Cari Briner | Put Me In Coach!
Cari Briner | Put Me In Coach!

 

When you lead a company, many people look to you for leadership, guidance, and answers. If you are not constantly filling yourself up, you have nothing to pour out. Furthermore, when you are the owner of a company or lead a large real estate team, mistakes cost you money. This is where coaches come in. Coaches keep us focused and accountable for the goals we set for ourselves and push us to places where we courageously allow them to push us. One such coach for me is Cari Briner.

When Worley and Associates had reached the number one independent broker spot and we had achieved $265 million in sales from one market with only 40 agents (praise God, that’s a good story), I needed someone to help me scale and learn. Cari has been a top-producing agent, team leader, and coach for many of the top real estate teams across the United States. What I love most about Cari is her approach. She uses her instincts to convert people. Like magic, she knows who and how to use her talent to benefit everyone in her network. In my conversation with Cari, she opens up about how it’s neither instinct nor magic, but something far more powerful!

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Here is Cari Briner. Thank you for listening!

 

Link to special guest:

https://www.levelupwithcari.com

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClKRo7vWHQXPcthdbMWnTzQ

For video versions of podcast:

https://youtube.com/@worleyrealestatenetwork

Connect with Jeramie and our business:

https://www.linkedin.com/company/worleyrealestatenetwork

Copy of Jeramie’s book, workbook, or audiobook:

https://worleyconsulting.textretailer.com/qc/tlkA3RcG9W

Link to our website:

Worley Real Estate Network – Helping agents and investors get a greater return on their time.

Want the best data tool for Short Term Rental Agents to achieve mastery in their real estate business: https://vrolio.typeform.com/worleynetwork

Listen to the podcast here

 

Cari Briner | Put Me In Coach!

When you lead a company, many people look to you for leadership, guidance, and answers. If you are not constantly filling yourself up, then you have nothing to pour out. Furthermore, when you’re the owner of a company or a large real estate team, mistakes cost you money. This is where coaches come in. Coaches keep us focused and accountable to the goals we set for ourselves and push us to places where we courageously allow them to push us. One such coach for me is Cari Briner.

When Worley Associates reached the number one independent broker spot in Branson, Missouri, we achieved $256 million in sales from 1 market with only 40 agents. Praise God. That’s another story for another time. I needed somebody back then to help me scale and learn. Cari had been a top-producing agent, team leader, and coach for many of the top real estate teams across the United States.

What I love most about Cari is her approach. She uses her instincts to coach people. Like magic, she knows how to connect people and use one talent with another one for everybody in her network. In my conversations with Cari, she opens up about how it’s neither instinct nor magic but something far more powerful. Thank you. Read about Cari Briner.

 

CDRE 33 | Coaching

 

We’re at a convention in Las Vegas. Do you come to Las Vegas often, Cari?

Never unless it’s a convention.

You’ve never had a vacation here?

No.

You don’t like to gamble?

I don’t.

What else would there be in Vegas that you would like or not like?

I don’t know if I like or not like anything. It isn’t a place that necessarily draws me in. I do like some of the shows but I’m not a night owl.

Which shows do you like?

I like a lot of shows. I like talent shows and music shows.

The ones here?

Yeah. I love the Michael Jackson one.

I was going to maybe see that this time.

It has been several years. I considered going back because it would be cool to watch it years later. It’s been here for several years. Right when it first maybe came to Vegas, I saw it.

I’m such a huge Michael Jackson fan.

I am, too. I love him.

I used to impersonate Michael Jackson in high school. I had most of the moves down.

What about the moonwalk?

Seventy percent moonwalk. I could do enough of the moves to impress people in a crowd. It was like, “That dude’s got the moves.” For a White dude in suburbia St. Louis, it didn’t take a whole lot to impress. Kelly and I came here for our tenth wedding anniversary. She was nursing our son number two. It was an awkward vacation for us because she had to come up and pump every so often. It was fun for us to experience this gambling life. We’ve never gambled and I don’t like it at all. I already have anxiety issues. This is not for me. I can’t play poker. I can’t do blackjack because there are too many things happening at once. With money on the line, I don’t do well. The shows here, I would like.

The shows are good. There’s some good food.

After that vacation, we decided there was no reason for us to come back here except for these conventions so here we are. What’s cool about these big conventions is you get a large sampling of fashion and general people. Their opinions of what people should wear to a convention, you get all kinds of different things. You get the people that are like, “I want to be comfortable.” There’s the people that are like, “I want to impress.” You’ve got all this. Is there anything about conventions that you like dislike or love?

I don’t think there’s anything I dislike about it. I love the networking, which we’re going to get to. I love the people part of it. I love seeing people that I don’t get to see on a regular basis. It’s important for me to have that human connection outside of some of the technology that we use, which is great but it’s different when you can see people in person. To me, that’s the biggest.

It's important for me to have that human connection outside of some of the technology that we use today, which is great, but it's different when you can see people in person. Click To Tweet

That’s important to you, seeing people in person.

There’s a transfer of energy that you don’t get over other technologies. Even when a collective group of people gets together, there’s a different level of energy. I enjoy that.

You’ve done this in your hometown with your co-working space called TheCOve. Why did you decide to go into this co-working space adventure? To give people a little bit of a background, you are renting a place. You have a real estate team, you and your husband, but you’re opening it up to real estate teams or offices that are not affiliated with your brokerage. There are a lot of different brokerages. Other people who are even not in the real estate space are all renting. Describe that business model and why you decided to go that way.

Chris and I are entrepreneurs at heart, for sure. We own multiple businesses. We focus on lots of things. Co-working space was never one of those that ever entered our minds so it was not an idea we came up with. We were looking for space for the team. Chris’ team had grown out of space so we needed a new space. When we walked into the building, both Chris and I felt like we were supposed to do something with that space. It was far too big for the team. It wouldn’t make sense for the real estate team, which is why we were looking for the space. The location was not ideal. I didn’t like the location at all. It’s 25 minutes from our house. Nothing’s 25 minutes in Coeur d’Alene but that was. It was on the opposite side.

