1- Connie Inukai
Connie Anika talks about her invention, the tip and split and how she brought it to fruition
So I made a PowerPoint presentation for my product. So it was very helpful. Then I realized I needed to focus on my own self.
So I, I retired.
Okay. And are we talking about the tip and split
Yeah. That's my first invention.
Okay. I'm pretty good with actually figuring out the tips for mounts, but. Being able to see the small print. And I saw where, , you've got not only, a magnifying glass built in, but a light as well.
that's really why I invented it. I ended the tips in the. Afterwards, just to make more fun, but this is actually my invention.
So this is my, tip and split and it has the magnifier here. So you can read the small print on the menu and on the bill. And then it has a little light on the base.
More discreet than the light on your smartphone. So you can actually read, because I used to have a hard time when I would go to the restaurant and go look for a candle because I couldn't see in the dark restaurant. So I said, why doesn't somebody have something that can help us? So I invented this and then I added the tip.
Just to make it more fun because the magnifier and the light are the main parts of it. This is handheld. And then you can also figure out a tip and split the bill in three seconds.
It's all in one.
I had no idea how to do it. Zero idea how to do it, but I was lucky enough to have been married to an engineer who was brilliant. And he figured out all of the algorithms to make it simple to use. I'm not married to him now, but he still helped me with
Yeah. Yeah. I give him all that credit. So I invented it. I had to learn all about not only inventing, but I learned about manufacturing. That was my biggest problem because where do you go? So I actually found the manufacturer at a trade show and they messed it up.
Terrible. They couldn't do it. So then I found another one and I said, can you figure out how to do this? And he says, oh, this is engineering 1 0 1. They mess it up too. It took me years before I could get a good manufacturer. And each time I was so disappointed and finally I got it right.
Now, how did you find the successful manufacturer?
From a recommendation,
from another inventor, I'm an inventor groups. We share a lot and it's actually wonderful to be a part of an inventor group because we're all sharing the same obstacles and, figuring out how to come up with a solution.
Instead of the 12 steps you've got what? The seven.
It was a little bit difficult for me because when I first, invented my product, I went to a trade show for inventors and, my manufacturer had messed up and I didn't even have a product to show, but I had a table. So I just had pictures at the table. That's not really so good.
And also they had a pitch contest. They had QVC at the trade show to pitch your product to be on QVC. I signed up to do it, but I didn't have a product. So I just talked about it and showed them pictures and they actually loved the idea. But, they said, please come back when you have a problem.
The next year I went back, I pitched to the same team and I said, do you remember me? And they said, yes. And they said, well, I remember you two. And you said, come back when they have a product. So here's my product.
And then I got on QVC.
Okay. Now talking about QVC, and this ties in with your manufacturing. how much product did you have to have in reserve for QVC ?
think I needed 3000 units.
Wow. That can tie up a lot of money.
Yeah. Yeah. It's very expensive to be an inventor. Very expensive. I have 8,000 products now.
Actually got on, uh, the TV show, the view.
So my product get on the view and they told me I needed the 10,000 units and 10,000 in reserve.
So, I ordered 10,000 units and I actually sold about 6,800
in one minute.
It was really fantastic, but I ordered 10,000 more.
A lot of people watch the shows and they don't have products for people my age. I think that I'm one of the few inventors that invents products for people who get older. Most products are for young people, like apps or tech things.
I'm sure a lot of people see a product. And just like you said, boy, I can't see that small print. There are a lot of us like that up.
If I go to a restaurant and I don't have my glasses and the lights dim, I'm functionally illiterate.
Exactly. That's how I am. And that's what inventors do they see a problem and they come up with a solution. And so I was so excited. To come up with a solution. Cause I'm the only product like it out there.
So I had 10,000 units in my, garage and then COVID hit and I stopped promoting tip and split because this is for restaurant.
First of all, most of the restaurants we're closed. And second of all, I didn't want to encourage older people to go out to restaurants because I'm an older person. I just don't want to expose people to say, go try this in a restaurant. So I started something else, but now I'm coming back to tip and split again.
When you were coming up with the idea for the tip and split, how did you validate it to make sure both that it was viable as well as to make sure it wasn't already out there and that there was, an actual consumer demand for it,
Well, first of all, when you have an invention, the one thing you have to do is make sure there is nothing that's like.
