Posted on: April 15, 2022
WI 930 | Virtual Wholesaling

 

“Your determination and your tenacity will determine your success.”

May it be in your personal life or your career. If you don’t know where you are going, you might not ever get there. As a person, you must have the confidence and resilience to face any obstacles that come your way. And today, our very own virtual wholesaling coach, Lauren Hardy, will get to the bottom of that. Discover how she can juggle life and her wholesaling business as a busy mom. The hardships she’s faced along the way and what’s the secret sauce to her growing success. You don’t want to miss out on this, so be sure to listen to this episode!

How A Busy Mother Of Two Left Her Corporate Job And Dove Head First Into Virtual Wholesaling

Episode Transcription

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I have got a crazy and amazing episode. This guest, you have probably heard many times. You probably know a lot about her, but I bet you have never heard this story she is about to share. There are many powerful things about finding that person you want to emulate and model, standing on the shoulders of giants, how quitting is never ever going to be an option, and how it took her three years to finally start gaining traction. She had already left her corporate job and already had her first child. Let’s go ahead and get into it. You are going to be shocked about who this guest is, and you are going to be happy to know it. Lauren Hardy, how are you?

What’s up, Brent Bowers? I am doing great. Thanks for having me on the show.

It has been a while. For the readers to understand, you are busy. You have your children, company, and also coaching with Wholesaling, Inc, so it has been hard to pin you down. I’m thrilled with this. It is my pleasure. I’m looking forward to seeing the entrepreneurship life of Lauren Hardy. Before we started, you were talking about how you get started in this at age 25. Let’s jump right in.

I am an open book, so ask me anything. My favorite thing is to get real and overshare, so let’s do it.

A lot of people struggle to get started. They see what you are doing, running multiple businesses now. You are juggling this and are also still an amazing mother. How did you start? What did 25-year-old Lauren Hardy look like when you were getting started? What planted the seed in your mind to be this real estate investing master?

WI 930 | Virtual Wholesaling

Virtual Wholesaling: You need to find the person you want to emulate and copy everything they do.

 

Virtual Investing Mastery, my course name is horrendously long and hard to say. It is so funny. I was thinking about this because I have hit the ceiling in my business where I want to go to the next level. We need to raise the ceiling. I thought about it and I go, “What was different several years ago?” Several years ago, you had a ceiling on top of you. You worked a corporate job and made $53,000 a year. You had no other options. There were no other ways to print money for yourself.

I was like, “What was it?” I thought about it and I go, “Several years ago, I had a lot of visions of who I wanted to be like. There was someone in my head. She was an owner of a construction company.” In the corporate job I had, we used their construction company, and she was the female owner of a massive commercial construction company. She was amazing. First of all, she was beautiful. She looked like Barbie. She was nice and kind. She took the time to talk to anyone. She was not above anyone and not arrogant. She was rich, had a nice car, and had two daughters.

I was like, “I’m going to be this girl. I want to be her.” I had it in my head. Anytime I would see her because we had meetings with her every week, I would be like, “Look at what she was wearing. She is so fabulous, and I’m going to be her. I am going to be this woman.” If you guys want to look her up, her name is Cheryl Osborne. She owns Casco Construction in Irvine. Cheryl, if you are reading this, you are fabulous.

I realize now that I have a ceiling over me. There is a next level I want to go to, but I do not have a Cheryl now. I do not have someone I am inspired, obsessed with, and stalking. It sounds super creepy, but I do not have that. I was like, “You need to get and find the person you want to emulate,” because when I get that, I become obsessed with it. I copy everything they do.

Let me take you back to several years ago. I was 25 years old. I was on track to working in the corporate world in commercial real estate. I was not making a ton of money. I was making around $53,000 a year and learned quickly that I did not like corporate politics. I did not like that someone dictated how much money I made. It did not matter how hard I worked. It was like, “Who you knew? Who you kissed butt to in the office? Who were your parents? What college you went to?” There is a lot of corporate politics. I did not know how to play that game. I was confused.

