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SFREI #30: Aligning Money with Purpose, With Dill Ward

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SFREI #30: Aligning Money with Purpose, With Dill Ward

Episode References

DillWard.com

About Dill

Dill Ward is on a mission to raise the vibration on the planet one interaction at a time. Working as a life-catalyzing Realtor for the past decade she combines her unique perspective as a real estate investor, community builder, business mentor, and coach. Dill’s a best-selling author, sought after consultant, speaker, and event host known for her optimism, enthusiasm, and effectivity. Her manifesto is: do everything with love, leave people better then you found them, and never stop growing.

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In this episode, host Jeff interviews Dill Ward, who is on a mission to raise the vibration on the planet one interaction at a time. Working as a life-catalyzing Realtor for the past decade she combines her unique perspective as a real estate investor, community builder, business mentor, and coach.  In their encouraging and inspiring conversation, Dill and Jeff discuss the importance of aligning money with purpose, being positive and abundant, what Dill learned from living through the last real estate crash, and the most important thing to focus on during this time of pandemic.

Episode Transcript

This is Jeff from the Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur. Welcome to episode number 30 of Sleaze Free Real Estate Investing. This of course is a show for those of us who have never felt at home in that “we buy houses” crowd. In this show, we take a stand against what we call the lowbrow approach, the mainstream guru seminar, distressed seller approach that ends up giving real estate investors a slimy reputation. And instead, we discuss the strategies, tactics and philosophies that we call the thoughtful way and enlightened approach to real estate entrepreneurship. The focus is on constantly sharpening the sophisticated real estate entrepreneur’s three most critical capabilities. Number one, seller relations skills; number two, deal architecture skills; and number three, opportunity vision. When all three of these capabilities are successfully in motion, you can make an excellent living today and build long term wealth, while creating value for everybody that you touch along the way. Show Notes for today’s episode are at WWW dot thoughtfulre.com slash e three zero. Please do yourself and do us a big favor by hitting the subscribe button in your podcast app. And we would also appreciate it so much if you would take just a quick moment and leave us an honest review on iTunes. We’d love to hear from you. And it really helps show iTunes that people are listening and helps them want to spread our show to other people who might enjoy it as much as you do as well.

In today’s episode, we have a special interview with an amazing woman named Dill Ward. Dill is a realtor, a real estate investor, a mom, an online community leader, a local community leader. And I would say most importantly, just a bright ray of positivity in the world in general. And I had been thinking about wanting to interview Dill for a while, but it recently occurred to me, there is no better time to bring on somebody who has a bright spirit of positivity and a whole frame of reference that we can really learn from during a difficult time, a real abundance mentality. And I know you’re gonna get as much out of listening to this interview as I got out of conducting the interview. So without further ado, please enjoy this amazing interview with Dill Ward. Okay, Dill so glad that you are joining us today. Thank you for being here.

Dill Ward
Thank you so much for having me here.

Jeff Stephens
Oh my gosh, it’s my honor. Well, if can you just give us start by telling us who are you; I know that’s kind of a multifaceted question but still…

Dill Ward
Yeah, well, I’d say I’d sum up what I’m doing in the world right now and that’s being a life catalyzing realtor and a business mentor and just a ray of light in this world because we need more people just willing to show up and smile and be curious.

Jeff Stephens
Yeah, life catalyzing. Okay, I’ve never heard you say those exact words but that is definitely a way to sum up exactly how I think of you; so what does that mean to you when you say life catalyzing?

Dill Ward
Well, I definitely like the intrigue that it, you know, lands from other people. I just want people to know that, like, the realtor part is the transactional part and the life catalyzing is sort of the transformational part in working together.

Jeff Stephens
That is cool, because I remember you’ve told me kind of stories is that when you’re going to show somebody a house or whatnot, it can actually almost manifest as like a coaching session.

Dill Ward
Oh, yeah. I mean, I like to say the driveway is my life coaching platform. Yeah, like I just, having so many facets and expertise in real estate from all different angles of the business, I just still am in love with the people. Like I just love watching people set themselves in motion. I’m five steps ahead. I’m already thinking about the moving out and buying the next one, you know, and so I try to hold space for that vision and to let them kind of play and have conversations in ways that they’ve probably never had.

Jeff Stephens
So cool. Well, one of the reasons I mean, I guess the main reason I wanted to interview you here for the show is just, I feel like you were such a unique intersection of so many things that I really like and admire and aspire to; you’re such a positive spirit. I mean, obviously everybody in two minutes can tell that part. I know that the way you do business actually, and not just live but actually do business, is also very people oriented, which I think is very relevant to kind of what we talk about here on our show and in our tribe. And you get this unique mix of entrepreneurial activities to which I can’t, I can’t wait to help unpack those. And then also, I know that you have this really strong love for like continuous, what I would call, personal development and you know, geeking out on all the ways to grow as a person and whatnot. And so it’s just really that intersection of things that, to me, is sort of what defines my idea of you.

Dill Ward
Thank you, Jeff. You know, I think that this is the number one thing people struggle with is realizing that they can integrate all the parts of them into business. Like they can be all of their interests and passions and experiences and past experiences. Like, that’s why people hire you. That’s why people interview you. That’s why anything happens, really, is that unique fingerprint that makes you you, but people often like, want to hide behind one layer of it or one aspect of it, and then they never really feel fulfilled. I think at least that was my experience for myself in stages of my business where I was just trying to be the one person I thought I had to be instead of just all of me and all of my interests.

