to complete. Or maybe there’s some research involved or whatever to accomplish them.

Then all the rest of the tasks can’t just fall off. They can’t just sit there. That gives me anxiety. Somebody has to do them. So I need to find somebody who will do those tasks. And now you’re starting to build a job description and it’s specific for you and what you need. And it’s okay that it’s going to change.

So now that you have in the future, so it should right. So now you have a little bit of a job description. You can start thinking about who the ideal person would be for those tasks, because depending on what they are, we’ll, we’ll, we’ll be the different type of person, right? Like, for example, if you need to create content, if you’re, if you, if you’re running marketing and you need somebody to build creative, that’s going to be a different person.

Who’s going to be good at that. Than a person who is going to be formatting an Excel spreadsheet. Right? So now you can start thinking, okay, marketing person, very friendly, bubbly, creative has, has background experience has art experience has worked for somebody like this before versus a spreadsheet, which is very data focused, admin tasks, et cetera.

So you can start figuring out who it is that you need, and then you just start interviewing and you’d be shocked that there are people who love to do this specific thing that you don’t like to do. So you do a little bit of interview and then depending on what kind of the task is, it’ll depend on where they need to be.

And I’ve had a big mind shift change with this because I used to think people needed to be around me. Like I needed to have like, be able to like talk to them and collaborate very easily. Here’s my desk. Here’s your desk. We’re going to talk. You don’t need that. I mean, in the, in the zoom world, Skype world, et cetera, you don’t have to be working directly next to each other.

Some of our marketing team is in Connecticut and I’m in, I’m in North Carolina. So you don’t need that. And you can, you can still have that meaningful relationship with employees just via video or via phone call and like communication via these types of channels. Um, and that opens up who you can hire.

Cause it’s not just in your local area. Now, if you have a personal assistant who needs to get your groceries and to, you know, help you make dinner or meal prep, then of course that person needs to come to your house and needs to be local. Right. But as far as business stuff goes, most of the time. They can be virtual.

J: So this is actually another mindset shift in another different way of thinking that a lot of people, a lot of people will make a list of the most important things in their business. And then say, I need to bring somebody in and hire them to do all these things. What you’re saying is make a list of all the things that I should be doing in my business, make a list of all the things.

And you said two things. One make a list of all the things that make it, make me the most money. So, so the stuff that is, that is the highest hourly earning tasks in my business. And number two, the thing that moves my business forward, those big tasks that moves my business, my business forward. And instead of outsourcing those focus on those, those are the things you should be doing and then bring in somebody to help you on.

All the other things that are less important so that you can then focus on those big things. And I think that’s a huge mindset shift because I know a lot of us we’re so focused on, okay. I need to hire that for all the big tasks. And those are hard to hire for.

Stephanie: And if I think it’s a mistake to do that,

J: I love that.

I love that. And that also keeps you from having to hire three different people, bringing in somebody that can do your marketing is different than somebody that can do your product different than somebody that can do your, your, whatever. You’re bringing in. Somebody that is doing a lot of smaller tasks.

And one person can probably do 90% of those things because they’re not highly specialized.

Stephanie: Right. And there’s something to be said about focus too, right? Like if this is their focus, they need to do these things. Like they get done better. They get done better than you could do as you’re trying to juggle 17 others, checking your email, driving to your next appointment or whatever it is.

Right. There’s focus. People are sitting down and going through those tasks. Meaningfully

J: love it. Okay. Earlier in the episode you made a comment and let me go back and get the exact quote. You said you’d need to have measureables. In your business. And I know a lot of people referred to them. I’m sure you do, as well as KPIs or key performance indicators.

These things that we use in our business to measure our progress, to make sure that our business is moving forward. As you say, can you talk to us a little bit about how you define those important KPIs in your business and then what your process is to ensure that you’re tracking them and, and, and really staying on top of them.