There was also this other thing in me where every company I ever worked for, I always thought, “How could I be the owner of this company?” I never thought like, “I want to move up to manager.” I never was there. I was like, “I want to own this company.” I would look at the owner and go, “I want to be there.” It is funny. I was reading this book and I’m only on chapter one. As I had this thought, I opened up this book. The first quote goes, “If you do not know where you are going, you might not get there.”

What was I explaining with my girl crush on Cheryl Osborne? She was where I was going. I was like, “I’m going to look like her. I’m going to be fabulous like her. I am going to drive a cool car as she does, and I’m going to have two daughters.” The funny thing is that I only had one kid at that time. I have one daughter, and I was like, “I want two daughters.” It looks awesome. I wanted her life.

I picked Cheryl’s brain and learned all about her. Anyone who knew about Cheryl, I would ask questions. I read articles about her because she was in some articles. I found out she started her business on her kitchen table. It was the same motivation. She didn’t like her corporate job, so she started it on her kitchen table. She had one daughter at the time. In her first year, she only made $25,000. She told me that, and I’m like, “Everyone starts somewhere.” Cheryl started somewhere.

I appreciate you sharing that because I’m inspired. I have got goosebumps. I’m writing a lot of these notes down that you are talking about. Yours was Cheryl, mine was Jim Rohn, and I had another mentor. A lot of successful people have somebody that I call my rabbit. Somebody that I’m chasing. I had the same person in the military. I wanted to be an Army officer. I followed the Army officer I wanted to be. That is very powerful. Anybody reading this, who is your Cheryl?

If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not get there.

I used to get bad grades when I was a kid.

Entrepreneurs do not get bad grades.

I hated school. I could not figure out this game called school. I was like, “Why is this important? I do not understand. Why do I need to know these things?” There was a piano teacher. His name was Marv. I also hated the piano, but my mom would make me play the piano. I would sit and talk with him all the time. Instead of playing, we would chit-chat the whole time and pretend. He would play the piano, so my mom thought something was happening during it. We would talk while he was playing show tunes. It was fantastic.

He said, “Lauren, if you want to get good grades, this is all you have to do. It is easy.” I was like, “What?” He is like, “Do exactly what your teacher says they want you to do.” I was like, “You are right. It is so dumb, but it is so easy.” If you apply that and want to be like Cheryl, do what Cheryl did when she first got started. Pick her brain and find out what it was that she did. When I first got started, I had this massive obsession with owning my own business, printing my own money, and having control over my time.

Printing money, what do you mean by that? I have one idea, but now that you have said it twice, it caught my attention.

My dad, whenever he saw a good business idea, he would say, “It is like he invented the machine that prints money.” It comes from a saying from my dad. What I mean by it, at least to me, is when you have a corporate job, you can get fired. You have no way of making money. I have talked to someone who has been laid off, and they panicked. They do not know how to make their own money. If real estate investing does not work out for me for whatever reason, if something happens where technology grows, and somehow this business becomes obsolete, I have this skill of entrepreneurship. I will find a way to make a money machine.

That is determination and power. Once again, I have got goosebumps. At the end of the day, it is not about real estate. It is not about virtual investing, wholesaling, or the land. In my case, it is about we are business owners. We go through these seasons of life and entrepreneurship. You talked about that first season as finding that Cheryl, and now you have passed through that ceiling.

It sounds like you have blown Ms. Cheryl out of the water, which is great. That is what we do. We become better than our masters. We were also talking about how you and I both have students that are kicking butt. They are doing so well and better than we are in this business, which is amazing. What is the next season? Let’s talk about the season after that for you.

Let’s talk about the entrepreneur rollercoaster. It was not all good. A lot of it sucked. When I first got started, it took me eight months to get paid in this business. I was working for free for eight months while I had a corporate job. I had a paycheck coming in, and I was working on my lunch breaks in the morning, at night, and on the weekends. It took a while. I didn’t get my first deal within six weeks of marketing. It took me four months of marketing to get my first deal.

WI 930 | Virtual Wholesaling

Virtual Wholesaling: This business changes constantly. What works right now isn’t going to work in six months.

 

I bet you have students that get deals within six weeks.

For sure, just not me. Nothing for me will ever be easy, and I know that.

