The first step in any new endeavor is to dig up and dust off your goals and dreams. The enemy of a happy and fulfilling life is to slog along feeling like you are a victim who has no control over your own destiny.
What situations in your life do you want to improve? What new opportunities do you want to create? The cool thing about the Seed System is that you can logically prove to yourself that you are not a victim, you are living the very life you created. Think of it like painting a painting and then stepping into it. It takes some time and training to become a good painter; the same is true for learning how to create your ideal future, but anyone can do it. If you apply yourself, you can become a master and then you will far surpass what you thought was possible. I would like to share some more of my story with you so you can see how the Seed System worked for me in a difficult time of my life. With the help of Tiare, I was able to create financial freedom.
Now, in my profession, Realtors know that pain and pleasure drive the consumer’s home buying decisions; in fact, these two feelings drive most of what we do in life. Sales, marketing, investing, every advertisement you ever see, is addressing pain and/or pleasure. Pain is what brought Tiare and me into our business partnership. 2008 was the heart of the Great Recession in the USA, both of our family’s finances relied on real estate investment income which suddenly disappeared like a faucet being turned off. Our pain was that our family’s income suddenly stopped. The solution was that the wives, who had been mostly focusing on raising children, would do something to help the family finances. Goal number one for both of us was to make some money. The second goal that we both shared was to help our family businesses. Both of our spouses, with our assistance, had been involved in construction, developing real estate projects, owning rentals, and buying and selling real estate for themselves for many years.
Both of our husbands had recently suggested we get our real estate licenses to help save money on the family real estate transactions. I had another dream that was not so obvious, even to myself; I hoped for financial freedom, to have the money to do what I wanted and needed to do, when I wanted to do it. I wanted to be able to support the activities and education of my two daughters. In 2008 when my business partner and I decided to get our real estate licenses, I saw money as a form of control: those who had it had power over those who didn’t. That was a personal dynamic going on in my own failing marriage. This power dynamic was also present for many homeowners who lost jobs and then lost their homes during those difficult times. When we started our team I never dreamt that I would be where I am as I write these words; I am completely financially independent, debt free and semi-retired from real estate at 57 without any financial stress. Financial freedom is one of the most universal goals of every adult. Financial freedom is not greed. It is food and shelter, education for our children, health care, giving to charity and having something left over for gifts, fun, travel. It is supporting friends, family and strangers in need.
When I started to implement the seed system in my life I had friends tell me that financial freedom is not a spiritual or high goal. I also had an idea in my mind, learned from my family, that money is the root of all evil. But money is not evil, it is neutral. Money is like fire, you can warm your house up or burn your house down with it, it has no quality of good or bad from its own side. It is what you do with your money that makes a difference in the world for better or worse. Our profit-sharing partnership came to life because, as Tiare and I got to know each other through our volunteer work, we discovered that we had common goals, and so an idea was born. Tiare suggested getting our real estate licenses together and becoming a team. She planned to represent a large development that her family was involved in. She wanted to create a team because she was raising her son and wanted to be available for his needs. I was also raising kids and agreed that we could benefit from working together. We enrolled in an online real estate course with a plan to finish in a few months. This was our first experience of supporting each other to reach our goals and it made getting our licenses easier, faster and more fun. We worked together to keep ourselves moving forward and quickly passed the real estate exam in 2009. Once we had our licenses we interviewed the brokerages in town to see who would be a good fit for us. That was when our profit sharing concept started to grow.
Our favorite brokerage was the independently owned Wells Group. When we spoke to the Wells Group they informed us that they only accepted full time brokers and it appeared to them that we both wanted to work part time. At that moment one of us said, no, that is not correct, we are not working part time, we are JOB SHARING! Two Realtors doing the job of one realtor. Our concept of “two as one” was born and the Wells Group agreed to let us try it out though they had never seen this done before. Tiare and I decided that the way to make this work, our innovative two as one idea, was to split everything exactly 50/50, every expense and every commission, no matter who did what. Basically, we would function as one person to satisfy the brokerage’s standard of only having full time Realtors.
When Tiare and I started our real estate team we did not have any income for the first year; in 2009 there were very few transactions taking place due to the Great Recession. We did have expenses, though, and fortunately we had resources to support us during that first year or we would never have made it out of the starting gate. We had the time to put into building the business. The second year of business we finally got going with our first big sale of a $3,000,000 home. This was the beginning of my financial independence. The difficult marriage I was struggling with ended and I was financially on my own. Over the next 10 years I put my two daughters through college, paid my house off, bought a second home to use as a vacation rental, and went from no retirement savings to being semi-retired at 55. Because of our profit sharing team I grew from being financially strapped to financial freedom.