With most people continuing to work remotely, commercial spaces have suffered and robust cities are just beginning to regain their usual liveliness. For those who dabble in real estate, maximizing the benefits of deurbanization is one great way to grow in the middle of the pandemic. This is a great example of Change-Proofing our lives to leverage the benefits of any change. Adam Markel is joined by the Founder and CEO of Krish Media and Marketing, Naresh Vissa, to discuss how investing in rental spaces today is a great decision, with individuals looking for new places to work and live after deserting multi-family condominiums and offices. He also talks about the uninterrupted growth of the US stock market and how this can be leveraged.
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The Benefits of a Pandemic: Resiliency & Deurbanization
I’m in a state of bliss. I’m in the state of Maine and it feels peaceful here. It’s quiet. We’re on the coast. There are not a lot of people around and that feels right. I’m a city guy. I grew up in New York and lived in or around big cities for most of my life. We live in San Diego, which is not so much a big city these days but it’s a lot more big city and a lot more congested than it is here on the central coast of Maine. This is the season. This feels right.
Often, we don’t give enough attention to the fact that we’re going through seasons. Seasons are happening all around us in the world. We’re used to seeing that, and yet when we’re going through a particular season in our life, it might be that this is a season of change for you, a season of making certain pivots, macro pivots, micro pivots, what have you. It could be that this is a season of harvesting. Because of what’s going on in our world, your business or some other part of your life is thriving and doing phenomenally well. I know several people are making great use of the opportunity because so much buying traffic has come online. That has driven their numbers to places they couldn’t have even predicted. Maybe that’s what’s happening for you, but even that’s a season.
There’s that old expression, “This too shall pass.” A lot of times there’s that statement of, “This too shall pass,” because people don’t know what to say, especially when somebody is experiencing something hard like the loss of a loved one or some other hardship in life. It’s a good line. I’m not taking exception with, “This too shall pass.” It’s that we don’t consider it in the full dimension of it. Even when things are good, it’s sunny, things are working in your favor, the skies are fair, the winds are fair, and all of those things that means that we’re happy, healthy or prosperous. Everything is temporary.
Something that the Buddha and Buddhism are known well for is this Law of Impermanence, that things change, nothing is permanent. This too shall pass means that everything is impermanent, the good, the bad, the ugly, whatever we call it. In this season, I find myself realizing that this too shall pass whether it is feeling like a good place, this season feels good for you at the moment, or maybe you’re in a great deal of pain. There’s been a lot of suffering through this season as it has been for many people. Truly, this too shall pass.
With that said, I feel blessed to be able to have this conversation with all of you and to invite other amazing people into the conversation. This episode is no exception to that. I have a great guest on the show. The gentleman’s name is Naresh Vissa. He is the Founder and the CEO of Krish Media and Marketing, a full-service eCommerce solutions provider. He’s also the host of a show that I was a guest on. I enjoyed his style of interviewing me on that show and the conversation. That’s why we wanted to get him on our show as our guest. The show is called The Work From Home Show. It was perfectly timed for what’s going on in the world. The show was created as a response to exactly what took place, which is that people had to work remotely. The Work From Home Show is his baby, him and his partner whose name is Adam as well. He is also the author of several books, including the bestseller Fifty Shades of Marketing: Whip Your Business Into Shape & Dominate Your Competition. Naresh, it’s great to have you on the show. Thank you for being with us.
Thanks a lot, Adam. I’m looking forward to the interview. I share your sentiments as far as being thankful, giving things and the spiritual. I know you’re a spirituality expert and that’s something that I focus on every day. No matter the time of the year, winter, pandemic, you name it, I take five minutes out every day and give thanks for having this wonderful conversation with you. Thanks for being able to live where I live in Tampa, Florida. Thanks that I’m healthy, my son is healthy, my wife is healthy, our other family members are healthy. Giving thanks for all the wonderful things in life. Thank you, Adam, for having me on the show.
