WS1001: Why Family Is Part of Your Real Estate Success

People have different reasons to aim for success in life, career, or business. We have different motivations to be better and for some, that motivation is their family. In part two of this four-part series, Whitney Sewell and his wife, Chelsea, talk about the role of their whole family in the success of their real estate business.

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Whitney and Chelsea emphasize the importance of overcommitting and having everyone in the family onboard your goal to succeed. Chelsea says she considers the time they all need to focus and work to achieve their goals as a fruitful working time. Whitney also details how he had to go above and beyond to make everything happen, including mounting a daily podcast show. Chelsea also shares the importance of thinking long-term, being transparent to your children, and how God makes all things possible. Click the play button now and learn the wisdom of having your family take part in your real estate success.

Key Points From This Episode:   

  • Whitney emphasizes the importance of overcommitting.
  • Whitney shares his struggles re-starting his real estate journey and starting the podcast.
  • Chelsea talks about the time she considered a fruitful working time she and her family had.
  • Chelsea shares how God guided their marriage and their family.
  • Chelsea talks about the importance of being transparent to your children about the situation of the family.
  • Whitney elaborates how he did the first episodes of the podcasts and traveled a lot to attend conferences.
  • Whitney explains why they need to say “no” to many good things during the time they were re-starting out in the real estate business and podcasts.
  • Chelsea shares how thinking long-term helped them overcome struggles.
  • Why is the real estate journey a team effort for the whole family?
  • The financial burden of adoption.
  • Whitney talks about the expenses of producing daily shows.
  • Whitney explains why stopping the podcast was not an option.
  • Whitney talks about their failed placement for their third adoption.
  • Chelsea talks about how God made things possible and how they were able to adopt their third child.
  • Whitney elaborates how his friend Ben Hanford helped him with fundraising to provide for their adoption.

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“I really think that God made our time so fruitful.” – Chelsea Sewell

 “I think only through God can you come away from a time like that and be stronger. Because of Him, we did.” – Chelsea Sewell

 “Thinking long-term was really hopeful for us.” – Chelsea Sewell

 “It (real estate journey) is a team effort.” – Whitney Sewell

 “I think kids are also really resilient.” – Chelsea Sewell

 “He (God) will make a way. Sometimes it seems last minute, but God is always on time.” – Chelsea Sewell

 “Just numerous times that the Lord provided and we don’t have a good way to explain how it happened but He did.” – Whitney Sewell

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Whitney Sewell on LinkedIn

Whitney Sewell on Twitter

Whitney Sewell on Facebook

Financial Peace Revisited

Rich Dad, Poor Dad 

The 4-Hour Workweek

About Whitney and Chelsea Sewell

Founder of Life Bridge Capital LLC, Whitney began his real estate investing career in 2009. Whitney’s passion is working with investors, helping them secure financial security via the exceptional opportunities that multifamily syndication offers. Whitney hosts The Real Estate Syndication Show, a daily podcast where he has now interviewed over 850 experts providing cutting-edge tools and strategies of the syndication business.  Whitney and his wife Chelsea are on a mission to help other families through the process of adoption.  They have personally endured the financial burdens that the process puts on families and have committed 50% of their profits to this goal.  Whitney and Chelsea have three children by adoption.

Full Transcript

EPISODE 1001


[INTRODUCTION]


0:00:00.0 ANNOUNCER Welcome to the Real Estate Syndication Show. Whether you are a seasoned investor or building a new real estate business, this is the show for you. Whitney Sewell talks to top experts in the business. Our goal is to help you master real estate syndication. 


And now your host, Whitney Sewell.


00:00:24.000

Whitney Sewell: This is your daily real estate syndication show. I’m your host, Whitney Sewell. Again, today, as you know, I am accompanied by my business partner, my best friend, and my bride, Chelsea. And we go more into depth about our family, just the family component of our business and getting to where we’re at today. I hope you enjoy the show and are inspired.


