Conquering Chaos

Ep 23: "Why Not Me" - The Growth Mindset with Meilani Hock

September 03, 2019 Season 1 Episode 23
Conquering Chaos
Ep 23: "Why Not Me" - The Growth Mindset with Meilani Hock
Chapters
Conquering Chaos
Ep 23: "Why Not Me" - The Growth Mindset with Meilani Hock
Sep 03, 2019 Season 1 Episode 23
Erin E Hooley
The ultimate mindset for those looking to scale up in business and personal life, "Why Not Me?" takes us from victim to empowered.
Show Notes Transcript

The ultimate mindset for those looking to scale up in business and personal life, "Why Not Me?" takes us from victim to empowered. 

Speaker 1:
0:01
Welcome to the conquering chaos podcast. I'm your host, Aaron e, Julio President and founder of multimillion dollar e-commerce children's clothing line, Bailey's blossoms. So it turns out I'm pretty good at business, but what really lights my soul on fire is providing other entrepreneurs and mompreneurs with the tools they need to truly succeed. So if you have a business or have one on your heart, you're in good company. Pull up a chair or dropping some earbuds and let's conquer some chaos today. Hello. Hello. Today we have may Lonnie in the house and she is the busy mom of five kids under the age of 11 but she also has a love for entrepreneurship. In 2014 her two year old son was diagnosed with brain cancer, which provided the wake up call. She needed it in life and she realized it was time to stop making excuses of all the reasons she couldn't do things and instead just jump in and do instead of focusing on the why me situations, she chose to shift her mindset to why not me. She jumped into her lifelong dream of real estate investing and flipping houses and her passion is helping women use their time effectively to utilize their talents in adding to the family's finances without sacrificing their life as a mom. Bailani welcome to the show. Thanks so much for having me. I'm excited about it. It's great to have you here. So I'd love to get a little bit more backstory on you and how you really got into this whole real estate investing thing. Yeah, definitely.
Speaker 2:
1:27
No, the background background is that I actually did my masters degree in international development helping women in Africa use system called micro credit lending and helping them start businesses and it's been my long life passion to help women find a place as moms but also to earn money and help the family finances and a lot of cases even being the breadwinners and so that kind of planted the seeds. Then I got married and met the love of my life and still was doing a little bit of traveling. But then as kids came along we decided it was better for me to not be traveling as much. And so I had baby number one baby number two, baby number three. And this kept on going. I know what that's like. And then it just kind of slipped back into comfortable life. You know, I got a nine to five job, I, because I had these little ones that were depending on me and I thought that it wasn't worth the risk of chasing after other things.
Speaker 2:
2:22
Me and my husband when we were dating. I remember going on long walks, that was our favorite date probably cause we were so cheap and poor. Um, but we would just talk about what we were gonna do with our lives and we had these big dreams of being entrepreneurs and being real estate investors and doing all this stuff. And that had all kind of gotten lost because we wanted it to be those stable parents for these little humans that we had been blessed with. But then as you mentioned in the introduction, all of that changed one day when I had number four was seven weeks old. It was the day before number three turned two years old. And we found out that he had a large mass inside of his brain. And that's the words that, you know, no mom wants to hear. It was cute.
Speaker 2:
3:05
The doctor came to me and said, you know, sometimes a mother's intuition is better than any medical degree. And I said, you know, this was her, my higher power. Like something had been telling us your son is sick. And it took us months to get him seen by somebody who would listen to the crazy mom that had a prompting from above. And so anyways, but I remember when we were going through treatments, I felt like I was just waiting for him to die. And I remember saying that to my husband, honey, I just can't sit around and wait for him to die. Like I had lost control of everything. I felt like because doctors just kept taking him away from me and I just prayed that anything that they were doing was going to help. I felt like I had no control over my life at that point.
Speaker 2:
3:47
And so that's when I said to my husband, like, how did we get to this? How did we get to this that we're working so much by the time we get home from work, we're exhausted. And this is not the dream that we had our dream children. Like they were awesome, but our live around it was not right. And so we were about, I don't know, four months into treatments and radiation and going to specialists and everything. When I said I need to start a business, my stable job had actually let me go and said, you need more time with your family. After number three, I had had some serious postpartum depression and I thought, you know what? I kind of felt myself slipping back into that. So baby number four, you know, like I said with seven weeks old and, and then the cancer and I just, I needed to have a purpose that I, I love, love, love being a mom, but I've found that I'm a better mom when I also have some outside stimulation stimulation.
