ET
English Taylor
1 day ago

The Art of the Cold Email


We understand that landing that flexible job is a big step in achieving the lifestyle you want. And writing that cold e-mail is the hardest part of getting a job. Here is some tried and tested advice as well as a trusted template to help you conquer that cold e-mail writer's block and nav. that job so you can 


I ’ll nev...

We understand that landing that flexible job is a big step in achieving the lifestyle you want. And writing that cold e-mail is the hardest part of getting a job. Here is some tried and tested advice as well as a trusted template to help you conquer that cold e-mail writer's block and nav. that job so you can 


I ’ll never forget the first time I saw my byline. 
I had been working in sales at a publishing company in Washington, D.C. It was my first job out of college and I was eager to learn and grow (AKA make a ton of mistakes). One day after a rough cold call, I befriended a fellow employee in the shared company kitchen. After bonding over our love for the television series “Shameless,” she suggested I pitch her a story about the show. Moments later, I learned my new friend was The Atlantic’s entertainment editor. 

I had never considered writing as a career or even a hobby, but I always knew I had a knack for it. Perhaps I overcompensated because of my first name, but my high school and college English classes were my favorite and where I earned my highest grades. At work, I wrote conversational, well-structured, and typo-free cold emails with ease. 

Rather than creating prospect lists, I daydreamed about working for Anna Wintour or winning a Pulitzer for the rest of the day. Later that evening, I nervously contemplated whether or not to send the editor my ideas. Finally, I realized that if I was capable of cold emailing someone, there was no reason I couldn’t email a woman with a mutual interest. After all, I was used to rejection, whether it be an unanswered email or hang up. Nothing worse could happen. 

After pressing “send,” she replied a few hours later with her thoughts, a two-week deadline, and advice on how to actually pitch an editor. But the day my article was due, I emailed her asking for another two weeks. (What was my 22-year-old self thinking?) Finally, after five rounds of revisions, my first article was published in February 2012. 

Fast forward seven years later
I’m now a full-time freelance writer. Though I’m now better at managing deadlines, some things haven’t changed. As a small business owner, I spend a large amount of my time prospecting and selling clients. I firmly believe the two years I spent boldly drafting emails to individuals I had never met (but relentlessly Internet-stalked to procure their contact information) is now my edge as a freelance writer and entrepreneur. It’s allowed me to successfully grow my business and make a living doing what I love. 

I spend at least two mornings per week prospecting and sending cold emails to publications in hopes of writing for them. During the week, I add names of brands I hear about or admire to a “Prospecting” Excel spreadsheet. On “Prospecting Mornings,” as I like to call them, I track down and add the name and contact information for the publication’s editor or content manager on LinkedIn. Alternatively, I’ll find a general information, careers, or pitches email address on the company’s website. 

Try this template out for yourself 
Once I have this necessary information, I plug it into the following cold email template: 

Hi [ Editor Name or there ], 

I hope this finds you well! My name is [ Name ] and I’m a freelance writer living in [ City ]. I’m a huge fan of the content on [ Publication Name ]. I especially enjoyed the recently published articles on [ Topic Name ] and [ Topic Name ]. 

I’ve been a contributor at [ Client Name ], [ Client Name ], [ Client Name ], and other publications for the past [ Length of Experience ]. I’d love to discuss writing opportunities at [ Publication Name ] with you. Below you’ll find a few published writing samples as well as a pitch for [ Publication Name ]. 

Published Work: 

[ Hyperlinked Article Title ], [ Publication Name ] 

[ Hyperlinked Article Title ], [ Publication Name ] 

[ Hyperlinked Article Title ], [ Publication Name ] 

Thank you for taking the time to read! I hope to hear from you soon and look forward to remaining a loyal reader of [ Publication Name ]. 

Warmly, 

[ Name ] 

Over the course of a morning, I send about 30 of these cold emails. I’ll often change the client names and links to my published work to showcase that I have experience within a certain industry or vertical, like health or nutrition. I reuse this template over and over again for every cold email, carefully making sure I remove and replace names and publications for accuracy. (Once I accidentally sent an email to a publication but pressed “send” before proofreading. I used another publication’s name in the email. Needless to say, I didn’t hear anything back.) 