It’s a pleasure. What’s not part of that bio that you would love for people to know about you?If you don't have an appropriate time horizon in real estate investing, you can get burned. Click To Tweet
A little bit of a background, I consider myself a digital marketing small business owner. We run a digital marketing agency. We do pretty much anything and everything online and digital. I’m also an author. You did mention one of my books, but I’ve also written four other books that have done quite well. I consider myself an author. I’m coming out with my next book. I’ve had delays during the pandemic simply because some of the topics aren’t relevant to ￼be locked down. I also consider myself a real estate investor. I don’t think I’m a fledgling real estate investor anymore. I do have a real estate investment firm called Krish Capital. It’s not a startup anymore. It’s cashflowing pretty well. I’m aggressive in growing that, especially with the incredibly low interest rates that are going to continue. I’m looking forward to pursuing the real estate side of things and taking it to the next level over the years.
What’s fun for me about the show is I don’t have to expect what’s going to happen because it always unfolds in a perfect way. I’m curious to discuss a little bit about real estate. We’re going to talk about several things. That hasn’t been a topic that’s come up on a show that I can think of. Let’s talk about that. Real estate is a market just like the stock market is a market and there are lots of markets. What’s your take on the real estate market. There are tons of submarkets. Central New Jersey is a different market than Southern California.
It’s a good topic and discussion and something that I like to share with people. People assume the real estate market is this one vague market and that’s not the case. It’s like talking about the weather. There is no weather market. The weather here in Tampa, Florida is different from the weather in New York City, which is different from the weather in Southern California or up in ￼Maine. Real estate is the same and it has changed a lot since March 2020 when the pandemic hit, when the lockdowns were implemented, and also with the riots that have been going on. That’s had a huge effect on urbanization or deurbanization and real estate as well. We’ve seen a lot happened.
I want to quickly talk about three things. I want to talk about the mortgage rates, the commercial real estate market, which ties into my show, The Work From Home Show, and also the residential real estate market. In the case of mortgage rates, we are seeing all-time lows in interest rates across the board, any interest rate, whether we’re talking about savings rates, CD rates, bond yields, treasuries. In the mortgage market, you can lock in a mortgage loan for rates that are out of this world. You’re pretty much getting a free mortgage at the end of the day. The inflation rate is about 3.5%. That’s what the government published. Let’s say a $100,000 home, 30 years fixed-rate, 20% balance, this is all the bare minimums. I’m seeing that is going for about 3% to 3.5%, assuming you have a credit score above 740, 750. The inflation rate is about 3.5%. You’re essentially locking in a free mortgage. That has caused an amazing demand in residential real estate.
People assumed, “We’re in this huge recession, depression, 55 million people have filed for unemployment. The real estate market is going to crash.” That hasn’t happened. Personally, the months of April and May were slow. All of a sudden, after Memorial weekend, all the players came out of the floodgates and started buying up homes left and right. Sticking to the mortgages, now is a good time to refinance, to take out debt because of the low interest, and start a business. It’s an amazing time and that’s why I don’t expect the real estate values in boring, smaller than linear markets. I’m not talking about San Diego, New York City, or Los Angeles. We will get into that discussion about those cities. I’m talking about places like where I am, Tampa Bay, Orlando, Memphis, Tennessee, Jackson, Mississippi, Indianapolis, Indiana. I own properties in all these places. Alabama has got a lot of influx of people migrating, Birmingham, Tuscaloosa.
The point is that the low-interest rates have brought in regular mom–and-pop investors like me but also the large institutions, the real estate private equity firms, the big banks, the Wall Street banks. They’ve come in because they’re essentially getting paid. A place like JP Morgan, for example, already has an internal mortgage department through Chase. These banks are coming in. I don’t even think they’re doing much research. They’re coming in and buying up properties left and right. Until that buying behavior changes, the real estate market is going to continue to stay afloat and maybe even continue to go up.
On the other hand, if you are a landlord, which is what I am, there is a problem not with valuations but with addictions. We’ve faced 55 million unemployed, and now you’ve got tenants who don’t have jobs and who are depending on unemployment stimulus. They’re getting paid a lot of money. At least my tenants, compared to what they were making before working, they are making more than what they were making. There’s a lot of uncertainty and states have come in and implemented these moratoriums. They’re banning evictions. There’s a lot of nebulous policy going around because most of the states backed off of that moratorium, but then the President came in and ratified the eviction. You can’t evict people. That’s not working itself out but you can expect to see lots of evictions.