Speaker 2:
4:43
That's the perimeter thing there. And so anyways, I said, you know, we've always talked about we want to be real estate investors. Like what are we doing to actually move towards that? And I had gotten my realtor's license just because, you know, we wanted to say, oh, we're moving towards our dreams, but I really wasn't doing anything with it. And so we sat down and we talked about it and we decided let's go for it. And we did, we jumped in and we started flipping houses. We were flipping anywhere from five to 12 per year. And we loved it at the beginning. It was awesome. I loved every second of it. And these kind of changed over the next five years, by the way. Five years. And my son is doing awesome. He is so healthy. Oh, I'm so glad. I was waiting for that and I'm like, oh my gosh, I sometimes forget to say that part.
Speaker 2:
5:27
So I've got to remember that. Yes, no, he is our miracle and we just are grateful and helpless. Ah, congratulations. Thank you. So we were flipping houses, which I still love, but I was getting burnt out. I was getting burnt out of a lot of different things. There were just things that were, again, out of my control. The market was out of my control at the beginning. We were selling them within three, two days with multiple offers and then the market was just changing. And then I had a few lawsuits that kind of burnt me out and different things like that as an entrepreneur and especially in real estate, that's what happens, right? I wanted to
Speaker 3:
5:58
stay in real estate investing cause I really do love it and I kept on hearing other people getting into airbnb and I was like, that's it. I want a piece of that. And we made the decision and within four months we had four airbnbs up and running. And it was such a different than having to be on the property beyond the project, make sure my contractors were doing what they were supposed to be doing. All of that. I all of a sudden switched my real estate investing in business to being not only a soccer mom, but a soccer coach. Like that was a big change for me when I was running my own business as a house slipper. I could still be at the games usually, but all of a sudden I could coach, like I could guarantee that I was going to be there and I was still making money through real estate investing through airbnb hosting.
Speaker 3:
6:38
And so that's kind of how I got where I am now of loving, loving, loving, hosting airbnbs so that I'm literally making money while I sleep. I love that. Okay, so obviously your mantra, which is this whole, why not me? Tell me more about that shift. Yeah. Yeah. So while we were going through cancer, you know, if you've ever had a friend go through this, you just don't know what to say. And some of my friends, I remember one day, what am I closest friends? She said, is it just hard to get out of bed? Do you just sit and think why us? Why us? And that really stuck with me because I talked about it with my husband later. I said, I don't think we've ever thought that. Like instead we kind of think the opposite. And you know, I don't know what everybody's backgrounds are, what their belief system are, but we believe that there is a higher power, whatever you want to call it for yourself.
Speaker 3:
7:25
But for us, we believe that there's a higher power that believes in us and in fact is carving us to be the person that he needs us to be. She needs whatever you call it. Um, but these trials are given to us so that we can become stronger. And as a family, oh we, I often even like people stop me in the grocery store and say how close my kids seem like they just have a friendship. You know what I mean? Because we went through something that hard, but we had the clean to each other. So instead of thinking, why me? Like, Oh, why me? Why didn't I get the promotion? Why does my son have cancer? Why does she get to lose weight? And I don't, whatever it is. Instead of thinking that, why me, we think, why not me like this tape, take it on as a challenge of bring it on.
Speaker 3:
8:09
Not too hard, but going to get on it. You know what I mean? Oh, I love that. When my family moved to Brazil for two years and our fifth child was born there, I didn't speak the language. My husband spoke Spanish, but there's Portuguese out there. I mean it's not the same. And we marched forward into the unknown together and it was scary and there were big learning experiences. And because of that, we were closer together in those two years than any other time. And now, now that we're in comfort and we've been in the same place for six and a half years and it's just getting too comfortable. I have to fight for those changes. I have to fight for that forging to happen. And so I feel like those uncomfortable situations, those really heavy, heavy trials where you need another, they're the proving grounds for who we can potentially become.