Your world is a 5 to 10-minute world.

There’s 10 to 15 minutes maybe of traffic.

That’s a big decision. A lot of people who read this don’t live in small towns. You don’t realize that in 25 minutes, you’re in a different town. There’s some joy in forgetting something at your office and saying, “It’s only five minutes away.”

When I lived in Minneapolis, it was 45 minutes to anything with traffic. For me, I got used to like, “It’s fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes is no big deal.” 25 or 30 minutes doesn’t seem like a big deal but we also have the climate issues and sometimes, the snow. That could be longer. Maybe we wouldn’t go if it was bad weather.

It wasn’t the ideal location. It was nice but would we jump on it like that? Probably not with our understanding. At least, not me. We felt something and both something for the opportunity pretty quickly, and then we took some time to pray about it. It was clear that we were supposed to do it. It was a much bigger space than we would’ve wanted to take on.

How big is it?

10,000 square feet. It was not only from a work perspective, keeping it clean, and doing all the things you have to do when you’re a small business owner starting something up that’s not profitable. What would we do with a co-working space? What is that vision? It wasn’t ours. We hadn’t been thinking about this for months or years. We’d never thought of it at all. We knew we had one tenant, which was my husband’s team, and then what we were going to do with the rest of the space.

We had about three months in negotiations and doing some due diligence to pray about it and see if this was what we were supposed to do. We believed it was. With the market shifting and the economy not 100% in favor of the small business owner and entrepreneur, not only in our industry but in general, it seemed like an opportune time. At the same time, that’s when most people that I have heard from, when they believe they’re supposed to do something, it’s usually not the opportune time.

I was scrolling through Facebook at the time that we had to make the decision. We had made the decision. We had said, “We are moving forward with this.” I started to get a little bit anxious. We were sitting on the couch that evening. I was scrolling through Facebook and I read a post that came probably within seconds of me telling Chris I was nervous about it, “Did we make the right decision?” It said, “God is not checking your bank account. He’s checking your faith account.” We both looked at each other and were like, “We are doing this for a reason. We may not know what it is.” It’s been pretty amazing to watch God use a space, like an inanimate object. He’s using a building at this time, which has been pretty amazing to watch.

God is not checking your bank account. He's checking your faith account. Click To Tweet

To grow your relationship or other relationships? What’s happening here?

All of the above. When we opened the space, I had probably three people within the first week tell us that they felt the Holy Spirit in the space out of the blue, which blew me away. I had no idea that was what other people were feeling. There have been some pretty incredible connections made. It’s certainly a place where we’ve been able to draw the community and bring people to relationships with other Christians. We’re moving them towards a relationship with Jesus that maybe wouldn’t go to a church.

That’s happening because you have a space and you’re doing business there. This is cool for a lot of different reasons. I want to back up before I forget some of this stuff. What’s interesting about your story is that you had independent thoughts and feelings. It was more than a conscience. It was so significant that you decided to listen to it and tell somebody else about it.

You then found out that it was similar. You’ve got an agreement. It takes two to multiply in the natural world and also sometimes in the spiritual world. The Bible said this. I believe it’s in Ecclesiastes. Two are better than one. One is to help them from being tempted. Two is because you need people to lift you. A cord of three is not easily broken.

You had an agreement with the Holy Spirit that this is something that you want to do. You knew it was of God. What’s interesting about the Holy Spirit is that He won’t come where He is not invited. By doing all of these things, it seems like you’ve invited the Holy Spirit to fill this vessel, and all these people experiencing that. That’s what a cool confirmation is. You have to feel good about it.

Speaking of confirmation, I have been fairly obedient to the Holy Spirit not knowing it was always the Holy Spirit throughout much of my life even though I wasn’t listening for the Holy Spirit.

Why did you not know? What was there? Give me a little bit of your background.

I had never been taught that I could hear from the Holy Spirit. I was never taught that I could have a relationship with Jesus outside of reciting prayers. I didn’t grow up that way. I grew up believing in God but not in that level of relationship with Jesus. I had no clue that I could hear anything. However, interestingly, through much of my adult life, even when I wasn’t attuned to my relationship with Jesus, I would always have these coincidental things that would happen and I would always listen to them. I would always do what I thought I should do in that moment and lots of great things happened.

Isn’t that cool that grace or the love that God gives you? It’s like when your children do something that isn’t necessarily right but their intentions are good. You don’t punish them for that. You love it for them.

You keep hoping and trying. He knew like, “She has no idea what she’s doing but at least she’s listening. I’ll keep going with it.”

You are acting on it whether you know what it was or not.

I was listening to it. I always thought, “I have a good gut instinct. Look at all these coincidences.” It was very interesting. Until later as I started to develop my relationship, I was like, “This is probably not coincidental.” I started to realize that’s one way that I do have a quick thought or a vision of something that’s supposed to happen. It feels different or it’s something different than a fleeting thought that I have. Something draws my attention to it and I typically act on it.

Let me give some more confirmation there and context for people. What you’re talking about is a very odd skill. I’ve never met anybody in my life who has that ability and uses it the way you do. When you own a business and you don’t have any other business partners that are helping you to focus on the business, which I had business partners but they were focused on their teams, you feel alone. I was learning everything to grow the business. If you don’t know what to do, you have to go research, and that takes time.

I didn’t realize the value of coaching and masterminds at that time. I was a guy with a theater degree growing a business, recognizing patterns, and changing the things that needed to be changed. I started looking for a coach. There are all these club wealth and think coaching things where you can pay thousands of dollars. I didn’t have the money, or I might have, but I didn’t see the value. I would’ve never paid that amount of money for coaching. I would now but at the time, I wouldn’t because I didn’t realize that you’re paying for a shortcut in your life.

