Things Rarely Feel How You Expect Them To…

Things rarely feel how you expect them to. Sometimes better, sometimes worse and sometimes you feel nothing, and that’s ok. I think we as people have a natural tendency to put so much anticipation and anxiety into what things should feel like and when it does not happen, we feel that something is wrong with us. We need to remember to just be present and observe what is actually happening in the moment without forcing it because that also sets us up for failure and disappointment. And above all do not self-judge. Forgive yourself if you do and then check back into the present again and just be.

and other self-reflections from a road trip!

Things rarely feel how you expect them to.  Sometimes better, sometimes worse and sometimes you feel nothing, and that’s ok. I think we as people have a natural tendency to put so much anticipation and anxiety into what things should feel like and when it does not happen, we feel that something is wrong with us. We need to remember to just be present and observe what is actually happening in the moment without forcing it because that also sets us up for failure and disappointment. And above all do not self-judge. Forgive yourself if you do and then check back into the present again and just be

I typed that up on my phone and emailed to myself, while going down the highway on a family road trip recently. I was feeling extremely anxious along with a little bit of guilt, anger and disappointment. Here we were finally on a family vacation and taking some time off, away with our kids and this is what I was feeling. Of course, then you beat yourself up for acting ungrateful for the opportunity and the moments when you could be stuck at work or someplace miserable – the opposite place of a “vacation”.

The guilt was from not being at work. The disappointment was that I was feeling anxious and not some supermom character being all things to everyone, like you tend to see on everyone’s highlight reel on social media. The anger was at myself because I finally wasn’t at work and felt like I couldn’t enjoy myself.

I knew that I needed to get these feelings out of me somehow to feel lighter and decided that I would then email them to myself. I do this also sometimes when I am feeling stressed or anxious and call it my “mental dump”. I cannot explain how much lighter I felt after hitting the send button.

I think in this instance, I needed to just remember to breath, forgive myself for the experiences not feeling how I thought they would or should feel and move on to be able to be present again and take it as it all played out.

This trip was a two-week road trip from Pennsylvania to Wyoming, Montana and 9 others states, 5,542 miles with the 4 of us in our Jeep Wrangler. We had never been away that long in our entire lives and knew that it would be a once in a lifetime experience for all of us, Jeffy (9) and Jaxon (10) included. And being in a small-ish vehicle for all of that time was going to be out of everyone’s comfort zone, and we were probably going to have those moments when you get on each other’s nerves, but leading up to those kinds of trips, you only see and feel the magic things that can come out of them – never the full picture of what life tends to actually be like.

Don’t get me wrong, we did have a lot of those magical moments too, but I didn’t get to fully experience them until I was settled and present and I emailed myself those words:

Things rarely feel how you expect them to.  Sometimes better, sometimes worse and sometimes you feel nothing, and that’s ok. I think we as people have a natural tendency to put so much anticipation and anxiety into what things should feel like and when it does not happen, we feel that something is wrong with us. We need to remember to just be present and observe what is actually happening in the moment without forcing it because that also sets us up for failure and disappointment. And above all do not self-judge. Forgive yourself if you do and then check back into the present again and just be

It is ok to have life not feel how you expect it to…it is ok to sometimes feel emotions that you don’t want to at special moments. Don’t fight it, because that will make it worse. Breathe, be present, write it down, don’t self-judge for feeling these emotions that you feel you shouldn’t or don’t want to feel and above all – Forgive yourself. You are human and doing the best that you can!

Want More Joy in your Job?

No matter what your role – owner, employee, independent consultant, etc. the key to enjoying your job and your life is figuring out what is the highest and best use of your time and delegating the things that don’t fit that description.

No matter what your role – owner, employee, independent consultant, etc. the key to enjoying your job and your life is figuring out what is the highest and best use of your time and delegating the things that don’t fit that description.

When we bought Mountain Valley Realty, I held all the positions. I was broker, owner, realtor, trainer, accountant, marketer – everything. I was 5 different people collecting one paycheck and knew that wasn’t right, but how do I fix it?

The game changer for me was realizing that I couldn’t do all of the things. There were tasks on my plate, personally and professionally, that ranged from $5/hour to $500/hour jobs. Delegation of the lower end tasks has been key to finding the balance in my life that allows me to be the most productive and complete the highest quality work without having to worry about the tasks I was able to delegate.

As it turned out, the parts I enjoyed the most were on the higher end of the payscale, so focusing on them not only made the most sense financially it also helped me stay invested in and excited about my businesses, increasing my motivation that much more to make them the best that they can be.

