Ep327: Rachel Beck – Invest in Healthy Business Relationships

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Guest profile

Rachel Beck is the author of “Finding Your Way When Life Changes Your Plans: A Memoir of Adoption, Loss of Motherhood and Remembering Home,” she lives in Des Moines, Iowa, and is a rising voice in the movement of women’s storytelling.

Her story is rooted in a cross-cultural, adoptive-family love story unlike any other. Lifted by wings strengthened through struggle, Rachel’s story flies in the face of society’s expectations for women to look a “certain way” and slip comfortably into the American Dream.


“Take the time to build relationships because, in business, it is not about what you know; it is about who you know.”

Rachel Beck


Worst investment ever

Building friendships instead of business relationships

Rachel has always put her heart and soul into every project that she handles. Unfortunately, this has caused her to put emotions first, especially when dealing with business partners. Doing this has cost her a lot as she conducts her businesses.

Rachel’s nature of being an empath has led her to make friends instead of building business relationships. Being friends with her business partners has lead her to trust people who have often not kept their part of the bargain.

After a couple of mistakes, Rachel has learned how to build healthy business relationships founded on mutual trust.

Lessons learned

Look for the red flags

If something is too good to be true, then it is. Learn to keep your eyes open and look out for any red flags.

Learn how to ask for help

Find role models who are successful in your area of interest and let them guide you. Do not let ego stop you from asking for help whenever you need it.

Build healthy  business relationships

Take time to invest in healthy relationships. You have no excuse not to do it because a smart entrepreneur knows that it is not what you know but whom you know that is important in business.

Always be professional

Just because we are in a virtual world right now does not mean everything else goes away. This is not the time to stop being professional.

Andrew’s takeaways

Trust your intuition but choose logic over emotion

Always listen to your intuition but remember that your intuition is different from your feeling. Your feeling goes longer, deeper, and stronger. But the point is, in business, you must choose logic over emotion. Put your feelings aside and focus on reason.

Trust is critical in business

Businesses should be based upon trust. Build trust with your business partners if you want your business to succeed even when you have contracts in place.

Actionable advice

Do the research. Invest time into researching, do it, and then do it more.

No. 1 goal for the next 12 months

Rachel’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to keep lifting people. She wants to shine a light on people in her network and give them the platform to get out there and tell their stories.


Read full transcript

Andrew Stotz 00:03
Hello fellow risk takers and welcome to my worst investment ever stories of loss to keep you winning in our community we know that to win an investing you must take risks but to win big, you've got to reduce it. This episode is sponsored by a starts Academy online course how to start building your wealth investing in the stock market. I wrote this course for those who want to go from feeling frustrated, intimidated or overwhelmed by the stock market to become confident and in control of their financial future. Go to my worst investment ever.com slash deals to claim your discount. Now fellow risk takers This is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz and I'm here with featured guests. Rachel Beck. Rachel, are you ready to rock?

Rachel Beck 00:44
I'm ready to rock and roll and even smiling the whole time, man, thank you for having me. I

Andrew Stotz 00:49
can't wait. So let me tell the audience a bit about you. Rachel is the author of finding your way when life changes your plans, a memoir of adoption, loss of motherhood, and remembering home. She's living in Des Moines, Iowa is a rising voice in the movement of women's storytelling. Her story is rooted in a cross cultural adopted family love story, unlike any other, lifted by wings strengthen through struggle, Rachel's story flies in the face of society's expectations for women to look a certain way and slip confidently into the American dream. Rachel, take a moment and fill in further tidbits about your life. And maybe tell us a little bit more about the story and your book.

Rachel Beck 01:39
Yeah, Andrew has read my story is very interesting. It's very complicated and begins in a remote village in India. A very small area of India in the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India. My biological mom died two days after giving birth. There's a man we're not sure if he was his father or not tried to take care of me as extremely sick. So he brought me over to the founder of an orphanage. And she I stayed in her home, she had other children in there. And she took care of me until I was adopted. The orphanage is still there today. And I go there. When I go to India, I stay there and part of the proceeds of the book are going back to the orphanage. It is my you know it's my destiny. Right is this. I've been trying to find my way I'll be in my mid 40s. And I'm just finding my way right now. It's a story of resilience. It's a story of never giving up. It's a story of never quitting. It's a story of never accepting what people expect us to be. And to be who we want to be. Which you and I both know that applies in many different areas

in life.

