real estate ruined my marriage
 

What do you do when your spouse (or your family, friends, significant other, fill-in-the-blank) doesn’t support your entrepreneurial dreams and pursuits?

How can you start or continue this journey when the most important people in your life don’t get it?

Have you ever experienced this before?

There is nothing worse than having a burning desire deep within your soul to accomplish something great, only to have an uber-important person swoop in and blast it to pieces. This kind of rejection can be a miserable experience, but as with anything in life, the way you react to these kinds of obstacles can have a monumental impact on your future.

In this episode, we’re talking about some of the harsh realities of running a business when the most important people in your life aren’t on board.

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Episode 76 Transcription

Seth: Hey everybody, how’s it going? This is Seth Williams and Jaren Barnes and you are listening to the REtipster podcast. This is a show that teaches self-motivated people how to make great money from real estate while minimizing risk and creating more time for the things that matter. In this section, we’re talking about kind of a tricky thing, kind of a tricky subject. What do you do when your family, your friends, the important people in your life don’t support your real estate pursuits or even your entrepreneurial pursuits?

If you’re a business-minded person, if you’re a dreamer, if you have grand ideas for things you want to do, whether it’s making money or improving the world, or doing something extracurricular outside the norms of a 09:00 to 05:00 job. And then you tell these special people in your life about what you want to do. And then they are just like, not really feeling it. I don’t get it. I don’t like it.

It’s kind of a kick in the gut. Like it almost hurts. It’s disappointing, to say the least when people just don’t see eye to eye with you. It’s a challenging thing. Some people have to deal with this more than others. Jaren and I have kind of different stories about the levels that we’ve experienced this personally. But we just want to talk about this because I think it’s something that it’s not fun to talk about first of all. I mean, it’s something a lot of us don’t even want to think about when we’re just charging into a new opportunity. It’s like no time to get opinions from people like we know this is going to work, so, let’s just dive in headfirst.

But there’s actually a lot of wisdom that can be had from just getting outside opinions and allowing people to have skepticism and challenge your thinking. Some of us are better at self-governing our own ideas and dreams than others are. But either way, it’s important to have these hard conversations. So, we’re going to talk about that today.

Jaren: I’m really excited because one of the biggest things I feel like entrepreneurs or want to be entrepreneurs put into jeopardy is their relationship with their loved ones. And it’s almost like kind of going back to some of our previous conversations about the 10X Rule and others like “burn the ships” kind of mentality. It kind of goes along the same vein. It’s like if you want to be successful in life, then you have to sacrifice everything for that. And I don’t think that’s true. And I think that that’s actually dangerous thinking. And it took me a long time to come to that conclusion, but there are some things that are not worth sacrificing in the name of the business or in the name of success, financial success or thereafter.

You really have to weigh the cost, because you can be at the end of the road with a bunch of money and a lot of glory of people knowing your name and being intoxicated in that ego thing. But if you’ve lost your family, if you lost your wife and your kids and your best friends because you cut corners or burn bridges, you can end up at the end of the road with a bucket full of money and extremely lonely and depressed and unfulfilled. Because I think that there are some things in life that it’s worth sacrificing in some cases, but in other cases, it’s really not.

Seth: I guess to kick-off, I’ll just sort of share a little bit about my personal experience with this whole issue. So, I’ve had lots of different dreams in my life, in my adult life of really starting it in my early 20s when I was still in college just getting bitten by the business bug and tons of things I’ve looked into. And at the time, I think the first business I ever seriously tried to pursue was a vending machine business when I was in college. And I read a couple of books on it and I knew it wasn’t going to be like a massive “get rich” thing, but kind of a cool way to put vending machines out there. And they’re almost kind of like little employees that work around the clock that make money.

And it did work to a point, but when I was first getting into this, I remember my girlfriend at the time, not my wife. She wasn’t discouraging it, but every time I would buy a new vending machine, she was just like, “I wouldn’t have done that”. So, it was just kind of like this downer. Every time I felt like I was getting somewhere, it’s like, “Oh, well, this person is not really excited on board with it”. It was really kind of disappointing. And I took it really hard for a while. And fast forward about a year, actually, it was fast forward a couple of years. The business, it never turned into anything big, but it did end up being something that I wasn’t that good at. With vending machines, probably the most important thing in that business is your ability to find new locations, which ultimately requires some sales skills or ability, a willingness to get out there, and just constantly be looking for new locations.

Because if you don’t have those, then you’re not making money. And I was, I don’t know if I’d say terrible at that, but it was not something I enjoyed doing. And so, I was just kind of like struggled and limped along and never really got anywhere.

The lesson I learned is, my wife can kind of see my blind spots. She can see things that I don’t. She knows my weaknesses probably better than I do. And sometimes it’s hard to know why a person doesn’t see the light, why a person doesn’t believe in the dream to the same level that you do. But a lot of times there is actually a good reason for it. In the fact of the matter is your good fortune or bad fortune is going to affect them, as well. So, it’s worth listening to. If you crash and burn, they’re not immune from that. They’re going to feel the pain a little bit too, maybe even a lot.

