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Kara Ayala | The First 100 Episodes

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Hosted by
Mike Ayala

On this episode of Investing for Freedom, Mike talks with his favorite guest, Kara Ayala. Mike and Kara deep dive into what 2020 was like for them, what they learned and what they’re taking into 2021. Kara also talks about her brand new podcast, Marriage, Money and Mayhem, which is out now!

“The most important part is setting that vision because the vision doesn’t change. The end goal doesn’t change, but you have to navigate through whatever is happening in your life at that point.”


0:00 – Intro
1:20 – Mike thinks back to when he was in Maui with his family in March 2020
2:57 – Kara is launching her own podcast
5:16 – You’re damaging people by not stepping out into the world as your authentic self
8:37 – The adjust part of Mike’s 5 part formula has been the most important in 2020
11:42 – Kara gives her takeaways from 2020
13:53 – Setting a vision is the most important part of achieving your goals
14:23 – Mike discusses the difference between wartime leadership and peacetime leadership, and what he feels he is better at
18:27 – Mike discusses his and Kara’s couples’ mastermind
23:02 – Your boss is never going to pay you enough to be their neighbor
24:20 – The people at the top got to the top because they are giving
24:56 – It was a year of growth for Kara but she didn’t just grow, she was also stretched in ways that were uncomfortable at times
27:48 – The power of building your personal brand is so important today – If you don’t adapt to the way the world is moving, you’re going to be left behind
30:27 – Kara talks about a mentor of hers, Kayla, a person who had the biggest impact on Kara’s life this year
36:50 – Mike and Kara did a lot of deep work and surface work in 2020
42:09 – Mike is repositioning a bunch of his real estate that no longer serves him as he plans to continue adjusting through 2021
42:43 – Kara is most excited about the time she spends with her daughter, her new podcast, and the couples mastermind, as well as some openings for one-on-one coaching
47:17 – If you’re considering doing something, start moving towards it
48:29 – Kara shares one of her favorite quotes, “ready is a lie”


Marriage, Money and Mayhem


Mike Ayala: Thank you for joining me on the Investing for Freedom podcast. Today I have my most favorite guest, Kara Ayala with me.

Kara Ayala: Hi, I’m so excited to be here.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. So it’s a special day, guys. This is episode 100. And I thought about, you know, all the amazing people and guests that I’ve had on, and things we could talk about. And I’m actually super excited for the episode that we landed on. I’ve got Kara, as I said, and we’re just going to look backwards over the last 100 episodes and what’s happened in 2020. And where we’re going in 2021, and just kind of bring everything full circle. So thanks for joining me.

Kara Ayala: I’m so happy to be here. It’s so crazy to think that it’s then 100 episodes. Feels like yesterday, we were helping you launch this.

Mike Ayala: I know, it’s so crazy. And you know, just thinking back, we were in Maui. I think we left like March 6 then came back like March 13 or something, or I think it was March 16 actually.

Kara Ayala: Before the world shut down.

Mike Ayala: Yeah, like literally, I remember like, you guys are going to think this is probably funny, but I actually took a roll of toilet paper from the hotel in Maui, cause I didn’t know if we’re going to have any toilet paper when we got home, like literally, people were already stockpiling toilet paper, it was crazy.

Kara Ayala: Yeah, we didn’t know what we would have at home. We know when you come home from vacation, you have to go get food and stuff. And we were just seeing on the news that there was nothing on the shelves. So we were kind of freaking out a little bit.

Mike Ayala: Yeah, yeah, totally. It was kind of interesting times. And so literally, I think we got back like March 13, or March 16, or something like that. And then we launched the investing for freedom podcast on April 3rd. It’s kind of crazy.

Kara Ayala: Amazing.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. So yeah, it’s been quite a journey. And you know, when I was just thinking about this 100th episode, and just looking backwards, I got a little nostalgic, and like, super excited, because just looking back over the last year, it’s just been a lot of fun. And I’ve met a lot of amazing people because of it. And, you know, for those of you that are interested in launching a podcast or thinking about it, just do it. Like, you know, there’s a lot of different ways to launch obviously, and thinking through it. But I’ve seen so many benefits from it, which we’re going to dive into. But yeah, I mean, it’s been a ton of fun. And like I said, I’ve had a lot of amazing people that I met.

Kara Ayala: Yeah, it’s been an incredible year.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. And so this is exciting. You’re actually launching a podcast on Monday. So by the time you guys are listening to this, Kara’s podcast will be live. So that’ll actually be sixth, seventh, eighth? Monday, the eighth?

Kara Ayala: Yes, yeah, super excited. I also have been kind of stalling on it for a little while. But it’s perfect time right now. So I’m excited.

Mike Ayala: Well, why don’t you tell us about it?

Kara Ayala: It’s called Marriage, Money and Mayhem. And it’s just all about how you can have, especially for women, you can have it all, you can have a successful family, you can have success in your finances, and even spiritually, like you can have it all.

Mike Ayala: Sorry about that little cat in the background for the editor. So Kara, you ended with money and success and you can have it all, right?

Kara Ayala: Yep

Mike Ayala: Yeah, so I’m super excited about that. There’s a lot of people that have actually been waiting for this. And I think it’s going to change a lot of lives. So super excited about it. So we’ve been talking about for a while.

Kara Ayala: Yeah, it’s funny how you, you know, you know, you’re supposed to do something, but you like stall and you stall. And I think it’s just a great reminder for people out there that are wanting to do something to just like, take that first step, you don’t know what it’s going to look like. And a lot of times as humans, we want to know, we want to see the full staircase, we want to see the full puzzle. And really, we just have to take that first step into something to make that move. We can’t see the whole picture. And it’s I know it’s scary when you’re like stepping into something new. But that’s where the magic is.