Unless you make an improvement on something, but there was nothing like it. I did a lot of research on it and I found zero, like it, and so I thought, oh, you know, that's great.
And how did I find that it was, something that somebody would want? Well, I went on QVC, people bought it. I went on the view. People bought it. I went on the today, show people.
Oh, I don't question that. I'm asking the, like before you had
You have have to do a Google search and find out everything on the market for it. I also had a patent attorney and he also did a search and couldn't find anything like.
Yeah, I'm just thinking that, obviously I can see the value in it. You can see the value in it. And apparently a lot of other people have seen the value in it, but you know sometimes your friends and family will they'll lie to us.
Exactly. So you have to do a search and luckily the patent on. Has a search options. So you can search everything. You can also Google, like I would do tip calculator, but nobody had a magnifier and a light with it, but they also do have lighted magnifiers, but they don't have the tip calculator on it.
yeah, that was a great marriage of the two.
Yes. Yes. So you have to do a lot of searching because when you apply for a patent, that's also expensive. You have to make sure that you're not infringing on someone else's patent.
Okay. Now, how did you go about creating a prototype?
Well, I used my, my former husband for that. And we came up with drawings, mostly him, he came up with drawings and then we sent them to the manufacturer to do it,
and they thought it was easy, but they couldn't get It Right. So many times I was disappointed.
It does sound like it would be easy to manufacture, but then again, I've never manufactured anything.
Well, not only is it difficult to manufacture, but I wanted to manufacture in the United States, but all the electronics are in China. They're all overseas. There are no manufacturers in the United States for electronic equipment that I could find.
So you ultimately ended up having to go overseas for some or all of it.
Then you get the language barrier and the differences. And I used to actually have my ex-husband talked to them sometimes because they don't like to talk to a woman.
I've heard that as well, actually.
But I did get it done and I'm still so excited with it. I'm still going strong during COVID.
I put it on hold. I've put my product on hold many times because of manufacturing defects, and then because of COVID, but now I'm, about ready to go into it again.
Okay. Now, did you ever try to license the idea for the tip and split
I met Stephen Key. Have you heard of him?
Oh yeah. Actually he was gracious enough to be one of my first guests.
He's wonderful. I actually have his book. One simple idea. I love his book. I love him. And I actually met him at an inventors. Group that I belong to in the Washington DC area. He was a speaker there and I so wanted to work with him, but I felt I was too far along, to start licensing it.
But actually it's still in my mind to license the.
Yeah, I think his books are great. And I think they provide all the steps. It's just for somebody that wants that extra reassurance. I think.
If somebody would actually do it for me, I would do it, but they don't do it for you. They just tell you what to do. So I do have his book, but anyone who's just starting out should get his. And go through the steps and join it. If I had it to do over again, I would've joined his group, but I met him I think right when I was about to be on QVC.
I still feel like licensing is the best way to go.
Okay. Now has the tip and split been knocked off?
I know I'm very surprised because I don't do much advertising. So I don't think that people know
about it. Maybe they'll see it on your show and start knocking it off.
Well, I hope that they do see it on the show. I just hope they don't start knocking it
Right. People knock off. other things.
Our audience is higher and more elevated than that.
thank you for another thing that I did this year I trademarked, my name is grandma. Okay, because of my age and I'm a grandma and I'm a grandma for Noor and everybody loves that name. And now I see grandma from all over the place. I looked it up and I see about 15 people calling themselves, grandma for Noor.
And I talked to somebody about that because I have the trade. And, they said I can send like a cease and desist letter to them to stop using it or get them to pay me. But I haven't done anything because I really can't see going after grandma's,
although I paid for the trademark and I paid for the domain name,
Yeah, I think what I would do if I were used, I'd let as many people that wanted to call themselves a grandma preneur, be a grandma preneur, but the second they wanted to put it on a coffee mug or a t-shirt that's when I would enforce your trademark.
How am I supposed to keep track of that? I don't know.
Well, that's true that,
I think I would do a search on Amazon first to see what just popped up.
