The How to Choose Happiness and Freedom Show: Focus is Over-rated! Do What You Love with Caroline Ceniza-Levine

You get to "do" whatever you want, even if it's several things! Plus! Financial Independence, retire early.... Fun and empowering episode with Caroline! Enjoy!   
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Caroline Ceniza-Levine - Career Coach and Media Personality

Caroline is a stand up comic! AND a career coach. AND a financial and investment adviser! Plus she has an etsy shop with personalized wine labels. Multi-faceted, she owns properties in Costa Rica, Florida and New York and is in LOVE with her life. You can be too! Enjoy this empowering episode!


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Here is all of the extra, insider information, resources and free stuff from today's episode. We hope you will reach out to Caroline and to the Be Happy First Team. All our love! Be Happy First!

Caroline Ceniza-Levine is a longtime recruiter turned career coach and media personality on the job market. Website:


Have you seen:

Sins Of Omission: Seven Career Mistakes Caused By Inaction

Should Climate Change Dictate Where You Invest In Real Estate?

Seven Ways To Tame Distractions And Focus Better On Your Work

Caroline has launched something new – Take advantage of this awesome new way to Be whatever you want to be!

Transcript from Today's Show

You can read instead! Enjoy! (This was transcribed by a machine so some words will not be perfectly right.)

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 0:00
Welcome to the How to Choose happiness and freedom Show. I'm your host Lauren foster happiness teacher, and founder of be happy First, we are coming to you live on the morning of Thursday, October 29 2020. I started including the date in case 40 years from now people are checking in on what we're doing here back in the back in the old days. And this is the How to Choose happiness and freedom show is all about teaching you that you're creating your life. And you get to create that life any way that you want. And that includes everything, your health, your wealth, your relationships, your physical fitness, everything that you want for your life is yours for the asking. All you have to do is get lined up with it. So today, I'm so so very excited to be talking with Caroline sinise levina notes and Nisa Levine. Hi, Caroline.

Caroline Ceniza-Levine 0:54
Hi, Lauren. Thanks for having me.

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 0:55
Thank you. And we discussed the pronunciation of her name right before the show. And it's the in my tongue when I said that. So Caroline is a career coach and a multi passionate entrepreneur, and a media personality, which I read stand up comic, but we're going to learn more about that. Welcome, Caroline. Thank you for being here.

Caroline Ceniza-Levine 1:21

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 1:22
Yay. All right. So tell us your story. Tell us tell us who Caroline is, up until now. And then we'll dive into the rest of the stuff.

Caroline Ceniza-Levine 1:30
Yeah, sure. So when I tell my story, so if I start from today, I can absolutely tell my story from the beginning, as if it all makes sense to get me to this point. Although I'll tell you as I was living it, it didn't seem that way. So right now, just like you mentioned, I run a couple of different businesses. So I'm involved in career coaching. In this vein, I'm working with individuals and working in groups and working with organizations on leadership training. I'm also in the media. So I, senior contributor for Forbes careers, and I appear on TV to talk about career and the job market. And I'm also a real estate investor. And I write for Costa Rica fire, which is a site that I run with my husband, I'm in business with my husband, we have Vacation Rentals in Costa Rica. And yes, I am a stand up comic. So I'm involved in creative projects as well. And so it seems like it's it's all over the place. But when I start from the beginning, I was actually a music major in college, I trained at Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music. I also graduated with a double major, the second major was economics. And so I've always been interested in the arts, I've always been interested in investing. And even as an undergraduate, I worked all four years in the career space. So I was in my office of Career Services at college, I did a year long internship with Citibank in their campus recruiting program. So I've always been involved in career. And so while I have all of these disparate tracks, you know, as you look back, and at this point, I am plus 25 years from college. But it's still I can see, you know, hints and, and suggestions from there about all of the things that I'm doing currently. So what the interesting thing that pops into my mind is, how did you, most people are influenced by other people and said, Do you have to pick one thing? How did you happen to escape that trap of how have you know, I never saw it as escaping that trap. I actually felt like I was always being influenced by the the traditions of the job market. I had a very traditional upbringing, I did not come from a family of entrepreneurs, I had the get good grades, get a job, worked for 40 years, retire at 65. I mean, that was how I grew up. And in fact, the double major, the arts, and the economics piece wasn't because I had, you know, some cool artistic family that was behind me saying, hey, you need to be involved in the arts. It was just one of those things that was a nice to have. And I knew that if I wanted to take lessons, the way that my college worked was that if you wanted to take lessons, you had to be a major, so I had to squeeze it through it was really a financial decision more than anything else. And so in order to stay involved, I had to go all the way. But that wasn't because I had someone telling me that that's that that was possible. For me. It was just me kind of trying to buy tooth and nail just trying to stay involved. And so I for a long time, had the get good grades, get a job work really hard. And I had a traditional corporate job in New York. My first job was