00:00:48.0

Whitney Sewell:  Obviously, massive commitment. That’s a big thing I want to share a massive commitment, really over-commitment. And you’ve heard me talk about it many times on the show, that’s pushed me to do many things that I’ve never done without really over-committing and then having to make it happen. And then this is one of those times in selling the farm, moving to town, having to move twice, and then buying this other house, we quickly put up two walls in the corner of this basement to make an office. I mean like the week we moved in, I had to find a place to record, so the show had started recording interviews for the podcast and went to our church office, and it just happened to be the day I was off work for my federal agent position every other Monday, so two weekdays a month, and that just happened to be the data office, church office was closed.


And so, it worked out perfect. I recorded in there the first mini shows. I would go and set up and record five, eight shows at a time, and then come home. And that’s where it started until I could get that office up and going at this house. So anything right there, you wanna share your cells or I want to is to express the hard times while we were at this house, ’cause it’s very crucial to this struggle to start becoming an entrepreneur and starting a business, but the family component as well, I think I didn’t realize really how much the whole family would be affected and involved, whether you like it or not. They’re going to be involved. So, we got to this house, we set up the office, all of a sudden, it was like I’m working more hours than I’ve ever worked in my life. Obviously trying to keep a daily podcast going and building a team to do that, and also having a family, but there was pretty much no time for family, which is not something I’m proud of, but it was almost a must for a while.


0:02:36.0 

Chelsea Sewell: When I think about that time there on our little house, I really feel like God just made us so fruitful and really blessed our time I don’t think, I do think about it as a working time. But I don’t think about it in a negative light, I think about it as a season that we were in. And again, on this side of it, it’s easy to say that in the midst of it, it seemed like forever, just every day. And so, during that time that we were there, we adopted our third child, and so I have like a four and five-year-old and a newborn at the same time. And newborns don’t sleep and you’re trying to get them eating and all those things. So, it’s a full-time job just to take care of a baby, and then you have two more kids and you have to manage your home, and I cook everything from scratch, and so I’m nourishing everyone as well. So, it was a working time, it was a stressful time, but it was a fruitful time, God did so many things in our hearts during that time, in our marriage. He just blessed that time, and I think it’s so neat for me to feel that way about it.


So, we get up early, and I think we will until we go home to glory because it’s some of our time together, and that’s run really valuable. We’ve had some of the best conversations at 5:30 in the morning with the cup of coffee in her hand. And we did that during that time, even though we probably didn’t get in as much sleep as we should. We were up and we were praying and reading and talking together. And I think that time just together, I was so valuable and that God gave us that to pull this together, during that time. And I think only through God can you come away from a time like that and be stronger, but because of him, we did. 


And God uses all things for good to those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. And that’s so true, God used that time for good in our own hearts and in our marriage in just so many ways for us to really be fruitful during that time, so… Yes, it was a struggle. Yes, it was really difficult. I think in my mind too, I was thinking, it’s not gonna be forever, God really gave Whitney faith to keep going and to keep working, and he was… I mean, he just didn’t give away to discouragement. I mean, there would be times, there would be things that would come up and that would be discouraging or part or problems to work through all the time. But you didn’t give way to the spirit of discouragement, you just kept going. There was this perseverance that God gave you, and so I think that was contagious for me. I think as the leader of our family to see you working like that was just motivating for me to to keep going and not had faith in the Lord, but also just in you that you would… I could see all the things that you were doing and wanted to support you and bring you up instead of be a nagging wife and bringing you down during that time. So, I think it was hard for the children also, he’d always been training horses, so the atmosphere was Saturdays or with daddy? Sunday afternoons, but there wasn’t a lot of interaction otherwise, so I’m not sure they had a good comparison to expect a lot of time with you, but there was a window in the office, and I remember you talking about you can see the kids playing in the backyard, but that was kind of your view for those years, but not being able to be with them as much.