The best part? It actually works 
The past two weeks, I’ve tracked my success with this template. I’ve sent out approximately 70 emails. I received a response from 21 and already have assignments from six. I also wouldn’t be surprised if I get responses and assignments from others over the course of the next week. 

It’s funny when things in life come full circle. I couldn’t imagine still working in sales. In some ways, a career as a salesperson and writer are completely different. But after all, my 22-year-old self and 29-year-old self are also completely different. Despite this, I rely on many of the techniques I learned as a salesperson, like prospecting and cold emailing, to be a successful freelance writer. 

Of course, a chance encounter and serendipitous shared love of “Shameless” helped a bit, too.

EP
Erin Papworth
2 days ago

The Nav.it Take on Psychology, Life and Money

Nav.it has a very specific philosophy regarding psychology, life and money. To sum it up and as Mr. Dupri said so eloquently: "Money ain't a thang"

We must begin with the classic proverb: ‘Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will’.  Okay, this isn’t really an old adage-- it’s a Nelson Mandela quote, and we love it because h...
Nav.it has a very specific philosophy regarding psychology, life and money. To sum it up and as Mr. Dupri said so eloquently: "Money ain't a thang"

We must begin with the classic proverb: ‘Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will’.  Okay, this isn’t really an old adage-- it’s a Nelson Mandela quote, and we love it because he was a society-shifting badass and it represents the Nav.it philosophy. Let us tell you why. 

Challenges are a part of Life 
Nav.it or the ‘navigating life’ concept says that the human experience is complicated. Shit does happen. We fail, we succeed, we fall, we get up, and life keeps moving. It moves forward, maybe it appears to move backwards, but it surely keeps moving. And perfection? Ha! Humanity is starting to grasp that perfection is an illusion of our social construct and completely relative. 

The Psychology of Challenges 
Using 21st century technology, psychologists and brain scientists are now able to study how the brain chemically reacts and changes when certain feelings, emotions and characteristics are exhibited. Amazing. And while much of the 20th century was focused on defining the neuroses and pathologies of our brain, over the last 30 years there’s been more of an emphasis on the positive. In fact, science has confirmed not only what emotions and behaviors help us achieve happiness, but how we can improve and increase our neural pathways (grow brain real estate!) to form habits and beliefs that contribute to decreasing anxiety, fear, worry and increasing self-efficacy, resilience and happiness. Is perfection attainable? Of course not. Is happiness as a state of mind available to us throughout our lives? Yep, every day. 

Nav.it and Money
This leads us back to how Nav.it applies psychology to life and money. A plethora of studies show that certain psychological strengths--such as growth mindset, resilience, grit, perseverance, mindful self-awareness, self-control, and emotional intelligence--all contribute to increasing a person’s ability to “execute behaviors necessary to produce specific performance attainment”, i.e. self-efficacy, or the “confidence in one’s ability to exert control ...one’s own motivation, behavior and social environment.”  Manifestation, baby. It's real. 

In #ourgeneration speak, self-efficacy is when you #ownit. This is the empowered, self-assured, confident and knowledgeable person. This is when you are #woke and when you act #likeaboss.

If you look around, this language is everywhere from collegial groups (#LeanIn), to thought-leaders (#Oprah), to the social movements (#blacklivesmatter, #metoo) emerging to push our society forward.  

The fact that this language and confidence is seeping into our social dialogue gives us serious hope for the future. The more people develop the neural circuitry that enables them to consistently exhibit resilience and grit in the face of trials, the better our world will become. Cause #diversity, #chill and #love win the long game. 

Empowerment and Money
With these concepts in mind when Nav.it looked at current social empowerment undertones, we saw a gaping hole in one specific area of true self-determination. Money.

The data on financial literacy in this country, and particularly among young people, is abysmal. Yet money determines our opportunities, lifestyle and social change. Managing money is a significant life “challenge” because our financial system is a labyrinth of pitfalls and ways to lose. It also seems our education system and our social values have deprioritized teaching young people how to navigate it. On the flip side, the citizens of this country have access to insane amounts of credit and starting a business in our economy is relatively easy, so there is also a lot to possibly gain if you understand how the game is played. Unfortunately, the rules are such that the people who understand the maze have a chance to win enormously, and the ones who don’t often suffer unfairly.