Investment Banking management consulting for so a very new york city type of role. And that's where I was born, raised, went to college and lived up until last year, actually, I am now talking to you from Jacksonville, Florida. But up until last year, I was living in New York and that type a hustle. And it was not until my mid 30s, when I really took a step back and said, this is not going to work for me, because I was just interested in a lot of different things. And I could see the people around me, frankly, even people who were doing well, from a traditional standpoint, who had pretty impressive titles, who had interesting jobs, who were making a lot of money, I can see people all around me who were not happy, I was lucky that I was in human resources in recruiting specifically. So I was seeing thousands of career paths. And I can tell you that there were people again, who are making a lot of money, who are very accomplished in their career, who are not happy. And then of course, I saw people who are flaking out in their career also were not happy. So clearly, any specific career choice was not your ticket to happiness. And so that just planted the seed that that Oh, there must be a different way. And I just started noticing what that might be. And that's how I came to entrepreneurship. It was I call myself a reluctant entrepreneur, I never, if you asked me even, you know, 15 years ago was actually I started my business 13 years ago at this point. But if you had asked me even 15 years ago, just a couple years before starting my business, if I would be an entrepreneur, I'd be like, no, that's not me. Right? You know, and it was really just out of necessity that I felt like if I wanted to do all these interesting things, I had to manage my own schedule, I had to be able to switch projects on a dime. And you can't do that in a traditional job. And that was the calculus for me.

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 7:10
Yeah. So you know, it's so interesting to me, because I've had at last count, and I keep remembering ones that I've forgotten. I've had 39 jobs, and I'm not a millennial clearly.And because I would get bored, you know, I would I would master something, and then I would be bored, and I would want to go and do something else, looking back. But at the time that I felt like a failure, I felt like a big fat loser that wouldn't commit to anything. And only recently did I read it, you know, and encounter people who are going, you know, that, that this doesn't make you bad, this doesn't make you a loser, to be able to pursue all these different things. And so now that I want other people to get this message to that you get to choose what you do with your work hours, even if it's multiple different things, right?

Caroline Ceniza-Levine 8:03
Absolutely. I used to call myself the Warren Beatty of careers. So I'm seriously dating myself with that that reference just as notion of being commitment phobic about any one thing. I hear you that's why one of my taglines is focus is overrated. I think that's what you used to name this show. Right? Because it's, it's true. I think you hear so much about the lone wolf who pursues one thing for decades. And that's the only thing that they do. And we lionize, I think that that profile, but the reality is, is that's just not real tech, I mean, at the end of the day, even a regular person haspersonal commitments, you have family, you have friends, you have significant other, there are always going to be multiple priorities in your life. And so why not just embrace that when it comes to your professional? commitments? Right?

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 9:00
Okay, so, um, that I there was once was somebody very close to me, who made fun of my laugh. And called me names like boisterous. And so the end there was, and since I've been in this field of personal development, I've had many other people say that my life is engaging, it's infectious. It's that and I'm still trying to reconcile that you know, and allow myself to laugh on camera, you know. So I love that you're a stand up comic, and I love that this is going to be a fun and happy and joyful show. So I want to know what it looks and feels like to be a stand up comic. You know, we've all seen the movies of people trying to break into the comedy industry and it's, you know, smoky bars and little foot you know, doing just doing jokes everywhere. You get a chance What's the reality of that?

