013 How to stay true to yourself: Interview with Lyndsey Daigneault - Betsy Pake

013 How to stay true to yourself: Interview with Lyndsey Daigneault

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Lyndsey D is a podcaster, wife, mom and aspiring corporate quitter…. but what we talk about today is so much more!

Lyndsey talks with us today about listening to your own voice, following your bliss and of course, doing things your own way.

Find Lyndsey at her website: https://quittingcorporate.com/

Listen in and join us inside the after show at www.TheArtofLivingBig.com for more from Lyndsey D!

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Transcript:

Welcome to The Art of Living big. My name is Betsy Pake entrepreneur, author and personal success coach. This is the show that brings you stories and small ideas to help you live a big life. I hope this once a week podcast will inspire you, motivate you and encourage you to think differently about what could be possible for your life. Thanks for spending some time with me today. Now let’s go live big. My guest today is actually somebody that I highlight in my book, start small, live big. And I talk with her today. And we go a little bit deeper about some of the decisions that she made when she was in her early 20s. That really set her up for success pretty quickly financially. Now we go into what people thought about her what some of the feedback was, and how she made those decisions to keep moving forward. So I think you’ll really like this interview today. And I’m excited to share with you today’s guest I have with me today, Lindsey D on the show. Thanks for being here, Lindsay.

Betsy, thank you so much for having me. I love your podcast. I listened to it all the time. So I’m really, really glad to be here. Oh, well, thank you.

Okay, so, on your podcast, you call yourself Lindsey D. So you say your last name.

Yeah, so it’s pronounced Dino. It’s French Canadian, my married name. And it looks a lot like dag nalt. So I, you know, some people may think I call myself Lindsey de to be like, hip and cool, but I’m not hip and cool at all. So it’s really just to make it a little easier for people to remember who I like your

radio name. It’s like you have a staff name. I like it.

My brother told me I should get a gold chain that has Lindsey D. Like D like just to be extra super cool. Yes, I’m not gonna do that. That is funny.

So I want you to kind of tell people who you are and kind of what you do. But I’ll also say that I actually feature you in the book, because your story is really unique and pretty cool. And I think a lot of people could learn some lessons from it.

So yeah,

introduce yourself.

So again, Lindsay de, I’m from Rhode Island. And for those of you who may not be familiar with our little state, it is the smallest state in the country. And we are not part of Long Island. So we are not part of New York. inception. I’ve grown up here my whole life. And I have a family. I’ve been married to my wife for five years. And we have a three year old boy Bennett, who is the love of my life. So we live here, and we’re about five minutes from the ocean, which is awesome, especially during the summer, where, you know, everybody else is sitting in traffic to get to the beach, where we’re right there. So that’s pretty cool.

Yeah, that’s, that’s my, that’s my life, you have my dream life. And.

And, you know, I spent most of my adult life working in a corporate setting for a financial institution, you know, I started at the bottom ranks of that company, and worked my way up through the years while putting myself through college. And, you know, I did various project positions, and eventually got to a point where I really wanted to escape and go out on my own. And so recently, I launched the podcast, quitting corporate. And so I’m the host of that podcast. And that’s a podcast where I talk to people who have quit their corporate jobs to pursue a new path. And, you know, my goal there is to talk to people and get their story shared with others who may be feeling stuck in a corporate setting, and wanting to escape, but not really seeing a path forward. So that’s been just incredibly awesome to connect with all those people and talk to them and learn from them. And, and then additionally, I also sell real estate, and I also manage my own real estate investment properties. So I have a number of different things going on. And they all kind of fill me up in different ways.

Yeah, that’s great. I, whenever I hear people that are really wealthy, really successful, they always say and like multiple income streams is the way to go. Yeah, that’s what you’re doing.

Yeah, it’s funny, you know, I know, we’ll talk about this in a little bit. But yeah, I never really set out with the intention to build a, you know, a pool of income properties to provide extra income. I kind of fell into that by taking, you know, some small steps at the beginning. But it’s really served my wife and I well, and and, you know, being also a real estate agent has helped to bring in some extra income and fund my other side projects like quitting corporate. So that’s been really exciting.

