RG 319 – This Power Couple Built Real Estate Empire & Left their W2 job with Derek & Sophie CliffordRG 319 - Built Real Estate Empire & Left their W2 job

Derek and Dr. Sophie Clifford are two nomads traveling the world while handling Elevate Equity, a real estate investment company helping busy professionals create multiple degrees of freedom. Both Derek and Sophie are passionate educators and seasoned investors, working hand in hand to help others find a way out of the 8-to-5 grind.

Let’s take a look at the dynamics of this power couple’s relationship, what it’s like investing in real estate with your spouse, and the importance of being on the same page in a partnership. We also learn about the relationship between financial and physical wellness, the three types of freedom Elevate Equity is helping others achieve (time, financial, location), and how Derek and Sophie became full-time nomads.

Interested in becoming an Investor with Reed? Click here to join his Investor email list.

Interested in learning how to enter the real estate business as a couple? Click that ‘Play’ button now and listen to Derek and Sophie’s story!

Key Takeaways

  • When you’re working for someone else, you know you’re dispensable.

  • People looking for financial wellness are also looking for health.

  • A spouse can help you figure out the next step when you’re unsure of what to do next.

  • Sometimes, priorities take over goals, and you need to understand the difference between the two.


Be Bold, Be Brave and Go Give Life a Crack!

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Podcast Transcript

Reed Goossens (00:00):

Good day Good day guys. Now, before we dive into today’s show, I want you to let you know that some of you may be aware that over the past eight years, I have built a substantial multi-family real estate portfolio here in the US worth over half a billion dollars. And in that time, my passive investors have received fantastic double digit returns. And now you too can invest directly into my deals for as little as $50,000. So if you’re an interested investor, head over to reedgoossens.com to find out more that’s reedgoossens.com. Now back into the show,

Derek Clifford (00:40):

Do you think that you’re gonna get to a certain point and then all of a sudden you’re just gonna kick back and relax. You know, that never, that will never happen. You have to start doing what you’re going to do in your ideal life right now. You know, you have to bring some of that in there’s no waiting, like you never know what the future’s gonna hold. And, you know, that’s perspective that Sophie like was bringing to me. And in the end, that perspective helped me also relax a little bit like a force relaxation. And then we’re able to talk about bigger picture things and you get your head out of the weeds and you can do, you can move a lot faster when you have that perspective

Speaker 3 (01:32):

To investing in the US a podcast for real estate investors, business owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs looking to break into the US market, join Reed as he interviews go-getters risk takers and the best in the business about their journey towards financial freedom and the sheer joy of creating something from nothing

Reed Goossens (01:51):

Good day good day, a ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another cracking edition of investing in the us podcast from Los Angeles. I’m your host reed goossens good is always every with us on the show. Now I’m glad that you’ve all tuned into to learn from my incredible guests and each and every one of them are the cream of the crop here in the United States. When it comes to real estate, investing, business, investing and entrepreneurship, each show, I try and tease out their incredible stories of how they have successfully created the businesses here in the us, how they’ve created financial freedom, massive amounts of cash flow, and ultimately created extraordinary lives for themselves and their families life by design. As I like to say, hopefully these guests will inspire all of my cracking listeners, which are you guys to get off the couch and go and take massive amounts of action.

Reed Goossens (02:38):

If these guys can do it. So can you now, as you know, I’m all about sharing the knowledge with my loyal listeners, which is you guys, and there’s absolutely no BS on this show, just straight into the nuts and bots. Now, if you do like to show the easiest way to give back is to give us a review on iTunes and you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter by searching at Reed goossens. You can find the show show wherever you podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Google play, but you can also find these episodes up on my YouTube channel. So head over to Reedgoossnes.com, click on the video link, and it’ll take you to the video recordings of these podcasts, where you can see my ugly mug, but the beautiful faces of my guests each and every week. All right, enough outta me, let’s get cracking in into today’s show.

Reed Goossens (03:24):

Say in the show, I, the pleasure of speaking with both Derek and Sophie, Clifford, the powerhouse couple have grown their own private equity firm called elevate equity. And they’ve grown it from just $0 to now over 30 million in assets, under management in just two years now, prior to retiring from his w two JOB, Derek published a book, and you should all get your hands on this book called the part-time real estate investor for full-time and professionals, which is we’ll talk a little bit more about that, and we’ll get links to the end of that at the end of the show. On the other side of the coin, Sophie is a licensed naturopath doctor and she owns a company. And we’ll talk a little bit about this. We just discussed this in, in the green room, live whole you a platform for wellness to focus on entrepreneurs, wanting to take their minds and bodies to the next level. And she’s just that through a personalized genetics and cutting edge techniques from both the functional and naturopathic world of medicine, they are both also currently Airbnb nomads and they’re living across the globe and they’re currently in island, but they’ve just had an incredible time in Greece. I’m really excited to have them both on the show here today, but enough at me, let’s get ’em out here. Hello, to both of you, Derek and Sophie. Welcome to the show. Hello,

Derek Clifford (04:33):

Reed. Hey, what’s going on, Reed. Thanks for having us on. We’re delighted to be here.

Reed Goossens (04:37):

Yeah. Well, just, uh, tell us, give us a low down on the, uh, where you guys have been traveling to and what’s, what’s going on in your, your part of the world right now?

