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Natali Morris is a broadcaster, writer, speaker, and the Co-Founder and CFO of Morris Invest.
After leaving a six-figure job as a news anchor to raise a family, Natali ended up feeling powerless when it came to money. Instead of shrinking back she decided to operate her family’s wealth as a business.
As of October 2017, Natali’s family of five has achieved complete financial freedom due to the creative money and business decisions they’ve made.
Now her mission is to empower women to take control of their money, businesses and start building real long-term wealth.
In this podcast episode, Natali shares how she went from no income to financial freedom. She talks about wealth building strategies as well as the importance of setting up your business properly.You cannot save or budget your way to wealth. - Natali Morris Click To Tweet
In This Episode of the Start Fierce Business Podcast:
- Natali shares the reasons why you can’t save or budget your way to wealth. You must invest.
- She talks about her journey from no income to financial freedom.
- She shares why you should not work as a sole proprietor.
- We also discuss the tax benefits of being a business owner.
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Note: Transcripts are created automatically and are not 100% accurate. However, they help our visitors find relevant content using our website’s search feature.
Welcome to the show Natalie, thank you so much. Tell me about yourself outside of your business.
Okay? Well, I like to refer to myself as the chief home officer, I have three small kids, the youngest is one, and the oldest, is seven. And then my little girl is going to be six in a few days. And so, you know, I really kind of pride myself on the fact that running my business is something that I put all of the skills that I used when I had a nine to five job into the, the task of running my household. So that’s kind of one of the things that I like to speak to people about, is making sure that you manage your family and your wealth building, like a business, either with a spouse or without, if you’ve got a partner, great. And if you don’t, then we can all employ the same skills that we do in wealth building, as we do in our careers. So, you know, some of the things that we’d like to do, as I think most of us, like who are entrepreneurial or career minded, learn, new things grow, expand. And those are the kind of skills that are necessary when you really want to grow into some kind of wealth building strategy, that you can use them to be free of all of the things that you, you know, keep you not free, like a mortgage, or a car payment, or dead or all of that kind of stuff. So on my website, Natalie Morris calm I write a lot about how to leverage assets you may not have thought about that could then turn into performing assets and teach people to really shift their mindset about money in tangible ways, with tangible strategies that my husband and I have employed when is, you know, that you were an entrepreneur like, not that long ago, to be honest, I think that I, I thought that I was part of, I didn’t see it as like, Oh, I’m doing something that’s entrepreneurial by running my household and my family wealth. To be honest, I just did it because I had no paycheck, I had a baby at home. And I was about to have another one. And I thought, I just really don’t like who I am without this paycheck. And I don’t want to, I feel really bad about not contributing money to my family’s monthly income. And so I sat down one day at my computer. And I said, Okay, if I don’t have a paycheck to pay our bills with, I’m going to become really good with the money we’ve got, and the assets we’ve got, and learn how to turn those into things that are performing assets. So I started with the stock market, which I don’t actually advise people to do any longer. But that was I just decided to, like, read one book about wealth building. And that led to the next thing. And that led to the next thing, you know, you really can only start with where you are. And eventually, we started to do really well with the investments that we were making Now, a couple months, I want to say like, a couple years later, my husband hit up had been saying all along, you should you should Chronicle all of this write a blog. And I was really resistant to that, because in my career, I had been a news anchor. I worked for NBC at the time before that, I was at CBS. So I was like, No, I don’t want to do that. Like, I felt like I was the company guy, so to speak, you know what I mean? It took a lot of me to put myself out there like that and say, Okay, I control the brand. I am the brand. I can write what I want, you know, I’ve been a writer and then an anchor. And so, so much of what I wrote and said was, for lack of better word, like, filtered through the network, you know, so to own myself and put myself out there and position myself as someone who knows something that’s not filtered through a news network was scary.
I have here that you went from no income to financial freedom. Can you tell us how you got there? Was it through your investments? Or was it after you started your business? Helping others?