I started looking for coaching. I was going to the free places. You were on the free places growing a coaching company. I want to talk about how you got there. I wanted to tell people that you were the person that I could see as a North Star. I had interviewed a lot of coaches at this time and nothing felt right. It felt right to move forward with coaching with you because at least you fooled me into believing that you care. I believe that you do more so than a lot of people who are out there.

There are transformational relationships in your life and transactional relationships. For the most part, people are looking, especially in business, for as many transactions as possible but I never was. I was looking for as many transformations as possible but that’s not always profitable. Figuring out how to do that in the real estate world took me on a beautiful journey. It helped me meet you and then you helped me figure out how to get my brokerage to the next level which eventually led us to where we are. I’ve seen you connect me with people and connect other people with people that seem so serendipitous that they can’t be chance.

There can’t be hundreds of them by chance or thousands maybe at this point.

If there are business people or anybody in the body of Christ, you are a ligament. One guy told me, “I’m a ligament.” He’s a connector.

As strange as it seems, some of them are like, “You get people and hear other people and you know how to put them together.” Some of that might be a skill. There’s no doubt about it because I like people and I genuinely do care about people. I listen. I sometimes can hear unsaid things or sense things about people, and that helps me make a connection. There have been so many examples of me.

I genuinely do care about people. I listen, and I sometimes can hear things that are unsaid or just sense things about people, and that helps me make a connection. Click To Tweet

If anybody remembers Clubhouse, I was on there for a hot minute. It was too overwhelming so I ended up getting off but for probably about five months, I was in many different rooms. It was all audio. You couldn’t see anybody. You would only hear them talk. Clubhouse still exists but it was this app. I did a lot of coaching on there and was meeting people. I walked into the room. I was listening on my phone.

I was hearing this woman with this very inspirational story about how she had gone through a bad autoimmune disorder. It almost took her out. She was trying to sell real estate during it. She had this great story of overcoming. I was thinking to myself, “That’s amazing. That would be inspirational.” For some reason, I thought I should take a picture of her name. In my head, I was thinking, “Maybe she’d be a great person to bring on and inspire others if I bring guests or something like that.” I didn’t know. It was one of those things where it was like, “Take a picture of her name.” I had no idea who she was.

The next day I was at Clubhouse, I had a woman who raised her hand to ask us a question, those of us who were on a panel. She’s a real estate agent. I don’t even recall where anymore. She was talking about the fact that she didn’t even know if she was going to live because she couldn’t get herself out of her house. She had an autoimmune disease and was not making any money. She was in the deepest despair and depression. I don’t even know why she told us that. Why would she get on the mic to tell us that? We were talking about real estate.

I knew exactly what I was supposed to do. I found her, took a picture, and connected them on Instagram. I still don’t know whatever happened with that except that she messaged me and said, “I have no idea how you knew I needed to know this person but thank you for doing that because it was amazing.” Those are things that you can’t make up. Why would that have happened? There are way too many of those. Some of the other ones might seem like, “You know people and you know how to connect them.” Maybe there’s a little bit of that. I have done that.

What’s interesting though is that was all happening haphazardly for many years. In the last couple of years, I’ve been extremely intentional about like, “This isn’t coincidental. This is the way that God uses me. I need to lean into it. I need to pray about who I’m supposed to meet and what I’m supposed to do with that information. Who am I supposed to pray to meet? What am I supposed to be doing here instead of letting it happen?”

Have you always done that?

No. I started doing that.

What did you do? You’ve had a lot of success in this even in your previous career, which is still part of your career.

I let it happen. I wasn’t intentional about it. I was like, “That’s cool. It’s another coincidence. That was fun and great.”

To give people a little bit of background, you’ve been in the real estate industry for 24 years. It feels like forever. Here you are. You started as a real estate agent and a mom. Tell us about that.

I sold real estate for ten years. I raised two boys. I sold a lot of real estate. I did have a great life, which a lot of entrepreneurs don’t if they get busy and are successful. That was the other thing. I was very successful and fast in real estate. I had a way of connecting with people and I had no idea I was going to be that successful. I tried to do it part-time and that didn’t work out.

Did you have shared help at home?

I had a lot of help at home. My kids probably didn’t feel the pain of it as much as I did. I missed a lot of things but I don’t think that they realized I missed a lot of things. I was physically present but I was also working 24/7.

You were on the phone, working deals.

I was on the emails, multitasking, and not paying attention. I was not sitting there and enjoying the moments because that was not how it went. I had great support and a family. My parents helped all the time so it was great. I went through the downturn of the market. I was doing short sales. At the time, I represented a builder. A lot of it became very taxing, on time, stress levels, and all the things but it was our only income source. You do what you know to do. I had very little experience being a mom, a wife, and a professional. I was 23 years old and doing all of that. I failed forward. Let’s put it that way.

When I met you and you started coaching, you came at it with a very holistic approach, which is probably what I was looking for. You can’t solve somebody’s business problem unless you solve what’s going on with them. It can be a little bit of a therapist at times. I have realized that I run in and try to help people no matter where they’re at. I’m finally starting to realize, “That person needs therapy. I can’t help them with that. I’m not going to be able to fix that.” There are certain things we can tweak and reframe.

We can say, “Think about that differently.”

That was a huge a-ha for me when you hired me to coach with you. I felt like I was an odd duck when I was coaching people because everybody was recommending books and talking about things like exercises they could do to help their business. I’m like, “Have you had a real conversation with your business partner? Have you guys sat down and shared the things that are bothering you?” That’s the kind of stuff that I love to dig into.

