Elevate Your Equity

Ep 100 Special - 3 Degrees of Freedom Celebration with Derek & Sophie

July 11, 2022 Season 2 Episode 100
Elevate Your Equity
Ep 100 Special - 3 Degrees of Freedom Celebration with Derek & Sophie
Show Notes Transcript

On this episode, Derek and Sophie, our hosts discuss how they created location, time, and financial freedom for themselves in 18 months after 7 years of hard work and preparation. We'll explore how things have changed from January 2020 to present (summer of 2022) in terms of their travel, relationships, lifestyle, mindset growth, business changes, and focus on holistic health (mental and physical). Those listeners who are able to watch along with us on YouTube will have a special treat in some never before seen footage of their travels in Portugal and Greece over the first half of their European adventure. Finally, Derek and Sophie cover the 4 C's on how they were able to create a life of freedom on three levels, and some tips on getting started or accelerating your lifestyle, passive income, and personal growth goals.

Let's celebrate together and get inspired to project yourself into what your life could be like if you lean into enabling the 3+1 degrees of freedom for you and your family!

If you enjoyed this content and are looking for more, you can continue to learn more about us in several different places for free!


If you'd like to have a FREE copy of our 7 Ways Commercial Real Estate Syndications Protect and Build Wealth, simply click the link below. We are here and vested in your long-term success! elevateequity.org/7waysEbook

Introduction:

Welcome to the Elevate Your Equity podcast, where we, as married busy professionals, leverage real estate investing to unlock the three plus one degrees of freedom, help, location, time and financial. Hello, everyone, and welcome back to the Elevate Your Equity podcast.

Derek Clifford:

Today is a very special type of podcast episode because today we're talking about our 100th episode, which is incredible to think about. And we're just super excited to be able to share this moment with you. What do you think about 100 episodes?

Sophie Lorn-Clifford:

I can't even believe it. I remember when we were recording or getting ready to record our very first one. And I was so nervous, I had no idea what we were going to talk about what we were going to do or where it was going to go. But it's so exciting to be able to look back. And it's been about how long now about a year, year. So since our first episode, and I'm really proud of us and everything that has happened, and all of the wonderful experiences that has transpired and all the growth.

Derek Clifford:

Yeah, it's been an amazing actually that come to think about it's been about 1618 months, right? Because I believe we started back in like January February of 2020, I think in the middle of the pandemic or as it was picking up steam, so really excited to be able to share this special moment with you guys. And since we last gave an update on one of our episodes, it's been about two months. And so we what we want to do is we want to update you and celebrate with you on all of the different things that have happened to us since podcast episode zero and episode number one, we were going to talk about traveling, how much we've been doing some of our amazing traveling, how we're increasing and leveling up our mindset and our relationship between the two of us and the people around us, our lifestyle and business and how all of that has evolved. And hopefully this will be an inspirational story for you as well. Because we want you to be able to take away a little bit of what we're doing, if not do everything that we're doing as well, just because this is such an incredible lifestyle. And we were so blessed to do it. And we hope that you are able to take away some of it or at least little pieces here and there. So with that being said, what do you think about all this? Like, what do you think, over the last 18 months has changed, and a high level summary of all those different things that we're talking about?

Sophie Lorn-Clifford:

I think our overall vision has continued to expand. You know, at one point, definitely last year, and during the pandemic, it was really hard to see beyond the pandemic, it was really hard to see what life would look like beyond even being in our own state, or being beyond the United States. And so it's really nice now that you know, just to like Derek said, to give you an update today is actually our seven year wedding anniversary,

Derek Clifford:

I can't believe I forgot to mention that. We get in trouble for that later.

Sophie Lorn-Clifford:

Well, we've been together 12 years now. And this is our seventh year. It's been such a wonderful journey. There's, like Derek said, there's been so much growth and experiences. And we'll share a little bit more about how we've learned about each other through our relationship as life partners, business partners. But really, you know, to answer your question, I think, for me, it's been one of those moments of, again, always gratitude, but really thinking myself, Wow, there's so much more than I ever could have imagined that was possible. And I think that's the biggest shift for me, because I really, whenever I used to envision my life, I couldn't really think outside the box. I think there was always this there was always these limitations that I put upon myself in terms of my career in terms of location. But now that we've delved into all of these different degrees of freedom. I mean, that's what I'm excited to share with everyone, because we found that it is all possible.

Derek Clifford:

Yeah, absolutely. And I think that's right on the money there. Because I've been evolving right there with you alongside you. And this whole thing has been just an incredible blessing. It's taken a lot of courage. And there's been a lot of growth. And there's been a lot of things that we had to work through in order to make this happen. But in any event, we're really blessed to be able to be here. And so we want to share a little bit about that with you and share the journey. So first things first, and maybe we can talk about do you wanna talk about relationship first or travel? What would you like to do?

Sophie Lorn-Clifford:

Since it is our anniversary today? Let's start with that because it sounds pretty relevant. Again, seven year and I looked it up in seven years is like copper, copper anniversary a lot like Plumbing. I'm not sure what people give to each other in copper. But going back to the growth, the expansion I mean, we've gone through a lot of ups and downs together. It's Like any other couple, you know, we're not immune to any of those valleys. But we've definitely, you know, those have been lows, highs have been really high. But I think Throughout it all, especially with the help of our mentors, Phil and Gail, you know, they've been married, I think about 50 plus years, they've been really able to help us shine a light on our communication styles. And help us realize that, you know, we're always going to be in it together. And so as we design and co-create our life together, I think the inherent growth within that is pretty inevitable. But you know, what would you say you've seen the most changes,

Derek Clifford:

