Real Estate Investing, Becoming Financially Independent at 31& Harnessing The Power of Holistic Wealth With Keisha Blair

Episode Number: 260

Episode 260: Real Estate Investing, Becoming Financially Independent at 31 & Harnessing The Power of Holistic Wealth With Keisha Blair

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Real Estate Investing, Becoming Financially Independent at 31& Harnessing The Power of Holistic Wealth With Keisha Blair


Keisha Blair 0:03

The industry has a gap in terms of the knowledge that it's giving women, especially women who tend to outlive their husbands by an average of 15 years. And so from someone who has been on the receiving end of a life insurance policy at a very young age, I think I'm in a good position to tell you that, listen, you need to have, maybe even two life insurance policies not wanting. It's very good. You're listening into this podcast. It's amazing that we can share these stories with each other and learn from each other. And that's why I'm happy to be here sharing my personal story. So that you know, factoring all of that into your calculations for how much you need.

Intro 0:44

T-minus 10 seconds. Welcome to the Journey To Launch Podcast with your host, Jamila Souffrant. As a money expert who walks her talk, she helps brave Journeyers like you get out of debt, save, invest and build real wealth. Join her on the Journey To Launch to financial freedom in five, four, three, two, one.

Jamila Souffrant 1:14

Journey To Launch is supported by First Republic Bank. Relationships really matter in your life journey AND financial journey. A lot of banks have great offers to attract new clients, but what about their existing clients? First Republic is always focused on creating and nurturing long-term relationships. Devising strategies, not tactics, and master plans, not transactions. That’s why every client gets their own personal banker — a single point of contact to call, text or email at any time for any reason. I love that I feel valued and supported as a First Republic client, long after I’ve already opened up my account. They value their customers and it shows. First Republic calls it, "banking beyond the offer," and it’s part of their commitment to extraordinary service. Isn’t it time to discover what a long-term banking relationship can do for you? Visit today to learn more. That’s Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender.

If you want the episode show notes for this episode, go to journey to launch comm or click the description of wherever you're listening to this episode. In the show notes. You'll get the transcribed version of the conversation, the links that we mentioned and so much more. Also, whether you are in OG journey or are brand new to the podcast, I've created a free jumpstart guide to help you on your financial freedom journey. It includes the top episodes so listen to stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources and so much more. You can go to journey to launch calm slash jumpstart to get your guide right now. Okay, let's hop into the Episode

Hey journeyers I'm excited to be speaking with today's special guests who is Keisha Blair. Keisha is a self made jack of all trades, and award winning international best selling author and trained economist, wife, widow, mother of three, and author of holistic wealth, founder of the Institute of holistic wealth and so much more. We're gonna get more into Keisha has amazing story and background and I can't wait for you guys to hear it. So welcome to the podcast Keisha.

Keisha Blair 3:40

It's great to be here. Jamila, thank you so much for having me.

Jamila Souffrant 3:44

Yes. And I was saying, I read in your bio, that you were Jamaican, and I was like, Oh, we have that in common? Because I'm also Yeah, Jamaican, even though people joke with me because I came here when I was two, but I'm Jamaican. So a big up to you. I'm excited to have you on.

Unknown Speaker 3:58

Yeah, absolutely. I'm excited to be here.

Jamila Souffrant 4:01

So you are the author of a book called holistic wealth. And I'd love for you to start, we can start there. Because I feel like in this time, especially with us in this pandemic, which at some point, we thought it would be like dying down. And it doesn't seem to be like who knows where we are in the midst of this, it just feels like this situation has caused a lot of us to look at what wealth really is and how we're using money to fuel our lives. And so I'd love for you to break down your definition of holistic wealth and why it's more important now than ever for us to be focusing on that.

Unknown Speaker 4:34

Yeah, absolutely. And it's a very important question. So, holistic wealth, as I've defined it in the book comprises of various pillars Like for instance, it comprises financial independence, in most emotional spiritual health, physical health, as well as a life purpose and all of these things combined. To make us more resilient and make us more whole during times of setbacks, and during times of disruption. So, you know, in the updated version of holistic wealth, I talk about the art of recovery from disruption. And these pillars really get us through that period of disruption. And that's why it's so important, the concept of holistic wealth is so important during COVID-19, when we're all looking for that post COVID life that we want to create how we want to see ourselves coming out of this, and kind of the life we all want to live. So that's why it's, it's so important now. And of course, these themes that and these pillars have been really well covered in the media, they have been kind of the stories that we've been talking about since this pandemic happened. So that's why I think even now versus before, it's so much more important.

