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Being a Blissful Real Estate Investor with Moneeka Sawyer

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In this episode, Jeff interviews Moneeka Sawyer, the blissful millionaire. Moneeka reached her financial freedom by turning $10,000 to over $5,000,000 working only 5-10 hours per MONTH with very little stress. She is now on a mission to help as many other women as she can to do the same. Moneeka hosts the top rated podcast and radio show Real Estate Investing for Women and has interviewed prestigious guests such as Leeza Gibbons, Dr. Joe Vitale, and Hal Elrod. Moneeka has also been featured on stages with Suzanne Sommers, Martha Stewart, and Ice T & Coco at places like the Nasdaq Marketplace, Harvard, and Carnegie Hall, and on TV on NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox reaching over 150 million people.

In this episode, she and Jeff discuss what it means to be blissful, how to be more blissful in life and business, and how real estate investing is a people business…not a numbers business. Listen in and enjoy this wide-ranging conversation about life, business and real estate investing! Connect with Moneeka at Blissfulinvestor.com

Download the Y.E.S.S.E.S. Framework now!

Episode Transcript

Moneeka Sawyer 

People talk about if the numbers work, do it. The numbers have to work. I agree. But real estate is not a numbers game. It’s not a numbers business. It’s a people business.

Jeff Stephens 

Oh boy, you’re speaking my language,

Moneeka Sawyer 

Right? Yeah. So, so yeah, the numbers need to work. But if you don’t, if you’re not aware of those relationships, and don’t pay attention to that, you’re not going to have a blissful time.

Announcer 

Welcome to Racking Up Rentals, a show about how regular people, those of us without huge war chest of capital or insider connections, can build lasting wealth acquiring a portfolio of buy and hold real estate. But we don’t just go mainstream looking at what’s on the market and asking banks for loans, nor are we posting We Buy Houses signs, we’re just looking for “motivated sellers” to make lowball offers to. You see, we are people-oriented dealmakers, we sit down directly with sellers to work out win-win deals without agents or any other obstacles, and buy properties nobody else even knows are for sale. I’m Jeff from the Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur. If you’re the kind of real estate investor who wants long term wealth, not get rich quick gimmicks or pictures of yourself holding fat checks on social media, this show is for you. Join me and quietly become the wealthiest person on your block. Now let’s go rack up a rental portfolio.

Jeff Stephens 

Hey there thank you for joining me for another episode of Racking Up Rentals. And today I’ve got an awesome interview to share with you. So before we get to the interview, this is episode number 51, which means that our show notes are at www.thoughtfulre.com/e51. Before we get started, please do us a big favor and it does you a big favor to by hitting the subscribe button in your podcast app. It really does help fellow thoughtful real estate entrepreneurs who are looking for a group like this to find us and join the conversation. All right onward with today’s episode.

So in today’s episode, I’ve had the absolute honor privilege and super enjoyable experience of interviewing Moneeka Sawyer! So Moneeka is known as the blissful real estate investor, and you’re gonna see why real quickly, her enthusiasm and her attitude and everything about her is just absolutely infectious. And I don’t know about you, but I could use all of those doses of good positive energy that I can possibly get. And Monica is also the host of the Real Estate Investing for Women podcast, which is a very highly rated podcast, she’s got all sorts of excellent guests. And in this conversation, she and I talk about a wide variety of things from real estate investing and strategy and approaches and marketing, all the way to what it means to be blissful, and how you can do it yourself. So I won’t keep you from the interview any longer. Let’s dive right into this. And I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Jeff Stephens 

Okay, Moneeka, thank you so much for joining me. Welcome to Racking Up Rentals.

Moneeka Sawyer 

Yay. Thank you, Jeff, for having me. I can’t wait for this conversation. It’s really, I don’t see very many people out there talking about being thoughtful. I mean, there are a lot of thoughtful people. But what a great title. I love that!

Jeff Stephens 

Thank you. We have something in common about our titles, both end in -ful. And so let’s start with yours first. So you are you’re known as the blissful person. Talk to us about what does it mean to be blissful? How did you come up with that?

Moneeka Sawyer 

Yeah, yeah, so I should’ve been called blissful millionaire, which I love that was coined on television years ago. I just love it. So my thing is about blessing. So before we talk about any other things about like real estate, let me just define blessed. So blessed to me, is a deep sense of joy and contentment, and the confidence that you can handle anything that comes your way. So it’s really about emotional mastery and emotional resilience. And the reason that I have married it with real estate is because real estate is my, like, sort of my industry passion, right? But helping people to achieve bliss in their lives is my heart passion. So I’ve married the two and I read a quote once by Warren Buffett that said, “If you can’t control your emotions, you can’t control your money”.