On the other hand, part of the reason why the real estate market is doing well is that there is a waitlist of people who want to rent. There is a waitlist of people who want to work from home. They need that extra bedroom. They need extra space. They’re moving out from the crowded multifamily condos and apartments to more private, more spacious single-family homes. We have people downgrading. Maybe they lost a job and they’re downgrading from more expensive homes or mortgages, downgrading to smaller ones. You have the migration out of huge cities like New York, Chicago, DC, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland. Migration out of those urban areas and to the suburbs and also to more tax-friendly, safer states like Alabama, Tennessee, Florida. The real estate market has been affected a lot by all these different factors.
The deurbanization is fascinating. I don’t know if you’ve done any research or looked into anything that would represent a time in our history where this has happened before, where there’s been this movement out of cities and into rural areas. I don’t know that there’s been a time that we can think of when that’s happened. Have you studied to see where this has happened in the past? What triggers any reversal of that? When I invest, I look at the long term. I’ve owned a lot of real estate in my life. One thing that’s been true for me is there’s always the location, which is a truism. You do have to be conscious of that. Another one is that you’ve got to have a time horizon. If you don’t have an appropriate time horizon when it comes to real estate investing, you can get burned. A lot of people got into real estate in the early part of this century, 2002, 2003. Even before that, they started buying up real estate. We saw a spike and a real peak in 2003, 2004, 2005. By 2006, we’re already past the peak. By 2008, when our financial crisis occurred, we saw a debacle. We saw the perfect storm.
It was a real estate crisis.
We’ve come a long way since the worst of that crisis. As a real estate investor, you’ve got to think for the long term. At that time, people had been buying and using what were loose requirements to get credit, to get a mortgage. If you were buying things that you were able to cashflow and hold for the long term, you wouldn’t have needed to sell. You wouldn’t have lost your home or your condo in foreclosure back then. The problem is that people thought, “This will go on long enough for me to double my investment and flip it over a year and make 25% or better.” That and a lot of other regulatory issues perpetuated that perfect storm. What do you see in this deurbanization? Have you seen any historical parallels to it that would inform us going in? Where do you see the opportunities if that’s the case? People are leaving the cities for more land, more room, etc. What do you see are the opportunities there?
There’s a lot to unpack there, Adam. Let’s start with the first question which is, historically, have I done the research and seen anything like this? The answer is pretty simple, no. The difference this time around versus the Spanish Flu from 1918 or the other depressions or recessions that we’ve gone through is the idea of working from home. The internet and technology have become adopted. If this happened in 1990, 1985, the world would be in terrible shape. Our technologists, the world in general, have set up an infrastructure so that we can take a big chunk of our economy digital. That’s what’s kept the economy running. It’s the technology. I don’t know if this is a controversial statement but it’s my opinion. The real heroes have been the IT folks, the people in technology. Whatever was left of the economy to salvage, they’ve done a tremendous job over the years setting up the system, setting up the economy, setting up businesses so that they could immediately go digital and continue to operate profitably.
This is your statement. You can correct me if I’m wrong. They’re among the heroes. You’re not saying that somehow or another, the IT people who’ve created this infrastructure for many of us to be able to continue to work and earn from anywhere, whether it’s working for someone else or it’s in our own business. It is a game-changing platform and a game-changing context that we didn’t have years ago to fall back on had this happen then. That has nothing to do with all the people who are the frontline workers, nurses, doctors, and everybody else that are our heroes in our pandemic world.
You’re right. By IT, I mean anyone who works in technology or has implemented technology. The reason why I want to give them the credit that they deserve is that our frontline workers, our first responders get all the credit. You hear it all the time. You see the commercials on TV. They already get so much credit, whereas the IT guys, people don’t even talk to them.
That’s important. Naresh, I’m glad you’re bringing this up. You can only imagine that there are people that have been adding tremendous benefit, supporting everything, and holding together during a bona fide crisis that don’t get called out and acknowledged. I love the fact that you’re bringing this up. We can hold a place of gratitude and appreciation for a whole host of people that are not regularly called out as heroes.