Jeff Stephens
Yeah, that is such a great point. And I feel like, personally, my own journey, I think I’ve tasted that, but it’s kind of this process of slowly getting comfortable with it because to me the opposite of integrate – the word that I’ve literally used in my own mind – is silo. You know I’m a soccer fan and that’s not related to real estate, but well, that doesn’t matter. I mean, it’s very much who Jeff is. And so now when I record videos, I usually do it in front of what I call the scarf wall, all these scarves I picked up at soccer matches I’ve been to and things like that and like I, I like music and how does that fit, but it if it’s difficult to be, you know, vulnerable with the public in general, it all feels more vulnerable when you are truly inviting in all these other elements of yourself that don’t feel super relevant necessarily.

Dill Ward
Well, and it was the thing that a lot of people miss is that it is what actually attracts people to you. You know what I call cool just like soccer, like that’s something we can bond on. Rather than just trying to like especially When you’ve had multiple careers, this is one I see a lot. When you’ve had multiple careers, it’s like you, you left every one of them at the door. And when you became the new thing, you know, especially in real estate, everyone thinks you start in real estate, whether you’re retail or wholesale or investing. And you think that’s all you are. But you bring this lifetime of experience and perspectives and insights into industries that you’ve worked. Like, even if you were a cashier at a grocery store, like you have, like a tribe of people that were where you were, that you could really touch the hearts of them because of your understanding and your intimate knowledge. And it’s, I just see so many people want to turn their back on, like who they are, you know, who they’ve been before. When it’s really an opportunity to rise into that community and help other people rise up to their best selves too, you know, and relate.

Jeff Stephens
Yeah. I think for real estate investors, especially the type who would be listening to this show, I use this expression of trying to find your voice as a real estate investor and entrepreneur that sort of, I usually think of that as well as what types of deals do you want to do? What’s your approach to marketing? What’s your approach to working with people and then to negotiate or renegotiating if something goes awry, and what’s your type of, you know, portfolio you would have or whatever. But I think what I’m taking away from this is also finding your voice as a real estate entrepreneur is so much also about how you choose to allow all aspects of who you are and your past and your different experiences and influences sort of inform your style really

Dill Ward
Well, and it’s, um, you know, they say like, never forget where you came from. Right? And it’s, it’s like, it’s like if you accomplish anything in your life, just that little give back piece, that little putting your hand out and invite others to take the path. Whenever people are considering hiring me to coach them or to mentor them in some way, whenever they find out that any part of my path has an alignment with who they are, you know where they’re at. It’s so easy for them say, yes, you’re the person to guide me. Because you’ve been there, you have this relatability with these struggles. And so I just think that when we hide that part of our story, or we forget about it, or don’t think it’s important, we don’t understand how, how people are looking at it going, wow, he really gets me or she really gets me because of, you know, they’re so intimate with the problem that I’m having today of trying to get myself motivated or trying to get out of a dead end job or trying to, you know, I got a family or I got divorced or you know, whatever the struggle. And so, I know, I don’t say we should brandish those things, but I kind of do. I kind of look back at my past I think, oops, I was learning there. But now here you are, here I am and people get attracted to that stuff. So when you’re investing, a lot of times you are coming to the table facing someone else’s problem, right? The reason that there’s a deal or an opportunity sitting there is because they’re possibly facing something that is really scary and is unknown for them. And when you demonstrate any kind of compassion with like hey I’ve been down too man, it’s just so easy to kind of flow into a deal, because the relationship starts earning trust pretty quickly.

Jeff Stephens
So I was I wanted to go back to a few days ago, I think it was in the evening, maybe five or six, I sent you a text message. And I was thinking about something that I had seen. I think it was even the day before it was certainly at least hours ago, but maybe even a whole day before that I couldn’t stop thinking about. You had made a Facebook post, where you showed a picture of one of your signs, a yard sign for a house you were listing that had been graffitied and as soon as, you know, of course, I saw the picture before I saw the words in the post and my immediate response was just like, Oh my gosh, those jerks, I can’t believe it! I was mad, like, on your behalf, I was mad. And then I read your actual post and you said something to the effect of, you know, I just hope that whoever, you know, was feeling like this is how they needed to express themselves is doing okay. And I’m sending them my best wishes and vibes and whatnot. And I was so struck by that because just that those hours and hours later, I was like, I need more of that perspective and that mindset in my life. And so my question for you is how do you maintain that? Because my impression is, you’ve got a great grasp on that, that that comes naturally to you. Whereas for a lot of the rest of us, we have to sort of work towards having that sort of abundance mentality.

Dill Ward
Thank you. It’s fun to even reflect on how I’ve become this way and integrated it into my being. I was definitely not always that way. Like, I feel like when I look back at who I was as an adolescent or my early 20s, I think I was like the rest of us in the world just kind of, you know, got to get mine, selfish, feeling really like every time anything bad happened to me, why is this happening to me? And just all the rhetoric that we sort of are born into culturally. And I don’t know, just, you know, one day I just decided that happiness is something that no one can separate you from, like, it’s yours. It’s your born given right to just say, I’m gonna be happy. And I also realized pretty early, like, it pisses people off when you’re happy. It’s like it’s a little bit scary. Sometimes you’re like, Why? Why are you so happy all the time? I don’t. But I do think that it requires you to find a lesson in every single thing that happens to you and look for the inner knowledge, look for the inner knowing, looking for the test of your patience and of your love. And I think I just always return to it, I always call it back to the surface – like I get pissed off and you know, run around the house going, gosh why’d that happen, and then I make a post on Facebook to let my real, highest self that I want to be come out and I think that that’s where you have to land it; you can’t sit stuck in the soup of being pissed off, especially in real estate! Man, I mean five times a day you’re tested with your resolve, but you know, I just return to human kindness. I just think everybody is suffering and struggling in some regard. And while it cost me you know, 20 or 30 bucks to replace my sign, that person was like out amongst the the shutdown, you know, and so I can’t even imagine what it cost them and their sanity and potential risk factors. So I just I just try to stay present with that.