Me too because there aren’t any business problems. It’s usually personal problems showing up in business. That’s what I realized for myself after those ten years. Honestly, after moving into leadership after that, I realized you can solve business problems pretty easily. Now, you can solve them even faster. Google it. We don’t have anything we can’t solve business-wise so we try to throw a lot of business solutions at things when the core of the problem is ourselves. It’s our traumas manifesting in our business. It’s our relationships leaking into our business. It’s our insecurities, limiting beliefs, and all the things.

There are really no business problems. It's usually just a personal problem showing up in business. Click To Tweet

For me, they can’t become compartmentalized. I didn’t want to coach people that way. A lot of it was talking to them about what they needed to do to grow themselves so that their business could grow. Usually, if you work on yourself, your business will grow to the extent that you do. That’s my personal preference because I’ve tried to help people and give them business solutions, and don’t find the results are that great. I don’t want to not help people get results.

You want to see transformation happen.

You want to help them.

When did you decide to get into leadership in real estate?

In my eleventh year in real estate, I had an opportunity to lead a real estate brokerage. It was not coincidental. I’m sure it was when I was going through a pretty big transformation in a lot of personal areas of my life. I felt like it was the right timing to be able to work on myself because I had made an actual conscious decision that I was going to work on myself. If my business fell apart, it fell apart.

Did something happen at this time in your life?

I didn’t want to live like that anymore pretty much.

You made a decision. Did something happen and your kid had a game you didn’t make or even worse than that?

No. It was a cumulative effect of not enjoying my life. I was being pretty miserable, to be honest with you. I realized I was super miserable. I couldn’t keep going to work and pretending I wasn’t because life was passing me by. My kids were getting older and it was not what I wanted to do anymore. I was prepared to leave real estate because I blamed real estate for my lack of life, which is not true. It was me. I had to make a lot of different choices. I started with my health and wellness. I started with my key relationships. I started by trying to repair those things.

This was a huge opportunity that came to me. It was probably not coincidental. I believe God was watching out for me and realized that I was ready to make some change. I was leaning into my faith for the first time in a long time. I had all of those things and buckets that I knew I needed to start focusing on instead of business. I had an opportunity to grow real estate brokerage and lead people, which was amazing.

God had a hand in it. He knew I needed to make some changes and I was ready to lean into my faith and other things. I had an opportunity to lead a brokerage, which was amazing because I got to work on myself to help other people. That is what my passion is. I want to have an impact on other people because I am so relational. I wanted to be able to watch other people succeed and have a small part in that in some way, shape, or form. Using my experience to be able to help them not go down that path was the drive I had to be a good leader. I learned as much as I could.

The beauty of that is I got to grow myself and build myself personally and develop, which I needed. I needed that incredibly at that time because I didn’t spend any of my first ten years growing myself at all. I was growing my business but it had nothing to do with my personal growth. I leaned into that. By doing that and paying it forward to other people, what I was learning and how I was growing by helping them do that, I grew a massively successful brokerage. That led me to grow a large expansion team alongside a business partner. That led me to be able to coach people and build a coaching company.

You grew so much so fast. For everybody reading, you helped this guy grow from 3 market centers to 28 market centers.

It was in 25 states.

That’s huge. Most people spend their whole careers trying to do that, and you did it in five.

It was a group effort along with Him and some of our other staff members. I was the primary person who did the recruiting, the attraction, and a lot of the training and coaching for the agents and leaders. I don’t know what it would be other than when you’re passionate about something and you’re willing to get out there, get into action, and find the right people that are aligned with you.

When you're passionate about something, you're willing to get out there, get into action, and find the right people that are aligned with you. Click To Tweet

Part of it is probably my ability to have an instinct on things that I should do and who I should connect with. I believe a lot of my growth has been me listening to that. I believe that’s because that was the path that has prepared me for where I am. If I hadn’t gone through all those experiences, then I wouldn’t be able to do what I do.

What is it about recruiting that you think makes you good at it?

It’s the ability to understand that people need something and then to passionately and genuinely tell them that they need it.

Do you know if they need it or not from a recruiting standpoint? In some cases, you’re talking to people who you don’t even know. You’re finding the need in the conversation.

Most of the time, I do. If I didn’t know personally, it would be because maybe somebody told me more about them. In a lot of cases, it’s not so specific that you have to need one thing if you holistically understand this person can be helped in this because of this. There are multiple ways people can be helped. There is a lot of power in the proximity. Being around the right people will help people. If you believe in what you’re teaching them and what you’re providing them, and that would benefit the majority of people, then you believe it will help them.

Have you ever sold anything that you didn’t believe in?

No. I don’t try. I never have. I thought of a couple of things, even a product that I like to use. It was like, “You should sell that.” I did believe in it for me but the thing is that I was like, “Is that a life-changing thing for everybody? Do they need to spend the money on that?” I was like, “Never mind. I’m going to buy it myself.”

I want to be a user of the product, not an ambassador of the product.

If I believe in it, then yes. Most of it has to come from me experiencing it and then also having a part in it so I feel like I am active in it. I know what’s happening. It’s not that I have to have control. When you’re actively involved in something, you can influence it in a way that you believe in. If you influence somebody to do something and then you’re hands-off, you don’t know what’s happening. That isn’t my style either.

Eventually, I have to be hands-off of something. If you do a great job of finding the right people that you’re in alignment with, then you know that they’re going to take it probably to the next level, even further than you could and even better than you could. That’s about gaining those relationships and feeling confident in who you’re partnering with.

If you do a great job of finding the right people that you're in alignment with, they're going to take it to the next level even further than you could and even better than you could. Click To Tweet

You haven’t written a book. I ask you this every time I see you because I think you should.

You are not the first person that’s told me that. I don’t have a podcast.

You spend time connecting people and helping people. It’s pretty awesome the way you do that. If you had a book, what would you call it? What would the title be?