Well, that's good advice. And if they're going to use it on products, then I think I have to go after the. Because I'm an inventor, I know the value of trademarks and I trademarked, tip and split. And then I trademark my new, product calibrate your selfie.
It's also for older people, you realize that once you're gone, nobody's going to know about you or their ancestry. So I wrote during COVID, I decided to write my life story so that I could pass it down. So my grandchildren will know all about me and their children.
We'll know about me after I'm gone. And, because I'm a former writing teacher, I made it into a course because I was a teacher. So the course is on how they can write their own book, their own life story.
Now backing up just a little bit. You've got another book, how I got my product on QVC, the today show and the view and more in retirement, which chronicled your journey as well as headache, buzz tips, dealing with marketing.
I forget which one it was, but be charitable really struck me as one that not a lot of people would include. Could you talk about that a little bit?
I think people like it when you're giving back something. that's not why I did it, when I first made my tip and split, I realized that, everybody donates for canceling. And now Parkinson's disease because they're always in the news.
I found macular degeneration foundation. They don't have as much money there to do research. So what I did is when I invented my product, I used to send them typically.
They did their first blog post about my product tipping split and what they did this. Anybody who would make a comment on their blog would receive a tip and split. So I was so happy to do that because, this is not for people who have serious. Macular degeneration, but people who are at the beginning stages
I don't have it, but I thought they might need a spokesperson or somebody to give light on it. So when I become famous, I will talk about macular degeneration because I think that, my product is for people with vision problem.
Yeah. I think that, people really identify with a product that, helps others and that is giving back in some way.
Right. And at this stage of my life, I'm not really doing it so much for money. I'm doing it to help people with both of my products. The tip and split, I'm trying to help people because I know how I used to dread going into restaurants that were dark. I hated it. I couldn't see anything. So I thought instead of just struggling, why not make it fun? So my product is actually fun because when I whip it out, everybody looks at it. What's that? Oh my goodness.
So this is kind of making you the center of attention when you have your tip and split.
Yeah, that's a cool little tool.
Yeah. Well, I liked.
So I wrote a book with them. The reason I wrote my book I'll tell you is because when I first became an inventor, I realized that you need to get out there and have some visibility and publicity.
So I hired a publicist to promote me. She got me nothing. She charged me a lot and got me nothing. So then I, hired somebody else that I had heard of. She got me nothing. And a lot of times when you're an inventor, you go for things because we want to be known. And, people take advantage of us because we all believe in our product.
So I got my own publicity. I got my own self on to receive the today, show the view and more I got my own. So I decided why don't I write a book about what I did. So that other people don't have to go spend that money for a publicist and can do it themselves.
Well, thank you for doing that. A lot of inventors too. I think they're focused on. Inventing and they, understand how their product works and how to bring it about, but they don't understand how to sell it
Yeah. I didn't know any of that. But I still am trying my best to get known. And you're one of the people who's going to help me because being on a podcast is making me visible. so that's wonderful.
Can you talk a little, just a little bit about what inventing has meant for you personally and how it's changed your life?
I love saying I'm an inventor. Okay. I was a teacher, you know, that's fine, but I love being an inventor because it's creative, and it's something that not many people say. Since you know, Robert bear, did you know about his book? I have all these things that I was going to tell you about.
I have his book, which is,
smoke. If I remember correctly, you're in his book. If I
Yeah, he quoted me. I love what I said. I was the shortest one. Oh, the shortest quote in this whole book, but this sums up about why I like inventing.
It says when we were children, we were curious about things around us. When does this change? Why does it have to change? I'm proud to be a trailblazer among women in ventures and never lose my sense of curiosity. Does that answer your question? Why do I like it?
Yeah, that does. That's a great quote, by the way.
He wrote in this book to me. Thanks, Connie, for contributing trailblazer, short, sweet. And to the point I love it. Robert.
Yeah, he's a good guy.
He's great. He's great. You know, and so I love what he does.
He supports and Venters all over. So you said, how has it changed my life? Look at, I get to meet incredible other inventors. I get to meet people like you, who are doing incredible things. I get to meet people all over the place, so I just absolutely love. Uh, what I'm doing.
I'm nothing special, but the fact that I'm doing it at my age, I think is good.
