There’s a saying, originally made by motivational speaker Jim Rohn, that we are "the average of the five people we spend the most time with". I’m sure I’ve heard it before, but the last time I remember hearing this was at a real estate seminar the Hubs and I attended in Vegas. It’s funny that out of all the technical tips and expertise we learned from that seminar, this one piece of advice, spoken to us on the last day as we were shuffling out the door, was the most valuable piece of information I took away from the conference.
Ever since then, I’ve gravitated towards spending time with friends I admire, and I’ve looked for ways to admire the friends I spend time with.
This week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Patricia (aka “Trish”) George from Rodan + Fields. Trish and I have been friends for over a decade, and she could tell you the exact year we met. She could also tell you my birthday and my wedding anniversary date. One day, Trish sent me a text to congratulate me on my “10 year wedding engagement anniversary”, of which neither the Hubs nor I were aware. She’s that kind of friend.
She, along with her husband, are also major go-getters. And as you’ll see, there’s not a lot of sleeping in and waiting for the luck to come. There is a lot of hard work, disciplined schedules, strategic conversations, and healthy living.
It’s very easy to admire Trish and her family. But it may be difficult to be one of the 5 people she spends the most time with, since she built 4 of those people herself from scratch.
Fortunately she’s given Money + Happy some time in her busy schedule to pick her brain on managing a real estate business, leading a sales team for Rodan + Fields, educating her kids, and traveling almost half the year. Oh yeah, and she can deadlift 235 pounds.
What is your family’s primary business?
My husband runs our family real estate company. He is the 3rd generation to run it and took over unexpectedly when he was only 25 years old. We were newly married and it was a stressful time. His family manages some apartment buildings and he buys, redevelops and sells or holds the properties. I always say that I loved my husband when we got married, but I have been in awe of him for the past 12 years.
And you have some big real estate projects under your belts. What do you think makes the business so successful?
I think my husband’s drive makes the business successful. He handles problems as they occur and is super hands-on. He is always out at the properties, checking for possible issues and lawsuits. He wakes up at 5 am most days to handle business and will structure his day around phone calls or other business activities that will occur that day. That being said, he has a super flexible job that allows us to travel and enjoy the world with our children.
And you recently started a secondary line of business as well?
I did recently start my own little business! I have my Ph.D. and consider myself to be a pretty intelligent woman. I homeschool my children and we travel a lot. I needed something else to think about besides my children, traveling and homeschooling. I needed something that was only mine and I could wander off into Neverland and think about it when my kids started whining and bugging me. Rodan and FIelds is the #1 skincare company in North America and I was using the products. I loved the difference they made in my skin. Also, they have a 60 day money back guarantee and I think that most companies don’t believe so strongly in their products as to offer an empty bottle refund. I love working with a company that believes in itself.
So last July I started this business as an experiment of sorts. Now I have 9 consultants under me and I am running to be on the top of the Leadership rung for Rodan and Fields. I am actively recruiting and training my team members. I start out by giving them an incredible book, a binder with step-by-step start up instructions and a cute journal. Then I offer my time to train my girls until they feel comfortable doing it on their own. In addition, I am actively talking to all of my customers and recruiting new customers to try our products! It’s risk free, so I never understand why people aren’t interested. All you have to lose is the opportunity for great skin!
How’s it doing so far?
I touched on this above, but July 1st will be my one year anniversary with the company. I have successfully grown every month since I started. I went on a Leadership retreat in May and am looking to get on another one in February in Cancun. The company has a vested interest in having its leaders succeed, so they offer a lot of trainings. Additionally, there’s a bit of a Boss Babe culture, whereby your team lifts you up and supports you in a way I have never experienced. I plan to have 20 consultants by the end of 2017 and will be running for a free Lexus.
What have you learned most about the job?
With everything in life, you get out of it what you put into it. Growing up, my Dad used to tell me “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” There are moments of doubt in everything you do, aren’t there? I really believe that I can and will succeed if I put my mind to it. I’ve learned not to be fearful of failure because no one who I respect has had an easy road. When I fail or do something wrong, I learn from it. I’ve learned how to work in the nooks and crannies of my day. I’ve learned to choose motivated, driven and busy people to join my team. Busy people are efficient and figure out how to fit things into their schedules if they want it badly enough. I’ve actually learned a lot about myself and I am more confident and independent because of it.
And you guys have, what, one or two kids?
We have 4 adorable and extremely precocious little monsters! They are 3, 5, 7 and 9 and have extremely busy schedules.
So full-time live-in nanny, chef, and expensive private schools right?
I wish I had more help than I do! I do most all of it with my husband. We do occasionally hire a babysitter to help drive the kids to engagements. For example, in the Spring I was coaching soccer for my 7 year old and my girls had dance class at the same time! I couldn’t divide myself in half, so we needed help. I don’t feel right about having help because it isn’t consistent enough. We travel 4-6 months a year, depending upon the year, so we are too busy to have a lot of help.
