Lisa, appreciate you joining us today. Often outsiders look at a successful business and think it became a success overnight. Even media and especially movies love to gloss over nitty, gritty details that went into that middle phase of your business – after you started but before you got to where you are today. In our experience, overnight success is usually the result of years of hard work laying the foundation for success, but unfortunately, it’s exactly this part of the story that most of the media ignores. Can you talk to us about your scaling up story – what are some of the nitty, gritty details folks should know about?

It’s a amazing year to start a new business! I am so excited to announce the Grand Opening of our new real estate brokerage Lucky Money Real Estate on February 5,2022. It is a very unique brokerage that focuses on growing real estate agents into successful Entrepreneurs and leaders in their field. We work with everyone from brand new agents to top producers in the industry. Each agent must go through a cycle of interviews and questionnaires before they’re able to sign on with our company. Since our launch date in December of 2021, we have signed on over 100 agents, which makes us one of the fastest growing new brokerage in the area. We are training daily, building relationships with each other and having a blast while we work!

It sounds amazing doesn’t it? While my social media shows fun, parties, success, money, awards and daily smiles and playtime, the road to get here had it’s fair share of tears, heartache and failure. In order to get to where I am today, I kept my head up and pushed through every obstacle. I stopped blaming other people and just took my losses and moved on. Every time I was failed, cheated, lied to or stumbled, I forced myself back on track and went at it again. When you want to be successful in any business you have to learn from your mistakes and build enough confidence to grow yourself.

Here’s are some of my major lessons and milestones.

I moved to Texas in the fall of 2008 with the clothes on my back, my 2 year old child, a car and very little money to my name to help open a restaurant which I eventually took over in 2009 and purchased with sweat equity. This literally meant that every dollar the business made was being used to buy the business back from partners. There were times I had negative funds and had no place to go home to. Yes, just me and my kiddo and a business that was barely surviving. I struggled with my businesses for years but I kept working daily. It was important to keep my business running so that my employees could also have a job and pay their bills. As hard as it was to care for just the two of us, I tried so hard to be a mom and run my business. From 2009 to 2018, I ran small my restaurants and worked on real estate to produce income to pay for my business. In this time, I learned that no job is too small no matter how big of a boss you become. I did every job in my restaurant anytime it was needed. I earned the respect of the community and my employees by doing this. This led me to be recognized as one of the Top Business Owners in the US, Top 100 Business Women in the Hospitality Industry in the Houston Area, Hottest Chef in Houston and I won many awards and recognitions for the dishes served by my restaurant.

Is it going to be business or family??? In 2017, I had to make a choice between real estate, restaurant and family. A restaurant owner typically works at least 70 to 80 hours a week. I delivered my second child in May of 2018 and had no intentions of giving up any of my businesses. In June, some professional basketball players had reached out to franchise out my restaurant. As I sat home with my newborn, I realized I had a choice to make. If I choose to open the Franchise, I would have to spend a full month without my baby training franchisees how to get their business started and manage my own restaurant while balancing real estate. I would completely miss being a mom, AGAIN. In July of 2017 I sold off all my restaurants and kept the naming rights to my business and transitioned full time into real estate. I chose to coach and mentor new agents in real estate so that I could spend time with my kids from 2017 till fall of 2021. In that time, I built trust and lost trust in many people. I worked very hard to help others and in the end, there were lots of disappointment and at the same time I built strong relationships and even stronger friendships. I taught hundred of agents how to build their business and become successful real estate agents. In these years, I learned how to create BALANCE and I learned how to care for me. This alone is the secret to happiness and success. So many people work so hard, they forget to make time for themselves. I was lost in this in 2018 and 2019. I never put my phone down, I didn’t stop and I realized it was weighing down my life and my happiness. My phone and social media was taking the life out of me, I was making so much money but I didn’t enjoy anything. I was just too busy. I had a few Moms and agents reach out for help and as I gave them advice on time blocking and time management, I took my own advice. I started blocking time for my family, my kids, dinner and most importantly, I took time for myself. I would break to get mani-pedis which I have never done before. I would eat alone and get quiet time from my family and at dinner time, I would block out solid no phone time to spend with my kids. Each year since I have left the restaurant business, I have multiplied my income. I absolutely love my job, I have found friends, lifetime partners and I love every minute of what I do. In this time, I was recognized as a Top Producer, Top Team Leader, Top Commercial Real Estate Agent, Top 40 Under 40 Most Inspirational Realtor in Houston Area as well as some other recognition. I serve on the Board for the Commercial Real Estate Association in Montgomery County, Women’s Council of REALTORS Montgomery and I assist with the Rotary and I sponsor Dining out for Charity for the Montgomery Food Bank and Metta’s Cy-Fair Helping hands for the local communities.