At least a lot of the IT people are never recommended. They’re the people in the background who are doing all this work and they don’t ask for any recognition. We have to thank them. How does this tie into working from home, the historical trends? Historically, this has worked out as far as going digital and being able to adapt. The trend is working from home because of everything that’s happened. My prediction long before the pandemic was the next recession that hits the United States would essentially force businesses to cut costs, get rid of the office spaces, have their workforce work from home more, and outsource more, at least on the technology side to independent contractors and overseas. This was before any pandemic and all this happened. It would have happened not as quickly, but it would have happened even if we went through a normal business cycle recession.The home has become the central location of life during the pandemic. It's where everything is happening. Click To Tweet
How does that affect real estate? You’re working from home. You’re spending more time at home. The home has become the central location of life. It’s where everything is happening. It’s where you’re eating, sleeping, playing, and working. Previously, a lot of workers would spend an hour and a half a day in a car, in a subway or train, and then they would be in a crowded office. The other thing is these large, tall, nice buildings in Silicon Valley and New York City. They weren’t around during the Spanish Flu in 1980. They weren’t what they are now during the Great Depression or most of the recession since then. That’s another major difference.
In commercial real estate, you have all this vacant property whether it’s retail shopping centers, malls, or ghost malls as they’re being called, and office spaces as well. Commercial real estate is looking like a bad deal. If you’re in commercial real estate, good luck. That’s across the board from medical offices to hotels. On the residential side, I’m bullish on that. As far as the riots go, the riots have made a tremendous impact on people’s views of living in a city and their safety. Where you’re from in New York, I’m sure you’ve kept up with the stats, homicides are up to 86% the last I saw year over year. This is a trend among most major cities, Minneapolis, Portland, Chicago, DC, Baltimore. The crime, in general, is way up. You’ve got a lot of political things playing into police involvement and how much police should police or whether they should be hands-off. All that affects the way people do in their life.
The quality of life in a certain environment, for sure.
Mass migration has happened where people initially thought, “Let me go to Maine for a month. I’ll go back to New York City after that.” They went to Florida, Maine, Berkshires or Utah.
Anywhere you can go, anywhere they’ll take you.
They left thinking, “This is going to be a temporary thing,” and then by April, May, they’re like, “I don’t have to go back into that tall office. I can work from anywhere. I have my job. I’m paying this 40% tax by living in New York. I can pick up and move or stay where I am. I don’t have to go back.” That’s what people are realizing and that’s affecting places like New York City. You’re from New York City but this time it’s different for New York City. The other times, it was able to bounce back. This time, it’s different because people are moving. They’re leaving with their feet. Previously, they weren’t doing that. You’re seeing an influx of people moving to suburbia, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, the friendlier, safer, lower costs states. That has a tremendous impact on demographics on urbanization and real estate.
The opportunities in that arena are here for some time and yet it’s counterintuitive. When you hear about high rates of unemployment and an economy that we think is potentially in trouble, we’re likely already in recession. I don’t know if we’ve officially declared a recession because it takes two quarters. Is it officially considered a recession?
Yes. The second quarter ended in June. We are officially in a recession in July.
Our first quarter wouldn’t have been recessionary. When we’re doing this interview, we’re in August 2020. ￼We would expect that the second quarter was a negative quarter but not the first. Do you know whether the first quarter was a negative quarter?
The first quarter was negative as well. We knew that we were going into a recession and we knew that we were in one. That GDP number came out for Q2, which was a lot better than people expected. When that came out, it was official in textbook academic definition that we’re in a recession. The next quarter, when we got that data, there’s a chance we could be out of it by the time that GDP number was published. It’s looking like the numbers are rapidly getting better.
What do you attribute the numbers getting better to?
It’s simple. It’s the reopening. This was not part of the business cycle. It was essentially forts. Business X is essential versus business Y is non-essential. The government labels on businesses, “You’re not in the essential business. You can’t stay open. You have to be shut down.” When you force businesses to shut down like that and you tell people, “You can’t leave your house. If you leave your house, you’re at great risk of catching the virus and spreading the virus.” That’s what caused the recession.
Beauty salons, health clubs, gyms, etc. were forced to close and then allowed to reopen. In some places like California, it’s forced to close yet again. I’m going to ask you a question. Honestly, if you don’t have an opinion because it’s outside of your area of interest, let me know. The stock market seems to be an enigma. We see the stock market plummet. I don’t use that word lightly. It plummeted to about 18,000 from its high of wherever it was at the time. It’s a massive decline. We are either at or approaching even newer highs than before things change.