Moneeka Sawyer 

So I think that emotions have a very special place in our life. Like they teach us so much about who we are and what’s happening. So we have a right to those emotions. But it’s also very important that we can manage those emotions so that we can be successful in whatever business we’re looking at and real estate is no exception.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, wow. I really love the definition. You know the joy and contentment part, I probably expected to be part of that definition, but the confidence to handle things? That is wow, it so important in all I mean, in life, of course, in general, but especially entrepreneurship, whether it’s real estate or anything else, there’s always stuff coming at us. And if we can’t stay level, I mean, that’s sort of the words I’ve used in the past is, how do I, how do I stay level and not be just volatile up and down all the time? And so I love that that’s part of the definition of bliss.

Moneeka Sawyer 

Yeah, I think that and I love that you approach investing as an entrepreneurship mindset, because I feel very much the same way. The way that our mind works, when we’re looking at an investment is very different than when we’re looking at it as a business. And I think like you say, in business, we have to wear lots of different hats. And we never know what’s going to happen tomorrow or in the next hour, right, like, so you have to be able to be really resourceful. And part of that resourcefulness has to do with how well you manage flexibility, change, things going wrong. Your inner emotions is such a big piece of that.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, absolutely. So how did you become the queen of bliss was this I read this way at birth.

Moneeka Sawyer 

I wish. I actually my mom is probably my biggest mentor and bless. She’s one of the most beautiful, beautifully joyful people I’ve ever made, sort of against the odds and eight, but I think my journey in her it’s was very similar. She wanted to be a doctor, she grew up in old Pakistan, before it was India. So there was a lot of rules for women that she had to kind of bust through. And in my own life, when we came to when they were they came to the United States. So I was born here. But we lived and please forgive me if this sounds weird. But we lived in a very white community. And I’m very obviously not white.

Moneeka Sawyer 

Well, for anybody who can’t see me, I’m Indian. But but so I was bullied, let a lot of people get bullied, right. But that was my thing is I was getting really badly bullied, and just tormented and humiliated constantly. And so I learned at a very young age, that I was going to be alone, people weren’t going to like me. And if I wanted to be happy, it was up to me. And so that journey started at a very young age. And so I have been on that journey personally, to stay blissful my entire life. And when I felt like I had gotten to that place where it was there, like, I will never say I’m completely blissful. I will, I believe that I will always be improving my voice and being more blissful. Right? It’s a forever journey. Yeah, I did get to a place where I felt like, this is so good. Life is so good. And I’ve been through some stuff, right? I mean, I don’t know if you know any of this. But I was in a car accident where I was crippled. I’ve been sexually assaulted a couple times. I mean, there’s, there’s some stuff. And this may not be the place to talk about it. But seriously, there’s been some stuff. And to be able to get through it. And to develop those skills. My heart goes out to people that are not blissful, or not living the life that they deserve and crave. And so I wanted to share that message with people. So that became like my life message. How can I help everybody experience this?

Jeff Stephens 

Wow. So no, I came across you through bliss manifesting in the form of a podcast, right? But as I as I recall, right, as I met you, and we were messaging back and forth, you said, I’ve been very busy. I just I just launched a book. And I’ve got another one coming out. And once I you know, looked it up, but you you’re a multi-time author, right? And tell us about your books.

Moneeka Sawyer 

Yeah. So the first one is Choose Bliss. So I became a coach, a bliss coach in the Silicon Valley, where I was coaching high, like, when companies that you now know, as multi-billion dollar companies, I was coaching their CEOs and executives in the very early years. And one of the things that would happen with an executive is they would have the perfect life, right? They have this amazing company, and amazing spouse, and all of those things. And at some point, they would think really is a set, and they would realize that they’re not happy. And so I would go in with my strategies and teach them how to be happy again. But happy is a little bit more superficial than when I was going for I wanted something that would be more driving, because that’s what these people needed, right? And so that’s why I started to go for this deeper level of bliss. So after being a coach for a while, I sort of realized there’s only so many people I can reach as coach and even on stage, the book can and has reached millions. And so that’s why I wrote choose blesses with the strategies that worked really consistently with my clients and with myself. And then as I got more into real estate, I wrote a couple of other real estate books. They’ve all been number one international bestsellers, which I’m so blessed. I feel so grateful for that. But yes, so a couple of bubbles for real estate and one is the original, sort of my message to the world which was Choose Bliss because it’s a choice.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah. Oh, that’s amazing. And just that message that it’s a choice is so, it’s so important and we can’t remind ourselves of that often enough, really, I think I need to work that into my, my morning routine of journaling and all that other stuff to remind myself that bliss is a choice.

Moneeka Sawyer 

It really is, you know, you talk so much about mindfulness, right? We can’t control what happens outside of us. Right? But we must control what happens inside of us what’s going on in our mind? What’s going on in our heart? How are we taking care of our bodies? Where were our souls? Right? We’re complete people. And we are responsible for how we take care of ourselves.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah. And boy, oh boy. 2020 has sure given us a lot of opportunities to remember that right that we hate. We can’t control everything that’s going on around us. But we certainly can direct our energies towards controlling our own reactions and our own state and all of that. So it’s such an important reminder. Yeah,

Moneeka Sawyer 

People, it’s so funny, because people are always now I get a lot of messages, like how do you be blissful? How do you be blissful? It’s easy when things are fine. This really showed us what we were made of. And what I love about that is people being very aware of, Oh, I don’t have this under control yet. Maybe I should develop some skills around this. Because it’s been hard things have been hard for a lot of people, myself included. But I’ve got strategies that I can rely on, for dealing with my real estate business dealing with my life dealing with the world, right?

