Real estate investor, author, and entrepreneur Rachel Richards is part of a community I’m in: Total Life Freedom. At the age of 27, Rachel quit her job and retired. Living on over $15,000 per month in passive income, she has made a name for herself in the personal finance realm. Her books are Money Honey and Passive Income, Aggressive Retirement.
Rachel Richards has been featured in The Penny Hoarder and the New York Times and contracted to speak at colleges. She is a former financial advisor and a real estate investor with almost 40 rental units. Her valuable lessons have helped thousands of female millennials work their way out of financial despair, and she has successfully done what no one has done before: made the topic of money management, fun, entertaining, and simple.
Rachel has also been featured on amazing top podcasts, like the FI show and Bigger Pockets. She has also been featured in Business Insider, CNBC, and Forbes. Her book, Passive Income, Aggressive Retirement: The secret to freedom, flexibility, and financial independence, and how to get started was number four on Eric Brotman’s list in Forbes of five personal finance books to read in 2022.
Entrepreneur Rachel Richards on her experience
People ask how I quit and retired, which I say in air quotes because I still work. It’s more about being financially independent at a high level. I started building passive income streams in 2017. I was 24 at the time and that year, my husband and I did a couple of things. We invested in our first rental property in Louisville, Kentucky. Later that year. I also self published my first book money, honey. So we had these two passive income streams, rental income and royalty income. And we focused on growing those as much as we possibly could over the next couple of years.
Fast forward to 2019. That’s the year I quit my job. We had grown those income streams to over $10,000 a month. And that was enough to feel like I could retire. We were financially independent. Our passive income more than covered our expenses. So that’s the year that I quit my job. That’s how I did it very high level, but we can get into the weeds.
Writing a book
So when I first started writing Money Honey, I was a financial advisor. All my family friends came to me for financial advice, which was really exciting. That’s what I love to do. And I remember wondering, “Why aren’t they reading books or learning on their own or listening to podcasts,” which is stuff that I like to do.
Then I realized, oh yeah, it’s because personal finance is boring. It’s intimidating and complex, and no wonder people don’t like to learn about it. So I thought to myself, Well, how can I make this topic sassy and fun and simple? And that’s where the idea for Money Honey came from. I was so excited.
The words came pouring out of me when I decided to write this book. And at first it was a passion project I felt compelled to do.
About four months in, my mind did a complete mental 180, and I gave up. I quit writing the book because by then I was saying things to myself like, “Who do you think you are, Rachel, to write a book about finance? You’re a young woman. Who’s going to listen to you? You suck at writing. This is going to be an embarrassment if you go through with it.” That’s what I was saying to myself. I talked to myself out of it. I quit writing the book with truly no intention of ever picking it up again.
And then I had lunch with a friend. It was a couple of months later. I confessed to her my idea and my book.
She said, “Rachel, you have to finish what you set out to do. You’re really onto something here.” She gave me enough encouragement to keep going. And I’m so grateful for that.
I told myself if I can just help one person, that’s all I want. So I launched the book. That’s how I got myself to go through with it.
Surround yourself with the right people who are going to tell you to go through with it and suck it up and get past that imposter syndrome and fear. It’s a very vulnerable thing, putting your work out there, your creative thoughts, your writing, and whatever you’re launching. It’s definitely one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. But it’s funny thinking back about it now, because the book has taken off, and I can’t even count the emails and messages and notes. There’s been thousands of them. Now, this book has 1,200 reviews on Amazon. I’ve helped people pay off their credit card debt or their student loan debt.
And so many have said, “Thank you, Rachel. You’ve changed my life,” and it’s so humbling and incredible. And to think that I almost didn’t do it, and I almost didn’t help this many people. It’s almost like, well, shame on me. I mean, if you have this struggle and you’re not going to do something, then you’re withholding a gift from somebody else.
You might have something that can help somebody else. Don’t withhold that. You have a unique gift you can share with the world. Think about it from that perspective.
Where you could be in two years
Many people are unwilling to start. Where could you be in two years if you just got started?
There’s more than enough to go around.
