EP 283 – How To Stay Motivated In Note Investing With Gail Villanueva And Gail Greenberg

NCS 283 | Staying Motivated In Note Investing


NCS 283 | Staying Motivated In Note Investing

Staying motivated in note investing can be difficult at times. How does your inner wound manifest itself in your life? Maybe you’d be passionate about new goals but later lose interest in pursuing them. Maybe you’ve always felt like your lack of confidence is keeping you from getting there. Here’s the thing: it’s all in your head. It’s your subconscious saying that you don’t deserve to succeed, and that there would be bad, unwelcome changes in your life if you did succeed. Time to stop tripping at the finish line! Learn more about why staying motivated in note investing is still possible with guest hosts Gail Villanueva of Noteworthy Investments and Gail Greenberg of Win Win Notes. Gail Villanueva has been a licensed real estate agent since ’84; but the market changed. When everybody was zigging towards overbidding on rehabs, Gail decided to zag into notes. How many notes? Noteworthy Investments just closed on their eighth note, going from zero to 17,500 miles an hour. That’s what you need to do achieve orbit. Guest host Gail Greenberg is a social media expert. One of the things that Gail did at Note CAMP was running daily promotions to see who puts out the most creative posts. At the end of it, she won the grand prize of having a year membership for the Note Mastermind and came to a Fast Track training, which she leveraged to kick-start her way into the note industry.

Listen to the podcast here

How To Stay Motivated In Note Investing With Gail Villanueva And Gail Greenberg

I’m Gail Villanueva here with Gail Greenberg. We are your guest host now. We’re going be talking about blockages.

This a topic that I’m extremely passionate about. I get a lot of comments from people. They look at me and they’re like, “You’re actually doing things and notes,” but I haven’t really had an opportunity to tell my story about what a journey it was for me and how difficult it’s been for me to get to a place where I’m actually pulling the trigger and taking action on things. I wanted to share what I’ve discovered along the way as well as my story itself to just maybe give everyone some takeaways if you are struggling too. At the beginning, like many people, I was wounded in my life and the way that manifested itself is that I would want things and I would have goals and I wouldn’t be very passionate about pursuing them, but I could never quite get there. I never understood why. I lacked confidence. I didn’t believe in myself. I subconsciously believed that I didn’t deserve to succeed and that there would be bad and unwelcomed changes in my life if I did succeed. I think I was really scared of that.

I would routinely trip myself at the finish line and never quite succeed. When I go out to training events and real estate, I see a lot of people suffering the same thing. You see rooms full of people with big dreams hoping to change their lives. Everyone more or less goes home and a very small percentage of people actually take action on what they’ve learned and make it happen. Scott will tell you it’s a shockingly small number that really grabbed the ball and run with it. He probably has more success stories than most trainers because he really stays in touch with people and works with them. As long as they continue to work, he continues to help and helps people get there. I’m sure you’ve had this experience, too, Gail. You’ve been to training events and there are hundreds and hundreds of people. Then a few months later if you’re actually working on it and networking with them on Facebook, very few people are still in there commenting, doing things.

They say there’s about 10% that actually take action but that’s probably the case in most things.

Since I had this problem myself and I saw it and other people, I got extremely interested in why that was. We were all getting such great training. We had every opportunity in the world to do something. We’re smart people. We want it so badly, what’s wrong? This isn’t unique to real estate. We just see it there very clearly because we’re all starting together and we’re all either making progress or not making progress. Before I tell you the specifics of my story, I just want to make some general observations about what I’ve learned. If you’re over 40, it’s likely you grew up with parents who are not like parents are now. The idea of lavishing unconditional love on children is a pretty recent phenomenon. Something my parents have enjoyed, but very few people of my generation experience that. Our parents weren’t bad parents, but every generation has its unique trauma and things that happened.

My parents grew up in the depression and their parents had no time to spend with them, enjoying life together. When they came of age in their teens, that’s when World War II started. They immediately went from one trauma to another. When the war ended and the economy boomed, it was like, happy days are here again. Everything was amazing. My parents, like all the other ones, just really concentrate on having the good life. They enjoyed themselves. The idea of lavishing attention on children was not yet something anybody had any notion of. By our standards now, we all grew up with benign neglect. In my particular situation I was a kid who was very different from the other kids in my family. I was a very emotional kid and my father was somebody who was very afraid of emotionalism in general. He came from a British family that was very buttoned up and people just did not have emotions.

It turned out that his father had shell shock from World War I. His mother was very anti-emotion because particularly in him, her only son, she saw it as a weakness. When I would get emotional and be myself, my dad wasn’t having it. I just really grew up feeling like there was something very wrong with me. From that, you have this cascade of consequences where something is wrong with me. I’m not lovable. I don’t deserve things. This translated for me into a mania for achieving because my dad only was really proud and delighted with me when I was achieving things. I think I’m a little achievement machine and I drove myself very hard in my career, in my marriage, throughout my life. Having achievements did not take the place of feeling okay in the world, feeling like I deserved things.