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, absolutely. So I want to get into your life as an actual real estate entrepreneur, yourself. And, you know, I know that you’ve got a really cool and unique kind of little niche of the world. But if I understand correctly, you like the rest of our listeners are really focused on long term wealth. And yes, and hold properties. Is that, is that right?

Moneeka Sawyer 

That’s true. Absolutely.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah. So tell us a little bit about your, your unique little corner of the industry.

Moneeka Sawyer 

Okay. So, um, I do executive homes. And the reason I got into executive homes is I look at, so I’m all about blessed, I want my, my business to be really supportive of my joy. There’re so many people that are like, when I get to $10 million, I will be happy, right? But the thing is that when you get to $10 million, you are who you were right inside, if you’re happy, when you’re poor, you’ll be happy when you’re rich. If you’re miserable, and mean, when you’re poor, you’ll be miserable and mean when you’re rich, right? So the person that you are through that hoard whole journey is so important to making the journey feel meaningful, and making the result really fill you up the way that you want it to right. So that’s really simplices, that big piece for me. So for me, what’s going to make me blissful. So I kind of did this backwards, who is it that I want to do business with, that will make my business blissful. Now your tenant if you self-manage your properties, so your tenant, or if you don’t, if you have a management company, they will be the people that determine your bliss or not. Those people are your business partners. So for me, it’s my tenants. Who is it that I want as a business partner. So I chose them first, I want people that are not going to call me for every little thing in the house that like autonomy, that like a nice home. So you know, executives, for instance, entertain quite a lot of their homes, right. So they want a really nice home. So they’re going to upkeep it the way that I would want to upkeep it. So I made choices based on who I want to do business with. And then I started to find homes that that person would want to live in. And so that’s kind of how I chose to go the executive route is because I knew first of all, I had been a coach for executives for a long time. So I already had a really good feeling for who they are, how to work with them, what I loved about them what I didn’t like what to watch out for, right? And I could I could fulfill their expectations really easily just kind of naturally right. So it made sense for me. Now, that’s not going to be true for everybody. But I think that the most important thing and creating a blissful business is to know who you want to be doing business with.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah. I love that on so many levels. I was just thinking, you know, at the beginning of our conversation, I don’t know how to, it’s not really a question. So I don’t feel like you should ask this question. But in my mind is this concept of I’m so excited to explore the intersection of blissful and thoughtful and because I just I know there’s so much there, but it’s kind of it’s a little bit of a touchy feely, kind of a squishy topic, right? And you just gave me such a great little epiphany there because you were unbelievably intentional about deciding what you wanted and then kind of reversed engineering from that. And I think that intentionality, the being deliberate is a very important part of what we do as, as thoughtful real estate entrepreneurs. We’re not just out flailing around, you know, grabbing onto any part of any way of making money possible. We’re really trying to just be very, very intentional, it goes back to the mindfulness thing, like you mentioned. So that that process of determining your blissful client and then kind of working backwards from there isn’t a great example of that.

Moneeka Sawyer 

Exactly. And you know, so my dad’s a legacy real estate ambassador, and my dad invested for years. So I’ve been in the real estate world for a long time. And my dad didn’t do that he came from a country where, you know, they had $200, in their pockets, when they came, my parents were arranged marriage, newlyweds when they came, so they didn’t even really have relationship that they knew each other very well. They come here and they want to buy start buying real estate, because that’s the way you make money in the United States, which is what everybody all over the world knows, right. And in America, we don’t appreciate it enough, I’m just saying. But they come here, and they’re like, we’re gonna work hard. And so they did the toilets, and the termites and the phone calls at two o’clock in the morning. And the mortgages with the renters not paying, but you know, they had all this stuff. And so by the time I got to be old enough to start investing, I’m like, no way. Are you kidding? That looks miserable, right? And so when I finally decided to move into real estate, I knew first of all was going to be the long game. That’s what I’ve learned from my dad. Right? If it was gonna be the long game, it was not going to be miserable. It was going to support the joy in my life. It had to be that way. You know?

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, absolutely. So then I guess also on the kind of on the note of intentionality as I’ve read some of your materials before, I know that you have got pretty specific parameters, criteria, things like that, for how you evaluate potential deals, and acquisitions and things like that. Can you tell us just a little bit about what are some of your, you know, your hard and fast rules, some of the rules that maybe there’s a little bit of flex, but what you know, what you’re looking for, you know, before enters your world, tell us about that lens that you look through, look at everything through?