Yeah, that’s cool. Now, I love your podcast, you really have people with some really great things to share. Everybody sort of comes upon their journey in their own way. And it’s really interesting to kind of hear how people come to the point in their lives where they’re ready to make a step towards something that else that they want and kind of how it They do it. It’s super interesting.

Yeah, thank you. It’s, you know, when I first started it, I was a little worried that it was going to be, you know, that the stories would overlap a little bit too much, there wouldn’t be enough. There wouldn’t be many differences between one guest and, and, and, and another. But that’s completely the opposite of how it’s panned out. I mean, everyone’s story is so different. There’s certainly some common themes among people who’ve been successful and successfully quit corporate and started something new, but their stories about how they went about it, how they made the transition. You know, it’s just so interesting to me how people have made that happen. And it’s so inspiring, I think, to a lot of people who want to make that that leap themselves.

Yeah, I think sometimes when you can see other people do stuff, it gives you the belief in yourself that you could do something too.

Exactly, exactly. And we talk about, you know, so much of social media today is is focused on the hype, right, the hype around, you know, making a six figure income or, you know, whatever it is that you’re looking to do social media learns what you want, and then feeds you the hype around, whatever that is. Yeah. And it’s nice to be able to talk to people have an honest conversation around, like, what did you struggle with? How did you make this work monetarily and, you know, people who look, you know, very successful on the outside have had to make some big sacrifices to, to get that success. So it’s really interesting to hear about what sacrifices they made and how they made the leap and how they planned for that. So or how they didn’t plan for that. On the flip side, you know, there’s a lot of people who don’t plan for it. And it’s not necessarily their choice to make the leap. But you know, they were let go or, you know, whatever the circumstances were, and then found their path after that.

So, really, those small sacrifices are what leads to a bigger life is what I always say, you know, my start small, live big thing. Yes. But really, you know, and I feature you in the book, because your story about sacrifices you made when you were much younger, to with your housing to be able to start seeing and have different options in your life. Tell everybody a little bit about that. Because it’s, it’s kind of fascinating.

Yeah, yeah. So

for whatever reason, I was, you know, particularly as the boom started, the real estate boom, started, I was just fascinated with real estate in general. And I just had this urge to own my own property, I didn’t really want to rent, I didn’t want to pay somebody else’s mortgage. I just felt like I didn’t want to waste my money in that way. And so I, I just decided that I was going to buy and I think it was 2006 when I bought my first property. And that was a condo that was tiny. It was a 360 square foot studio condo, which you know, in in New York City, that would seem fairly luxurious. But where it was located in little small Rhode Island, it was pretty, pretty tiny. And I think

it was before the tiny house trend.

It was before the tiny house trend. Yes. Now I could probably flip it for more money, but

cutting edge. Yeah.

You know, ahead of my time.

But yeah, so I I remember everybody just looking at me and being like, what are you doing? You are out of your mind? This is insane. Why would you ever, you know, put your money into this property. But I was proud of it. And we you know, it was a foreclosure. It was dingy, it was dirty. And so I had to invest the money into making it nice and livable, and pretty. And, and that was that. You know, for a while again, I just kind of heard the, you know, the people around me saying, I don’t know why you did that. That was the worst decision of your life.

So that’s something people hear a lot when they’re going out against the norm.

Right? Yes.

Yeah, your immediate family to like your mom and dad and that were just cuz I always think people do that because they love you. And they’re afraid you’re gonna fail, and they don’t want you to fail. So if you’re on a path they’re familiar with, it makes them more comfortable.