These changes couldn’t be made overnight, but I could strategically plan over time to make it happen. This process will come with its own growing pains that you can’t predict or prepare for, but once you get through them all aspects of your improve – peace, productivity, joy, and so much more.

If you need help identifying what tasks on your daily list that you can delegate, make sure to apply for one-on-one coaching with me where we will have the privacy to dive deep into what is holding you back from the living the Limitless Life that you deserve – and break through!

https://www.christina-vandergrift.com/coaching-application

Preparing For The Best (And Worst)

No challenge is unbeatable – you just need a fortified plan to get you through! 

No challenge is unbeatable – you just need a fortified plan to get you through! 

Whether it’s an impending downturn in the Real Estate Market, balancing work and personal life, marketing your business to stand out from the crowd, furnishing Vacation Rentals to meet all guests’ needs, or overcoming challenges in your journey to Live Limitless, I’ve got tips and tricks for you!

My High Performance Coaching is all about creating Focused Goals for yourself, and then creating the steps to make it happen. But do you realize how difficult it can be to break down your goals into something achievable?

When speaking with groups of people, the majority are going to say that they would like to create more wealth, abundance, and ease in their lives. But what does that really mean? How much wealth do you want to create? How do you want to create that wealth? What in your daily life that is causing you stress or getting in the way can you eliminate or make less of an inconvenience? How do you pivot, when it doesn’t go as planned?

This is why you need a coach to help you create your own individual plan, what steps that you should take first and I can help you to break down your goals into smaller, achievable steps – a coach also helps you create timelines, offers accountability and calls you out when you make excuses.

Interested in Living Limitless? Make sure to check out my coaching offerings where we can work through your goals together here.

Make sure to follow me on social and subscribe to the blog to stay up to date on all things Limitless!

Sky High Inspirations

Vacation Rentals have been a passion project of mine for a long time – so much so that I not only own and operate multiple, I even created my very own Vacation Rental Management Company as I began to see a need for it in my community.

Our first Vacation Rental, Villa Bella Mermaid, served as my introduction and first few lessons learned (check out my book for details) to Vacation Rental Management Companies (VRMC). Because it was so far from home, there was no way for us to be able to do the turnovers or provide customer service for guests ourselves – making a VRMC a must.

As we built our Vacation Rental Portfolio back home and I was looking into the other Vacation Rentals in the area, I had a lightbulb moment – with such a wide variety of Vacation Rentals in the area and more being added all the time, along with the fact that I had so many people reaching out to me with questions about how to buy and manage Vacation Rentals, I decided that maybe I should be the person to create the first one since I was already a Real Estate Broker and legally able to do so!

And MVR Vacation Rentals, Inc. was born.

As a serial entrepreneur with a habit for monetizing my hobbies, this was the perfect next step for me. It gave me an opportunity to help promote the Vacation Rental Industry even more in my community, as well as help out fellow entrepreneurs looking to start their own vacation rental businesses.

I had already started to find ways to share my expertise on the subject with my book, Vacation Rentals: The Ultimate Guide, where I share my professional experiences, trials, and errors as a comprehensive roadmap for the exact steps to beginning your vacation rental business. AND Vacation Rental Academy, designed to teach you everything you need to know to start and scale successful vacation rental businesses.

This next step was the perfect continuation of everything I had been working on and in 2021 we officially started listing properties. A couple of my own are in the catalog, but we have had a steady flow of onboarding properties since the inception of the business. We are rated SuperHosts with AirBNB and Premier Hosts with VRBO already, and I am excited to see how this business grows.

We definitely saw with the Sky High Chalet how important time was to build up year-round consistency for bookings, recently even being ranked 3rd Best Pine Creek Gorge Vacation Rental! We are excited to see how this trend continues with not only the Sky High Chalet, but the rest of our rentals and MVR Vacation Rentals, Inc – maybe some day soon we’ll see even more of our properties with similar rankings!

Million Dollar Advice & Video Tour of the Sky High Chalet!

I truly want you all to live vibrant, abundant lives and if you head down this road sooner rather than later, that is all the more wealth and freedom that you can create and grow!

The contents of this video and the Vacation Rental Academy course can literally lead you on your way to wealth and long term abundance, regardless of where you currently are and your experience!

Becoming a wealthy individual, or even a millionaire is much closer than you think! You can start small and accomplish anything – YOU JUST HAVE TO START!