I think a lot of it is going into ourselves. And at least for me, the only thing like we both have grown in different ways, but we've also grown together, which is good, I think that we're becoming more and more like, I it's really hard to explain, because I don't want to say the same person, because we are different people individually. But a lot of our attributes have started to like some of our weaknesses have been turning into strengths. And some of our strengths have been leveling off as we start depending on each other right to do things. So I think we're both growing together in different ways. And I hope that for you, over the years that you grow in the same way with your spouse, too. And I think that by being out and about in the open and all these changes that we're about to get into this happened doesn't last 16 months, it poses a lot of external situations that also prompt internal responses that we both work together on and everything. So for instance, right, like, we're starting to understand more about each other, what happens in the face of uncertainty. And for me, I've realized that's a weak point of mine, something that I grew up with just a pattern that I've learned over the years. And I've understood that even though things may be unknown, it's okay, right? Like, what is the worst that's going to happen, you're not going to die from, you know, most of the things that are out there in the external world that is out to get you so to speak. And then I think also, you know, I found that trusting in each other in business and also outside of business, both in and out. So for instance, like travel plans, or, like, for instance, my job is to navigate and when we're like exploring all these towns and everything, we'll find a place to go to and then I'll help navigate us to the place Sophie is really good at like finding great Airbnb is to stay at, he's really good at finding excellent restaurants. And so we've just known to like depend on each other. And there's a really cool dialogue that happens every time we have something like that. And it gives us a chance to learn more about each other, right? Because it's always an evolving thing, you know, people change from moment to moment. And so we're embracing that in the presence, right, being there next to one each other.

Sophie Lorn-Clifford:

And think it's also worthwhile to mention that, you know, we are actually quite opposite, but quite complimentary in our personalities. And so our values of the core are very aligned. However, our personalities like Derek, he's very practical, he can be very linear, and he knows what he wants, and he hits that destination. But for me, it's a little bit more about, okay, well, if I'm going to get lost, you know, I'll get to my destination eventually. But the navigation aspect to get there is, there's a little bit more detour, maybe there's a little bit more, you know, I tend to take the scenic route, maybe accidentally, because I don't plan as well as he does. But I think that that lends itself very well to helping us learn from each other and helping us understand that we have these strengths that to the other person, it could actually seemed like weak links, or, or whatever. But I think that, like Derek said, we've grown into each other a lot, we've grown together, and we've strengthened areas that may have not been very strong before and have been able to widen our horizons and our perspectives.

Derek Clifford:

Yeah, and also, like, get a healthy respect for one another, even though we may think differently, like we both respect each other's talents and ways of thinking. So I think that's an important thing to learn. And even though I knew that was appropriate, I didn't really like up until like the last, you know, year or so I didn't really step into that and really act on it. Right. And so, you know, the business growth for both Sophia and I, because she has her business too, has necessitated us to work together, inside and outside of the business. And I encourage you listeners also to think about that, right? Like whether or not your spouse is going to be with you actively inside the business. Maybe they can do something passively, or like take care of the kids or, you know, create like a physical space for you to be able to do your work that's away from everything else. So you can concentrate, all those little things that happen on a day to day basis. It's not easy, but the consistency is really going to help get you there. And when we've been traveling, we've learned so much about each other through all these little changes, right? Like what happens under stress, right? Like what happens if a flight is delayed and it's our connecting flight or what happens, you know, when things aren't quite like we thought it was in the AirBnb listing? Like, what do we do? You know, how do we adjust, and some of us like one of us will get emotional about a certain thing, and then the other will step in to help, like calm everything down. And in the end, we all we always figure it out. And so it's that give and take dynamic that we bring into our businesses to help figure out like how we're going to solve problems, or when we're getting stuck, or we need support when we're there for each other. And we have that backdrop of all of the things have happened on the personal life, that's been incredible changes. So I wouldn't say for our relationship, it's gotten a lot stronger as it does every single year. And of course, I'm always looking forward to the next year that we have together just because we don't know what the future is going to bring. And we both trust in ourselves and each other that as long as we're together, the next year is just going to be better, even if financially we're less off. Or if we're in a different place. Like physically, we know that relationships, and growth and mindset, those are really the things that matter. And in the end, wherever your mindset goes, that's where your external world will go to.

Sophie Lorn-Clifford:

Absolutely. And so like Derek said, It's been two months since our last update. And you know, since the last time that we sat down together to record a podcast was actually at Derek's Mom, dad's house in Colorado Springs. And so it was a while ago, since then, we've been in Portugal, we spent a month in Costa Rica, which is just a gorgeous, beautiful coastal town in Portugal. Again, Portugal was never on our radar,

Derek Clifford:

Right! It wasn't. And as a matter of fact, like, while Sophie tells you the story for our YouTube listeners, we're going to give you guys an extra bonus, because I'm going to share my screen and you guys will be able to actually see a few of the videos that we've taken of the surrounding areas that we haven't yet shared with anyone. So if you want to see that, please head over to the YouTube channel that we have. So just type into YouTube, which is elevate your equity podcast, and you should see us there and then please like and subscribe there. So you'll get alerted of any future videos that come out. But anyway, go ahead. So I'm gonna let Sophie take that away as we switch over.

Sophie Lorn-Clifford:

Awesome. So like I said, we were in Costa Rica, and it's beautiful coastal town, it's probably one of the best areas for surfing. And we decided to spend a month there because we just wanted to get our bearings and really feel what it was like to live in a European city. So Costa capper Rica is one of the most beautiful coastal towns in Portugal. It has the area that we were staying, how about a 20 mile stretch of just white sandy, gorgeous beaches, and the water was crystal clear. Probably some of the best areas for surfing and I really looking back, I just really regret not taking surf lessons. But I know that we'll be back and there'll be plenty of time to do that. But it was one of those places that was just so magical that you can go out there. And then all your cares just float away. You can do your miracle mornings walk along the beach, and have a really, really great meal. And just a good place to say hey, life is good.