So, I think it was important for me too, in the way that I led the children and the way I spoke about our time to really be intentional about being transparent and saying, “Yep, we don’t like this, not seen dad, we love Dad and we want him to be with us. And we wanna do all these things. And we’re praying that, yes, that does happen soon and we get there, but there’s this season of time where we’re just gonna really have to jump in when dad can be with us, and when he can’t, we’re gonna have to just pray for him and support him in other ways that we can.” 


So, I think it was really important for me to talk to them during that time. And you to talk to them and say, “Hey, we really want daddy to be with us, but this is a season and we’re gonna pray for him, and we’re gonna value the moments that we do have together.” And I think a lot of your time off that you had to take during those years too, as a real estate and for traveling, so there wasn’t as much like, “Oh, let’s just take four or five days of vacation every few months or something, ’cause that was oriented toward real estate.”


So, I think on the outside, it was easy for it to look like all you were doing was working, and so it was important to tell them and other people that, “Here’s the goals, this is why we’re doing it. And it’s a season, it’s a time that we are digging in and investing.”


0:07:19.3 

WS: No doubt. Some very difficult times, and I wanted to highlight… I’m glad Chelsea brought up just the ages of the kids as well, and everything she was doing, she does an amazing job, just taking care of all of us. And during this time when I was jumping into this, we were doing the daily podcast. Now, and those days and each of you listening have heard this, but I wanna say it again, I meet 12 to 15 shows, back to back to back, just ’cause that’s when I had time to do it. Right, and if we couldn’t get that many done then, which was often, ’cause it’s hard to schedule that many people right. I would do them during the week after work, I would come home from… My federal agent position would run downstairs to the office and start recording shows, or take phone calls or emails, or work with the team, I had four or five virtual assistants that were doing everything on the production side of the podcast. And it was all I could do to keep up. And Chelsea was also practically working more than two full-time jobs, while taking care of all of us. And I was also traveling to as many conferences as I possibly could, at least once, if not most of the time, twice a month, like flying somewhere to network and meet as many people as possible. I knew that was crucial in building a network and getting started, and so I was just gone a lot. 


And thankfully, over many years with the government, I had built up lots of vacation time, and that’s what we would use it for, and I would take off a Thursday Friday or a Friday Monday for travel, and I would still get home. I would get home at midnight on Sundays from some trip and then have to record 15 interviews that Munday and this wasn’t an option not to do it, we just had to do it and it just wasn’t an option to sleep in or cancel, or… They just couldn’t have kept up otherwise, just to paint some intensity of the picture there.


0:09:14.8 

CS: Even when we drove back from our third adoption, we came and we drove, I think it was probably 16 hours that we drove all the way back, and the next morning, I think all of us slept three hours and I went to go give us some food with the baby and all the kids, and you went downstairs and recorded interviews all day, even that day, we just not slept. That’s the kind of commitment level that I always say he was willing to make, and he says “we,” because he knows it’s a commitment for everyone, but that’s the kind of thing that was done regularly, just… nope, they’ll make excuses. Make it happen. Just do it, just keep going. And I just think, God gave you the grace for that and he honored your obedience in your continued efforts.


0:10:02.5 

WS: Yes, definitely the one thing too, we had to say no to many things, many good things, right? Not just things that are kinda, maybe we can call them bad, but things that aren’t necessary, but many good things, even being with friends or church events that we would normally be very involved in, or you just… I don’t know many things that you would typically go to on the weekends, maybe that are exterior to work or that mindset, but just to do something different or take the boys even fishing or, good things I had to say no to for a long time. I think even receiving probably some criticism from…


0:10:43.6 

CS: From loving people, our care group leaders or pastors or friends that would say, how’s family life going, you seem to be gone a lot, and that kind of thing. And so, those were good things, and we are so thankful for people in our life that will say things like that to us because it’s such a kindness, but at the same time, we weren’t able to go to a small group much and just all the things that we really wanted to be involved in. 


And so, I think that’s where thinking long-term was really helpful for us, because if you stay in that moment, it can get very, very heavy. But, thinking long-term thinking, we’re praying, it’s not this way for much longer or forever, we’re just working this for a short time, that wasn’t our plan long-term, because we know that would be destructive for everyone. But we were willing to commit for a season for a life that God had put in our hearts to dream about.