Derek Clifford (04:45):

Yeah, so man, we have been, uh, it’s we’re two months in, on a four month European adventure, uh, ever since selling our house back in may last year. Uh, we’ve been traveling around the United States and COVID has kind of been putting a hamper on some of the places that we did want to travel to originally, which was Japan. Uh, we wanted to go there a couple actually like yeah, in, in early summer. Um, but unfortunately they just now opened up or are opening up right now. So we had to kind of do like a little bit of a pivot, uh, for what we were gonna do for summer. And we decided to go to Portugal, Greece, uh, and then hit some of the, um, the other countries that Sophie hasn’t been to yet, which is Ireland, um, Iceland, uh, and England, I think she hasn’t been there for very long. So, uh, we’re just gonna be, uh, traveling around and doing our businesses online and kind of like stepping into this abundant life right now, you know, while we have the time and we don’t have kids yet, uh, we’re just kind of enjoying, uh, each other and enjoying where we’re, where we’re at in the world and where we are in life.

Reed Goossens (05:45):

That is awesome. That is absolutely awesome. And so many people want that life, right. But you guys are actually going out and doing that. Yeah. I wanna get into that a little bit more in the show, but before we do, can you rewind the clock and tell me how you both made your first ever dollar as a kid?

Sophie Clifford (05:59):

So, um, our, I, I would say our upbringings are vastly different, so, uh, not a lot of people know. So I, I come from, um, a family of immigrants. They immigrated from Cambodia. My parents are actually genocide survivors. Mm. Um, I, myself was born in a refugee camps and, you know, the mentality was very much, um, work, really hard, do the best that you can. And, you know, you, you can do, you can pretty much achieve whatever you want in life. So with, um, with my parents, because they don’t really have anything more than a, probably an elementary school education, they work their way from making 50 cents an hour. And, um, into becoming actually millionaires, um, entrepreneurs, real estate investors, they own restaurants. They were the ones that actually taught me about real estate investing because they, uh, they bought properties, not speaking a lick of English. And I remember, uh, when I was probably as a teenager, um, even younger than that, helping do cleanouts trash outs, um, painting carpeting. So a lot of my knowledge from real estate investing, uh, really came from them.

Reed Goossens (07:10):

Awesome. Yeah. That is incredible. I wanna get more into that, but I’ll let Derek answer the other

Derek Clifford (07:15):

Question. Yeah. You know, for, for me, it was, um, significantly less luxurious than what she just talked about. I think for me, it was, um, I think washing my aunt’s car, I believe was the first thing. And it was something that I wasn’t planning on doing, but she just made the offer and I think they were trying to see, cause I was a very sheltered kid when I was growing up. And all I remember was here’s your $5, but you know, we need to work on your detail work. That’s, that’s what I remember when I was handed that money. So, uh, you know, needless to say, I’m not in the car washing business at least directly right now. So , that’s awesome. That’s how that goes.

Reed Goossens (07:52):

Well, you, you guys have created an incredible life for yourself, work now, living across the globe. Um, really trying to live in the, in the, in the moment, which is, you know, people aspire to do that, um, so much, but maybe talk us both about that upbringing and, and the PR the prior to where you are today. Because I, I know personally, uh, I know of you guys, I’ve been on your show with my incredible wife, but you’ve spent a lot of time building towards this. So maybe give us a snapshot of what it looked like prior to this and how it really got to the point of you wanting to say enough’s enough and I’m sick of this day job. And I want to go out and do more and be more.

Sophie Clifford (08:28):

Yeah, sure. So I would say read, uh, definitely wasn’t glamorous. I think we, you know, we bootstrapped, we, we did everything we could, uh, to build this life from the ground up. And I think we fell into the mentality of pretty much, you know, I, I, we, we really believe that anything is possible. And I think again, maybe I had, I, I like to take credit for having more of that mentality um, because Derek is, he, you know, he’s is very logical. He’s very engineer minded. And although he believes the same thing, I think he needs to know exactly what it, how we’ll get there. And for me, um, I tend to be more visionary. He tends to be more integrator anyway, mm-hmm um, but, but looking back, you know, we, um, we basically set, we had very similar visions. We had very similar goals of how we wanted to live and it, you know, it wasn’t, like I said, it wasn’t glamorous because we were heavily heavily in debt and coming from very humble families, you know, we thought, okay, the best way to do this was to get really good jobs, you know, even prior to that, going to good schools, getting good grades, just that mindset, right.

Sophie Clifford (09:40):

That, that everybody seems to have. But then at some point I, I saw how my family sort of made things happen. Um, and they, they were able to, to say, Hey, I’m gonna open a restaurant, not know I’m not speaking any English and it doesn’t matter how we’re gonna do it, but we’re just gonna do it. We’re gonna figure it out. And so the whole say yes, and figure it out later mentality. Um, we, we took that heavily to heart. And, um, I would say that that sort of shaped the foundation of, of everything kind of we build and stacked upon since then.

Derek Clifford (10:14):

Yeah, I think so. I think, um, you know, like all like all good things, you know, they, they all, at least in my experience, they all come from our wives, at least that’s, that’s what I truly believe. Um, to be honest, I think, uh, when I was growing up, you know, reed like I, I was so laser focused on the traditional track of, you know, like what we discussed about, you know, on, on our show too, which was, you know, just being a W2 employee, adding value and staying there until age 65 and just living that traditional life. But it wasn’t until, you know, I got burned on a few, like on a job where, you know, I wasn’t necessarily burned. I had great bosses throughout my entire career, but when I started to sit down and do the math for what type of value I was adding to clients back when I was doing consulting, right.

Derek Clifford (11:01):

Um, I was on their facility, like living there at their facility or working on site, you know, and I was seeing the profits that they were making. And I was seeing the amount of money that I was getting paid from my own employer as well. And then that got me angry and I started asking questions, right. And I started saying, well, why, you know, why, you know, in order to, to motivate me to work even harder, why don’t you give me some of this? Right. And that just, isn’t part of the corporate thinking and the multi-family world and the commercial real estate world is all about that. Right? Like, as a matter of fact, that’s how everything gets done. And so I didn’t know that at the time. So I realized like at that point in time, I was just kind of finished with that.