Mike Ayala: It’s such a good point because you know, I think about this just thinking back to business for so many years and reading good to great and built to last and Jim Collins, you know, he was one of my early favorite authors. And, you know, He always talks about good being the enemy of great. But also the other side of that, like, I’ve often said that like, perfect is the enemy of done. Because a lot of times, and I think it might have been Steve Jobs, I can’t remember exactly who it was. But somebody said something along those lines. And it’s like, I struggle with that a little bit, especially in something like this, that is your, you know, it’s your core work. It’s your inner work. We struggle with launching that because, it’s nobody but us. You’re like, this is all you. And so at the end of the day, I get it, I sympathize with it. But as you said, you know, if you’re out there, and you’re listening to this, and you want to do something, you got to just keep moving.

Kara Ayala: Yeah. And even you just like talking about, you know, Steve Jobs and all these people and their books. What if they didn’t go and do those things? And so it’s so important that as people we give our gifts to the world because somebody is missing out on that. And you’re actually damaging people by not actually stepping out into those.

Mike Ayala: Wow, that’s powerful, actually damaging people by not stepping out into it, like the world needs your gift.

Kara Ayala: Yeah, they’re, I mean, they’re missing pieces. I mean, if you hadn’t been taught that, would you know, you know.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. Well, and that, like, this is a segue that I was going to come into later. But, I mean, this is just so on our heart right now. Like, we just launched our couples mastermind, which we’ve been talking about for a couple years. And we’re literally just, you know, last Thursday, so basically, a week ago, yesterday, you know, something that we’ve been working on, really for years, but you know, the last year, year and a half, like diligently, and then pulling everything together the last six months, and we met all of our couples in person you know, a week ago, and literally right now we’re sitting here, texting them as we’re doing this, and you know, sent them a picture that we’re recording the 100th episode, and we’re like, celebrating with them. And I’m just sitting there thinking, as you’re saying that, like with Steve Jobs and the gift, and you know, we wouldn’t know these people if we hadn’t stepped out and just followed that. And who knows where this is going to go. But such an amazing group of people that we didn’t really know where we could go a lot of them.

Kara Ayala: Yeah, it’s just amazing to think about, and, you know, you think about Steve Jobs, he literally changed the world. And that could maybe intimidate somebody too like, well, I don’t really want that, but doesn’t have to be that huge, you know, you don’t know where it’s going to be. So just like trusting that you’re just fulfilling your gift and your purpose.

Mike Ayala: I love the way that you just put that too, because I was just on a walk this morning. And I was listening to the big leap. And it’s talking about that upper limit. And even Steve Jobs. I mean, I know he had a huge vision. And I know he was, he knew he was destined for greatness, you know, his like whole purpose was to just put a small dent in the universe, right? So obviously, he knew he was called to greatness, but I can almost guarantee you that you go backwards, 30-40 years, like he didn’t know how big it was. And so you just got to get moving, as you said earlier, because you can’t, you have to, it’s like that scripture, you know, you move from faith to faith and glory to glory. It’s the same way and it with us as individuals. And you know, we can’t go to our level three, we have to start at our level one, and break through that ceiling. And then we have to break through our level two, and then break through our level three. And so it’s your journey. We all have our own journey going on. But if you don’t get started, I mean, look how many people you leave unaffected, like what if Steve Jobs, I mean, I’m literally all my notes are on his creation, right? Sitting here looking at my phone. That’s crazy. It’s good stuff. Well, let’s go backwards. Let’s talk about 2020 a little bit. Because, you know, again, we’re going over the last 100 episodes, and, you know, one of the things that I really wanted to throw out there, like I’ve honestly never really wanted to quit. And that’s, you know, I was thinking back to that too, because usually, whether it’s a business we’re in or an investment or whatever, I mean, I’m not saying it’s been easy, you know, like even just this last week where we’re at a mastermind that we’re part of, a couples mastermind and I forgot to record an episode you know, forgot what day it was even and so you know, you’re having to record sometimes last minute, but I’ve honestly never wanted to quit doing this. I love it. It’s been great.

Kara Ayala: It’s so fun.

Mike Ayala: Yeah, I’m excited for you to launch yours and get moving through it. So just looking backwards at 2020 What an interesting year. And you know, just the five-part formula. It’s the Adjust part of this and I’ve said it 100 times in the last you know couple months, but the Adjust part of this if there’s anything that 2020 hottest it’s to be flexible and adjust.

Kara Ayala: For sure. 2020 was an adjust here for every person in the world really.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. It’s so interesting because even when you look backwards to you know, just even launching this show, and look forward and I would like to encourage you guys with this just with everything that was Kara was talking about like with dreaming and launching and just getting moving. There’s no way if I would have looked a year ago just trying to think what this was going to look like that I would be sitting here today, realizing how many different amazing things this show and this audience and these listeners have taught me. And the person that I’ve become just by, you know, showing up and sharing, I’ve often, I’ve always said this to anybody that works with me, like as we teach, we learn. And so again, if you’re interested in launching your show, or whatever it is, it might not even be a podcast, like you’ve got a blog you want to write or you just want to launch a business or you want to be a teacher of some, like, get moving. Because that’s how you’re going to really reach your fullness. So I’m excited to see you tap into that.

Kara Ayala: Yeah, I’m really excited.

Mike Ayala: So what’s got you most excited about Marriage, Money and Mayhem?