Moneeka Sawyer 

Yeah, so for me, it’s all about location. So and I know that sounds so trite, forgive me. But, but I’m trying to fill my houses with executives. So they’re gonna want a big beautiful home in a big beautiful neighborhood with probably a nice garage for their nice cars, right? So they there’s a particular kind of look that I’m looking for in a home. Now, what’s also interesting is I all often will go into a redevelop an area, I like going in and buying a house that has had some trouble, and making it blissful again, and then moving somebody into there. In 2009-2010, I went into a lot of these, what you might call A-class neighborhoods and noticed the struggle that had happened there and started buying those houses. So I’m able to, for me, so much of it is giving back, right? Like I was able to uplift those neighborhoods uplift those communities also provide beautiful homes for the kind of tenant that I wanted to provide for so it’s really location, but location is where would they want to live? What are the kinds of houses they would want to live in? But also how can I uplift a neighborhood or a community by doing what I do

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, yeah. I’m really glad you bring that up. And it’s funny, you know, you say, a location that sounds so trite. And everybody uses the word location a lot when it talks when they talk about real estate. But in my experience, especially recently, I feel like there’s so there’s so many voices who are out there talking about it. And while I disagree with them, I these are voices I like and respect, but they’re talking about, you know, where I live is different than where I invest in out of state and out of market. And if the numbers make sense, it doesn’t matter. I’ve never even been to this, this town, virtual this, I’m doing everything by text. And I just I completely disagree with that. And I am so much more in the philosophy that you that you just express too. Because I think there’s a massive correlation between location and market resilience and tenant quality and, you know, all the downstream effects of all of those things. And, you know, I think about any macro location in terms of like, well, maybe what state or what city or am I in, but even there’s macro location to you know, where, which lot on the block is this? Is this home? Is it the one on the corner? Is it the — is it the one in the middle? Is it the one that’s adjacent to the commercial zoning, all of those things? And I don’t think that well, location is location, location, location, yes, what people say but I don’t actually think it is respected quite as much as what you just described, and that really resonates with me and our approach here too.

Moneeka Sawyer 

I love that and I think it makes such good points like; location can be very micro like any neighborhood. For instance, I always tell people never be the nicest, nicest home on a block. So even if I go into a redevelopment area, and I’m building something, I don’t build it to be the nicest not building, but revamping, refurbishing something, I don’t build it to be the very nicest in the block. You know, I’ve got my standards of what it needs to look like and I want to provide something absolutely gorgeous. But I’m not going to over build an overspend. So even to that degree, like in the location, are there houses around you? That will pull you up? Right? So location has so many different pieces to it. And I think you’re right. I don’t know, people talk about if the numbers work, do it. The numbers have to work. I agree. But real estate is not a numbers game. It’s not a numbers business. It’s a people business.

Jeff Stephens 

Oh, boy, you’re speaking my language.

Moneeka Sawyer 

Right? Yeah. So yeah, the numbers need to work. But if you don’t, if you’re not aware of those relationships, and don’t pay attention to that, you’re not going to have a blissful time.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah. Oh, gosh, I absolutely love that. I was thinking I need to create some kind of a, I don’t know if it’s a graphic or something. But when I’m on social media, and I see, you know, in Facebook groups and stuff, people always post these questions that are something like, I’ve got this potential deal, here’s the price, here’s the ARV, here’s the repairs, should I do it. And I always want to say, you’ve given us about 5% of the information we need. And of that remaining missing 95%, about 80 of those percentage points have nothing to do with the property. And it’s everything to do with the people. And so I love the way that you that you describe that. And so that that leads me into wondering, what is your kind of approach to acquisition or, you know, your own lead generation efforts and your approach to, you know, stirring up opportunity, and then negotiating it and getting it closed and all that.

Moneeka Sawyer 

Okay, so you may actually hate this answer. I do nothing, I have an agent. And so when I’m ready to purchase, I call my agent, he’s been working for me for 15 years, we start looking at houses and having nice lunches. And I probably for every purchase make about 30 offers. So you know, I probably only buy one property a year. But we make a bunch of offers at the price that I am willing to pay. And eventually I will get a property in the location that I like, at the price that I want that will rent out in California. This is amazing. But I pretty much always at least cut even. Yeah, even on the front end. That’s important to me. Right? So I just have my team, they manage the process for me. And I kind of go along for the very fun ride.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah. So then for you the people side of it is the relationship with your team members and your agent, right? And everybody else who might make that up, but then also your tenant, right? Because they were, they were the ones you had. You had your mind kind of focused on them in the first place. So that’s how that manifests for you them.