Stephanie: Sure. This is my favorite thing. I love talking about this stuff. This is like my very favorite nerdy thing to talk about. So what is all starts with as the end goal? So what is it that this business is doing? Right? So let’s just use real estate. As the example, this business is buying houses. So how many houses, like what is my revenue goal?

Like what is my goal with this business? Am I trying to, you know, buy three rentals per kid? Am I trying to earn a certain amount? Am I, what is it that I’m trying to do? Right. That big vision of what you’re doing with the business is the first thing to kind of articulate. And that seems like an obvious thing to say, but most entrepreneurs just start driving the bus.

They don’t even know where they’re going. Right. They’re like, I’m just going to do things. And first of all, it’s very difficult to have a team to manage and to hire and to inspire a team. If nobody knows where the heck this bus is going. Right. So, this was kind of my role with my husband who was, who was the CEO and is a CEO, excuse me, in like, right.

He has all these big, crazy ideas and we’re going to just, we’re going to be rich one day and we don’t have to work all the time. Well, what does that even mean, Zach? Right. Like, so I sit down and we try to articulate what the goal is first. And let’s say the goal is we want, we want to build this real estate investment company to have $10,000 of passive income per month.

Maybe that that’s our rental goal. Right. Okay. So if that’s the case, How many rentals do I need and why do I need that many? Is that because I’m making $200 per month net per deal, per rental, or am I making $500? So you’ve got to kind of figure out what that number is because then the rest of the numbers will fold into that.

Right? So. Let’s just for easy math, let’s just say a hundred dollars. You’re going to net a hundred dollars, right. Per property. Well, you’re going to need a hundred rentals, right? So if I have a hundred rentals at a hundred dollars net, I’m going to get my, my profit goal. So you can start with that. Let’s just start with like a really small profit goal.

That’s really small. Most people can get at least 200, but let’s just say it’s a hundred. So that means I need to buy at least one rental a month for the next hundred months. Right. That seems like a long time. So is there a way that I can move that needle a little faster? Like, and how do I do that? I’m going to run into money problems.

I’m going to run into deal problems. Can I find that many? How am I going to find them quickly? Right, right, right. Like, so then I’m going to need to Mark it. So it starts, when you start articulating it, you’re going to start popping off with some obstacles. And then this is where a lot of people get scared, but where you really need to like buckle down and like identify the obstacles first and then how you’re going to overcome them.

And you’re going to overcome them over time. So you have to start and you have to start measuring how long it takes to get a deal, what you need to do to get a deal. What did that profit bring in for that deal? What other obstacles did you have? And these are these begin to be your measureables. And then over time you work to improve the measureables.

So now you say, okay, we’ve kind of figured out how to get a deal. How do I get a deal faster? How many leads do I need to get a deal? And then how do I get more deals with less leads, right? That’s the next, that’s the next metric? And then, you know, how do I raise more money or how do I, whatever. And you’re going to start measuring these, these things that, that result in the end goal.

And then you’re going to try to improve them. So over time you’ll develop probably five or six of these key measurables that you need to achieve. And my. My big philosophy on these big measureables is they really need to be weekly goals. Especially if you want to do volume, you need to have goals that you set for a quarter and like live in a 90 day world.

This is very EOS traction stuff, right? You need to, you need to live in a 90 day world because that’s about as much time as you can be to stay focused. So you bring your measureables into that world. And then you have weekly, your weekly progress towards those goals. And there will be then daily progress towards those weekly goals.

So for, for real estate and other real estate example, let’s say you need to get two contracts to buy a property a week. You’re going to need to make five offers on a property a day. Let’s just say that that’s what your measurable is. So then now, you know, every single day, that key thing you need to do in a day, right?

Like the number one most important task that you need to do is you need to make five offers. So you need to talk to five homeowners or whatever the, you know, whoever you’re talking, whatever your business is, you need to talk to five. People, have five meaningful conversations, identify what their problems are, have a little sales process and make five offers a day.

And if you do that every single day, you will get your two contracts a week.