Jamila Souffrant 5:59

Let's talk about the pillars a bit more. I know that financial independence, it can mean a lot of things. So I'm in I always like to say I have one foot in the fire space, which is the acronym for financial independence, retire early. For anyone who's first hearing that engine, there's just one in the personal finance space. And then I often hear people who are not even associated with the movement, use financial independence and financial freedom, but we use these words, and we have our own definitions for it. So what does financial independence mean in the context that you're saying,

Unknown Speaker 6:30

right, so in this context, it means being able to cover your living expenses without having to have a job. Now, for me, the retire early, I know I like how you say you have one foot in, because that's kind of me too, right? Because I feel like the retire early part is completely up to you, if you feel like you are enjoying your job. And you want to stay there for other reasons. Well, by all means, do that, if you feel like you want to hop out, but you want to have a side hustle or a business, you're not necessarily fully retired, but you've crafted a lifestyle, where, you know, it's it's something that is authentic to you. And it's not like you're, you know, beholden to an employer than power to you. But for me, I was financially independent from 31. And I had, you know, invested aggressively in my younger days, luckily to achieve that, and I still had my nine to five job like, I still went back. And some of the most important experiences for me, Jamila came after that, you know, in terms of my professional development, so I do believe and I was so young, like, I was 31, I still had young kids, I felt like I still needed to do more. So for me, I'm like you I'm not necessarily I really think the financial independence part of it is critical, rather than, let's say, retire at this point, or retire early or retire. I think that's totally up to you know, how people feel and point people are at in their lives.

Jamila Souffrant 8:09

Yes, well, now, you know, when you just mentioned you reached financial independence at 31. And you had small kids, I heard that. So I have three kids myself, they're pretty young still. So I really want to go back now and understand how you were able to do that you mentioned that you saved aggressively. So you are Jamaican, and you immigrated to Canada, I'd love to just get that backstory, because I have so many people who are like, are in the trenches right now and are maybe where you were at one point, and they're like you did what at 31. And they want to know like how you did it.

Unknown Speaker 8:38

I migrated to Canada at age 20. I guess I came directly in school. So I came and I landed in my post grad, you know, at Carleton University at that age, and I got my master's there and then went straight into work. So as many of you know, like, I'm a trained economist, and I went to work for the government here, eventually becoming a senior economist with the Department of Finance here and then transition from that to specialize in foreign direct investment working on files related, you know, supporting the Prime Minister of Canada, you know, and traveled on various delegations to the World Economic Forum and different multilateral forums like that. And so as I said, like, that experience was amazing. And so in between those years, right, so I left Carleton, so let's go back to Carlton. So I started investing before I graduated college and I tell people this all the time I tell family members, even family members from Jamaica Jamila I'm like listen, you can start investing even before you get a job. I know that I you know what I did I applied for all the scholarships and bursaries I could get, use some of my school fees to invest in real estate because for me at Time, my older brother loved real estate. And I used to watch him investing and it was just like, wow, you know, I and so I loved it. And I started investing. So I got these scholarships and bursaries, use them for my school fee and use my school fee to start investing in real estate. So I started doing it at 20, once I got to Canada, and I didn't stop. So by the time, let's see, I was and this is before my husband died, because we invested together but I was the more aggressive one, I had just this need and this desire for that financial independence. And it was driven by and a lot of people will see this in the book, right? It was driven by the fact that I had this this fear that my parents would die young, and I would be alone, and I needed to be financially independent. So for me, it was driven by this, this whole host of other things that I had going on. And so I did that, and I never stopped. So once I got the first property, I didn't stop, I invested more until we had a portfolio and ended up being like a multi million dollar portfolio of properties. And luckily, at the point that he died, because, you know, we haven't gotten to that point that my, my husband died, and I was 31. Luckily, we had those investments. And I was financially independent, like I took a year off, you'll see that in the book, you know, took on a one year on paid sabbatical, when I went back to Jamaica went back to my roots, I really wanted to find answers to lots of different questions I had. And it was because I was financially independent, that I was able to do that. So it's helped me in so many ways that I know very, very passionate about, you know, saying this to women, like look, I was widowed at 31. And whether or not you end up leaving your job or not, that's not the crux of it, the crux of it is can you sustain yourself through this time of need when you might need to just pull back and just like, concentrate on yourself for a long period to get yourself through that. And that's what I did. And luckily, I had the drive to do that, you know, and, and of course, we had other things in place, like we had a life insurance policy, we had different things in place in addition to that real estate portfolio, but whether it's real estate or something else, another type of investment, you know, the key lesson there is to just pursue what you like in terms of your investments and just really go for it and set yourself up because you never know.