Moneeka Sawyer 

Exactly. And you know, every once in a while, my agent, like I said, He’s known me for a very long time. I remember I was traveling to Thailand with my husband, and he sent me something in my email, and I don’t check email when I’m traveling. When I’m on vacation, I’m on vacation. And he texted me which I was surprised I got in Thailand, whatever. And he texts me and he is I found this house; I think you’ll like it. And there’s going to be multiple offers on it. But for my first thing was if there’s going to be multiple offers, I won’t get it because no, it’s really underpriced. They’re motivated, blah, blah, blah. And so I had an offer on it. He got it while I was in Thailand. And so but I made sure he had the contingencies written up so that I can actually look at it, right. But I trust him. He knows me. He’s been doing business with me for a long time. And he knows the kind of tenant that I’m interested in putting in those houses.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah. All right. That’s great. Well, I would just say, you know, if you ever wanted to, I think I could see you being insanely good at walking into somebody’s living room and having a conversation about buying their piece of real estate.

Moneeka Sawyer 

Yeah, you know, I’ve actually tried it. And, and, you know, anybody who’s listening, here’s the thing. You have to really know what your commitment level is like any business that you’re doing, know how much you’re willing to put into it. Here’s the truth about me. I could retire today. And I set it up that way. I made it long before I expected to. It’s awesome. So now what I do is I do it because I want to give back to the world because I feel like I’ve been so blessed. Right? So do this because it’s fun I want to make I want to make thousands of women, millionaires and anybody who’s listening right like get into real estate, you’ll be a millionaire. I want that to happen for people. But I don’t have to work very hard for my own real estate success, because I’m already there. So I’m not highly motivated to go knocking on doors, right? Is that bad? Maybe, but this is a tenant of bliss, know, what’s enough? Like, am I willing to work that hard for the next level? Not really, if I was that I would write, So when’s enough, enough? What’s bliss really for you? It doesn’t mean to me, it doesn’t mean 100 million dollars, I’m happy with where I’m at. And of course, it has to grow. And, you know, there’s inflation, there’s so it’s not like, I’m like, Well, I’m just not going to do anything. It’s not that. But I do know how much I’m willing to work on my business. And I do that.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah. Yeah. That’s, that’s cool. I think it’s, I think one of the hardest things for new investors, thinking back to when, when I was that, and then just observing other people who I get to work with now, it’s sort of finding your voice at this, how I would say it finding your voice as an investor, which is, to me finding, there’s a million angles, you know, in a way, you know, flavors and everything within real estate. So finding the ones that resonate with you, and finding the ones where there’s an alignment between how you think your talents, how you how you like to spend your time, how you’re just all of those things, just finding the right configuration. It’s like, no tailoring, I think, you know, everybody’s, you know, body shape is a little bit different. And so if you can get in there and just tailor just the right approach to fit you, then I think that that probably facilitates bliss, a lot better than trying to force it. You know, I think if when you’re a newbie, you’re, you’re learning everything, but you’re actually hearing, you’re hearing this voice in this perspective over here. And then you hearing this one, and you’re like, wow, there’s some, I don’t understand how those relate to each other. There’s a little conflict, it takes a little time to find just the right recipe for you, I think.

Moneeka Sawyer 

Absolutely. Jeff, I feel like you’re my doppelganger. It’s so true. Because I think I always tell people, there’s a million ways to make a million dollars in real estate, right? My buy and hold strategy is different than your buy and hold strategy, even like to that level, right? Yeah. So you really need to understand your why is so for me, I had a why I reached that, why it doesn’t mean that I’m not motivated. But it does mean that I can say okay, what’s my next level? And how hard Do I have to work for that? Right? So what’s your Why? What are your resources? And in your resources, it’s your emotions to like, what’s your aversion to risk? How do you deal with challenges, right? Those emotional resources are also really important. What are your strengths? Here’s the other thing. Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. If you hate numbers, don’t make yourself the number person in your company. The numbers have to work, you can use a spreadsheet. Yeah, right. Someone else can watch the the others the other numbers, right? So but like, for me, I’m a people person. I really love the relationships, some people are all about design. So really, what are your strengths? build a business based on your strengths? Not on learning and improving your weaknesses? And then other resources? Pretty obvious money, right? And then how about Time, time per week, per month, but also timeframe to reach your goals? Do you have five years? 10 years? 20 years? What do you got? And how much time each month Do you want to spend? All of those things put together help you to design? If you want to spend, you know, like me 10 hours a month? You’re not going to flip houses?

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, no.

Moneeka Sawyer 

No, you’re not going to go door knocking, right. So, so that’s how I designed my business, I find that it’s so much more stable, and so much more capable of staying motivated, because it’s really designed based on who I am, rather than someone else’s good idea.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah. Yeah. I love that. So well said. So you are very focused as a real estate educator on educating women, specifically, right. And that’s even the name of your podcast, right? We just make sure we all know what that is

Moneeka Sawyer 

Real Estate Investing for Women.

Jeff Stephens 

Awesome. So how did you when you were, you know, deciding that you’re going to start your podcast and really start putting yourself out there? In the real estate education specifically? What were some of the things that made you say, I really want to focus on women specifically?