Yeah, I'm not going to agree with you on that, about your being nothing special, but I will agree that what you're doing is good.
Thank you. I think people, I think that I want to be an inspiration to other older people knowing that just because of our chronological age, it doesn't mean that we have to stop. And as I said in Robert Behr's book, why do we have to stop in curious, children? They're always asking, curious questions around about everything.
I ask those questions. You ask those questions. You read something and you ask questions about it. And I think that's a wonderful trait to have.
Yeah, just to never stop, being curious.
So you and I are very similar that we both like that sense of curiosity. So you asked me what how's it changed my life. Well, it's made me feel like I can still be curious.
and help other people. Through my curiosity.
2 April Mitchell
April Mitchell talks about inventing and what it is meant for her family
Now, did you come from an entrepreneurial or an vendors background? Did anyone in your family invent anything while you were growing up?
Yes actually. My dad invented a few things, for his trade, which is the drywall business. As well as for a fishing, he made some fishing, tools. I guess you could say, , did products for fishing. , but that was all just for us and for him to use, to make his work easier and for us , to make fishing easier, more fun.
Then his father, my dad's father, had invented as well. He had patented a few products, actually. A game I know for sure. And he had patented a product for the healthcare system, to help with something, with having to do with a foot. And then. Uh, great grandfather had invented as well.
His house was full of inventions. It was always neat going over there when I was a really, really little kid, but, he didn't do anything with his inventions. He just used them for himself and made different things. So I've had the privilege of growing up with, if you needed something, you made it, you created it.
And so it didn't seem abnormal to just come up with something, whether it was in the classroom for the kids. Making new teacher resources or games to help them learn. And then when we had kids to do that for our own kids. So that was just something we did. And we still do so that was just kind of part of life.
And I hadn't thought about it in venting until I had come up with, a product for the housewares industry. Right.
I kind of find it fascinating how different themes will repeat themselves throughout a family's, cycle like the theme of inventing sometimes the themes aren't always positive, but this is a good one.
Right. Right. And then both my father and his father were business owners. They were small business owners, so they had their own business that they ran and, nothing huge, but enough to keep them busy themselves. So now I'm doing that with my own inventing. So yeah, it is interesting to see sometimes the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, huh?
So tell us about your first invention. I believe that was the towel belt.
Yes. That was the towel belt. That was my first product. I had that patented that took a few years to patent. It's been a little too much money on that patent. , the product did get licensed, however, it never actually made it to the market. The licensee just kind of sat on it. Good thing. It was a short term contract.
And while I was waiting for that contract , to run its course, I started working on my second product, the right height. Now back to the teller belt, I do think that product will have a day sometime. There are products on the market now trying to solve the same problem. They're just not doing it as well.
So my patent and product I think will definitely have its day in the near future.
What did you learn between your first and second product? The right height, adjustable towel holder.
Yeah. So I learned a lot of what not to do, which helped me know what to do. One of the, those things is I do not need to spend a ton of money on, patents. What I learned. I can file a provisional patent, which is a PPA, and that can buy me a year, to pitch that product and see if it has some legs to stand on, to see what companies are interested in it before I decide to go further with a utility patent.
So I have filed now probably a good couple dozen P PA's and the majority of them, I just let them kind of trickle out because if a company is not. In licensing that product, then there's no sense in me trying to patent it. Also even when I have gotten other licenses, a lot of the companies aren't.
Necessarily in need of a patent. They don't feel that there's a need for the patent, because one thing is, if you're going to have a patent, you'll often hear people say you've got to have the money to back it up to actually fight it in court. So a lot of times it's just not worth it, unless it's something so novel that they don't want anyone to make anything similar to it at all.
I have since then, I've received another patent, on my right height hook, as well. And I've again, tried to get a few other, patents, but it hasn't worked out so I'm definitely spending less money. And then the other thing too, that I've learned is. I'm the person who can sell my product the best in the sense of getting it out there in front of companies to get license.
When I first started with the tall belt, I tried to hire a company that said they do all the things, right. They get it a licensing deal. They do the marketing, they do all the things for me. I realized that they didn't care as much as I do. There's all different kinds of companies out there.