Derek Clifford:

Yeah, yeah, we were five minutes away from this incredible beach area here. And when we couldn't help ourselves on the first night coming in and just walking out the beach, walking up by the beach, dropping our stuff down. And we were dead tired because we flew in from the States right from like three different layover flights, like going through dork and also through LaGuardia and stuff to finally get to Lisbon. And then we had a taxi ride and our time zones and our bodies were all mixed up. But we still found the strength to come out and and check out the coast. And then you know, we made some trips into Lisbon to write. And we there's a whole bunch of stuff there. You guys can see on the videos right now where like, it's just the getting into settling into the European field. There's like these really cool trams, you have all the historic like monuments, and really like our first taste of incredible food, including like, in between sightseeing, like we would go out there and we'd spend like, you know, half a day to a full day just walking around for the first couple of weekends seeing everything there is to see Finding random spots that were just really cool. Something that you guys would randomly do to if you had like a month or a month and a half in a town right or in a city. So we really liked that we fumbled around a little bit with our cache like trying to find euros, right and paying things with credit cards and stuff like that and how how to get euros with the least amount of transaction fees and get cash and stuff like that. But eventually we figured it out. Right and then we tasted some of this Jinja also in in Lisbon, which was pretty pretty cool. And had some some really good fish and European food and just lots of great things all over the place. Like here's just a sample of like some of the plazas that we were that we were looking at right lots of Mosaic Next in Lisbon, right?

Sophie Lorn-Clifford:

Just gorgeous streets and it was just fantastic to get lost amongst the city and really see the sights, listen to the sounds. I mean, you'd pass people's houses and just hear Portuguese music playing and there'd be live music just within hidden alleyways, just great, great experience. And, you know, what I really, really came to realize was that everyone seemed to have enough. And maybe, you know, for the month that we were here, I don't know, it's not quite enough to see and know everything, of course, but it just felt like we had enough like, we would walk to the grocery store, you know, one or two days, we never needed to stock up, there was always a feeling of, if we needed it, we'll be there. People were relaxed. The city is just calm, colorful, the water was turquoise. And you know, there was just there wasn't a lot of anxiety. I would have to say that. That was my take on it.

Derek Clifford:

Yeah, I think it was really good. And it was really great for us to get to ease into the European lifestyle. And then the food and like a day trip out to Porto I remember all that. It was just fantastic. We had such a great experience in Portugal. And then you know, to cap off things right. Like once we once we had our full on Lisbon experience, we went into a small beachside town called Cascais, which is a little it's a little area oh, here's our Porto trip to like all these all these cool videos with like food and things like that. So you guys will see this more on social media later on, like once we get it all prepped. But yeah, Porto was magical. You really enjoyed that city.

Sophie Lorn-Clifford:

I did. And I looking back, I sort of wish we spent more time there because Lisbon encountered an earthquake. And so they had to rebuild everything.

Derek Clifford:

There was an earthquake of fire, and then it's tsunami is what it was, yeah. earthquake, tsunami, or fire earthquake. Yeah, it was one of those three of those like

Sophie Lorn-Clifford:

They had to rebuild everything more military grade, so that you can sustain the what do you call it? Like?

Derek Clifford:

Commerce and people.

Sophie Lorn-Clifford:

Yeah. Porto Porto was more my style, because it just felt like you were in a enchanted fairytale city. And that's, you know, there was a we're up in the hill overlooking this, overlooking the beautiful town, and there was a violin player playing. And, of course, I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff. So I just thoroughly thoroughly like melted into that experience. Of course, everywhere you go, there's just beautiful medieval castles and bridges and waterways and so.

Derek Clifford:

I was really great. Yeah, it's like, it's one of these things where, like, we, you know, we started looking to each other, and we'll talk about this a little bit later on, but we're figuring, you know, like, why do we need to live in the United States? Like, why why not do something like this? More often?

Sophie Lorn-Clifford:

I would say to the listeners, too, that this was definitely something that shifted within me, probably halfway through Portugal. I really thought seriously, you know, we spoke seriously about moving internationally for various reasons, right? For me, for both of us. There's the safety factor, the the low buzz factor, I think, when we were living in the San Francisco Bay area, it always felt like we have to hustle. And and even though we are still we're working very, very hard balancing this lifestyle. But overall, I just feel more relaxed. Would you agree?

Derek Clifford:

Yeah, I think so. Yeah. Plus, you know, little things like the food and the people here are just friendlier, the food is better, like it just tastes fresher. And there's more of an emphasis on it. And I think all that stuff is really, really important to us, too. Plus, you know, I love history. And Sophie really enjoys the relaxed lifestyle and the great weather too. Like we're fortunate to be here in spring and summer. So we understand that it's not gonna always be the case. But yeah, that's what we've been experiencing overall. And then, you know, after Lisbon and Porto we went to a place called Qashqai is right, which is, and this is where my mom and dad came to visit us. And this was actually about three weeks ago, right? And when they were here, Sophie insisted on going to the castles, which is one of the most amazing things that we could have done, and we got hooked on these past days, right. The past days did not right, the little custard tarts that they have. That's so amazing.