Jamila Souffrant 12:32

Yeah, no, I love it. I love it. Keisha, I just, I do want to go back because I'm thinking, I see some so many similarities. I mean, you for far past me, like the real estate with the real estate investing part of it. But I remember being as driven as young as you were about wanting to own real estate. And so I want to go back for you. I know what prompted me was seeing my grandmother immigrated here from Jamaica, not having anything and seeing her be able to buy something and I was like, Wait a second, I should be able to do something, given the opportunity that I've been given to be here and being raised by a single mom, you said your older brother was into real estate. I just want to know like how you first got the idea. It seems like from your brother but also the money the capital at such a young age and where were you investing I know the times are different now. So like property values have increased. But was this in Canada was this in like the rural areas that you look up at in like a market that was like unknown, and then it began to appreciate, Oh,

Unknown Speaker 13:27

brother was still and he still lives in Jamaica. So I used to watch him just even as a younger sister looking on at her brother just aggressively acquiring properties, and that was in Jamaica. And once I immigrated, I just basically not copied that pattern, but I was driven to kind of do a similar sort of thing. So I live in the Capitol. So I live in Ottawa, which is not like Toronto, in Toronto. Right now, there's an issue with a real estate bubble there. I mean, auto is the hottest market for real estate right now since the pandemic. But when I came, you know, over 2425 years ago, that was not the case. It was this up and coming market that was easier to get into then save a Toronto or New York City, and you could get in at an affordable rate. So my first very first property was a townhome. It was a 1300 square foot townhome three bedrooms, I'll never forget it. And you know, I think the purchase price at that time was maybe 150k. It wasn't bad. And as I said, like I honestly applied for every scholarship and bursary I could and I was successful with some of that. And I just used my school like I literally and at that time I was engaged. So I was engaged to be married and so we combined our funds and we came up with our 10% down payment. We combined whatever we had and we came up with our 10% or 15k and we we purchased it I mean, that was like, let's say 25 years ago, and maybe not so much. But let's say that was over 20 years ago. And today home prices, it's unbelievable. The Home Price is now that Townhome. I mean, I sold it since. But I'm sure if I were to look it up, now, that townhome is going for 700k. So you can imagine how much home prices have increased here. And as I said, this city is now the hottest home market in the country writ large. So now I have most of my properties here. I have a property in Jamaica, I have one in New York, but the bulk of it is here. And because it's no the hottest home market, there have been lots of gains in the portfolio in terms of appreciation. And it's unbelievable, because every single family home now here is that the $1 million mark. And that's why I honestly tell everyone that I can like invest, invest, invest, it's not about your job, it's not, you're not going to get wealthy there, you're going to get that type of financial freedom through investing. So I know real estate is my thing like you Jamil, it's just honestly, all out for real estate, but whatever it is, that suits you, or that you're interested in, just, you know, try to learn as much as you can and and go after it.

Jamila Souffrant 16:27

Yeah, and so I what I'm hearing and it's one pull up these elements from your story, because income is important in the scenarios, and especially when you're younger, and maybe you don't have as much responsibilities, but like, yes, transforming your income into true wealth means you need to invest that income. So I love that. And obviously, you were very ambitious. And education was key. Like I felt like the fact that you were at that age, like taking up the initiative to like get all the loans you could or the grants. And then so you're using that to then leverage and get property. It's great. And I know there's maybe some young people listening, and they're like, Well, I live in a city. Now everything is at the top of the market, let's just say they are interested in real estate. By the way, there are other things you can invest in, like you can invest in the stock market, you can do other things, but let's just say real estate is their thing. They may be thinking like Well, yeah, Jamila and Keisha. And by the way, I only don't well, I don't want to only like it's not a big deal. But I own like one rental property that I bought and lived in my current home, right. But they might be looking at us and saying, Well, you guys did that, like 1015 20 years ago, when prices were reasonable, you know, quote, unquote, what is it for me now as like a young 20 something year old? Like, how can I start to invest? In real estate? If I'm interested? What are your thoughts there for someone,

Unknown Speaker 17:42

ya know, for sure, you know, I think about my kids too, right? When they grow older, what they will be able to do, but I remember on the holistic wealth podcast that I host, I had this conversation to with another real estate investor. And I think there's some lessons there, both from my experience and from other women in their experience. And that is, you know, what, look for small cap properties in neighborhoods that are up and coming up and coming and pull your funds. So for instance, you might not have that 10k Down payment or, or the amount needed, but you can pull with, let's say, you know, two or three trusted individuals, whether it's family members or friends, you know, you know, who you know, in your network, you could depend on to go into, like a partnership like that with. That's another key thing. And the other thing is, you know, my experience, I think, is still instructive. Honestly, I think, if you're just starting out, and you're looking to invest, think about the range of funds that you have available to you, because some people might not have even thought about what I did in terms of using scholarships to pay my tuition, and then using my school fee to invest. That's what I did.