Moneeka Sawyer 

Yeah. So I’m gonna tell you a little story real quick. Is that okay? When I was 16, I was a foreign exchange student in India. So I was born here in the United States. I went to India, and one of the things that struck me was how horribly women are treated their domestic violence is normal, not even talked about because it’s considered normal. Women don’t get educations. They there’s this this thing in India called Sati, where a husband dies and the woman is supposed to jump onto the cremation fire and burn to her death. There’s horror, horrible things that happened to women in India and I was so traumatized and so horrified that I thought, you know, this is not going to be my plight for sure. But is there anything that I can do and I started to find out about public education and, or any education and public education in India is not what you think it is. It’s horrible. And women are usually or girls are not usually allowed to go to school, they’re trained to be wives, and they’re often married off very young 710 1216. Things are changing. So this was 30 years ago, just for context. So things are changing. But in those days, that’s what I saw. And so I started at the age of 16, donating little, like $5 a month to a school that gave scholarships to girls to go to school. then fast forward, right. So this is my passion is really helping women just from a very young age. Now fast forward, I get out of school, it’s a at a college, and it’s a recession, and I can’t find a job. And my mom and dad are wanting to marry me off I they wanted to have an arranged marriage, oh, my God, could you imagine they wanted to marry me off, this is how they talk about it. And I’m, so I determined, I was never going to be married off. I would choose who I married, when and why. And the only way that I could see that I was going to be able to do that was to be able to be financially independent. Because of I am financially independent, I get to make my choices, I can pay my own bills, I can live my own life, and I don’t need at some man to take care of me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love men, I love my husband, right. But I knew that if I could not be financially independent, I was going to be at the mercy of somebody else’s whims or ideas. And so real estate was what I chose to, because that’s what I knew. That’s why my dad had taught me and it was a path that I chose. Now, fast forward, again, my book comes out cheese bliss. I’ve traveled the entire country. 150 people have seen me, I get so many emails, and the one email that I get more than anything else is, but how can you be blissful? When you’re completely broke, you can’t feed your children. And one of the things that I realized then was I took care of that money thing when I was 25. And it made my whole life possible. And so that’s why I wanted to I wanted to now empower people marry my two favorite industries, right? My two favorite, my heartwork. I wanted to marry those and create that ability for other women to have freedom to make choices, not based on fear, but based on what they really want for themselves and their children and their families. So that’s why I’m so focused this this focus on women started when I was very, very young.

Jeff Stephens 

Wow. Talk about a why, right. I mean, that’s, I’m sure when you know, when you get up, you know, boy, I’ve got a lot to do today. Maybe don’t feel motivated that that’s why that’s gonna pull you forward and keep you going. That’s, that’s amazing to me. Yeah. So let’s talk about women as real estate investors. Do you think? Are there any, are there any things that women are particularly well suited for in real estate, maybe even more so or differently than men?

Moneeka Sawyer 

So I think the way that we do real estate is completely different than men. And I think it should be, I always tell women, because they’re like, it’s a man’s world. And, and you see women trying to be men. And so I’ll say to them, you know, you’ll never be as good as a being a man as a man well. And a man will never be as good at being as a woman or being a woman as you are. And so choose your strengths. Choose to run your business based on your strengths. So what are some of the things that women do really, really well, we’re really good at creating a home and a nest. We’re very intuitive about people now. You always vet your tenants or your vendors. But your intuition needs to be a piece of that decision process and a big piece, because a lot of times people check out and check out well. But if your gut or your heart is saying, I’m not sure you follow that, because if you don’t, you find that you’ve made mistakes, right? It’s something that we just have, we’re really good with design theme. You know, we’re good with kind of getting a feel of the energy of a neighborhood. Right? Those are some things that we do really, really well. We’re really good at building relationships with our team, you know, so, so there’s a lot of things that we do really, really, really well now. The masculine has to be there, we have to know our numbers. We’re running a business. This is not a hobby. If you really ever want it to be successful. It has to be treated like a business. And so that’s when you plug into your masculine side. And here is his huge advantage. Women have, as women are all brought up in a very male dominated world, right? We are taught from very young, all the things that men consider important and we’re taught how to fit in, we have access to all of those skills and all of that lifelong learning. Men inherently have it, we learn it, right. But we inherently have the feminine, men never get the opportunity to learn the feminine, they really only have access to that masculine side, unless they’ve paid really good attention to developing the feminine, but the women get it by default, because that’s what society demands. So if you can plug into the masculine that you know, and plug into the feminine, that’s your default. And your true resource, you can do so much more than what men really has access to. So those women that are like it’s a male dominated world, and they resent it, oh, my gosh, what a gift. Like what a gift we got. I mean, okay, so I don’t want it to be totally male dominated. I’m not saying that. But I’m just saying that we can look at this as a gift, right, we can choose to use those resources to better our own lives and the lives of the people we love.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah. Wow, that’s fantastic. Yeah, I love that. And, you know, I was telling you, before we before we hit record, when I think about what we do as what I call thoughtful real estate entrepreneurs, and our approach to acquisition of being very direct to seller, very, very relational, very sit in the living room. And if it takes 12 meetings in the living room over the course of six months, who cares? So be it that’s how this is going. When I when I think about that process. And I realized these are, you know, generalizations, but I feel like women are so well suited to that type of an environment. Whether it’s asking good questions, or listening or intuiting, or like reading between the lines, maybe what the seller is talking about, that they really want to accomplish. And so I think it’s a great fit, you know, if if the people are interested in doing that type of acquisition, right, where you’re, where you’re out, talking to people face to face, but I just think there’s so really well, well suited for that. I’m excited to see more women, and we get into real estate investing as a whole, but especially even like my, just the community I’m trying to build in the message I’m trying to, you know, put out there to, why do you think there aren’t more women already involved in real estate investing.