Sophie Lorn-Clifford:

The pastries of Portugal. And specifically, there's the past eight to blehm baleen and they were just the most amazing they're like these little custard sugary, like putting tarts and you know, we just ate doesn't. Yeah, but this is what you're seeing here is our day trip in Sintra. And Sintra is a little bit outside of Lisbon and they just, it's just enchanting, beautiful palaces. beautiful grounds, so much great foliage. And I think because of the change in the microclimate, as you can see, it's a little bit foggy here. So when we're in Lisbon, it's super sunny, you know, less trees, but then when you get into Sintra, the elevation gets a little bit higher. What was really neat was that I really wanted to go see this particular palace. And it turns out that Derek's dad, you know, knew about this initiation well, and so there was this long line probably waited a good three to 40 minutes to just walk down into this wall, and I never anticipated it would be so breathtaking.

Derek Clifford:

Grand, do you know like, so those who are on YouTube can see how awesome this is, it's really, really cool. And just the amount of time and effort that people put like the Europeans put into this was great. And last thing in cash guys was the beautiful beaches, you can see here, I'm talking with my mom out on the beach right next to where we were about a five minute walk from our Airbnb, and just really enjoying life in the weather and having them out with us. So it was really, really cool to have all that. And then after that, we headed to Athens with my mom and dad, too, right? And went to Athens. And we were there for a couple of days, mainly just to explore the culture for a little while, and then head off to Crete to the island of Crete. And so Athens was magical, like there's, you know, we did a day tour, right, we experienced some of the archaeological sites that were there. This is the Acropolis right there at nighttime, we were up in the Acropolis, during the daytime sweating along with a lot of the other people in the area. But really taking in some of the incredible history that Athens had, like, the cool thing that was about that I found about Athens is that it's one of those places where you have very little like there's there's very, very little things that didn't cross like Athens at one point in history, all of the language and culture and art and like democracy, the birth of democracy, and building innovation and construction, all that happened in Athens at the same time, and was the epicenter of everything happening in the world at one place for a couple 100 years. And so it was really cool to see all that and all of these Greek and Latin roots for the words that we're using to this day and being dispersed out to the rest of the world all happened here in this place. And so I think it was it was super cool to have that history, and to be able to see everything happening here. So Greece is definitely one of those candidates of places that we may end up living.

Sophie Lorn-Clifford:

Absolutely, yeah. I couldn't agree more. Especially because I can just another magical magical place. And Derek, he's such a big history buff, and he loves learning about Rise and Falls of civilizations, whereas I love listening to more like Greek mythology and the stories around it. And so it melted really well. And I I definitely learned a lot about the history as well. And so we actually were able to after Athens, we went to Crete, Crete was the whole world on its own. And we went to CanAssist palace. And what I learned and took away specifically was that this particular palace with the people called the Minoans that started this entire civilization. They actually were probably the first civilization that started the entire European civilization about

Derek Clifford:

Yeah, they migrate. That's right. They migrated from North Africa from the deserts into the island of Crete, which is just above North Africa. And then they continued migrating north into Europe. So most likely this Minoan civilization, which figured out like the very basics, like rudimentary concepts of construction, ended up becoming the basis of who we are today, like all Europeans started in this Minoan civilization. And scientists still can't figure out you know, our archaeologists can't figure out like, why they left like what exactly happened here. But most likely, they migrated due to some weather issues or something like that natural disaster disasters or disease or something. Usually, that's the way civilizations end up falling. Or there could be economic issues, like all kinds of things. And so here you can see just like the very first theater here, well, this is one of the edges but you can see the very first theater that was ever in human civilization that we know of right now, in this video right here, which was super cool to see right like you can clearly see this is all original. Some of this stuff is added but you can see over here in the center of the of the image over here on the left, that that was actually original stuff, people would sit down here on the steps and crowd around and watch everything so man really cool, really cool culture.

Sophie Lorn-Clifford:

Crete. Another interesting thing about Crete is that it's a self sustaining Island, meaning that everything that they eat, you know, all of the food, all of the energy resources are sourced from the island itself. And the people are just so amazingly hospitable kind like we, you know, every restaurant we went to the owners, the servers, they would come and have a drink with us they served at the very end of the meal, they would serve a complimentary rock key which is which is a record drink and the beaches were absolutely sparkling. And the cost of living is so low just for the for the ambiance. I mean, we got to sit here in this area with umbrellas, crystal clear beaches for free, all you have to do is order a drink or two. Yeah. And so there's Derek's mom enjoying her book. And as you can see the crystal clear waters. Yeah,

Derek Clifford:

It's great. And then there was castles there. And everything like creek just has so much like history and cities, it's very big island. And so we had to rent a car to walk around it. And then you know, after that, like what's new to us. And where we're at right now is after Crete, we headed off to Rhodes, which is this ancient, like, really cool place we're currently at right now, where there's like an old town that's surrounded literally by castle walls. And it looks a lot like this. Like you can see the cobblestones kind of everywhere all over the place. You have these narrow streets with like, this isn't so narrow, but you've got mosaics just randomly throughout here, you can see like, kind of in this video that we posted. That's kind of what a lot of the old town looks like. And just really, like really fortunate to be able to be here. So that's kind of our travel journey so far. And we still are halfway through, we have another two months left. And we're going to be heading off to other parts of Greece after this. And then we've got Ireland and London and Norway and then Iceland. So we're still really excited about all of our travels. And we actually don't want to head back to the US to have to anyway, yeah, not quite yet. So anyway, that's a little bit of what where we've been. And I want to kind of jump into some of the other things that we were talking about in terms of mindset, and business as well. So something else transitioning over from our travels and sharing over all those incredible pictures and things with you, which is, which was awesome. And we're glad to be able to do that. I want to talk first about like, all the things have happened to our lifestyle, you know, and as we talk about this, we hope that you can also draw some inspiration too, because, you know, if we can do it, certainly you can as well, obviously, we don't have kids yet. So that's one thing that like allows us to very easily do this. But you know, I still don't think that that can hold you back if you really wanted it to. And there's homeschooling options, online options are more readily available. And so there's just a lot of things that you can do to help prepare yourself for this. Or if you're in your older stages of life, and your kids are a little bit older than maybe I've just a few years left till they leave the house. And you could do this yourself. So in any event, let's talk about our lifestyle. So since we launched our podcast, right, back in January of 2020, we had a house that we're living in, right, that's gone, we have been to over 30 AirBnbs, internationally so far, right, and we still have more to go. And we really embrace this minimalism doesn't matter fact, we were just talking about it last night, right with some of our clothes that we have here. So you want to talk about the minimalism piece a little bit?