Jeff Stephens
Yeah. So to me that’s, that’s just like an extreme amount of empathy and if I, if I think about the things that define in my own mind what being a thoughtful real estate entrepreneur is, empathy is right at the top of those. In fact, it makes me think we should, I should, probably talk more about the idea of empathy. But so, you know, I’ve spoken to you about thoughtful real estate entrepreneur before, but not really extensively. So I guess, something I’m curious about is when you hear those words, what does that mean to you?

Dill Ward
I think to be thoughtful is to be intentional. And intention is like, it’s like having your hand on the wheel of life, like you’re directing. You’re getting in alignment with your value. You’re putting, you’re putting maybe other people’s needs before yours at times when it’s appropriate. And I think that it’s really sexy to be thoughtful and to be compassionate toward the world. And I think it’s what makes great deal making, you know, when you have the ability to pause, and survey all the players, and see what the intricate needs and what all the variables you’re working with, before proposing solutions, like, that’s mastery, you know. And so I think thoughtful is really the pause, where you survey the land and say, you know, how do we put this deal together?

Jeff Stephens
Yeah, I absolutely love that. One of the things I talk about a lot, one of the horses that I beat dead, so to speak, is the idea of like, there’s a massive difference between an offer and a proposal. And you just, in my opinion, just really spoke to that idea; that an offer is sort of like me in a vacuum coming up with like, Well, here’s what works for me, do you want to take it or do you want to leave it? Whereas a proposal is more like, hey, I’ve been listening, I’ve asked some questions, I’ve been internalizing what I learned from you, and here’s my best shot recommendation of how we could go about getting where you’re trying to go. And to me, that’s a massive difference between those two things. But it definitely does not happen without that sense of empathy and intentionality.

Dill Ward
I love it! Well, and it just makes for a better, you know, longer term relationship. And I don’t know about your listeners, but I know when I started in real estate investing, after I was doing a deal, I hope I never saw that person again. Like, oh my god, if we see each other, it will be terrible. But I think that that was the path that I realized I was like, Oh, this doesn’t feel good. Like, I want honorable relationships where I’ve really come to the table and provided value in service even though I may make a lot of money on this. Like there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just that I’ve really taken great care of the players here in understanding their needs. And I think that it’s so easy to just kind of skip over building that skill because maybe you’re nervous, maybe you just don’t know, or maybe the other person’s controlling the process too quickly, and you’re not able to kind of pull back. But I think that that’s really a level of mastery, right, is like in the beginning, you’re just throwing offers in and then you’re understanding the needs of everyone and you’re developing yourself in not just deal making and transaction engineering, but personally growing to understand the needs and compassion of other people. And that’s a you know, that’s a human scale. It’s gonna go well beyond business.

Jeff Stephens
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So, I perceive you as a person who really intrinsically understands the idea of adding value for people before you kind of look to get value from them. And you know, for the context of our listeners here, you know, you and I Dill, we’ve known each other for several years, but I would say until, you know, maybe nine months ago, we were mostly just acquaintances. I feel like in the last few months we’ve gotten to know each other better and become actually friends. And I was thinking back to this turning point, the thing that to me kind of sparked going from acquaintance to friend was, I’m sure you remember this, about a year ago now. I had just finished a remodel on a big flip and we we hosted not so much a real estate open house but just sort of like friends and family open house and you showed up at that with you know, you and I hadn’t seen each other for a long time, but you gave me a bottle of whiskey as a congratulations gift, and a nice card. And I was so taken aback because we hadn’t really even seen each other. And here you show up as the person with like, the most sort of thoughtful – not that whiskey’s the only way to express gratitude to me – but you like, this very thoughtful and very proactive, like, display of you know, appreciation or whatever for our relationship, and that just really, really struck me. And I think it was from there, I was like, we need to spend more time together. And then, you know, we’ve kind of done that over the last few months. But can you speak at all to that idea of sort of being that add value first person, it seems like you know, you, you are focused on making deposits in relationship accounts before making withdrawals.