It could change. I don’t know. It’s weird because somebody did tell me this probably while I was growing the coaching company. I considered it for a minute because I thought, “That would help us grow the coaching company.” For me, it was more about, “How do I reach more people? How do I help the coaches I have brought into our world to succeed more?” Once I have something that I tell people, “Let’s do this together,” my number one driving force is to make sure that we build something that will help them succeed for their families. What are we doing to make sure?

What would the title of your book be? What is the book about?

I can’t recall what the book was at that time. It was about my story of how you become the future version of yourself and go through that transformation, and then you take some different tactics. I like that still but I didn’t have the faith that I have. It would look very different. In the last few years, my thought process on how my life has gone, why it’s gone there, and what I’m supposed to do with it has changed pretty dramatically.

I’m glad you said that because I was going to say that your book title should be about networking. This is interesting because these are the two things that I have written down to talk with you about. It’s so cool. Let’s say we want to share some recipes for success. If somebody’s a real estate investor, an entrepreneur, a real estate agent, or they want to get to the next level of their career, networking is something that we all need to become better at.

I’ve always been pretty good at building rapport and developing relationships deep but not wide. Some people develop great relationships but don’t know anything about them. You seem to be able to do both, which is amazing to me. There’s a gift there that nobody else could touch and that’s very special to what you do. Those of you who are senseis in that world, how would you compartmentalize that and teach? What few elements that come naturally to you could you say to somebody, “Apply these things and watch how it changes your life, love, or business?” What do you think those would be if you had to distill?

It’s very simple. When you meet with somebody, you’re not meeting them to see what they can give you. You’re meeting them to see how you can do something for them, who you can connect them with, what can you bring to them, and what resources can you provide to them. If you do that, they will remember you, and that’s how you go wide.

When you meet with somebody, you're not meeting them to see what they can give you. You’re meeting them to see how you can do something for them, who you can connect them with, or what value you can do for them. Click To Tweet

I walked through this convention. There were four people from my past. One, which was several years ago, was seeking me out to see me. I haven’t talked to her for probably twenty years. At my very first brokerage many years ago, I was twenty-something years old. She was like, “I needed to come see you.” The thing about that is that’s wide because that’s still a relationship that lingered after twenty years. It was a professional relationship. We didn’t go to lunches. We were in the same company and were aligned in our thinking. I recall that very much.

There was another woman who came. It was years ago at Keller Williams and then we reconnected. It was all these people. It made me think that you don’t have to have hours with people to be impactful in their lives. You could have an hour. You could make one connection and they’re going to remember that forever because it did something in their life that still impacts them and you didn’t even know what it was.

Talk about transformational relationships. I had a conversation with a guy in a parking lot one time. I hadn’t seen him in three years. I saw him post on Facebook and tag me about the conversation because there was some little nugget. I gave him the conversation. It made me feel so good. I’m such an introvert that I spend so much time deep thinking. When I see somebody and I see them in the parking lot and they’re talking about this challenge that they have, I think, “Have you tried this or this to be able to help with that?” They’re like, “I had never even thought about that.”

Those are the days that I want to have the rest of my life. You happen to walk into a conversation with somebody and there’s this help. It’s also a source of frustration for me sometimes. Since it comes so freely and easily for me to give that, I also regret not getting it sometimes from people. Does that ever happen to you? It doesn’t because you’ve got this crazy gift that you don’t feel any emotional pain. It’s crazy.

It’s weird. I had a lot of emotional pain for the first ten years of my adult life. Maybe that’s why but honestly, that to me is not pain.

You’re bulletproof.

With other pain, maybe I’m comparing it to that. I don’t know. I’ve never thought of it that way. Part of it is I don’t worry about that. I don’t expect them to do anything in return. Other things will come to me, like other opportunities. I’ll meet other people and get a different opportunity. It might not come from them.

You haven’t selected them to return that to you. You’re waiting for it to return.

I’m waiting for something else to come because I believe that if I do that, then something else will come. The thing is that has happened to me my whole life so I have confirmation of that. I don’t have to worry about it anymore. For a lot of people, it’s a natural thing. We’re like, “I’m always giving nuggets and I’m waiting to get something back.” It’s a natural thing our brain does. Sometimes, that closes us off to realize that other things could be coming to us and we’re not looking for those because we were expecting it from this group.

What a cool piece of advice.

For me, that’s not why I was doing it. It’s easy for me to say because that is a gift of mine. I get so much joy from that that I don’t even think I need to get anything else. I feel almost like that’s what I was supposed to do if that makes any sense. It’s like, “Cari, good job. You did what you were supposed to do today.” I can go on and realize, “That’s what was it for today. Whatever else comes tomorrow is what it’s going to be.”

You walk into a conversation. You’re looking for how you can contribute to that conversation. What else?

People in networking think that you need to go and tell about your business and find out how you can get a referral from that person. They’re like, “How can I get something from that relationship?” That’s what most people perceive networking to be. You will get something from that relationship if it’s a longstanding relationship. There’s no doubt about it. Something will come of that relationship if you do it correctly but if that’s the intention, then the energy that you put out there and what you’re looking for is wrong. What you focus on expands.

If I’m focusing on going in there, how I can connect with somebody, make their day a little bit better, find a connection, move them forward in their life or business in a tiny way, give them some inspiration, and give them some motivation or something like that, then that’s all I need to do. That’s all that’s coming to me. Nothing else comes to me. I’m not looking for anything else. My brain isn’t seeking it. My brain is going, “You need to go tell that person that. You need to connect that person with that person. You need to go give that person a hug.” That’s what I’m looking for.

Other people look for, “Who’s the right person I should connect with where I can get a transaction today?” It’s not that they’re not thinking that they can do something in return. I’m not saying that because people think of reciprocity quite often. What they’re starting with makes them look for that so then they miss all the other opportunities that I see.

Are you asking questions in conversation?

Usually, yeah. It’s all about them. I’m like, “Tell me about yourself. How are you doing?” The other odd thing that happens that may not happen to everybody is that people tell me things that they wouldn’t tell other people.