It is because you are an entrepreneur.

In my first year, I did two house flips. They were enough to let me quit my job. I had enough in savings at that point. I had a whole year’s salary in savings, and that was my goal. I thought, “I am killing it. I’m a prodigy. This is amazing. I’m going to quit my full-time job.” It was the best day of my life making that call. I had had my daughter, and then after maternity leave, I called and said, “I’m not coming back.” It is the classic move.

You had FU money that they always talk about. You said you make $53,000 a year.

I had one year’s salary. I had around $55,000 in my bank account at that point from those deals. I was like, “Forget it, bye. I’m good.” I was stoked. In my second year in the business, I gave birth and had this beautiful child. Her name is Presley. I’m thinking, “I’m going to work from home around my kids.” I took Reese out of daycare. I have a baby with me, but she is quiet. She naps all the time, “How hard could this possibly be? I will work while they nap.” I was able to manage a full-time job and do this. I could do this from home. Easy peasy.

Within two weeks, I am in the corner shaking and crying, “This is so hard.” Presley will not stop crying. She is a very fussy baby. Reese does not leave me alone. I was in the throes of the beginning stages of my thyroid disease, which I did not know. I had a lot of brain fog and health issues that I thought it was postpartum-related, but it was not. I have thyroid disease, and I have had it for several years.

At that time, I was not thinking straight. In my second year, I broke even in the business. Meaning that I was spending money on marketing, and I was at a negative at that point for my years’ P&L. At the very last bit of the year, I closed two deals. I was able to make up the marketing budget, but that was it. I broke even.

What were the thoughts going through your mind? “Do I quit? Do I go back to the easy corporate job where I will get a steady paycheck?” What were your thoughts?

If business was that easy, everybody would be doing it. Your determination and your tenacity will determine your success.

Quitting was not an option. I did not even put that in my head. At that time, I was not getting any education or mentorship. I was not a part of any groups. I was using friends that I knew that were doing it. I had three friends in the business trying to guide me, but they did not even know what they were doing either. It was the blind leading the blind. I was using BiggerPockets forums but I did not have a mentorship.

What I did was I took some of the extra money I had and joined a mentorship program. It was my first mentorship program which comes with an eCourse with ongoing support. I dove headfirst into that mentorship program. I did everything that my mentor told me to do. The next year was when I started getting deal consistency. I remember it took me a while in that mentorship where I was like, “I fixed the broken pieces of my machine.” I remember getting five deals under contract in one month.

Are you three years into this now?

This is my third year in the mentorship, and then I finally got five deals in one month. I go like, “I clearly had some broken pieces in my machine.”

My hats off to you. Most people think, “This has to work in the next 30 days.” You went three years no quitting. You finally found a mentor. Your first mentor was Cheryl, but she can only get you so far. Quitting is not an option. Most people would have that stick-to-it-ness or the hardened mindset that you told me like, “We would not fail.” Would you agree that most people need to work for 30 days and are unwilling to put in the effort?

They get discouraged way too fast. You guys think this is way easier than it is. If business were that easy, everybody would be doing it. There is a reason they call it the 1%. It is because it is hard. Who you are, your determination, and your tenacity are going to determine your success. I’m gaining traction. I’m like, “This is awesome.” I’m starting to flip houses more regularly in California, my local market. I land this deal that I’m like, “This deal is going to make me so much money.”

It is a long story how I got it, but it was through networking. It was an awesome deal in Garden Grove, California. I’m like, “It is my third year. I got traction. This is awesome. Maybe I can do ten deals this year.” I buy this deal. I have every intention to flip the house myself. It came tenant occupied. It was a previous foreclosure, so this was a real estate-owned home. I bought it with the owner still in it, who had just foreclosed.

I had to get the owner out, and I knew that. I understood at buying it, I needed to get the owner out, but it was a foreclosure. She foreclosed and did not own this house anymore. All I have to do is serve her eviction papers. I went through that process. Let’s say I bought a lawsuit. That house came with drama that I did not know. It proceeded me buying it, and that woman had locked up that house. The way you lock up a house is you sue the person who owns it. She sued me.