Kara Ayala: I think, actually just bringing, you know, listeners, other people’s perspective, because there’s so many different perspectives, and so many different people that have been successful and also kept like their family as their core. And just hearing everybody’s different perspectives I’ve already had, you know, I’ve recorded some episodes, and the conversations are just, they fill me up. So I know if they’re filling me up, they’re going to fill listeners up. So I think that’s what excites me the most is just getting to, you know, interact with amazing people, and then also show that to the listeners.

Mike Ayala: Yeah, I believe it’s Ryan Holiday that wrote the book, the obstacle is the way and I’m just thinking about this right now. Because I think he wrote ego is the enemy too. And that’s actually the thread that I was thinking about. But like, based on what you just said to, I mean, I think so many times in life, we just, we sit in our own head, and we listen to our own bullshit, if you will. And that’s one thing that I’ve really learned doing this podcast and you just set it too like, the guests that I have on every week, just being able to sit number one in their zone of genius. It’s one thing the words that people say, but I found myself the last couple weeks just really being aware and conscious of like people’s impartation. When you’re able to sit in that and just really listen and set that ego aside like Ryan Holidays, whole book ego is the enemy, when you can set that aside, and you can really just sit in people’s like genius. That’s been one of my favorite things with the podcast. Isn’t that amazing?

Kara Ayala: Yes. I love it. I’m so excited about it.

Mike Ayala: So, yeah, so going back to, you know, 2020 I mean, obviously COVID happened. And there, you know, there’s a couple key lessons that I just kind of want to hit on for 20. Was there any major takeaways for you in 2020?

Kara Ayala: Oh, my gosh, so many, I feel like 2020 was 10 years long, but also lightning speed fast. And it was a year of major major growth and expansion for me as an individual.

Mike Ayala: Yeah, I could see that. Just in so many areas in my life, too. It’s funny, because I was thinking the other day, right before New Year’s, I think it was on actually on New Year’s Eve day, we went to a hotel and you know, mapped out our goals. And it’s funny how our, like, our goals planning kind of changed a little bit this year. Like my kind of theme this year is like, lean into it, like intuition, like, just be more internal. And I’m not saying that we don’t have goals and that we’re not setting, you know, clear cut goals and all that. But it’s kind of funny, just looking backwards to our 2020 planning and the way that we structured our goals, and then, you know, something like COVID comes along and just throws that all out the window. And that it’s going to happen to you and periods of life, and it could happen in business and you know, government regulation, any of that, you just never know what’s coming at you. And so that whole again, the fifth part of the formula, adjust so important. And I think if I’ve learned anything in 2020, it was to be flexible, it was just to, you know, adjust, lean into it. That’s kind of what brought me to where I’m at this year, I didn’t really consciously think about it. But we just kind of went along. I even remember, like Dylan, our oldest son was supposed to go on an Asian tour, like the first half of the year, right? And I was thinking as I was putting the notes together for this, like, he had put his notice in on his apartment. So they and he was basically going to be homeless, because he was going to be living in Asia for three or four or five months, right? And then all of a sudden, like, literally COVID happened. And we were kind of seeing this happen, because we’ve got to a mentor/friend, Chris Martinson that was talking about this early because he was on the front-end watching Asia. And so we’re just kind of seeing that ahead of time. And I’m I don’t I don’t know, if you’re going to Asia man. And he’s like, Oh, it’s going to be fine. I’m talking to my Asian friends, and it’s all good. But these things unravel on us so fast, and you’ve just got to be cognizant of it. And again, I think it’s so important that we just adjust and keep that flexibility.

Kara Ayala: Yeah, I mean, just thinking back of like, when that happened, and the Adjust piece, and our goal planning. So I think like the most important part is just setting that vision because the vision doesn’t change. You know, the end goal doesn’t change, but you have to like navigate through what’s ever having in your life at that point. But like having that vision of what it looks like and it might look a little different, but the end game is still the same.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. So amazing. One of my big takeaways last year from a business/leadership perspective, I really became cognizant of like wartime leaders versus peacetime leaders. That was a big like, shift for me in the business realm. Because it takes both. But I never really thought about it until literally, when COVID started coming, it’s funny, because even before we went to Hawaii, I remember calling a team meeting. So I was meeting with my executive team. And, you know, I was telling them, I’m like, we might want to get prepared for a shutdown. And, you know, this could be serious. And the executive team was taking it pretty serious. But then when we met with the entire team, they were kind of laughing, like, we were all kind of laughing. It wasn’t that they were laughing at me, it was just like, I was taking this pretty serious. And, you know, from a leadership perspective, too, like, we don’t want to come off fearful and, you know, scare people. And so I was keeping it kind of light too. But I was pretty, I thought this was going to be kind of a big deal. And so we put this contingency plan in place. And I was like, I was in wartime mode, right?

Kara Ayala: Yes.

Mike Ayala: But I didn’t realize that at that point in time. And so literally, I think, day two or three of our Hawaii vacation, like, my executive team made the call, they’re like, we’re going to send everybody home. And then that’s when it became real, right. And there’s still a picture of on one of the dry erase boards in the meeting room where we met, I drew a little picture of a Coronavirus with like, you know, dry erase markers. And it’s just such an interesting lesson, because there is time, there is a time for peacetime leaders, you know, committees and planning committees, but what I realized, like this last year, you can get a lot of shit done really efficiently during wartime. And so I want to keep some of that sense of urgency. You know, how do you keep that sense of wartime urgency when you’re not in wartime?