This video was originally recorded in May of 2020, during the shut down for COVID. I watch it and see an innocent version of myself. This was pre-book, course, issues with our town and vacation rentals, but every part of it is solid info and advice present day! Our world hit its tipping point shortly thereafter it was recorded and has grown like a weed in all directions. Real estate and vacation rentals have given my family more income, more fun, more memories, more experiences and networks, it helps other businesses, creates jobs and who doesn’t want that? 

I truly want you all to live vibrant, abundant lives and if you head down this road sooner rather than later, that is all the more wealth and freedom that you can create and grow!

Who Needs A Coach?

I truly believe that everyone can benefit from a High Performance Coach – so much so that I have had one myself!

When I was being coached, I didn’t realize how caged I felt at my businesses and how overwhelmed and stressed out I felt in so many different ways. I can remember thinking, “How am I ever going to change this?”

My coach’s response would be “Well, what would life look like if you did this?

I felt out of control and uncomfortable, but realized it was possible to change that with the help of a coach who is there to help you figure out what changes you can make that will lead to a better life.

Having a coach helped me to realize that most of the limitations and ideas that were causing my stress and overwhelming me only existed in my head.

Coaching allowed me to open up that vast mentality and find the things, dreams, and ideas that would help me to create a structured schedule that allowed me to Live Limitless.

And that’s exactly what I want to do for you; My goals is to help you feel fully engaged, joyous, and confident in all areas of your life so that you can enjoy the journey.

Schedule a FREE Strategy Session with me to get started!

What is Limitless Coaching?

Living a Limitless Life and being authentic to yourself is not an option; it’s an obligation – and as a High Performance Coach, I am here to give you the support (and sometimes the kick in the butt) you need to make it happen.

As you may know, I am a Serial Entrepreneur. Once or twice a year, I sit down with each of my agents and employees and make sure to talk about any concerns either side may have but mostly we talk about the future. We make goals of course for the work we are doing together, but also for the individual. If my team isn’t feeling accomplished and like they are getting the most out of their lives and their jobs, how can we continue to do more and better together, right?

So throughout this process, I didn’t realize that I was coaching people. But I had been – and leading a team! I realized that was the most gratifying thing that I do, and I wanted to do it on a much bigger level.

I decided to take a course with Brendon Burchard, author of High Performance Habits, and explore this type of coaching. I am now officially certified as a High Performance Coach and am adding my own style to it!

The process is pretty simple, but the importance of a coach and someone to help you set your goals and find attainable steps to achieving them as well as hold you accountable for doing so is priceless.

I have always believed that we are our own limits, so why not Live Limitless instead? I am on a mission to inspire and excite you to live an abundant and free life, packed with passion and purpose. Join me on this amazing journey!

With One-On-One or Group Coaching options, there are endless possibilities on how you can start your journey to Living Limitless! Apply now to get started!

Make sure to follow me on social and subscribe to the blog to keep up to date on all things Limitless!

Single Family Vs. Short Term Rentals

Variety in your investment portfolio is a must! But how do you decide what that variety should be?

Variety in your investment portfolio is a must! But how do you decide what that variety should be?

There is such a difference in income with traditional rentals compared to vacation rentals. I’ll use one of our current Vacation Rentals, Cabin on the Flats, as an example. If I was to rent this out as a traditional rental, I could probably get around a thousand dollars a month for it. It’s not very big; it’s about 1200 square feet, three-bedroom, two-bath.

So using round numbers, we’ll stick with a thousand bucks a month. So that’s twelve thousand dollars a year gross rent, that’s before any taxes, any insurance, any mortgage or anything. Or any maintenance or God forbid something breaks in it throughout the year.

$12,000 a year whittled down after all of that potentially might not leave us with very much. If this is your first time investing, traditional rentals might be your route, just like it was my route, and you get your foot in the door, and you can eventually upsize, modify and change your portfolio, and that’s great.

But for us, this very same property, same 1200 square feet, same utility costs potentially and same maintenance and all the same expenses, taxes, insurance and mortgage as a vacation rental, we could make five thousand dollars a month, which is sixty thousand dollars a year, which leaves a lot more additional income left over at the end of the year.

So for us, this is an eye-opening opportunity of traditional rentals compared to vacation rentals. Every market and every area is going to be different, and depending on how seasonal it is or how expensive it is to get into that vacation rental property market, that all changes and varies, but it can be life-changing money. Then you have great success. There’s always the possibility to add another one or two, or who knows. Or you can upsize them and have a nicer one, somewhere where you want to vacation to.