Moneeka Sawyer 

So I actually just did some research, and I found that 30 only, so out of the entire pool of real estate investors, women only make up about 30%. So that’s a little higher actually, than it has been in the past. So we’re definitely moving towards this sort of consciousness of wealth for ourselves. So yay, ladies. And but I think that we still don’t have the confidence that men often have. And a lot of that has to do with the conversations we’re having. So we don’t have the mentorship. You know, there’s a lot of men out there mentoring, and their language, in their perspective is very different than the experience that a woman will have. So for instance, when we talk about the numbers have to work, you can buy a and c class neighborhood, I would never buy an A C class neighborhood, if I can’t go and collect that rent without being afraid of being taken down. I will not walk into that neighborhood, and I am not gonna buy that property. But a man’s never gonna think about that. He might, but it’s not in his heart. And the money will override that because men don’t walk around with the same issues that we walk around with, right? Or, you know, women go through menopause, we have children, we do these things, they’re gonna affect our business. And as much as men may love us, like our men are allies, right? My husband is the best in the world at being my ally, but he’s not in my body, he doesn’t understand me. And he doesn’t understand the way that you know, whatever might affect my mind, or like, you know, emotional things with my, with my emotions, right? Those sorts of things. I’ve got my skills, but you know, so we deal with different things. And so having those conversations, we’re just not getting it, we’re made to feel wrong. If we have an emotional reaction. There’s a lot of that stuff, right. So there’s not mentorship that really understands us. And there’s not networks, we don’t have access to all the different kinds of funding because we’re not having the conversations or getting referrals for a property that that’s off market. Because we don’t have the network, we don’t have access to the community as much as men do. And that’s changing. I’m a part of that movement. And I know a lot of powerful women who are but it’s a new thing. It’s new To acknowledge that we’re different, that we’re not just men dressed in dresses, you know, we are different, we’re just different. And we have different reasons for what we’re doing. Right. Like, we care a lot more about community. I think that’s not always true. Again, gross generalization. But I do think that women care a lot about the communities they go into. They care a lot about the neighbors while they’re actually doing construction. You know, so I just think we do and so we just don’t have the mentorship that understands kind of the way that we have not all women are the same. But there are some things that are the same that we all go through. Does that make sense?

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, yeah, I think it does. I think it absolutely does. So on your podcast, you do a lot of interviews. And I think, you know, I’m experiencing this right now. But one of the great things about doing interviews is you, you get to talk to so many awesome and interesting people and, and learn things from them. So I was curious, as I was, you know, looking back through all the different folks that you’ve had on your show, and some of the interviews I’ve listened to, of, of all these things, can you tell us like one maybe lesson that you learn from one of one of your guests that really struck you that wow, I you know, I’ve never thought about that before, or I’ve never seen it in that light was an interesting insight from a guest.

Moneeka Sawyer 

So, you know, I’d like to actually go more general than that, because I think I’ve had too many to share in a tiny little conversation. And what that really gives to me was the real reinforcement that you become who you hang out with. Now, the truth is that I get to hang out with people like you, Jeff, I get to hang out with these amazing people that are 10 times more successful than me. And the conversation you have with someone that’s that much above you is going to be very, very different than the conversation you get to have with your peers. And it elevates your consciousness. It elevates the way you look at the world. And it gives you a perspective that you didn’t even know you were missing. And just the car, every time I get off a podcast, I’m like, wow, like, I’m just different. Like whether I like this strategy or not, whether that’s something that’s interesting to me or not, whether I even like the person because they’re having people on my show, I was like, oh my gosh, I thought about that person, you know, but I’m always elevated. So I spend at least two hours a week with people that are significantly more successful than me in something. And it has made me a different person, and I have access to so much more resourcefulness inside of myself.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, that’s amazing. Yeah. I think it’s so you know, we live obviously, obviously, these days, especially in such a work from home culture. And it’s easy, I find myself feeling kind of isolated sometimes, you know. And to some degree, like ostensibly, I, if you asked me like, how do I like my schedule to be I would say I like to have whitespace in my calendar, I like to work alone. But the truth is, then you don’t I don’t always get that camaraderie and the challenge of new perspectives and different ideas and, and whatnot from people. And so I think that’s, I think that’s a really, really important element. Sometimes I feel like, if I go on Facebook, and there’s different Facebook groups, and some of them are, especially for people who are new to real estate. And I think that that’s very, very valuable in a certain in a certain way. But then on the other side of things. I kind of worry about it sometimes because I think well, they’re not surrounding themselves with people who are playing at a higher level right now. And so how do you get like the right mix of that it’s easier said than done?