Sophie Lorn-Clifford:

if you're new to listening to this podcast. So, about a year, we sold our house in the San Francisco Bay area, and we sold everything along with it. So everything that we own ended up in a 10x10 storage unit, but then we ended up just getting rid of that mostly and then giving everything away. So currently, we only have probably two or three suitcases worth of, of belongings. And I think we've done so successfully was we just try to travel Europe for four months with just carry on suitcases, and backpacks. And, you know, come to realize, too, that that's even too much. So last night, we went through all of our clothes in our carry on and got rid of some stuff because you know, there were some things that we hadn't worn in two months, and we've just been carrying it around with us. So I think this aspect of letting go. And it's so symbolic in many ways, because it's representative of what we've let go of things that we've probably, you know, been carrying with us unconsciously. And maybe this is something for you to think about as well like what have you been carrying around, whether it be emotionally or physically, that really doesn't necessarily serve a purpose anymore. So that might be something to reflect on, and perhaps experimenting with what it feels like to let go. Because when we've let go of the things, you know, really we haven't thought about how we've missed it. You know, it's interesting because as you're purging as you're reflecting on things, it's it's really easy to say well, I might use that or you You know, and if you think about it, that's the same with our mindset or with our thoughts, like we hold on to a lot of unnecessary baggage. Yeah, so we're actually we, you know, we got rid of another bag of clothes that we haven't worn, and it just feels so good to be able to shed even more and to know that we, you know, all we need is ourselves. And the experiences matter so much more than collecting little knickknacks, here and there. So that's, that's been really.

Derek Clifford:

Yes, it has, like, I couldn't agree with you more there. And I think that minimalism piece like, if you allow space in your life, like, it's weird how physically if you take stuff away, right, and you create the space, so it's just you and your, your essential possessions. It's amazing, like, how that correlates with the mental space that opens up. I don't know how to explain it. But that's what we've been finding. And you know, we've been working remote, both of us for about a year and a half now. And we haven't found any downside. Well, there's been some downsides like Wi Fi connections, power outages, things like that. But you know, honestly, like, if you were to look at being in an office versus the things that we're doing right now, like this wins, hands down. So I think that that's been, that's been really cool. And I guess going back to the minimalism piece, I forgot to mention this too, like one thing that, like, I realize having my parents with us, right, like they were really worried about their pets at home. With us, we don't even have a house at home to worry about, we don't have anything that needs our support or ongoing support back at home, except for the things that we're constantly checking on, which is our businesses and our clients and our properties and things like that, which we have helped with, right, we've got partners that are going to help us in their roles with all of these things. And we're realizing that the tethers that you have, can really affect the experience in the moment, and really, in the moment is all we have, you know, that's all we have. And so if you're tethered to things that are so far away, and you have no control over and you're distracted, it's going to cloud the current moment. And so, you know, we saw that with my parents being here, they had pets at home that they were worried about and long story there. But basically, it's just really great to be able to live this lifestyle without having any attachments, you know.

Sophie Lorn-Clifford:

And going back to the working remotely, I think that's something that we're just so fortunate to be able to have, we speak about this all the time in terms of the decision that Derek made in terms of leaving his W two and the ability to leave the W two, because not everyone has that. But if you do have the luxury, the ability to work remotely, I highly, highly recommend it just because it gives you time flexibility. And I think what we've gotten back was our ability to connect with each other, because we've merged a lot of our, our business or career, even with what I'm doing. So I'll share a little bit about what I'm doing. Now, I have a virtual medical practice, but even that, you know, it's always about getting deeper and deeper into the layers of what more you can let go of right. And so even though from the outskirts, it looks like oh, we're working remotely, but there are some, there are some things I mean, it's almost like, Okay, you wake up, you still do your eight to five, even though you're not in a physical, physical office. And so what we've learned in the past years of traveling is like, how can we get to the next layer of optimization of our lifestyle of our work of our careers. And for me, I, I had the wonderful opportunity to join an amazing company as their, as one of their medical advisors, the company's called own it. And what I'm doing with them is just basically reviewing lab results and consulting. And I thought, you know, again, another layer, because when we're here in Europe, we're about six to nine hours ahead of us time. And so that, that was one of the things that we had to maneuver around. Because a lot of our partners, a lot of my clients, it was morning for them, it was actually like 11 o'clock 11pm for us. So we would have to adapt our sleep schedules or our eating schedules, you know, around that, but what I'm trying to say is that there's always an element if we can reflect deep enough of what we want of what we need. It's almost like we can identify those opportunities that come across in Derek actually manifest they Yeah, I wanted to you know, maybe avoid using that word because I don't know how it lands or, or how loaded it could be. But um, but Derek actually connected me with this company, which was probably something that I've been wanting to, like I've been wanting for a long time. I just didn't know how it would appear Aaron show up.