It’s okay to start small, you could be that same person like I was when I was 22 and buy the cheap house that needs some work, and then gradually you can upsize it, or you can sell it even. The safe thing about real estate is generally as long as you don’t get in over your head from the get-go, you do build equity and God willing, it’ll appreciate and, depending on the market, maybe more than you expect.

With vacation rentals, literally, it could be something as small as an extra bedroom that you have, that could be you starting small to build revenue and equity, and then take that additional income and maybe then buy a property that you can convert into either a traditional rental or a vacation rental.

Ultimately, there is no wrong answer. It all depends on your tolerance for risk and the specifics on whatever property you are looking at. But if you want to Live Limitless, Real Estate Investing in both of these directions is your key to abundance and wealth.

Make sure to follow me on social and subscribe to the blog to stay up to date on all things Limitless!

The First One is the Hardest!

Doesn’t that always seem to be the truth with all things in life? Whether it be your first home, kid, heartbreak, business, investment property…the list goes on and on. Why is that?

Doesn’t that always seem to be the truth with all things in life? Whether it be your first home, kid, heartbreak, business, investment property…the list goes on and on. Why is that?

“The first step is always the hardest” (proverb) says that beginning a project is the hardest part; it gets easier once you have already started.

From my experience it is because you have to invent the wheel, work the kinks out as you go, try to stay motivated, and face a LOT of unknowns, all while not knowing if you will have to go it alone, or if you will have help along the way. It can feel like stepping off of a cliff and having faith that there is ground underneath that next step.

I feel like I talk a lot fear in my writing and day to day, but that is because there always will be those fears and doubts. I face them every single day! It is then up to me to decide if I take that next step anyway, sink or swim…

When I decided that we should move forward and purchase our first rental, I was BEYOND scared. First of all, I had to talk Jeremy into it. He was totally against it at first and didn’t want to have to deal with the possible headaches, expense and “aggravation” since we were already both busy with our careers already, an 8-year-old (my stepson Luke) and a 6-month-old (Jaxon) at that point in 2012. We already had my previous home rented out and that was enough for him.

At this point I was a realtor and considered an Independent Contractor, so basically my income was commission-only. For those that are not familiar with how that works, when we sell a house we get our portion of the commission, and no taxes are taken out. We get our check and then we are supposed to be smart and set aside some for taxes and live off of the rest. That sounds great, but that also means that you do not have the opportunity for a 401(k) or a typical retirement plan for when you get older and want to collect and not work quite so hard. Since I had no future retirement fund or actual goal, my goal was use equity in any investment properties to upsize and eventually sell them someday to put money into the bank, or build a new house or whatever.

For those of you who know me or my stories, you know that I don’t take NO for an answer and that I am not afraid to do some persuading. This was one of those times. I always tell people that if I had taken the first “no” from Jeremy, I would have never gotten into rentals, had my son Jefferson, gotten chickens or a pool, and the list goes on… so, I didn’t settle for a “no” this time either (it makes me laugh typing this because I tell him this all the time).

I told him my top reasons for why I thought we should buy it. The main ones were: 

  1. I did not have a retirement plan and someday, when this was bought and paid for, whatever the value is, we could sell it for and get all of the money.
  2. If it was completely paid for, with a little work monthly, it would be straight monthly income to add to whatever else we had.
  3. There are a ton of tax advantages with owning real estate investments like depreciation and tax write-offs, just to name a couple, and I know that no one wants to pay more taxes than they have to (always consult with a tax professional to see yours). 
  4. The icing on the cake for me, as scary as it was to think of going into debt and fearing I could not find a tenant, was that the price point was low and affordable if God forbid, I couldn’t find a tenant.
  5. I could ask for a seller’s assist to pay our closing costs if we bought it.

After a lot of persuading, he was in! He was scared to death, but he was on board. Between you and I, as you get into owning rentals and vacation rentals, the fear of buying the first one is much worse than any after, especially as you gain confidence in how it all works, and keeping them full with income flowing in.

We were able to reap all of the rewards of owning a traditional rental, from tax write offs, tenants paying down our mortgage while gaining equity, and appreciation as the value went up over time. So that $120,000 house would eventually be paid for it we kept it for the long haul with whatever rent we had coming in to be straight income, eventually. And then we could sell it and use that money for whatever we would choose to. That isn’t what we ended doing and for those that have read my book Vacation Rentals: The Ultimate Guide, you know part of this story and have figured out that I am talking about our Central Avenue home, which was featured in my book, both Chapters 9 & Chapter 11. 