In order to be successful in your life, you must learn from your failures, don’t repeat the same mistakes. You need to create a balance in your life by managing your time and creating a foundation and building a solid structure around you. Your structure should include great relationships, people you trust and your family. This is your support system. Successful business owners don’t give up, if one thing does not work, try another. Keep trying until it works for you.

My social media is still what I want you to see! Positive, inspiration, and fun! 13 years later from homeless, single mom debating on who will eat dinner to a Boss Mom, Industry Leader, Broker Owner and community volunteer who lives to serve others. Love your life, Love your job and Have fun!

Lisa, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?

In the fall of 2021, I had to restart my real estate business. My previous company went in a different direction and I was literally a 1 person show. I left my team, the company and everything familiar behind me to figure out my next steps. On November 30, I had a major surgery and decided it was best not to take on new agents until I made it out alive. Luckily for me, the meds didn’t phase my mental capacity. I literally woke up from surgery and got to working on building my Brokerage. By Dec 7, 2021, my launch date, I had 50 agents who had reached out to be to join Lucky Money Real Estate. At the time, I didn’t have a mission statement and the name was a debate and fun at the moment.

A few weeks after launch date, as I was trying to explain the name to my friends at my nail salon, I realized the names translates into the name of my two boys. My two youngest children Beau and Luke carried the Vietnamese names that translates into Lucky and Money. Both boys were named by my Grandpa who had recently passed away. With that, this name has so much meaning to me and the Legacy that my Grandpa has left behind for my business.

My recent Facebook Post included this message:

My business Motto is growing Entrepreneurs which my Grandpa has installed into this family’s Soul. He taught me to help others because if there is no base for a foundation, you can never move up. Take people with you because being alone at the top is lonely. Care for everyone, not everyone will care for you back but a true heart doesn’t choose who to help. Forgive, my hardest and still hardest lesson of all, forgive, every little bit of a grudge you hold will take away a piece of you. You cannot shine if you hold anger, let it go. My Dad taught me to speak my mind, my Grandpa taught me how to control my words.

From there, here’s our Mission Statement:

We are a Brokerage that creates an Entrepreneurial Mindsets in real estate professionals. Our goal is to set the bar in the real estate world in class, productivity and culture. We will deliver first class service, meet record productivity goals while building a culture where our professionals grow together and elevate each other.

Can you talk to us about your experience with selling businesses?

I sold my businesses several years ago when I decided to maneuver into real estate 100%. In order to sell your business successfully, you need to make sure you have your book of business together. Your business is worth more if you have a list of clientele and if you’re organized! Know your Price and make sure you’re able to explain your numbers. This mean get your Profit and loss statements together. Aside from having all your financials in place, you need to figure out a way to keep your employees and give them some incentives to stay. Many employees stay with a business because they love working with their boss, if you sell the business, you need to make sure they’ll want to stay with the new owners. Buyers will pay more if they don’t have to start over. Make sure you create training materials, how to, videos, and materials that you can pass on to the new owners. For small businesses, the transfer is usually easier than a larger business. You should have an attorney or a business broker in place to help you. The final most important piece of the puzzle is your real estate. This is where my partners at Alpha Commercial Group can help you. You will need to make sure you have a transferable lease or a location where the business can continue to operate. If your lease is up, the buyers may not want to purchase your business if they have no guarantees on continuing the business in the same location. If you have questions about selling your business, feel free to reach out to me. If I can’t assist, I will be sure to pass you on to the best people for your situation.

We’d love to hear a story of resilience from your journey.

13 Years ago I was literally homeless with my kid and sleeping on my restaurant benches to get by. I would cry every day when I pulled up to the business trying to figure out how I was going to make it to the next day. I continued to work and push on daily and here I am today. I am 100% financially stable, I am able to help others and I am able to coach other people into better situations.

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