Derek Clifford (11:39):

And I realized, I couldn’t depend on W2 world to help get me where I wanted to go, because this, at this time I had met Sophie and I had started to read rich dad, poor dad, and started to get that mentality in. So, you know, again, up until that point, I was, was all, you know, textbook W2 until you retire. Right. And that was it. That’s all that was out there. Uh, just stocks and bonds and that’s it, uh, for investments. Um, but you know, when we, when we got into real estate investing, we kind of fell into it on accident. Um, and it was because of Sophie and because of Sophie, uh, I started to become more of an entrepreneur type person. I started to think, well, you know, I’m willing to take risks. I’m willing to grow and learn as a person and real estate’s in demand. So like, this is a, a rational step for us to make that transition. And, you know, they’re what, what my in-laws and her parents have done, uh, with all the rental properties that they owned and coming here with nothing and just jumping into things was something I really admired. And so that’s part of why our partnership worked so well is that I really respect the things that came from her and her side of the family.

Reed Goossens (12:47):

Yeah, no, that’s such an incredible story. And, and, and having the two, the yin and the yang, right. Not making sure that you come together as a partnership, uh, to, to make sure that you’re striving and forging a path for that you both believe in. Right. And I know like you, Derek, I remember Erica, my wife telling me when we first moved to the United States, she like wanted to move to Hawaii or something. I was like, there’s no, there’s no work for me out there. And I was just so sad. Like, I have to be an engineer, I have to be an engineer. I have to be an engineer. And then if slowly over time, it unraveled, like I went to university, so I’ve gotta be, I went to university for an engineer, so I’ve gotta be an engineer. That’s like, I had that mindset.

Reed Goossens (13:21):

And it wasn’t until start the, the peeling back of the onions to realize, you know, anything is possible. And back to what you’re sort of saying before Sophie, which is that just say yes, and figure it out later. Right. And it it’s so powerful. And even in my story coming here, I didn’t have a job set up. I just was like, I’m gonna come here and I wanna be in the us, and I’m just gonna freaking figure it out. So, but let’s talk a little bit more about the, the, the granular, the ness of, or the, so the gradual change in the way you approached and how you got out of that, um, your, your day job, because you said it wasn’t, it wasn’t sexy. You said it was boots strapped. What did that look like? And, and, and how long did that last for, for those listeners out there to think, well, Hey, I’m in this, I’m this current same position. I want to hear someone else going through the same struggles I’m going through.

Derek Clifford (14:08):

Yeah. You know, reed this is a really a multidimensional question. And here’s why I’m gonna answer in what I saw from my eyes. And then I want Sophie as a spouse, right. That maybe isn’t involved in the day to day to give her take on what it looked like. And this is like real life, right. So maybe, maybe this will be helpful for you in the audience. Right. So for me, what this meant was I believe in the four CS, by the way, uh, Reed, which is, um, coaching, clarity, consistency, uh, and, and connections, or, you know, just, you know, having people in your network and having those four CS are really important. I didn’t know that at the time, but my main C that I led out with to, in order to, to, to continue building a real estate portfolio on the side while I was working a full time job, a very demanding one was to put in consistent time every day that’s one of the CS is, is consistency.

Derek Clifford (14:59):

So I just stuck with that and did that every single day, right. Every single day for, uh, while I was working. And even on the weekends, I would do more than an hour of worth of time. And, um, I felt like I was making progress days that I didn’t do that. I felt like I was, I, I felt guilty that I wasn’t putting my time and energy into something that’s gonna escape. That’s gonna get me out from my W2. So there was a lot of hunger there, right? So what that meant was I was spending a lot of my time and energy in the morning, like waking up super early, doing the morning routine, getting myself on track, getting into the office in the bay area before traffic built to spend my one hour working on my real estate business and then work starts. So by the time I got home, you know, um, I was, I had more stuff to do because there was more emails coming in.

Derek Clifford (15:49):

And while you’re doing everything yourself on the single family side, it’s tough, it’s a drag. Like it, it really, uh, takes some time and effort to do this, but no one’s gonna make it happen except for you. And having Sophie there to be able to like gauge where I was and for her to be able to help like adjust the way the rhythm of life, um, was really, really important. And for me, uh, I kind of used this real estate business as a way for me to secure financial stability, which is where I really put a lot of self worth into. Um, later on, like, after talking about this with coaches and with Sophie at length, I determined that I had a fear of, you know, just not, not being able to live, not being able to live off of the income that we’re making.

Derek Clifford (16:37):

And I had to be financially independent by age 40. Like that was my number one goal that I was thinking about for a really long time. And this is a problem that I think we’re gonna be touching on here in a little bit, that that was actually my primary goal that was perceived to be coming in ahead of our relationship. And that’s kind of like where the, where the, the, the cracks kind of started growing, um, and where we had to really come together and figure out what is it that we’re actually doing with this. So, you know, we went through that whole process and I think you can imagine your head, what that looks like working a full-time job, putting in an hour or two every single day to a business that you’re operating yourself on a single family scale. Um, and just trying to do more and more and more, uh, and then you have more questions, more problems, more things coming in, more concerns. Um, and so I’m just very fortunate to have, uh, supportive spouse while that was going on. So that was my perspective of building up my portfolio at the very beginning. And then, you know, going into multifamily, we can touch on that a little bit later, cuz that’s more of like, you know, 10 30 ones and partners and things like that. This is more about like the work life balance at home, which is where a lot of folks are starting out. Um, that’s just my, my thought on that. But

Reed Goossens (17:49):

Sophie, what, how, how did you, how did you feel?