What do you believe is the reason that the stock market has gone up in the midst of record unemployment claims, trillions of dollars added to the national debt? Nobody seems to be able to explain how it will ever be paid for other than who knows what, scuttling Social Security for people, approaching it like me, or something else in the future that nobody wants to grapple with. Fiscal responsibility and looking at debt and other factors, it seems odd that the stock market would be doing as well as it’s doing. Not every company is trading like Apple or Tesla, for example. Most of these companies are up. Most of the Dow is up.
The S&P ￼reached an all-time high. The NASDAQ continues to reach all-time highs on a day-to-day basis. I started my career concurrently as an equity research analyst. This is a topic that I follow. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve gotten my butt handed to me several times. I’ve learned from my mistakes from 2008, 2009, and 2010. We had a family meeting, my wife and me. I said, “I have learned from a lot of my ￼mistakes. This is a time that we could legitimately start planning for retirement if we play this right.” So far, so good. The Dow Jones reached pre-Trump election levels. It wiped out the gains in a matter of three weeks. Those gains are completely wiped. It took three and a half years to work itself up to Dow 29,500 or 29,000, then has come roaring back.
To answer your question of how on earth are these markets reaching all-time highs on a daily basis? There are logical reasons for it and those reasons support my thesis that the markets are going to keep going up. This is not artificial. It’s not fake. This is real. They’re going to keep going up as we move forward. Here’s why. Number one is the federal government. Most governments around the world who have such power and capabilities have tried to do the same thing. The United States has the most power of any because the dollar is the world’s reserve currency. The US is a sovereign nation. It prints its currency. It’s not on a gold standard. The United States has done a pretty good job of not letting the unemployment situation get completely out of hand to where masses of people are in breadlines and there’s pandemonium on the streets. We see the riots but the United States has provided a lot. If you were to ask me if I agree or disagree, that’s a completely different topic.
We’re leaving the politics or any of that out of it. How is it that in the midst of what feels like a recession for a lot of people that the market is going in the exact opposite direction?
The stock market is always forward-looking. It’s forward-looking by about 4 to 6 months. That’s the first thing to keep in mind. The second thing is all this money injection. This is where I bring up the unemployment benefits that have gone up. They passed another round of stimulus check going out to people. What they’re doing is injecting liquidity not into the economy but into the markets. What you’re doing is putting money in people’s hands. Central banks and other governments around the world are doing the same thing, and the Federal Reserve, so that’s on the fiscal side. That’s what I’ve talked about on the monetary side. The Federal Reserve has lowered interest rates as low as they can go. On top of that, they continue to monetize the debt at record levels. There’s a lot of stimulus and liquidity in the market.
In the United States, if you add all this up, that’s over $10 trillion that’s been injected into the markets. Where is that money going? A lot of the economy was shut down. It wasn’t going to travel, leisure, airlines or hotels. It wasn’t going into many different sectors of the economy. Where a lot of that money was going was into the US stock market. All of a sudden, you’ve got a lot of people at home and unemployed saying, “I’ve got some money to play around with. Let’s start trading stocks.” That’s a small impact. It’s had a decent impact on the market. The bigger impact is the liquidity that’s been injected.
The US is investing in itself, in its treasuries, and in its stock market. The foreign governments, foreign nations, what are they doing with all that money? What are those people doing? They’ve sought the US as a safe haven and said, “Let’s put it in the US stock market.” The statistic I read is that of all these tens of trillions of dollars that had been injected globally, only about 35% of it has been put to use, whether it’s been spent on goods and services or it’s been put into the stock market. The rest of the 60% to 70% is still sitting on the sidelines. It hasn’t been used yet. You know it’s going to be you that’s not going to keep sitting there. When it’s put into use, where is the money going to go? It’s going to continue to US real estate, US stocks. That’s why I’m bullish.
In general, there’s also a sentiment that we’re not going to lockdown again even if there is this second crazy wave. We did that. We tried it. We learned from what works and what doesn’t work. We’re not going to blindly shut everything down and say, “Lock yourself at home.” We’ve got that assurance on both sides of the political aisle. There’s a lot of optimism that even if we have to live with this virus without a vaccine, we’re not going to shut down the grocery stores, restaurants, or barbershops. It’s the economy in general. There’s a lot of optimism.
