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Ryan Schramm Executive Agent of the Month


New American Funding

Joe Juliani

Arbor Real Estate Professionals

Jorge Mercado

Keller Williams Realty

Jason O’Donnell

O’Donnell Real Estate

Jason Rowland

Seven Gables Real Estate



Top Independent Mortgage Lender

in Retail Purchase Volume in Southern California 2017 OVERALL TOTAL RETAIL PURCHASE VOLUME Lo s A n g e l e s, O r a n g e, S a n D i e g o, S a n B e r n a d i n o, R i ve r si d e, Ve n t u r a & Im p e r i a l Co u n t i e s

Jeff Moore Branch Manager San Clemente NMLS #324123

Dusty lloyd Branch Manager Mission Viejo NMLS #247106

Tom Briggs Branch Manager Huntington Beach NMLS #303474






Brian Keranen Branch Manager Newport Beach NMLS #483697


Eli Fairfield SVP Regional Manager LA West and OC NMLS #411752

Brenda Dintino Branch Manager Irvine - North NMLS #239946

Rob Briggs Branch Manager Huntington Beach NMLS #171371

$ 1,743,203,841

Daniel Perez Branch Manager Anaheim NMLS #255550

Christopher Paliska Branch Manager Irvine - Pacifica NMLS #1076530

Matthew Moore Sales Manager San Clemente NMLS #324114

W W W. N E W A M E R I C A N PA R T N E R . C O M


(310) 227-3359

#1 ranking among independent non-bank retail lenders is based on 2017 overall combined purchase volume for southern California counties. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act. NMLS ID#6606. © New American Funding. New American and New American Funding are registered trademarks of Broker Solutions Inc. dba New American Funding. All Rights Reserved. Corporate Office is located at 14511 Myford Road, Suite 100, Tustin CA 92780. Phone (800) 450-2010. 2/2018


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Ryan Schramm Creatus Properties

21 19

Inside Features


32 Joe Juliani

Tom Martinson & Jared Christopher


Jorge Mercado


Jason O’Donnell 4


Jason Rowland

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

MAY, 2018 Editorials





Happiness as a Priority -Richard Carlson

Fred Arrias Executive Publisher PO Box 73384 San Clemente, CA 92673 Ph: (949) 297-8323 Fax: (949) 266-8757 Fred@eamag.net www.EAMag.net


You Succeed By Ignoring Reality -Jim Donovan

ADVERTISERS’ INDEX - SOC Finance of America Mortgage........................27 iPhotography Studio...............................................25


“I Am A Habit” -Jim Di Lemme

Kinecta Federal Credit Union...............................13 loanDepot®................................................................9 NAHREP....................................................................8 New American Funding............................................2


How to Solve Any Problem That Gets in Your Way -Jim Rohn

PWAOR...................................................................38 The Termite Guy......................................................3 Ticor Title Company...................................................40 VAREP............................................................................39


Photography: iPhotography Studio, Ian Wiant, Rob Paino Graphic Designer: Garon T. Arrias Editorial Manager: Trudy Van Writers: Ben Angel, John Boe, Haley Freeman, Jim Rohn, Walter Sanford, Dirk Zeller, Zig Ziglar Craig Harrison, Simma Lieberman, Chris Widener

A Message to Women: You’ve Got This! -Margie Warrell

© Copyright 2018 Executive Agent Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Although every precaution is taken to ensure accuracy of published materials, Executive Agent Magazine cannot be held responsible for opinions expressed or facts supplied by its authors.


Investing Yourself -Zig Ziglar

ExecutiveAgent Magazine



Written by Haley Freeman



Your One Stop for Construction and other Niche Lending Solutions


eet Tom Martinson and Jared Christopher, powerhouse lending team at New American Funding in Newport Beach. This duo possesses decades of comprehensive industry experience spanning real estate sales and investment, residential mortgage lending, and business management. Together, they are providing

through successful construction financing. They recently joined New American Funding for its array of niche lending products and the strong business systems it has built to support them. As niche product professionals, they are eager to educate the real estate community about the permanent, one-time close construction loan available at New American Funding. “A lot of construction loans are two-time close products,” Tom explains. “That means you get a construction loan first, to fund the labor and materials, and then you have to take out a second loan for the finished product. That means two qualifications, two appraisals, and two times the escrow and title fees. This

Tom Martinson unparalleled service to home buyers, real estate professionals and home builders in Orange County and beyond. A former real estate broker and investor who later developed an expertise in construction lending, Tom is the branch’s builder sales manager. Jared is a licensed mortgage agent in 28 states and is well-versed in every aspect of mortgage lending, including construction lending. For several years, Tom and Jared have worked as an effective team, assisting both home builders and home buyers

Jared Christopher loan closes one time, up front, and you can even roll the land into it. Generally, in construction-to-perm loans, you have to deal with the land yourself.”