Sophie Clifford (17:53):

Um, so I, I love how eloquent he puts it because he says I helped him gauge while it was frankly more me pastoring him saying, Hey, when are you gonna make time for us? Right. Because, um, you know, and that’s what I really loved and respected. And you know, we’ve been together 12 years now and this is, um, this is a value that we both share, but he, when he puts his mind to something, he achieves it. When he, you know, when he says he’s gonna do something he follows through. And so just very solid and very high integrity. But you know, when, when it came to the laser focus, again, it could, it’s, it’s really about, uh, the balance, right? Cause you can shift too much on one end of extreme, um, versus the other. So that, for me, the things that I love so much about him turned into things that was taking was consuming all of his time and he was doing it for both of us.

Sophie Clifford (18:42):

So I understood that, but there was that other side of, of, um, of it all. And I, and I think a lot of, you know, and I say this generally spouses, wives, like we, we feel that, you know, Hey, what are you in the long run in the grand scheme of things? What are you really doing this for? Like, and so, like I said, I, I believed he was doing it for us, but there was something that, um, you know, I couldn’t help, but are you doing it for you? Are you doing it for your own egos? Are you, you know,

Derek Clifford (19:14):

There was a little piece of that that was self-serving because you know, Reed at at one point, um, you know, we’re on the show talking about, you know, you can bootstrap this yourself and you can do things right on your own, but at, at a certain point enough is enough, right? Like you, you’ve got to have that balance somewhere. And for me, I think I was, I was giving everything I had in the real estate and there was nothing left for her, you know? And that wasn’t fair. And that’s not how life is meant to be lived because when is that gonna ever stop? Right. Read, like, that’s the question I have for some of those investors or starter investors that are out there that maybe see this pattern developing is, do you think that you’re gonna get to a certain point? And then all of a sudden you’re just gonna kick back and relax, you know, that never, that will never happen.

Derek Clifford (19:59):

You have to start doing what you’re going to do in your ideal life right now. You know, you have to bring some of that in there’s no waiting. Like you never know what the future’s gonna hold. And, you know, that’s perspective that Sophie like was bringing to me. And in the end, that perspective helped me also relax a little bit like a force relaxation. And then we’re able to talk about bigger picture things and you get your head out of the weeds and you can do, you can move a lot faster when you have that perspective. So those are all things that even though Sophie may not like she just inherently does it, she helps cover my blind spots. She helps support us when we’re out and about. Um, does all the things that allows me to have the physical, mental, and time space to do, do what I’m doing. And that’s really where this true partnership comes in and the same for, for her, for me to her as

Sophie Clifford (20:51):

Well. Right. Because when we first, um, when our first true real estate investment happened when I was in graduate school. So I, um, again, I took the knowledge from my parents. I bought a condo and of course I bought it June, 2008, read

Derek Clifford (21:08):

Great timing.

Sophie Clifford (21:09):

And within, uh, I don’t know, nine months, it was like underwater. It was probably it lost half its value. And, but, you know, I lived there for about five years and, um, and I think where Derek came in was just, I would have, we would have to write a check to walk away from this property. But, um, Derek was like, no, let’s, let’s see if we can rent it out. Let’s because at that time, after I graduated, I had actually gotten a residency in Northern California. So I had to move and I’m like, well, how are we gonna manage this out of state? You know, all of the new things, we’re in our, in our mid twenties. And we’re just trying to figure things out, like I said, heavily in debt. Um, and so, and our

Derek Clifford (21:45):

Mindset too, wasn’t quite where it is right now. Also that’s a big, big piece of

Sophie Clifford (21:49):

It. Mm-hmm . So again, we were just sort of living to survive, unfortunately. And, um, and we were just happy for any crumbs that happened our way. Like I moved to California and he was able to get a job eventually in Northern California. But the fact that we couldn’t let go, we had an anchor in Washington stay in Seattle, but what really turned the corner for us is that we were able to rent this out to medical students for four years. And we were getting, you know, a couple hundred dollars in our pocket after paying the mortgage and the HOA. And it was just an eye opener for us at that time. I had seen my parents do it, but I’m like to be honest, I said, I, I never wanna do that because it was a lot of, it was a lot of work, a lot of late night, you know, rental pickups and my parents didn’t have a property manager. So it was a whole different world, um, getting to real estate investing at that time because I, I really don’t think they knew how to do it in a more seamless manner. And so of course, the way we do it now is a little bit different, probably a little bit smarter and streamlined. Um, but I think that that was probably the starting point of us realizing that there’s a lot of potential that, um, could happen here. And that’s why we say we sort of got into it accidentally as a as

Reed Goossens (23:04):


Reed Goossens (23:07):

For those of you who are interested in staying up to date with all the latest happenings in my business, or to learn more about passively investing directly into my multifamily value, add deals, then head over to Reedgoossens.com and sign up for my monthly newsletter by signing up, you’ll automatically be notified about my new up and coming investment opportunities. You’ll be able to stay up to date with all the latest real estate news here in the United States and much, much more. So head over to Reedgoossens.com and sign up date now back into the show

Reed Goossens (23:42):

And, and thank you for, for that clarity there. But I want to, to go back and just talk a little bit about, um, I, I could definitely reflect to see Derek, how you went full, you know, knees deep into something, because there’s an element of scarcity, uh, in your approach to doing something on the side. Like if I don’t get this done, I’m gonna fail. Right. I, I remember, uh, cause I’m an engineer as well. Right. And I, I, we definitely have I’m you Derek and my wife as you Sophie, like she is. And I remember going up, I just started my podcast. I was working full time as a structural engineer, just moved to California. And like, I was so consumed with getting this podcast out and writing the notes and all this sort of stuff. And this is going back, you know, 2014, like ages ago.