I recently joined you in the motherhood department. One kid is a handful. Two is a duel. Three and you’re at risk of mutiny. How do you two keep sane? Asking for a friend.
When we had our third kid we realized that marriage was not necessarily a given. The kids were 20 months and 3 ½ and we also had a newborn. We decided right then that we either had to make time for our marriage, or kiss it goodbye. Therefore, we have 2 date nights every week. We have a standing babysitter when we are in Manhattan Beach, so she knows to keep specific days open for us. So we workout together 5 days a week and we also go out to dinner and a walk twice a week. One night a week we see friends and the other night is JUST for the two of us. When we are in Wyoming it’s a different schedule entirely. We may take an entire day to go on a 20 mile hike or a 40 mile bike ride, but we make sure to get the time in together.
You mentioned earlier that you travel 4-6 months of the year. Where do you go?
We spend most of the time “traveling” to our second home in Jackson Hole, but we also go to Mexico, Scottsdale and the Caribbean every year. We usually add in a bonus trip on top of those experiences.
How does your husband manage the real estate from a cruise boat? Asking for a friend again.You know, cruises are really difficult. We try our best to operate in as cheap of a manner as possible. There, I said it. So he usually gets a large phone package before we leave. On cruises we usually go to the Caribbean, and he won’t turn on the phone in ports that aren’t on our international plan. However, when we are in Mexico or another port that is supported, he will spend most of the day catching up on emails and making phone calls.
And can you manage R+F while traveling?
Rodan and Fields is the kind of business that expands as you focus on it. When I take a step back, as when we took a Disney cruise in April, I figure that my paycheck will be smaller that month. I check in when I can and try to reach out to people before I leave. When I have uncontrolled internet access again, I spend a solid 4 or 5 hours a day working to get back to where I was before I left town.
To what do you attribute your ability to raise 4 kids, have a large real estate business, start a side business with R+F, all while looking really good in spandex shorts?
My husband would tell you that I’m not a person who looks back or focuses on the negative. I’m a person who puts my head down and gets to work. I am heavily scheduled and juggle the schedules as best I can. Mornings are really regimented. I get up in the morning at around 6 am and I do all of my chores, take the girls to their preschool, and head to the gym. After the gym, I homeschool the boys. They have the opportunity to do something fun in the afternoon if they do a good job on their work. They are really into golf and I’ve told them that they need to earn a golf scholarship to any college (Stanford or better). When the kids don’t want for anything, they have no opportunity to earn anything. So, they are being driven and motivated to succeed in life along the way. In the afternoons we golf or have playdates, swimming, soccer, dance class, Boy Scouts, piano or a variety of other fun outings to museums or some kind of hands on learning experience. We pick up the girls from school, have another activity or experience, and then have some downtime (technology or unstructured play) while I make dinner. We all try to eat dinner together every day when it is possible. That’s important. We talk about the best part of our day and discuss how we could have improved the bad part of our day, because our experiences are in our hands. Then Brian reads books with the kids, take baths and the girls go to bed. The boys stay up until around 9/9:30 but read quietly in their rooms.
Wow. That’s impressive. I think I burned calories just listening to that schedule. And what about Brian’s day?
Brian’s days don’t necessarily parallel the kids’ and my days. Brian often wakes up at 5 am to handle emails, phone calls and structure his day. Then he will take the girls to school with me, workout with me, and then go home to shower. He heads to the office by 11, but that’s after he spend 1-2 hours working from home. Then he goes to the office, attends meetings and has conference calls. As I mentioned earlier, he is extremely hands on and visits at least one of his properties everyday. He manages his work force because it is a relatively small group of people working for him and makes any major decisions concerning the business. He tries to leave the office by 5:30/6 so he can be home for dinner or to take the boys to Scouts (Mondays) or soccer (Tuesdays) or to read to the kiddos. After the kids go to bed we sit and chat for an hour or so before we both plug back into our businesses and work. While I go to bed by 10, he is often up until 12 pm crunching numbers or looking for a solution to some issue. That is the schedule in Manhattan Beach.
And how do your schedules change when you’re traveling?
In Jackson Hole it is really different. Instead of going to the gym 5 days a week, we wake up and homeschool all 4 kids, because the girls don’t attend schools in Wyoming. Then we do our big activity - maybe we are hiking together as a family or biking...whatever it is, we have some kind of interactive physical activity. We usually eat at home so I can control the nutritional aspects of our lives. We may hike in the morning, golf in the afternoon and then put together a puzzle or sit by the fire in the evenings.
Let’s discuss lifestyle design for a second. In my last post, I talked about setting a vision for your life. I know this is a big question, but I bet you have an answer. What is your ideal life?