NCS 283 | Staying Motivated In Note Investing

Staying Motivated In Note Investing: The subconscious can’t make that difference.


This was the main reason I feel that I was not able to cross the finish line. I became aware of ten years ago that I was having this issue and I wasn’t yet in real estate. I was trying to do big things in internet marketing and the situation was always the same. I would start out really strong. I’d be working, working, working and then somehow, I just let it all fall away. About ten years ago I decided to try to understand what it was and to try to fix it if I could. I just started doing things that I felt would build awareness in me. I went to personal growth weekends. I did things to raise my consciousness about what was really happening. At one personal growth weekend, we did a very interesting exercise where we wrote a letter to our parents. It was really a letter about things that they had given us that we didn’t really want in our lives anymore. It was like ideas about ourselves, just feelings about the world. It was very interesting.

When we had written a letter to our parents, we did a visualization where we saw ourselves going to our childhood home, sitting down with our parents whether they were still alive or not. That’s a visualization, reading them the letter, giving it back to them and saying like, “Here are all the things that you gave me that I don’t wish to keep anymore. Thank you for being the best parents you could to me.” When they were describing upfront like, “We’re going to do this visualization and then you’re going to feel so different,” I thought, “This is ridiculous. I’m not really going to talk to my parents. I’m not really going to their house. They are not receiving this message and nothing’s going to change.” After we did it, I could not believe how different I felt. I felt like something really happened. I started reading about the brain and how the brain doesn’t differentiate between whether you’ve actually done something or whether you just visualize yourself doing something.

The subconscious can’t make that difference.

That’s why Olympic athletes will do a visualization. That became a really important thing in the ‘80s and 90’s. I got really interested in hypnosis and that’s what led me to become a hypnotist myself because I was going to cure myself and then hopefully work with other people. I started to not just do affirmations but I made self-help audios, affirmation audios, and I would listen to them while I was sleeping. I did other things, whatever I could do to open myself up. After doing this for two years, I had a very strange awakening experience where I woke up one morning. I was in my room. Everything looked the same, but everything was completely different. I saw my life with utter clarity. What I was doing, what I wasn’t doing, why and it was amazing. Even though I didn’t have deep major trauma as a child, most people experience a lot of negative things as a child. When you are a baby or a toddler, even, you spend most of your time in the brainwave state. That is what hypnotists use to plant good suggestions in people, the Theta state.

If you ever wondered why the things that happened to you as a child and that really stick with you. It’s been so many years, why did I never get over that? It’s because those things are very hard to replace in your brain, which we used to think, “If anything bad gets in there, it just stays there and there’s nothing you can do. You’re just always going to feel sad or mad or whatever it is or wounded.” We know now that the brain is plastic and it will expand or shrink depending on how much stimulation and how many learning opportunities you’re giving it. What kind of demands you’re putting on it. The bad things that happen to you, you can’t just erase them like files off of a computer, but you can grow beyond them and you can chip away at them. That’s what I did. I really got very clear on what it was that was really stopping me from performing. In my case, I would say I was very risk averse because I want it so badly never to fail.

What I ultimately did, I got really clear on what was bothering me and then I just started addressing it. For people who are not able to reach their goals or make progress and it’s very unclear to them what is stopping them, I just wanted to suggest a process. I was very risk averse. I couldn’t do anything. I had to be perfect all the time. That totally stopped me from doing anything. The most important thing to do is to first of all understand what it is that you’re feeling and what it is that’s stopping you. I walked around for a long time with a notebook. Whenever I would have negative feelings or I would start yelling at myself inside my own head, just the way my parents would have. I would write down like what kinds of things was I saying to myself, what was I thinking? I very quickly built up like a pretty big consistent list of things that I was saying to myself. I then turned those in by rewriting that I’m in a positive way into affirmations. I started to really hit at the core of what was hurting me. Those are the things that I listen to while I was sleeping.

You can turn those into your affirmations. You could make an audio to listen to of yourself speaking your affirmations to listen to you in your sleep. They’ve got big headphones that that have these little flat speakers you position right over your ears. You can just plug in and listen all night. It’s very comfortable. You can listen that way to other people’s self-hypnosis audios. There are tons and tons of those out there. You can talk to yourself, you can talk to your parents if they’re gone, you can talk to your parents if they’re not gone but they’re just not here. When I’m alone in the car, I just spontaneously started talking to my parents and having those conversations with them that I wished I had had the courage to have when I was alive. Really up until their last breath, I was still hoping that I would just get this flood of approval from them. I’d never really confronted them in any way. I certainly wouldn’t have had a painful conversation.