Quite frankly, one of the problems is even though there are 55 million to 60 million who filed for unemployment, businesses are struggling to hire. They’re struggling to get someone to do haircuts or work at the restaurant or even fill the corporate job. It’s been a huge struggle. Around the world, that’s something that the governments are going to have to figure out. It’s like, “We kept the economies afloat. Now, let’s try to go back to work.” That’s going to be the challenge moving forward. All of this is optimistic and it supports why the market is reaching all-time highs and why it’s going to continue to go up in linear fashion from here on out.
One of the more interesting inflection points when we look back on this a few years from now, we’ll see that there were certain points where you couldn’t get in the way of the moving train. That’s usually the case anyway with trends that are difficult to stop, something that is in motion or to reverse it. Body in motion tends to stay in motion and body in rest tends to stay rest. Getting in front of some of these things would be dangerous, especially if you were going to take a contrarian point of view, and real estate potentially being one of them. We don’t talk about this on the show. Hopefully, people will get a great deal of value out of it as well. There are these micro markets or markets that are within arm’s reach of large urban areas that might be or are already the beneficiary of this flight, this retreat from the more congested city life. Do you think that New York City or San Francisco will see real estate recession?
New York City already is in a real estate recession. The rents have plummeted 40% to 60% in some of the most prime areas of New York City.
Is that because of vacancy?
It’s because of vacancy. While people are moving out of New York, I have somebody close to me who said, “I want to do an Airbnb for two months.” If he’s there for longer than three months, he has to pay the state tax. I want to go to New York City because I can be there for two months. I get a 40% to 50% discount. I can be in the heart of Manhattan. New York City’s nightlife is back open. He was like, “Why not? Now is a prime time to do it.” Foreigners, all they think about before they immigrate to the United States is New York City. That’s where they want to go. This is the dreamland from a cost perspective.
New York City is in a real estate recession. Think about all those big, large buildings that they have. They’re at 20% capacity as far as people using those buildings to work. Those companies have become more progressive and adopted the work from home approach. These are large, blue chip, bureaucratic organizations that have found that this whole work from home thing is going fine. It’s like, “We don’t need the people in the office.” That affects commercial real estate. If you were to walk down Fifth Avenue, it’s a ghost avenue. Fifth Avenue is the avenue that has most of the big retailers, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, NBA store. You drive down and they’re boarded up. I don’t think they’re coming back. Some of those retailers have already filed for bankruptcy.
Neiman Marcus was astonishingly enough. There are a lot of companies that probably will not come back. Let’s pivot ever so slightly here to something you said. I’m using my language and not what you said. You’ve invested in the past and got burned. You tried to time things or at least invested wisely at the time. Every mistake starts as a good idea. I know that one from my own life experience. I’m sure it was not easy for you to invest and not have it worked out, and then be in the situation where you’re talking to your wife again that somehow, now is different.Only surround yourself with people who you like talking to and who have a positive impact on you. Click To Tweet
Rather than going into that, what I’d love to know is what was it that has kept you resilient? To get burned in the investment space, any seasoned investor knows what that’s like. At some point, you cannot invest and not understand what it’s like to lose, to make a poor investment and have it become negative in some way, ROI-wise. How would you define you and your wife’s resilience in that area? What can you say to people who may have also gotten burned in 2008 when the market crashed and people were losing homes, losing investment properties, etc.? People are still leery from that. The burn is still in memory. They still can feel it. They might be hesitant to be looking at the opportunities now. How do you get through that mindset? What’s the resilience piece of it?
To answer your question, I’m going to have two different answers, one from an investment perspective and one from a life perspective. From the investment perspective, this goes somewhat contrary to what I said about New York City. They are one and the same. It was Sir John Templeton who once said that the four most dangerous words are “this time, it’s different,” for investors or anybody in general. What I do have to say is it’s not from an investment perspective. The US economy, stock market, investments, real estate, everyone is going to need a place to live at the end of the day. They’re going to need a bed to sleep in. I don’t know how you would be now but if for whatever reason, you lost a lot of money in investments over the past six months since March 2020, February 2020, understand that like in 2008, 2009, you might have been way down if you rode along with it and took that advice of not going with the herd, “It’s different this time.” Don’t even look. It’s unhealthy to be constantly looking at the value of your property or, “How much is my stock up today? How much is it down today?” That’s not a healthy way to live life.