Kara Ayala: Yeah, I think as a leader, no matter what you have going on in your life, if you have a family of any sort, you are a leader. And so leaning in, you know, like your word leaning into it, like leaning into knowing if it’s a wartime or peacetime, I think that’s very valuable. And just like stepping into that wartime like, this is serious. And, you know, I’m going to take the necessary move to protect my family or to protect my business, or whatever it is, that is our job as a leader to protect. And so you can still be peaceful, but there’s just that slight edge. That,

You know, it’s that wartime leader that you’re talking about.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. You know, one of my other key takeaways from 2022 and I found myself saying this a lot. So if you followed the podcast or me or whatever, like, nobody’s coming to save you. That was another thing you know, just even on the wartime front, like, a lot of my thoughts over the last 5,10,15, even 20 years, around government, the system, just even a little, there’s a prepper part of Mike, there’s like a crazy part of Mike, maybe a little tinfoil hat that I keep in my closet and pull out every once a while. It really became clear to me that, you know, the government’s not coming to save us. We have to take care of ourselves. Like we can’t, we can’t wait around for somebody else to do it.

Kara Ayala: Yeah, and not even the government, like your leaders, your mentors. I mean, they can direct you, they can give you like guidance, but you have to do the work. Like we’re in charge of ourselves, and we have to do the work and we have to take the steps. And so with anything, like nobody is coming to save you, like you have to show up and you have to do it or not. And be okay with the consequences of not doing what you want to do to do it.

Mike Ayala: That’s so powerful. And as you’re saying that I’m just thinking back to our couples mastermind, and I remember, it was probably day two and Sage, she’s just such a beautiful soul, right? And she was just, she put her hand up and she said, you know, I don’t even remember what the question was, or if she was just talking or whatever. But like her revelation was, you know, she came to the couple’s mastermind expecting us to do a bunch of the work for her right and she’s like, I’m realizing, I’m paraphrasing what she said too, but she said, you know, I’m realizing now that I have to do the work. And that’s what you just said is so powerful, because it’s not just the government leaders, mentors, all of it, like we can facilitate, we can facilitate a zone of learning, we can facilitate an environment of inspiration, but each one of us is responsible to do the work.

Kara Ayala: Yeah, I mean, even think about physical or nutrition. You know, you have to show up, no matter who you hire, or, you know, if it’s the government, it’s not their job. It’s not anybody’s job but to facilitate a space, and it’s our job to show up and there’s plenty of opportunities. We live in an amazing country right now, I don’t know if it always be like that. But there’s so many opportunities and we have to, if we want a better life and a higher standard, then we have to show up.

Mike Ayala: Yeah, so good. And this is such a good thread too, and you know, I just want to be clear, 2020 was a challenging year for a lot of people. But 2020 and we don’t spend a lot of time talking about this, we’ve been a little hesitant to talk about it. Because I know so many people are hurting. And it’s been a challenging year. But 2020 was our best financial year ever. And I would actually argue that, you know, 2020, in a lot of respects, was our best year ever, period.

Kara Ayala: Yeah, I agree. And I think, you know, not that it didn’t have its challenges, because we had a lot of challenges this year. But I think that that’s almost where, you know, I mean, that’s where the growth happens. And then pushing through that, and actually showing up and doing the work, like what we’re talking about.

And saving we is where the magic happens, you know, that’s why you get the results that you want to get. And that’s why 2020 was so amazing, is because there was so much resistance.

Mike Ayala: Yeah, and just looking at that, too. It’s an important, I guess, anchoring point for us to just sit on for a minute. The things are going to get challenging. The middle class is being wiped out. And this didn’t just start in 2020. I mean, this has been an ongoing process, if you will, and whether intentional or accidental, I’m not here to get into that right now. But it’s going to get worse. The middle class is getting eroded. And, you know, this is one thing that we’re constantly talking about. I’m so excited for your show Marriage, Money and Mayhem. I mean, just think about that. I mean, that title is phenomenal. But for anybody that’s listening right now. 2020 was nothing spectacular. When we’re saying like, you can be on any side of the fence that you want to be on. The whole concept of the grass is greener on the other side. Well, take care of your grass. However, the neighbor’s taking care of their grass, it’s just stupid. And so 2020 wasn’t anything special. In fact, it’s going to get more challenging. And so I would just ask you, like, what side of the fence do you want to be on? And I love the way that you said that, you know, you’re going to have decisions to make. And you determine where that is. And it’s going to get more challenging. But the good news is, it’s just inch by inch, it’s step by step. And if you don’t get started, just like launching the podcast that we were talking about, if you don’t get started in another stream of income, or investing or changing your mindset, those are actually the things right there. That’s it. Like if you don’t have $50,000 or $100,000, to invest, like start investing in your mindset. And there’s a lot of opportunity, which our minds have been open to this last year. Even just we were just at our couple’s mastermind, not the one we’re putting on but one that were participants in with Chris and Laurie Harder. And there’s some very successful people there that do like network selling, right? Or what do you call them?

Kara Ayala: Network marketing.

Mike Ayala: Network marketing. Super successful. And there’s literally, we were just having this conversation. Like, it’s crazy, because it gets such a bad rap from so many people. But like, women everywhere, making an extra $500, $1,000 a month, $1,500 a month, you don’t have to make a million. And the thing is, too is like so many people hate on this, but I actually brought this up when we were having this conversation because like, everybody’s always like, well, it’s only the people at the top that make all the money. Well, that’s the case in anything.

Kara Ayala: Yeah. Any company you work for, I don’t know, do you have a job? Like, is your boss making more than you?