NCS 283 | Staying Motivated In Note Investing

Staying Motivated In Note Investing: The brain is plastic and it will expand or shrink depending on how much stimulation and how many learning opportunities you’re giving it.


You can write letters as I did and visualize the meeting as I did in that self-help seminar. Do all kinds of visualizations. I know people who do visualizations where they meet themselves as a child in some beautiful safe place and they take care of that child the way they wish they had been taken care of before these negative seeds were sown. They undo the damage that way. The biggest thing that everyone can do and is really just add so much to life, is to have gratitude practices where whatever works for you. Wake up in the morning and think of things that you’re grateful for and very specifically don’t make them big giant things. Like, “I finally got that bonus I’ve been waiting for five years.” I wake up in the morning and I hear birds right outside my window. They congregate and they chatter away to each other. It’s lovely. Just to be grateful for a kind word, a smile, things, everyday miracles that we all experience.

When you focus on the things that you’re grateful for and the things that really work in your life, the things that are difficult tend to retreat and take more of their proper place. That’s my story. I hope that there’s something helpful in there. How about you, Gail? I don’t imagine you’ve ever had trouble reaching your goals. You seem like a very goal-oriented and proactive person.

I appreciate that. Thank you for the compliment. I’ve tended to be my whole life. My dad was a military Air Force Pilot. We had a certain benchmark, goals that we were expected to live up to. Unfortunately, life changed quite dramatically for me when I was young. My mom and sister died within a year of each other and I had to become very self-sufficient quickly, because of the fact my sister left a son. Life does happen. It was a matter of having self-reliance at very young age. I hit my own when I was only sixteen years old. I always had goals and I always remember sitting there when I had another goal, we’d go ahead and move onto the next one and the next one and the next one. They built on each other. I understand fully when you’re talking about things like visualization. My dad was a hypnotist. We used to use self-hypnosis when I was a very, very young child.

I have a gratitude journal that I have. Every day in the morning when I wake up, I do about a fifteen-minute meditation to get myself balanced and focused. I’ve done that for many years. Then I start my daily journal where I talked about three things that I’m grateful for, three things that I see that I want to manifest in the day. Then right before I go to bed, I talk about three things that happened that were terrific.

How long have you been doing that?

I couldn’t even tell you how many. This is number 55,000. I’ve been writing since I was a kid. It came to my attention that when you have a negative thought or you have a negative situation that comes up, if you repress it, then it stays within you. You have to face it and address it.

It feels like it actually gains power from your effort to resist it that it pushes back.

Some people say, “Don’t think that way or think happy thoughts.” You’re human, so you’re going to have those. For that, I’ve got my negativity journal. I’ve been doing generally for years. It’s helped me. Then I think a yoga and meditation has helped me to stay focused and not talking, preaching religion, whatever your higher being or something, it allows you to sit there and have a conversation so that you can get your focus and goals and everything. Everything you say, I fully understand. I have personally embraced it. We’re talking about blockages and you’re right, a lot of them are self-imposed blockages. Mark Twain had a saying that said, “I’ve had millions of problems in my life, but most of them never occurred.” We can sit there and put ourselves into a frenzy about worrying about, worrying about. A lot of what ifs and a lot of regrets.

I tend to approach things as they come up. I’ve always been a problem solver my whole life because I’ve had to respond. I don’t like the word reactive and one saying that over the years, just as a personal thing, “One day at a time.” It seems a so terrible reactive to me. They’ll take a reactive stance and posture. I conduct my family or my personal and my business. If you have something in front of you, how can you approach it and how can you resolve it? You do some risk analysis. It’s calculated risks. You analyze what are the risks and what are the options and then go with the best options based on the information you have.

When you say like, “One day at a time,” one day at a time is a survival philosophy. It’s not a growth plan. Like, I’m done way beyond one day.

NCS 283 | Staying Motivated In Note Investing

Staying Motivated In Note Investing: The negative thought that comes up, if you repress it, it stays within you. You have to face it and address it.


They do that and I’ve heard that, “God’s in control.” God gives you the tools. There’s an old joke about the guy that’s abandoned on an island and God will provide and he brings three ships and every time he’s like, “God will provide,” and then the guy dies. He gets to heaven and he goes, “Why didn’t you take care of me?” He says, “What did you want? I sent three ships.”

That’s like people’s attitudes towards life. There’s the little girl who finds poop all over and she’s like, “Where’s the pony?” She’s not like, “This is such a mess.”