If you happen to be down, just listen to me and say, “I’m not even going to look. I’m going to leave it alone for five years and I’m going to come back.” I guarantee you’re going to be in a better place because you would have overcome whatever this anxiety is. Mathematically, you’ll see that you’re up. That’s the first thing from an investment perspective. From a life perspective, resilience is essentially the ability to recover from difficulties. Resilience is one of the most important characteristics anyone can have. People need to go through difficulties, whether it’s the ups and downs of life, loss, job, relationship, emotion, whatever.
If you don’t have resilience, that’s probably because you haven’t faced any difficulties. The difficulties are probably coming because no one goes through life without facing difficulties. As far as resilience in a life perspective goes, there’s a lot of turmoil not just in the job front but if you look at divorces, the courts are back up. I’ve got several people close to me who are going through them. Because of the pandemic, it caused problems. Divorce courts are backed up. State courts, a lot of death has happened and they’re back up.
As far as what I do to be resilient in life, not just with investments but in life in general, and this is taken from the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, there’s staying healthy mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. Mentally, I take that to exercise my brain to stay up to date, not with the news or anything but to keep my brain fresh. That means learning new things, writing. I write books. I also play a lot of chess. You can do all these things on your phone. You don’t have to go anywhere to do it. That’s how I stay sharp mentally.
Physically, I try to exercise every day. I try to play tennis twice a week. On the days that I don’t play tennis, I run around the block and get some fresh sunlight and do some cardio. That’s the physical side. Spiritual, I happen to be religious but you don’t have to be religious. It’s just giving thanks at the end of the day. Giving thanks doesn’t even have to be to a particular person. Giving thanks to your life. Emotionally is being around good people. If you find yourself constantly angry, upset or nagging, it’s probably because somebody is doing that to you. Those are the people you have to get out of your life. You need to remove those people from your life so that you’re around people who you like talking to, who are positive, and who have a positive impact on you.
All four of these areas are taken from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It took me years to implement them into my life. This was not an overnight thing. All four of these helped me build resilience during my lows and downs. You can’t just say, “My life is good right now. I’m going to give thanks because I feel good.” It’s something you have to do every day. No matter what’s going on in your life, it’s something that you have to do. That is what has helped me build resilience. It’s helped me build my business, become a better real estate investor, have better relationships with people, and get rid of people in my life. It’s helped me build thicker skin. It’s helped me in many different ways. That’s my formula.
Naresh, I’ve got one last question for you and I appreciate that you covered it in a holistic way in those four quadrants, the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. Resilience isn’t just physical. It’s not just one thing. We’re not coming from one place. Many of these things affect our daily attitude and the experience that we have of being in these times. One of the things that is most difficult and is creating tremendous fear and anxiety with many people is the uncertainty of it all. How do you leverage the power of uncertainty? What’s something that comes up for you that would enable you to leverage the power of uncertainty in this time since that’s among the things that are most prevalent that people are feeling? They’re feeling uncertain.
Uncertainty is like luck. I’m sure you’ve faced this as well, Adam. I know your story when you left the legal profession and you went out on your own. That’s a lot of uncertainty. It’s unheard for an attorney to do that. Most business people, entrepreneurs, our lives are filled with uncertainty. From the day we got into the business, it’s been nothing but uncertainty. To your question, the average person reading this may not be an entrepreneur. Maybe they lost their jobs and they’ve had a job their entire life. How do you deal with that uncertainty? My only advice to them is that you need to improve yourself and stay healthy. That’s important.
The second thing is working hard at improving yourself. Skills are today’s currency. Skills are important. I recommend that people not focus on one skill but try to master multiple skills. Try to find things that you’re good at and pursue them further. If you don’t know what you’re good at, we have this great thing called the internet and Google. A lot of things are available for free online. That’s how I’ve perfected many of my skills through free newsletters, blogs, podcasts like yours, books. There’s so much stuff out there. There’s so much available that you can utilize free of charge. If you get good at some of these skills and combine the skills plus that daily practice that I talked about, the uncertainty should go away because good things are going to start happening to you. It’s going to come to you.
What you’re describing is that the “good things,” the things that will show up are on some level not even predictable. The beautiful part about this is that even the good is uncertain. The good is not necessarily predictable. That’s what I found in my life in many different pivots professionally and even personally. When I challenge my addiction to certainty, my addiction to having to know things before I can take an action or having to know things to sleep well at night, what has opened up are opportunities I couldn’t have predicted, great results that I didn’t necessarily set out to see happen, as well as several things that I did intend to see.