So, to just dismiss their feelings and opinions is not smart. Even if they’re wrong, you still want to have lots of communication and back and forth with them and make sure they’re on board. And honestly, if they’re not, then, in my opinion, you shouldn’t be doing it. And that’s kind of a tough thing. Because sometimes they’re not for it, but they’re not against it either. They’re kind of just like, “I don’t love it, but fine. Knock yourself out”.

So, it’s a tough nut to crack, but I do think it’s really important to give this person the time of day and not just write it off. Like, “Oh, you don’t get it, whatever”.

Jaren: Yeah. For me and my wife, she has been really supportive of me pursuing entrepreneurial things because frankly, I don’t have a college degree so, without me pursuing extra sources of income we are kind of doomed to a mediocre life, at this point. She has always been super encouraging, but the times where she has piped up and she’s been like, “No, that’s a stupid idea, what are you doing? Why are you doing that?” And I didn’t listen, it’s always, I’m trying to think through, yeah. It’s always ended up in a really bad situation where I should have listened to her advice.

And the reality is, man, I second what you said. If you’re dating, I think there’s some difference in that. Like dating, you can be like, “Well, I’m sorry, this is what I’m going to do with my life, we’re not committed to each other yet”. But when you’re married, if your wife or your husband is not on board with your pursuits, you shouldn’t do it. And me and my wife for years, this was a point of real tension for us because we’re both really strong-headed and we’re both pretty visionary oriented type people that have a lot of ideas and likes to go in a lot of different directions.

But one time we ended up having a pretty gnarly fight about buying a Prius. We had a paid-off van. We had a Honda Odyssey and it was completely paid off and it was awesome. This is on the tail end of us losing our daughter to stillbirth. We had a 38-week stillbirth and that’s what we bought the van for. Because we didn’t have the daughter, we were in mourn and me and my wife wanted to go and drive for Uber and like do all this stuff. So, she’s like, “I don’t want to spend all the gas on the van”.
And I’m like, “You see, it’s paid off. It’s paid off. Why are we trying to look at another car?”

And ultimately, she pressured me into going to the dealership and we ultimately are sitting there at the table with the car rep. And I looked at her and I said, “I am not in support of this. If you force my hand and you make me do this, then when the time comes where you regret this decision, because it will come, we’re going to really have to talk about it. Because I don’t want to do this”. And we ultimately traded in the van, got a Toyota Prius so that she could drive for Uber. She got into a car accident four months later and stopped driving for Uber. And now we’re stuck with a car payment when we had two awesome cars that were fully paid off.

After that, we had a real conversation like, okay, there have been many times where she was not on board with something that I wanted to do and I did it anyway. And I just disregarded her. And likewise, this was a situation where we’re not on the same page, but she disregarded me and she did it anyway.

We made it a rule in our family that now if one or the other person is not on board, we disregard it completely and not to make it super weird or spiritual or religious or whatever. But just in the context of our marriage and how we work and how we function in the language that we use, we both believe that God is big enough that if we’re supposed to do something like it’s destined for us to do something that God can move the other person out of the way to accomplish that goal.

So, we just trust that if it’s something that we’re supposed to do, we’re going to be on the same page about it. And if the other person is not on the same page and they never get on the same page, then we just know, okay, that’s not for us. And that’s how we navigate that. If we don’t have unity on every decision we make, we don’t do it.

Seth: Yeah. So, I think with me and my wife, sort of the fundamental problem we’ve had in the past is that there’s sort of a misalignment in risk tolerance. For example, she’s always been pretty cool, just like doing the 09:00 to 05:00 thing, just living a normal life, just doing the normal stuff. Like you don’t have to be all heroic and make tons of money, it’s not necessary. Just sort of want comfort and normalcy. And that’s all good. And I’ve sort of been like “No, I don’t want that. I want to be job free. I do want to make lots of money. I want to do what I want to do” kind of stuff. And I sort of get what she wants and she sort of gets what I want, but we don’t have that perfectly aligned vision in terms of the ideal life.

But the good thing is neither one of us are the type to dig our heels in and be like, “No, I will never do what you want. This is the way it has to be”. And I think that’s really crucial is to have some kind of give and take. If either one of us had dug our heels in, we’d probably be in a very different place today than we are. But the fact that we’re able to step outside of ourselves a little bit and see things from the other person’s point of view. I think in a way it’s just called maturity is the ability to do that. But that’s the thing I don’t have an answer to is if somebody just unreasonably will not consider anything.

Say if you’ve come up with like 20 different things. Some of them might be a little crazy, some of them were pretty realistic and the answer is “no” across the board. I’ve never had to deal with it to that extreme. And I don’t know what I would do if I had to. I don’t know, those are the things that I struggle with. But I think in reality, probably that’s a rare thing. Most people I think are reasonable if given enough time, if one person’s cert is able to prove to the other, like, “Hey, I can do this. And this is realistic because of these reasons”. I would think most people could probably see the other side.

Jaren: Yeah, definitely.

Seth: And by the way, I actually have very organized thoughts on this because I wrote a big lesson about this as part of the Land Investing Masterclass. I’m taking a few notes from that, but I think if you’re in a position and you do encounter some kind of resistance to some dream or idea you have, whether it’s your parents, your kids, your friend, your business partner, your spouse, whatever. It’s time to stand back and start asking some questions. It’s not time to argue. It’s not time to prove yourself. It’s time to think critically about this situation.