Caroline Ceniza-Levine 11:21
So just random things like that. But what's so interesting is that, um, you know, it was something that was unexpected. And I had hidden it for a while with my clients, because I do working with these organizations on leadership training and serious HR stuff, or even my one on one clients would be these experienced professionals, these executives. And I have to tell you, when they found out that I did dental comedy, they would come to my shows, they thought that that was really, really interesting. And just so you know, I always remind people again, we're multi dimensional. And I think people appreciate that. And they, they enjoy that. And people love to laugh. And I was a hero at one of my clients, because they, they came out to see my show. And it was one of these things nurse performing in New York, and who should drop by to do the show, but Jerry Seinfeld, and so by the time I can't, yes. And so by the time I got to the office the next day, you know, my, my email was blowing up. He's like, Oh, my God, I can't believe I missed that show. Or I can't believe I caught that show, because it's such a treat, depending on who happens to be there. Right.

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 12:31
Oh, that's awesome. That's an awesome story. And I just I think that's such a brave example, that, you know, you're not just you're really walking along, you're not just saying, Oh, you can do multiple things, you're actually doing multiple things. And, you know, getting up in front of people is like the number one fear that they'll people.

Caroline Ceniza-Levine 12:52
Again, yeah, then data. Yeah, absolutely. And I have to say, that is something that I do now that I know that my, both my organizational my individual clients are gracious about it. I do use it. I do point out that yes, you know, like, you have to do some things that might seem frightening to people that might seem frightening to you. But once you do that, it's like a vaccine, you kind of inoculate yourself for the next time. And so that's one of the side benefits of comedy is that it makes you a little bit more fearless. Yeah. Yeah, that's so awesome. I love that. Okay, so what would you say to? We see so many people who, there they go to work for a paycheck, they hate every minute, we talked about the people that you meet. So I'm one of those people and I come to you, and I say that helped me What do I do? I can't live the rest of my life like this. What? What are the steps that you take your clients through to get them on a career path they love? Yeah. So I'd say that there are a few things that that I do with clients. So if someone comes and they're really, really not sure, I actually assure them that they're probably more sure than they think. I think a lot of times people say that they don't know. But what it is, is that the things that they know, they dismiss, or they assume that they somehow can't achieve it, it's unrealistic. They're not going to make any money out of it. And so why bother thinking about it? And so that's low line of inquiry, where I start is that I really just trying to get people to, okay, let's not talk about your career, because career management career change jobs or jet actually starts before you even think about your career. It starts with the rest of your life. Because the reality is, is that things like I need a paycheck. that's legit. A real concern. I mean, the end of the day, it's not all roses and unicorns, folks, so you do need to eat and You know, like it's better for your career if you're not homeless, you know? So I mean, you really do need to think about the things like your numbers, and just Are you taking care of your health and all of that. So it actually starts there. So I will get a sense for, you know, one of the the blogs that I wrote was actually, why did I send my client to a fitness trainer before coaching with me, and it wasn't because he was a model or an athlete, it was because he had to take care of himself. And in particular, he really needed that piece of it, his physical well being, for some people, it's their financial well being. So I will check and see make sure that they're not living on their last nickel, or homeless, naked and hungry at this point. But most people are not like that, right. At the end of the day, when people say that things are dire. Typically, at least people come to career coaching, it isn't that dire. It's just that they're thinking, kind of worst case scenario. And they assume somehow that the that even thinking about a career change suddenly means they have to drop everything and join the circus. And that's just not how that works. So first, I'm calming them down around that. And I'm, I'm really trying to tease out you know, what are your interests, even if you can't think about how you might achieve that, just think about what they are. You know, there's this really talking about Seinfeld, there's this really great scene in that that comedy, where George Costanza, if you remember this character who kind of is a loser, right? He's like living with his parents. He's unemployed, like he's really guys like a mess. And he goes to Jerry, and he's determined to change his life. And he says, you know, I'm going to make something of myself. And Jerry says, oh, what are you going to do? cue the laugh tracks. Of course, everyone's already laughing at him even like, like, he hasn't even done anything. And he says, why I love sports. Again, cue the laugh, drag because he's out of shape, you know, what's he going to do? And I always talk about that scene with folks who are considering a career change, because unfortunately, for many people, they are the George and Jerry to themselves, right. So even before they they'll say something like amazing, like George said, which is I'm going to get my life together, and I'm going to make something of myself. And then they just dismiss that they quote, they throw cold water on that right away. And it's just so important to that's a very, very, very first step, to just acknowledge that it's like, yeah, I could do that. Just even thinking that it's possible, will will open you up to a lot of things. And then of course, there's the brass tacks around. Yeah, you can't just say you want to be in sports, and then sign up for major league baseball and be like, yeah, I'm here to take batting practice, Yankees, for the Mets, or whoever your team is. But do not I mean, like, so then there's reality. But I usually don't start with that kind of reality with clients who are trying to think more expansively, because I think that that piece of it shuts you down. But you do need it, the interviewing, the marketing, the research, all of that is also a part of it.

