Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Overwhelmed? Here's The Solution

Attend to YOUR needs!
Then, you can help your loved ones!

I wanted to share this simple rule of thumb that helped me, and many of my coaching students keep all the balls in the air without feeling overwhelmed.

It works exceptionally well for perfectionists and high achievers, who often put others' needs ahead of their own.

The rule of thumb is this -


The back story.

When I was still a workaholic, I used to travel a lot.

Every time before the plane took off, flight attendants would review the safety procedures and turn on a safety video. In the video, they'd show an emergency, with oxygen masks popping out in front of all passengers. One of the passengers, a mother, would put on an oxygen mask on herself, then turn to the left and put another mask on her little boy. A voice in the video advised passengers, "Be sure to adjust your own mask before helping others."

During one of those flights, I went to the bathroom and as I was coming back to my seat… I fainted.

Flight attendants helped me up. They took my blood pressure. It turned out I fainted simply because I was exhausted and haven't had anything to eat that day. My blood sugar was too low. So they gave me a (free) sandwich and some orange juice.

This was my wake up call. 

It suddenly hit me that I had three kids at home, 9, 7, and two years old at the time. I better start putting on my oxygen mask! So I can be around to help my kids when they need me…

I'm sharing this story with you to encourage you to take note of your day-to-day priorities and do a quick safety check-in with yourself:

– are you prioritizing what is truly valuable for you?

– is your behaviour in line with your core values?

– is your oxygen mask on?

Take good care of yourself!
Author | Investor | Financial Wellness Coach

PS Hope, you enjoyed this story – feel free to comment below if you'd like to share a comment or ask a question. I'll be happy to hear from you!

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

50 Doors Annual Results as of Jan 2020

2020 is the 7th year on my road to 50 doors!
The journey started in 2014 when my husband and I decided to go after passive cash flow and financial freedom. Without any prior experience, we set out to get 50 rental units within five years. Each unit would theoretically give us $200 of passive income. Overall, we aimed to achieve 10K/month cashflow.
Here we are seven years later! Happy to share actual results and lessons learned as of the end of 2019.

Financial Freedom Strategy

  • Invest in Assets, which put money in my pocket
  • Eliminate Liabilities, which take money away
  • Until the positive cash flow from the assets covers my family's day to day needs aka we are Financially Free


I am working towards September 2022 deadline.

Or should I say DREAM-line? Ba-dam-shh...

The plan is to go away on a sailing trip during the 2022/2023 school year.
Timing will be perfect. Our little guy will still be in middle school. We'll do some sailing and sight-seeing and come back for his first year of high school in 2024.
My two oldest sons will be independent by then. Ha-ha, we'll see how that goes! As a side note, I would have never thought that handling teenagers can be A LOT TRICKIER than real estate investing! But this is a topic for a different type of blog.


Status as of the End of 2019


  • Our portfolio now has 17 assets. We added one in 2019.
  • The total door count is 20! Only 30 more doors to complete the original 50 Doors plan
  • I'm thrilled that our cashflow has bounced back up to 15K from the 2018 dive down to 3.9K.Tight hands-on asset management definitely paid off.
  • I am most grateful for the caring, responsive, and responsible tenants and their families, as well as reliable and easy to work with property managers, handymen, trades, advisors, and partners.
  • However....


My biggest 2019 takeaway is EASY DOES IT!
Continuous rapid expansion can be emotionally exhausting and extremely stressful.
Every new asset you add to your portfolio requires resources - time, money, skill, energy, etc. Ever since we started, all equity and cash flow from older assets were going right back into the growth funnel and used to acquire new assets.
Too many times over the past year, my safety cushion was too thin. I relied on pure luck to make ends meet, juggle, and balance all the in-flows and out-flows.
Choosing the right pace is crucial in the long run. Giving myself ample cushion room yet still making great headway is the art I'd like to master.