Reed Goossens (24:32):

And like it was a Saturday and was like, you can’t even be present on the, going to the beach with a dog, you know, like it was so consuming for me. And it was just because all I knew was how to engineer stuff and just work hard. Right. That’s all I knew. I didn’t know how to give myself a break or just allow this bit of the white space to come in, to recharge for, for the week. And I still struggle with that today. Like we it’s ingrained within me, but having a spouse is so important who can shine, uh, hold the mirror up and, and show you, what, what are you doing it for? And this is not a, it it’s a marathon, not a sprint, but we all think it is when in, in, in the start, because we’re just, we’re coming from that scarcity and this has gotta work and I’m putting all my effort into it.

Reed Goossens (25:17):

And because I put all my effort into it, I can work toward, I can work my way out of the problem, you know, whatever that might be. So, um, I wanna say kudos to both of you for, for being able to realize that and becoming more self-aware to understand that. And I was in the same position. Cause you mentioned earlier that sometimes priorities take over goals and you need to understand the difference between priorities and goals and priorities also include not just business but health and, and, and loved ones and being present because you know, there’s pillars in life that you have and having your business pillar is only one single leg. If that goes away, you’re gonna fall down to the ground, right? You need to have your family and your health and all the other things that help support you. So it’s really important.

Reed Goossens (26:03):

And for those listeners out there to get that clarity around what, particularly as you’re trying to get outta that W2, because I’ve been there, you guys have both been there, but also having that awesome relationship to come together, to have that Yinny yang partnership to show the other person, Hey, you know, it’s okay, I’m here for you. We don’t have to, you know, we’ve gotta make time for each other. You can’t just be all about the business. We can’t all just be about this one thing. I’m here as well. And we need to grow together because what the hell are we doing it for?

Derek Clifford (26:30):

Mm-hmm yeah, that’s right. And it’s a journey. It’s not a destination. Right. That’s the biggest thing. Right. And that’s what I couldn’t get out of my head is that, you know, as soon as we get there, that was the, that was the idea. Yes. As soon as we get there, now I’ll relax. Right.

Sophie Clifford (26:44):

And then also another thing that I like to tease him about when he, he wouldn’t be able to celebrate, I don’t know if you feel the same reed, but he’s like, wait, it’s not final yet. And that was an ongoing .

Derek Clifford (26:57):

It was,

Sophie Clifford (26:57):

It was. And you know, it was, it’s interesting because, um, I’ve noticed it, it’s shifting for sure. Uh, we implemented a lot of pattern interruptions. Mm-hmm whether it be just spontaneous because he’s, he’s not very spontaneous. I mean, his idea is spontaneity is like scheduling it.

Derek Clifford (27:14):

into the yeah, exactly. Like, oh, Hey, this is, I got this idea. Let’s spontaneously put it into the calendar. And then now it’s spontaneous. Right? Like that’s the way my brain thinks it’s kind of sad,

Sophie Clifford (27:25):

But I love reed that you touched upon the holistic picture, because again, it, it really is important to take inventory and evaluate what it is that both parties are working towards. And, um, yeah. And assessing like, is this going to be worth at what expense at what costs us that BI is all this going to be right. Mm-hmm because we only have finite night, amount of years yep. In our lives. So yeah.

Derek Clifford (27:50):

Yeah. Real terms.

Reed Goossens (27:52):

Sorry to interrupt you there. But it was also around, and I know personally that like sometimes you’re on different paths. Right. And, and, and when you are got the day job and Erica had, I remember Erica had a, you know, trying to, she had three, you know, teaching jobs at a, at a, you know, high school and a community college and something else. You had to get a bar job to make it work. And, and, and it just, I was just like, what, like, what is going on here? Like, I understand you’re super passionate about this honey, but it’s like, we need to sort of be on the same page. And we cuz we were both like two ships passing in the night and you sometimes can fall into those traps. Uh, but it’s really important to have that space. And it doesn’t just always come naturally.

Reed Goossens (28:33):

It’s that’s while we talking about the stuff out loud and on a podcast, because we we’re, we’ve all suffered from the same things and, and it’s it it’s tape making sure you’re having that reset to saying what the hell, because it didn’t, it, it had cracks in our relationship. It sounds like it, it was probably going to have cracks in your relationship too. So how do you come back together to mend those cracks, to make sure you are on the same page, moving forward towards, uh, towards your goals. But, but, but Toby, I wanna move on the conversation because you’ve got some pretty cool news. I, I, we can talk a lot about real estate and we do on this show, but uh, you said in the green room, I, I mentioned earlier, you, you have a company who had a company, but it just, it just sold. Is that correct?

Sophie Clifford (29:10):

Well it’s um, so after I did my residency and this was my goodness,

Derek Clifford (29:16):

You have to count

Sophie Clifford (29:17):

Years. Yeah. 2013. I left there 2015 and um, and I told myself reed never again, I’m never working for anyone again, no matter how long it takes, I’m going to be my own boss. I’m going to build something for myself because I, so I was during my residency just to give you a background, I was working on a fasting, uh, medically supervised water fasting clinic in Santa Rosa. And, um, and if you just look up, you know, that clinic, it’s a very, very, it’s a world famous clinic and a lot of, uh, celebrities, entrepreneurs, a lot of big names go there. But again, this is, it comes back to what are we working towards at what costs? So I devoted my whole life. So I was there for about, um, two years. And literally I lived on site. I was there for, you know, at Beck and call and, you know, if they needed me to draw someone’s blood, run an EKG, do whatever it takes.

Sophie Clifford (30:13):

Like I was there. And, um, I think we were engaged, but we, we kept postponing our wedding actually, because I couldn’t get days off. So that was the, you know, that was the level of impact that had. And um, when, when you’re working in that environment, you know, you’re, we, I, I wasn’t necessarily, um, it, it was fulfilling in a sense because I was helping all of these people and I was learning, I was expanding my knowledge, but at, at some point in time and, and you guys probably felt this way in corporate, it’s like, you know, that you’re dispensable. Mm. Right. You know, that you’re, you’re replaceable on some level. And so when I got that kind of realization, um, I just said, Hey, you know, I’m, I’m gonna go out on my own, even if I just have one client per month .