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 18:15
Yeah. And that that's so interesting, because that's the first step the we walk through people through in just being deliberate creators of their lives is, first of all, get back in touch with what you love, you know, and however, you looking back over your life and choosing moments that you were really alive and really enjoying yourself and really doing things and a lot of people find that, you know, their dreams when they were in their teens and 20s they let them go because somebody said they were unrealistic. Somebody said, You can't. Somebody said, Oh, only 1% of people ever succeed at that, or, or, you know, disempowering Jerry Seinfeld comments that, you know, just knock your legs out from under you. But then you can look at that in you know, from a different perspective, older and wiser and more deliberately going, you know, well, I don't have to be the richest actors in the world. I can make my my living, acting and enjoy myself. And, you know, so everything is possible. I love that. That's very, very cool. Okay, and so, then then what, what, what's the next step?

Caroline Ceniza-Levine 19:23
Yeah. And so, this is where, you know, I talked about right there, there are the brass tacks around marketing research and interviewing and etc, etc. So, when people decide to your title of your show, choose happiness, right? So they they decide to choose happiness and think more expansively, and say, Okay, I'm interested in sports or in retail or in consumer products, or whatever it is, they have some notions about what they might be interested in. And then it's okay, well, how do we then make that into a reality? How do we find those roles that might be

be suitable for you based on, again, what your skills are, what your experience is. And then how do we position that and package that. So that's where the marketing comes in. So that the people who are hiring for these roles because, again, people hire people, you can't just make a declarative statement to the world, and and have it be so. So there is an actual process out there, regarding how people get hired for these roles, whether it's in house or if you decide to go into business for yourself, you're hired by your clients and by your customers. And so there is a process there. And so then it becomes that that type of work, to research what you want to do, to market yourself so that it fits to network so that you meet the right people who will be hiring you or referring you to be hired to interview in such a way that you come across as someone who's genuinely both interested and qualified. Because at the end of the day, I think, a mistake that career changers make once they kind of embrace it, like Oh, yes, I can do something different. And my passion is going to take me all the way forward. No, not really, because employers are hiring or, or customers are are buying because they want a result, right, you can be the most enthusiastic person in the world. If you're not skilled, or if you can't get to that result, you're you're not going to be able to do that. Because you know, people want to solve their problem. Everyone is tuned to wi FM radio, what's in it for me. And so you really need to be able to talk about your interests in such a way that it becomes not just your interest, but your skills and qualifications to solve the problem that's at hand. And I think that that's, you know, again, sometimes some people go right there, and they go into the skills and qualifications and they get discouraged. And they say, I can't do that. And so it's too soon. But then some people only stop at the Yes, I can do it. But then they don't carry it all the way through. And they don't actually define what skills and qualifications they need to exhibit. They don't package themselves the right way. And so they never, they never finish. So you need to have both. Okay, so you figure out what it is that you love what your interests are. And then you match that up with your skills and qualifications. And, if necessary, and usually unnecessary, I would imagine, acquire some additional skills and additional training and learn some new things that will move you in that direction, and then have someone like you who knows how to, to package that in an authentic way so that you're presenting this beautiful package of interest, passion, and qualifications. Yeah. And I would say that I get involved in every step of the process, depending on where people are. So all the way from the beginning in order to help people again, tease out what it is that they're thinking about, translate that into specific industries and specific roles. Because as a recruiter, I've hired thousands of people, I've seen thousands of career paths. And so the everyday person knows kind of where they've been, but they might not have seen as many companies and industries and roles as I have. So it's easier for me. So there's a cheat there, right? So it's easier for me to look at someone and say, Have you thought about this? Or it sounds like what you're describing is this, right? And so I'm involved in that very beginning, if that's where the person is, I'm also involved in looking at what their skills and qualifications are. And thinking about, to your point about is something else needed. I think too many people will jump into I need to go back to school, or I need to get a certification, or I need to get this this marker of some kind. And sometimes that's needed. I do know someone who changed careers, from banking to anesthesiology. He had to go to med school. I mean, you can't just start poking people with drugs.