Dill Ward
Oh, my God, I love that. That’s brilliant right there. And if you don’t mind, I would love to even take it a step back for your listeners, because I think they could get inspired by this. So do you remember how we actually originally got connected? I’ll tell you. So, it was years and years and years ago, I was kind of new in town, and I was scouring around to find real estate investors. I was asking all my realtor connections and saying, Hey, who do you know who is doing investing? And no one knew, they’re like, I don’t know, I don’t know any investors. So one day, I got a postcard in the mail. And it was from you. And I remember calling you going Hi, you’re an investor, you want to have lunch? Anyway, the point is marketing; I just want to like anyone out there who is having any fear about marketing, at any point, when you’re listening to this, this could be today, it could be 10 years from now, like, if you’re listening to this and you’re having any fear about marketing, it’s just an opportunity in extending relationships. So yes, he’s probably looking for great juicy deals where people are selling their properties, but also he’s making incredible connections that will lead to the future empowerment of himself, right. And so that’s what that postcard or letter did for me. I called you up. You were willing to meet up with me. And then you showed up so congruently, like your message was really nice. And you showed up, you were so pleasant and kind and open. And even though years went by and we lost touch, what happened was, I knew that you were starting to do more things that were more visible because you were putting them out there on Facebook. Another tip for marketers out there, letting your community know that you’re doing things and not hiding behind the, you know, the mask of it all. And I was just feeling really proud of how you were showing up in these projects, the way you were demonstrating how much you cared about the remodel and the choices that you made in the remodel and how you considered neighbors in the community. And you were inviting everyone in. And whenever I see someone doing something in life that’s in alignment with my values, I do want to show up over the top and just, like invite myself into a new opportunity to be connected with them. And so I remember that day so specifically because my Facebook alert reminded me that it was happening because I kind of did forget it was happening. But I was kind of nearby. And I was like, and then I also looked at it and it was like, it’s your birthday, I was like oh my gosh, I want to show up and and I’m sure 100 people will come to the house. But I want to, I want you to remember our interaction. So again, it’s great intention. It doesn’t have to be the most complicated thing in the world. Easy way to most people’s hearts is a bottle of liquor, but it’s just this idea that you’re willing to make the first move. Are you willing to just, you know, I never think of it as money because who cares? I mean, you spend some money on something, but you’re putting your heart out there, you’re putting your, you’re just saying hi. Like, I appreciate you and what you’re doing. And I think culturally that’s so hard for us for some reason to just go to a, you know, potentially kind of a stranger and just celebrate them, but it gets noticed, you know.

Jeff Stephens
It certainly does. It certainly does. So you mentioned there a few things that make me sort of pivot in my mind. You mentioned, you know, ideas around relationship building and marketing and community and that makes me think about Women With Moxie you tell us a little bit about that what it is and how it came to be?

Dill Ward
Yeah, Women With Moxie was born out of, I like to tell people, it was just the simple need for friends that had a similar mindset. When I was first growing my business, I went networking, you know, every night of the week trying to meet new contacts, and was quickly feeling dissatisfied with just the relationships that were available in those environments. I just was like, it wasn’t deep enough, it was just very shallow and just, hi, here’s my card, and I wanted something more. And so I’m a huge fan of if you can’t find the people you’re looking for by just going out looking for them, then marketing and a good message and showing up and creating something can find them. So I knew that that principle was true. And so I decided to just go for it. And so I invited courageous women in to come and join me for happy hours and later turned into training and networking experience and an online experience, it just kept kind of growing. But at the core, it was the need for community of other bold women who were working to build their business. And out of it came things I could have never dreamed, you know what you know, really getting to have so many fantastic relationships and friendships with people that I feel that I just ordered up out of the universe using the powerful tools of marketing. I’m such a marketing geek, so I’m always gonna go back to how you can create anything with marketing.

Jeff Stephens
I love those words bold and courageous. So what I find myself doing here is I just keep writing down these individual words that you use that are just really resonating with me. So, so far, so far, I’ve got bold, courageous, integrate, transformation and life catalyzing. So you know, the word cloud.

Dill Ward
Yeah, yeah.

Jeff Stephens
Yeah, that is so cool. So, I’ve got a question for you. And I, I feel like actually, oddly a little bit nervous to ask this question, and I’ll explain why after you answer it. But do you, do you feel like when you think about thoughtful real estate entrepreneurs – and you know what that means to you – do you feel like women are naturally just sort of well suited to be that? Do you feel like women maybe have an edge or an advantage? Because I do, and I feel nervous saying that and asking this question, but I want to hear your take on that.

Dill Ward
Um, well, I think there are pros and cons to the gender roles that we’ve been served, you know, but I think that overall, women do have an innate, natural inclination to include everybody’s needs to a fault, you know. If anything, women need more skills kind of boning up, you know, getting a little more firm on things and being more direct in their needs. They do have the compassion piece down. You know, that’s kind of hard wired. But I do think there’s opportunity to grow for both sides. And when they, when we work together, I think that’s where the real magic is, you know, because we all forget gender, we all have roles that we need to get better in. And the only way to do that is to be around masters, be around other people who just got it and be with mentors and things to just sort of absorb more of the mindsets and beliefs. Yeah.

Jeff Stephens
Okay. All right. Cool. Well, that’s good. And yeah, like I mentioned, I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, but I’ve been too nervous to actually say it really out loud or on the internet or anything like that, because I don’t, I don’t want to be associated with making like sweeping generalizations, about any category of people. But I really do believe that, that some of the, I don’t know, just the like the natural defaults, maybe approach towards empathy and thinking about other people and listening and, and tuning in to not just what somebody’s saying, but maybe the subtext of what they’re saying, reading between the lines – that women are, are really well suited to that. And when I think about that, as it relates to real estate entrepreneurship, it makes me really feel really like bullish about how, how powerful and successful that women could be in this particular type of real estate investing. I think there’s lots of other categories of real estate investing, but in sort of the way that we do things and talk about it and try to teach people to do, I actually think it’s personally very, very well suited towards women. But I also realize it’s maybe you know, like, I’m a man saying that and maybe it sounds inauthentic or, or whatever. So I’ve been shy about putting that opinion out there. But I do actually believe that.