What an ideal place, then, to explore all those self-efficacy traits that psychologists and neuroscientists say determine happiness. The financial system we live in is ready and able to give us challenges. The question is, are we equipped to exhibit the resilience, grit, perseverance and self-determination necessary to navigate them?

Nav.it Philosophy
Nav.it views money as a practical part of life that we don’t have a choice but to manage. We also believe that true empowerment (#lifegoals) and the pursuit of happiness (#psychology) in the United States only emerges when we feel confident and can provide for ourselves and our future without fear. So we’re creating products that work on self-efficacy through the management of money. Cause we think everyone can act #likeaboss and be, at minimum, the boss of themselves.

BS
Bekah Stallworth
10 days ago

A Beauty Editor with a Secret Weapon

As cheesy as it sounds, your budget should help you be the best version of yourself: happy, fulfilled, and fiscally responsible. (That’s not to say it won’t require work or be tough at times—another relationship parallel.) So, say you’ve already found your perfect budgeting method. Bills and living expenses are clearly a must, but then there’s the portion of your bu...
As cheesy as it sounds, your budget should help you be the best version of yourself: happy, fulfilled, and fiscally responsible. (That’s not to say it won’t require work or be tough at times—another relationship parallel.) So, say you’ve already found your perfect budgeting method. Bills and living expenses are clearly a must, but then there’s the portion of your budget that’s devoted to how you’d prefer to spend your cold, hard cash. Is it on self-care? Cocktails? Travel? 

Today we'd like to feature a  Budget Badass where we explore how young women—both inside and outside of the finance industry—nav the system and balance their checkbook in a way that lets them live their best life.

(Lead Image Courtesy: Lucy Nystrom/Hair Story )

Occupation: Beauty Editor at BET

Age: 31

Location: Brooklyn, New York 

Instagram: @jmargaretbeauty

GIF Created By: Krista Anna Lewis/Man Repeller

The Background

As long as I can remember, I’ve worked with a budget. But it hasn’t always been a good one—I was actually over-saving for a period of time. Yes, that’s a thing! I kept borrowing against myself, so when my boyfriend and I decided to move in together, it was on the stipulation that we met with a financial planner to make sure that we were both on the same page. Three years later, and I still feel like I’m in control of my finances.

It’s empowering to be upfront with myself about what I can and can’t afford. And, contrary to popular belief, I don’t find that keeping a budget is that stressful. I’m able to plan ahead so that I don’t dip into my emergency fund, and it’s kind of fun coming under budget—it means I get to save more or treat myself!

The Budget

I use the zero-balance budget, which means every penny is allocated to something. It forces me to plan my spending before the month even begins. I also work with my financial planner, Dominique Brown, to help me manage it all. 

Trial and Error

A few years ago, I used a cash-carrying method with envelopes assigned to categories like “groceries” and “fun.” It worked, but I felt a bit uncomfortable carrying around so much cash at once. Now, I have three zero-balance budgets: personal, household (which includes joint expenses with my boyfriend), and freelance (which includes any money I make writing outside of my full-time job). Keeping everything separate prevents me from “cheating” and using money from somewhere else on something else, like new shoes.I also use the Penny app to track how much I spend in each category. There was another app I loved, but it went away when I updated my phone! People swear by Mint, but I couldn’t get into it.

Image Courtesy: Melanie Martin/Beautifully Brown

Can’t Skimp, Won’t Skimp

Experiences are something I never feel guilty spending money on. I’ll bitch and moan about everything leading up to a trip, but once I’m there I feel great—I rarely regret flights and Airbnbs. Also, it’s always worth spending a little bit more to a.) get there faster, and b.) avoid layovers.

I firmly believe that at some point, everything goes on sale, right? Except for hair services—which is why I can’t skimp on color. I was blonde over the summer, and recently returned. Since I work as a beauty editor, people tried to convince me that I could do it myself, but I realize the repercussions of a cheap color treatment and will happily pay an expert to do it for me.

GIF Created By: Krista Anna Lewis/Man Repeller

Pain Points

If there’s something I make a conscious effort to spend less on, it’s Ubers and taxis. I’m constantly bouncing around the city for work, so I try to take the train at all costs. It’s $2.75—you really can’t beat that! I also hate late fees, cancellation fees, and random medical bills—they’re my least favorite way to waste money.