Unknown Speaker 24:10

Caroline Ceniza-Levine 24:11
obviously, right? Like, all the passion in the world is not going to help this guy, right he did to get a license to do what he's doing now. So that's one very extreme example. I know a computer engineer, who decided she was definitely over 40 might have even been over 50 to go into social work. And so she got a master's in social work. And that's another example of where for what she was doing where she was clinical where she was working in that capacity. She needed those letters, the MSW now, if she had wanted to work in a nonprofit in some kind of helping role, but not necessarily a clinical role, which you need an MSW No, she wouldn't. Right and so the skills and qualifications Please, yes, I'm helping people and also potentially keeping them from, you know, making a six figure investment that they don't necessarily have to make. So that's being realistic and just being smart about what your next moves are all the way through to the end. Sometimes it's about interview technique, people who haven't interviewed in a while, or haven't interviewed with this industry, or for this type of role, or they're an entrepreneur for the first time, and they have to pitch themselves to a customer, which is not like a job interview, it's doesn't look anything like a job interview, all the way to, they have to negotiate the right title, the right compensation, so that they're set up for success. And then we can kind of repeat the process all over again, right? Because you have to, once you start your job, you constantly have to check in and make sure that you're still in the right job. Okay, all right. So the last question on this one, I want to move to the fire for some reason. In my head, I keep wanting to say rice, rice, different acronym. I don't know what that acronym would be. But I'm sure we can come up with that financial independence retire early. All right. So I want the people who are that their their spirit is perked up by this conversation. They're going up? That you know that it doesn't matter what my age is, it doesn't matter how long I've been doing the same thing, I really could do something different and choose something different and that interest is aroused. What What can they do by themselves on their way to connecting with you to nurture that flame? And, you know, get keep keep that momentum and that spark alive? Yeah, absolutely. So I have a number of free resources on my site. And as I mentioned before, I'm a senior contributor to Forbes careers. So I blog on there as well. So if you just search for me, on the Forbes site, you'll see me if you go to my sites and easy, you'll see my career stuff, I have a checklist of 25 mistakes, career mistakes that even smart professionals make. So I think that's a great place to start just to see my making any of these mistakes, and what I'm doing day to day might give you some things to think about. So there are just a number of ways to get started. And I agree with you 100%, that a great way to do it is to poke around for some free tips and strategies you can try to implement right away, give you some ideas, and then see if that approach really resonates for you. Okay, awesome. And so what I would add to that is to create a vision, which is one of the first steps in all of our teaching programs is that if you can imagine what something feels like in your future, you know, and then let those details fill in and go, that that person that's living that life is a orchid grower. I'm going to look into becoming an orchid grower or you know, whatever it happens to be there's, there's literally endless possibilities as to how you can parlay your interest in your passion into revenue.

Unknown Speaker 28:19

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 28:20
Yeah, absolutely. And again, you don't even have to be able to label it or it could grow or I mean, really, you know, I do have some people who come in, I had one person who came to me and said, I've worked with two different career coaches over two years. And I have not gotten results, I have no idea what I want to do. And three months later, she was in a new job in a new industry. And so you can really start from not knowing entirely, because like I mentioned before, she actually did know I teased it out of her because she did know enough to for then for me to then apply the Okay, I've seen a lot of industries, have you thought about this? And so together, we were able to really break that logjam. Right. That's a very cool. Okay, so fire financial independence retire early. I, I want to hear more about how you were able to do this working normal jobs in a high income city, which is what almost verbatim from your website said, Tell me what that looks like.