The way the law works here is to lock up a property and you have to sue the owner. She also sued the owner that foreclosed on her prior. She sued that bank, and it was a small note investment company. She sued them and me to lock up the property, but to be able to sue me, you had to have a case. Lawyers are good at coming up with lots of things you did wrong, even if you did not do them, and it is a complete and utter lie.

WI 930 | Virtual Wholesaling

Virtual Wholesaling: Just expect the entrepreneurial roller coaster.

 

Here I am, three years in the business, I’m like this mom, and I remember getting served this lawsuit, and Reese is behind me, “Mama, who is that?” I was like, “I got served. I do not even know what happened.” I am terrified at this point. I’m thinking, “I’m going to lose the investor money. I’m going to lose this house and the money that the investor gave me to buy it.” I did not even know what the outcome was going to be. My head was spinning.

It was the most stressful moment of my life. The scary and sad thing about lawsuits and the only way to get through them is to get through them. You got to wait it out. It is a long horrible process. Even if you didn’t do anything to deserve it, it is happening to you. There is nothing you can do about it. It is like a disease.

In that process, I said, “Lauren, you are going to have some money to pay back if this goes south and legal fees you need to pay. You got one option, close a lot of deals,” so I hustled. Every year at that point, I would close 3 deals and then up to 5. The next year, it was fifteen. There was this fire underneath me of like, “You are going to lose some investors’ money. You need to have money to pay it back and make it up somewhere else.”

Fast forward, let’s go to the next year after that and this entrepreneurial journey. I’m taking you year 4 or 5. It took about a year and a half to settle that lawsuit. I ended up fine. The title insurance company paid all my legal fees. The attorneys figured out that all of the problems proceeded me owning it, and it had nothing to do with me, so they offered to pay the legal fees.

Unfortunately, the house is locked up, and I can’t do anything with it. I had to pay all the carrying costs to keep it for a year and a half, but the market was going up as this was happening. By the time the lawsuit was settled and I could sell that house, we had netted $90,000 on that house. I made more money on that flip than I would have if I had flipped it at the time I got it.

A blessing in disguise is what it sounds like. It gave you all this business education, the price of admission. You are still paying it in years 4 and 5. You did another fifteen deals because you wanted to protect your investor money as well. I see nothing but wins. I’m not sure what you are complaining about.

It didn’t feel like it. I was getting sued. On top of that, at that time of my life, I was going through a divorce and a lawsuit, so life was kicking me in the butt.

You kept standing up and moving forward.

I was getting punched in the face a lot, but I kept going. I went through my divorce. Let’s take you to years 5 and 6It is somewhere around 2016. I’m gaining traction and I did well on this flip. I’m like, “This is awesome,” but my market started drying up. I was doing all these things to get deals, and they are not working anymore. I remember I’m going for three months with no contract. I’m like, “What is going on?”

There are going to be ups and there are going to be downs. But being an entrepreneur is extremely rewarding. It’s something to be proud of because it’s the road less traveled.

I was racking up the direct mail budget. It is now going, “I spent $10,000. I have gotten nothing out of that. What is going on? This is starting to get scary.” Somebody moved my cheese. I did not have the golden handcuffs of a marriage to fall back on it. I was like, “This sucks. What am I going to do? I’m on my own.” I leaned into mentorship.

I got into a mentorship program with somebody who was virtual. I purposely picked this mentorship program because I knew he was in different markets. His perspective helped me. We got on a phone call, and I said, “In California, something is up.” The other students in these other markets seem to not be dealing with what I’m dealing with in the Orange County area adjacent.

He happened to know that my market was extremely saturated. He had worked in my market for one month. He was going to partner up with a well-known investor. They were going to team up and own the world. This guy lives in SoCal, and he did it for one month. He was like, “We talked to those sellers. It was miserable. It was nothing like the markets we played in. You are in a hard market to negotiate a good deal.” It is very saturated with competition and people that want to live there. He was like, “You would probably have an easier time going to a virtual market.”

WI 930 | Virtual WholesalingHence, the Virtual Investing Mastery was born. Great things come out of a huge problem we are trying to solve or a huge burden. The light shines through or another door opens when the one closes.