J: That is, that is such good advice. And I think too often, we, we go the other way. We say, I’m going to make 10 phone calls a day, and those 10 phone calls a day. That’s great. I mean, you have to start with phone calls or whatever it is you’re doing to, to drive leads.

But at the end of the day, if you start with, I’m making 10 phone calls a day, that’s going to lead to X number of deals a week, a month, a year, which may or may not hit your goal starting the other way and saying, I want. $10,000 a month in income. How many houses is that going to require me to buy? And how many is that going to require me to buy a month?

And how many is that going to require me to buy a week? And how many leads do I need to get there? And how many phone calls do I need to make those leads? That’s so, so good. Start with the angle in mind. And I also love the live in a 90 day world because too often we get confused about. What should we be thinking?

Yeah, it’s always great to think in five years, I want to have $10 million, but five years, that’s that’s forever. And, and you don’t know what’s going to happen between now and then, but at the same token we already talked earlier about don’t be too task-focused so waking up and saying today, this is what I’m going to do on my list.

That’s. Too granular and 90 days, is that really good sweet spot for what can I accomplish to, again, I’m going to use your words to push your business forward because it’s all about pushing your business forward. And 90 days is that, that, that great sweet spot. I love that

Carol: seriously. That was just an absolutely.

Great discussion on all of those things. I love it, but I really have one more, I don’t say burning question, but I just have to know. So a lot of our listeners know that Jay and I have been working side-by-side for, Oh my God. Like 20 billion years at this point. Right. And you and your husband have built a business together too.

So. I would love to get your perspective. I suspect our listeners would love to get your perspective on what works about working with your spouse. What doesn’t some tips you’ve learned along the way and how you two have managed to have a great work relationship while keeping that marriage relationship going so beautifully.

Stephanie: Well, that is a burning one. Um, it’s this is a difficult one, right? This is a constant work in progress, I think. And on balance and counterbalance, because business has a way of just overflowing into your personal life, especially when you work together. There’s not that like drive home where you empty your brain and then you enter your mom mode or your dad mode.

Right. You don’t really have that. You’re just kind of in the. You know, mix all the time. So I think some key things, uh, for working with your spouse is probably going to start with like what your role is in the, in, in this business together. And I’ll just kind of come from it, come at it from like the wife’s perspective.

Cause that’s what I am. I think that there are, are three different types of. Spouse relationships. You have the CEO wife, right. Who’s running the show. And I think if you’re the CEO wife, then you’re going to have to address gender roles at some point, like there’s going to be that discussion. I don’t care what century you’re in.

Like this is going to come up. Right. And how your spouse feels about that and how you feel about that. Are going to come into discussion. And I think that you can probably even have conflicting opinions about it for yourself. I know that I do, right. Like, cause I want to be the mom, but then I still can be the boss and all these things.

Right. So you’re going to come up with that. And I think if you’re the CEO wife, you’re also going to have to grapple with stability. I think women in general, and again, I don’t care what century it is. We wants stability, male or female, but I think women may be a little bit more. We want our stability. We want to feel like we have some sort of.

Control or prediction. And when you’re the CEO and you’re in your head is in the clouds and mean we’re trying to move a mountain, you can kind of struggle with that stability. Right. And who’s going to fill that stable role for you. And then I think if the partner wife, this is the wife who has an active role in the business, you’re sharing responsibilities.

You’re both in there. You’re both trying to move things forward. I think this is where boundaries really come into play. Like when does work stop. And personal life begin. Can you pull each other out of the hole that you go down into when you’re like both work addicts? Right. And how does, how do you have help with the kids?

Because somebody has to, right. Even if you both are working full-time and you’re both are in the business, somebody has to help you manage the kids and you kind of have to get over it. You’re going to need a babysitter. You’re going to need a nanny or some help in the house. And like, you’re going to have to address.

