Day 3434 – Reflections On Working With My Spouse Again – or – Our Tenth Closing!

Holy smokes, we closed on our tenth deal this week. It’s been a crazy, wonderful ride these past two years. While I didn’t expect to run another business with Bret, I’m not really surprised that we are doing just that.

Thankfully, I have an incredible marriage, to be married to your very best friend is one of the best things in life. We enjoyed working together in the photography business, but it was always MY business at the end of the day. When Bret started in real estate investing business over two years ago, it was his thing. I gave some advice here and there, gradually helping out in different ways, to where I am now, a full partner.

I think what’s made this business so much more fulfilling and good is that it’s OUR business. We’re both putting in a lot and we’re seeing the benefits of that. Talking about the business peppers nearly every one of our conversations.

I am so thankful to work with Bret again and look forward to doing so for years to come. 🙂

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Day 3419 – Entrepreneurs’ Day! – or – I’m So Proud of My Entrepreneur Husband

When I married Bret, I thought I was just marrying my best friend and this cool guy I loved. But a few months later, he was working with me, photographing weddings. When I closed my photography business, I thought that would be the end of working together. But here we are, running another business together.

In honor of Entrepreneurs’ Day, I wanted to share some of the amazing qualities I’ve seen in Bret over the last few years.

– He learns from his mistakes. There’s a big learning curve in investing and I’ve seen him own up to his mistakes and see them as a learning experience.

– He recognizes the power of affirmations. If we’re having a particularly hard day, he’ll say “Trade ya some affirmations?” Then we spend a good 10 minutes or so sharing some of our current affirmations.

– He has been humble in his success.

– Even after our first deal, instead of saying “screw work tonight!” He got right back to it to get the next deal.

– He works, even when he’s tired. The picture below was taken when he got home from school, he took a quick nap and then got to work on our investing business. Thankfully, we know this is just a season and won’t have to push ourselves so hard down the road. But this picture right here, will remind me of what we had to do to create the life we want.

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Day 3414 – Snow Day!!!!!

Wahhhoooooo! We got a snow day friends! I did everything necessary to ensure this snow day came to pass – from inside out/backwards PJs to a spoon under my pillow. What’s funny is that a snow day for us means more time to work. But I’m sure we’ll have some fun thrown in.

East coast friends, how are you spending the snow day?

Note – this photo is old and we didn’t get THAT much snow. 🙂

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Day 3333 – Reflections After Our Seventh Real Estate Investing Closing

When Bret started with real estate investing, I saw it as “his business” we’d chat about things like a husband and wife chat about their “day” jobs. Fast forward a few months and I started doing some administrative tasks for “his business.”

Then a few months ago, things shifted. We started to say “our business.” We talked about how we could ramp this up with our partners.

On Friday, we closed on our seventh property. To say that I never expected this would be our life is a bit of an understatement. My vision of what my life would be has changed so much over the past decade it almost makes my head spin to keep up. The biggest takeaway I’ve had is that it’s completely ok to change your work dreams…even every few months.

Because of us ramping up our business, we knew that our volume would increase across the board. From marketing output to appointments to calls to paperwork. As we were looking at things, the incoming calls were the biggest concern. Without ANY pressure, Bret asked if I thought I could help with calls. This was actually a pretty big ask because, to be honest, I’ve had some issues about being on the phone. We’re talking I would sweat and shake when I would call a place just to ask when they close (the reasons for this are long, drawn out, and not worth the story).

If he had asked this a year ago, I would have said, no way, nope nope nope! Keep me behind the computer, that’s my strength! But because of a number of experiences over the last few months, I knew it was a challenge that would stretch me and grow me and make a big impact on our business. The whole “if you want to be in a place you’ve never been before, you have to do things you’ve never done before” was ringing in my head.

This week, I did things I’ve never done before in our business. The first day I took calls was when Bret started back to school. We received about double the amount we’d received in the past, it was a crazy huge amount of calls. At the end of the day, I felt humbled that me taking a few hours out of my day could help us so much. The folks I spoke to were kind and it wasn’t a horrible experience. There are still a few kinks to work out, but I feel a lot more confident.

Friday, while Bret was busy at work, I did a bit of driving around (over 100 miles) for the business, which included doing a walkthrough of a property we were closing on later that day. As it turned out, this property was seen by all of our partners, so sitting around the closing table with everyone was a really neat experience.

After the closing, we went to eat with our partners. The place we chose was next to another restaurant we visited with them. What was a little surreal was how different things were compared to that previous meal. The previous meal took place about a month after Bret started working on building the business. At the time, it was still “his business” and not “our business.” I wasn’t listening to the conversation as much and didn’t feel like I had much to say.

But now, this has become OUR business so much more deeply and meaningfully. I can’t wait to see how this next stage of our business grows and changes us. I have to say, I really did miss working with my spouse. 🙂

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Day 3220 – How We Wake Up At 5 AM And Actually Enjoy It – and – A Little Bit About Working With Your Spouse – repost

I wrote the following post in September. Eight months later and we’re still getting up most days around 5 a.m. There are days we sleep in until 7 or 8, if we’ve been out late, haven’t been sleeping as much, or if we’re sick. It’s crazy the amount of work you can accomplish getting up earlier. It’s like the hours from 5:30-9 are magical time expanders. Do you get up early?

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I think we have a new habit, and I think it will be around for a while: waking up at 5:00 a.m. on work days. Since we are building a business (real estate investing), there is a lot to do, all the time. I’ve really been digging in with data mining and management. We’ve recently started outsourcing calls, and it helps to put the pressure on me to keep up with finding numbers and not find excuses to be lazy. Since I don’t track my time on the weekends, I have no idea how many hours I put it this weekend, but it has been a lot. Oy. I have looked at SO many houses online! Though, it does get me dreaming about a home for us down the line. We have some pretty specific needs and wants, so it will likely take a while until we find it. Since Bret is back to school (today is the first day for the kids), having a routine is much more important. One way we’re fitting more in each day is by waking up at 5:00 a.m. I cannot believe I’m saying it….but we haven’t snoozed once since we started. I have ALWAYS snoozed. I have snoozed for HOURS. We’ll still be in bed, but we aren’t hitting snooze and trying to sleep for those precious 9 minutes. Once we have somewhat of a mental faculty going, we’ll start to say things that we’re thankful for. It can be anything from “I’m thankful you’re alive today” to “I’m thankful for this blanket” to “I’m thankful we prepped the coffee last night.” It makes such a difference in mood of the day right from the start. We’ll spend a little time chatting about the day and different things once the coffee is ready. Then I launch into my morning firsts (devotions, writing, blogging, etc).

It’s funny that we’re working together again. After we stopped photography, I thought it would be me working my jobs, and Bret teaching. Us working together, in a lot of ways, came out of left field. But I am SO pumped to be working with Bret again! Working with your spouse isn’t easy, it can be difficult, for sure, but the benefits outweigh those difficulties for us. One thing we’ve noticed is that I can get grumpy if I don’t get 8-9 hours of sleep. It takes a few days, but there is a noticeable difference. Last week, I was REALLLLLLLY grumpy, and Bret was like, ummmmmmmm, what? After more time than it should have, we realize it was because of my lack of sleep. Because Bret knows me so well, he can call me out on things, and we can work through them together.

A bonus to waking up this early is getting to see the sunrise. I was not disappointed this morning.

originally posted 9/5/17

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