Dill Ward
I mean, yeah, I mean, that’s great. There’s nothing wrong with saying that, um, I think in the whole, though, there’s a lot of skill to be gained just because they’re, you know, I think women are willing, sometimes willing to give away the farm, because it goes both ways, right? It’s like one, they’re super thoughtful and willing to consider everyone but at the same time, they’re not. They’re not willing to close or they’re not willing to ask for what they need, or they’re not willing to, you know, that there’s this whole other uphill battle. They can get into it and get it started, right, but they definitely need more skill, simply because women don’t have the long history of like, you know, managing the money, and, you know, asking for what they want. I mean, that’s the biggest problem with the women that I coach, sometimes I’m like, Girl, you can ask for what you want. You can sit back and wait for someone else to offer it to you and I think the women who have brought themselves to the table to say I’m going to get good at these skills are fantastic. I mean, they’re phenomenal. Like they just have this incredible capacity to, to move mountains, because they can influence everyone to kind of do what they got to do. Once they’ve included themselves in the pie. I think that’s the last piece that they have to get over is that they actually have to get something out of it, too. They can’t just do everything for everyone, which is often their role in a family. Yeah.

Jeff Stephens
You know, a few minutes ago, you mentioned the idea of kind of having both male and female influences in something. And one of the things that we’ve experienced is generally when I send marketing out to sellers, it’s usually from Jeff and it’s just signed by Jeff and that makes me think I might I wonder if I might cringe if I looked back at whatever letter I sent you all those years ago because I don’t think I had totally refined what I was doing at that point. But sometimes depending on the type of property we’re looking for, like, for instance, I’m actually recording this with you right now from a house that Jessica and I marketed for together directly to sellers, and for personal use, it wasn’t for investment, but something we could actually live in. And what we have found is that when we write the letter, and it comes in the voice of both of us, and both of our names are at the bottom, both of our email addresses and both of our phone numbers are at the bottom, that that really, really increases our response rate. And I don’t know for sure, but my interpretation of that is that the letter, the whole message, the whole proposition, feels more balanced, it gives the the person receiving it the choice of do they want to respond to me or to her or to both of us at the same time and that that the balance of the two has just really sort of, it really increased our response rates. And, you know, I, in our family, I’m the one who geeks out on the technical side of real estate. That’s not Jessica’s deal, really. But she’s continued to embrace her role kind of in that aspect of our business and she’s so she’s more comfortable now coming along on seller meetings and things like that when it seems appropriate, and having that role, but anyway, I just wanted to speak to my experience has been that balance has been actually really, really helpful and increased our results.

Dill Ward
I mean, I would go as far to say, like a very humble picture of you guys, like, the thing about marketing is, you know, you get 8 million letters in the mail and they look like more corporations trying to take your house versus sweet little couple who’s like, Hey, I’m just trying to buy a house. You know, it’s, it’s just, you’re more human, more relatable. You can see a kindness in your eyes. You know, I just think that, I just think that every time you’re feeling an inclination to do something but then you’re terrified about doing it, you’re probably supposed to do it. Like, it’s the guide in your gut. It’s like, hey, we should try this and you know, and then measure the results, like you’re doing but yeah, people trust people more when they’re just kind of real.

Jeff Stephens
Okay, so now I want to ask you a question about another thing that’s like, on my mind a lot. And again, this is not something you and I have discussed explicitly, but I feel like, I think that you probably have this attitude that a person can profit greatly themselves, and that it’s okay to do so by helping other people very sincerely, very significantly. And I think that there are some people that kind of, you know, are hung up on the idea and actually feel guilty maybe about making money and things like that. But my impression of you is that you feel comfortable with the idea of both, that if you’re adding a lot of value that, that you can have those rewards too. So, have I misread that at all? Do you feel that way? And if so, how can you speak to that and speak to anybody who might be kind of uncomfortable with the idea of, of profiting, you know, in business in general but profiting when helping people?

Dill Ward
I think it’s an invitation to get connected to the why, you know, why are you in business, and often when people are uncomfortable with making money, it’s because they don’t have a vision for what they would do with the money. And I, I feel very strongly that like, you cannot do the incredible, generous and influential and kind and supportive things that your life’s mission would be if you’re not comfortable moving resources around. And I think sometimes people get so caught up in, you know, what they made on one deal. This happens a lot for realtors, like they’re like, oh my god I made 25 grand. It’s like, yeah, but look at the last nine deals where you like made nothing, you could have been a barista! It’s because it’s what you’re bringing to the table is your knowledge and experience and intricate, you know, processes that you know you’re not dollar for dollar in this equation, in this transaction. And so, I think that’s where the guilt comes from that guilt like well, I only made two calls and I did this and I did that. No, you didn’t. You spent the whole last five years studying and researching and watching the market and doing this and being you know, being in this business. And if you’re not profitable, then just get out of business. You know. It’s sort of requirement you get in alignment with money. That you have a vision for what you would do with it. It just seems like the people who are like the most greedy and narcissistic and you know, not compassionate about the world at large, they got no problem making money. They’re like, you know, they have a different agenda. It’s the thoughtful, compassionate, kind, you know, sincere people that are like, well, I don’t know if we should make money and it’s like, if anyone should be making money, it’s you because you have more, more heart, more soul with what you’re going to do on the other end of it, you know?