Jamila Souffrant 18:59

Wait, can I just interrupt you? Because I want to make sure I understand what you mean, actually, when you say school fee. So I know the scholarships help pay for the school. But what do you mean by school fee,

Unknown Speaker 19:09

so I applied for the scholarships. And that was used to pay my tuition. Right. And so I had that lump sum of funds in my bank account to pay my tuition. But because I got the scholarships, I use that, you know, money that I had to pay my tuition to start investing,

Jamila Souffrant 19:28

you use it for both paying for your tuition. And then if you had money leftover, investing in property,

Unknown Speaker 19:34

right. And for the most part, I will say if I look at the ratio of what went to what most of it went to investing, the other thing that I did during school was of course, I worked like not necessarily working this big full time job, but I worked part time wherever I could, I picked up things wherever I could do as well to help. So so when you think of you know the funds that you have access to, you might have a pot of money that's livable export this, or why for that, think about how you can get creative with the different pots that you have. And what you can do to use some of, let's say, one pot to start investing. So there's some, you know, lessons in terms of finding someone to invest with, if that helps, you know, looking at the different pots of money that you have, and really looking at properties that are more affordable, where you think there will be appreciation over time. So they're in decent neighborhoods that will attract renters that are close to amenities to schools, you know, close to all of those things that people will gravitate towards when they're renting, because like my first property, and first couple properties were like that they were near to schools, near to different amenities, and they were very, very attractive to renters. So I think, you know, if you're starting out now, and you're wondering how to get your foot in the door, those are some of the things that I would advise.

Jamila Souffrant 21:01

That's great advice. And when it comes down as you're in your 20s, and you mentioned, your husband passed away, and you were only 31. Luckily, you guys have been investing together. So it was there was like a nest egg from the real estate. But you mentioned insurance. And I want to just talk quickly about that, like how you were preparing for this unfortunate event, and then how much it helped you just so you know, a lot of us don't want to think about like all the bad things that can happen, but that we should have these things in place. Can you share some of that?

Unknown Speaker 21:30

Absolutely. So right before I had my first child, this was before my husband died, we decided to call in a financial advisor and pick out a life insurance. Because we figured with with becoming new parents, it was the best thing to do to plan ahead financially. And luckily, we did, because my husband died three years later. So when you're in your 20s, like we were you can get life insurance policies, I remember when we took ours out, it was probably $28 a month, tops, tops, it went up maybe 10 years after to maybe 30. I mean, that's how low it is, for a pot of funds that can really help you whether you know that type of setback, which is absolutely critical to being financially resilient. And I talk about that a lot. You know, when I train, like, for instance, when I train coaches at the Institute on holistic wealth. So that's one other thing that I think is a critical piece that we all need to have in place. Because yes, you have your investments, but you also need that. And there's so many other reasons that I could get into why you need that, that it's unbelievable. Jamila, for instance, and I just quickly, like when my husband died, obviously, you have funeral expenses, you might have travel expenses, we went back to Jamaica for the funeral, you might have other expenses, things that need to be paid off right now. And I mean, yes, everyone should have an emergency fund. Definitely, that's another critical aspect. But you want to also have a life insurance policy, like you're not going to want to, you know, sell off property or you're not, you're going to be in a position where you're going to have a significant outlay of of cost right after the death of a loved one. It could be 25 30k, the average funeral now is just unbelievable, right? So again, you know, when we think about that portfolio that you need to have, yes, your investments, your life insurance should be there, your emergency fund should be there. And all of those pillars are so important, because, like my story is just instructive. I think we need to have all these different pots of money to the different funds. So that, you know, once that setback comes that we can use those funds that are readily available to us, let's say real estate might not be one that in that bucket. But we need other buckets that might be readily available, like liquid investments that we can draw on to be able to finance whatever we need to do.

Jamila Souffrant 24:08

Yeah, and even with the case of real estate, like I know, we will tend to use that in our net worth calculations, like the equity, you know, have it take off the mortgage. For me, it's more of like a safety net. Like I don't want to have to sell my real estate if something happens, like I ultimately, like that would be the worst case. But oftentimes, I think we think about that, oh, we have this thing and we'll use it but it's not a liquid asset. And many times like you're emotionally attached to it. And so you make the decision if you have to but practically speaking it's like having money in accessible accounts, you know, especially if you're planning financial financial independence like life and I think about when I'm looking now at my new financial independence plan, how much money can we actually save in the non retirement accounts and invest for the time to bridge the gap to when we need to touch that money so I just felt like it takes really conference Life and our I think mortality and just taking action instead of like sitting and thinking, Oh, it's too late. I'll just do it when it like happens when it's just like, No, you don't want to do that you want to start taking action now.

Unknown Speaker 25:12

Exactly, exactly. And the amount that people think that's okay for them to have as a life insurance, I think that's increasing too. And that's the other thing I advise people is, don't settle for just like a 300k policy. If you think about yourself with three kids and your husband dies, it's not going to carry you that far. You need to think about 800k A million. If you think about me at 31, for instance, and I was left with two young kids, if you think about someone's lifetime salary over a 30 year period, right? Because that's what I would have missed out on. If with my husband's salary, let's say, then you should be thinking around that thought along those lines, right? Not necessarily like, Yeah, I'll get a 200k policy. I mean, yeah, that's fine. It's better to have a 200k policy, rather than nothing. But do please like do that in the calculation, that opportunity lost that cost and do that over a 30 year period to see what would be ideal, especially if you have 234. Kids, what would be ideal and type of life that you would want if you want to take time off, you know, like, factor that in your calculations. That's that's something that's something else, I tell people, because I feel like the industry has a gap in terms of the knowledge that it's giving women, especially women who tend to outlive their husbands, by an average of 15 years. And so from someone who has been on the receiving end of a life insurance policy at a very young age, I think I'm in a good position to tell you that listen, you need to have maybe even two life insurance policies, not one. I mean, we had two life insurance policies. So it's very good. You're listening into this podcast, it's amazing that we can share these stories with each other and learn from each other and, and that's why I'm happy to be here sharing my personal story. So that you know, factoring all of that into your calculations for how much you need.