Derek Clifford:

Yeah. And you know, the funny thing is, is that Sophie went through a lot of growth to find this because this opportunity may not have been there. Basically, if she had worked so hard on creating her own business and taking a step back, right, and knowing what it's like to be an entrepreneur, full blown entrepreneur, now she's able to advise this company, she's able to help in the way that she wants to help. And so she's making a decision on how she wants to serve. And I think that that's really, really cool. And I think, you know, going back to lifestyle, like before we jump into mindset and business here is that like, I think that being out and about for so much like we've embodied this, like world citizen view, instead of being just a US citizen. And I think that just comes with time. And I think we've just realized that there's so many cultures out there, and so many people and a lot of ways of doing both business and pleasure out there that like, you just don't know it until you step out into it. So you can do zoom calls and do all that stuff. But I think the main thing is just being present in these cultures, to see how they live and know that there's a different way to think about things a different language, a different way of like living in a home, what's important to them or not like for instance, here, there's no dryers, there's like clothes dryers in the United States everywhere. But here there isn't, they just give you a hanging rack and you rack you like basically hanging your clothes. And that's really smart, right? Because you're and then you know, here another really interesting thing on the islands of Greece is that when you go to the bathroom, you can't flush the toilet paper. So there's like a little waistband right next to the toilet. So it's very interesting things. But it shows you like how different people think. And so I think that's a really cool thing to experience. And the last thing too, that Sophie touched on, in terms of remoteness, and being able to work remotely is the fact that we get to spend three months out of the last year and a half with family and friends while working our business. And actually that might be understood, I think we're at like three or four or something like that, right? Whether they've been with us traveling, or we visited them in their in their towns, where they came out to with us on business trips, like all that has happened in the last three months. And being able to do that like as our family gets older. And as our Dynamics and relationships change. And as people change. This is a priceless experience, right? This is really a gift. And so that's how our lifestyle has really changed over the last 18 months. And it's just incredible what's happened. So that being said, I want to move now into mindset. So maybe I'll start here. And then I want to talk about what you've taken away and how you've changed over the last 18 months. But for me, surrendering and going with the flow has been the theme. There's been points here and there where I feel like I should be working. And that's what creates his nervous energy in me, that makes a lot of conflict, right in the home situation is like I've got to start working on stuff just because I need to feel productive. And I'm slowly starting to let that go. I still have flashes of that coming out every once in a while. But I'm starting to understand that like, you don't need to live within the bounds of a paycheck, especially if you can live anywhere, right. And you can control your expenses as much as you want. Like, the amount of runway that you have left changes depending on the decisions you make. And so if you want to relax, you can relax. If you want to accelerate, you can accelerate in any part of your life, right. And so I think having these three degrees of freedom allows you to give you the freedom to choose. And sometimes that's a curse, it can be a blessing, but it can also be a curse, because you don't know how to handle all this, right? So these are all just like kind of these growth spurts that we're going through. But mainly it's surrendering and going with the flow like couple of days, Sophie has been like, Hey, let's go to the beach today. I'm like, Well, I really want to get some work done. And she's like, Yeah, but we're only going to be in this island for a couple days. And we haven't been in the beach yet. So let's do it. And I'm like, okay, she's right, let's go do it. And that's made for really incredible, like thoughts and experiences that we'll be able to take with us. And it relaxes us so that when we do work, we can really lean into it.

Sophie Lorn-Clifford:

Absolutely. And we're a lot more productive when we do come back, because I think a lot of the energy that was spent with you know, worrying that that kind of gets wasted. And even when we're in the water at the beach, Derek said, you know, it's a lot easier to just, you know, go with the wave versus trying to fight it because the wave will

Derek Clifford:

Yeah, that was while we were in the ocean. And I was like trying to like swim into the waves or trying to like get my head above the water. And then once I realized that you just move with the wave. It's so much easier to just relax and your head moves up with the water instead of you trying to fight into it. So it was a really cool metaphor.

Sophie Lorn-Clifford:

It's a symbolic of our personalities. Yeah, and I think going back to the balance piece, a lot of people can argue that perhaps there's no such thing as bounce lens, and perhaps are is, you know, everyone, for everyone, it's a little bit different. And what I found for myself is that I love going out really seeing where we are enjoying our surroundings, for lack of a better phrase, like you play hard and you work hard. And that's given me the most fulfillment, because I don't think that I could sit on the beach, and just do nothing just exist for days on end, I don't think that that I could, you know, that I could feel that I'm giving back right to the world. So that's something that I, you know, that I definitely recognize, I know that, you know, when we all work so hard, it's really easy to say, oh, my gosh, I'm gonna just lay on the beach for a month on end and do nothing. But really, that's not sustainable either. And I don't think that is emotionally satisfying. And I just wanted to touch on what Derek said earlier about being a world citizen, challenging are, you know, our notion of living in the United States. You know, when we're here in Europe, I think, to let me back up when we were in the United States, we felt like we had to have a certain amount of money, a runway to be able to survive. That's really not the reality for Europe, because you can survive and live a very great life on very little. Right. And when I when I say little, it's relative to the United States, but again, it's it's about learning a different way to exist, going, seeing all these different cultures experiencing how they find fulfilment, and wellness and health. And, and I think, for me, it's a different way to exist. And so I think there's a an Albert Einstein quote, where, you know, you can't solve the problems with the same mindset that created them. And it really did take a pattern interruption, as drastic as this in terms of like, leaving the country, and working remotely and trying to just disassemble our lives or our, you know, conditioned lives, and then recondition and rebuild in a way that helps us find more alignment. So I think that's the mindset piece that you know, that that's really grown within me.