Speaker 3:
8:59
And that's why I love that that mindset is yours. And I wish that more people had that open mind to be able to look at life that way because I feel like that's where true growth happens. It's funny you say that because my oldest, I just started homeschooling him this year because I miss that closeness. I kind of started getting worried that that closeness was going to leave as he started in middle school. But he actually asked, he's like, mom, I just kinda want to hang out with you more and I want to learn different things than they teach in school. And I was like, all right, let's try this. And I've loved it, you know? But like you said, I had to go out looking for it almost. But then also the why not me, I feel like goes into more things. You know? Um, as you look on social media and you see people taking vacations or their perfect cooking or whatever, that you think, oh, why can't I do that?
Speaker 3:
9:40
And it's like, well, why can't you, why can't you go and start making those plans or doing what you need to do? Get it in order so that you can go on those vacations so that you can the why not meet, like you said, become my mantra that we kind of took on of why not us? Like, let's do it. Let's see what we want to do as a family, as a marriage, as myself, and let's chase after it. Why not us? Why not me? I love it. It's funny, the first time I ever spoke, and one of the things I said was the only limitations that matter are the ones that you put on yourself. And that's kind of become my mantra, which in essence is the same as why not me. It's just that what's stopping me? Why can't I do this? I only can't do that if I choose that.
Speaker 3:
10:21
That's my truth and I don't really look the truth of I can't do something, so I'm just gonna do it anyway. Yeah, exactly. Oh, I love that. That's awesome. Okay, so what's something that you've had to overcome in your business to help move you closer to the goals that you've set for yourself? I have been very humbled in real estate. I've learned a lot being a woman in what? A lot of the world's, he's as in a male industry, but not to let it bother you, but again, to think that's kind of awesome. Like see it as a challenge to break a stereotype. You know, when I speak at real estate conventions, it's like, wait, you're not just the MC. I get that. Like people won't pay that. And it's like, no, I'm going to tell you how I do this. For me, it's just exciting to see people's minds and their horizons broaden because I want every woman to realize that she can.
Speaker 3:
11:10
And I want every man to look at a woman like wow, she can. So, okay. So when you were first starting out, what were your goals and how did your goals kind of change as you've grown your business? When I first started flipping houses, I didn't want to have to clock in, clock out. So that was kind of the first goal. And I thought that was kind of like the big goal. But then I realized that I had control of my time, but I still was so busy. It was still hard with that balance of Mommy and wife and business owner and everything. And so when I got into Airbnb, that's really what freed up my life. So not just, I had to control my time, but I felt like I had control of my life. Again, my goals kind of became that we could live from anywhere, that we could do whatever we want and on our terms. But like our plan is to take all
Speaker 2:
11:54
the kids out and homeschool and next year to go and world school, I'm into travel and, but I wanted that freedom to be able to live anywhere but still have that passive income where I'm not doing anything other than maintaining my business. I am earning money while I sleep. And so earning that passive income and broadening my kids in mindset of what is possible for them and their futures, that's become a big goal. But also giving back to women. I love coaching women on how to help add to their family finances without having to sacrifice their life as a mom because that is the most rewarding thing that they will do. Right.
Speaker 1:
12:29
Absolutely. So what would you say is your biggest challenge in business that you've ever been faced with?
Speaker 2:
12:34
I had a one contractor that we had worked together on about 10 houses and so by this time, you know, I like my team to feel like my family and he had become like family. It was three days before the property was supposed to sell and the people who were buying the project came and said, hey, can you send us the permit numbers? We can't seem to find them and we like to do everything by the book. We like everything to be permitted the right way. And what I felt like was a brother and say, where are the permits? And he said, I'm sorry I lied to you. I never pulled them. And that was so sad because not only had we worked together for so long and we had this friendship and this bond that it cost us a lot of money, it costs us about almost a hundred thousand dollars and then a lawsuit after that. So not being able to trust people, that's really hard on me. And I called my friends, my team. I want them to be people who I can trust that they're going to be a person of their word. And in business sometimes that doesn't happen and that's kind of heartbreaking to me. So that's a bummer.
Speaker 1:
13:28
Have you allowed that to reshape your view on humanity in any way?
Speaker 2:
13:32
That is a deep question, Aaron. Probably not in a good way. I, you know, I've realized that I have to keep my guard up a little more than I like to because I like to be open. In fact, that was another reason why I shifted from flipping houses is because I was feeling tense on my projects after that and it happened. A similar thing happened with my next contractor as well. I was starting to feel like I had to be business woman and then I'd come home and try to be mommy and it was hard not to still have my business, but that smash.