Mike Ayala: It’s like that meme that I put up or whatever that that title, you know, your boss is never going to pay you enough to be his neighbor.

Kara Ayala: Exactly.

Mike Ayala: And if that rubs you wrong.

Kara Ayala: Do something about it.

Mike Ayala: Yeah, like, do some soul searching and realize that that’s true. There’s truth to that period. There’s nothing wrong with that statement. Like, why would your boss pay you more than he makes? Like, that’s crazy. If you want to do something about it, go do something about it. And I brought up the scenario like Google, so the top 1% or 2% or 3% at Google probably make the most money.

Kara Ayala: Totally.

Mike Ayala: So it doesn’t matter what business it is, it doesn’t matter if it’s a network selling company or network marketing or it’s Google. That’s just the reality. So if you’re on the wrong side of the fence, figure out what the guy on the other side of the fence is doing and just take care of your lawn that way. Like it’s simple.

Kara Ayala: Yeah. And it really is about being a leader. You know, any you know, even as we’re talking about this, that people that are at the top of Google are leaders. The people in the top of network marketing are leaders, so become a better leader. Find out how to be a better leader to people and you will naturally rise.

Mike Ayala: Yeah, you know, if you’ve listened to the show, you’ve heard it a million times, but I’m just reminded of Zig Ziglar, quote, you can have everything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want. And I think so many people sit on their couch bitching and moaning and complaining and just spending more time hating on people that are at the top. And the reality is those are probably some of the most giving people, the majority of those people got there because they are giving. They know how to do what Zig Ziglar said, it’s a little bit more complex than what’s on the surface. I mean, you can have everything you want in life, if you just help enough other people get what they want. What is it that someone wants? Well, if you’ve got that product, I mean, that’s the key to success. But it’s not shoving it down their throat. It’s figuring out how to align around them and get with them what they need. Such good stuff. So what else? Any other major takeaways for 2020?

Kara Ayala: I mean, I think I already said it was like a year of growth for me, my word was expansion. And in the beginning, I thought it was going to be you know, that sounds like a really cool word, I’m going to expand. And what I didn’t realize is that I was going to be stretched beyond what I thought was capable. And I was going to have to really put myself out there. And it was a year that I probably grew the most, but it was very uncomfortable. I mean, it was amazing. And it was fun. But it was felt very uncomfortable most of the time.

Mike Ayala: Yeah, it was definitely a year of expansion for me too. And it’s funny, because as we were like, kind of going, we did a lot. Like a lot happened. And when I say we did a lot, I mean, we traveled less. We love to travel. Like that’s always been something that’s, you know, been in our, I think number one DNA, but number two, our plans, like we’ve always just kind of plan that in. But we bought an RV. Since we couldn’t travel International, which was fun spending some time on the road. But when I look back, you know, as I was just over the last couple weeks, not even just prepping for the show, but especially just pulling this together. Just looking back over last year, we did a lot. Like we changed a lot, we accomplished a lot. Even this year, just you know, the whole lean into it thing. I think a lot of that deep work really started last year.

Kara Ayala: Yeah. And I think too like, getting around the right people, I think we put ourselves in rooms, with people that stretched us and grew us. And we’re you know, we’ve always invested in mentors, but I feel like we stepped out into a different area this year, and surrounded ourselves with people who are stretching us in a different way. And I think that’s important as you’re growing is, you know, to branch out to different areas of your life that need growth. Because that’s, you know, this never ends. You know, the growth never ends, the uncomfortableness never ends. And it’s never going to you’re just going, like what you said in the beginning faith to faith and glory to glory. It’s always going to be another level, you’re going to get to the top of the mountain and realize there’s another mountain.

Mike Ayala: Yeah, that’s so good. I actually had a mentor one time tell me that, you know, you’re going to outgrow me. And I was like, that just seems weird. But you know, when the student becomes the teacher, you’ve got to find that different room that you’re talking about. And even just in a different realm, I was just looking back, you know, a lot of the masterminds and things we’ve done, or I’ve done, I don’t, I can’t speak specifically to you. But I was just thinking back to like The Real Estate Guys Mastermind, like that was a very task-driven, that was a very like niche driven like a certain business type mastermind. And this last year, and I really want to throw this out there because, you know, we kind of started off with you launching your podcast and my podcast. And you know, what people are wanting to do out there. I think this is important. And we spent a lot of time over this last week talking about this, the power of building your personal brand. I don’t think I think it’s always been important. But I think it’s more important today than ever. And I’m not saying a personal brand, like your logo. Your personal brand, like who are you? What do you stand for? How do people find you? How do you get noticed, you know, back in the day, we could just spend a bunch of money and throw it at the yellow pages or a billboard, put your face on a billboard like the attorneys still do today. Social media, and building your personal brand, whether it’s a podcast or a blog, or anything else, I don’t care what you’re going to do. That’s building your personal brand, and that over the next, it’s already this way, but I think a small, literally a small percentage of people have really figured this out. There’s so many business owners that I talk to on a very, very smart, successful business owners in some high, you know, high net worth people in some high-level groups that still don’t get building their personal brand. And so back to like for us in 2020. You know, joining Chris Harder’s mastermind, the elite entrepreneur mastermind, that was like a shift to personal branding to me. What did you learn from that?

Kara Ayala: Yeah, I agree. And I think, you know, speaking of like the successful business owners that don’t have a personal brand or aren’t out in social media, this is the wave of the future. And if you look at any big company, I mean, how many big companies have gotten like blockbuster? Like, if you don’t adapt to like what’s happening in the world, you’re going to get left behind and become obsolete because that’s the way that the world is moving, and so you have to move with it.