It is crazy. My cheese moved out of state, and I had to chase it. Long story short, it was a lot of ups and downs going virtual at first. I didn’t have a ton of mentorship. I only knew that one guy that was doing it. It was four years of figuring stuff out. I’m still figuring out virtual as we go because this market changes. This business changes constantly. What works now is not going to work probably in six months. It has still been very much a rollercoaster.

Looking back on where my ceiling was several years ago and where my ceiling is now, what a fortunate position to be in. I would not change anything that I went through. Now, it is looking for the next goal. As an entrepreneur, you are never going to be satisfied. You are going to be like, “I hit my goal. What’s next?” You are going to be mad that you are not there where in the next place you want to go.

It is what they call Shiny Object syndrome. We are entrepreneurs. Everything is a shiny object and a goal for us. Everything is the next step or the next ceiling, in your words. If you are getting value out of this and know somebody, a friend, sister, aunt, mother, or brother that might resonate with the story of the entrepreneurship rollercoaster that Lauren is so perfectly explaining, please share this episode with somebody that needs it because it is touched my heart. It is changing my life. I’m getting so much from this. If you have not done so yet, rate and review this show, five-star review only. It helps the algorithms. People love that. It will get our show in front of more people that need what Lauren is talking about here.

It has been a very wild ride. There is not enough show with people in our space talking about things not going so well.

They hide it, and it happens to everybody.

I would read these shows, and it was like, “I started with some direct mail, and three months later, I closed my first deal and made $500,000 on it. I then closed 50 deals that year.” It is always these crazy tales of overnight success. I do not know if these people are flat-out lying or if they are lucky. I was not lucky. I always tell people, “I was not lucky, and not everyone is. You do not even know if those stories that you read are true.” Expect the entrepreneurial roller coaster.

WI 930 | Virtual WholesalingOn that note, I have got two books that carried me through these challenging times that I read pretty frequently. One is Darren Hardy’s The Compound Effect. That one was something I picked up from day one. I applied the work ethic that he explains in that book. The other one is The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster which Darren Hardy wrote. That is where I got that term. It gives you a perspective that there are going to be ups and downs, but being an entrepreneur is extremely rewarding. It is something to be very proud of because it is the road less traveled.

Those are two amazing books. I love the Compound Effect. I’m going to dive more into that, especially since you lit my fire on Darren Hardy. I agree that more people can resonate with the struggles. The road to success is through the gutter. You better believe that I still have struggles in my business. We can’t be out here coaching this stuff with our backs for business and our team. They are out doing amazing things. We could not do this without our real estate team members in our business. Let me tell you. There is always a challenge that we have to overcome.

Lauren amazingly shared her past, like how she started her entrepreneurship rollercoaster. Find yourself a Cheryl. Put it in your mind that quitting is never an option. Lauren said so many times, find that mentor. It took her three years to get traction, but she did not quit. The lawsuit in year three is astounding, all while raising two amazing children. Lauren, if you could give any advice to the 25-year-old Lauren that found Cheryl leaving her corporate job, what would it be as parting words?

Do not quit and keep obsessing over Cheryl.

Very successful business people have obsessive mentalities. Grant Cardone is one that comes to mind, whether you love him or hate him. I see him as an obsessive businessman. He gets something in his mind, and he goes for it. That is beautiful. Obsess and do not quit. Thanks so much for being on with us, Lauren.

Thank you for having me.

God bless.

 

Important Links

 

About Brent Bowers

863Brent Bowers, is an investor and coach with a focus on buying and selling vacant land. As an Army Officer with over 8 years of service, Brent was spending a great deal of time away from his family, and he knew he needed to make some changes in order to be more present with his wife and children. In a short period of time, Brent was able to expand his business, hire a team, and (most importantly) spend quality time with his family while still working hard and helping others.

While Brent invests in many different types of real estate, his favorite investment strategy deals with buying and selling vacant land, and he enjoys sharing his expertise in this area with his coaching clients. Brent chooses to live his life based on Bob Burg’s quote, “Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.” He is passionate about helping other people find success in real estate investing, particularly in land investments.

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