I highlight this part of the story in hopes that My Resources allow you to ease MOST of those fears when it comes to investing in real estate and vacation rentals. Whether it be my VRA coursemy book or coaching, let me ease your mind and show you that the ground is there, when you take that next first step!!!

This story doesn’t end here. This definitely is a “To Be Continued…” stayed tuned for the rest of the story and pictures, from house fire to public humiliation and then ultimately being able to reflect on the big picture and see why things worked out the way they did and why we have transitioned most into vacation rentals or sold our traditional rentals. It has all offered so much equity, experience and abundance for our family and we are so grateful that we took that first step. And ***side note, Jeremy is a LOT easier to convince now!

Here is our first rental, 65 Central Ave, Wellsboro. Please stay tuned for the “rest of the story”.  And make sure you sign up below to connect and be in the “know”.

Chris

P.S. Follow me on Instagram @christinavandergrift  or on your other favorite social media apps! 

There is Never a “Right” Time

Life happens and is always happening…we can make excuses for why it isn’t the “right” time or we can just lean in and figure it out.

Boy isn’t that the truth! Life happens and is always happening…we can make excuses for why it isn’t the “right” time or we can just lean in and figure it out. One of my favorite authors, Grant Cardone, says it best “Commit and figure it out later.” I have been doing that my entire life, and learned it from my mom, but didn’t realize that it was a thing – and a rare thing at that.

So many of us are afraid to fail, of being disappointed or embarrassed if it doesn’t work out, or for loss – money, time, effort. But what if it doesn’t fail and actually works! Imagine how different life would be! And it would help build confidence to try more and grow more.  I don’t think there is such a thing as failure unless something shady was done along the way. If you were honest and had integrity and put your heart and soul into anything, even if it doesn’t turn out how you would like for it to, you still learn along the way and can use that experience to problem solve in the future.

I can think back to so many times in my life when I had an opportunity to dive in and take a chance, whether it be on a property, a business or even a relationship and yes, for a split second I would have my doubts about the timing of it. If it felt right in my gut, I was always a definite yes to whatever it was. That yes may take days of digesting, but it would always come. Pit in your stomach = bad. Butterflies = good.

One prime example is a quick excerpt from my book “Vacation Rentals: The Ultimate Guide” and it was when we had the opportunity to purchase the chalet property. Jeremy had recently lost his job, we had recently had a house fire at one of our rentals, we were elbows deep into the planning and construction of our car wash and didn’t know where we would come up with the money to purchase it from. Needless to say, we were extremely scared about the future and all the chances and risks we were facing and taking on, but there is always a way to figure it out, if you want it bad enough, and that is what I do best!

Later in the week he let me know that he could have his brother, who still lived nearby, open it up for us. He also said that he and his wife were thinking of selling it for $275,000. So, if I got Jeremy on board and we were able to secure financing, I would need to come up with $55,000 plus closing costs, worst case scenario (unless I could get it for less). Where the heck was I going to get that from!? At that point my husband’s position as Construction Superintendent at a gas company had been eliminated a couple months before, we had just had a house fire at one of our rentals from the tenant’s trash catching on fire, and we were about to break ground on building a brand-new car wash – all while somehow living off of my income indefinitely. We had traditional home rentals and the Florida vacation rental, but we were not living high on the hog off of the investments. What I do best, however, is knowing how to work hard, think out of the box, and get out of my comfort zone to make things happen, as long as whatever it takes is legal of course ;).’

So, we did, we figured it out! And thank God we did, because you would not be reading this right now if we hadn’t. We trimmed the fat off our finances, worked around the clock, and got creative with coming up with the money. We could have easily said – “This isn’t the right time.” THERE IS NEVER A RIGHT TIME.  That property has been such a blessing to us financially, its been an education, and has opened hundreds of doors in our lives that would have never been opened if we hadn’t.

I hope that this blog post helps you both personally and professionally. It translates across all avenues in life. I talked about fear in a recent podcast episode with Rachel Jenks on the Brand Boss Show. We are more afraid of the feeling of fear itself, than actually doing whatever it may be. What is the worst that could happen? Most of the time it’s all in our heads and that can hold us back from some pretty amazing moments and chapters of our lives.

I would love to connect with you below or on social!

Chris