Smart Spending

I actually saved up to buy myself something for Christmas: an Arrivals Moya III jacket ($1,095). I haven’t spent that much money on myself in a long time, and I’ve been wanting one since last year. That’s part of the reason why working with a financial planner is so nice: you have someone to hold you accountable, and to help you map out your life. I literally talk to Dom once a week—or more—about any questions I have. Should I consolidate my IRAs? Can I afford this Chanel bag? I’m sure I drive him crazy. 

Words of Wisdom

Paying off your credit card bills in full is so important. It’s so easy to get caught up in the game of paying a portion or paying the minimum—but it never feels great to owe someone for a temporary thrill!

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

JN
Jordan Nadler
about 2 months ago

Is the Grass Always Greener?

travel
fomo
We don’t know about you, but we’re those people who, no matter what we’re doing, or how happy we are, when we hear of other people’s travel plans and don’t have any immediate ones of our own, go straight into existential-crisis mode.

No matter what’s happening in the present, that Instagram post that pops up in between snapshots of your friends’...
We don’t know about you, but we’re those people who, no matter what we’re doing, or how happy we are, when we hear of other people’s travel plans and don’t have any immediate ones of our own, go straight into existential-crisis mode.

No matter what’s happening in the present, that Instagram post that pops up in between snapshots of your friends’ engagement pics and ultrasounds suddenly makes you feel like your life will be wholly unfulfilled until you, too, can't go see that really cool door in Samarkstand, Uzbekistan. 

Suddenly, a thing you didn’t know existed until five minutes ago feels unattainable and is giving you heartburn.

You know what they say about social media. It doesn’t accurately represent people’s lives, and actually makes us depressed and dumb. But when it comes to travel, many of us are masochists. 

We tune out the truths we know. We see meticulously chosen travel photos from accounts we follow and allow a part of ourselves to believe the snapshots are representative of the subjects’ entire lives. 

That photo you saw of that girl running through a flower field on Instagram? Yep, she's still there - just perpetually in that field, spinning in circles wearing that amazing 18th century-looking dress, while the Goddess of Extra takes pictures from the sky. Let’s be clear, ladies. No one is ever accidentally caught laughing alone in Portrait Mode. 

We at Nav.it (travel-masochists that we admittedly are) want to take the FOMO out of social media. We are building a community of female travelers, for female travelers. And with that community will come what we like to call a real Instagram. A feed for real travel, real experiences and most importantly, real connections with women globally. 

Avert your eyes from the perfectly curated feed of professionals, and instead, learn about the world through your fellow women. Meet each other. Use social media to socialize. Get each other’s tips. Budget for your trip with Nav.it, and share your actual experiences with women who want to hear all about them.

For weekly newsletters and the best female-forward travel content out there, sign up here! Our app launches in September, and you don't want to miss your ride!


JN
Jordan Nadler
about 2 months ago

What’s in a Decade? Women Offer Words of Wisdom to Their Younger Selves

feminism
inspiration

One of the most important parts of growing into our lives as women is the ability to learn from our own pasts, as well as from the strong, independent, female forces around us.


When I was about 18 years old, my mother gave me a piece of advice that I’ve always remembered. She said simply, “Do everything you do with dig...

One of the most important parts of growing into our lives as women is the ability to learn from our own pasts, as well as from the strong, independent, female forces around us.


When I was about 18 years old, my mother gave me a piece of advice that I’ve always remembered. She said simply, “Do everything you do with dignity, and you won’t have many regrets.” Though I certainly have not lived up to this sentiment all the time, and certainly have regrets, it always stuck with me. 

Though I may not have incorporated my mother’s advice when I was younger (“dignity” constantly lost to “one last round of Jameson shots" at 3 a.m.) now, as a 30-year-old-woman, my mom’s passing comment holds weight in my everyday life. 

Sometimes the best way to grow up is to *I can’t believe I’m saying this* listen to your mother. And if it’s not your mother, never underestimate how many other amazing women are around you, brimming with life lessons and acquired wisdom to impart on anyone ready to ask.

So I did. I asked several women of different ages what would be the most important piece of advice they would give to women 10 years younger than they are now. Here is what they said.
 