0:11:34.8 

WS: So we missed out on a lot. Chelsea and I endured a lot. The kids also endured a lot. And I try to bring that up on shows and the interviews that I’m on, because I don’t feel it’s talked about much in our industry, probably in any industries, just the commitment level for the spouse and the children as well, it is a team effort to say the least. Just working, it’s unfortunate, they knew that they wouldn’t see me until Sunday, most weeks, up early before they’re awake, and then in the office to really late. Usually having appointments like interviews or something, so it’s hard for them to even come in the office to talk, and it was not the best, but it is with the intensity that we took it to get to where we’re at this fast. And… Anything else about that season you think Chels is helpful to the listener?


0:12:26.6 

CS: I think it’s important to remember all of that. I think it’s good for us to remember that often, just to, and to call that to mind for our children as well for them to see that time. I think kids are also really resilient. I think one of our children, we live in a beautiful place now with this gorgeous farm and it’s just a dream, we have the porch over here that you can’t see where the sun’s rising, and you can see it over the trees, and it’s… the screen for me is just beautiful, but one of our kids was really sad to leave our little house in the city, and we put up a privacy fence there, thank God we did that. And they played for hours upon in there, and we had a little playroom in the basement that had their toys. And he was really sad leg those things because that was a lot of what he knew and what he remembered. And so, I think they thought it was a fun time too, and they just did great, and it’s another testimony to just God’s favor and sustaining grace during that time that they didn’t, their love for you grew because they thought Dad is the close person ever and I really wanna see him instead of being upset about it. So, anyway, God’s just gracious, and I’m just thankful that that’s how it seems to them in their hearts as well.


0:13:40.8 

WS: So, during this time, thankfully, we had made pretty good decisions financially because of that Dave Ramsey book and those things we had paid off student debt as quick as possible, really soon after moving to Roanoke, we paid that. We were really paid student loan, did everything for many years, but then the financial burdens of adoption, and we really probably spent everything we had on the first adoption after paying off that. e were both working full-time and we had paid off student loans we had no debt, we have funded the first adoption and the Lord provided in a big way just through our jobs at that time, but that took everything.


But now, speeding up to where we’re at now, we were hearing our third adoption and we didn’t know where that money was gonna come from. And if you are a podcast host or if you’ve thought about hosting one, you looked at and you’ve looked at how much it costs you times at by 30 per month, and it’s very expensive to produce a daily podcast. And I don’t know. Really, in the beginning of what I thought where that money was gonna come from, I don’t know.


I mean, I just thought, okay, we’re just gonna make it happen one way or another. I didn’t really give it an option to not do it the way we did it as far as the daily show. But the financial commitment, I don’t believe that I realized how much that was gonna take. And not just producing the show, but just all the team members and other people to help with lots of things.


0:15:10.0 

CS: Because you were still working full-time and your time had to be recording the show, and that’s pretty much like you’re maxed out at that point.


0:15:17.5 

WS: Right. And it was, there were months where we didn’t know if we were gonna be able to produce the show the next month, ’cause financially we couldn’t afford it, many times…


0:15:29.6 

CS: I’m not sure you always told me that.


0:15:31.4 

WS: I didn’t probably always share that, I’m sure she could sense it in my attitude or things, but just many months where I wasn’t sure like, how are we gonna pay for it? Next month, and I’m like, Ah, we’re gonna have take out a loan to make this happen. We can’t stop, right? I’d probably produced many, many, many shows by this point, and 100, 200, I don’t know. And we can’t stop at that point, that’s not an option. That would be a complete failure then, to quit.


But there were months where we didn’t know, we were not sure, so we were during this time we were pursuing our third adoption, we had already spent many thousands of dollars on the adoption as well. We had done lots of fundraising, we had raised money, and then we had a failed placement, which we were going to… everything about what that means. But ultimately, we lost our 25 to $30,000, we had spent seven months in this process and thinking, Wow, are actually… No, we had spent, by this point almost the almost two years in the adoption process, and now it was like, not only have we lost all this time, but we’ve also lost all that money and we still want to adopt, but what are we going to do?