Moneeka Sawyer 

Yeah, it really, really is. And when you’re getting started, you do need to kind of be in the weeds, right? You need to actually know what you’re doing. And so you need that step by step. But always remember, like, you don’t need to be talking to a billionaire in order to get started in real estate. But it is important that you can see a vision bigger than the weeds, you have to know how to get started. But you have to be able to see a vision that’s bigger than that, otherwise, you’re not going to stay motivated. And as people about the past where you are, and I’m going to tell you about one step past I hear this all the time, they just need to be your mentor needs to be one step beyond you know, make sure they’re 10 because they will demand of you and ask of you and share with you things that you can’t really perceive that will open your ability to make good decisions and be resourceful.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, absolutely. That’s cool. So a question as start to wrap it up a little bit. There are probably people on any day of the year, but especially probably this year, who are feeling like hmm, I need to get a quick infusion of some bliss into my life. Do you have a tip or two for those of us who are like okay, I’m a little low on the bliss All right now, and I need to pick up my game. What can I do?

Moneeka Sawyer 

I have the tip is called creating a bliss moment. And I use this all the time, whether it’s in traffic, whether I heard something on the news that upset me whether I got a call from a tenant that I’m not happy about whenever I use this tip. And so this is what you do is called drop, sorry. Stop dropping, breathe. And so really what happens is when something starts to stress you out. It’s not that thing. Usually bad things happen, okay? But normally, it’s really something happens. And then you start to create something in your mind some story in your mind about it. So someone cuts you off in traffic, and you’re like, I can’t believe that, like, we get all riled up, right? One person can think that person jerk bah, bah, bah, bah, another person might think, wow, that person must be having a bad day, right? I know what we naturally go to. But the point is, when that story starts happening, I stopped. If it’s causing me stress, I stopped. So I’ll actually say to myself, when he gets stopped, you stop the thought you do it, interrupt, then you drop out of your mind into your body and your heart. Take a couple of deep breaths, send that breath down through your feet. And suddenly you’re grounded. And you’re coming from your heart rather than from the ugly story you’re making up. And now you can approach anything that’s happening in a much more blissful grounded way.

Jeff Stephens 

That’s beautiful. I look quite literally feel more grounded. Just listening to you describe that?

Moneeka Sawyer 

Yeah, me too. I love it. And I use it all the time, everywhere.

Jeff Stephens 

Oh, that is that is. So what a nice bow to put on things. I really, really, really appreciate that. I know all of our listeners a little too. So I’m sure there’s gonna be a lot of people who would like to learn a lot more about you and everything you do and all your awesome content. So where would you like to direct people? The where’s the best place to find out more about you?

Moneeka Sawyer 

Yeah, come visit me at blissfulinvestor.com and I do you have a free gift for them if they would like and oh, leave it as a surprise, blissfulinvestor.com.

Jeff Stephens 

All right. Well, we can’t say no to that. That’s fantastic. Yeah. All right. Thank you so much for taking time to be with me. I know. You said you use the word doppelganger earlier. I it’s so funny. I feel so much alignment in in. I don’t know just the spirit in the way that we’re approaching real estate. And I would say I certainly aspire to approach all of life more and more like you so thank you for being that person for me who’s playing a big game and I get to hang out around,

Moneeka Sawyer 

I feel the same way. Jeff, thank you so much for having me.

Jeff Stephens 

Hanging around. Moneeka is like taking a huge breath of fresh air. She’s so positive. And I hope you enjoyed listening that interview as much as I did re listening to it, after we recorded it.

So that’s it for today’s episode of Racking Up Rentals, and show notes for this episode, including a transcription of our conversation are at www.thoughtfulre.come/51. And again, if you wouldn’t mind subscribing to the show right now just hit that subscribe button and even rate and review the show. I would be eternally grateful to you did you know also that we have a Facebook group for thoughtful real estate entrepreneurs. it’s called Rental Portfolio Wealth Builders and we would love to have you join us over there. So just go to group.thoughtfulre.com, and it’ll redirect you right into the group and you can hit that Join button. If you liked this episode, and I hope you did, please take a screenshot of it. post that screenshot to Instagram and tag us @thoughtfulreaslestate, all nice and spelled out. I will see you in the next episode. And until then, this is Jeff from a Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur signing off.

Thanks for listening to Racking Up Rentals where we build long term wealth by being win-win deal makers. Remember solve the person to unlock the deal and solve the financing to unlock the profits.

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