JF2302: Financial Fears With Belinda Rosenblum
Belinda Rosenblum, CPA and Money Strategist, helps women entrepreneurs ensure their businesses can survive and thrive during these crisis times. So when all of this wraps up back to a new “business as usual”, they can have the freedom and fun back into their businesses and become well-paid CEOs.
Belinda Rosenblum Real Estate Background:
- Wealth Coach, investor, and Co-Author of “Self-Worth To Net Worth”
- Has been investing for over 20 years and has brought in over $840,000 in rental income
- Her current portfolio consists of Two Units property in Boston, and 2 properties in Costa Rica
- Based in Littleton, MA
- Say hi to her at: www.OwnYourMoney.com/dashboard
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Best Ever Tweet:
“You do have a relationship with money and you get to decide what that relationship is” – Belinda Rosenblum
Theo Hicks: Hello Best Ever listeners and welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Theo Hicks, and today we’ll be speaking with Belinda Rosenblum. Belinda, how are you doing today?
Belinda Rosenblum: I’m awesome! I’m so excited to be here.
Theo Hicks: Great. Well, thank you for joining us. Looking forward to our conversation. A little bit about Belinda’s background. First, she is a wealth coach, investor, and co-author of the book Self-Worth To Net Worth. She’s been investing for over 20 years and has brought in over $840,000 in rental income. Her current portfolio consists of a two-unit property in Boston, as well as two properties in Costa Rica. She is based in Littleton, Massachusetts, and her website is ownyourmoney.com. So Belinda, do you mind telling us some more about your background and what you’re focused on today?
Belinda Rosenblum: Absolutely. So this has been really fun, to even have the opportunity to talk about real estate; it’s definitely been one of my more profitable hobbies. I started early in my 20s, and now I have been running this company called Own Your Money for 13 years. For the first 12, we focused more on personal finance and did some business consulting, I have my own TV show, radio show, a lot of speaking… And then at the beginning of 2019, I actually pivoted to help more small business owners and to really recognize that there’s only so much that I could tell people that were in jobs like “Go make more money”, because they were running out of options. It was like “Get a raise, get a promotion, leave your job, start a business.” And with my business owners though, honestly, they have an unlimited potential to make money. And I feel that way about real estate, too. I feel like it’s such an opportunity that not enough people capitalize on and go for it.
So now in Own Your Money, it’s really about helping people to figure out how can they work less, profit more, create a more strategic, aligned, and profitable business, so they can pay themselves consistently, so they can really create the freedom and lifestyle that they started the business for in the first place. So that’s what we’re doing now. It’s really fun.
Theo Hicks: Perfect. So I think this is a good transition into the topic we’re gonna be talking about, because I would imagine in order to accomplish all those things you just mentioned, you must have the right beliefs and thoughts about money. So the thing we want to talk about was financial fears, and then what your beliefs you have about money is going to affect your ability to accomplish all the things just mentioned, as a small business, as a real estate investor. So tell us about that.
I guess to start off, what would you say is the most common fear or the most common belief that people have that keeps them from reaching that success as a small business owner or as a real estate investor?
Belinda Rosenblum: I do see real estate investors as business owners, too. I think oftentimes they may not, but the more that they can start to see themselves as their properties are their businesses, the better off they will be.
There are several big ones, I think one of the most important ones is that “I have to work harder and harder for money.” And then people feel very capped, they’re like, “Well, I don’t want to work any harder. So I guess that means that I’m capped at what I can make.” And they block themselves. Oftentimes too, people are afraid of success, like “If I become too successful, then…”
And just listening now, start to think about, if you were to say Money is…”, what does money really represent for you? What do you really believe about money and about your ability to earn it, how easy it can come to you, how hard it will be…? I know I watched my dad have four jobs, so there was a time when money would come more easily to me, and I would feel bad, like “Am I doing something wrong? Why did he need four jobs, and I just need to tell people what I do and they sign up?” But I think that sometimes people have a fear of success around “If I become more wealthy, if I am making more money on a regular basis, then people are going to want something from me, I’m going to have to pick up the check when I go out…” We do hope to go out again… There might be different ways that you complete that sentence.
Also think though, are you afraid of failure? A lot of times people are holding themselves back from achieving and making the money that they can because they’re not actually taking the risks, and being unapologetic about what they need to do in real estate, and really putting yourself out there.