Yes. So it was a process actually, my husband had decided that he wanted to invest in real estate. And I had experienced investing in real estate, but not really in very high return real estate. So I decided that, you know, I was I was sort of managing our investments in terms of like IRAs, and stock market kind of stuff. And it wasn’t moving all that fast. And then my husband said, you know, he had someone inspire him to buy some properties, investment properties in a suburb of Detroit. So we bought two investment properties. And they were doing pretty well. And at the same time, he also was a news anchor. And I was freelance at the time, but he was full time. And we always worried how we were going to pay our mortgage if his car when his contract was up, because that was how we framed our lives around his salary. And so contract time would come up, and they would ghost him, they would, the network would just return his call, or his agents calls Meanwhile, keep him on the show, collecting a paycheck, but with no contract. And this made us feel terrified. And so one day we were sitting there, and we’re like, Well, we’ve got these two investments, that’s good, you know, but what if we don’t get a contract? Have you heard from your agent? And I said, Well, what if the next time that you know, are in contract negotiation, we own enough in investment, real estate, and we have enough in rental income, that we don’t need your paycheck, we don’t need the salary. And he leapt up from his seat and walked over to the whiteboard and was like, how do we make that work. And so we reverse engineered that we just figured out what kind of performing assets we have. And that’s one of the things I like to teach people about on my blog is what is a performing asset, because most people think, like, therefore, okay, is one and it is, but it’s not going to get you to financial freedom, we had to really come to terms with the fact that you cannot save your way to wealth, you don’t, you don’t want to nest egg, you want to buy geese that lay eggs every month. That’s how people get wealthy, not by just they save enough. And then, you know, there’s commercials where you can, like, draw a ribbon across a field and it’s like, oh, I can live another 20 years after I retire. Or, oh, I can only live five, you know, it’s like none, it’s so ridiculous that they have these people like laughing about their own mortality. And so we decided to figure out how many performing assets we needed to hit financial freedom. And so we and then we just used all manner of tricks to get there. So we leveraged you know, a home equity line of credit we borrowed from a floral nk we took out and I you know, we bought some inside of an IRA we used private money we we used all manner of tricks because it became our sole obsession it’s like how do we leverage our wealth to turn them into performing assets we did that and so in 2016 my husband did get a not another contract at his job but we had hit our freedom number so in fact that’s something you if you go to Morris Invest dot com slash freedom freedom number hang on I’m going to quickly go through that we can teach you how to do that how to reverse engineer your freedom number based on your house budget. So then in 2017 you know the news cycle got increasingly ugly and he decided he didn’t want to work anymore and he didn’t have to because we had made our freedom number so now tell me about your business and how you started that up okay so it is just Morris Invest dot com slash freedom. And, you know, our business now at Morris Invest is to help other people learn to become real estate investors. It’s pretty pretty laser focused on owning performing assets. And so there’s a lot of financial education to learn to take what you’ve got, and turn it into a performing asset. Now, not everyone is comfortable with real estate though. So my on Natalie Morris calm, I don’t focus solely on rental real estate, I focus on turning your assets into performing assets, really, by taking what you So mine is more of a general personal finance family finance site. And, you know, again, if you sort of recognize that real estate is one of the number one ways to build wealth, then you take the next step. And you can go to Morris Invest, and figure out how to do that. And we have a YouTube channel, we have a podcast, we have all we have a blog, we have all manner of ways to help people learn to do that the right way. And that’s all free material.
Okay. So would you say that your site would be more like how to kind of like the way you started, how to manage the finances you have now and then the Morris Invest is the next step like financial freedom. Yeah, exactly. Right. Yeah. Because what I was, you know, my site, it tends to be really female focused, because my avatar in my head are women like me, who had pretty big careers and then found themselves at home without that career, not knowing what to do. And what I initially did during that transition was sort of resigned myself to secretarial role like, Okay, well, I’ll balance a checkbook and pay the bills and keep the passwords and do the grocery shopping and, you know, budget, and that’s not wealth building, you can’t again, you can’t save your way, way to wealth, but you also can’t budget your way to wealth, you can’t shrink your life so much that there’s extra money, and then all of a sudden, you’re wealthy, it doesn’t work like that. So my focus was really to empower myself where I felt the most powerless rather than, you know, like, just become a secretary. And so I want to talk to women who sort of, I’m sort of, in my head talking to women, like, you know, this is, this is like what I did, and you can do it in your own way. So, are you kind of talking to the old you that I never thought of it that way? But yeah, I guess I am. What’s been your greatest challenge as a business owner? You know, there’s, there’s always a big challenge. And my husband and I, you know, it’s hard to say it when I really think about that a lot of it is confidence and making sure that you’re making the right moves, and you’re doing the right thing, you know, like, because we work so closely together, it’s a challenge to know, like, are you making these decisions? Are they the right thing to be making, and also taking responsibility for the fact that someone else will learn how to be a real estate investor based on our research? And, you know, there’s a lot of, I don’t know, yeah, there’s a lot of responsibility that goes along with that. And we want to make sure we do it right, aside from not wanting to work for someone else. And aside from your family, what’s your why?
I mean, really, I have sort of this collective consciousness goal of like, if I do better, everyone else can do better, if I can do it, someone else can learn to do it, you know, to, to help the next person to empower themselves to not feel powerless about money. I feel like so much that’s wrong with our country right now is because people feel powerless, and either decide they need to tell other people what to do, or make sure other people don’t get resources that they need, or whatever, you know, I think we can do better if, if all of us were not afraid, especially about money, we can always we can always do better.
And what advice do you have for someone that’s just getting started in business?