And so we have to really be careful as an inventor of who you trust and whatnot. So what I found was best for me is to learn the process myself. So that I could repeat the process over and over and over. So whenever I have an idea, I know, Okay. Now, I need to research. Then I'm working on the prototype.
Then I'm making my marketing material, whether it's associate or video or both. And then I'm pitching it to companies. I'm finding out what companies are the best fit for it, and I'm reaching out to them and I'm pitching it. So I found that I am the person who cares the most about it and is going to work the hardest and.
So those are two big ones, that you can really do this with a very minimal amount of money. You can really license a product just with spending a few hundred dollars with filing the PPA and getting yourself some marketing material after you prototype it yourself or hire some , very inexpensive.
Now, how did you learn the process?
Good question. So I, was thankful that I found on YouTube, Stephen ki and the vet rights, or I had watched some of their videos. And then I bought the book called one simple idea written by Steven Key. And after I went through the process, With the right hook. And I followed this book to the exact, and by doing that, I had interest from several companies, for my product.
And I thought, oh my gosh, I don't want to mess this up. I don't want to screw things up this time. So I joined them at right program and I had help with the back and forth of the interest and the emails and things like that with the right height hook. And then they ultimately helped me negotiate my deal, which was fantastic.
And now I just repeat that process?
over and over and over. It's definitely, become, just ingrained in me when I have a new idea of what to do.
Now, are you handling the negotiations at this point on your own? Or are you still involving in bent ride or how does that work?
Good question. So I'm one of their coaches currently. And so I do still have help with negotiations. I'm feeling really comfortable. I will definitely have them look at something , if I have questions or would like some help, like with that, but, I'm pretty close to that to doing it on my own, but it doesn't hurt to have someone take a look at something.
It definitely doesn't no matter where you're at with things.
So you're in the toy and game industry, as well as housewares,
Yes. Housewares and then also party, and, novelty.
Okay. Now, what's the process that you've learned, how you create a product and approximately how long does it take.
Yeah, good question. So when I first come up with an idea or, a brainstorm to come up with one, because I'm not always just waiting for the idea to just pop in my head. Sometimes I'm doing exercises to jog those ideas. But when I first think of an idea that I think, oh, this could be something, I do some research.
I go on Google image search. I may shop on Amazon. , and see if this product. Or it's similar products exist like it. And just because there's something similar doesn't mean, oh man, I can't work on my idea. It means, okay, maybe there's a need for this product. And so I just have to find a good point of difference of why mine is better.
Why my work's better? Why would someone want to buy a mine, over somebody else's so first establishing that the product doesn't exist or that you at least have a point of difference from products that are currently on the mark. And then once you do that, then I will work on prototypes. I'll also try to rework things because especially if I'm inventing in the game and toy industry, you'll test play something in your wise. Oh, it just doesn't work as good. That way we gotta change the rules or now we've got to do this or now, there should be more of these cards or something like that. So there's a lot of tests being involved in Victorian game ministry.
So you're changing things, the games evolving, A lot of that comes , with the prototyping. And of course the test plane, but with any product, whether it's for the house wearers or toys and games, albums, or whatnot, you're really figuring things out as you're prototyping. And I think that's why prototype is really important because you can see where maybe there are some problems or how can we make this?
So. The, in a smaller package so that people can maybe put it together and it's not going to take up shelf space. Things like that are really important to, to think about when you're your prototype. So prototyping of course then is a big key, whether it's, making a, a physical prototype or a virtual prototype or both, oftentimes they'll do both a physical prototype really needs to get the idea across, right?
So like a looks like works like prototypes and people can say, okay, this is what this should look like. For example, I have my right height prototype here. So with this one I knew I would want it to come in a box and not be. So we knew we'd prototype it in a few pieces. So that way the, the bar, let me put this down would just click in here. And this is for the prototype side. Um, and so I needed to show.
Companies that, Hey, this works right. So it'll snaps in you turn the knobs and this more poles down. And so after had the prototype made, I hired someone to 3d print those pieces to do the CAD and 3d print the pieces, but then you need your marketing material.
And so I use the prototype in a video to show. , first a problem of like kids not being able to reach a regular hook and then solving the problem. Oh, look, now they can use this product. And this one works really, really well. Then I had a sell sheet made as well, but for this product specifically, I knew I needed to show it in action.