Jeff Stephens
I feel like this is one of the things that is as I try to articulate to the world what the thoughtful real estate entrepreneur means, you know, we talked about being very people oriented and relationship oriented and heart centered and you know, doing right by people, ethical, things like that. And I think that what can then also insert itself into that little package, unintentionally, is that is the idea that this is like a trick charity or it’s a nonprofit. And actually, to me, that seems like one of the slippery slopes that I’m trying to battle, I guess is, is how do I articulate that the idea that we are talking about being heart centered and empathetic and, and all of those things, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s in a nonprofit kind of sense. We actually expect to benefit greatly ourselves by helping other people in a commensurate way. And I think that that’s like sometimes those two things don’t go together in people’s minds.

Dill Ward
Well, Jeff, I like to say somebody invented Italian food and Chinese food, right? Like, this whole idea of fusion cuisine. Random two things together is what innovation and exploration of evolution of our consciousness, right? And so you’re taking an industry that has a perception of, you know, got to get my drive up, sleazy salesman guy going to take care of your house – like like you’re taking on an industry with old mindsets and perceptions maybe from the public and you’re combining it with the evolution of thought and and being more sophisticated and more intentional. I’m just gonna keep going back to that cuz I really think that that’s the piece and saying there is a niche here of people who really do care about people doesn’t mean they don’t care about making money. It just means that they also take to heart the core of the business and that’s taking care of people and you know sometimes we forget what we can do for someone inside of a transaction. So I like to say in live catalyzing realtor is is that what you can do for someone when you rescue them from their shambles? I mean, let’s face it, sometimes as an investor, you step into a house and they’re getting divorced and everything’s disgusting and grandma’s there. She was a hoarder and all these things and you got to unpack layers, layers of people’s problems. You can show up as a leader, and a hero, and someone who can talk to them in a way that they’ve never been talked to. And you say, once I get you out of this house situation, what are you gonna do with your life? What is out there for you that you’ve been just swallowing for 20, 30 years that you really want. And instead of just writing them a check and buying the house, you can step into their world as a hero, and you can elevate them to a whole new consciousness that no one has ever given them. And I think that there’s nothing wrong with the exchange of value of you making a lot of money and putting them on a path. Right. And so I think that that’s if we could just perceive ourselves as that person when we go in the front door. I mean, every time I meet with a prospect, I’m like, What can I do to better their life? Even if we don’t do a deal together, even if I don’t leave here with any paperwork, what can I do to show up in this moment and be the ray of sunshine they need and kind of ask them some tough questions that that guide them to like a bigger future? Yeah.

Jeff Stephens
Oh, that’s so that’s very beautifully said. And one of the things I think is so interesting about, you know, what, what we do as real estate investors, right, because I’m, I’m not a realtor. So I’m really just an investor. And when I am reaching out to sellers, none of those sellers are thinking to themselves, I need to hire somebody to provide this service for me. They’re thinking I want to sell this particular piece of property yet, I know I am actually a service provider, but they don’t think of me as a service provider. And I can’t show up acting like a service provider. Exactly. But I know you know, intellectually and in my heart that I that I am but I’m giving them a service that maybe they don’t even totally acknowledge that they need And that they probably won’t frame as a service, like they’ll, you know, they’ll experience it the way they experienced it, but they won’t be thinking of that as I’m hiring somebody to perform a service for me as they might, or as they would really, if they’re calling a realtor, because that there’s a specific thing or looking for that realtor to do. So I think it’s really interesting, you know, I’m guessing to kind of go back to that idea of your driveways, being the the platform for your coaching. I’m guessing that not too many of those people are thinking how I think I need a life coach. And I bet the right form of that would be in a realtor, you know, they’re not approaching it in that in that way. But that is what they’re getting. It’s almost comes back to that idea of like, sell them, sell them what they want, give them what they need.

Dill Ward
Yeah. And I think for your example, the thing is that people feel your energy and they know you ask a couple key questions that show a great deal of introspective and ability to kind of frame out someone else’s situation. And like, that just blows their mind. Like in five minutes, you know, you walk in the door and you’re doing your cordials they’re like, oh, let’s see, you’re a fan of the ducks, you know, and you’re just doing the thing. But then you’re not staying at level one, you’re going straight to level three. And you’re asking like, well, what’s going to happen if, if Jimmy don’t come home from the hospital? What’s gonna happen and you’re just like, going into that, that place where you’re letting them look forward in their life, while also, you know, celebrating their past, you see some trophies or awards, all collecting dust in the pile of junk up on the table, and you’re just like, what did that mean to you? Like, what was that time like, and you’re just, you’re building this trust and rapport, so that so that you can go there, right? Because you can’t just, you know, you can’t just land on them. Like right now I’m gonna coach you, you know. But you have to show up in your heart like, I’m here to I’m here to see if there’s a deal to be done. But I’m also here to serve you, I’m also here to just be this incredible angel that showed up at your front door, proposing solutions to what’s keeping you up at night. And they feel it, you know, and, and sometimes I think in my experience when, when I was focusing on my investing, I feel like it was that perspective that made them just want to do whatever I was proposing to be able to be around me to be able to talk to me more to be able to have access to me, it’s just like, and that’s who you want to be in the world. Whether it’s walking in the door to do a deal, or ordering a coffee at Starbucks, when you engage other people, you got to show up fully alive, fully charged, ready to steer the conversation and influence them to a bigger and brighter future, I think.