Jamila Souffrant 27:11


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talk about as well. Looking now at holistic wealth and how someone can like start to assess, maybe part of it now is just like, all right, I want to have like holistic wealth. And so I'm looking at these pillars that Keisha has just said, and he just named them one more time. And then we can talk about a couple more of them in in detail.

Unknown Speaker 30:17

Sure. So there's the financial independence pillar and, and that pillar is, within that holistic wealth portfolio, it's called your financial independence portfolio. And then there's the emotional, and spiritual aspect. And within that, it's called your emotional and spiritual portfolio, and that's part of the holistic wealth portfolio. And then there's, there's your health, well being on relationships. And so that's kind of like another pillar. And there are the different pillars that really combine to allow you to achieve holistic wealth. And that's one of the things that I'm training, you know, certified holistic wealth consultants on now is to structure that portfolio in a real practical way for people, and Jamila, some of the things we were talking about now are in there. And when we talk about a life purpose, which is also part, I tell people, you need to have a personal mission statement, and your money mission can come under that. And that's how it breaks down practically, in terms of crafting a portfolio. And of course, you can imagine like the financial independence piece of it is big, because it captures everything we were talking about and more. And when you read the book it you can see how it really ties together nicely in terms of the key aspects and what you would need for that holistic wealth portfolio. I know for me, this is why I put these together Jamila is because look, we had a life insurance policy, we had investments, I was financially independent, that is not enough to get you through, you need to have those key relationships, you need to have your mental and emotional well health taken care of. You need your spirituality, like all of that is what gets you through the day to day grief, that feeling like you're overwhelmed that you won't make it the money is great, because you will, you know, you'll be able to take care of yourself. But what about the other parts of us that are key to being resilient, the other parts of us that are key to overcoming that setback, so that we can chart a way forward? And those are the other key components within that portfolio that each of us need?

Jamila Souffrant 32:24

Yeah. And it's why I think while you're on the path to acquiring more paying off debt, like increasing your net worth, like the money side of it, which is important, but all that other other things, components you talked about that make us human that make us uniquely us. Our relationships are emotions, like that is the key and driving force to like a well lived life, like the money is important to cover our basic needs, but often find that so much of it is focused on just like the act of doing that thing, the act of paying off the debt, the act of investing, where it's just like, What's your ultimate vision for your life? Like, what do you really want to encompass? Forget, like, what the money, the money side of things, but what do you want your day to look like and feel like? And who do you want, you know, to be able to call on? So I'd love to hear from you. I know, you said the mission statements are important. What is like your mission statement? Like if someone's down sitting and thinking, Well, I like yeah, I need to have a mission statement. What are the components of one? And can you share maybe your mission statement with us? Sure. Like,

Unknown Speaker 33:25

it's amazing the whole concept of the mission statement, because I find that that's what enabled me to really chart a life forward. And not necessarily think about my identity within the context of any one job title or anything. It was this larger mission in terms of how I could help humanity. And so mine is wrapped up in this holistic wealth message, this mission to help as many people as I can achieve holistic wealth. And you see that mission within the different things that I do. Like I've set up this institute on holistic wealth, I set up the holistic wealth podcast and the books that I'm writing. And so I'm training this army of holistic wealth consultants to help me help people to craft their own holistic wealth, portfolios. So that's mine. I mean, mine is longer. It's in the new edition of the book. And so it really it encompasses a lot of things in terms of my story of self too. And this is another point I want to tell people. So for me, I was a widow. I, you know, I was wounded at 31. That's a part of my story of self. I was a maternal near missile survivor with my first child. That's a part of my story as well. And I know lots of black women go through that. So maternal health, especially black maternal health is a part of my mission. And I've weave that into my mission statement. I've also weaved into my mission statement, helping widows and I've done that through this online website I have called the modern widow and mentorship through Aspire Canada, which is another website that I set up. So you can see where my personal mission statement and this is something that I coach people with, it should be aligned with your story of self in terms of what you've been through, and how you can help people in this unique way because of your unique experiences. And how are you going to execute that. And, you know, I've spoken about some of the things that I've done. And if you look in your own life, you'll see where there's this mission that's so much bigger than any one job or any one title, or even being financially independent. It's this mission, that you're putting forward as a legacy that you leave behind, hopefully, for people to be able to have these practical lessons that they're applying in their lives, from your own your unique journey, which I think is, is really a gift. And I know for me, I've really been so blessed by it, that I can do this from my unique experience, like everything combined, you know, about my story about the skills that I have my profession as an economist, and what I've been able to learn from that to help others to really craft a life of holistic wealth. So that's it in a nutshell, for me, and in terms of my personal mission, and it's aligned with my values. And in the holistic wealth personal workbook, I have case studies for people who want to craft their own mission statement. And we do have a template on the Institute website, as well, for people who want to use that template to just kind of just get through it and just craft their own personal mission statement.