There are so many, and it’s about starting to recognize that you do have a relationship with money, that you get to decide. Much of the time it is very unconscious, because it starts when we’re growing up. And we don’t realize it; we’re young, we’re impressionable. It usually starts somewhere five to seven, max like 10. By then, we’ve formed our beliefs about money.
It’s funny, because I actually have a five-year-old and a seven-year-old right now. I’m like, “Oh, God, what are we teaching them about money?” But it’s really important to recognize that your beliefs started really early. And it’s interesting, there are a few distinctions sometimes between women and men. And oftentimes, women are a little bit more emotional. We, as human beings, are meaning-making machines, and we don’t realize how much energy and emotion we put with money.
And men – it’s interesting, because they’re not as much on the surface as emotional, but that sometimes they won’t take the risks, or they won’t compete in the way they can, or they won’t put themselves out there if they have some old belief that says, “This is kind of the cap. This is what I’m comfortable with. This is what feels safe.” And then above that, they’ll stop themselves. “I don’t know if I want to do one more property, because then…” and they make up all the stuff that can happen.
So the more that you can be aware of what you’re telling yourself and what you believe about money, the more you can start to do something about it. Otherwise, it’s just a self-fulfilling prophecy that we go and make happen.
The other thing that’s really interesting is noticing what you believe about people that have money. And this is an interesting one in our culture. Theo, you’re a little bit younger than me, but think about all the shows that villainize rich people. There are so many. There’s rarely a show when a rich person is a nice person. Did you ever notice that? Two broke girls are fun and hysterical and amazing and broke. And the rich people are like Dallas, or there are just so much rich people that are mean, or greedy, or selfish, or kill people… It’s ridiculous. All the way back to like 101 Dalmatians, where Cruella DeVille is like stealing 100 puppies. It’s like everywhere, right? To the extent that you buy into any of that, that rich people must have done something bad for money, or they’re greedy, or they’re selfish, or they’re not generous, they must have done things that you would never want to do to have their money, then you will actually not want to ever be rich or wealthy.
And if you’re one of those people that knows how to make money, but isn’t very good at keeping it or saving it, boom, this could totally be your cap, your upper limit, because you’re like “Well, I don’t want to have too much money, that then I’ll be a rich person and then it may turn me mean. It may turn me into somebody that I don’t want to be.”
And what I encourage you to do instead, if there is some of that that’s resonating with you, is to actually find role models, find people that have money that do great things with their money, that are philanthropic, that are generous, that you can really be like “Hey, I want to be a rich person like him.” And you can start to see “Wait a second, maybe not all rich people are bad.”
If I believe in Bill and Melinda Gates and what they’re doing, and look what they’re doing with their money, well then there are examples where not all rich people are bad. And then instead, do what I say, which is actually recognize that having more money will amplify who you are, but it doesn’t have to change who you are. As people can start to recognize some of this unconscious and bring it up to the surface and gain some awareness about it, then they can actually start to do something different. Because otherwise, the beliefs that we keep telling ourselves again and again, they feel like truth… When they’re not. [laughs] They’re actually lies that we keep telling ourselves again and again.
Theo Hicks: And that’s the question I want to ask you… You kind of went over a lot of examples of the types of beliefs people have about money… So I guess practically speaking, if someone is listening right now – you gave a few examples, but how do I actually, as you said, make these unconscious things conscious? So am I writing them down? Do I need a coach to help me get these things out of my mind? How do I know which ones I have?
Belinda Rosenblum: So one of the easiest ways is just to start to keep a little journal, start to just write them down. And you can follow me on Instagram, you can DM me your beliefs about money. I’m @OwnYourMoney, if you want someone to see them, to recognize them for you. And start to write them down and think to yourself “Okay, what do I tell myself about money?” And when this thing happens, one of the easiest ways is to notice what those beliefs are, or notice all of your interactions with money. Notice your triggers, your reactions; when x happens, y is what you do.
So long story super-short, my dad had a stroke when I was 21 years old. I had just graduated college, and became family CFO. It was not a job I wanted, I can assure you, even as an accounting major. And by 28, I’d band-aided things together, but it was really starting to pile up, because I was having a really hard time keeping up. So I found myself at my dining room table, staring or feeling stared down by three huge stacks of bills and mail, literally like as tall as I was, at my dining room table.