Those things. And then I think you have the part, the supportive wife, who’s not an actively involved in the business and has to kind of is either it’s either a stay at home mom or maybe works in a different industry. And she’s kind of holding together the FA the home life and, and may not understand everything that’s happening with the business.

And I think if that’s your role, then you probably are going to struggle with some loneliness and feeling like you’re disconnected. And these roles, I think you can be very, very successful in it, in any of these roles. I’ve been all three of them. And I think knowing that in the beginning is really helpful.

And having that discussion with your spouse is going to help a lot, regardless of which role you’re in. If you have the CEO husband and the supportive wife versus the CEO wife and the supportive husband, you’re going to kind of have to identify what. Obstacles, you’re going to have with each other along the way with this, and then talk about it.

Like you’ve got to talk about everything, right? You’ve got to talk about your feelings and your, and your frustrations and like, you know, be good at communicating. And this is really hard, especially when you’re busy and especially when you’re upset, like when you’re mad, you don’t want to talk about it.

It just, you know, you want it to be done, but you got to talk about it. I think that’s probably my, my key points. There is just kinda to know. No thy self. And know what your, what your role, your type is, you know, of those three categories. Because if you know that, then I think you can, it’s a little bit easier to address the elephant.

Like the gender role thing, I think is a big elephant, right? Like who’s going to be in charge and who, you know, what’s happening and I’ll say a big lesson that. I learned. And I honestly struggled with, for a really long time is like, just to be totally vulnerable with you guys is being able to be led.

Right. Like I kind of tend to lead and I don’t necessarily mean to, or want to, but I kind of do right. And the way our family dynamics work like Zach isn’t is like, not the head of the house, but like whatever, he’s, he’s, he’s kind of in charge. And I had a problem with that. Just to be honest, like, it was hard for me to like trust and to follow and to be like, okay, well, this is what my husband thinks.

And I don’t mean to say that in like a flippant way, because I don’t think there’s a necessarily anything wrong with it, but that that’s, I did struggle with that. So there was always kind of like this unsaid power battle, and I didn’t mean to do this. But there came a point where I understood that it’s okay to have somebody lead, especially if you trust them and you love them and you respect them.

And all the things I feel about my husband. And I can trust him to lead me. And we are like the board of directors, right? Like he can only lead well, if we trust him, right. You can’t, you can’t have somebody be a successful leader if nobody trusts them and nobody enables them to lead. So that was a big mind shift change for me.

I was like, wow. He, he really can do this and I can trust him to do it. And he was like, wow, she can trust me. Like she believes in me, we can do this together. Right. So I don’t know if anyone can relate to that. Or if I just said all the politically incorrect things, but that was a struggle, like, and honestly, in his.

The responsibility. I think of the visionary in this, in the relationship is you’ve got to inspire people to follow you, right? Like you’ve got to stir the heart of your spouse. You’ve got to get them on the same page as you, like. You’re not going to hire anybody. That’s going to stay with you. And if you can’t inspire your wife or your spouse to do go on this mission with you, and then if you are inspired enough to go on this mission, you’ve also got to trust, right?

Where we’re going. Um, and we can work together and we can be a board of directors together and your opinion can be heard, but then sometimes there comes a critical point where somebody has to make a call and then you just got to go with it. Right. You just got to trust that it’s the right call. That

Carol: was absolutely

Stephanie: awesome.


Carol: and in case there really was a question there, I’m sure just about every single person listening to this episode can absolutely relate. Those are things that we all struggle with, and it sounds like you have really shifted your mindset and shifted your life. Style in a way that you can work cohesively and you can work together to really achieve great things in your family life, in your work life, in all of the above.

And it wasn’t just easy. It didn’t just magically happen overnight. Like you said, it really took some mindset adjusting and it really took some consistent effort to get there. So thank you so much for sharing that. That’s huge. Huge. So before we jump into four more, Stephanie, do you have any other pieces of advice?