Yes, exactly. And it was so my mother, I’m sure thought I was crazy. But she would never tell me that. So she was always like, super supportive. And I think she’s of the mindset that, you know, what’s meant to be will be and you will find your way. So whatever she was holding internally wasn’t necessarily evident to me on the outside. My father, on the other hand, thought I was crazy and wasn’t afraid to tell me that and luckily, I think now he can look back and see why I made those decisions and how they’ve served me but definitely immediate family friends, you know, friends with with their own homes, their houses that were quite larger than mine that I was crazy. But, you know, I was I was young, I was 23. And it was my first place and, you know, I wanted it to be mine. And I was happy with that. Yeah. And it led to two other things. So, so I was there from I think it was like 2006 to 2000 10. And in 2010, it was, you know, again, the bottom of the market, the real estate market that crashed. And in the cm, condominium complex, there was a one bedroom for sale. And they really didn’t even advertise it that somebody just threw a sign up in the window. And I happen to see it because I lived there. And it was just for sale, ridiculously cheap. It was, unfortunately, a lot of the people that lived in the condominium complex had bought high, they foreclosed. And that nice, you know, condos, were just going for dirt cheap. So I ended up bidding against like four or five investors on that property. And I ended up getting it, you know, which is what the thought that I rent out my studio condo, and I could live in a bigger place for less money, you’d get a whole one bedroom,

I’d get a whole palace compared to what

I had been living in, I felt like a king or queen, you know? So that’s what I did. And you know, What’s so funny? Is that, that decision also, I kind of heard the same rhetoric around, you’re crazy for doing this, you know, why would you ever want to be a landlord? You know, that’s, you’re going to get horrible tenants. And, you know, they tell me these nightmare stories. And, you know, I was kind of like, what are my choices, like, I want to keep moving forward in my life. And if I have to move forward, and I want to keep doing that, I have to take some amount of risk, like I have to be willing to take that on. And really, what’s the worst that can happen? You know, I think a lot of times we we picture ourselves, in the worst case scenario, like, you know, homeless under a bridge, right? If we change jobs, or we go out on our own, or we just tend to focus on that worst case scenario, and I just chose not to, I just chose to believe that, you know, if I was smart about things, and I kind of managed my risk, and I vetted candidates that I was going to be able to, you know, get rental income without, you know, worrying about awful tenants.

Yeah, yeah, I, you know, and I always think like, we, I know, people in my immediate family, like my husband’s think I’m like, woo, woo, but I think we get what we expect. And you expect, you’re going to have like, a terrible time with it, then your brain will start to find all the things that are wrong in the situation. But if you’re expecting goodness, it’ll look and see more good stuff, you know, and that was your gang.

Yeah, and, you know, I have several income properties now. And there have certainly been times where I’ve had a couple of bad tenants, but out of the, you know, 1015, people I’ve rented to maybe two of those were bad. And the losses on that was, you know, those were minimal compared to the income stream that the properties have provided me overall, and the great people that I’ve met and have become friends with as a result of having those properties, right.

And so now you’ve owned them for a while, the original one for 10 years.

Yeah, so the in the second one, I had put an offer on that and was waiting to hear back like, right before I met my wife. And so, you know, when I moved in there, I was really only there for a few months. And then we decided to move in together. And we both had dogs, and it was the two of us. And we couldn’t we couldn’t move into the condo. So we ended up getting another place.

So rent, so you rented that place out. So now you’re like maybe like 2033 years old, and you’ve got two rental properties.

Yeah, so well, so I had those two. And then lo and behold, so we we eventually get married, we buy a house near the water where we want to be. And I we had a baby, my son now who’s who’s three, but when he was first baby, I was kind of struggling because although my my rental units were sort of paying for themselves a little bit extra, it wasn’t so much extra that I was, you know, living lavishly in any sort of way. And I found myself on the weekends and in my spare time, you know, doing maintenance to the house and landscaping and cleaning. And I just felt like, God, I have this little tiny baby and I want to be a part of his life. And I know these these times go so fast. I don’t want it to be, you know, I don’t want these things to be sucking up every ounce of my free time. And so we actually had looked at purchasing another condo where we live now. And we went back and forth and we actually had a real estate agent come give us a kind of valuation of our house before I was a realtor. And she just looked at me and she she said you’re crazy for wanting to sell this house like you got such a good deal on it. You’re in a great location. You’re just absolutely crazy. And when she laughed, I was like, wow, that’s first of all. That’s a really good real estate agent who was honest with you because she was like, I’d love This listing it would sell in a couple of days. But yeah, so we started, we sat down after that we were like, Okay, well, now what she’s right, we’d be crazy to leave this house. So now what? And I looked at my wife and I said, you know, we’ve got this whole big walkout basement that we don’t use. And it’s kind of like, the perfect setup for like an in law apartment.