Nadia Imafidon, 27, Nav.it Editor 

Forgive yourself. Often. Love yourself stubbornly through every illness. And don’t be afraid to hold onto someone else. They see the sun in you.


Kimberley Cunningham, 29, Art Dealer

Don’t be afraid to be young.
 

My own two cents, 30, Writer/Editor

Life: Try to live in at least one other country before you have serious responsibilities (like kids, or a mortgage) and immerse yourself in other cultures vigorously. Even if it’s just studying abroad for a semester, do it. It will make your life fuller. Also, it’s never too late to go back to school. I got my B.A. at 26 and my Master’s at 30. You get to set the pace of your own life, so listen to your gut.

Love: Never relinquish your self-esteem or respect for the attention of another person. It will become a habit. Set your standards high (for lovers, friends, and yourself) and never feel bad about them. 

Amanda Page, 31, Nav.it Creative Director

When faced with a challenge or dilemma. Go with the most difficult choice. We tend to choose familiar suffering over the unknown, and I believe in challenging that every time. Going the difficult way always proves to be more rewarding. 

Samantha Strelitz, 31, Actress

Don’t let anyone dictate your value. Build your self-worth by exploring who you are through your interests and experiences. Find a way to learn more about yourself from the pain of disappointment, failed professional and/or interpersonal relationships and mistakes. Financial independence is paramount.

Jessica Asante, 37, Event Director

There is this amazing thing called auto transfer. It transfers money automatically for you every month from checking to savings. Do it. Now. Saving seems so daunting but even a couple of hundred bucks a month becomes thousands before you know it with how fast time flies in your 20s. And the time for buying real estate or starting a business or rearing a newborn comes FAST and money makes it easier. So just do it in a thoughtless way. 

That being said, stay in school. For as long as you can. You will work for the REST OF YOUR LIFE and if you are lucky it will be long. But tomorrow is never promised so learn as much as you can when you can–it always makes you better.

Lyndsey Powell, 40s, Free Agent

On work: I wished I hadn’t gone for the easy route by just enjoying myself for the now. I wish I’d put more effort into creating my future for a short time to have long-term gains and fulfillment.

Love: I wish I’d known back then that love was incredibly important and that finding a life partner was one of the most profound and spiritually rewarding things we can do!

And that children would add to the depth of joy life had to offer, by having my own family unit who would be my purpose and inspiration and comfort.

Wendy Rhodes, 52, Recent Graduate Student of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Class of 2018

It’s funny, I’ve been thinking about what advice I would give my 10-years-younger self.  I’m 52, and the advice I would give a 42-year-old would vary vastly from what I would tell a 32-year-old or a 22-year-old. That being said, here is what I would tell a 42-year old woman: 

Do it now. Whatever the first thing was that came to your mind – do that. Do it right now, today. You are more than just a daughter, sister, wife, mother or friend. You are you. And you should be the star of your own life, not just a supporting cast member in everyone else’s. You are braver and stronger than you know. Trust in that. 

Lisa Resnick Doty, 54, Real Estate Broker

Always take time for yourself. If you have a job that is demanding don’t be afraid to take a long weekend here and there for yourself. Never settle. I know it’s cliche, but life is short. If you are not happy with your job and you have exhausted every way to make it better, then leave! And you know, [that goes] for your love life as well. Always take time for you. 

One more thing…Have the confidence to know you will be okay.

Ellen Sabbah, 62, Wellness/Spa Manager

Your body is a temple, treat it that way. Eat healthy, exercise often, drink water always and have a spiritual practice–meditation, yoga, some form of stillness. 

Be a lifelong learner. Read often, take courses, educate yourself daily.

Trust your instincts and follow your heart, but always take your brain with you. Practice this in life, love and career.

Save money always! Keep saving for a ‘rainy day’. Life can throw you off course and you want to be prepared.

Don’t be afraid of aging, it had its own wonders as long as you stay curious and active.

Barbara Nadler, 87, Jewish Grandma Extraordinaire 

This is a revolting question. Is 77 an age? Okay fine. Sow your oats. Enjoy your life. 