I had to show it moving and working so that companies would say, oh wow. Yes, this does work. And so I sent that video to companies that were already making. Over the door hooks. So instead of trying to send it to a company who wasn't in the industry, you want to send the marketing material to, with permission, of course, to companies that are already in that space.
So you're saying, okay, you're already make hooks. You do a great job, but here's a new version. You pitch that. And then you keep pitching it until you sign a licensing deal. So even when there's several companies interested, you all got to keep pitching it You've got follow up with them, keep following up with them, until you signed that deal. And I would say in any product, I would say, the prototype takes some time. I could be pitching a new product within a week of an idea.
This one, because I needed the prototype made, it took a few months to get all that squared away and then I was pitching it and I pitched it for a good almost year before I signed a contract. That timeline is what you see very often. I mean, I I've signed a deal after pitching a product to the first person.
And I've signed several
pitching for a year. And that's even with interests, that's with companies trying to go to, their manufacturers and get samples and also get costing and things like that. So sometimes it can take quite a bit of time. And then other times, You can sign the deal quicker, but they still have to, get the manufacturing.
So it could take a year to two years to get it on the market. Even after you sign a deal. So from idea to on the market, I would say you're looking at, ,
approximate of a year and a half to two years.
You gotta be in it for the long haul. You've got to think long game with inventors.
You talked about how you identify companies, but who should somebody target within those companies and how would you find that information out?
Yeah, LinkedIn is a great resource because you can type in the company and the search bar and everyone who was on LinkedIn, the company shows up now, some industries will have in some companies within those industries will have inventor related. People set aside specifically to talk to inventors. That's really a big in the toy and game engines. I've not seen it as much in the other industries, but as a general rule of thumb, looking to speak to people in the heads of marketing or even sales would be good. We want to focus on marketing first and then sales. A lot of companies have their own insights. Developers or, design team.
Those would be your next resort, but of course they're working on their own design. So they're concentrating on those designs. So you want to go to somebody else, like someone in marketing or sales, if they say, oh, this is a fantastic idea. Oh my goodness. We got to show everybody else in the company.
That's what you want. And then they can meet with their designers and their team to say, Hey, is this something we can do? ,
and then you can work with them to help get that.
What kind of mindset do you need to have when you're reaching out to the companies and you're pitching your product?
Well, you definitely have to be positive. We are in the rejection business. That's what I say. It can get hard and it could be a rollercoaster. If you let every know, get to you or if your day is determined by whether you get a guest or a no or interest or not, or something doesn't happen.
So we have to be very level headed and we have to be positive. I do a lot of. Mindset work on myself. I do a lot of, visualization techniques and, I am statements and just really helped myself believe in myself and what I'm doing in my project. So that's something. That, is very important because we need to stay persistent and we need to say positive in this industry and it can get weary.
We don't want to let ourselves go down there and give up because, so often ideas are given up on just too soon, which is really unfortunate to see.
3 - Laquita Monley
Lakita Monley sheriffs, her coaching journey. As well as her faith
So how did your, how does your coaching journey began?
So that great question. It began unintentionally actually very unintentionally. I know for a fact that, this is definitely God's purpose and plan for my life and. Like I said, I met my husband in high school, so we made a bad decision on an occasion. We became teenage parents.
There was a social worker that the Lord placed in my life. That at that time we had no idea what coaching was, but she coached my husband and myself and coaching. My husband wasn't even a part of her job. She was a social worker that was assigned to me because I was a teenage. But looking at our strong family backgrounds and everything, she said to us one day that, failure is not an option for you guys.
You made a mistake now I'm just going to help and guide you in making sure that those things will be a little tough. Now you can still accomplish the goals that you want to accomplish. It's just going to be a little bit more difficult, but I'm partnered with you. And she did just that. She partnered with us.
From that moment. And for the next six years, she will continue to reach out to us and check on us and see our progress. And so at that moment I decided, okay, I want to do something in my life where I'm helping other people just like that. And so I went to university, become a social. But then in my sophomore year I realized, okay, I don't want to do it like this.