 

For example, does this other person have all the facts about what you’re trying to do? Have you really communicated that well? Or did they just hear this 50,000-mile-high version of it? And they don’t really understand what’s going to be involved? Why it might actually be realistic, why you can actually pull it off. A lot of times people just hear very vague details of what the plan is. And it’s no wonder they’re not on board because they don’t understand what’s actually involved here.

So, I think it’s important to think that through and just make sure it’s been communicated well enough. It could also be that maybe they just haven’t seen any real-life examples of people who have actually succeeded at this. So, it’s hard for them to visualize you doing well at it when they’ve never seen what that looks like. They’ve never seen any proof of concept from anybody else.

Jaren: Yeah. And kind of a kissing cousin to that, if you don’t have a very good track record like you’ve had several business pursuits or entrepreneurial pursuits that haven’t panned out, why do you think your spouse is going to be on board with the next one? It’s unfortunate and this isn’t a nice thing to say. It’s not a nice feeling, but if you haven’t been successful in the past, you can’t expect people who depend on your leadership or who depend on your involvement in the family dynamic to be all gung-ho and jump on board with the next new, crazy thing. Especially with wife and kids, I can speak easier from the perspective of kind of being a husband and a father. But likewise, too, if you’re a female entrepreneur and your husband’s not on board, your family needs to be able to rely on you for being stable.

And in order for a family to work, stability is a big deal, especially when kids are involved. So, if you’re over here, always trying to catch the next big wave of something and your spouse is the kind of person who’s just more realistic. You kind of need to listen to him or take it upon yourself that if you’re going to pursue something, do it in a way where you manage their expectations well.

There’s a big difference between saying, “Hey, I’m going to quit my job tomorrow and I’m going to go and do this crazy entrepreneurial thing” versus “Hey, I’ve been looking at this side business that I could feasibly do around my full-time job. And I’ve been researching it for the last couple of months. It seems really promising. Would you be open to hearing about it and considering it with me?” Those are two very different conversations and it should start small and grow from there. And especially if you have a bad track record.

Seth: Yeah, for sure. And along those same lines, pretty much everything I’ve ever tried to do, it’s not that I thought it was impossible for me to fail, but I just didn’t see the likelihood of that. It was like, “Nope, I got the formula on how to do it. It’s going to work”. And that is not how it is always panned out. So, I think in some cases, and this can be kind of hard, but a person might not be buying into your idea because they know that they couldn’t do it. And sort of subconsciously they’re projecting their self-doubt onto you.

I know this is a thing because I have personally done this to other people in the past and I feel really bad about it. There are certain things that I know I couldn’t do. So, it’s like, nobody can do it. And really, it’s not fair. And I think the hard thing about it is that it’s hard for a person to see that and acknowledge it for what it is. I literally don’t think like, I know when I’ve done this, I don’t think it was even possible for me to understand what I was doing. It wasn’t right. And it was not helpful.

In those cases, I think maybe the way to get over it is to give a person time and maybe take small steps toward the things. Steps that aren’t going to cost a whole lot if they go south. And just sort of slowly prove yourself and show, “Look, this is possible. It may be true that you wouldn’t want to do this, but I can. And here’s proof of that”. But don’t try to force it down on somebody’s throat overnight. Because I think that’s probably the worst thing you can try to do.  

Jaren: Yeah. It’s like, you just want to validate their concerns and let them know, “Hey, they’re not wrong. Or it’s not shameful for them to not be super excited to take a risk”. It’s perfectly normal and okay for them to be hesitant on taking a risk. That’s human behavior. And I feel like we get into this shaming game with our spouses where it’s like, “You don’t ever support me”. And it’s like, “Are you kidding me? I walk with you every single day of my life. I’ve committed. How else can I support you more?”

I think the biggest piece of advice that you can get out of today’s conversation is when you are in conflict with your spouse over something new or something risky, connect with them heart to heart and understand and validate where their perspective and where they’re coming from and let them know you’re not going to disregard them. A lot of the times, if I’m getting into that place where it’s me versus my wife and we’re like starting to butt heads, I get back to our core connection. I say, “I see you. We made an agreement several years ago that if you’re not on board with this, I’m never going to do it. So, relax. We’re just going to explore this. We’re going to see if this is a good outcome for us. And if it’s not, we’re not going to do it. I promise you”. And then that makes her relax and we’re good and we can talk through it and be a team versus enemies, opponents.

Seth: Sometimes when I’ve gotten into heated discussions with somebody about this, where I want to do something and they don’t think it’s a good idea, I think part of what is making me so heated or part of what really gives me anxiety or stress or anger, is this idea that this one thing is the ticket. This is the only way I’m ever going to get to where I want to go. Almost getting this vision of there’s one path and this person is putting up a roadblock and they’re destroying my life because of it. It’s a total lie. I’m telling you right now. It’s not true. There are a million different ways to get to a great financially free life. It’s usually tons of different paths that can take you there.