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Jared adds, “For VA and FHA borrowers, we can lend down to a 620 credit score, and we can finance the entire project, including the land. If they already own the land, its value can be used as a down payment. Land can even be gifted to you, and you can still use the value as down payment.” This product is especially attractive to custom builders, since it relieves their problem of having to fund a project up front. “This program is not that well-known,” Tom says, “so we’re trying to get the word out. A lot of times I talk with builders who say they never knew this program existed. It’s opening a lot of opportunities for builders to grow their business.” The program is also opening up new opportunities for Realtors® in a market with tight inventory, since they can help clients buy and/or develop land, instead of buying an existing property. “Inventory has been very shallow for the last few years,” Tom continues. “What’s out there may not be all that appealing for the price, or someone may have to put a ton of money into renovating to fit their needs. As a result, custom home builders are very busy right now. Once we get to know a borrower and understand their budget and qualifications, we can talk with agents about the process of getting the contracts together on a piece of land and how to talk to the land seller and their agent. It doesn’t have to be a scary transaction if they’ve never done one before. We’ll help them through that process.” This permanent loan is closed one-time, upfront, before construction begins on Site-Built, Modular and Manufactured Home Construction: • Saves money with only one appraisal and one closing • Credit Score as low as 620 • 3.5% down payment for FHA • Zero down payment for VA with no mortgage insurance • No payments required until construction is complete • Purchase of land can be rolled into the loan if not already owned

• Gifts or land equity allowed for down payment • 10 to 30-year fixed rate mortgages available In addition to this game-changing construction loan product, New American Funding offers numerous other programs that make home ownership possible for more people. “Of all the companies I’ve worked for, this one offers the largest suite of products,” Jared comments. “We offer investor loans, jumbo loans, firsts and seconds, government loans, renovation loans, and down payment assistance. We also have the ability to do jumbo construction loans with higher credit scores and more reserves and down payment. There is not a single type of purchase or refi we can’t handle and be extremely competitive. We also have the manpower and resources to deliver phenomenal time frames for processing and closing.” Tom and Jared are offering clients an elevated lending experience due to their sophisticated program knowledge, business acumen and emphasis on customer service. Backed by the responsive and industry-forward team at New American Funding, they are a dependable, one-stop source for all types of mortgage loans. Tom Martinson Builder Sales Manager, NMLS #1283214 Tel: 949.748.4164 Email: Tom.Martinson@nafinc.com www.newamericanagent.com/tommartinson Jared Christopher Loan Consultant, NMLS #17784 Tel: 949.751.4772 Email: Jared.Christopher@nafinc.com www.newamericanagent.com/JaredChristopher New American Funding 26 Corporate Plaza Dr., Ste. 180 Newport Beach, CA 92660

Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act. NMLS #6606. Subject to borrower and property qualifications. Terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Not all applicants will qualify. Corporate Office 14511 Myford Road, Suite 100, Tustin CA 92780. Phone (800) 450-2010. 6/2018.

ExecutiveAgent Magazine


MAY 7-9, 2018





Written by Haley Freeman

Jason O’Donnell


ason O’Donnell, Broker-Owner of O’Donnell Real Estate in Irvine says, “Relationships and the way you treat people are more valuable than any single transaction.” This is the philosophy with which the O’Donnell family has been doing business throughout California for generations, and with the O’Donnell name on the door, Jason is committed to continuing this tradition of service into the next generation.

Raised in a real estate family that has both managed and owned various brokerages over the years, Jason grew up in the industry and learned first-hand the value of hard work seasoned with integrity. After completing his undergraduate degree in pyschology and government, he earned his MBA from the University of Redlands and eventually found his passion in real estate. “I fell in love with the excitement of it,” Jason says. “I like to stay busy, and this industry always offers a new challenge.”