Jeff Stephens
Well, so we’re recording this right now, during what could probably safely be called one of the strangest times that we’ve, you know, experienced in in our lives with coronavirus pandemic, and then all the other repercussions of that, that are taking place. So it makes you know, it makes people in real estate Think back to the last time things got difficult in real estate and and, you know, as of our recording here things have yet to really like get difficult and I think that probably if they do it will, it will be for different very different reasons and say the 2008 period was created by but that said you were active in real estate during the last time that things got kind of rough. And I’ve I’ve seen you mentioned on social media, a couple of things maybe that you have learned, would you mind sharing with us a little bit about what are some of your takeaways from your experience being in a difficult time before?

Dill Ward
Yeah, sir. Um, the thing is that the thing is that when things are hard, let me back up when things are easy. It’s like, great, everything’s easy. It’s working Lalalalala I’m on top of the world. But the minute they get hard, the minute they start to change the minute the variables and all the intricacy and the Medusa head of your businesses starts to kind of unwind. What do you do? Like that’s where you really have to, you know, evaluate your, your personal development piece of like, how do I get over my ego enough to be present with what’s happening, and not reactionary? Because I think that’s like the first thing that people start to like, because whenever you’re sitting on top of a lot of different assets and a lot of different deals, and a lot of things are all involved in, it all starts to unwind underneath you. It’s like, Oh, no, the tenant stopped paying rent. Now this thing happened. No, that thing happened. And you want to get so reactionary and just like plug holes everywhere. But I think it’s just really important to just like kind of survey everything and start like print and start sort of planning where you want to go at the like, total end of this. And then the piece that really went wrong for me and I share quite vulnerably is like I was, you know, when everything crashed, I had a lot of property. I bought a ton of things subject to, I had a lot of private notes. I was in a bit of a chaotic on you know, fathomable, I couldn’t just go talk to a friend about like my problems because they were so high level and like, intricate. And I shut down. I just like my marriage fell apart. And I just I shut down and I was in isolation. I wasn’t answering the banks, I wasn’t answering any of the calls or doing any of the things and I just thought I guess I’m giving up late I don’t I don’t know what else to do. And I think that that was the biggest mistake like I didn’t have anyone mentoring. Or modeling for me that, you know, hey, you can get through this by communicating, you can get through this by strategizing. And keep and keep going keep proceeding at first, right, like, and so, I mean, I share, like, I lost a lot of property like I had to watch one by one. I’m going to foreclosure tenants, like, you know, not paying me for two years while they’re in the house and just really watching everything fall apart. And it’s because I took I took myself out of the game and I stopped trying to move the parts around. And I think that that’s where a lot of people may find themselves here in the future if they’ve never, if they’ve never had it hard. If it’s been easy, you just keep going, everything’s great, you know, but what do you really tested when it’s when it’s hard and, and you you also find out who your friends are, you know, there’s a lot of Shakedown that kind of happens in your life when it’s all falling apart. But what I’d like to say From the other side of it is, nothing is final. So even if you do find yourself in a total cluster of a tornado and everything is out of your control, like it’s not final.

Dill Ward
You know, it’s I often have talked about real estate like poker, because just because you had a few great hands and you had a lot of chips, doesn’t mean you can’t lose all the chips. And when you lose all the chips, my advice to you is turn to the guy next to you who still has chips and say, I have a lot of insight now on this on this game, so why don’t we share chips and keep going at it? Right? So meaning, even if money gets totally out of your control and it and you suddenly feel like you haven’t been just stay in the positive mindset, just keep going back to strategy. Keep going back to learning and listening to what other brave mentors are doing. Not whiny mentors. Like literally listen to what brave people are doing. And so that’s how I pulled myself back out of it. You know, it took a good year and a half, I’ve now lost a lot of properties. But then, toward the tail end of the recession, I was listening to the players who’d been through four other crisis’s in their life. You know, they’re on the tail end of their life going deal. This is when the millionaires are made. Because there’s so much opportunity when there’s so much chaos. But I was in the chaos. I was like, I don’t understand, like, I’m falling, everything’s fine, but they’re like, No, you need to find a way to buy you have to buy now. And so even though, you know the day before another property went on auction, I was borrowing private money and getting another one. You know, it was just it was it was amazing that once I got my head back in the game, I was able to let my ego go around where what the shots that I took that weren’t working out to focus on what more can I do now because we’re ripe with opportunity when everyone’s in chaos.

Jeff Stephens
That idea nothing is final is so, so powerful. I think it’s it’s so easy for us to think that it that game over is upon us and it’s like Game Over is not it’s not over until it’s over. I mean, it’s not over until you’re dead really I mean, there’s there’s always kind of a next step and the next move and like that that’s that’s a really powerful lesson that I’m taking away from that right there I think about that a lot actually. On a kind of a deal by deal basis, the way and the way that I tend to go about buying properties and stuff. There have been moments when it looks like a deal is dead. And I always think about the visual in my mind is you know, Bull writer, and it’s there right in the bowl and there’s up right on the bowl and they start to fall off like oh, it’s almost over. And they could be hanging off the bowl with their head is like an inch off the ground and they’re really just hold on to the rope by like a pinky, but they’re still holding on to the rope and I keep thinking about that too. So when I hear you say Nothing is final, it makes me think that that kind of idea, we just need to continue to hang in there and keep finding ways to move forward. And you know, kind of what you said about the poker thing too is like you might have, you might have lost the asset of properties, but what you gained was the asset of insight and now it’s like well, I’ve got a new tool in my hand how do I use this tool?