Speaker 1:
14:05
Yeah, that switchover, I, you know, that's something that I have, I've noticed as well. There have been times in business the tough, tough times that those big struggles that kind of knocked the wind out of you that you didn't see coming. And I've had to work really hard to allow myself to kind of fight against it and say, no, I want to be the person that assumes the best in everyone. I want to be the person that just believes that humanity is good and I want to be surprised by the people who are not that way. And sometimes when you get deep enough into the weeds and it gets mucky enough, that can start to switch if you're not careful. And it takes a lot of effort to kind of rein that back in and say, wait a second, I know what this could potentially look like for me and for my heart in the next three, four,
Speaker 3:
14:52
five years and I want to change that. I need to rope this back in and make an intentional effort to keep that intact.
Speaker 2:
14:59
Yeah, exactly. And as you were talking, it reminded me of another story of kind of where we got where we are, the hard things of being a working mom one of these times. It was Christmas time and we had, you know, in real estate you leverage a lot of money. You take out some loans to get these projects done, especially when you're doing 10 15 at a time. And so we were leveraged about $4 million and it was making me sick at night. In fact, one of my lenders, the money that they had used to put into the project was from their husband who passed away in nine 11 it was the nine 11 memorial fund. And I, I was just up at night just aching over this. But then all the houses were tied up because they were in this lawsuit and so they couldn't be sold yet and it was just, it was just weighing on me really bad.
Speaker 2:
15:46
And here we were coming into Christmas and trying to decide, Kay, what can we actually do right now since we have all this, you know, money that's tied up in houses, but you know, trying to decide what was the responsible thing to do for Christmas. And I have a son that understands the magic of Christmas. Yes. So we were talking and I said, you know, I just kind of playfully said, no, I didn't see your letter to Santa. What do you want for Christmas? And he looked at his shoes and he said, mom, I'm, I'm only asked for one thing cause I want you to sell a house. I just lost it. I just, oh my goodness Erin. I was a hot mess and it was like on the way to the school bus. So I like patterns
Speaker 3:
16:23
his head and I was like, okay [inaudible] no pressure. [inaudible] oh my goodness. Oh that would just rip your heart out.
Speaker 2:
16:33
Praying and praying and praying. And we have a tradition, we love sports. We're a sports family. And on Christmas Eve we went to go play football as a family and I got a call on Christmas Eve, like who goes shopping for houses on Christmas eve? But I got a call that our house was under contract when I started crying and my son came over and he said, is it it? He said the name of my contractor that had been Yucky. And he was like, was it him? And I said,
Speaker 3:
17:01
no, Hemi Santa's delivered your gift. Like we just sold a house and my big, you know, strong 10 year old boy started crying on the football field. And just hugged me and said, mom, I've been praying so hard. They don't know about any evils of the world, but at the same time like my son will be stronger because he prayed with us about this and he saw how hard we had to work to get what we get to do. You know what I mean? There's enough children who don't know how to struggle. There's enough emotional duress when hard times come. Even for us as adults, I want my kids to know how strong they are. I want them to know what it looks like to go through tough things. I want them to know that no matter what comes their way, that's not the end for them. They can fight through it. There's always something. There's always a hand reaching out to help. There's
Speaker 1:
17:50
always a way out of of the darkness and that's so important.
Speaker 2:
17:55
Yeah, so they can look behind him and think, I've already done all that. I could do this next hard thing like I've been preparing for this.
Speaker 1:
18:01
Absolutely. Because there have been times where even just especially this last year has been, it has had a lot of ups and downs for my husband, nine four with our business, lots of changing, lots of moves, shifting a business model, I mean so many different things and it's been emotional and physically exhausting and mentally exhausting. There are times where I felt guilt as a mom thinking, man, my kids have seen too much, man. I don't want this to affect them. I don't want this to negatively impact their memories of childhood. But then at the same time, when I sit down and I have a heart to heart with them and they share with me their thoughts, it's always so much more profound and I'm going, wow, you're going to be incredible someday. And I wouldn't strip that away from you for all the perfect memories that the world could ever possibly give.