And I just think it’s important to remember that there is no deal, no business, no opportunity that is a must-do deal. There are always other opportunities that are going to come along in the future. It’s kind of like Richard Branson said that “Business opportunities are like buses. There’s always another one coming”.

Even when I’m looking at like individual deals, I think I’ve gotten pretty good actually at never getting hung up on this idea that “This right here, this is the once in a lifetime deal. I have to make this work”. I just don’t think that way anymore because I know it’s not true. It’s really easy to fall into this trap of thinking “There’s only one option here and this person is trying to destroy that and thus destroying my life and my future”.

As crazy as that sounds those kinds of thoughts, I probably couldn’t have articulated it that way, but I think that’s what was going through my mind. And that was the source of all my frustration. And if I could have just stepped back from that and realized, “No, no, no. Don’t feel like you’re stuck because you’re not”, it would have really changed things a lot for me.

Jaren: Yeah. And real estate might not be what works for you guys. If your spouse isn’t on board and they’re not okay with you pursuing the land business or some pursuit in real estate, there are other opportunities out there that you guys can pursue together that you both are excited about and are comfortable with. So really, it’s just a matter of looking at your spouse as a teammate and saying, “Hey, this is our objective. We want to make more money. This is our problem. We need to get out of debt”. This is whatever the goal is. Get unified on that. And then come up with a solution together and then talk through your strengths and your weaknesses.

They might not think that it’s possible to do, but after you talk about it and maybe even go as far as doing some personality tests and gathering some data, it’d be like, “No quantifiably I am wired for this type of task. And I would be very good in this type of business because of XYZ”. Go through that together and come up with a plan that you’re both on board with.

Because once people realize how amazing the land business is or other types of real estate investing, it’s pretty hard-pressed to find somebody who’s not going to be on board. Because when you just compare it to the stock market, which is kind of what everybody defaults to and they think about investing. Real estate, trumps it in every way. So, if you guys can walk through the information and come to conclusions together, you’re going to be in a far better place.

Seth: Yeah. Kind of what we were talking about earlier in terms of if you don’t have a track record of succeeding at stuff you say you’re going to succeed it. I would sort of advice against ever committing yourself to success or promising that you’re going to be able to do something. I guess I don’t know why a person would say it exactly like that. But if you’re ever going there just don’t do it because the fact is failure is a possibility with any pursuit. I think Seth Godin said it, “If failure is not an option, then neither is a success. They both have to exist”.

Think about that. If you do fail at this and remember that is a possibility if you do fail, what is the worst-case scenario? Is it a financially wise move for you to get into this right now? Are you in a place where this is smart or are you just doing this because you’re like really excited about it? What is the likelihood honestly, that you’re going to succeed or fail? And what would be the fallout in the worst-case scenario? What would that mean? Would that be a financial catastrophe? Or would it be just sort of a blip on the radar?

Which by the way, all of the business things that I and my wife have ever gotten on the same page about are ones that would not have been a huge financial catastrophe. Like with land, for example. You can afford to lose a few thousand bucks. That’s not going to destroy you and your future. It’s much harder to lose a hundred thousand dollars and go into debt. It was just like, be realistic about that and think about how that would affect you, how that would affect your spouse or significant other.

And also, what are you sacrificing to pursue this? If you’re saying yes to this, what are the dozen other things you’re saying no to? That you now can’t spend your time and your money on. Supposing the dream doesn’t materialize. And you do end up wasting a little chunk of your life going after something that didn’t work. Is that okay? What implications does that have for you and the other people in your life with this time and money that you can’t get back?

The point in these kinds of conversations, the point is not to get your way. The point is to treat these people in your life likewise advisors. Because that’s really what they are. I mean, they know things about you that most people don’t know. They have a perspective that you don’t have. Just like from my personal experience, at least 90% of the things that I and my wife have disagreed on, she ends up being right. It ends up being something like I never would have thought she had any idea what she was talking about, but she did.

And because we went her way, things turned out fine. If I didn’t have that wise guidance or forcing me to go another way, I would’ve gotten hurt. So, in my case anyway, I can’t ignore that. I have to remember that every time we disagree on the way to go forward that like, “Hey, stupid, there’s something to pay attention here. Don’t just disregard this”. As hard as that is to do.

Jaren: Yeah, man. One of the questions I wanted to ask you though, to play a little bit of devil’s advocate here. Is there ever a time for you not to listen to your spouse? Because as we’re going through this, there are circumstances where sometimes people are not married to the most compatible person. And sometimes there are cases of spouse abuse and all kinds of crazy stuff. So, is there a point where, because somebody is baggage or brokenness or whatever is hindering their spouse from making their lives better, including their spouse’s lives better where you do disregard what they say? Is there ever a time for that?

Seth: Yeah, man. That’s a really good question. I’m glad you asked that. I feel like the way we’ve been talking about this is very PC, like politically correct. This is like the church answers what you’re supposed to say. But I think you’re right. There are times where this person is wrong. They just are. Who knows? Maybe there’s some kind of abusive something going on there. But to be honest, I think it kind of comes back to supposing for a moment that we are talking about a spouse. Like somebody who you vowed to do life together with and to respect and to love and to honor. Did you mean that when you made those promises? Because if you did, you got your answer right there.