There's too many restrictions, totally restrictions to me that does not actually allow them as social workers to be the biggest help that they want to be in their heart. So I went to looking for other things and then about that time in my life, it was about 25. And. My husband and I made the decision to take my walk with Christ a lot more seriously.
And so I began to ask the question, well, what is my purpose? What am I called to do? And he showed me very clearly it's to help other women and inspire and motivate other women who are maybe walking through some of the challenges that you've walked through or we'll walk through. And so. I began to do that from a ministry perspective at church.
And that kind of just blossomed into me being a John Maxwell, speaker, coach, and facilitator, years later, after having actively done that type of coaching, through the various different ministries that we've been blessed to be a part of, here within the states and as well as in Germany
and while in those places, we were able to be connected with some ministries there within Kenya. And it's just been a blessing. It wasn't, like I said, it wasn't intentional. It's kind of an accident, a life choice. The Lord use the life choice, to help put me on the path to do what he had. He had called me to do.
The reason that I was born, this is the thing that I was born to do. And he let that one, what seems like a horrible decision. And he actually used it as the worst system worked it out for my good,
he often does. that.
Oftentimes you can't imagine how something could be used for his purposes. And then, years later you look back and, oh, That's what happened.
what happened. Yeah. We talk about it from time to time? We like to share our story often. And
When I found out that I was pregnant, There was a big family meeting right after church on Sunday,
his family comes over and we're at my grandmother's house and the two families are there. Talking's like, okay, what are we going to do? None of that conversation on that day, everyone in that room could not have imagined the journey that the Lord had in store for these two young people who.
I had made a bad decision. And so now, as families, what are we going to do? How are we going to support them through this? What things need to be done to support them through this? No one in though in that room at that time could have imagined including myself and my husband could not have imagined how the Lord was causing that decision to work out for her.
Now do you still keep in touch with that social worker that initially inspired you .
I do. We'd lost contact for a number of years and as it would happen, my uncle is, an assistant pastor. He took over assistant pastor position at a church that's about 30 miles away from my hometown. And so we were home. I was home visiting, what to church with. On this particular Sunday, it was his Sunday to preach and the family came out to support.
And after service, if we were fellowshipping, we're country people, I'm from Mississippi. There's no such thing as a church service without a good meal after the fact. So we're fellowshipping and I'm eating some of the best chicken and pod that I've had a long time. And I look up and there, she is like, oh my God, I hadn't seen her in probably 20 years at that.
And he, or she is walking back, into my life. And so yes, at this point in my life, had you asked me that maybe three years ago, the answer would have been, no, I haven't talked to her in a long time, but today asking me that yes, we are in contact and she is such a.
Well, that's gotta be gratifying to her to, to see the changes that you have made and that you're helping other people and passing it forward.
Yes. Yes, yes. Yes. That is something that we do talk about. When we do get to speak, in person, because I travel back to Mississippi often to spend time with family, and of course I'm going to church with my uncles so that I can see her. And that's the conversation that we have is like, the face that we sew into people's lives have no idea how important those seeds are.
But we need to do it. We need to be in a position where our biggest desire is to add value to them.
You seem to have had a lot of financial education with regard to rich dad and finance.
How did you get into That What kind of prompted you there?
That prompted me
where we are, , young parents, marriage was still fairly young in 2000 and we were stationed. My husband was stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington, up in Washington state. And we had, a lot of moth and not a lot of money. That was always a topic of conversation, what can we do to earn more money?
Very familiar with this concept.
yeah. And we're a bit more traditional. My role as a stay at home, mom was one that we both took really seriously. My husband's mom was a stay at home. Mom. My mom is a stay at home mom. For as long as we can remember, as we got older, of course we saw our mothers go out of the house to work.
That more traditional census, something that we're very passionate about. So what can we do to earn more money without, giving up our family values that we hold important. And this infomercial used to come on all the time to about, could do real estate with no money and no credit.
You just need to learn how, and it wasn't. Robert Kiyosaki course, it was another course and we eventually were able to save up enough money and buy that course. And that started our journey into real estate. And the more that we learned about real estate, of course, I'm learning who Robert Kiyosaki was inevitable.