Sophie Clifford (31:02):

And so, and then that’s what happened, you know? So talking about bootstrapping, that’s what happened. And I grew it to several hundred clients and then, and Derek, you know, and it goes back to one of the, the seeds that Derek was talking about connection. So one of the, you know, what we were talking about, it’s important to take a look at your health, your relationships, all aspects of your life. Well, this particular conversation of not com compartmentalizing came up and he connected me with, um, with someone who connected me with their performance coach and it turned out they were looking for, um, they were looking for a doctor who, who understood high performance and could understand kind of think out of the box in terms of, you know, fasting or, um, epigenetics. And so that connection was made. And, um, I mean, it was sort of in a blink of an eye. They’re like, can you become our chief medical advisor and time is everything, would you guys agree? Like, it’s just almost like I was ready to, to let that go. It’s like building that sand mandala, and then just letting it wash away, we put all this time, but getting to a place where it feels good to just say, Hey, I built that. I’m gonna it’s time to let that go. Yeah.

Reed Goossens (32:20):

Yeah. What was the business specifically?

Sophie Clifford (32:24):

It, it was based, it was very much a kind of a clinical practice mm-hmm . So I did a lot of hormone management and then it started to shift into epigenetics where I would be able to run, um, an epigenetic report and pull, you know, take like your 23, me run your, um, DNA, DNA analysis. And then just see if there were any props to nutrient deficiencies or, um, anything that could shine light on what, what it could be to optimize your health, take you to the next level, sleep optimization, um, performance, you know, you can see if like there’s something called, um, sleep clocks where it tells you, are you gen genetically prone to being like a morning, like a, an early bird or a night owl? Well, um, when I met the founder and CEO of this company, um, they were doing that, but they were doing it on a really large scale.

Sophie Clifford (33:18):

They were doing it for, um, elite athletes and like billionaire executives. And so I honestly, so I, I worked with women in hormones and I was shifting into the more high performance, but this was, wow. This is like intimidating. These are like NFL athletes. And, and so for me to kind of be able to move into that realm, it, it took a lot of, it took a lot of expansion with my mindset and I don’t think I would’ve been ready for that position. Had I not gone through, you know, the, the, almost nearly a decade of the resilience of building my practice. And I’ve just going through kind of like the hard knocks that it takes to, to build a Prax practice. And, and I think what, um, what, what was really nice is that they, they valued that they’re just like, we value you as an entrepreneur. And we, you know, we like that because we’re entrepreneurs ourselves. We want that perspective. So, um, so yeah, I mean, it was, and of course, no, I owe that to Derek because he was the one who made that connection for me.

Derek Clifford (34:27):

Yeah. And, and, you know, likewise Rita goes both ways. Like we, we both have very complimentary businesses that, uh, that compliment each other, um, people that are looking for financial wellness are also looking for health right. Or health wellness, because both of these things enable more possibilities in life. Right. And you can’t have, like, what’s the point of great wealth if you’re unhealthy all the time. Right. And you know, if you’re incredibly healthy, that’s awesome. But in order to enable the freedom for you, you gotta have the wealth as well. So you gotta have both of those components, uh, the yin and the young, so to speak IAL.

Reed Goossens (35:02):

Mm. Well, so I need to talk to you offline because, uh, I’d love to hear what you I’m, I’m hugely into health and wellness and fitness. And it’s part of my identity. It’s part, like I can’t, if I don’t work out every day or do something physical, I go a little stir crazy. So it’s, it’s, it’s funny how, but, but sleep’s so important and meditation’s so important, but understanding how to take food and that, and combine it all. So it’s not so much, so, so it’s not, so compartmentalized is really important in terms of being showing up and being the best entrepreneur showing up and being the best CEO showing up and being the best husband or, um, you know, brother or father or whatever it might be. So, uh, I would love to talk to you a little bit offline about that. Absolutely. So what’s the, what’s the goal for, for right now over the next couple of years, you’re traveling the world, where do you see both your companies moving to the next sort of, you know, five years?

Derek Clifford (35:54):

Yeah. You know, um, for me, we are really big on the three degrees of freedom Reed, um, which is location, freedom, time, freedom, financial freedom. And we, we like to do is we like to help educate people that are stuck in our situation or the situation that we were both in, right. Reed and all three of us, uh, of working a w two and just feeling trapped. And we like to start with, rather than saying, there’s this giant mountain in front of us and it’s financial freedom that we’re trying to achieve. Right. I encourage people to think about it in three ways, in three different layers, the first being location freedom, which is, you know, first get yourself if you’re working a full-time job to be able to do it from anywhere, because then that allows you to call into calls in Ireland, for instance, or in Greece or whatever.

Derek Clifford (36:40):

You gotta make some adjustments to your day, but at least you have the level of freedom to be able to go and do that. And then there’s the time freedom piece where as long as you work with your employer or with your boss or whoever to get your stuff done, and no matter how long it takes, then you’re good to go. Then you got location and time, freedom. And then financial is that final hurdle. But I, I encourage people to think about it in layers. And our goal in the next three to five years is to educate people on that piece, like get them through, you know, time, freedom, location, freedom, and then work on financial freedom, but then also have that health piece as well. So whenever we’re talking with individuals, it’s kind of something that we’re gauging as like values, um, to make sure that if they get into our world, we wanna make sure that they’re also being healthy, because what’s the point of having, you know, um, you know, partners and, and wealth and all of the stuff, if they’re not healthy individuals, um, because that’s something that we bring in as a part of our value.