Even if they’re wrong, you have to acknowledge that if you’re going to just totally disregard them. And if they’re saying, “This is very important to me. Don’t go against my wishes”. And then you just say, “Well, I’m going to go and go against your wishes”. I mean, that’s kind of saying something there. I think it sort of depends on the basis for how serious is your relationship? Is your marriage? Are you on the same page in terms of what do you expect from each other?

That’s not to say there isn’t a time where if there is some kind of abuse going on or some kind of dishonoring, it’s like maybe the marriage shouldn’t be there. Even in the Christian world, maybe there’s a biblical basis for not being married anymore. I mean, just take it to like the most extreme situation I can imagine. It seems like you have to make room for that. But I feel like 99% of the time, that’s not the case. It might be easy to jump to that conclusion if you get really mad or really stuck on something. But I think far more often than not, there is a solution, it’s just going to take compromise, communication, time, lots of hard stuff. Lots of relationship discipline is not an easy thing to do. It is easier to pull the plug, but that doesn’t mean that’s the right move.

Jaren: Yeah. And it takes a lot of sacrifice. One of the things I learned real quick about marriage that I didn’t really expect because I got married so young is that man, does it expose your selfishness. I had no idea how selfish I was until I got married. But I mean this is true. I don’t know, like, if my wife was like “No, I want you to get a college degree and I want you to work 09:00 to 05:00 and I don’t ever want you to pursue business ever”. I’m like, “I don’t know if I can do that”. It’s a good thing that we’re compatible with. And we have the same, at least a good portion, like 80% of the same worldview and the same pursuits and same vision for our lives. But if we weren’t on the same page, that would be really hard to go through.

I know that there are circumstances where marriages for the sake of family there, it’s kind of picking the less of two evils. But if somebody has an addiction or is abusive or something, sometimes divorce is a better outcome, even though it’s not ideal. But it’s tough. It’s like, when do you pull the plug? When do you know in your heart, you know what? I know they’re against this, but I know that this is the right decision and I’m willing to risk it all. Burn the ships as it were and do this. Because what if on the other side your family is a millionaire, or like you have millions and millions of dollars or something. And the life of your dreams is going to be there. And your wife comes back and says, “Sorry I didn’t support you”. Like, what if that is the outcome? I don’t know.

Seth: That’s a big assumption to make first of all. Everybody has a different situation. There are so many different dynamics at work in terms of personalities and personal flaws and why a person might be saying no, or why a person might be having a dream in the first place. It makes me think of, it’s crazy, the importance of the person that you marry in life. And it’s crazy how quickly some of us make this decision. And a lot of us make this decision at a very young age when we don’t know much about our self or the other person. Me and my wife, we were dating for three years before we got married. That was actually very helpful. It was enough time to really get to know a lot about each other. But even that, like, we still didn’t really know each other that well.

And when you think about the gravity of that decision, that affects pretty much every day for the rest of your life. It affects if you have children who your children are, it affects the future of your family hundreds of years from now who your descendants are going to be. Decisions like this, business, financial decisions. Sometimes it blows my mind just the way it works in our society. Just the age at which we make the decision and how quickly some of us make the decision. And even when you don’t make it quickly, you’re still working with a lot of information.

And I guess if anybody out there is listening to this and they’re not married and they want to get married someday just realize it’s a huge deal who you marry. Like it is a big, big deal. Some people really don’t think that, or they don’t treat it that way and divorce isn’t a big deal, it’s kind of a flippant, whatever, it’s not working, let’s pull the plug and move on to someone else. But there’s just huge consequences. As soon as you start committing for the rest of your life to anything, let alone, who you are going to wake up next to every day.

I feel like the natural thing to do is to make that decision based on feelings, but the smarter way to do it is to think logically, like think of as many different paths forward as you can. And how would that work with this person? Like if this happened or if this happened, would this person be a good parent? Would they be a good business partner? Would they be a good advisor? Are they good with my family? There’s just a ton of stuff to take into consideration.

Jaren: I literally just told my wife yesterday because we have friends and stuff that are dating and are getting close to that point where they have to make a call as to whether or not they’re going to get married or not. And I’m blown away that most people base their relationship, either on sexual attraction or Hollywood kind of love. And both of those things with time and with life, they change. It doesn’t last. So, when there are days where, and I say this provocatively on purpose like it’s intentional, but there are days where emotionally, I hate my wife. There are days where I’m so angry and we’re fighting. And there’s like everything in me like I have nothing but disdain in my heart for her. And likewise, she has moments like that for me too.

So, your marriage has to be based on something that is far more superior than emotion. And I think that love, ultimately true love, looks like a sacrificial choice to say, you know what? No matter who you are, no matter what you’re doing, I’m going to commit my life to walk with you and serving you and doing my life with you. And because emotions come and go. There are moments where like I’m on a date or it’s like an anniversary and then I get butterflies and it’s nice, but that’s fleeting. It comes and goes. I think that compatibility is way more important. The fact that my wife is my best friend and I actually like to hang out with her, that is way more important than a sexual attraction or emotional, like it feel goods in my belly.