Well, one thing that I think that everybody should do is read a book called tax free wealth and make sure that they are as they get it started in a business, they are not working as a sole proprietor this book really opened my eyes to the way that corporations work and businesses work. So I think that’s, that’s a really great start, is to make sure that you have a handle on the right way to set up your business, the right way to manage taxes, taxes are an investor’s biggest expense. And so if you’re an out in front of that, you can make some really smart choices on on your behalf. And actually the guy who wrote that His name’s Tom wheelwright, and he’s he is my accountant, as well, because I read his book. And I was like, that guy’s great. I need him to do my stuff. And he just launched a podcast as well called wealth ability, which I highly recommend. And I will add to that if you have an existing business. And this is something that I learned the hard way this year, if you have an existing business, and you become a business partner with someone else in the other business, you might want to talk with a lawyer or an accountant about possibly owning that second business as a business, and not personally, because what happens, especially if it’s a startup, when you exit the startup, when you sell, you are personally liable to pay the taxes and the money that you get from that sale. And it will put, it’ll personally put you in a different tax bracket with all of your other money, and you can’t really well with real estate, I do believe that there are ways to offset that. But if it’s just with a regular business, regular tech company, startup or whatever, you can offset it. Basically, you should not do any business as a sole proprietor Exactly. My, my lawyer, my lawyer, my tech guy, he likes to joke he says, you know, in the tax business, we have a joke that sole proprietor stands for someday you’ll lose everything, because you’re not protected by any you know, business laws, you have to pay self employment tax. And, you know, kind of the basic way that that taxes work is that if I take a job in my name, Natalie Morris, the lady and I report that income on my social security number, and then I have to pay taxes on the bulk of it, like say, I made $100, right. And then I’m taxed on $100 at my personal tax rate. But if I take a paycheck, and Natalie Morris LLC, the business and I made $100, but I had $50 in expenses. Well, now the government only taxes me on $50, they don’t tax you on your expenses. That’s because businesses are taxed in a more favorable method. And now the business tax rate is has plummeted to 20%, 21%.
And that is not set to expire, like the rest of the new GOP tax law. So these are things you may you know, maybe your eyes are glossing over like taxes. But once you really get a handle on it, it’s actually exciting how you can partner with the government, in essence, because if you’re an entrepreneur, you’re doing things they want you to do. And so they’re going to give you tax credit for it, basically. And that’s how that’s how you partner with the government. If you’re a paycheck employee, you’re not doing what the government wants. And so they can reach deeper into your pockets, like a paycheck is a lowest hanging fruit for the government, right? But entrepreneurs are taxed so much more favorable, but you have to have a handle on it. In fact, my my tax guy, he was telling me that he had just spoken at South by Southwest, and he’s like, you know, these startup people, they’re terrible with their money. And my dad was this meeting and he was, like, even worse than athletes. He’s like, worse because they don’t know. Right? And so this has to be a part of yourself, sort of holistic, personal lesson. Yeah, yeah, definitely. And then, you know what, you can take a personal salary from the business and that way you don’t have to pay self employed taxes. That way you can take care of your bills and all that but you exactly you’re not paying self employed taxes your company actually eat that cost to Yeah, because your salaries and expense for the business, right, and you can invest, you know, you can do, you know, for one k investment matching and all that stuff. And, you know, they’re even ways that you would want to take, like, if you were investing in real estate with somebody else, you’d want to take ownership, you know, in your own LLC for all kinds of reasons. And so, you know, you can have your own LLC is that partner over, you know, you can structure the LLC for a business, it’s different, but you know, structure an LLC, there’s, there’s all kinds of ways, but this kind of stuff needs to, you know, for me, I’ve always done that to like, before I look, and then that ends up being so expensive. learn these things first. Yeah, exactly.
And you know what, like, so this is my thing. Now, I have my Corporation and then any other business that I decided to partner with people on or any other business that I think might have the possibility to do something, I will own those businesses with this one, not as myself. Wait, say that again. That you’ll so I will own like, if you and I decided to partner on a business, I will own that business as my Corporation. Not as Cindy Rodriguez Yeah, yeah. If you could have lunch with one business thought leader? Who would it be a hard question at this point? I think I probably would go more towards the like, I think it’d be Oprah like more the personal thing is over and I hang out all the time on her podcast. So yeah, probably and what’s your favorite business book?
Um, tax free wealth Yeah, it’s got to be that or rich dad. Poor Dad
I been meaning to read Rich Dad Poor Dad and I think I’m finally going to do it now but I definitely have to check out the tax free wealth Yeah, yeah, definitely do it. And what’s your favorite internet resource or app that just makes life easier Dropbox and where can listeners find you online? What are your websites where do you hang out on social media so
I mostly have been using Twitter and Instagram and although Instagram I just I’m so disgruntled with Facebook for you know sort of their lack of responsibility in the 2016 election and lack of privacy yeah so Facebook I haven’t been using all that much I still I do have a page I struggle with that you know because it’s good for business but I just don’t want to be a part of it and also it’s like my grandma has brothers and sisters now that are on that and that’s
so yeah I’m I guess people from joining me on Facebook or Instagram but yeah I still put stuff on Twitter every now and again so and what are your website it’s Natalie Morris calm and at Al I there’s no II and then Morris and then Morris Invest calm Okay. Well, Natalie, thank you so much for sharing your story with us today. Yeah, no problem.
Cindy Rodriguez is the host of the Start Fierce Business Podcast. When she’s not interviewing awesome entrepreneurs, she’s working on growing her startup, going to Disney World with her daughter, or reading a book.