Derek Clifford:

Yeah, over the last 18 months. And, man, there's so much more like we talk, like, we're just talking about, like, where we were physically and mentally back 18 months ago, and I was still working a W two, you know, Sophie was working locally for a place in California. And we just like a lot of these things were just Inklings, right? And now we've really grown into it. And I can tell that we're more flexible people less nervous, healthier, and just smarter about knowing that time spent in an activity or time spent working on the business doesn't necessarily mean progress, it just means that you're feeling good about working, or it's not quite a one to one equation. So and we kind of knew that internally. But we've been seeing that in action recently, right? Like it takes network, it takes connections, it takes really knowing who you are. And so I'd say the main crux or the Keystone for the mindset, growth of this whole trip, was just letting go, you know, and cutting away being minimalized, or minimalistic, right, like the cutting away of all the extra stuff that doesn't matter, and allowing room for what really does matter to grow. And so I think that that's kind of the theme that I've taken away from mindset. And, you know, finally, I wanted to talk about how our businesses have grown over the last 18 months. This is just like mind blowing. To me. On the multifamily side, we had zero multifamily units 18 months ago. Now we have over 400. And we're looking to add anywhere between 80 to 150 more units this year with properties we have under contract or planning to get under contract right now while we're in Europe. And that's just incredible to me, because I thought it was going to take me 10 years to get the number of units that I'm at right now. And so it just goes to show you that we really underestimate what we can achieve, you know, in a certain amount of time period. And so I really encourage you guys to think about a three year vision. And don't be shy because if you really work at it for one year, I mean, look what's happened to us in 18 months and the next 18 months, like if the trajectory keeps continuing in that path. Like I don't even know what's going to happen, right? Like, it's just impossible to tell. And thank you to Dan Sullivan for writing the gap in the game because that's what's really been kind of his linchpin to help us realize where we've been, versus looking at what we're lacking and where we're going. And so that mindset has really helped us figure out like, oh, you know, we should just be here with us. Don't compare yourself to other people, and just do it and just get it done. For me. I've also been focusing a lot on systems, back end processes to automate things, and then really getting involved in a bunch of community events like part of this whole travel thing is that we Got to meet a bunch of people and go drive to where these events are. And just hit like three or four, like seminars or five seminars in the last like, eight, eight months or something. And that's been really fun. So networking and growing. And having that freedom to be able to move about from place to place has really, really helped out. And as your network grows, like everything else in your business grows, too. And then of course, we hired our first employee. So I know that he's listening to this right now. So thank you for everything you do. You're an awesome, awesome person, we really appreciate you. And then of course, we got our first syndication lead deal done. And we have a team around us like now we're talking with a team. And we have people that are boots on the ground in our Midwestern in Texas markets. And we're just really proud of like everything that we've built. And we're looking to build on top of that all the time. And we're just really impressed with the infrastructure that's been slowly building and it's never perfect, we always are patching stuff up and building processes. But I'm just really, really proud of what we've been able to accomplish here. And so I just wanted to make sure that we hit on that on the business side. And, man, just incredible. And then of course, the podcast, right? All you listeners and guys like, and gals that have made this happen, just so happy with, you know, being able to have a relationship with you guys and add value and show you what it is that we've been up to. So that's everything on business on my side, which has been incredible. There's been failures, of course, but mostly successes. And really the way we look at failures is just steps, you know, steps to success in the future.

Sophie Lorn-Clifford:

Yeah. And I touched upon what's going on in business for me, but I, what I've loved so much about being virtual and being mobile is that Derek and I have been able to join forces on the business, and he's seeing what I'm doing, and I'm seeing what he's doing. And we, you know, we help each other and we give each other different perspectives. And I think that has been really monumental in helping strengthen the foundation for our relationship overall. So for example, in the company that I'm working with, right now, they need a little bit of help with systems and system development. And then So Derek is actually helping them as well. So it's, it's very holistic, and I, you know, for lack of a better word, I think that that's what it feels like, it feels like that's what we've created with our life or business or lifestyle mindset like, this is a deep value of ours, to have everything fit together and not just be compartmentalize. And it's nice that everything is sort of shaping out and to find that holistic aspect that we've been looking for. And I feel it, do you feel it?

Derek Clifford:

I do, I do. Yeah, I think like there's the beginnings of like, having an incredible company culture here, where anyone who works with us, or is involved in any way, whether they're a resident of ours, or even a team member, or you know, an investor or partner, we want this same option for them, too. And so I think that's what's really, really cool about all this. And when I talked about the three degrees of freedom, which is location, time and financial, there's always a plus one, the three plus one degrees. And I shouldn't be mentioning this more, but you could have all the time, all the location and all the financial freedom in the world. But if you're not healthy, what's that for? And so that's why like, this is so important, what we're building together, and we're starting to see these inklings of like, these overlaps with wellness, real estate, right? Like real estate that's designed with wellness and health in mind, where we can start to think about bigger picture, like where that's going, right. And so the health piece is just as important as the location time and financial freedom with three degrees. And so we're really working towards something bigger on that. We don't know what that's going to be yet. But we're going to let that play out and just see how, as we cut things away, this is going to start to emerge and what is it we're trying to achieve in the future? So yeah,

Sophie Lorn-Clifford:

I really love and appreciate the fact that Derek is bringing in the health aspect to all of this because, you know, it's really helping both of us reevaluate to what health means what wellness means. About two years ago, health for us was very disciplined, it was very strict. It was all or nothing. And I think now that we're in this space right now, we've reevaluate what that means overall, because while the discipline feels so good feel so productive is actually has been extremely healthy for mental emotional or can't be very sustainable either. So I encourage you to, you know, to take inventory on what wellness means to you what health means to you as well, because that is the foundation for the other degrees of freedom as well. And you know, as we've been traveling, for example, it makes me more and more grateful that we're doing it right now. Yeah, at this age that we let go of the car I'm sad that you have to wait until you're 65 and retired and have all your ducks in a row in order to have these experiences because that's simply not true. We walk around and we see so many people who have, again, we have the luxury, and we're very grateful for that. But some people we've seen, you know, they're just not able to maximize their experiences, because they've adopted that philosophy and have waited right for whatever circumstances. But I think what I'm trying to say is that, if you really want it right now, do it, it is possible, despite illusions of limitations is that's actually.