Mike Ayala: Even just thinking about, you know, just social media and the big push, like, there’s so many people that are like, so resistant to it. And I get that, but you can create a social media profile without getting sucked into social media too, is it challenging? Of course, it’s challenging. But you can create a system and a process, just schedule it in.

Kara Ayala: Yeah, it’s like the creator versus consumer, if you’re always consuming social media, yes, that’s damaging, it’s just a tool, just like money as a tool. So you can either become a creator and create on there, or you can become a consumer. And we want to be on the creator side of that, of the spectrum, like be on the creator side, and don’t be the consumer. If you’re always consuming, then you’re not going to be able to create anyways, because your brains going to get messed up with all the things you’re seeing. And you’re not going to have that direct connection to God or source or whatever that is for you to like, make something and create something that people need.

Mike Ayala: Just on the point of mentors, I watched you this year with Kayla, let’s chat about that a little bit. I mean, that was an amazing, that was an amazing relationship for you.

Kara Ayala: Yes, I would actually say that she’s probably…

Mike Ayala: It is all right.

Kara Ayala: I would actually say that she probably had the most impact in my life. And I think it’s because…

Mike Ayala: Powerful.

Kara Ayala: She really challenged me, and she made me like really look on the inside of like, what’s going on the inside, and deal with things that probably I had stuffed down, that I didn’t even know was there. And I think, making sure that you’re surrounded by mentors that are going to call you up. I think I’ve had mentors that have called me out. And, or maybe just told me that I’m fine, because I have been successful. And I do live a really great life. But she really called me up from my standard. And even though I was probably at a place where most people wanted to be, I think, you know, just realizing that I can either stay where I’m at, or I can, you know, go up to that next level and go deeper in myself so that I can impact more people. And that’s the hard work to do, because you don’t want to face those ugly things. Like, I actually remember one phone call, and I was feeling very frustrated. You know, in doing these new things, I had done a couple of group coaching sessions around money mindset, and, you know, talking about my podcasts, I was feeling very frustrated, and she was like, what are you feeling right now? And I said, Well, I just feel like I’ve always just giving and I’m feeling very, like burnout. You know, I’ve always had to show up for our businesses. And I’ve always had to show up for my family. And there’s not ever a choice, because that’s who I am. And she just looked at me. And she said, and that served you for a really long time. And it took me back because I’m like, you know what I have? That’s like a martyr. You know, and it didn’t serve me anymore. And my family doesn’t need. I mean, they do need me. But you know that story wasn’t a true story anymore. I wasn’t being pushed into our business and the little details that I didn’t like anymore. I wasn’t being pulled in that way. So her calling me up to that is a story that used to serve you, and it doesn’t serve you anymore.

Mike Ayala: Wow. That’s so good. That’s amazing. It’s good stuff. You’re going to want to tune into Marriage, Money and Mayhem because this is going to be a good show. You know, I think while we’re on kind of that note, just the importance of mentors can’t stress it enough. And as you were talking through that, again, I just want to, like I’m reading the big leap.

Kara Ayala: Such a good book.

Mike Ayala: Such a good book, and I actually had to start it over. Because like I was halfway through and I’m like, wait a second, I got to go back. But you know, he’s talking about just breaking through those ceilings. And the thing that I want to point out, it never ends. Like that’s the thing. You know, if you’re out there listening, and you’re like, whether you’re going through the process or not, you’re never going to arrive, or you shouldn’t arrive. I guess that’s the better, the minute that you get complacent is the minute you get your ass kicked. And I remember when we started our first business a couple years in. I was looking around you know, I’ve often I’ve had people ask me like, you know, what was the key to success. I mean, we were on the Inc fastest growing companies in America in 2009- and double-digit growth every year, blah, blah, blah. What was the secret? Honestly, like, number one, I was so young and naive that I didn’t know any better. And so I hired the best of the best like, hired, I sought out the best products, I sought out the best coaches, and I was so naive that I just did what they told me to do. And guess what? It works, like surprisingly. But here’s the other thing. And this is what I really wanted to say. All of my competitors in that market had started in the 70s, and 80s. These guys were all in their 50s and 60s. And they were complacent. And I found myself saying at that point in time, the day you stopped growing is the day you start dying, like I likened it to like a body. But it’s the same thing with an organization. And it’s the same thing with your spiritual growth. And it’s the same thing with your money mindset, or your business mindset, or whatever it is your self-development, course of life. The minute that you stop growing, is the minute that you start dying. And so you know, if somebody is out there listening right now, and they’re frustrated, like, look what you just went, I mean, you’ve had some amazing mentors in your life, you’ve done some amazing things. But now you’re at that next level, you found Kayla, and she’s taking you know, she’s called you up to a whole other level.

Kara Ayala: Well, I’m even thinking about like, limiting beliefs, or you know, that book, the upper limit, there’s so many things in us that are going to continually come out. And we’re going to realize that it’s a limiting belief. And at the end of last year, we went to Tony Robbins, unleash the power, unleash the power within. And I’m so thankful that we went because obviously, that’s not happening right now. I mean, he has his online ones. But one of the things that came up for me was that I had a limiting belief that because we were doing okay, like better than most that it was almost like I didn’t, I felt guilty to like, want to grow more. And so just like discovering what are those, like upper limits and those limiting beliefs that you have, that are stopping you and others too. Because if I would have just stayed there, I wouldn’t be impacting the women and the people in my life now, if I had just stayed satisfied.