Unknown Speaker 29:31
Yeah, so the short

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 29:32
story is that there are a number of ways to hit financial independence or financial independence is just defined as you can support yourself essentially, without any one job that there's income coming in. And so if you look at that broad definition, you can see that there are a number of levers that you can press, in terms of how you're getting income, right just means that it's coming from outside a job. It also varies based on how much you're spending, because if you're spending a lot, you need a lot of income, if you can manage your spending, you need less income. And so coming from a high cost of living city, you know, one of the things I looked at I mentioned that I am, that as of last year, we moved to Florida. Part of that was was the fire movement really encouraged us to do that. And I loved the beach, but part of it was because cost of living wise, you know, I had to build a very different business to sustain a New York City lifestyle versus a Florida lifestyle versus a Costa Rica lifestyle, which is, you know, we have property in Costa Rica. And so, for me, I looked at fire in those three stages where I said, Okay, at a minimum, there's the Costa Rica lifestyle, and slumming it in a beach paradise like Costa Rica is a for me was a great nuclear option. So I said to myself, let me just reach financial independence at that level. And we did. And, and again, it's because it was it was tweaking really that expense number. At that point, it was saying, Okay, let me look at at, you know, my investment portfolio and what I can make as an entrepreneur doing things that I love, not things that I have to do, just my passion projects, and yeah, it was enough to sustain her streak, and then the next level of that would be okay, but what if we wanted to keep a foothold in the States? Well, let's look at a lower cost city in the States. For us. That was Florida, because we love the beach. And then, of course, the Holy Grail would be, but I would still love to have a place in New York, because I love the arts. I've been there just I grew up there, I family there, and we love to be there. And so the way that we manage it now, actually, we actually did keep our place in New York. So we are still in a situation where we're building up our businesses. So to to have all three to have kind of New York fire Florida fire in Costa Rica fire. But I think that if you if you approach it, and just say, okay, there are gradations here, there are levels here, we don't have to do it all at once. We can do it in stages. So I do call them stages of fire. And and that's that's where we are we we've hit stage two. So we're at the the Florida level, and and now we're trying to build a business that runs itself so that we could sustain New York, and we shall see. So did you literally move to Costa Rica, we did not. We invested there, we bought a place we set up, essentially a potential life there. So right now we have three places that are vacation rentals. So we rent them out. So they pay for themselves. And they also so they're part of our investment portfolio for now. But they were also a marker for us, like I said, that nuclear option, that option of if we really wanted to just step away. So we know that we have that. And I think that's really important for folks, you know, the corollary to that would be that you keep your job while you look for another job, right? And so it just gives you, you, you have options, you don't have to stay at your job, you could absolutely walk away from your job. And we could absolutely move to Costa Rica, if we just decided, hey, we don't want to work on our businesses. But we still love what we do. And we we want to keep going. And so to the extent that that works for us, we'll keep doing it. But that second, you know, that option is always there. And so we invested there we bought in 2017 and 18. And right now they're paying for themselves and and we shall see. And then so we're living in New York, and we were living in Florida, but we still have our place in New York, and we'll have it for as long as we we feel like we we need it and want it.

Unknown Speaker 34:11
So do you also do you also use the New York property as a vacation rental? We we