I agree with what you said, Naresh. It’s a practical way to not just white knuckle the experience that many people are having, but that you can leverage this uncertainty for your long-term success. That’s something we’re going to explore quite a bit more in upcoming episodes of this show. I’ve got a book that’s coming out with McGraw Hill that’s called Change Proof: Leveraging the Power of Uncertainty to Build Long-term Growth. I’m excited about that project. I’m looking forward to sharing more about it. Naresh, I’ve loved having you on the show. It was a great conversation. I love the fact that we talked about something we never touch on this show, which is the investment arena. Getting your perspective in real estate, residential, commercial, and even the stock market was a blessing. Thank you.
Thanks a lot, Adam. I enjoyed the conversation. It’s been worthwhile. I hope your readers took away a lot.Skills are today's currency. Try to find things that you're good at and pursue them further. Click To Tweet
For me as well. I will remind myself and say this out loud for all that are interested in plussing the concept Naresh brought up about our rituals, and how important it is that we have rituals that are able to keep us on that growth footing. Keep us in a space where we are able to be our best and to combat the fear that often keeps us playing safe or living scared existences. To me, rituals do that. Rituals have the capacity to take you out of your way and that’s what it’s done for me. I’ve got rituals for everything from the moment I wake up until the minute I put my head on the pillow. Even then, I have a ritual when my head hits the pillow. The waking ritual is the one that has been the most powerful. It’s the subject to the TED Talk I gave about what we can do at the beginning of the day to set ourselves up for the absolute best day that we could ever conceive of. The first step in creating that great new day, which we can start tomorrow, all of us can do it from this moment even, that is first of all to wake up. Naresh, you woke up today, right?
When you went to sleep, you put your head on the pillow. Did you have a contract that you were going to get to wake up?
It’s the great unknown. You talked about uncertainty. When we go to sleep at night, there’s no guarantee we get to wake up. We know for sure, when we do get that moment when we’re waking up, you realize you’re waking up to a new day. There are people in that same moment who are not waking up. They’re taking their last breath at the moment that you’re taking your first awakened aware breath. Waking up is key. Feeling in that moment, even into that situation I described, and coming away with gratitude and being able to do what you said, which is on the side of your connection to yourself and connection maybe to the spirit or whatever it is that you think is the energy that animates everything in the universe. At that moment, you get to express gratitude and appreciation for your life and for that breath, your kids, your family, for the day, the sun, the rain, the moon, the stars, whatever you can be grateful for.
Step three is to consider the words that you first speak. I’m not a religious person but I’m interested in spirituality and on a spiritual path of my own. I love the way the Bible begins. I love the first words that say, “God said, ‘Let there be light.’” Whether you believe that literally, figuratively, or you don’t believe it at all, it’s something interesting and the fact that it’s the most popular book ever written. It starts with a statement of speaking something into existence. God spoke the world into existence. Whether that’s a metaphor or you believe it literally, whatever your beliefs are is not my concern. For me, it means that the power of our words is paramount. To recognize what comes out of your mouth is a prophecy so often of what you will see show up for that day and beyond that day in your experience.
What do you want to speak into existence when you start your day? That’s my question to all of you. For me, the four words that I use are, “I love my life.” These days and almost all the time, I say, “No matter what,” whether it’s the best of times or the worst of times, this too shall pass. What’s a constant is whether you show up for that day prepared to love your life. My question to all of you is, what do you want to speak into existence tomorrow when you wake up? You decide. You could borrow those four little words. It’s four simple words. You could create your own. You could say something entirely different. It’s up to you. You have that freedom to speak into existence everything that you want in your life.
I get that sounds a little motivational and so be it. We all need some motivation and some inspiration in our lives daily. Naresh, thank you so much for being a ￼guest. Please leave a comment at AdamMarkel.com/podcasts. Subscribe if you haven’t yet subscribed and feel free to share this message, this episode with other people that you think could benefit from it. It helps us to spread some of these ideas. We appreciate your help in doing that. I’ll say ciao for now. Thank you so much.
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- Change Proof: Leveraging the Power of Uncertainty to Build Long-term Growth