Jamila Souffrant 36:39

Do you have some ideas of things that someone could start to pull from like what I'm envisioning a mission statement? Like you said, there's probably I want this? Or are there components of it that they should be including our values that you can give us some examples of what would be included?

Unknown Speaker 36:54

Yeah, sure. So in terms of values, community oriented, is one organized, dependable, there's a list of values in the book that you can use to craft yours. And when you think about those values, it's one thing to say, Well, yeah, I'm community oriented, but how will you practically implement that community part of it, like, for instance, when I just said that the holistic wealth consultants are in their communities, helping people, so some of the ways they do that is they do workshops, with the Girl Guides, they do workshops with teens, and these are all free. They do workshops, you know, on financial literacy, within their communities. And and so when you craft your mission statement, when you think about those values, think about how you're going to practically translate those values into action into like, action points, and goals that should come under your mission soon. Because of course, your goal should come under your mission statement too. And of course, in the book, there's a whole chapter on goals, and really how to craft your goals well, to achieve your mission. So that's, that's also part of crafting that mission statement and how to do

Jamila Souffrant 38:09

it well, right now, but what if you do have a lot of values? Can they be competing values where you can't focus all of them at once, like, even when I'm thinking about what you define as holistic wealth, and what I know to be what encompasses like a full life, like all the things we should be focusing on it like it's a lot, being an adult, it's a lot of work, like because you got to worry about your money and finances, your friendships, your romantic relationships, you have kids add that in there. Plus, you have to drink enough water and like stay healthy. How do you add that all in and prioritize those things have you found to do that? And then how does one not get overwhelmed? Because what I'm finding is most people get overwhelmed by all things. And then that's why a lot of things slip through the cracks.

Unknown Speaker 38:51

For the mission statement, it's good to craft it so that it really encompasses your personal and your professional goals. Right. So it can accommodate both. Where I think we get tripped up in terms of competing goals, and really not being aligned throughout is where we may see things like, yeah, I want to climb the corporate ladder and kind of get to the top of my organization, but at the same time, I want to spend that much time with my family. So I think, you know, we have to be very clear and honest with ourselves, that if we're crafting a mission statement, and we're putting in personal and professional goals, that they're not contradictory, and that we're not overreaching and thinking, Yeah, I can do this as a mom and I can climb the corporate ladder and still spend X hours with my family. That might be a goal that's competing, and it might not be possible. So in crafting the personal mission statement. It's important that yes, we're we're combining personal and professional goals. And there, but it has to be really aligned with with something that's practical, the ideal life, we want to live, what we want that lifestyle to be like, and it should help you chart a course forward that's mission led, mission oriented. So again, if you have, you know, like professional goals in there, or you have something professional in there, make sure that it's more mission lead mission oriented, than say, wrapping up your identity in reaching CEO by 25, or something like that. So so that's what I would do. And, and, of course, for other action verbs and qualities to include passionate, innovative, loyal, open minded, courageous, dependable, and also, you know, putting your money mission in there, putting that money mission under your personal mission statement to so I think, you know, just need to think through really, from a very self aware perspective on on what we really want to achieve.

Jamila Souffrant 41:02

And I'm curious, like, you were financially independent at 31. And so a lot of what you're doing now, it's what I'm assuming it's by choice, like, you don't have to, but you know, you can correct me from if I'm wrong, but people who have not reached financial independence, like the true state of it, meaning like, I really do have enough where I don't have to work, then it's like, okay, what would I really do with my time? If I don't need to earn money? Would I still actively create businesses and run businesses, I feel like a lot of people, including myself, when we're still on the journey, it's just like, you envision your life to be totally different. Like, in my head, I'm just like, oh, well, once I reach financial independence, our podcast really whenever I want, like, maybe it will just be, it'd be in seasons, and a couple of times a month, I'll pop up with some podcasts. And that's, that's it, I'll be on the beach elsewhere. But I think now, whereas maybe if I still reach it, like that's not the case, because there's a there's something bigger pulling me to do more and want to disseminate this information, what drives you to keep going or to be as ambitious as you are and sharing your story versus alright, I have enough money, I have enough assets? I don't have to do any of