If the amazing entrepreneur Rachel Richards could go back to the start of investing in real estate or working a W2 job, one piece of advice she’d give herself is this:
With real estate investing, it would be to start sooner. There were a lot of reasons I didn’t start sooner. I held myself back because of limiting beliefs. I thought I needed more experience, that I needed more money. I thought I needed more knowledge. If I knew then what I know now, I could’ve gotten started at an even younger age.
There are so many strategies where you can start investing in real estate without having a lot of money. And even at 24, I’d only saved $10,000. My husband had $10,000. We pooled our money together to get to a $20,000 down payment. By no means did we have a ton of money.
Is Rachel Richards a trust fund baby?
I get asked this a lot. I’m not a trust fund baby. I never made six figures from a job or a career. When I started off, I was making $36,000 a year. So I wasn’t this high-income earner, but I still was able to get started. But I could have started sooner with even less money.
I just didn’t know about strategies like wholesaling or house hacking or the BRRR method or seller financing. I didn’t even know you could invest out of state or that you could find a silent partner. That’s six strategies right there. That if I had learned enough or had enough confidence, I could have started doing those and invested five or six years sooner than I did.
So I couldn’t think outside the box. And I think if you just ask yourself, “What if” or “How can I,” those two questions right there are crucial and can open your mind up and help you be more creative. You’ll see pathways that might not be obvious to you right now.
Patience and consistency
I feel like this message is true for any business. You have to be patient and you have to be consistent whether you start a blog or an Instagram account or a TikTok channel, a Realtor business, or start investing in real estate. Consistency for three months is not enough. It’s consistency for a year. Then you just start to get traction. And then it’s consistency for two years. That really, in my opinion, makes the difference. Consistency is more important than anything else. When I started investing in real estate, my husband and I looked for properties for months and months and months. We ran numbers on hundreds of properties.
We took maybe 20 properties that we saw in person and made offers on multiple properties. And we finally found one that looked great. After inspections, it just wasn’t going to work out. So the contract fell through. Any reasonable person at that point might have just given up. I wanted to. We were so discouraged and just wanted to settle. We thought well, maybe we can make it work, or let’s lower our criteria.
You can’t settle. You just have to be patient and you have to not give up. And so we kept looking, kept going at it. And the next property that came up that we found was the best one that I’ve ever found in my life.
It was that first duplex that we closed on in Louisville, Kentucky. To this day, it’s one of the best investments we ever made. Be patient, be consistent. Don’t give up. You will get there. And that’s so much easier said than done. So you have to know why you’re doing this in the first place, because on those nights where you don’t want to make calls, or you don’t want to send out letters, or you don’t want to do lead follow-up, you have to know why you are doing this in the first place.
When you feel like you’re at your lowest, keep working. Keep believing in yourself. keep putting in that hard work and effort. You can make thousands of dollars overnight.
Follow Entrepreneur Rachel Richards
You can follow entrepreneur Rachel Richards on Instagram or TikTok at Money Honey Rachel. Download her passive income starter kit for free. Go to www.moneyhoneyrachel.com/passiveincome
- Rachel Richards has 200,000 followers on TikTok. She went viral very early on, and many people, who didn’t know her, attacked her. The sexism and classism were terrible. Rachel reached out to friends and mentors to help her get through that.
- Don’t wait for anyone to give you permission. You have permission. Just do it.
- Almost everyone experiences impostor syndrome sometimes. It’s normal. Focus on the next step.
- Consider the gifts you’re withholding. How might those gifts help others?
- Keep going despite any doubters or detractors. The opinions of the people who aren’t in the arena like you are don’t matter.
- Have empathy and compassion for your haters. It’s a sad, sad person who has nothing better to do than harass someone online.
- Start as soon as possible. Rachel said even though she started real estate investing young at 24, she would have started even earlier if she could do it over.
- Be patient and consistent. It takes about two years, like she said, to build that consistency. So be patient; be consistent, do the things you are doing. Never give up, believe in yourself.
Read entrepreneur Rachel Richards’s books, Passive Income, Aggressive Retirement, and Money Honey 2nd edition (proofread by our own Jennifer Harshman). They’re both amazing.