For aspiring entrepreneurs or starting out intro entrepreneurs, or just anybody listening to this show that you haven’t yet shared today about juggling so many different things about creative, passive income, about working with a family member. Just anything now that you’d like to share.

Stephanie: So. What I would love for everybody to take from this is that you can do anything.

It sounds like something like cliche that you tell your kids, but you literally can do anything. And you can learn how to do anything that you’re passionate about. You can, you can figure it out. You can figure all of this out, even if you didn’t think you could, you still can. So just believe, take one step at a time and you literally can do and achieve what you want.

Carol: Love that we can never hear that enough, by the way. Right. Some people are like, now it’s cliche, but you know what? We just need to hear that because there’s, it’s so absolutely powerful when you remember that, just like you said, put your mind to it and you can do whatever the heck you do.

Stephanie: Yeah. I still need to hear it.

I still have to hear that too, you know? Yes, you can. Yes, you can.

Carol: That’s right. You can make that happen. Yeah. So Jay, I think it’s time for four more. What do you think?

J: I think that’s a great idea. Stephanie. Four more is where we ask you the same four questions we ask all of our guests, uh, or at least that’s the four part of the four more.

And then the more part of the four more is where you give us a little bit more information about where our guests can connect with you and learn more about you and your businesses. You ready for it? Okay. I will take the first four questions. What was your very first or your very worst job? I’ll let you decide which one.

And what lessons did you take from it that you’re still using today?

Stephanie: This job was a grocery store bagger. I was 15 and I bagged the groceries, you know, at the local grocery store. And. I learned looking back on that now from now, from today is that every job is important. I was stressed then about like how fast I go back, how much customer service I can give, how quick, like every job is important and.

Everybody has something to offer and every single role. So just because you’re a bagger doesn’t mean that you aren’t important or that you have pressure from your manager. Like God forbid you fall, you call out sick. You’re a bagger, who’s going to bag the groceries, right. Versus now calling out sick at the hospital, right.

Everybody’s important. Every, every part of the engine is super important and you should bring your best to every day.

Carol: Love that that is super. I’m going to change up question number two a bit, because I kind of asked our typical question number two, before we went into the four more. So I would like to know Stephanie, what is something in one of your major business ventures pick any one of them that you have under your belt now?

And there are so many awesome ones that looking back, you wish. You would have known in the beginning, so you weren’t struggling so hard in the beginning to figure something out that now it’s like, Oh gee, I wish I would’ve just known that from the get-go.

Stephanie: I wish I knew that there were communities out there doing everything I wanted to do.

I had no idea. I really thought I had to reinvent the whole wheel and that we were like making this up as we went, but there are people out there who aspire to have the same, you know, have the same vision, the same dreams. And there are places you can go to learn. There’s masterminds. There’s just whole groups of people who just talk about all this stuff that you wish you knew, right.

And you can reach out and learn and speed the speed that the learning curve up a bit by surrounding yourself with, with those types of people.

J: Awesome. Love that. Okay. Um, question number three. I know you are a book person as well as we, what would you say is your favorite? Ah, let’s go with business book or anything related to your business book, uh, that you would recommend that you think our listeners may not have heard of.

Stephanie: Ooh, I don’t know if this one’s relatively common, but it’s my favorite. Um, it’s from good to great Jim Collins.


J: you go. Awesome.

Stephanie: Thank you. And then book

J: it is, that is one of my favorites.

Stephanie: Yeah.

Carol: And here is my fourth and typically favorite fun little question. So what’s something along the way, Stephanie, either in your work life or business life or home life or wherever, however, whenever that you have splurged on along the way, that was entirely in totally worth it.

Stephanie: Okay. So I think two things on this one, um, two things business, one thing personal. Okay. So I I’m invested in a mastermind that was expensive and I was scared to put that money in to, to get one of these real estate masterminds. But. That was monumental. Like that literally changed everything in my business.

That changed my mindset. That changed my projection. I got to help solve other problems. That part of the reason why I started other companies, it was the, by far, the best money I’ve spent was to join a mastermind. And the second only to that. Is we hired an EOS coach to help us implement traction in our business.