And we. Began to just consume more of his books and teachings playing his cashflow game. And then eventually taking a course with with his company and learning how to be a real estate investors based off of his principles. And which is how we found out about the finance course, because there's a big difference between flipping a house human there, getting a rental property here and there as a ha.
Versus becoming a full-time real estate investor as your business. And so, starting your business the right way and understanding how to start a business as a real estate investor was it was necessary. It's like a continual education piece that we have to do.
Yeah. So you've said that those who shift their minds transformed their lives and lead others into greatness. How can someone change their mindset?
that's. That's awesome. So it's a process. It's not something that happens instantaneously. It's a process we have to want to change our minds. It's like, use for an example,
right now. Yeah. I'm learning to eat clean. And it's a journey for me. I had to first recognize the fact that my daily habits and what I'm eating, drinking, and not exercising enough was not good for this body that God gave me the. I had to change the way that I think about it. And so now, instead of just eating for the pleasure or the taste, I'm learning to eat the right fuel that I need to make my body operate as its maximum capacity.
Have I always known that eating clean was a good thing. Yeah, but did I always care? No. So mindset, I had to shift the way that I thought about. And when I began to think differently, then that calls me to put things in place so that I could behave differently. And now I'm working on those two things together to develop into a new lifestyle that works for everything, not just eating the right foods.
It comes, it works with shifting my associations as well. When I want to think differently, I have to position myself around people. Who are already thinking, being in, doing the way that I want to become. So it's a process. And before you know it, you'll see that you've changed your perception. You've changed your mindset and you'll be able to see that in your responses to different situations.
You'll know, my thinking has definitely, changed because my life has began to change.
Somebody has to want to change first. And then from there, , go in and, associate with other people that can help them in research and then do the
And do the work. Absolutely. You've got to want to change it and you've got to want to be willing to do the work. And you have to know that it's not a microwave. It's not instant. It won't happen. You'll say a liquid of, well, I've been doing this for three days and I didn't see anything different.
Well, I mean, it's all been through. We celebrate those three days, because last week you didn't even do it for three days. So let's celebrate this three days of success unless you, for the fourth day, the fifth day, the six day, you know, so on and so forth. But as you want it, that shift will happen.
It will happen. It will definitely happen. You just have to want it and be patient, and be intentional, very intentional.
So what do you think about fear and how it impacts us with regards to success?
So I put fear in that category of what you just said, that just asks it's all in the way that we think about it. all in the way that we think about, if we're looking at fear, one of the definitions that people like to use as false evidence appearing real. Yeah. That could be a thing, but we can also look at fear.
Uh, fuel or tool and our fight or flight response instead of fleeing less than fight. If this is something that is bringing me a great amount of, of stress or apprehension, that means I need to overcome it. And the only way that I can overcome it is to confront it and whatever that is that you're dealing with.
Right. So a lot, a lot of times the, my client. Their fear is they're either dealing with imposter syndrome, or they just don't know who they are. And they're a fearful of making a mistake in their pursuit of trying to find out who they are. And I encouraged them to just drive hit on there's.
If you make a mistake, you make a mistake. A mistake is not final. It's not bad. That one mistake that you make is not the determining factor to end the rest of your life. It's a tool, it's a tool. It's a building block. It's a resource that you can use when you get up, dust it off.
When you're little, your mom said does get that baby, dust it off and try it again. That's what we're going to do. We're going to get up. We're going to dust ourselves off. We're going to take that lesson that we just learned and we're going to try it again.
You think that as we got older, it'd be easier to get up and dust ourselves off. And sometimes I think it's just the opposite.
Yeah. Yeah, because we have a lifetime of ingrained fears in us. We have a lifetime of restrictions , that have been bred into it. My granddaughter she's a year old and has absolutely no fear. She is fearless and it's amazing to watch her try new things. And, you know, granted she's one.
So a lot of the stuff that she wants to try, isn't the safest her, but she keeps trying it and she'll get up and dust it off, , and take a little chubby hands and dust it off and, oh, and she'll try it. As adults because we've had so many of those are all moments subconsciously. We are walking around trying to prevent the old moment so much so that we oftentimes don't try the very thing that the Lord has said.
When you do this, your next level of success, your next level of greatness, your next level of opportunity will begin to have.