 



EP
Erin Papworth
about 2 months ago

And So It Begins

travel
traveling
see the world
borderless
international
empowered
My name is Erin Papworth, and I am the CEO of Nav.it, the travel and lifestyle app for women who run the world and want to see it. 

We have a saying at Nav.it: Be Borderless. For many of us, it feels like that was never a choice, it was just a part of who we were - citizens of the world.

In my early twentie...
My name is Erin Papworth, and I am the CEO of Nav.it, the travel and lifestyle app for women who run the world and want to see it. 

We have a saying at Nav.it: Be Borderless. For many of us, it feels like that was never a choice, it was just a part of who we were - citizens of the world.

In my early twenties, I went on what was meant to be a week-long safari in Africa. Thirteen years later I returned home, having worked for humanitarian groups in 15 countries across the sub-Saharan region. I’ve met so many incredible people in my travels, but what always resonated with me was how utterly universal and unique the female experience is.

You see, “travel” means much more to me than a week long vacation somewhere. It is a way of life; a form of incomparable enrichment. Through my work and the way I budgeted my money, I was able to establish a level of financial freedom that gave me opportunities to live out of the box (boxes have borders, after all), and deeply shape my understanding of life. 

I created Nav.it so that women can find the tools they need to navigate the world on their own terms; to understand their power and agency, and most importantly - to learn how to manage their money in a way that turns travel dreams into plans.

When my team at Nav.it says we are a community of female travelers for female travelers, it comes from the knowledge that women comprise two-thirds of the world’s globetrotters, and make 92% of all online travel purchases in the U.S. That is a lot of decision-making and a lot of travel stories to be told. Our team is a group of passionate, primarily former expats who want nothing more than to elevate other women’s lives through travel.

And here’s the thing. We didn’t want to be yet another travel app that simply shows you pictures of the most beautiful places you’ve ever seen and tell you that you’d be happier there. Because...yah. Obviously. 

The barrage of #travelinspo content rushing across our screens every five seconds making us feel irresponsible for having jobs when we could be frolicking down some French Polynesian beach instead? It's not helping anyone get anywhere.

So we decided to change the game. Nav.it takes aspirational travel and makes it actionable. 

We firmly believe that wealth is experiential, but it does cost money to get places. Knowing how to manage your money and save what you have is paramount to freedom, whether you're traveling on a sexy shoestring or going on a luxury blitz. 

We don’t just tell you about amazing finds around the world, we help you get there. We give you the option to sync your bank account with our app, and set saving goals for trips you want to go on. We create monetizable city itineraries for you. We let you budget for every restaurant, hotel, museum and flight we review. And to top it off, we've created a community where you can share your tips and experiences with others while learning from their travel fails, their hacks and, most importantly, where to get the most amazing crème brûlée in Nice. We do this all focused on the female experience in the world. 

Women’s lives are not one-size-fits-all, so neither is the Nav.it experience. We are here to empower every woman to see the world in a way that is feasible to her, and we hope you come along for the ride!







BS
Bekah Stallworth
about 2 months ago

Want to Travel More? Consider Passive Streams of Income

Meet Joy Schoffler, the Chief Strategy Officer of Casoro Capital in Austin, Texas.

Meet Joy Schoffler, the Chief Strategy Officer of Casoro Capital in Austin, Texas.

Joy with her beautiful family

Schoffler has built her career on helping people and businesses make smart real estate investments, so adjust your bra straps and perk up your ears. Your future, richer selves will thank you.  


Why Real Estate?

“People always need places to live,” says Schoffler. “Owning apartments minimized risk in my mind, as you had so many different tenants that your risk was spread out. Seeing the market drop by 50 percent during the recession just reinforced my theory.”


Weathering the Storm

Schoffler began working for the PPA Group, the parent firm of Upside Avenue, in 2007—the year that housing prices and sales began to fall nationwide before the bubble burst. But despite the ongoing financial crisis, the PPA Group thrived; from 2008 to 2009, and 2009 to 2010, the firm made Inc.’s list of fastest-growing companies. That’s because it specialized in multi-family B and C class investments.


Real Estate: As Easy as A, B, C. 

B and C class properties, as opposed to cream of the crop A buildings, typically house working and middle-class individuals, and are widely considered to be some of the most recession-proof investments since there’s always demand. As fewer and fewer millennials make the shift from renting to buying,  these sorts of properties are proving to be a very smart income and wealth-building strategy. 
 