So for me a trigger is that I can’t let my mail pile up too much in my house, because it literally triggers me back to when I was 28 and I let things become a big mess, and they were totally out of control. So notice when things happen. The good news, PS, I became a self-made millionaire five years later, invested in real estate, did a lot of good things… But it all pivoted on that day, when I was like “I can’t keep avoiding this.” So notice the interactions that are happening in your life around money and notice your reaction to them. So when you go to pay a bill, are you like, “Oh my god, more bills?” Or are you like, “Oh, look, my lights stayed on. Let me pay my light bill”, and be grateful for that, but realize that “Okay, great. Let me get this done. Let me look at how much money is left. Let me look at the profit that I’m making on this. Let me look at when am I going to have my property paid off?” and realize, are you in reactionary mode with these triggers, these unconscious beliefs, you notice what you’re telling yourself, or am I actually able to not be in that scarcity, poverty mindset, but realize “Oh, I’m making money. How can I make even more? How can I make this even easier and faster to achieve?”
And the mindset blocks are everywhere. So instead of feeling like, “Oh, I don’t have them,” and go into avoidance — we all have them. Newsflash. So it’s really a matter of recognizing what they are and how much they control your life. So to be able to start to connect with them, I like to look at all of your money interactions and start to write it down. Like, okay, when you paid a bill, when you were at the grocery store, when you bought something online, did you tell yourself “This is expensive. Can I afford it? Am I worth it?” I don’t like the term “Can I afford it?” because I feel like we can afford whatever we want. We have to decide “Do I want to afford it? Is this aligned with the way I want to be spending my money, with my values, with who I want to be in the world?” And really notice the languaging that you’re using around money and notice how things are making you feel in that moment. And I absolutely believe that our perspective is decisive, our perspective determines everything.
I’ll tell you a quick, funny story, Theo. I was getting married on the beach in Costa Rica, and we were at like this really poignant moment when they’re talking about those that couldn’t be with us, saying a prayer for them, and knowing that they’re all around us, and present… And my husband and I were in bliss, we were about to get married and seal the deal… And literally, these three dogs start walking by… We’re on the beach, Costa Rica, right? So these three dogs start walking down the beach. Well, one stops and pees on the beach of the canopy that was over us. And there was a moment where I was like, “Oh my God, is this for real?” And then my husband I kind of look at each other and we’re like “Do we cry? Do we laugh? Do we run? Do we stop? What do we do?” And then 10 seconds later, the second one then pees, and then they keep walking. [laughs]
The point of this is that I had a moment right there to decide what I wanted to believe, how did I want to feel about that moment. And it’s kind of a funny story; it’s not directly about money… But we just looked at each other and we started laughing. And we’re like “Oh, I guess the deceased are letting us know that they’re here with us.” And then we moved on with the wedding. But there are so many little things that happen in our lives where we have a choice to either get upset and to say “This is happening to me, and I’m a victim, and I can’t get to the other side of this.” Or we can decide instead “What do I want to believe about this? How can I choose instead a fun perspective on what just happened?”
So in that moment, when you’re feeling like “Oh, crap, another bill?” Or “Why is this happening?” Instead be like “Well, at least a dog’s not peeing on my wedding.” Or be like “Hey, it’s just another bill. It’s a little speed bump, it doesn’t have to feel like Mount Everest.” So you pay attention to your thoughts, and you choose more wisely.
Theo Hicks: A really good example, I think, about once you’ve identified these types of thoughts – you journal, you notice how you react to things, and you recognize that you have a belief that all rich people are evil. So once you’ve realized you have this belief, then the step to overcome that is to find someone who is rich and good that can be your role model.
Belinda Rosenblum: If that’s your belief.
Theo Hicks: Exactly. [unintelligible [00:16:37].00] an example. So if you have other types of beliefs about money, like for example the bill-paying that you gave, is identifying that belief enough to overcome it? Or is there something else I need to do in order to make sure I am not getting triggered whenever I see my pile of bills? Is the awareness of that belief enough, or is there something that I need to continuously do in order to always not be triggered when I see bills? And obviously, apply this to any other beliefs you have. I think the bills is just an example.
Belinda Rosenblum: An example. Yeah, totally. There is certainly deeper work. I actually just did a whole one-day intensive on changing your mindset around money. So there is a lot more you can do. But I think the easiest, fastest thing is to start to reframe, to release it, and to realize like “Oh, that’s not actually a truth. That’s just a lie I’ve been telling myself. So what’s a new truth that I can take on instead?” And to start to reframe it.