In life, you get lemonades, in Florida, we make Margaritas. I think one of the biggest blockages I had with getting into the note business is I studied it. I’d read about performing nonperforming and everything like that. Then it’s like, “Now what?” I needed, in my case a mentor, which I chose Scott Carson for all the obvious reasons. That gave me the push. He gave me the network. He gave me the people to be able to go ahead and say, “It’s time.” One of his favorite sayings is. “Make that call and send that email and what’s the worst can happen?” The best I know, nobody’s ever died doing notes. You’ get into a situation where you’ve got something like, “Oh.” I’ve had that happen where I’ve called and I’ve sent it out to the WCN crew or other folks personally and said, “What would you do in this situation and circumstance?” I’m not so big to realize that I’m not operating in a vacuum. Operating in a vacuum still needs life of support.

This network puts a giant safety net underneath you. It’s not that you not going to possibly make a misstep, but there are so many people you can consult before you take an action. I was going to say that whole we’re talking about the ‘what ifs’. People get hung up on the what ifs. What if this happens? That can be incredibly paralyzing in the note business. There are plenty of things that can happen. If you think about all of them and get really familiar with all the possible downfalls, you really could just do nothing. Just crawl up in a ball and that’s it. I actually did recently have something happen. I had a failure. I lost money on a deal, which has been the main occupation of my life is trying to avoid failure at all costs.

How many successes have you had?

Somehow, when you have the orientation that I used to, I’ve taught myself now. I’m glad I didn’t have this failure ten years ago because it would have been probably emotionally crippling. Now, I’ve come off a lifetime of only paying attention to whatever went wrong. Not really celebrating what went right or how much progress I’ve made. Still, it knocked me for a loop briefly. It’s meaningless. I only mention that to say it finally happened.

One of the things that Scott talks about is if you take down a pool of notes, you may have a dog in there but the other dozen or whatever you end up with can offset that loss. It’s a different mindset where I look at, “This one does it balance out of the other ones.” I know that it’s not always going to work out like you want and if you try to come up with some reasonable exit strategies, I try to focus on just the big main three. I know in the back of my mind there’s four, five, six and seven. I’ve got you as part of our network to sit there and run things by. I don’t really think that it’s a failure catastrophic. I do know that cold calling tends to freak people out for some reason. To me they don’t know me.

NCS 283 | Staying Motivated In Note Investing

Staying Motivated In Note Investing: People don’t like to be rejected. Even a minor trivial rejection experience, nobody wants that one.


People don’t like to be rejected. Even a minor trivial rejection experience, nobody wants that one. It’s like steps to a goal. It’s like, “Embrace it.”

I look at it differently. I guess I’m weird that way. When I call somebody and they say, “No. Thank you,” and they hang up, I don’t look at them as they rejected Gail Villanueva. I look at it as rejecting what I’m offering at that particular time in their lives. I don’t say, “They don’t like me.” One-third of the people in the world are going to like me, one-third are going to hate me and one-third don’t know me.

Two things about that pool example you gave. First of all, let’s not say dog as if dogs a bad thing. One’s a dog, you said like it’s a bad note. The other thing is the way sellers put pools together, there’s definitely going to be ones in there that are not going to have much chance of success. Did you want to say anything else?

No, it’s great. I’m glad I had the opportunity to do the podcast with you.

Me too. Thanks, Gail.

Thank you.

Any questions, ask away.

They’ll be answered eventually. Let’s give our contact information.


I’m Gail “The Note Gal” Villanueva in Central Florida but I work nationwide. My phone number is 321-417-1142. You can find me at www.GailTheNoteGal.com.


Important Links

About Gail Villanueva

NCS 283 | Staying Motivated In Note InvestingGail the Note Gal (Noteworthy Investments, LLC) is a privately held company specializing in the purchase of non-performing debt secured by real estate in most of the major metroplexes and emerging markets across the country. We partner with investors to purchase these assets and deliver to them consistent high returns. All of our investments are secured by the underlying properties and we purchase the non-performing debt at well below market value. We are able to acquire these discounts due to our relationships with banks, hedge funds, and other investors.

About Gail Greenberg

NCS 283 | Staying Motivated In Note InvestingOn March 10, 2015, the stock market plunged 332 points. Why? Because the economy was SO GOOD that Wall Street players were worried that the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates.

Does it drive you crazy that your net worth can be slashed at any time by such ridiculous thinking? Me too. That’s why I started investing in real estate myself and why I’m now giving others the chance to do it by Joint-Venturing with me.

I invest in distressed or non-performing mortgage notes. How can you make money investing in a mortgage that no one is paying? I’m glad you asked – I did a video explaining it. See it at http://WinWinNotes.com

Notes pay a much higher rate of interest than a bank, but offer far more security than the stock market. And unlike a stock, the value of a note is never going to plummet overnight because some Wall Street people got nervous.

If you are interested in learning more, please email me at Gail@WinWinNotes.com or call 215.805.1796.

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