Where the Heart Is

Since last year, Schoffler has been developing the product strategy for Upside Avenue, Casoro’s non-traded real estate investment trust (REIT). For her, it marries two passions: real estate, and helping people create their own wealth.


 The REIT Rundown

A REIT is a fund that owns or finances income-producing real estate; a non-traded REIT’s shares aren’t traded on a national stock exchange or directly affected by the volatile stock market, but their Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings and performance reports are publicly available. Compared to other forms of investment, they’re a pretty safe bet. 

“I’m terrible with the stock market—I have a terrible touch,” says Schoffler. “So I’m personally moving to a self-directed IRA, and investing in a REIT because I feel better knowing my investments are backed by multifamily real estate.” 

Upside Avenue’s REIT invests in private market real estate, specifically multi-family, student, and senior living facilities—the same kind of properties that enabled its parent company to make it through the recession unscathed. 


The Future is Accessible 

With all that said, it’s easy to assume that investing in real estate requires having some serious dough at your disposal, right?

Not really. Upside Avenue requires a minimum investment of $2,000, making it a viable option for most working-class individuals. Plus, the targeted return has liquidity after just one year. That’s money in your pocket. 


The Golden Ticket

Schoffler knows that parting with hard-earned income is scary, but she’s grateful she made the decision to live more conservatively and invest when she was younger. “Passive streams of income have allowed my family to spend one month a year traveling the world for the past six years,” she says. “Having monthly and quarterly income that I’m not actively working for equals freedom.”   

Even if you start small, Schoffler says the result is priceless. Building a passive stream of income— such as investing in REITs—is a wealth strategy that she learned from one of her favorite books, “Rich Dad Poor Dad.”  

“At the end of the day, financial stability is everything. It gives you the freedom to live where you want to live. It gives you the choice of where you send your kids to school, and where you go in your career—you either follow your paycheck, or your dreams.”


JN
Jordan Nadler
about 2 months ago

Sonder



There is a magical little website called The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows in which a man named John Koenig has, for years, made up words for some of life’s most intangible phenomena. One such word is sonder.



There is a magical little website called The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows in which a man named John Koenig has, for years, made up words for some of life’s most intangible phenomena. One such word is sonder.


Though I never had a name for it, this sentiment has been a limb of the tireless wanderlust I've felt for as long as I can remember. I wish there was a better word for "wanderlust" that didn't make the user sound like a 19 year-old creative writing student; but it does sum up the feeling well. It is a lust; a vociferous, all-encompassing need to have more, see more, taste more, know more. Wander everywhere. Or as we say at Nav.it, be borderless.

Through my initial forays out of the U.S. into Western Europe, in trips to Mexico and Central America, through the streets of Caracas, Venezuela and the jungles of Northern Thailand, winding my way across Bohemia, getting lost in Lithuanian forests and witnessing  stampedes of Wildebeests in Mjejane, South Africa (Lion King style)...I often stop in amazement at the most obvious and provincial of realizations -- that there are people everywhere; that the moments I find myself in awe, absorbing the customs, culture and history of a new place is an insignificant hour in someone else's day. A woman wakes up and goes to work in a neighboring town she has always known, where my "new"is her status quo. We cross paths, for the first and last time in our lives, but for a moment as we set eyes on each other...

Sonder. 

Women see women.  In a room, on a train, in precarious situations, in spectacular environments. We see each other, if only briefly. And the feminine spirit is comforting in its familiarity. For where one woman thrives, her happiness stretches out like a hand, waiting to extend the same potential to another; it whispers, "Life is nourishing here." 

When we travel, even if it is to “get away,” we search for connections with each other. We explore parts unknown, to learn and grow, but find kernels of sameness that help keep our feet on the ground.

When we travel, when we experience different cultures, often times it is the female experience in the societies in which we find ourselves that help us understand the fundamental differences. Walk through the colorful streets of Denmark, and then the bustling markets of Morocco and you will pass by women who are powerful and brave -- and face distinct challenges. A woman boards a bus in Japan with a freer mind than she does in India. And yet, we've all got somewhere to be.