Speaker 2:
18:49
Yes, and I saw that this week. I mean, you know, when you have lots of kids. I used to try to lay with each of them each night and then I'd be like, okay, well that's like an hour and a half commitment. Yeah.
Speaker 3:
18:59
Yeah. So I recently
Speaker 2:
19:01
we had to Dover and I do one per night, like a quality one-on-one. I like that. And then I, then I, I feel like I am not rushed through them as well and I don't have to be even with all of them, you know? So I've, I've switched over and I do one per night. And recently when I was doing my one-on-one with one of them, they had had something hard and they were able to draw upon. Oh Mom, this is kind of like, remember when you were doing this in your business? And yeah, I kind of felt that way about this and I was like, how cool that my six year old can make a connection between his hard day at school too. Mommy goes through hard things too. It's not all perfect. It's not just smiles and rainbows. So I thought that was really cool town. Really cool. I love it
Speaker 1:
19:40
that, well, it's funny enough. Two, one worth little side story. My son last year in fourth grade had to do this little mock-up scenario of what I know. It wasn't my fourth grade son, it was actually my sixth grade son. Sorry. Other ones.
Speaker 3:
19:51
Yeah, but he, he had to do this
Speaker 1:
19:53
a mock up scenario where you had to choose his, his ideal job and research how much money he thought he would make, you know, the median salary and what his car would cost and what type of home we'd have and what that would cost and really just lay out his entire life budget based around what his life looks like in 20 years. And it was so funny because we're going through this exercise and he goes, wait a second, where are the taxes? Wait a second. Okay,
Speaker 3:
20:16
what about this? Like, like he knew all of these things that weren't even on the paper and then we just made a joke out of it. I'm like, this is false. And he's like, this is a terrible project. They're misleading everybody. You don't take home 100% of your money. You don't like that. And it was so funny cause he was just like, he went from, I'm going to have a Mercedes to, I'm going to take the bus, I don't want a heart payment. And I'm like, you go boy. I mean it was so funny he was thinking, but we're all the ways that he's so you
Speaker 1:
20:45
could scrimp and save so that he could do something to make passive income. I'm like, oh Hallelujah. It was a really rewarding moment for me. That's awesome. That's awesome. Okay, well going back to your son and when he was diagnosed with brain cancer, and obviously that's going to open up a whole new way of thinking about life and just remove the blinders. So how has that really affected both you as a mom, but also you as a business owner?
Speaker 2:
21:10
It was the kick in the pants to say, what are you really gonna do with your life? Like your time is ticking away as, uh, not only as a mom, but as a woman, as a l as a person. Like your life is taking away. What are you doing with it? And we've, we've changed, you know, just last week we also like to do a two on ones with and take each of the kids on dates. And just this last weekend we took a, Jay is his name, um, to a baseball game. And when he was going through treatments, the song fight song had just come out by Rachel plan one day after his treatments. It always took him a long time to start to wake up and talk again. He was so out of it. And when he was going through his treatments one day, it had been, I dunno, probably like six hours since I had heard him say anything.
Speaker 2:
21:56
And from the back seat of the van as we were driving to our next step destination, I heard him like really quietly starting to sing, this is my fight song, you know, and just start seeing it from the back. And that to me became his anthem. And so this past weekend we went to a baseball game with him and he said, mom, can I be a DJ? And he took the phone and you know, now he's a big seven year old instead of the little two year old singing. But he chose that song and he started singing and again, and it was like this flashback and I started getting choked up at just at how, how we've changed our life in the last five years because we have the ability now to go to baseball games with our son when we want in the middle of the day if needed or you know, have the means to do it or his health is doing some great, you know, just feeling so overwhelmed with blessings.
Speaker 2:
22:46
As I was thinking through all this, my husband reached over and grabbed my hand and I looked up and he was crying too. And I just thought how beautiful it was that we were living the life that we dreamed of that don't get me wrong, we still have more dreams that we're conquering, but like we don't have any regrets. And that's the difference between now and before cancer and cancer gave us that wake up to just live the life you want to live. But nobody else is going to tell you like, don't let other people tell you how to live it. Like you've got to make that decision and each day choose to live that life because it's yours. It's yours to do what you want with it.
