Monick Halm is an expert, educator, and advocate for women real estate investors, with a personal mission to help 1 million women create financial freedom through real estate. She is the Founder of Real Estate Investor Goddesses, a platform and community for women interested in pleasurably investing in real estate.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I spent the first 5 years of my life in Africa in the Ivory Coast and then moved to Maryland, in the Washington DC suburbs, where I lived until I went to college and law school. My parents are from Haiti and both have severe cases of wanderlust. They’d both lived in and traveled to many countries before meeting, and having children didn’t slow them down. My passport was full of stamps before I could walk. I got a double dose of this wanderlust from them (plus a bit extra because I took my siblings’ share) and have continued this love of travel — this had led me to explore and live on 6 continents.
The experience of seeing different cultures and hearing different languages, helped me to be more open-minded. I have also been able to befriend just about anyone.
Also, I believe that spending my early years in Africa and going back to my parent’s home country of Haiti almost every summer helped me never view race as an obstacle to my success. When you live in a society where everyone from the beggars to the heads of state, including the doctors, lawyers, judges, business owners, and everyone in between is black, it doesn’t compute to see race as any sort of barrier to success. The U.S. is a different culture, but I didn’t have this inequality in my psyche and the effects of slavery generationally in my bones. This was a gift.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
I wish I would have realized that having a job and being an employee was not the only (or even best) path to creating financial success. I wish I would have known about investing and real estate much, much earlier.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
Real estate investing is not one-size-fits-all, so any advice that’s cookie-cutter is bad advice. Also, anyone who says that you should get or need to get your real estate license before becoming an investor is sorely mistaken.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
I had a newborn, was unemployed, and the economy was in free-fall. There were no job prospects in sight. I had been fired when I was 5 1/2 months pregnant. At the time I’d decided that I would wait until after I gave birth to my daughter and had a short maternity period before looking for another job. My daughter was born in late August 2008. Within a month the markets started to plummet. As did my husband’s graphic design business – his income dropped 90%. Even though it was really tight and REALLY scary, what saved us was the real estate we had managed to acquire previously.
Look, we were far from financially independent. Our two California properties barely cash-flowed. They did help keep a roof over our heads though, and when we sold one we were able to use those proceeds to take advantage of the houses that were “on-sale” and start flipping.
As we leaned into real estate for our livelihood, I started to study it more. My first investment was a “happy accident.” Until it was a necessity, I hadn’t thought of it as a possibility to replace my working income. I always thought I’d be able to find lucrative work as an attorney. I never thought I would need extra income streams.
2008 changed all that for me.
Owning cash flowing real estate saved us… it provided us options and a safety net. And ultimately it provided even more wealth than I could have achieved just with my legal job.
Watching what’s happening right now is making me even more determined to get women investing in real estate. Most of us aren’t taught that we need to create multiple income streams and invest in real property. We are taught to rely on one job only — putting us in a precarious position. It’s a travesty, and I’m doing what I can to change the conversation and education around wealth and money.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
One thing is investing in my personal and professional development. I invest a lot of time and a lot of dollars in my education and growth, but it’s paid itself back exponentially.
They say that a wise person learns from his mistakes. A genius learns from the mistakes of others. I don’t know if I’m a genius, but I definitely invest in my education so I can learn from the mistakes of others.
What is your morning routine?
I wake up at 5:00 am. I pray, meditate, journal, and exercise. I then speak with my morning accountability pod and my sponsee in a 12-step program I’m in. At 7 am, I go into the bedroom and wake up my husband. He and I have a daily “orgasmic manifestation” practice. I love my morning routine —- it keeps me grounded and pleasured.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
I have several “blissciplines.” I think the one that most improves my life is my mediation practice. It calms me and helps me think clearly. It helps me to quiet my mind and hear my intuitive guidance Following my guidance always leads me on my right path.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
I ask myself the One Thing question from Gary Keller. “What’s the One Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
By asking myself this question every day, and just doing the one thing that most moves the needle, I don’t waste my time with busywork. This has been life-changing for me. I can do much less, but I get much better results.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
I love books and so many have made an incredible impression on me. The book I feel has most influenced my life is The Game of Life and How to Play It by Florence Scovel Shinn. It was written in 1925, yet still feels incredibly modern and applicable. It’s a small book, but so full of wisdom. I can, and often do, ask a question and then open it up at random to find the perfect message for me. It works every time.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand-and melting like a snowflake.” – Sir Francis Bacon
This quote has always been a favorite of mine but took special resonance when my older brother passed away of cancer far too young. His death hit home that we are not promised any extra moments. We don’t have control of when we will die, but we do control whether or not we fully live. So I never wait for or miss an opportunity to do what my heart wants now.