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 34:19
theoretically rent it to our daughter, although we're not charging her so we're like, we're like your Boomerang pair right over the parents of boomerang. So, see it as you know, still supporting kind of the family portfolio. And when I say you know, we'll see about New York, it becomes, you know, eventually I'm expecting her to be self sufficient. Eventually, I think our businesses are going to grow where we could manage it indefinitely. And, and so it's it's it's there. It's something that we're we're working towards, but yeah, we don't rent out our place, except theoretically to our daughter. I understand that that would probably be a very, very high profit in New York City, place, but it's also very good to take care of your daughter. That's very nice thing. And just for the record, I mean, I bought some property in Costa Rica and turned it into a vacation rental. There's a lot of steps in there. But Caroline and her team will can help you and teach you and advise you, I was skimming through the website and, you know, questions like, the difference between the, you know, how do you choose a refi or a HELOC in order to get equity from your home? So she she has the knowledge and the skill to delve into all of those parts of this big beautiful picture, right? Yeah, I blog a lot about how we chose the location, how we chose you know, whether a condo or home, we actually have two types of, of rental properties. Yeah, how we financed it, like you said, whether you know, getting traditional financing or doing a cash out refi, or whatever it is. So I talked about that. I even talked about looking at other geographies, because obviously, we had to weigh that or international versus the US. So there are a lot of ways to think about this. And I did do a lot of posts all around those different topics. And we're going to talk more about that because as I told you, before we went on camera, that's your like living my dream, I've been looking at history in that too. So something popped Oh, also the she teaches you how to find a property manager to if you choose to, you know, buy something that you're not right there with and you don't want a property manage it yourself. So that's one of the things that I'm going to delve into and learn about as well. I, I envision moving to another place and having this place where I am now as a mountain rental, and then hanging out in one place in maybe Costa Rica, maybe Guatemala, hanging out there for a while and then moving on to another country and renting that one out as a vacation rental. That's one of the one of the things that goes through my head, which is exciting and fun. Okay, so I want to talk about geography, and I want to talk about very peripherally COVID that as in how is this particular time in our history for making investments like this? Is it better or worse or irrelevant? Or? Well, it's

certainly not irrelevant. I mean, it's touching. It's touching all parts of our portfolio. So from the career perspective, certainly the pandemic is, is causing upheaval in the job market. And so I'm seeing it on the career coaching side where I have, on the one hand, I have clients who are more introspective and thinking more expansively because they feel like they've had this come to Jesus moment, right of self reflection. But on the other hand, I have people who are panicked about maybe an impending layoff or, or how tight the market is. So I've seen it certainly impact on career coaching. And then on the investment side, of course, so for real estate, it impacts people's ability to pay rent, it impacts people's ability to travel and rent out vacation properties. So of course, it impacts us as, as people who have rental properties. And then of course, even just getting to Costa Rica. So I mentioned that we're not living there, but we spent a month there last year, a full month, and then we also had had made multiple trips. And that was the idea was that we were going to be able to enjoy it, if not live there full time. certainly enjoy it for the equivalent of two, three months. And that obviously hasn't happened this year. We wanted to travel in general, that's one of the benefits of, of the lifestyle that we created was to be able to travel and work from anywhere, and borders are closed. And so it has impact us personally, as well. So I think in all places, and I think people are finding this, that it's impacting their portfolio, it's impacting their hobbies and their family relationships and their commitments, and then it's impacting their career and their business. And I'm no different. Okay, interesting. So it's so just said that I was wanting to purchase property out of the United States is should I be investigating that or be waiting until things get better? Well, I think it's like anything. I mean, I think that timing is is a very individual thing. There are some things that you're not going to be able to do right I'm in Costa Rica in particular, their borders are opening November 1. Depending on the geography that you're looking at if borders are closed, and if you've never been there, I probably wouldn't buy anything. right in and never having been on the grounds. That being said, if you have done all your legwork, now might be a great time to buy, because, you know, I can imagine that you can get some great deals from people who perhaps need to sell because their portfolio is impacted, and maybe they have all of their money tied up in a house. And so it's an impossible question to answer, I think, in general, because it is an investment question. So it's about your finances and your risk appetite and your goals. And you know, the legwork that you've done up to date. I think it's a very similar question. If you asked me on the career front is now a good time to make a career change is now a good time to look for a job is now a good time to leave your job. There's never a perfect time. It depends. So the question is, what are the risks that you're willing to take? And you know, what does that timing look like for you? Hmm, okay. Very interesting. All right. So, have you seen the documentary down to earth? With the kid from High School Musical, Zach? Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. No, I Sacca fraud. I've heard of it. But no, I have not seen it. But yeah, I'd love these these sorts of travel things and, and I encourage folks to, to read as much as they can. So I read a lot about Costa Rica, I did networking in the sense of I was emailing with people zooming with people, you know, on the phone with people you get there a lot that you can do virtually for sure, while you're on lockdown, or just being careful about things on but there's no substitute, I think, for being on the ground. Right? And at least for something like a real estate investment, right. And again, some people will feel differently, but but