And that was sharper business solutions. Gary Harper, Susan Harper. I love them. They, they changed our business. They helped us systemize and open my mind to really how to build a business. I learned so much from that. And the personal splurge that I said I would never, ever, ever do when Zach and I first got engaged, I was like, don’t ever ask me to have a minivan because I won’t.

And literally the best decision I made when we got was pregnant with our third, I bought a brand new Odyssey, minivan, and I was a minivan mom, and it is the most convenient thing in the world with everybody in my family, I can haul crap around. And that was definitely the best. Personal purchase.

Carol: How awesome is that?

Right. And isn’t it so funny, you look back to when you know, you’re in your late teenager, early twenties, not in a million years, but I drive a minivan, but now with all the kids and especially all the real estate related stuff, when you’re always having to haul stuff around, it’s like, get me a totally pimped out minivan.

It’s a beautiful thing.

J: And for anybody out there listening that heard you mentioned traction EOS and have no idea what you’re talking about. There are a couple of great books by a gentleman named Gino Wickman called traction and, and EOS. And it’s a whole system for, for building and scaling your business.

And, uh, just a little teaser. Gino Wickman has a new book coming out in a few months and we may even be having him on the street. You go here at some point soon. So, uh, no official announcement there. Stephanie, this was fantastic. So that was the four. I want to jump into the more part of the four more. Can you tell our listeners where they can either get in contact with you, find out more about you find out more about your businesses.

And if they’re interested in checking out your CRM, where they can do that, or your marketing group on Facebook, where they can find out more about that?

Stephanie: Sure. So my marketing company is social media, R E I. So, you know, we have a Facebook page. For, for our CRM left main, you can go to left main R E i.com.

You can book a demo there and you can kind of check it out. Or you can email [email protected]

J: Awesome. Stephanie, this was fantastic. Congratulations on everything. You truly have figured out how to have it all, even with a full-time job and three little kids, which is amazing. And your advice today has been absolutely spot on and appreciated.

So thank you so much. And we look forward to talking to you again soon and getting an update. Thanks

Stephanie: so much for having me.

Carol: Thank you, Stephanie. Have a really good one. I’ll see you soon.

J: Thanks.

Carol: Wow. Stephanie has so many amazing things going on and I got to tell you going into this interview. I did not realize that she.

Was still, or she still currently is a full time nurse practitioner in addition to all of these other things. So it was really awesome to hear how she is accomplishing at all. And again, I know I said this in the episode a couple of times, but I think it’s really profound that she actively chooses to maintain that passion.

Staying in Madison while doing these other things, she didn’t give up her W2 and it’s by choice, which puts it in a whole nother level. So I thought it was just really great all the way around.

J: Absolutely. And I just want to highlight before we finish just a couple of great things that I took from this episode, one, a business, it starts with the problem and a successful business solves problems.

So if you’re a business owner or you want to be a business owner out there, start with the problem. And find great problems, find tough problems to solve and solve them. And the better you are at solving problems, this is a quote from Stephanie, the better you are at solving problems, the more successful you’re going to be.

Um, she talked about defining yourself as a skillset, not a mindset. So go. Build up those skills to be what you want to be, have the measurables in your business. I mean, just so many great things from this episode. Yeah. Loved it. So, and just truly inspiring how somebody can basically have a full-time job, be a full-time mom and also manage three full-time businesses.

It’s just, it’s awesome. Yeah,

Carol: impressive. No words, no words. Don’t know how she does it, but she does it. And then sound absolutely baby. Let’s wrap it up.

J: Alrighty. Thank you everybody for tuning in, have an amazing week and we will see you next week on the BiggerPockets business podcast. She’s Carol I’m. Jay.

Carol: Now identify more opportunities everywhere and keep solving problems

J: today. Thank you

Carol: have a great day, everyone. And we’ll see you. .

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