Was it finished at all? Or?

No, it was, it was a complete, it was like,

you know, studied to be finished. I think at one point in the past, it was finished. But for whatever reason, they had ripped down the drywall. And I think it was like a DIY job anyway. So you know, we had, we just looked at it and said, You know, this is just at the time, we didn’t have a lot of stuff. So we weren’t even filling it out. We weren’t even using the space. So I said, you know, what, what if we build an in law apartment, what would that you know, what do we think we could get for rent, and we started looking around and, you know, looking in the area, and we happen to live in a very unique area, in that it’s a college town, it’s it’s very close to a fairly large University, the University of Rhode Island, and it’s also by the coast. And so what happens is, the houses around here that rent out, they typically rent out for students, you know, during during school time, and then they flip back over to beach rentals in the summer. And so there’s really a huge shorting shortage of year round housing around here. And so we started looking around and trying to figure out, Okay, what do we think we could get? And I think we, we thought we could get around 750 to $800, which was plenty for us at the time. And we actually got, you know, quite a bit more than that. I think we listed it, we had about 100 people reply within the first 24 hours, and they were offering us more money, like we weren’t asking for more money they were offering us.

That’s awesome.

Yeah, and we did a nice job with it. And, you know, that we didn’t have I think it cost us around $30,000 to redo it. So it wasn’t a cheap project. And we didn’t have $30,000 lying around. So I ended up taking a loan from my 401k to fund that. But, I mean, that has that has paid off in dividends for us. I mean, that is, you know, more than half of our mortgage that that now pays on its own. And, you know, when I look back on all of these things, you know, from the studio to the one bedroom apartment, to the inlaw. If I hadn’t taken that first step into that studio, I would have never purchased that one bedroom, because quite frankly, I wouldn’t have even seen it on the market. Right, right. And I had not purchased those two properties, I probably wouldn’t have had the competence to build an inline my basement, and know that I could rent it out for that much money.

Yeah. So it’s just

it has accumulated the wealth Really? Because Yeah, yeah,

exactly. And, you know, one of the things that I also discovered through this process of owning these properties, and then building the in LA, which to me, you know, my wife would come downstairs and it would be a mass, right? Because they have to break through this, this man and run, you know, sewer lines and all sorts of stuff.

Oh, right. Yeah.

So you know, she’d come downstairs and she’d be like, Oh, my gosh, this is a disaster. And I’d be like,

this is great.

Like, I just felt so invigorated by the process. And I remember her looking at me and her saying, like, this is your passion. Like, this is what you love to do. And it was just, I didn’t have that knowledge before or awareness within myself that I had a passion around real estate. I know, I was always curious about it. And I wanted to own my own. But it wasn’t until I did that, that I really realized, like, wow, this is something that really lights me up inside. And then I want to continue to do in different, you know, ways and shapes and forms.