Update on Objectives for 2019: Mostly Complete

    1. Eliminate a big chunk of my most costly liability, Bad Debt. This will increase my overall cash flow. With less debt, I'll attract other people's money on better terms. Done!
    2. Acquire assets that put money in my pocket at a reasonable pace without getting new bad debt. This will increase positive cash flow as well. Done!
    3. Sell non-performing assets in Spring 2019 to improve cash flow. Kind of done! I was able to improve operations without selling the assets.
    4. Acquire liquid assets. You can't buy groceries on real estate equity. Liquid assets will be my rainy day fund to protect me from a fire sale in case of an emergency. Great progress! Lots done and way more still to be done!
    5. Plan ahead for the sailing trip! Budget, research, and make sure my husband gets his sailing license. Getting there! Break your leg, Anton! :) Good luck on your skipper exam in a couple of months

Objectives for 2020

    1. Double revenue & double cash flow! Not sure how yet... don't ask.
    2. Take it easy & enjoy life - read, yoga, meditate, be active, have fun, help and support my loved ones, and give back.
    3. Last but not least - Get The Boat!   


Asset Cash Flow Portfolio

Link to My Portfolio 2019 is here.
Link to My Portfolio 2018 is here.

Monday, January 6, 2020

How to free up 80% of your time without feeling guilty

Imagine you had LIMITLESS time for yourself?
Image by Myriam Zilles from Pixabay

I wanted to share this simple technique that helped me, and many of my coaching students free up time without feeling guilty.

It works exceptionally well for perfectionists and high achievers, who often put others’ needs ahead of their own.

Here is how it works…

  1. Imagine you’ve won the lottery and gave a two-week notice
  2. Put together a transition plan
  3. Execute it! Do everything in your power for your colleagues to succeed, without you

Let’s play through this together.

Imagine you are working on an urgent, important project. The deadline is approaching fast. You are one of the most valuable contributors to this project. Everyone is counting on you! It’s late in the evening. You know you should stop for the day, yet you can’t. You do what you have to do and what you believe is the right thing to do. You work hard.

You sacrifice your sleep, dinner, and family time.

Suddenly your husband calls.

You know he’ll be asking when he can expect you back home.

Feeling both annoyed and guilty, you pick up the phone:


he yells into your ear….

You can barely contain your happiness. Your chest is exploding with joy. Tears of happiness running down your cheeks. Numerous euphoric thoughts rush through your mind. You are thinking of multiple bucket lists of everything you will now be able to do. You tell your husband you’ll be home right away and hang up.

A message pops up and brings you back to earth. Your boss is asking – “Is everything on track for the product launch in three weeks?”

Now what?!?

You know you MUST go home and be with your loved ones. You also MUST help your team succeed.

This is what you do…

1) You give a two-week notice
2) Put together an extraordinary effective transition plan
     3) Flawlessly execute it!

Now let’s come back to reality. The hard part….

I was a workaholic one day. I used to think I had to work hard. I self-sabotaged.
On three occasions, I physically collapsed…

I let my team down because I could not be there for them up to the finish line. I had to quit without a plan. Repeatedly. Then, I finally learned and applied the oxygen rule – put on your oxygen mask first, then you can take care of your loved ones.

If you feel tired, stressed, depressed, or overworked and desperately need a break,

then YOU MUST imagine you won the lottery and have to hand off your responsibilities.

**TO BE CLEAR: You DO NOT actually quit. Simply use this metaphor to re-gain your time - become a stronger player in a stronger team **

You’ll be amazed that YOU CAN free up 80-100% of your time using this technique and, at the same time, help your colleagues become more efficient, self-reliable, and confident, while you take some time to re-charge and re-energize.

Trust me! Stop surviving on adrenaline and ignoring yourself.

So many people end up taking stress-leave or even quitting just because of work overload.

Take good care of yourself!

Anna Belov
Author | Investor | Financial Success Coach

PS Hope, you enjoyed this story – feel free to share and post your comment/question below. I’ll be happy to hear from you!