Unknown Speaker 42:07

this. Yeah, no, for sure. And so for me, this new mission, around holistic wealth kind of is what drove me and I'll, I'll tell you a story to have when we published the first edition of the book. You know, women in the financial industry came forward to me, and they read the book, and they said, Listen, we want to be certified, like we want a certification program in holistic wealth. And I had no intentions of doing that. I figured maybe along the line, maybe I do some coaching, maybe, but maybe loosely, you know, and they said, No, we'll pay for it before it's even crafted, we don't care. We feel this is a gap, we have to help women. And these women were certified financial analysts who were in the field in the weeds helping women. And they knew that the current financial advice was not good enough, they saw the gaps in my book, through my own personal story, I had a unique advantage because I was on the receiving end of a life insurance policy at 31. And there's so many people in the financial industry who go around selling life insurance, who don't even have that experience. They don't know what it is to be on the back end, the receiving end and a process, what needs to happen, what you need to put in place. And so they came in, they're like, We want a certification. So the first half of lockdown, I got to writing that and produced it. And we have, you know, certified holistic wealth consultants. And that's an example of how the journey can just evolve, where you never plan, of course, I set up the institute to house kind of this kind of mission now, where the journey is evolving, people come to you and they're like, Listen, this is a need, we have a need to educate women. And most of those consultants said to me, we are doing it already. And we're doing it free. But we want to put your perspective in, we want to put some of the lessons you've identified in your book in. And so of course, that started me on this new journey. And yes, being financially independent is great. But having that impact and working with these women who are already in the field is just a much more greater thing that I've been called upon to do. A lot of us theirselves chilling on a beach in Jamaica, maybe when we're financially independent, but I think all of us are here for a purpose and a mission. And I know that as a fact and I know that our mission isn't ended once we reach a magic number for financial independence. So most of us are here to drive humanity forward in some way, shape, or form. And we have that unique purpose set out from even before we realize that we have that purpose and so it does not end at a magic number. It does not end when we feel we should be chilling on a beach, it's humanity calling on us to give back. And for many of us will want to honor that and will want to give back as much as we can. And that's the position that I'm in right now, where, you know, I'm doing this kind of work because people came forward and asked me to, and, and it's an honor to do that. So I think until my mission is done on this earth, that I will be giving back in some form or shape to communities and to women. And, and I couldn't think of anything more important. So I think, you know, if we think about it in that framework,

Jamila Souffrant 45:38

yeah. So you currently still live in Canada, it sounds like you have homes, other places, which is amazing. I have Canadians who listen to the podcast, when I'm usually talking about investing. I'm more, you know, looking at it through my lens of investing in the United States. But I have sisters who live in Canada to two of my sisters live in Canada, I have a lot of family back in Jamaica. And this is going to be quick, because I know like this would have to probably be a whole new episode. But for Canadians, and investing, what is like a way in which someone can start to with a number side of things, if they're in Canada, set themselves up for success. We talked about real estate already. But what are the investing options there? How is it different?

Unknown Speaker 46:18

Yep, so it's pretty much the same as the United States, I think it's pretty much the same, although we call things different things like you say, 401k, we say ours? Yeah, that's the thing, things like that. It's just kind of like basically the same thing. There are a few difference in tax laws, essentially, but it's the same. I think we have different tools here in Canada that can set you up well, for investing, like, you know, I used to advocate for the tax free savings accounts, because it's tax free, you can see there. And of course, you know, when I started out too, I started out on high interest savings accounts. And you know, if I had to park a set of funds, then I would park it there. But definitely it's it's it's the same for both countries. And it's really just about maximizing and knowing how to leverage, you know, money that you have, whether you want to invest in real estate, or stocks, or something else. And really just, you know, I also advocate, as an economist, to have like, a team around you like I had a financial advisor, pretty young, right out of, you know, school, I had a financial advisor, I still do, even though I mean, economist and I trained financial advisors. Now, I still have my personal financial advisor. So I think those are the critical things that you need to have to invest.

Jamila Souffrant 47:41

So financial advisor just quickly on that, how does one determine like finding the right one, because I think that's where people get tripped up, like, I know, they need to be a fiduciary, which means they have more responsibility to you, they're not going to make money off of the things that they're selling you. But I find that in the search for one or thinking of one people are so afraid of like spending money on something or someone that potentially is doesn't have the best interest? Yeah, and you're right, that's a really good question. I

Unknown Speaker 48:05

found mine by accident. And to be honest with you, I did not do that whole due diligence that I will advise people to do I find I found mine by accident, it worked out really well. He was the one that looked at all our finances and said, Listen, you need life insurance. And this is how much I'm recommending. We went over and above that, but I would advise people to definitely do your research. And make sure you know that financial advisor is aligned with your own goals so that they're not just coming to sell you like here, buy this mutual fund, or here, buy these range of instruments because I come bearing instruments to sell you it's about okay, well, I'm crafting a holistic wealth portfolio here. And I want to be able to craft it in a way that will make me more resilient in terms of my investments, too. So that's a good place to start with a conversation with a financial adviser, not just like getting you to buy some financial products, because the financial industry right now, I will say is flawed in that way. It's about Yeah, buy this mutual fund or buy this life insurance, you want to do it in a way that really sets you up. And some some financial advisors are biased against even real estate because they don't make money when you buy real estate. They make money when you buy a mutual fund some of them so so right. So we have to look at those things and think about what we really want. And if you know you're crafting a portfolio, which I hope everybody's thinking about everything in a portfolio context and making you more resilient. Then you're thinking about the pieces that you want and how they align with your personal goals. Like if you want to take time off, you know, you want to take a couple of years break or you want to do something else with your life. You want to do some volunteer work abroad, everything in that portfolio has to be structured in a way that will enable you to do that.