Dill Ward
Well, that’s just and and I think what I noticed a lot of my peers as we were all going down together was was so much shame. Now there’s a lot of shame about not paying your bills, there’s a lot of shame about not knowing what to do. If you’ve always been on top and I think that that’s the number one thing you have to work personal growth through. You have to work through and say okay, not every investment is a good one. Like that is just a staple. Just because you made an investment, you’re not guaranteed that it’s a good one. And I feel like the the dumbest deals I made gave me so much confidence. To go out there and have the ability to coach, other people have the ability to make better deals for myself. And so I don’t, I don’t feel bad about any of them. Like, I often think about my total sum loss of real estate. And I go, I got me an Ivy League education, you know, I am prepared to navigate all kinds of things now because of that. And I feel that it has given me the ability to make tremendous wealth opportunities exponentially more than I lost, because I got over my ego, and because I got over the shame, and I started talking about it more freely and then other people. So after this all kind of came to be, I, you know, I was hiding I was hiding in at all for about two years. And then when I kind of got my head up above water again, and said, this is what happened. People started to come to me with their stories. And they were like, you know, they were trusting me to support them. in there, you know thing. And so I ended up negotiating about 200 short sales because people just felt safe telling me they couldn’t pay their mortgage when I was like, not not laughing it off. You know, I was I was humbled, but I was like, it kind of sucks when you can’t, you don’t have to take the market and you don’t know what to do, you don’t have any experience and troubled times. And we’re going to see that now there’s a lot of people in the market who have never experienced troubled times. And this is going to be the time that makes them it’s they’re going to either come out the other side, like incredible forces of nature, or they’re going to just fold and get up from the table.

Jeff Stephens
So what if we, if it were five years in the future, and we were looking back on this period, what are some of the things that you since you have like a natural filter of seeing, you know, the positive and the benefits and the winds and things like that? What are we going to look back on this and and perceive was a good thing that came out of this situation.

Dill Ward
I think there’s gonna be a nice reshuffling of energy and resources. And you know if anyone is listening to this and the president, I’ve been telling everyone the two most important things to focus on is staying healthy and staying curious. Because the world is being reborn. And there’s opportunity in every angle, and you sort of get the permission more than ever before, to reinvent your life to be in calibration with what you want. Because before that, you were stuck in something you were doing in a certain way. It was always that way you have your community around, you’re reinforcing that belief and identity of yourself. And now it’s like, all bets are off, you know, you can reinvent everything. And I think in five years from now, people are gonna look back and wish they had, they’re gonna be like, you know, I should have just went for it. Or I should have just, you know, finally took that, that that next step that I knew I was capable of, but You know, here we are back in normal land again. And when everything’s in crazy Alice in Wonderland time, it’s the time for you to go in inward and revisit like, what is your heart’s mission like, forget money? Like that’s all gonna come if you get in full alignment with who you want to be in the world and how you how you want your businesses to look.

Dill Ward
I think this is an incredible time to just dream it up. Oh, that’s

Jeff Stephens
so cool. Stay healthy. Stay curious. That’s, I think I could probably think on that one all day, the rest of the day and just just ponder Exactly. Everything that that means and brings together that’s really, really cool. I think you should buy that domain, stay healthy, stay curious. That could be your thing.

Dill Ward
Well, I mean, curiosity is the number one thing that can lead you to a greater outcome. You know, whether you’re curious about the needs of another person or you’re curious about the world at large and just cultivating more curiosity inside or even daily conversations. You There’s nothing like networking with someone and they’re like, what do you do? And then you say, and then they say, and they’re just like, Oh, that’s cool. Like, it’s, it’s so dumb. Like, they’re just so dumb at that point, you know, but if you’re just a curious person, and you just, you come to the table like you do in this thoughtful podcast, you know, you’re asking insightful questions. If you conduct your daily life like that, it’s amazing what you’ll uncover and discover.

Jeff Stephens
Well, once again, I am noticing myself standing a little taller, feel a little brighter, a little happier, a little more positive and optimistic. After talking with you, I’m so glad that you’re willing to kind of bring that out to the whole world of our listener. So thank you so much,

Dill Ward
if even one other person feels a little more glimmer of hope in their heart today than we did a good job here. Yeah, I absolutely agree.

Jeff Stephens
So I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of people who are going to want to learn more about you and reach out. What’s the best way for them to do that.

Dill Ward
Yeah, you can kind of see all parts of me at www.dillward.com. That’s DillWard.com. And I’m I love to reach out, just say hi, you can find me on social. I think that the interwebs has given us an incredible opportunity to just form relationships all over the globe. So if any of this is resonating with you, and you want to be connected with me, I would welcome you to

Jeff Stephens
Awesome. Thank you so much for being here today.

Dill Ward
Thank you so much, Jeff.

Jeff Stephens
All right, everybody, there is my interview with the great Dill Ward. I hope you got as much encouragement and positivity and abundance mindset out of that as I did when I conducted it, and when I listened to it again afterwards. This is exactly the mentality that we really need to maintain right now, during what’s a very unique and rather difficult period of time in our lives. But with the right frame of mind. We know we can not only get through it, but we can really thrive in it. create incredible value for all the people that we’re able to help with our unique skills and gifts and talents, and really come out ahead as much as we possibly can. Until next time, I hope you have a great week and I’ll talk to you soon.

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