And so, I think that if anybody is out there, who’s not married and thinking about it, I would hardcore go on personality tests. I would hardcore, yeah, emotions are definitely going to be there. Attraction. That’s a good thing. Like that’s kind of the spark, but once that’s there, you got to set those emotions aside and be like, “Okay, practically, what Seth brought up about family dynamics is so crucial”. Can this person that I’m committing to spending the rest of my life with potentially actually hang out with my brothers and sisters around Thanksgiving and like, not be a prune? We like to rough house or have these kinds of humor around our family. Are they going to be okay with that? Are they going to be put off by that? Are they going to fit within the things that are important in my life? And if not, then there’s a high likelihood that it’s not worth pursuing. On both fronts. Like it’s a compromise. It’s not just like they have to fit in your box. You have to fit in each other’s boxes.

Seth: So, when we’re talking about love, I’m going to read to you a little excerpt from 1st Corinthians Chapter 13. And I think this is it’s universal. I think pretty much everybody out there could agree with this, as the best definition of what love is.

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable. It keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, it is always hopeful and its doers through every circumstance”.

And by the way, that’s the new living translation. But I think if you’re talking with somebody that you love, whether it’s a spouse, even family member, a business partner, somebody who holds a very big place in your life. Like they’re important. Like their opinion, their buy-in matters. I think it’s important to go back to like, what is love? What does that mean? How do you love a person? And I think it’s very easy to go against what I just read there. In the name of like, this is what I want. Me, me, me.

But that’s not what love is. Love is very much about putting others first, taking others into consideration, and just seeing outside of yourself and your own way. Truth is there is very, very little that any of us know. As much as we might want to disagree with that, nothing is certain. There are lots of things that we may be overly ambitious about. And I think it’s one of those situations where it’s important to show love in the way that you are receptive and communicative and making room for other people.

Jaren: Yeah. I’ve tried to model my view of love on 1st Corinthians Chapter 13. And it’s tough because some translations say love never seeks its own. Every single argument that I’ve ever had with my wife has always in some form of fashion boiled down to me, seeking my own. A hundred percent.

Seth: That’s a very counterintuitive thing. Any human being, if they’re honest, the natural position is like, “Hey, I’m in this for me. I’m number one. It’s what I want. It’s what makes me happy. Period”. And that’s actually an empty way to live the life I have found. Every time I disregard to the people and just go after “me, me, me”, like it falls short. It’s very empty when you get what you want. I think it was Albert Einstein who said “Life isn’t worth living unless it’s lived for someone else.” And I think there’s a lot of truth in that.

Jaren: Yeah. I agree. Well, to land the plane here. I want us to clarify what we’re not saying. I don’t know. I feel like people can listen to this conversation and walk away with a bad assumption. We’re not saying that you should not pursue entrepreneurial things. Obviously, we at REtipster give our entire work life to teaching people how to pursue business and how to pursue real estate.

So, we are not against that. But what we are saying is that if you are going to pursue that, make sure that your loved ones are on board. And even if they have some reservation or some hesitation that you worked through that with them and they give your blessing.

Even if at the end of the day, it’s, “I don’t know, but fine, whatever. Just go with it”. And then you do it in a way that has the most minimal risks starting off personally, I think that’s the way that you want to go. Because at the end of the day, if your business fails, your marriage is going to be there. Your family is going to be there. Your kids are going to be there. And you don’t want them mad at you.

Seth: Amen. Thanks for clarifying that. I totally agree. And it’s a weird subject. I feel weird talking about this. I feel like I don’t want to like to say too much or be too vulnerable. I feel like this is one of those subjects that could possibly offend or disappoint, or very easily leave people with the wrong assumption. So, I’m glad you said that. But actually, I am curious though, if you guys think differently if you think we’re totally off, we’re just like flat out wrong, I invite your comments. Come to retipster.com/76 because this is episode 76, where we’ve got all the show notes there. But more importantly, leave a comment on that blog post, just to let us know, “Hey, you’re totally off or you’re spot on”. And it’s not like we are the ultimate authority on this. There are many other perspectives and ideas and situations that we’re probably not even accounting for.

Jaren: And we’re very willing to be wrong. At the end of the day, one of my core values is “Truth at all costs”. And I’m happy to be wrong about everything. Because I just want the truth.

Seth: Yeah. Kind of like what we were saying. There’s a lot of stuff that any one person can’t see and doesn’t understand. So, I’m with you. Totally willing to be wrong, if somebody can prove me otherwise. I’m moving on to the next segment here. So, I was just looking through the REtipster forum from this past week. I’m trying to find interesting conversations. Things are kind of blowing up a little bit. There are lots of new conversations, new people joining, and adding their voices.

By the way, if you guys haven’t yet, be sure to register on the forum. It’s free retipster.com/forum. And this was actually a question that I asked. I was asking if anybody has been seeing lower real estate prices because of Covid-19 and everything that has been happening. At the time that we’re recording this, it’s about early to mid-June and COVID has been going on for a few months. Many people have been out of work for a while now. It’s not unreasonable to think that real estate prices will take a beating. However, just in what I’ve been seeing, I haven’t seen any impact at all. If anything, prices are either unchanged or they’re going up.