Jamila Souffrant 49:56

And I think just to help with people if they're thinking about when they're talking to because I have Now a financial planner that helps like a team. Now, that helps me too. And it was really important for me to work with people who understood the concept of financial independence and retiring early. And the questions were asked that are asked or not just how much money can we save you in taxes? But what are your life goals? What do you want to do by 4045? Like, so if I'm now someone who's now searching for someone, and you're listening to this, it's like, if I'm interviewing financial planners or advisors, I'm going to be asking those questions like I have some life plans and things I want to do. How can you help me do that? And I think their response to that will kind of be indicative of, if they're able to look at the whole, you're not just like, How much money do you have to invest? But why are you investing? Are they asking you the right questions when you push back and have questions for them? Are they patient? Are they explaining things to you? So that's just my two cents to about finding someone?

Keisha Blair 50:51

Yeah, absolutely.

Jamila Souffrant 50:52

Okay, he said this was the light pole. Please tell everyone where they can find out more about you and your book.

Unknown Speaker 50:59

Absolutely. So the new and expanded holistic wealth. It's available for pre order right now. And you can get that online everywhere online. Amazon, indigo, Barnes and Noble target, it's everywhere. Now. It's available for preorder. My website is KeishaBlair.Com, feel free to reach out to me my email is, and I love hearing from listeners and from readers. And on social media. I'm @KeishaOBlair. And that's for Twitter and Instagram and for Facebook, it's Keisha Blair Author, and again, feel free to reach out on social media as well. And of course, we have the holistic wealth podcast and the Institute. So that's also available for people who want to tune in.

Jamila Souffrant 51:47

Awesome. I will link all of that in the show notes. Thank you so much Keisha again, for this.

Unknown Speaker 51:52

Thank you so much, Jamila. It was really good being here.

Jamila Souffrant 51:58

Don't forget, you can get the episode show notes for this episode by going to, or click the description of wherever you're listening to this and you can still grab your Jumpstart Guide for free to help you on your journey to financial freedom by going to If you want to support me and the podcast and love the free content and information that you get here, here are four ways that you can support me in the show: One, make sure you're subscribed to the podcast wherever you listen, whether that's Apple Podcasts, that purple app on your phone, your Android device, YouTube, Spotify, wherever it is that you happen to listen, just subscribe so you are not missing an episode. And if you're happening to listen to this and Apple Podcasts, rate, review and subscribe there. I appreciate and read every single review. Number two, follow me on my social media accounts. I'm @journeytolaunch on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And I love, love, love, interacting with Journeyers there. Three, support and check out the sponsors of this show. If you hear something that interests you. Sponsors are the main ways we keep the podcast lights on here. So, show them some love for supporting your girl. Four, and last but not least, share this episode this podcast with a friend or family member or co worker, so that we can spread the message of Journey to Launch. Alright, that's it until next week. Keep on journeying Journeyers.

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Keisha Blair, award-winning international best-selling author, trained economist, and founder of the Institute of Holistic Wealth, joins the podcast to discuss why it is so important to view wealth in a holistic perspective and how we can use this knowledge to redefine our relationship and definition of wealth in our own lives. 

She also goes over why she is passionate about helping women invest and how becoming financially independent at age 31 changed her life.

Keisha is a graduate of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and has been featured in The Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, The New York Observer, and many more.

If you’re ready for an awe-inspiring story and actionable investing advice, this episode is for you!

In this episode we discuss:

  • Holistic wealth + how you can cultivate it in your life
  • Getting your foot in the door of real estate investing
  • The importance of securing a life insurance policy 
  • Crafting a personal mission statement
  • How financial independence helped Keisha when her husband passed away unexpectedly in her early 30s + more

Episode 260: Real Estate Investing, Becoming Financially Independent at 31 & Harnessing The Power of Holistic Wealth With Keisha Blair Share on X

Other related blog posts/links mentioned in this episode:

  • Join the waitlist for my signature course, Map Your Way To Financial Independence, here.
  • Check out my new personal website here.
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  • Leave me a voicemail– Leave me a question on the Journey To Launch voicemail and have it answered on the podcast!
  • Watch me on News12  Watch my latest segments on News12
  • YNAB –  Start managing your money and budgeting so that you can reach your financial dreams. Sign up for a free 34 days trial of YNAB, my go-to budgeting app by using my referral link.

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