So yeah, so that’s super cool. So really, like, so I’m gonna take it all the way back for people like you took a risk, you didn’t listen to people around you of what you could or couldn’t do. You did something a little bit different, were able to accumulate some wealth. And then when you were able to see a way that you could turn what you had into something else. Now, I think that’s huge. Like having this opportunity where you’re like, this isn’t working, my current situation isn’t working. And lots of times we just want to like abandon mission and just do something else. But to say like, I’ve got this up, I’ve got this. It’s not working for me, how can I change what I have to make it work? Like I think that’s huge, too. Because we throw out all kinds of stuff and move on. I mean, I have

Yeah, no, I think husbands

I think most people do and it’s funny I at the same time all of this was happening particularly the project for the inlaw I had connected with this person that I worked on a technology project with at work and he had become a coach. And he was trying to get some experience under his belt. And so he said, Would you mind if we had some coaching sessions together? And so we did. And, you know, he had a slightly different point of view, I think he was coaching me to be more happy in my own job where I really kind of had an eye outside the company. But, you know, he said something to me about constraints and how, without constraints, there’s really no need for creativity, and how we can really kind of reframe a problem, to look at it as an opportunity for something else to be born out of it. And that really resonated with me. And when I look back on all of the things that have happened, particularly with the real estate, it’s, it’s true, like those constraints, that constraint of, you know, having a baby wanting to spend time with him and being wrapped up in house cleaning, and landscaping, that was a constraint that led to this really amazing income property that we’ve built here. And in the same thing with the other units, you know, the other condos that I purchased the constraint around, like, having a small amount of space, and, you know, not being able to sell and get my money back with that first unit, you know, forcing me to rent, rent that out and get that experience to be able to move into something bigger. That was a constraint that led me to kind of flex that muscle, that muscle of like risk taking and having more competence in doing that.

Oh, okay. There’s two things you said, I really love. First of all, I love He said constraint. Without constraints, there’s no need for creativity. Like that’s a that’s, that’s brilliant, like, that fits so many things in my life like that. Yeah, like that will stick with me, too. I like that a lot. And then really being able to take that look at your situation, and be able to build upon it. But then you also found a passion, right? So now you’ve, and I’m assuming when you got the income, then you were able to give up the house cleaning in the yard work, because you could just pay somebody else to do it. Right. That’s

exactly what we did. And, and we had additional income after that. I mean, so it was, yeah, it helped us those things. But then it also gave us additional income even beyond that,

right? Yeah, yeah. So yeah, so the whole thing, really, I mean, it was many, many small steps that lead up to something. And I think sometimes when we see somebody that’s living a life that we go, Oh, I wish I had that you don’t realize, just like you were saying, with your podcast about all the little steps that actually led up to the point that gave you those opportunities in that option?

Yeah, yeah. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the book or the movie, The Secret? Yeah, I know. It’s a it’s a pretty popular concept. I remember, a few years ago, my brother had introduced me to it, and I had watched the movie. And, you know, there are parts that turned me off, honestly, because it just felt very cheesy like that. You know, for those of you who haven’t seen it, there’s the scene of this guy who’s picturing himself and like this brand new shiny sports car, but he’s sitting in his living room, and he’s pretending that he’s staring it and he’s making the noises. And I’m thinking, Oh, god, that’s not really how things work. But I think the bigger message around that was that as as these things present themselves to you in your life, the more you say yes to things, and you’re open to those possibilities, instead of, you know, turning away, the more things will naturally happen for you. And I know that’s easier for some people, more than others, I’m certainly less, less like risk averse than my wife and a lot of my family members. But if you can kind of flex that muscle, little by little, and look for those opportunities to just kind of practice those things in your life, then I think you start to build up that confidence around it, and you say yes, to more things, and that really can open up doors to things that you would have never even expected.

Yeah. And that can apply not just to financial decisions, but loads of other things, taking risks with looking for a new job or asking for a raise or, you know, with relationships or, you know, with moving or I mean, anything, right. I mean, the absolute lesson carries through.

And I think, you know,

while conventional wisdom is is something to certainly keep, keep attuned to. I also think that you really have to evaluate circumstances for you. So like when we took the loan from my 401k, it wasn’t my 401k program. It had an actual loan program. So it wasn’t like I was getting penalized, but there were some some tax disadvantages to doing that. And so I remember telling my accountant while I took a loan, to be able to build this income property and she just thought I was crazy because then I was paying back the loan with after tax dollars and I, you know, I, I went back home. And I just thought about that. And and, you know, for me, when I laid out my options, it was so clear that that was the right choice. And I still wholeheartedly believe that that’s the right choice. But I can guarantee that 90% of the financial advisors and accountants out there would say, don’t do that you shouldn’t do that that’s going to affect your retirement. And, and there’s certainly merit in that. But my retirement is really far off. I’m in my 30s. So I need things that are going to help me then certainly, but also things that are going to help me today and help me to be happy today and create a life that I love today.