Rachel Beck 02:56
I've learned to let go of expectations. I've learned to let go of what people think because you we can't control what people think of us, we can only just be us. It's a story of survival. I've almost died three times in my life. So I don't take anything for granted. I get up and I'm grateful every single day. That sort of thing. So I've had battled a disease for 20 years about endometriosis. I've lost a child through pregnancy. I've had a failed adoption where I met a baby girl and that fell apart. And that door motherhood you know I closed many years back. I also three years ago had to have hysterectomies due to a medical reasons. So it's about reinventing yourself. Right? And to reinvent myself as a woman all over again. I've had to go through identity all over again. It is not easy. Being a Jewish Indian woman in America. I face a tremendous amount of racism, I deal with anti semitism. So it's putting that like protective shield around me in saying okay, you can get through this.

Andrew Stotz 04:16
Wow. That's, that's intense. You know what you went through? It's, it's interesting. I had shivers going down my spine as you were talking. One of the things that we have in somewhat in common is that there was a place that I lived when I was young, when my life fell apart. And it was a it was not an orphanage, but it was a place for young kids. It was a rehabilitation place called New Directions. And it was also started by a woman named Nikki Babbitt. She started about almost 40 years ago. She passed away a long time ago. But that place is still there. And that is where I got sobriety, I got clean, you know, and stop got off of drugs. And I stayed there for seven months, and my counselor, meaning I left there in 1983, my counselor, at that time, is now the director of that program. So he's been there the whole time, he's actually been a podcast guest. And, you know, it's that connection that I made through there. I mean, I like to say that I got a chance to reboot like a computer. And that place gave me the chance to reboot. And the visionary Nicky, who started really gave me that chance, I took that chance, just as you did, with the opportunity that came. But you know, I think it's a, it's, it's a tribute to and for the listeners out there. If you have a somewhat stable situation, or you have, you know, you've overcome challenges, you know, working with young people who are struggling, who are struggling, whether it's with drugs, whether it's with family, whether it's relationships, whether it's physical, emotional, mental, physical challenges, devoting just a little bit of time to those people can change the whole damn world, because you touch one person. And when you touch one person, and you change the world, you change their world. They change the world into a better place. So really appreciate you know, your story, what you went through, and where you are now. So I'm glad to have you on the show.

Rachel Beck 06:37
Thank you. Yeah, I feel really, you know, I was really injured as a doctor by a beautiful family. I was with him for 11 months on Ford. When I go back to India, you know, I had like, you were talking about two different homes, right. So I'm Indian American, American citizen, when I go, when I went back to India for the first time in 2013. I like my whole soul came alive. And I don't even know how better way to describe that. But it was I had dreamed of going back to India my whole life. And it's where I wanted to be. And so every time I go there, I have that experience. And you were talking about the woman who founded your, your place. So the woman who founded this orphanage, and she has saved and she's passed away to hundreds and hundreds of children's lives. So her ashes were falling back there. And there's, you know, a tomb, you know, on the orphanage, and they have a yearly event where they honor her. So I got to go there. And it was really powerful. Is that all right? And I think they're for saving my life.

Andrew Stotz 07:45
Yep. So it's a great lesson for all of this news. Just give a little bit of time, just get a little bit of time. I remember, in 1998, we had the Asian crisis, I almost lost everything, I lost my job, I almost lost our coffee business. And Dale, myself, my business partner, Dale, for the coffee business, had to live in the factory, in a little room, on the outskirts of Bangkok. In a strange country, we moved to with very little resources, very little relationships there. And we were all alone. And then I lost my sister to cancer. And I went into a depression. And what I did to get out of that depression is I went to a place called the child protection foundation in Bangkok. And I just started playing with the kids. And I just decided I'm not going to really do any, I'm not going to teach English or anything, I'm just going to come here and play with these kids. And to see the tragedy in these kids lives. And yet the spirit of fun and positive energy and just energy in general, really lifted me up to tell me, you know, just that little bit of time that I spent with them, got them to smile. And it certainly got me to, you know, look at my life in a different life. So I challenge all the listeners, this is a great, you know, reminder for everybody, to how can you touch a young person's life who is struggling, it may just be an hour of your time. It may be a month, maybe a year. But that little bit of time, can change the world

Rachel Beck 09:18
is planting that seed, right, you're planting that seed, this is Amanda and Rona. If you notice for 10 years, I ran a photography business and I worked all over. And I was also one of the things I loved about doing this. I was able to volunteer with charities to help them because obviously they needed the funding, but they couldn't get the money. We were talking about money for PR and marketing because they're not for profits. So that was one of the things I decided I wanted to do was to help them and to see those faces and to tell them I have like I've walked into some places and when photography was people never stepped foot in. And I've you know somebody with me, you know for my protection. To tell the stories of what's really going on in this world, I don't believe in sugarcoating anything.

Andrew Stotz 10:08
Fantastic. Well, now it's time to share your worst investment ever. And since no one ever goes into their worst investment thinking it will be. Tell us a bit about the circumstances leading up to it. And then tell us your story.