what No, I'm buying something sight unseen. That's that that seems a gap. I get what you're saying. So the reason I asked is that they did an episode on Costa Rica. And it sounded like there's a lot of Americans and other expats that are taking advantage of buying property in Costa Rica. Is there. What How did you choose Costa Rica? And what would have been your second option? So we we chose it for professional, personal and financial reasons. So personally, we love the beach. Personally, we love the climates that that you get where we ended up selecting because because Drake actually has 13 microclimates, I mean, there's very, very different topography there. So there were personal reasons that we that resonated with that country, as well as other countries. So we're looking at multiple countries, then there are financial reasons. So you can buy as a foreigner, you can own clear title, they have clear title there. So they have strong legal, just in terms of both the titling the way that their their was structured on their, their government is a democracy, it's a stable government. They had I would call them, you know, a second World countries do they have, you know, not all the First World conveniences, they are quite developed. And then in terms of environmental sustainability, there are quite far ahead in terms of health care access in terms of literacy rates. So there were just a number of things that from a financial investment perspective, made it a good country. And again, there are other countries that will check off that list, but you add the the financial piece with the personal piece, that's part of it. And then professionally, they're on central time. So it's close timezone. It's very easy to get from there to the US. So if I needed to get back to New York, where I have a lot of my clients base, I could do that very, very easily. They've got great Wi Fi, at least where we are. And so again, it was it was something that that fit with us. And so that's the kind of calculus and you'd have to do for yourself. And I did have a blog about that, too, the seven factors that we use to pick a geography

Unknown Speaker 44:27

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 44:29
so it's all there on the site. Okay, and very, very much looking forward to delving more into everything that's on your site and all the things that you've written. So what would have been your second choice? So, um, I mean, there were a number of different choices. I mean, we looked at the Philippines, I actually wrote a couple of posts around why we ended up not doing that. And then we we are still looking potentially at a base in Europe. That would be the ideal if I could Had the the dream is to spend time in South America, in Europe, in the US and in Asia. And so to have a footprint in all four of these places, so you don't necessarily though need to own is the other thing. So we were we had planned a scouting trip to Europe that was cancelled because of COVID. So like I said, the pandemic has affected everybody, right? Absolutely. Okay, cool. Have you ever been to Ireland? Yes. And loved it. I had one of my favorite favorite trips. That's way up at the top of my list, too. So I'm very much looking forward to getting back to traveling and seeing some things this is Romeo, My Big Fat lap cat. Oh, yeah. All right. So wherever you're watching this video, or listening to the podcast, whatever, look down. And we'll have all kinds of information and links to freebies and ways to get in touch with Caroline, is there anything that we didn't cover that you just think absolutely must be said today? That absolutely must be said. I mean, I have to tell you, one of the things that's new for me this year that I'm doing, and it, I think it fits with the theme of your show around choose happiness, I started something called the dream career club. And it's exactly what it sounds like. It's a group of people who are all going after their dream career, which really I define as making a great living, because the money is important. And the finances are important, doing work you love because enjoyment is important. And if this pandemic has taught us nothing is that you can't take anything for granted, including, you know, how much time you have. And so it's something that I started, there are details on the site. And you know, I'd love to have you and everybody listening to this show, join in. All right, awesome. Well, I'm already on your email list. And I will definitely go and check that out. And we will, we will stay in close, close touch. And I'd so appreciate you being on the show with us. Thank you so much, Lauren. Oh, and just for the record, I don't know any other way to end our live stream except for ending the call. So it's not that I hung up on you. It's just that I hung up on you, right.

Unknown Speaker 47:21
But we'll be in touch. Okay. Okay,

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 47:23
thanks. All right. And we'll be back with another episode of the How to Choose happiness and freedom show next week. Of course, as always, I don't remember who my guest is going to be, but it'll be awesome, just like this one was. So have yourself an amazing weekend. And remember that happiness is a choice, and you can always choose to be happy first. I'll see you next week.

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