0:16:44.5

CS: So God, again, the quip student provides for you what He calls you to, and so the burden of a failed placement is heavy because you have this desire in your heart and you’ve worked really hard for it, and then the bottom just falls out from underneath you and you have a lot of questions. However, we believe in the sovereignty of God and that He ordains all things, and that He loves His people, and He gives good gifts to those who love Him. And so, we knew we had to trust Him even then. And it turns out He can be trusted, and Whitney has a friend in real estate that was doing an event and heard about what happened and used the event as a platform to raise another $25,000 in a weekend for us to be able to continue to adopt.


And so, long story short, we could go into all kinds of beautiful things that got in an adoption, but long story short, as we had our failed placement, we were actually matched again right away, and so six weeks after our field placement, our daughter was born in God early went before us and had provided that money ahead of time. And we were able to financially get through that as well, and bring her home. And so, financially, through real estate, adoption, doing all these things at the same time, I don’t feel like we were being irresponsible or committing to things that were just not reasonable. But at the same time, we were asking God to do big things financially to sustain us all of that time financially, and you would make a way. Sometimes it seemed kind of last minute, but God’s always on time, and so he would come up with a way, Here’s sell this property and here’s some money to keep going.


0:18:26.9 

WS: I’ll give a shout out Dan Hanford. Most of you may have heard of him before, but just an amazing friend, and he called me after he’d heard about the failed placement and all the money loss, and he was doing a big event and he just said, “Hey, why don’t we do a fundraiser during the event?” And I was like, “Well, that would be amazing,” right? How encouraging? And he did just immediately launched this fundraiser, raised $25,000 or so, just in a few days from people in this industry, it tells you a lot about our industry, a lot of friends that I had made over the year or so before that time, it really came together and helped provide for our adoption in a big way, and just very grateful. It was just amazing to see that happen. The friendships that I had created over a long period of time, and then even with Dan and him putting that out and how just our industry came together to help us at that time. And so, just amazing time, but even I had partnered with a guy in Roanoke and bought a 15-unit apartment building during this time as well. And that was a learning experience, to say the least also. And there was a month where we were like, I don’t know if we can produce a show next month, and he actually approached me and said, Hey, if you’d like to get out of this project, I’d be happy to buy you your portion. And it was the perfect timing. We went to the bank and he wrote me a check, and now we can still produce the show for a few months and eat.


So, just numerous times that are provided in unexpected ways like that, that we just… We don’t have a good description or a good way to explain how it happened, but He did. 


0:20:10.9 

WS: I hope now you understand the family component and how it’s so important to us and how they all had to be a part of the team, and they are part of the team, and how we did that, how we shared that vision with our children and how Chelsea and I shared that vision as well, we will talk to you again next week as we continue this conversation and talk about our mission and why that has been so important also.


0:20:25.0 

WS: 1,000 shows. Can you believe it? I can’t. I cannot believe we have recorded more than a thousand interviews with experts in this business. We could not have reached this milestone without you, our listeners. I am personally grateful for each of you that are listening, and I hope that you are learning more every day from the interviews and the experts that we’re having on the show. Just to say thank you, I want to offer a gift to the first 100 listeners that sign up. You need to go to the website, to the podcast page, Life Bridge Capital, to be short form to fill out just so we can send you a gift to say Thank you. But it’s only for the first 100. I look forward to connecting with you. Please reach out if we can help in any way.


[OUTRO]


0:21:13.0 ANNOUNCER: Thank you for listening to the Real Estate Syndication Show, brought to you by Life Bridge Capital. Life Bridge Capital works with investors nationwide to invest in real estate while also donating 50% of its profits to assist parents who are committing to adoption. Life Bridge Capital, making a difference one investor and one child at a time. Connect online at www.LifeBridgeCapital.com for free material and videos to further your success.


[END]

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