Yeah. And there’s so much time it probably what you’ll pay in interest, you know, what you’d have paid in the taxes that will go off to pay the the loan, you will have made way more than that in income from the property itself.

Exactly. Exactly. I just, I want to just kind of highlight that too, because it’s I think there’s a lot of, particularly with with the online world today, right? We’re fed so much information, and everybody has an opinion and advice to give. And I would just say be look at those things with a critical eye. And and really make sure that you’re looking at your situation and saying, Is this the right advice for me and my situation? Because, you know, I don’t think that accountant could have ever foreseen us collecting the amount of money that we’ve collected as consistently as we’ve collected it. And you know, that’s going to go on for an unlimited amount of time.

Yeah. And I think when you talk to people, and they give their opinion, you have to remember that they’re giving it based on all of the experiences and a whole lifetime of experience and baggage and beliefs and emotion that they have. You know, so it’s they’re not necessarily looking at it through your eyes, they’re seeing everything through their eyes. And, you know, you have to balance that out.

Oh, that’s that’s such a good point, Betsy, because it, you know, it actually reminds me of this college professor I had, he was a psych teacher. And he told the story about how when him and his wife were younger, they had just gotten married, they bought a house, but then decided to move to Hawaii for a year and rent out the house. And the reaction to his decision. And their decision to do that from family and friends was so was so bad. It was just Yeah, they were so upset. And you know, what it boiled down to what he saw was that it kind of challenged to they were and that’s that was why they reacted so strongly to it. It challenged who they were and the decisions that they were making in their life and kind of forced them to look inward. And that was a scary thing for them. And so that was how, you know, that was what was that reaction? Yeah. And I think there’s, I think, I don’t think we see that visibly as often as we should. But when you have people giving you a strong reaction like that, a lot of the time, it comes from their own fear their own misgivings, or their own regret and not doing the things that they wanted to do in their life.

Yeah. Have you ever read that book, The Four Agreements, and now it’s like, basically like four chapters, and one of them is about how nothing is about you. like nothing’s about you. So like anything anybody says, or has an issue or, you know, whatever it is, and I think of that a lot. You know, people are saying things on Facebook, or things are happening. I’m like, this has nothing to do with me. Even if they’re saying it at me, or they’re giving me advice, or it’s got nothing to do with me. So that’s so true. Yeah. Well, this has been so interesting. And I appreciate you, you’ve taken time talking to me for the book, and now taking time for this. So I appreciate you. And I think you’re going to take even more time and hop into our online community, which everybody can find at SS lB community.com. That stands for start small, live big community, and you’ll be in there answering questions and sharing more.

Absolutely. And, you know, for those of you who are listening right now, that are thinking, well, I’ve always thought about the real estate stuff, but it’s a bit scary. Like, I’ll hop in there, feel free to like, ask any questions. I don’t you know, I’m a real estate agent. So I’m certainly better equipped to answer those questions today than I was say, you know, seven to 10 years ago. I don’t consider myself a real estate expert, but I can tell you from a real life experience, what that’s like what the process is like, and you know, not from a, you know, rich real estate investor selling you some course experience. So feel free to ask those questions. And Betsy, I just, I absolutely love what you’re doing with this podcast. It’s such a great message and I just thank you so much for doing this for people.

Oh yeah. Thanks for being on, Lindsay.

Thank you, Betsy.

Thanks for spending some time with me today. I’d like to hear what you think. So be sure to get in on the conversation at SS lB community.com. And of course, here’s a little message from my husband.

That’s it.

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