And still, the world is ours. Women of the world. We fight, at different levels, for justice, for equality, for respect. For meaning.

We elevate our lives through travel. And not just luxurious, frolicking through flower fields travel (though who among us doesn't love a good flower field?) But leaving comfort zones, travel; conceptualizing home as something outside the lines of the piece of land you “belong” to; to a nationaity you were told you are. You change the narrative. You Nav.it. You become a citizen of the world, a woman who explores its many crevices. You assimilate into the air, onto the ground and within the many bodies of water on this planet. And you do so knowing you are in a state of perpetual ignorance. Every person on the street is a window into a life you will most likely never know. 

Sonder is real, and beautiful, and perhaps necessary to understand the scope of our existence. It is both tiny and magnanimous. You are both the center of your universe, and a dot on the ground as another woman’s flight takes off, propelling her on an adventure you may never understand, but are a small part of nonetheless.



EP
Erin Papworth
about 2 months ago

For Love of Women

#feminism
#women
#africa
#empowerment
#sisterhood
#femininespirit
In the U.S., the concept of “grit” is often touted as an important part of success. Yet in sub-Saharan Africa, where I lived for 13 years, the ability to show resilience and tenacity in the face of hardship is not conceptual, or optional. I started to truly understand the commonality and strength of humanity, and the insane strength of women in particular, because I was...
In the U.S., the concept of “grit” is often touted as an important part of success. Yet in sub-Saharan Africa, where I lived for 13 years, the ability to show resilience and tenacity in the face of hardship is not conceptual, or optional. I started to truly understand the commonality and strength of humanity, and the insane strength of women in particular, because I was afforded the opportunity to travel the world and end up where I did. 

It is hard to find the right words to explain the experiences I’ve had or the people I’ve met; the phenomenal women I’ve had the honor to know --who have been born into a shared time but a place that is a world apart from everything I thought I knew.

Universally, when it comes to women -- you may not understand them, but you know them. You know them in your hearts because somewhere inside, you are them. 

You have the same characteristics they exhibit. You are determined, get angry, worry about the future and your children. You crave community and seek agency. Your life has demanded you exhibit an array of traits --academic excellence, endless self-reflection, emotional analysis and the ability to negotiate your intimate relationships.  

You may not be tasked with protecting your children from war or finding any way possible to feed your family because of food scarcity, but others are, and you would rise to the occasion if you had to, just like them. 

When I reflect on a story that describes my experiences, the first that comes to mind is about a childbirth I assisted one dark night in a remote region in the northwest corner of Central African Republic. I had no business being in the room as I was the logistician and responsible for supplies and staff for Doctors Without Borders (MSF in French), not healthcare delivery.  But there were only three members of MSF based in that village, and the two male African nurses needed extra hands. It’s surreal to look back on now, ten years later, and after my own childbirth experience in a pristine western hospital equipped with oxygen and epidurals.

But there is a purity in that night; a woman giving birth under the cloak of darkness. No drugs, no electricity, two headlamps, a kerosene lamp and forceps ushering in a beautiful new human life. The nurses made sure she and her baby survived, while I stood by her head, a lost, useless wreck, holding her hand and blotting her forehead, wondering if I should be doing more. 

She came to us because she had been displaced from her village due to the rebel activity in the region. I didn’t know where the father was or if he was still alive. I vaguely remember her mother or an auntie accompanying her. I didn’t know how she had come to that tiny town surrounded by Chadian troops to the west and French legionnaires to the south. I couldn’t understand her language. I couldn’t help physically, aside from moving the light in whatever way the nurses directed and handing them equipment.  I didn’t know how to get the baby out safely or make sure she didn’t bleed out. 

All I really could do was hold space for her in that instinctive way a woman does for another, willing the Feminine spirit in her to assist her body to do what it was designed to do. She barely cried out, she suffered and groaned in composed, resilient dignity. She gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl.

I learned the next day she named her Erin, after the foreign woman who stood by her as she brought her daughter into the world. I saw her one more time after that and then she and the baby were gone.  

I don’t know why I tell that story now, if only to relive it for myself. Perspective and time make stories more profound and help you find new truths in the cobwebbed recesses of your mind. And it reminds me -- when my life seems complicated, when I am mentally stressed or when I am in pain --  that I am never really alone.