They feel safe around you.

That’s probably the Holy Spirit working too. If they tell me something that they wouldn’t tell somebody else, then I’m pretty clear I know what I’m supposed to do at that moment. Some of that is maybe years of doing this, honing the skill, and also leaning into maybe the fact that I do have that gift. If I told you things that have happened in the co-working space since April 2020, people would think I was a nut case. People would be like, “She has lost her mind. That is not possible. She’s making this stuff up.” Sometimes, I think that. I’m like, “Is this happening?”

Discipleship is a very wonderful and special thing and so is parenting. There are things that you wouldn’t tell your 3-year-old kid that you could tell your 30-year-old kid. It’s the same way in the spiritual world. You have to have buddies that you can talk to because you’ll grow with each other. It provides witness for people.

We need not only to witness new people to the faith, show the light of Jesus, talk about this man and how awesome he was, and why you should love him, worship him, or even get to know the historical figure but we need to be able to talk about miracles, spiritual gifting, and things that happen that no one would understand. When people think that living the Christian life is so dull, it’s not. It’s serendipitous every day. It’s the most amazing.

I believe this has been in the making. We did not intend to move to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho full-time a few years ago. We thought it would be maybe in 2023. We moved in 2020. It was through my youngest son that we came here. For no reason, he was extremely convinced we were moving. I know it was the Holy Spirit who was telling me to design the design because we would not have even considered the move without him. We didn’t want to mess up his life because he was going to high school and all those things. That was the beginning of this.

To realize all the people that have come around us and watching, God was placing the people and then all of a sudden, the place. It was three years. At the time, we had no idea but if we look at it, we can see the puzzle pieces coming together, which is amazing to watch. Part of that has been exactly what you’re saying. It was people that were sharing things with me that were growing my faith. I hadn’t had an opportunity to be around people who would share things with me like, “I prayed about this and this happened. Let me pray for you. This is what I hear the Holy Spirit is saying for you.” I never had any of that in my life.

God was placing these amazing women. They were all coming to TheCOve too. I would not have met them without this place. There are four specific people. We do a Christian ladies’ night together. Other things are happening. When you can witness something through somebody else and then they can see what God’s doing in space, we all believe a little bit more. It strengthens all of our faith.

One of the things that was fascinating is my husband has been in a better relationship longer than me with Jesus. He had a little bit more of a foundation than me. He knew that we were supposed to open the space and we both agreed. In the first three weeks, everything that happened in that space came directly to me. Every time I would say, “Can you believe that,” Chris would be like, “I can believe it. Why are you still surprised? You would get surprised every time. This is why. It is because God doesn’t want you to be surprised anymore. He wants you to be in awe. Don’t be surprised he is doing this stuff.”

The people who called to say, “Why are you doing this co-working space? Why are you doing it the way you’re doing it?” I can feel the Holy Spirit in there. Everybody was calling me. Within one week of being open, somebody came, walked in, and said, “We’ve been looking for a space to launch our church for two years and this is it. Can we meet with you? Will you allow us to do this on Sundays?” She walked in and was like, “This is it. We were waiting for this.” It was all within three weeks.

It was very interesting for me. He knew I was doubting it and I still wasn’t believing. I was like, “Did I hear from the Holy Spirit? Are we supposed to be doing this? Was this my idea?” I still do that all the time. He was like, “No. You’re going to know again and again that you’re supposed to be doing this.” He kept bringing it to me so I believe that we’re supposed to be doing it.

When you ask that question, that space has grown my faith but it is bringing other people to a place where they can be around others in a safe place. They can grow their faith and come to things that they feel more comfortable coming to. What we felt was, “This would be a place of marketplace ministry and where people could meet one another. Their lives could be blessed. Their businesses can be blessed too.” We’ve always had the heart to help entrepreneurs.

I heard somebody talking not too long ago about being unsure when they feel like they’re supposed to be doing something. Even if God has told you something and confirmed it, there are still moments of like, “Am I on the right pathway?” I think of Noah. He had been building this boat for many years. People are making fun of him. He was this weird guy building a boat but there was a grand design. Even he didn’t know the design. He was just obedient. Part of this is to obey.

It’s what I was for how many years.

What I’m infatuated with and want to help entrepreneurs with the next phase of their careers is going from obedience to the love of Christ. There is a falling-in-love process that happens. It’s okay to know, appreciate, and understand God and who Jesus was in that but also falling in love with God to the point where you can’t wait to dig into the Bible because you can’t wait to hear what God has for you. That’s a whole other level.

When you feel that love, then you can portray that love to other people in a way you couldn’t otherwise do. Your networking can even get to the next level because you’re truly coming from a place where love flows.

There’s discernment. That’s cool. This is so fascinating.

I believe that what I went through for the first ten years of my career opened me up to be open to leadership, which is discipling but I wasn’t doing it in a spiritual sense. It was then growing myself, personally developing, learning to hone the networking and the gifts that I did have in a business sense, moving where we moved, and having an opportunity to do this with the filter of the Holy Spirit. It’s a filter that I filter things through. I don’t just do things. I filter it through that. I’m learning that because I’m surrounded by people who are doing that.

Is there something that’s happened where you filtered it through and you were like, “No?”

Mostly, it might be to confirm. I am more intentional. I am confirming, “Is this something I want to do?” There are some things that I’ve held back on like, “I’m not sure.” That might be because I should do it. The last thing I’ll say is that I expect things to happen. I pray and expect something’s going to happen. If I put it out there, I expect that an opportunity’s going to come so I look for it. People can learn to lean into their relationship with Jesus and do that for their business. They’d be far better off.

A lot of times, we’re sabotaging when we could be leaning in. We could be expecting that God will show up for us in the way that we need Him to and then look for it. When it comes, it’s then obeying it. I believe our space is going to draw in younger people. I watched something on the news. It said the young generation is the most depressed, isolated, confused, and suicidal generation.