Mike Ayala: So good. So good. Well, I think we could go on for days around this.

Kara Ayala: Yeah, we could. To be continued.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. I mean, we got a little bit of time left, but so anything else about 2020 that really sticks out. Yeah, so you know, for me, I mean, there was just a lot of, again, I think we did a lot of deep work simultaneously. I mean, and this is the interesting thing too like, when you’re thinking about parallels, like you can do a lot of deep work. We also did a lot of surface work. And when I say surface work, I mean, you know, on the business restructuring businesses, really, we’re kind of in an interesting spot, because I even feel, you know, sometimes you see your internal work go to a certain level, and then you start seeing the external follow. And, by the way, if you start seeing major external work happening, you probably did some internal work and just didn’t recognize that it was happening. But I think there’s been a lot of really just, you know, internal work, and there’s a lot of external that’s catching up, we’re exiting, you know, we’re going to sell a lot of our even what you were talking about, like when Kayla said, and that served you for a long time. There’s interesting, I feel like we’re at this place where we’re going to a whole other level, because even properties and investments that served us before, they’re no longer serving us. And I find people asking like, we’re selling a bunch of properties. And people are like, why? And if you would have told me, you know, even five years ago that I was going to be selling a bunch of product. No, I’m a buy and hold guy. But sometimes those things just don’t serve you anymore. And in order, I mean, it’s like that, in order to, sometimes you have to get rid of the good in order to make room for the great, right? And so I feel like our external is going to begin catching up over the next year or two, I’m pretty excited about a lot of things we have going on in 2021. But yeah, it’s kind of interesting, because we’re actually selling a bunch of properties, we’re divesting some things, we’re getting ready to launch a new business, which I’m super excited about. I feel like there’s a bunch of new stuff being launched.

Kara Ayala: Yeah, you know, when you’re talking about the internal and the external, that is, you have to have both of those because you can do the internal work, but then you have to actually take the actions, take the steps. And that’s the part that most people stop at, they might start doing the internal work and, you know, get into personal development, but actually not ever take those steps into the uncomfortable. Like, that’s the real uncomfortable. And it’s just, it’s a balance of like doing the inner work and then taking the step, doing the inner work and then taking the step like making that action. Like it has to be something that you’re actually doing. It’s not just a sit in your house and journal, you know.

Mike Ayala: I’m going to ask you a question. And then I’ll answer mine tech, and then I’ll throw it back to you.

Kara Ayala: I have no idea what this is.

Mike Ayala: Yeah, you don’t. So you know, 2020 has been just an amazing year. And again, we’re on episode one. So much has changed. Yeah, like so much has changed. There’s things just like our couples mastermind. And you know, every one of those couples Ash and Sage and Justin and Katie and Mike and Brittany, and Char and Andrew, like, every one of those couples are just so amazing. And I’ll ask the question here in a second, but just thinking through that this is something that’s been like a part of us for a long time. But then like pulling a lot of that really got pulled together in 2020, I think and we’re like, we’re just going to do this. And Chris Harder, and Laurie Harder have been so amazing and influencing us to just go and, I know, Kayla’s been a huge influence on you. If you could narrow it down to like three to five things that you’re super, I want at least three, but three to five that things that you’re just super excited about in 2021, It doesn’t have to be exactly 2021. But you know, the next little period of time, what would that be? And for me, I’m in this interesting place with just like my health. And I don’t think it’s just because of 75 hard. We were just at the couple’s mastermind with Chris and Laurie and we’re sitting at dinner, I was with the guys. And they were asking me, you know, a lot of people that are listening right now probably have no idea this is even a truth. But, you know, I used to have a drug problem when I was a teenager and went to jail and all this stuff. And I was talking about all that. And they’re like, how did you get off drugs? I’m like, I just did. It’s interesting when you set your mind to something, whatever it is, like you have to be ready. Nobody can do that for you. Whether it’s drugs, whether it’s the health journey, so one of mine is like my health. For whatever reason, I’m just like, ready. I’m just like ready to eat better. I’m ready to feel better. I’m ready to, we’re doing all this work. And I’m like, my kids are young adults at this point. You know, [42:09 inaudible] 17, Dylan is 20, Tim’s right in the middle book ending at 18. He is almost 19. He’ll be 19 next month, it’s crazy. I want to be around a long time. Like I’m starting to think at a different level. You know, a lot of our friends are talking about kids, and they have young kids. And I’m not wishing this yet. But you know, we’re going to be having grandkids in the next 5,10,15 years, right? And so the health journeys, like, really what I’m really excited, not only physical health, but just mental health, like going on that mental and emotional journey. So I’m super excited about that, working with a coach on, you know, the emotional process. And so that’s super fun. Launching a new fund, we’re going to start buying a HVAC company, super excited about that. Super excited about we’re repositioning a bunch of our real estate personal and in our funds in the mobile home park space, we’re offloading some communities that no longer serve us. But we’re doubling down on the ones that do so we’re really excited about that our team is probably as small and tight and ready to take on the world as it’s ever been. So I’m excited about that. What are you excited about?

Kara Ayala: I like that you answered your question before you let me.

Mike Ayala: Well, that’s why I said.

Kara Ayala: Oh, that you were saying I was going to answer it.

Mike Ayala: So, I was going to ask the question, and then let you think about it while I answer.