Derek Clifford (37:38):

So our goal, at least for me, is to help, um, enable the three degrees of freedom for a thousand people, um, out there at least for now, um, in order to help achieve, uh, their max potential, uh, into the world so that they can do the things that they want to do and be the person that they want to be to maximize impact for everyone around the world. Right. That’s, that’s kind of my goal.

Sophie Clifford (38:00):

Yeah. I think it’s because we’ve put in so much work to, to confirm to ourselves that this is possible because we were definitely in the mindset of, you know, what’s, what’s next. We, we bought a five bedroom house, brand new build yeah. In the bay area read mm-hmm and we bought it right before COVID a month into it. We’re just like, what are we doing? We’re paying a massive mortgage and life hasn’t really like, changed. I’m like, is this it? You know, again, , it’s sort of like, and, you know, day to day routine was great, but I think, you know, we, at one point, and I think it was Derek again as well, he, I was really proud of him because this was so UN engineer, like thinking , it was just like, what would happen if we just sold everything? And I was like, that is the best question. I’m so glad cuz I’m too scared. I’m you know, even though I’m adventurous, I’m so scared way too scared to even think of what that life could be like. Well, um, you know, within a month actually we sold our house within a weekend. Um, and then we were digital Noma around and we sold all of our stuff, everything, everything we own fits into our car, probably

Derek Clifford (39:12):

Six, six suitcases right now is what we have reed that’s all that we own, uh, our worldly possessions and a car yeah. At home parked at a house.

Sophie Clifford (39:21):

So, and then, you know, for our four month, um, trip here, we’re just living off of our carry-ons in our backpack. And um, and I think it’s for, you know, to kind of answer your question of like future it’s like the vision continues to change and evolve, which is really exciting, really fun for me. Um, because it’s almost like, you know, we can’t, it it’s all, it makes me nervous to be honest to project too far forward from where we are now, because you know, next year we can be in a completely different position. Mm. So like continuing to, I always like to say, continue to take inventory and project, you know, incrementally from the next phase because it can shift so rapidly. Um, you know, and another, what I really liked, what I really like about our traveling is that I’m able to, I, for both of us, we’re able to see different ways.

Sophie Clifford (40:13):

People live all over the world now. And we wanna keep on seeing that because I think it, it brings a lot of humility and it humbles us to the degree of like, gosh, we were just in one mindset, you know, and there’s infinite mindsets and infinite ways to live. And we’ve seen so many people have so little, but are still so fulfilled and, and it’s changing us. I feel like it’s changing who we are. It’s changing who we wanna serve, who we wanna be. And I think that’s probably, um, gosh, biggest gift that we have, the biggest blessing. Yeah.

Derek Clifford (40:50):

You know, Reed, we could, we could just easily say, you know, we want to get to a thousand units under management. Um, and we want to be at a billion dollars, uh, you know, being managed in the next 10 years or five years or however long that takes. Um, but you know, our values are shifting a little bit like we’re, we’re moving away from being someone that’s, that’s looking after the dollars to being more about impact. Um, being more about being a com you know, a global citizen, um, being someone, uh, that can inspire and lift others and just help elevate the energy of the world. Because man, right now reed we need, we need a lot of help in that realm. You know, we need a lot of help in, in, in making people’s lives better. Cuz right now it’s, it’s tough for a lot of people out there.

Reed Goossens (41:30):

That’s that’s guys. That’s awesome. And I kudos to you because I have the same being comfortable in my skin. And so many people can’t be this comfortable where they let go of the 10 year horizon. Right. And I, and for the longer, and I, I came through this when I was wanting to leave my day job. It was like the, yeah. From when I read dad, port, it was, I gotta leave the day job, gotta leave the day job, gotta leave the day job. That was a north star. And then I got there and I was like, what’s the new north star.

Derek Clifford (42:00):

Yeah. Right.

Reed Goossens (42:01):

Is it okay to not have one live the live the year by year? The, you know, not have that, oh, I need to be here by the time I’m 45 or just be like, I don’t know, see what happens. You know, I, I like, I just know the last 10 years were fricking awesome. The next 10 years are gonna be even better.

Derek Clifford (42:18):


Reed Goossens (42:19):

And, and having that mindset takes time. It takes reps. It takes confidence. It takes all the things, but it can happen. It sounds like you guys are very similar to me that I’m in that mode. Now I have goals and targets and, but I don’t try and put a timeline to it because things can change. So, so, so quickly. So I love that you’ve got to that self fulfill, not self fulfillment, but you are, you’re scratching that itch and being okay. Not, you know, giving up the, I need to be here by a time I’m 50 because that’s the old way of thinking. And you need to think more in a, an abundant things can happen. Things can change. And not necessarily, there’s not a floating, like you don’t wanna get into floating element, but, but being still, you know, to your core, who you are and not giving up on, on, on that, that mission to, and, and that, that, again, those, those future goals may change, um, down the track. So

Derek Clifford (43:10):

Of course, yeah. One last thing that I have to say about this is, um, in a hundred percent, I think that everything you said was, was dead on having a spouse or partner that can help you navigate through that time where it’s like, what am I doing now? Like once that north star is accomplished, what’s the next big thing? Like, what do I stand for? That’s, that’s what having a spouse is all about because they know you better than you sometimes, you know? Gotcha. And so you have to tap into that. And the other thing I wanted to mention too, last thing that I’ll say, and, and I’ll stop here is that when we made the decision to cut the cord from California and start driving across the country, and then eventually making out to Europe, we realized that even though at the time, we didn’t know it, we, we didn’t know that we were financially independent, but because in living in the bay area, it’s, you’re, we’re not financially independent, but living out and about like living anywhere we wanna be, we are financially independent, cuz our expenses go down, right.