They need co-working spaces. They need to be able to come together.

They’re becoming extremely curious about the Bible. There are all these young people saying, “We’re fed up with being so isolated and depressed. There has got to be something better than this.” They are hungry for something different. The call to action at the end of the interview was if you’re a pastor or in ministry, go find the young people.

I had this instant like, “This is a cool, hip place. Let’s bring people in who might be open to that because they maybe won’t go to a stuffy church.” That’s reality. It’s not bad. They might not do it. I was like, “What can we do?” I prayed about it. I was like, “Is this my idea? Is this what we’re supposed to do?” I felt convicted. I was like, “Let’s put it out there and start telling people this is what we want to do.”

I went to a biblical leadership training, which is happening in our space. I told a woman in there. The next day, she called me and said, “You’re not going to believe this but I had the most amazing conversation with this young man who lives here. He’s starting a social media thing. You should hear his story. He’s on this amazing journey.” He’s from Missouri. He lives up in Coeur d’Alene.

I bet he’s handsome too.

He is a cool guy. His dad was a pastor. He walked away from Jesus and told his parents. They were super open with him like, “It’s okay. Go on your journey. You’ll find your relationship with Jesus the way you need to.”

They trusted God in his life. How about that?

It was pretty awesome. This kid is 25 years old and he has walked back. This is the weird part about me. I knew when I met him what he wanted to do. To connect all the dots, I met a woman who I’m going through this sixteen-week biblical leadership training with. I needed that. I was praying for that. She came to me through a social media page because of TheCOve. We’ve become friends. She’s doing her first live session at our place. I’m going as an attendee. I’m learning to do some of the things I’m talking about and hone some of these skills.

They tell us that week that there’s going to be a men’s version because it’s still a women’s organization. They were telling us that a men’s part of the organization is going to launch. It’s this amazing opportunity to coach other people and take them through these different certifications and courses to help lead them in their relationship with Jesus. If they’re entrepreneurs, it’s to bring Jesus into their business plan to use the Holy Spirit and be led from the inside out.

This all happened within a few days. She called me and was like, “I don’t know but you guys need to meet each other. I met him and the Holy Spirit told me you two need to meet,” so she connected us. The next day, we were meeting at TheCove. He was like, “I need to meet you tomorrow.” He felt so convicted because of what she had shared with him in their meeting.

I had another coaching conversation with him not long ago. I said, “Everything that you’re looking to do, tell me. What is it for? I feel like there’s something greater. This makes you money.” He told me exactly what it was for. It was exactly what I knew when I met him, which is to lead young people to Jesus and know that they are worthy. They don’t have to be depressed and feel the way they’re feeling. He’s felt that way. They’re not alone. He wants to bring them to Jesus. He is a dynamic guy and authentic. I’m like, “You do.”

The cool thing is I have an opportunity. I know very clearly that he needs to be connected to this organization. This is going to be what he’s going to do. I believe that. To answer the question, I expected that. I felt that young people need to come. I expected that God was going to bring some young people who were going to be instrumental in being influencers to bring other young people to our space. I’m not a young person anymore. It might not be me.

What’s interesting about what you’re saying is that Jesus didn’t teach His disciples to go build and make churches. He taught them to build relationships. That’s what he showed them. He spent His ministry with twelve people. Three of them more so was His leadership team. Peter who was on His leadership team is an example of the boldness that we have to have to share the love of Christ with people and not be afraid to talk about how wonderful it is. When a vacuum cleaner is on sale at Walmart and it is $30 and it’s worth $100, you go tell people. Why not? That’s why when Jesus healed somebody, he was like, “Go tell somebody what happened here.”

Jesus didn't teach his disciples to go build make churches. He taught them to build relationships because that's what he showed them. Click To Tweet

He showed them so that they would tell. I feel like I’m being shown things that I haven’t been before so I want to go tell. That leads me to, “What is next for me? I want to tell more people about Jesus.” I have a lot of relationships. I have been able to go wide and deep in relationships. I have a different obligation. Jesus is like, “You’re equipped. You still have to keep learning. It’s a big responsibility,” which is why I’m in this biblical leadership course. I want to continue to learn. I still influence to lead people.

It doesn’t have to always be me that’s teaching them everything. I need to open their eyes to it because that’s my gift. They will probably trust me. Let’s think about this. Recruiting, agent attraction, and building businesses, I am recruiting people to Jesus because that’s what He wants me to do. I’ve been successful in everything else. If I believe in that more than I believe in everything else I’ve ever done, then I can bring a lot of people to open their eyes to it.

You’re using your spiritual gift to talk to the right people to help them get to the next level of their life, which is what God wants for us. He wants growth. It’s in that growth phase that we find him in a lot of ways. To that end, and I know we have to scoot here, I had this quote. It was a reel that I saw on Instagram. It made me think of you. I wanted to talk about with this you a little bit before we end.

It’s a quote by Dr. Joe Dispenza. It’s about stepping into a new future. To step into a new future, there’s this you now and there’s this you that you want to become. There’s this in-between or this gap between the current you and the new you. You don’t know what to expect. To step into that new future, you have to first confront the parts of you that are not going to be going with you. In this reel, it said a lot of people don’t talk about that. I don’t think they do. You have to let go of those parts of you. Talk about that a little bit.

When I went through my personal transformation, I let go of a lot of things. I had to let go of a lot of my work and habits. I had to let go of my shame, guilt, and some relationships. I wasn’t moving into a new version of myself if all that stuff was still there.

There’s so much there to unpack though. I know we don’t have a ton of time but what habits did you lose?

I worked out instead of having a beer or sitting on social media to numb my mind. I journaled instead of God knows what I did. It could be watching TV. It’s mindless things because I was stressed out with having to deal with reality.

You increased the level of discipline in your life.