Kara Ayala: Thank you. I think I’m most excited. I’m excited about a lot of things actually, I think, you know, we have two more years with Katlyn at home. So you know, Tim still lives here. And Dylan’s part time here, sometimes, but really focusing on my time that I spend with her and creating that space of, you know, making sure that that’s a priority these last couple of years, and doing some really fun things with her. You know, whether that’s trips or whatever it is, and just really deepening my relationship with her. I’m really excited about that. And then I’m really excited about my podcast, obviously. Since I’ve taken so long to launch it, I’m excited to see where that goes, and what doors that opens for me, and just to meet some really incredible people. And I’m really, really excited about the couple’s mastermind. Like you said, all the couples that are in it, I just couldn’t imagine such amazing people, I feel so blessed that they are in it. So I’m really excited about that journey with them. And I’ve actually opened up a couple spots for a one-on-one coaching, that’s something that has really changed my life. And so I have five openings. Actually, I don’t have any five openings. I have four openings right now. So that’s something I’m excited about too, is just like really helping people go through that journey of, you know, discovering who they are in those, you know, maybe limiting beliefs that they might have, that are stopping them from going to that next place. So that’s another thing I’m really excited about. And then I’m also very excited about all the things that you just said with our real estate and launching this new business that we’re launching. I just feel like we have a lot of really fun things. I’m excited to grow with you this year, we just, we did a couple’s mastermind. And I feel like that’s really incredible to do. Because it’s, you know, it’s easy to hire coaches and do things for your business. But to put your relationship as a priority, I’m excited about that. And to be with other high-level couples has been really fun. You know, we just got back from a weekend trip with them. And it’s challenging to be in rooms like that, because they’re all such high-level thinkers. So it makes you have to rise to the occasion. So I’m excited about growing with you through that and growing with those other couples this year, too.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. And I just want to bring a little clarity. I think, you know, because we’ve talked about, there’s two couples masterminds. Kara and I are doing one, which maybe you guys have seen. It’s closed at this point for 2021. But it’ll be around next year. I mean, I’m pretty sure we’ll do this again, because we really love it. So Kara, and I are hosting a couple’s mastermind. But then we’re also simultaneously in one with Chris and Laurie Harder as participants. And so it was kind of funny the way it worked out. Because literally, last Thursday, we started ours. Which we moved into the Airbnb on Wednesday started ours Thursday, got done Sunday, midday. And then Monday morning, we fly out to Park City to me, the couples in the mastermind that we’re in. And so I just wanted to bring a little clarity around that because I know I keep finding myself talking about two different couples masterminds. And it’s because we’re hosting one, and we’re in one. So I’m actually really excited about that, too, both of those because we’re going to be expanded as we participate in the one, but I’m so expanded as we lead the other one. It is just so amazing. We’re just so fortunate to have the people that we have in our lives. It’s amazing. So good. Anything else you’re super excited about?

Kara Ayala: I mean, I could probably go on forever.

Mike Ayala: Well, I appreciate you all. It’s been an amazing year, this has been a great journey for me. I probably get more out of doing this than you know most people get from the podcast. But the support has been amazing. I encourage you to reach out just you know, communicate, because that’s what keeps us going too. If it was just about, I mean, I could just look in the mirror and talk to myself, but I appreciate all the support. It’s been amazing. I’ve grown so much from it. And I’m just super excited to see you launch your, because it’s going to be huge.

Kara Ayala: Yeah. And I’m so proud of you for doing this. And you’ve actually, you know, helped me to realize that this is actually a fun thing. So being intimidated by it. Like, I’m so proud of you for what you’ve offered the world. And I’ve seen so much growth in you from doing this podcast. So I’m just excited for your next 100.

Mike Ayala: Well, I appreciate it. And I’ll leave you guys with this. You know, if you’re considering doing something, which I’m sure you are, as Kara kind of started out to show just start moving toward it. What’s the worst that could happen? I mean, you find you need to adjust? That’s the five you know, what do you really want? Why do you want it? What are you going to do to get it? Measure the results and then adjust. It’s the same thing with a podcast or a blog, just get moving. The market, the people, your intuition will tell you how to adjust. And I’ve said this I don’t know if I’ve said it on the podcast, but my first truck was not power steering. And we just went on a snowmobile trip at the couple’s mastermind. And one of the things that the guide said was, you know, he had all everybody I’ve written a lot of snowmobiles, but a lot of people hadn’t. And he said, you know how to grab the handle and try to turn the skis and he’s like, notice you can’t turn the skis if you’re not moving. Well, it’s the same thing with power steering on an old vehicle. It’s a lot easier to steer when you’re moving. We spend so much time just sitting on our couch trying to adjust from a place of fear and concern about what’s going to happen, what’s not going to happen. Just get moving. And you’ll see where you need to make adjustments.

Kara Ayala: I love that. And you know, one of my favorite quotes ever, by Angie Lee is ready is a lie. Ready is a lie. You’re never going to feel ready. You’re never going to feel like Oh, I got it now, it’s time to go. It’s a lie. So stop waiting for ready.

Mike Ayala: So good. Well, on that note, appreciate you guys tuning in. Thanks for being with me through 100 episodes. And by the time you’re listening to this, you know make sure you hop on over to Marriage, Money and Mayhem with Kara Ayala on all the platforms that you can find all the other podcasts. I think it’s going to be an amazing show. So I’m looking forward to it.

Kara Ayala: Yeah, and the first 10 days I’m going to do a giveaway so if you’re listening during that, if you leave me a five-star review and snap a picture of it and put it on your social media. You’ll get entered into a giveaway, I’m going to give away $100 for the first 10 days.

Mike Ayala: Well looking forward to it. Marriage, Money and Mayhem with miss Kara Ayala, thanks for being on the show.

Kara Ayala: Thank you for having me.

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Episode 103