Rachel Beck 10:22
Andrew, it really comes down to this, I would say the biggest mistakes I've made when it comes to investing is relationships. Comes whether it's, you know, a friendship I've made or business relationship that blinded or put my faith into some company, and then they didn't deliver. That is what I say, would be the worst things. And I've learned from every experience, and we all make mistakes, we all make bad investments. But I learned from something, right. So I learned whether or not if I was working undervalued myself, like on a project that I charged that, okay, then I need to like, make sure I do this right the next time. If I learned something, from a relationship building, I'd put a lot of faith into a company, I could say there's two companies. And one of them have really failed me, miserably. Really, really miserably. So I learned from that lesson to not put in when it comes to business or a company, that if that they're saying we're going to deliver the Sun Moon stars, then that might not necessarily be true.

Andrew Stotz 11:34
And if you take that particular case, let's say, and you look at it in hindsight, you see, but at the time you stepped into it. What was it that like attracted you in or what was it that got you into that? Where you now realize, Oh, that was a mistake.

Rachel Beck 11:54
My heart It was emotionally attached project. So now I'm and everything I do is for my heart. But now what I would say when it comes more to business, I'm gonna lead cognitively first. And then let me let my heart and gut and that's why I was saying it comes down in relationships. That's exactly why. So now like, I know, I can't, I'm an empath. So I feel everything, like even our first conversation. I knew you think you're a fantastic person, they want to do this with you. So I've learned that I've learned I'm very big on when it comes to business, like what you say that your word is your bond that you know, I told you four o'clock today, I will be here at four o'clock today. That's another part of investment. Right? You're not investing our time. Are you showing up? are you investing in etiquette? Are you conducting yourself in the best way? These are all things that people can invest? invest in right now? In the middle of this man? That's really, really important.

Andrew Stotz 13:03
So if if you would summarize, for the person out there who is maybe more emotional, or they don't know that much about business, and they're jumping in with all this excitement? How would you summarize the lessons you've learned from these mistakes?

Rachel Beck 13:19
Look for the lessons. Look for the red flags. If something is too good to be true. That's probably your answer. Right? In some way, if it looks, if it looks like like Sun Moon star, probably not. So I've learned to keep my eyes open more, I've learned. And I have to say, I can't I have four incredible role models in my life, who were very successful businesses made it and you know, giving back to this world. So they've taught me everything I need to know. I think it's important for be able to ask for help. I think the ego gets in the way that for people I have people I can reach out to for help. And I think that's crucial. No need help. And we all definitely need help during this pandemic. We are all doing this. Without that social interaction with you know, without that board meeting, you know, grateful we have technology, don't get me wrong, but it's not the same as you and I sitting down having a cup of coffee right now in your coffee shop. So, take the time, are you investing in relationships right now? I tell my network this all the time. Whenever Are you taking the time to build that relationship? Right now? I'm investing in building the relationships and I'm teaching my network, build the relationships. You have no excuse not to do that. When I was 18 years old. I was taught it's not what you know, in business is who you know, in business. And that's, that's what I was taught. You can add the foundation. You know, we can read the books, we can do everything. But you know, Andrew, I learned something every single day. I never stopped myself from learning, I'm in a constant state, I'm very thirsty for knowledge. So I'm in this constant state of soaking and I go to like, you know, the experts in the field, I've been introducing them to people on my network, hey, you know, you're gonna call it Hey, meet Andrew, this is advice is going to give you the relationships, invest in relationships.

Andrew Stotz 15:21
Perfect. So here's a few things that I take away from your story. And that is, I would like to title, my little discussion here, the intangibles of business. A lot of times we look at the tangibles, you know, the numbers and all that. But what you're talking about is that there's certain intangibles in business. And the first one that you talked about was the idea of your emotion. And I would say, emotion, intuition. On the one hand, we need to remember that intuition is different from emotion intuition is that moment that you have that fleeting, feeling, this is right, this is wrong. So first of all, what I've learned from this podcast is that we must try to be in tune and pick up the signal from our intuition. But our intuition is different from our feeling, our feeling goes longer, deeper, stronger. But the point is, is that in business, we have to think of, to some extent, logic over emotion, sometimes we have to put the emotion down and focus on the logic of it. The second thing that I think about, that I always say, is an intangible in business that people don't learn in school. And that is trust. Businesses based upon trust, you know, we signed contracts and all that, but that's really to say, we agree that this is what we're going to do for each other. And, you know, it's not only a relationship on trust, you know, by that contract, it's a relationship of trust and money, that, hey, I'm gonna, you know, you're gonna pay me for doing this, you know, and you owe me this, and you're gonna pay me as soon as you know, you hit this deadline. And, you know, there's so much trust involved. And in fact, a lot of this COVID situation, and the shutdown of economies really pushed that trust to a limit, you know, it really pushed it very, very hard. So trust is another thing that I think is critical. And the last lesson for me is the idea of having the team around you, the mentors, or the people around you, for me, I have a small group that I call my core four. And there's four core people in that, including me, so there's four of us. And those are my kind of brain trust, the people that I've basically been with, and working with, and friendships with, for 20 to 40 years. And so that's my core four. And maybe I'll just share my goal for this year, this year for 2020. My goals are to focus to deepen, and to attract. And what I mean by focus is, I mean, my highest priorities are clear. And I work on them daily. What I mean by deepen, it means I bring value and bring more value to my efforts and to my relationships. And so when it comes to attractive, I say, I attract good things, and good people. So I developed like a mantra every year, and then I tried to speak that out. And so I just shared that. But the one thing I would say, is that I want to increase the time that I spend with the core for what I'm saying is double it per week. That means more time on the phone with them more time and listening to them more times getting together. And then my other thing about deepen is I want to bring one new person, per month into my inner circle. And that's my challenge for this year. And that's not easy, because it is based upon trust and all that. But this just thought it would be a good thing to share. So anything that you would add to what I take away from your story.