And I don’t know if that’s a function of the kinds of properties I’ve been looking at, or the market that I’m in or what. But I’m actually kind of surprised. I mean, maybe it’s just too early. Maybe it’s not going to happen for another year or something, but I thought I would have seen more fluctuation, but I’m not yet. And a couple of people who have chimed in have been saying the same thing that like, “Yeah, it’s still pretty strong where I’m at”. So, I don’t know. I don’t know if or when it’s going to change.

Jaren: I think, and this is a complete opinion. I am speaking way above my pay grade. So, somebody who’s an economist is going to come and listen to this and be like, “That guy is an idiot”. So, I probably shouldn’t say it. If I was Seth Williams, I definitely would not be saying it, but I’m going to anyway. So, in my opinion, I think one of the things that may be leading to that is I feel like the market was so high, that there were a lot of people that had cash reserves. And maybe because people are like, “Oh yeah, we finally have a downturn”, they are already deploying that cash. And maybe that’s like keeping the market where it’s been pretty much.

I know that for me, my land business is slower. I don’t see people buying as much in Florida. At least right now my agent told me that before COVID hit, he had like 20 sales, and then at the last two months, he’s had barely anything. So, for me, I’m seeing it a little bit slower, but from a housing perspective, I’m still seeing a lot of people buy and sell the property. And I talked to an agent here locally in Northwest Indiana and he’s seen a lot of business.

Seth: I’ve heard it has a lot to do with whether the properties are rural or urban because people seem to be flocking more to rural areas now. Like moving out of the big cities. So maybe it depends on like, where is the property? Is it a place where people are flocking to, or away from? Most of the stuff I’ve been looking at lately has been self-storage stuff. It’s been hard, man. It’s been kind of disappointing.

In my area, I’ve literally sent mail to everybody within like a one-hour radius of where I live. Anybody who owns a storage facility has heard from me. And the handful of people that have responded, they’ve been responding because they also want to buy properties and they’re wondering if I have any leads, or their facility is doing really well. They’re not at all motivated to sell and their asking prices are just crazy. A hundred percent is not worth what they’re asking. And they’re not going to sell it otherwise.

So, I mean just the storage industry, it’s like no, it’s not at all slowing down. Their places are all full. And it’s weird. I don’t know. But again, it might just be a timing thing. Maybe it’s too early to see the effects of it. When you think about if somebody stops making their mortgage payment, maybe they get an extension from the lender for a few months and then they keep not making their mortgage payment. How long does it take for that to go through the foreclosure process to eventually hit the market? I know in a lot of states, it’s like a 6- to 12-month process to do that. So maybe it’s just a matter of time.

But I’m also wondering, while there’s a lot of people who are hurting, there’s also a lot of people who are doing well through this. Like better than they were before. It’s not that everybody’s going down. There’s just a massive redistribution of wealth. And so, the people who are doing really well are just sort of come in and buy the stuff from the people who aren’t doing well. So, I don’t know. I’m just throwing ideas out there, but the consensus so far anyway is that there has not been any major shift in prices. This is not at all been what the 2008 crash was. So, I don’t know. We’ll see.

Jaren: Which is very interesting. I have a friend who works in the stock market world and he says the same thing. Like right now, just the market’s going up and up and up and up.

Seth: But at the same time though, the value of the dollar will probably be going down and down and down. So, while numbers may be going higher, the actual value of those dollars is going down. So maybe it’s like almost evening it out in a little bit. I don’t know. Again, I’m not an economist, who knows.

Jaren: Yeah. For an economist right now, who is listening and rolling his eyes. Like these guys think they know what they’re talking about.

Seth: They’ve probably already turned this off by now. Cool. All right. Well, let’s do our little random question to close this out. Okay. So, this question is, “What is the most interesting course you have ever taken in school?” On the other hand, “What is the most boring course you have ever taken in school?”

Jaren: Sure. I got a couple of ideas. It wasn’t necessarily a class. History was my favorite subject in high school. But I was invited to participate in a National History Day competition in high school. And I did a whole segment on the 1963 freedom rides, which were a protest where blacks sat in the front of Greyhound bus and whites sat in the back. Blacks sat in the front and white sat in the back. And that was really inspiring. And I learned a lot and I actually got all the way to Washington DC and was a finalist for the nation. I didn’t win, but…

Seth: That’s pretty cool, man.

Jaren: Yeah, that was probably the highlight of my high school. That was one of the things I was most passionate about. My least favorite subject was math. And I think the reason why is because I never had a teacher make math real to me. And I think that’s for math and science, you have to connect it to something that the person resonates with or makes sense.

So, the most obvious one would be connecting math to money because everybody has to deal with money at some point in their life. For me, I needed somebody to attach math to something real and tangible. And a lot of the times when I would ask questions like, “Where is that algebraic equation would work?” Like, I don’t want to know the equation. I want to understand the mechanics behind it. They wouldn’t want to take the time to teach me. They found me annoying.