Ideally, I think we would spend 8 months of the year in Jackson Hole. The other 4 months of the year would be spent doing hands-on learning. For example, I would like to cover American history and then spend a month traveling through Maryland, D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, etc. I would go somewhere I have never been, once a year. I’d like to take the kids to once in a lifetime places where they can learn and respect different cultures and people. I want the kids to be involved in mission projects, where they learn that their hands are little but their hearts are so big and so capable. I want them to know that they can make a big impact in this world, even if they are young. I’m actively looking for a charity project where we can go and build a school or a church or something along those lines.
And what about for and Brian specifically?
I’d love for Brian to continue his real estate business in the capacity that makes him most happy and offload the parts that don’t make him happy. He and I have an idea for a series of books that we’d like to write. I think our kids need to be a little bit bigger before we can really delve into it, but I think we could be really successful at it. I have an idea for an enrichment program here in Jackson Hole, that I would like to pursue if we ever get more settled here in Wyoming.
And what would be a perfect day to you?
My perfect day is definitely one that takes place in Jackson Hole and it would be so hard to choose what I’d do! I think everyday here is perfect. I’d love to wake up and work for an hour, make the kids breakfast and then go for a long bike ride. Then maybe we would do some kind of hands-on learning projects. After that, I think Brian and I would have a date night and come home at 8, in time to sit by the fire pit and watch the sunset over the mountains. I think I’d work for another 2 hours before bed because working makes me feel important and complete and I really enjoy it. Ideally though, Brian wouldn’t work at all.
Now you mentioned homeschooling earlier. And we could probably do an entirely different post on that. But give us some teasers now. So you homeschool your kids right? What’s the typical day or structure like?
I thought I was going to hate homeschooling and I was terrified about it. I think it took me this first year to really figure out how to get it under control. We use an adaptive online curriculum offered through Stanford University for mathematics and language arts. When we are in town we have a few homeschool programs and homeschool groups that we do. We try to do some kind of hands-on activity once a week. When we are out of town, it’s obviously different. I’m homeschooling the girls and the boys. Brian tends to help a little bit on vacation so we can get on with our day faster. The boys are at a point now where they know what needs to be done and they do it so we can get on with the day! I try to arrange something incredibly fun or important to them once a week, and they don’t ever work more than 3 hours a day. We have dissected sharks, toured many museums, explored different ecosystems, and learned hands-on with tons of different opportunities in Los Angeles. I think it’s a great day when they are mentally and physically exhausted, and emotionally have had their needs met. That’s the daily goal.
And what about homeschooling while on an adventure trip?
When we are travelling somewhere that is not a “home” we work maybe 3 or 4 days and focus just on mathematics and language arts. That might mean just reading and writing 5 sentences about what we did that day, or accessing our Stanford curriculum online. It looks different depending on where we are and what we are doing. We don’t observe weekdays and weekends regardless of if we are traveling or not. We work on days that make sense to us and don’t work on days when it doesn’t make sense. For example, tomorrow (Monday) Brian and I are doing an 18 mile hike and leaving the kids with a babysitter. We won’t homeschool tomorrow. To make up for it, we homeschooled today (Sunday). Over the winter, we ski every other day. We homeschool on days we aren’t skiing. It’s too exhausting to try to combine them. We only took 3 days off for Christmas because we didn’t want to get behind in our curriculum.
Ok. So we’ve got a super successful family real estate business, a hot and growing second business. We’re traveling a good chunk of the year, and spending lots of quality time with our family. And you can deadlift more than two Kimbros. Sounding pretty excellent to me. Is there any specific project or goal that you don’t have yet?
I want my children to be happy and successful contributing members of society. I’d like to get them more involved in charity projects and understand what they have. I want my kids to be happy and feel fulfilled in whatever they choose to do, and it’s important to me that I give them all the tools to do this. That’s my life goal.
Last question. How do I get my eyelashes to look like yours?
I thought you’d never ask. I’d love to get you and all your friends signed up as Preferred Customers through www.patriciageorge.myrandf.com If you contact me directly, I will provide you with a $20 discount (Trish.George@gmail.com).
Patricia George has been with her handsome husband since she was 19 years old. They've conquered their hopes and dreams together and take pride in raising their 4 young kid on the go. The flexibility provided by Brian's job allows them to homeschool, travel and be active participants in their lives, instead of watching life pass them by. While traveling, hanging out at Disneyland, playing on the slopes in Jackson Hole and heading to the beach in Manhattan Beach, she manages her Rodan and Fields business and her 4 kiddos. Choose Happy.
Wow, I don't know about you, but I'm inspired. If you found this article inspiring and want to find your happy, make sure to check out my articles on how to find your happy as well as setting your family vision, the first two steps in my Family Financial Freedom Plan.