Speaker 1:
23:27
What a huge blessing. I wish everybody had the ability to say, man, I've lived my life with no regrets. Isn't that the, I think that's the pinnacle achievement for everybody. Now obviously it's so easy, it's, or at least it's so much easier to look back at how far you've come. But in the midst of it, it's not always cupcakes and sprinkles. So what advice would you give to yourself just starting out?
Speaker 2:
23:52
Say to really understand that you're not a failure when you hit roadblocks? I think I had become such a good eye control freak. Slash. Perfectionist. It took me a while when I hit certain roadblocks to not feel like I was a failure in all things. And I think to, if I were to tell myself, you know, seven years ago, eight years ago, you know, just remember that you're not a failure when trials come, but instead there is something that believes in you that you can handle this and to take that as an opportunity to grow and figure out what you need to learn from it or to draw closer to who you need to draw closer to in that moment, but to take advantage of those times, they are going to be terrible and the terrible. I can think of many nights where my husband has had to come and pick me up off the floor because I'm crying in a ball in my closet. I had the same time like I am chasing my dreams and it's hard guys. It's hard. Sometimes
Speaker 1:
24:50
it's hard. Even Motherhood, I think of everything that I loved the most. My relationship with my spouse is fantastic, but it's not easy being a mother. I love it more than anything. It's fantastic, but it's not easy and business is just the same. Anything that provides me intense joy also has the ability to provide me intense heartache. But I wouldn't trade the joy for the heartache. It's all encompassing. And I would do it over again. I would do it all over again a million times. So I guess if I were to say, it would be to say to myself, instead of sitting
Speaker 2:
25:25
back in just thinking like, why me? Ah, but like tens, ted, take that, jump into the unknown and just like boldly shout, like, why not me? And then you can start flying into the world of possibilities.
Speaker 1:
25:37
I love that. That's awesome. Okay. So what is next in your business model for you? We [inaudible],
Speaker 2:
25:42
I love running airbnbs. We own some, we rent from other people, so we're using other people's property. We are also a property managers for people who want to, instead of just traditional, only rent them. They want to rent them out as airbnbs. But we manage those properties. I coach women on how to get into airbnb hosting. Um, I do have men clients as well, but I really enjoy working with the women. Um, continuing to add, um, my youngest, oh my goodness, you guys. I started a new phase of life. My youngest went to preschool this week and I had three hours by myself without any kids. And it was the weirdest thing.
Speaker 1:
26:16
I'm so there with you mind just went to kindergarten this gas week and I've got like seven and a half hours, which blowing my mind like the things I can accomplish yet. But laundry is never going to be one of them cause it's just not on my heart. Right. Oh goodness. So yeah. So it kind of that world of possibilities to see what's next but at the same, yeah,
Speaker 2:
26:39
I'm like, I like where I'm at now. So we continue to take on an Airbnb as we continue coach people on how to get into Airbnbs, how to effectively use their time and time management. I love to travel and speak in two weeks we're going to Cancan coon to speak in an event and we get to take our two oldest kids with us.
Speaker 1:
26:53
That's awesome. Okay. So I am just loving, eaten up all these things that you're saying so much. Truth, hear so much wisdom and great experience for those who want to follow more of you and hear more of your story, where can they find you?
Speaker 2:
27:05
Definitely you can go to Milani, hok.com I was born in Hawaii, so I got a funky version of Melanie, so that's where that is, so yeah, Milani hok.com or reach out to me on Facebook, but yet on Milani hoc.com we're revising it right now, but it has everything that's going on in one place.
Speaker 1:
27:22
That's great. Melanie, thank you so much for taking the time to do this. This has been a real treat and just love hearing your story and so much of your experience and your heart as well.
Speaker 2:
27:33
Thanks Aaron. I really appreciate it and I love, I love what an awesome tribe you have here because I love the idea of all those like mamas out there that are conquering chaos together, so, right. Absolutely. Awesome. Thank you so much. They're kind of the bomb. Thank you. Have a good one.
Speaker 1:
27:52
Thank you for taking the time to connect with me here on the conquering chaos podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, will you please take a moment to leave a review? It's the fuel to my fire and lets me know that my efforts to enact change and broaden your perspective of what's possible matter. Thank you so much for your support. If you want more content like this, don't forget to subscribe and connect with me on social media at Aaron, Ethan equally or@aaronequally.com. Have a fantastic day. Get out there and congressman, chaos.