Derek Clifford (44:06):

We’re not paying a $10,000 mortgage, right. Or something like that. So we didn’t know that in, in any way. I guess what I’m trying to say is that we left our home. We want, and I left my full-time job in September. So we both full-time entrepreneurial because we needed the fire. We needed the abundant mindset we need. We, we recognized that every time we get, get thrown up in the air, we always land on our feet. Right. Mm-hmm we always evolve with the times we figure out what’s important and we just make it work. And that was with the help of some of our coaches and our, you know, some of our limiting beliefs that got conquered and that’s huge for people. And we did this because we wanted the abundant life right now, Reed, because if you step into the abundant life right now, your energy shifts, that’s when we got like four deals put on our plate and we closed all of ’em.

Derek Clifford (44:57):

Right. This was back in September, October last year. It was like literally three weeks after I quit my job. We had all these deals come on our plate because there was a sense of energy change from, from people that knew me, that became investors. And also the brokers that I working with on JV deals that started to become bigger JVs and eventually syndications. So that’s, that’s kind of the thing. I, I challenge the audience right now to do the abundant thinking thing that that may feel uncomfortable, whatever it is, even if it’s a small step, do that because that’s the limits of your capacity and how do you know what your limits are until you start feeling resistance and they start pushing back in you at you in the form of fear. And so when we made that trip, it was to step into the abundant mindset and be there right now so that we can vibrate at that energy. Yeah.

Sophie Clifford (45:47):

One of our mentors said, you’d need to test that abundant mindset every day we can test it. Yeah. You know, we can say over and over that, oh, we, you know, we’re living in abundance, but you test it by letting go of that safety net. Right. And just, um, it, you know, for, for me, it was always like, it’s that image of the trapeze where like I always had one hand back here mm-hmm and I could never commit to the slim. And once I just let go and just commit, you’re flying mm-hmm

Reed Goossens (46:17):

right. Mm-hmm no a hundred percent. Well, well guys, I wanna thank you so much for jumping on the show today. Uh, where can people reach you if they wanna be in your circle, they want to check out what you do, where do they go?

Derek Clifford (46:29):

Yeah. The easiest thing for me in my business is to go to elevateequity.org. Um, you can also find us in our podcast, which is elevate your equity, which I highly recommend you listen to because we had none other than Reed and his wife, Eric, on, on the call. Uh, and we had an awesome conversation there. So you definitely have to check that out. Um, and then of course, you know, check us out, uh, on, on all this social media channels where everyone on LinkedIn and, uh, Facebook and also on Instagram.

Reed Goossens (46:55):

That’s awesome. Well guys, thank you so much for, uh, taking some time outta your day, coming in from Europe, in, from Ireland. I just wanna reflect some of the things that I took away from today. So I think the, the big thing is hearing your stories and, and how your parents shaped you into where you you are today. But also seeing a very much, uh, resonating in terms of how I was approaching, you know, my engineering career and, and, and my relationship with my wife is very similar to, to you two, I believe. Uh, and that’s why I think we, you know, we had such a good conversation on your show, uh, so, so long ago, but then also changing in your mindset around what, what can be, you know, you prac you mentioned before practicing abundance today and practicing it every day in order to help, you know, that you can let go of that rope and you can, and the net will appear and you will start flying as you mentioned earlier, Sophie.

Reed Goossens (47:45):

And I think so many of us, and even to myself, we get trapped in that, that, that, that small thinking. And it’s all, it’s so refreshing to have you both on the show to share that, you know, a vision of what you can be and, and going out and actually doing it is so fricking awesome. And I just loved what you said about, you know, you’ve let go of the 10 year horizons. You just sort of more living as, as it comes organically. Now, you know, you obviously got training wheels on to, to make sure you’re going in the right direction. But, but in general, you’ve sort of let go of like, what’s that new north star, because I have so many other things that I wanna be present with to do today, uh, like sell the house and go and live in Europe, right?

Reed Goossens (48:26):

Like, like be, be intentional in the moment. And, and, and, and then obviously work. And the other thing I wanna bring up is working on your different pillars in life. And we talk a lot about on the show about the different pillars and how it’s not just business business creates the wealth, but you gotta have the health. If you don’t have your health, you’re not there for your kids. You’re not there for your wife, not there for yourself. And if you don’t have your relationships in and around you, what’s the point of even, you know, having, having a life, right. We only get one of it. So it’s li bit intentionally, uh, leave anything out.

Derek Clifford (48:53):

No, I think that’s perfect. You hit it right on the head. That’s very well said. Thank you very much.

Reed Goossens (48:58):

Awesome guys, look and again, thank you so much for taking some time outta your day, enjoy the rest of your week and we’ll catch up very, very soon.

Derek Clifford (49:04):

Sounds good. Thank you.

Reed Goossens (49:05):

Well, there you have another cracking episode, jam backwards, some incredible, uh, content from both Derek and Sophie definitely go check them out. All the links that we mentioned on today’s show will be on my website, but definitely check them out on all the social media platforms. They’ve got a lot to give in terms of their three layers in making sure that you are being intentional about what you’re doing and how you’re approaching your wealth, your health, and all the things in between, because it is so important as you’re going along this journey of entrepreneurship to go out and achieve it today in an intentional way and not just, you know, the old way of thinking. So again, re-listening this episode. If you want to get any of the links from today’s show, hit them up. I wanna thank you all again for taking some time outta your data tune in to continue to grow your financial IQ, because that’s where we’re all about here on this show. If you do like this show, the easiest way to give back is to give us a five star review on iTunes. You can check out all the show notes on my website at reedgoossens.com. And we’re gonna do this all again next week. So remember be bold, be brave, and go give life a.