One of the other key elements – I’ll kind of go really big picture here – is to realize that you have a money story that has gotten created over your lifetime. It is a series of pivotal money moments that have happened; with each of those money moments, you locked in a belief about money. It usually starts really early.
I worked with [unintelligible [00:17:55].06] his mom literally stole money out of his piggy bank. Well, that had an effect on him 40 years later when he came to me, and he still didn’t trust women with money, didn’t trust himself to save money, didn’t trust money in the bank… And the result? He never held on to money; he was always broke, he was always very breakeven. So you can nail down, right into where that belief started and you can figure out “Okay, what did I [unintelligible [00:18:19].08] what were the facts of what happened? And how can I reframe what happened? And then how do I forgive what happened? So how do I forgive the person? And how do I forgive myself for holding on to that belief for years?”, usually, as a part of it.
I also — let me go back really quick… You had asked a question about what are some of the bigger beliefs, the lies that we tell ourselves around money… It’s often things like “I have no money, time, energy. Money just seems too… Hard, complicated, confusing, overwhelming.” Or “I’m not good at it. I’m not good at math. I’m not good at numbers. I’m not good at details. I’m too blank, ashamed, scared to look at my numbers.” Or five — “I guess this is how it’s going to be”, like they go to a resignation. Or six, “I don’t trust myself to keep up with the books or with money in general.” I think those are some of the bigger ones that I often see.
So people can listen and think, “Wait, which one of those do I have?” Because you probably have one of them. There’s a lot you could have. But I think those are some of the more popular ones.
Theo Hicks: What’s your best real estate investing advice ever?
Belinda Rosenblum: Do it. Don’t wait. I bought my two-family house at 28, and it was absolutely the best move. I wish I bought two. I think that sometimes people just wait way too long.
Theo Hicks: And then we’re going to skip ahead to the last lightning round question, because we’re running out of time. What’s the Best Ever place to reach you? And then any other call to action you have about learning more about what we talked about today? You mentioned that the second step, the reframing step, isn’t something that you can get across in a 20-minute podcast; maybe to learn more about that kind of stuff.
Belinda Rosenblum: Sure. So the Best Ever place to reach me, I’m @OwnYourMoney on Instagram, on Facebook @OwnYourMoney, I am ownyourmoney.com. If you know that part of what you want to do is just get a grasp of the numbers in your business, so you want to know and track the most important numbers in your business in just 10 minutes a month, go to ownyourmoney.com/dashboard.
I do have a book which could be really helpful. It’s very much on point with what we talked about. It’s called Self-Worth To Net Worth: 12 Keys to Creating Wealth Inside and Out. I wrote it with a psychotherapist and this was my learning and testing of a lot of what I’ve been talking about today. That’s it, selfworthbook.com.
Theo Hicks: Perfect, Belinda. Well, thank you for joining us. The main topic of today was why your beliefs around money affect your profit. So you gave a lot of examples of the types of beliefs people will have, type of fears, obstacles, whatever word you want to use, about money… But the main crux of it is to listen to what she talked about, and then also pay attention to different reactions that you have whenever you’re interacting with money, and then figure out which beliefs you have about money. This can be accomplished by observing and then writing it down, having a journal with you whenever you’re interacting with bills, or some TV show, or whatever. Write down–
Belinda Rosenblum: Right. All things money. Yeah.
Theo Hicks: Yeah. Essentially, really anything. Write down what thoughts you’re having, how you’re reacting to this. And then once you’ve recognized these types of thoughts you have, one really simple way – but I’m sure it takes a while to overcome these beliefs – is to reframe the story you’re telling yourself into a new story. And then you kind of mentioned that recognizing and figuring out the major plot points in your life that created story, the money moments, and then again, kind of reframing that in your mind. You gave the example of the guy whose mom stole money from his piggy bank.
And then your Best Ever advice in regards to real estate – and I’m sure this is probably another fear people have – about taking action, is just to do it. Don’t wait. You wish you would have bought more for your first deal.
So Belinda, thank you for joining us. Make sure you check her out at her website ownyourmoney.com. Get her book, which is Self-Worth To Net Worth. And then figuring out the numbers in 10 minutes is ownyourmoney.com/dashboard. So thanks again for joining us. Best Ever listeners, as always, thank you for listening. Have a Best Ever day and we’ll talk to you tomorrow.
Belinda Rosenblum: Thank you. Bye.
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