As far as relationships, it wasn’t about the people necessarily being bad. It was that the relationship was toxic. Sometimes, you have to start new. Fifty percent of a relationship going bad was me. I’m very clear about that. I also needed to do my work to not be that person anymore. I’m even repairing relationships with my kids because I wasn’t present all that time. It’s being more present with them and intentional.

It’s a huge behavioral change there.

It was very conscious and purposeful. It wasn’t perfect. I wrote all the things down, like what kind of mom I want to become in present tense as well as what I want my health to look like and my spiritual life. I had to start making steps.

Did you leave behind previous reasons why you thought you wanted to succeed? Did you leave behind old values that you didn’t have anymore?

Yeah. I thought we had to have a big house. I was all caught up in all the things that I wanted for my kids. We had to be in all the things and have all the things. I was very materialistic at that time. Most of it was because I was getting joy from those things. I wasn’t getting joy from anything else. It was not that I cared about those things. They brought me fleeting moments of happiness. I purged my whole house. I ended up going through a divorce. I also sold that house, which was a beautiful home, and moved to a very small older house with fewer things.

You left a lot of things behind. You started fresh.

It was a whole overhaul. Everything changed in my life. I got back to relationships and the fundamentals of living life and enjoying life. I got rid of most of the other things. It means a lot of the friends, we’re not friends anymore. If you change what is important to you, then the people change too. It’s not because they’re bad or you’re bad. It’s that you don’t have things in common anymore.

Is there any last thing that you might want to share with somebody who wants to transform?

What you said is very powerful. I always tell people it seems like we’re committing to what we have to do to be a different version of ourselves. The commitment is what we have to let go of. It is true. It’s the hardest part because we already have an identity in something. I downsized my whole life. To other people maybe from the outside, it’s like, “That was a train wreck. She moved to a small house.”

Did you worry what people thought of you?

No, because at that point, I was committed to change. I did not want to be in that.

The change was way more important than anything else.

You get to a place where you have the pain of what is happening far less than the pain of the change. I was very clear I didn’t want that anymore. The people that were going to care about that didn’t matter to me because that wasn’t where I was anymore. It was a little scary because then, you don’t have anyone around you. You’re walking out in faith that you’re going to find other people who have things in common with you. You do have to work through some of those things.

What do you have to let go of to be the next version? I’ve been in real estate my whole life and I will still be in real estate. In these next five years, my identity is going to shift. I’m going to be helping people find Jesus. I’m going to help them with their business but that focus is going to be different. Part of what I’ve built for 25 years is going to change. Other leaders are going to go and help people.

This isn’t going to be instantaneous. I believe it’s going to happen how it’s supposed to happen. The phasing out, the phasing in, and doing different things happen at the right time with the right people because God will place the right people. Our group of people here is becoming strong with so many different people with different strengths, and I’m okay with that.

That was a huge a-ha with me. It’s good that you are because a lot of people’s identities are wrapped up in being a leader. This is something that I’ve come to terms with. It’s okay to become obsolete as a leader. It’s our job. It’s what parenting is.

 

CDRE 33 | Coaching

 

It’s what you can go into your next phase. Otherwise, you can’t.

The meaning of life is multiplication. It’s parenting.

It’s letting people take over and fly, and then you go in the back and go, “Look what I’ve created.”

You shouldn’t have to be in your kids’ life. They should not need you at a certain point and you should be proud of them for not needing you. It’s the same when we disciple people and mentor people in business.

It’s different and weird. It feels strange.

It feels strange in business because there’s money attached to it. There’s identity and success attached to it.

It’s like, “Nobody needs me anymore. What do I do?” Part of that is, for me, a journey of faith knowing that God’s going to provide because I’m going to move into what I believe He wants me to move into in the next years. It will all work out the way it’s supposed to if I pray about it, expect it, and obey. It’s not going to magically appear for me. I got to follow the path. That’s the path that I’m being led down in some way, shape, or form.

We have to have the courage to step out. I didn’t have the courage to step out and talk about Jesus before. Even a few years ago, I wouldn’t have been probably uncomfortable doing it. I’m not uncomfortable at all. We’ll end on this note. I know that I’m doing the right thing because I had a Facebook message from somebody older than me, and I’m not young, who said, “I’m watching you and I know I’m supposed to do this. I’m supposed to move out of my faith and tell people about it. I have been so uncomfortable. You’re giving me inspiration to do that because I know that that’s what my calling is.”

I know kids in youth ministry who know God and know what they’re supposed to do more than people who are 70 years old and sitting in a pew.

Many of us are in business. She’s in business and has grown a pretty influential business and so did I. It’s one of those things where it’s business so you’re like, “I don’t want to risk that and make people mad. People are going to think I’m weird and then I’m going to lose business.” It’s that whole thing about not having faith that God will provide if you do the right thing. For me, it’s the scarcity of like, “I’m going to make people upset and then I’m going to sabotage everything I’ve tried to build for 24 years.” I don’t even have the fear of that. Maybe it happens but I don’t think so.

 

CDRE 33 | Coaching

 

We need to encourage each other because more than anything, business people need to lean into their faith. There are always going to be challenges and tough times. The Bible tells us that we were born into battle. This wasn’t going to be an easy thing. We needed to go to fight the battle, be armed with the truth, and have all the things that we need to fight every day.

I think of entrepreneurship like that. It’s not easy. Otherwise, everybody would do it. Yet, we still wake up every day and do it, those of us who are entrepreneurs, me for 25 years and you for many years. We are willing to go to battle every day because we believe in it. I believe that if entrepreneurs could take this little extra bit of strength, which is Jesus, and put God in their business plan, then it would be a lot easier for them. Maybe they would find their calling and have another level of joy that they can’t get from their business.

It’s good to be in battle with you. 

I love being in battle with you.

Finally, we got a chance to sit down. Thanks for taking the time.

 

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