Seth: Yeah. That’s a great point. Because I’m kind of like you, math is amen. It’s bad. It is by far my weakest area. I totally get the basic math stuff, but beyond that I started getting pretty bad. And getting through two different colleges, you got to deal with math at some point. Like you just have to, that’s how it works. A

nd I remember taking economics, microeconomics, and macroeconomics. And the microeconomics teacher was, or professor was amazing. He was one of the best profs I ever had in college. Man, if he hadn’t been teaching the way that he was, I don’t know that I ever would have grasped it because the guy that did macroeconomics, like I really struggled bad. He was very much just like regurgitating what was in the textbook with no substance to back it up. And it was just hard. So, a lot of times it helps a lot to get that kind of real-life application.

So, for me, I think there’s sort of two that tie for the most interesting. And one of them was oceanography where we learned about the study of the bottom of the ocean and just the way oceans work.

Jaren: That would be fascinating.

Seth: Yeah. They only offered it once every other year where I went to college and it was part of the geology department. It was amazing. Every day I walked out of class and just be like, “Wow, that is so cool”. There was no way I was ever going to do that as a profession but just in terms of like, “Man, that’s really fascinating how that works”. That was really cool.

And then another one was persuasion and propaganda, which was a part of the communications department. It sorts of helped me see, like when I’m being persuaded or sold on something or convinced like, “Why is that happening? What is clicking in my head to make me buy into this person’s idea?” And they just pick that apart. And it talks a lot about like Nazi propaganda. How they kind of almost fooled an entire nation into buying into this crazy idea. But it was just a really fascinating course.

And the most boring one, man, I think it was pretty much anything math-related kind of for the same reasons you said. If the application isn’t there, it’s just not fun. I don’t get it. I don’t get why it’s important. It’s just like going through motions that don’t make sense in the first place. And I think my brain just has a very limited capacity when it comes to math. I can’t take much complexity there.

Jaren: I feel like the bulk of my educational experience was just a lot of busywork. I remember the one time in science class, I got a worksheet. Like a packet where I was just supposed to go through the book and fill out missing words and sentences and stuff. Because I was very rebellious as a kid, between my freshman and sophomore years, I used to do all kinds of crazy stuff.

But then, going into my junior year, I really tried to do school well. And I remember in junior year, I walked up to my science teacher and I was just very honest. I was not trying to be disrespectful or had no ulterior motives. I was just like, “Can you explain to me why this worksheet is important? What is this supposed to teach me? Because it just feels like busy work”.

And it was in the middle of the class. I didn’t call him out. It wasn’t like I raised my hand, I walked up to his desk. I was trying to wrap my head as to why I was doing this. And he yelled at me and he told me to go sit down and stop asking dumb questions. And that’s when I realized, “Okay, in the education system, there’s a process here that a lot of people have to go through to get a degree, but it’s not real education”. It’s not. Most people, they learn enough information to pass the test and then move on.

And they don’t actually retain or have a life-changing transformational experience where they go from not knowing how to do something or not understanding something to become something. That’s not what we experienced in our education system by and large. So that’s the seed that started planning like, I probably should just teach myself because with math and with science, I think that they’re super important, but it’s rare to find a teacher that actually connects them to tangible things.

Seth: It is kind of unfortunate, like how our society quantifies a person’s intelligence based on that stuff that I sort of get why they do, because how else do you do it? In the absence of that. But really, it’s not even close to everything. It’s not the stuff that matters. It just weird, the things that we deem as most important.

Jaren: And the fact that our whole education system is revolved around being well rounded. Liberal arts education is all about being a jack of all trades and master of none where I think practically in life, you’re going to be a lot better off being a specialist. And we can see that in the medical industry and the tech industry. You get paid way more when you have a very, very, very specific skill set that not a lot of other people have. So, I think that I would be in much more favor of somebody finding what they love and then getting really, really good at it. Man, this topic went like we were supposed to talk about real estate, but we went into life philosophy and went all over the place.

Seth: It happens a lot when Jaren and I get on calls, whether they’re recorded or not. Like, “Hey, five minutes quick”. And then like two hours later, we’re talking about a cure for cancer and stuff like that.

Jaren: I think there was a time this week where I was like, “All right, let me get off of here before I think of something else”.

Seth: It’s kind of crazy, man. Like that sounds funny, but that’s actually true. I think we could spend all day. If we had nothing better to do, it would be very easy to spend an entire day just like talking. We just find it fun. Because actually, by myself, I don’t do that well in just making small talk with people. But Jaren brings that out and man, that’s his gift.

Jaren: Oh, thanks, man.

Seth: Cool. Well, for all of you listeners out there, if you want to get updates on the stuff we got going on with retipster.com don’t forget to take out your phone and text the word FREE. F-R-E-E to the number 33777.

So, you can get notified of all the best stuff we got coming up. You’ll get access to our library of guides and free investing calculators and learn about other opportunities to hang out with us. So again, just text the number FREE to 33777. And again, if you want to check out the show notes for this episode, you can find them at retipster.com/76.

Thanks again for listening you guys. I hope everybody’s doing well and we’ll talk to you next time.

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About the author

Seth Williams is a land investor with hundreds of closed transactions and nearly a decade of experience in the commercial real estate banking industry. He is also the Founder of REtipster.com - a real estate investing blog that offers real-world guidance for part-time real estate investors.

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