Derek Clifford:

Yeah, it's so inspiring and really like, if you don't think it's possible, listen to Sophie, because it is. And again, you can do this in degrees, right, you can do first location freedom, right and start to get yourself away from the current place that you're at, take your family with you to a summer place like you know, maybe rent an Airbnb in three months in Europe, while they're not in school, you can still work so like figure out like a way with your employer to be able to do that, and taste it, see what it's like to live in another place. And I can guarantee you that once you have that location freedom, you're going to want that time freedom next. And the time freedom comes with investing, right and working arrangements and finding the right jobs that would allow you to do your work in 20 hours, right versus having to work 60 hour weeks. So that's the key there. And then finally, the financial freedom comes from your investments comes from your business income, all these things that you're making outside of your W two world that's more passive than anything else. That's what would allow that financial freedom to come through. But again, the underlying piece, and the foundation for all of this should be the health piece, because what good is building these degrees of freedom, what if you don't have the ability to enjoy any of them, if you don't have the mental health if you don't have the physical health, to be able to walk around and enjoy all the things you've created. So please don't lose the forest through the trees. And that's something that I have been struggling with. And Sophie's been super helpful and reminding me of that's really important. And, you know, I think we've had a great time celebrating with you guys here on all of this from the mindset, the lifestyle, the business growth, the travel, the relationship pieces, all these things are really important to us. But I want to leave you with one thing left. And then maybe Sophie has some closing comments here too. But I want to talk really quick about the four C's. So we have the three degrees of freedom, plus the one degree which is the health piece, right? That's the foundation. But how do you get those things. So if you're looking to try to create these degrees of freedom and don't know how to do it, the four C's is the way to do that. That's how you get there. And the four C's are first clarity, second consistency, third, coaching, and fourth community, you notice they all start with the C and they're all important. And the way that you tackle these can be anything like it's however you work these, any one piece of these c's that you feel most drawn to lean into that and then guess what the other three C's are going to follow suit after that. So for clarity, if you really are into clarity and goal setting, if you know exactly what you want, then the consistency coaching community is going to follow that because you're so driven, and understanding what is it you want to do in life, right? So being clear, having clear visualizations of what you and your spouse want out of life and how to get there and visualizing it actually not even how to get there. If you just visualize it, your brain is going to figure out ways to get there. It may not be real estate investing, it may be starting a business or a franchise or it may be really leaning into your job, that's okay, too. Whatever it is just be really clear about what the end result is. And let your subconscious and the people around you get to work on it and be patient. Right. That's the clarity piece. Consistency was the thing that I leaned into. And unfortunately for Sophia took a lot of my time, but I was the person who basically set up an hour every single day, being consistent at working my craft, understanding how real estate investing worked, finding people to talk to right, doing research, like that's just very in tune with my engineering personality. And that's what I did in order to help get the other three C's up right as I was really focused on that consistency piece and doing what I need to do very regimented and structured. That's just me. Number three is coaching. If you are committed to finding a coach out there, right, they will tell you what it is you need to do and they'll introduce you to a community and help you with consistency by holding you accountable and then being clear and having very consistent goals. So if you hire a coach, right, you're already committed because you're paying money for it and putting time and effort into it. So the coaching piece is also one way to lead and the final C if you have a community of people around you, you are the son Some of the people that you spend the most time around, right? So if you find yourself in a community that is real estate investing or wealth oriented or mindset growth oriented, eventually you're going to feel a little bit of peer pressure to kind of like, be a member of that group, aren't ya? Even if you're going to realize if you're going to local meetups, right meeting people that are already investing, you're going to feel like a really small fish in a big pond. And I think what you're going to end up finding out is that the peer pressure for you to try to grow into be a bigger investor and person and business person is going to help lead you to be more clear on your goals, be consistent on getting them and finding coaches, right, or mentors inside that community. So I think those four C's if you're feeling stuck and creating the three degrees of freedom, it's going to take time and effort and energy, but lean in pick one of those C's that you know, is really going to move the needle for you and the other three will automatically happen. It just is the way that it is. And so again, for me it was consistency, other people, it's clarity, being really clear on the goals. And then just like figuring out ways to get there, and for others is community or getting coaches. And I just say to you guys, first of all, thank you so much for listening to 100 episodes of our podcast. It's so incredible, and just being really, really part of our family. And just want to thank you for that. So anyway, that's my final piece. I don't know if Sophie has anything to add or take away?

Sophie Lorn-Clifford:

Again, just extremely grateful. And thank you so much for listening to what's what feels like sometimes just ramblings and mental downloads. But we just really appreciate you being on this journey following and witnessing our journey as we experienced this. And it is our deepest, deepest honor and passion to be able to help you if you want to experience a similar type of lifestyle. So please feel free to reach out to us anytime. We're always here. And we love love talking and helping everyone.

Derek Clifford:

Absolutely. So thank you guys so much for listening, please like and subscribe, wherever you're watching or listening to this podcast. It really, really, we really appreciate that and also go in and rate and comment on the podcast too. And that really helps us with the algorithms and a piece of those algorithm Gods so that we can find more and more people to reach out to and help and inspire as well. So once again, thank you, dear listener, we really appreciate you thank you for being a member of our family. And we will see you next week. Take care everyone. This is Derek,

Sophie Lorn-Clifford:

And this is Sophie.

Derek Clifford:

We're signing off. Thanks guys.