Yeah, I would say the biggest lesson

Rachel Beck 18:58
Andrew, it's really crucial right now is for people to be professional. I think it's really, really crucial. I think that you have to even put that step, you have to step into it almost even more.

Yep. Because

Rachel Beck 19:13
it's how everything's gonna flow. But if you're not just because we're in a virtual world, right now, it doesn't mean everything else goes away. And that is something that I think it's crucial for people to understand. For example, you said, be here for I'm here, like it's a professional thing to do. Why? Because it's a matter of respect. I respect your time. You know, you respect mine. Well, you're a wonderful communicator. Let me let me say that first and foremost, your wonderful communication. And that's a skill that I deeply deeply value in people is communication. So this is not the time to stop being professional. Great, not the time to slack off being professional either. And that's the truth. You know, and i know it.

Andrew Stotz 20:02
Well, you know, in in, it's, it's a time that I would say, to prove yourself as someone who is reliable during the time of turmoil, so here's your chance, you know, sometimes you're not gonna have money, sometimes you're not gonna be able to pay that bill, sometimes you're not getting the customers, you honestly deal with the people around you and say, This is my current situation, I'm not going to run away. But I can't pay this right now. But I'm working on it, and you will eventually get it. You know, that type of communication is the type of professional communication that builds lasting relationships

with coffee, and a coffee, or a cup of coffee.

Andrew Stotz 20:43
Well, I had my morning Espresso, so I have a lot of energy today. So next question, based on what you learned from this story, and what you continue to learn in your life, what one action would you recommend our listeners take to avoid suffering the same fate?

Rachel Beck 20:58
do the research, do the research and do more research, I very much invest time into researching, do it, and then do it more, I think is really, really important.

Andrew Stotz 21:11
It's interesting, because I told you before the show, and the audience knows that when I started this show, I asked people in my network if they'd share a story, and I got 500 stories sent to me written stories. And being an analyst, I decided I'd group them into different categories, and analyze them. And I came up with six common mistakes that people make. And the number one most common mistake is people fail to do their research. So Rachel's giving us a great reminder that it's critical in business and in life. Before you take that step that you do the research. Last question, what's your number one goal for the next 12 months?

Rachel Beck 21:53
My goal, Andrew is to keep lifting people up. That's my goal. And when I made this decision in March, when this pandemic started, that's what I was going to do is to shine a light on people in my network to tell their stories to give them that chance to give them the platform to get out there and do it. So that's my goal. And I want to continue to do that.

Andrew Stotz 22:14
Let's all keep lifting people up listeners that you haven't another story of loss to keep you winning. Remember to go to my worst investment ever.com slash deals to claim your discount now for my how to start building your wealth investing in the stock market course. As we conclude, Rachel, I want to thank you for coming on the show. And we're having Yeah, and on behalf of a Stotz Academy, I hereby award you alumni status for turning your worst investment ever into your best teaching moment. Do you have any parting words for the audience?

Rachel Beck 22:49
Yeah, we have some coffee.

Andrew Stotz 22:52
Oh, yeah. It's coming. All right. And that's a wrap on another great story to help us create, grow and protect our well fellow risk takers. This is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz saying. I'll see you on the upside.


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About the show & host, Andrew Stotz

Welcome to My Worst Investment Ever podcast hosted by Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, where you will hear stories of loss to keep you winning. In our community, we know that to win in investing you must take the risk, but to win big, you’ve got to reduce it.

Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, Ph.D., CFA, is also the CEO of A. Stotz Investment Research and A. Stotz Academy, which helps people create, grow, measure, and protect their wealth.

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