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After establishing his own reputation as a knowledgeable and ethical agent, Jason opened his boutique brokerage, where today, he is heading the family business. He has brought the best of old-school values and tried-and-true business methods together with the latest technology to create a service experience that eclipses the competition. “I was raised on old-school real estate, and the fundamentals haven’t changed much over the years. But what makes me different, is that I took all my family has done and expanded it. People hate being sold, but they love to buy. With technology and real estate sites, people have information very fast. It’s important to slow it down, and keep that artisanal mindset. I never want to lose touch with a personal connection in this business; that’s how you gain trust. This is the biggest transaction of someone’s life, and when they trust you with every penny they’ve made, they deserve your time.” Jason and his team treat every client like a VIP and every home like a luxury property. They invest in listings with full-spectrum, luxe marketing that includes professional photography, drone video tours, YouTube and social media exposure, topped off with old school flyer drops, door-knocking and open houses. “We try to give every home something to make it stand out in the market, and we invest our time and money into our marketing so it’s beyond what is expected.” Jason’s diverse clients include everyone from first-time buyers to market-savvy developers and investors. “I also do leases and have converted the majority of people from tenants to buyers. With my MBA background, I really enjoy the investment side of the business, but there’s nothing more exciting than helping a family find their first house or their dream house.” Jason gives a portion of every sale to the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation and/or Children’s Hospital Orange County (CHOC). “At 11 months old, our son, Brody, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. After undergoing brain surgery and tumor removal at CHOC ,we were directed

to a chemo and radiation specialist, Dr. Finlay, who was a doctor working at CHLA. He agreed to take Brody’s case, and after undergoing surgery, chemo, and radiation Brody is now 7 years old. My wife, Elizabeth, and I are so grateful to the doctors at CHOC and CHLA who stood by our family and saved Brody’s life. We became friends with Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) in Irvine, and now Team Brody participates in the local walk to help raise money for research. Elizabeth also works with the Glass Slipper Guild to help fund CHOC, and we named our daughter Finlay, after the oncologist who saved her brother. I think we wake up every day now with a different mindset than most people do. We’re truly grateful for every day.” Jason’s team members also donate a portion of their sales to these and other causes. Being the broker of a company that bears his name is a responsibility Jason takes very seriously. “The O’Donnell name has been around for years. When I set out to rebrand it, I thought about what that meant and how we wanted to be different. And I wanted to be sure that as we grow, if someone is represented by one of our agents, they are getting the same experience they would get with me and my family. We offer the highest quality service, and to us, that means service with a personal touch. It means sitting down with clients and asking questions, listening to their goals and directing them with ideas. That’s how we make sure we’re delivering exactly what a client needs. It’s more than just service; it’s showing people you care by giving them your time.” Jason O’Donnell O’Donnell Real Estate 3183-F Airway Ave., Suite 117 Irvine, CA 92626 Tel: 949.873.3350 Email: Jason@Odonnellrealestate.com Web: www.OdonnellRealEstate.com CalBRE # 01804002

A Tradition of Caring Service ExecutiveAgent Magazine

“I Am A Habit”


-A-B-I-T…When 95% of people hear this word,

a negative thought pops up in their minds. Typically, most people think of a habit being negative. The secret to your future lies in your daily habits so ask yourself right now, “Are my habits today going to help me achieve my WHY in life?” This is a life-empowering question if you truly ask it and listen for the answer. I received the following excerpt from a very dear friend of mine and felt that it is definitely the best explanation of a habit that I have ever heard: The Habit Poem I am your constant companion. I am your greatest helper or your heaviest burden. I will push you onward or drag you down to failure. I am completely at your command. Half the things you do, you might just as well turn over to me, and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly. I am easily managed; you must merely be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done, and after a few lessons I will do it automatically. I am the servant of all great men. And, alas, of all failures as well. Those who are great, I have made great. Those who are failures, I have made failures. I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine. Plus, the intelligence of a man. You may run me for profit, or run me for ruin; it makes no difference to me. Take me, train me, be firm with me and I will put the world at your feet. Be easy with me, and I will destroy you. Who am I? I am a HABIT! One of my daily habits that is the foundation of my life is spending 45-60 minutes each and every morning feeding my body physically by exercising and feeding my mental spirit by reading or listening


to a motivational message. This habit warms me up for the day ahead. Everyone washes their physical body and feeds their body every morning, but 95% of people will find an excuse about why they can not find the “TIME” to invest in a habit of feeding their MINDS! This parallels the statistic that 95% of people are dead or dead broke by the age 65. I consider this particular daily habit of mine to be the driving force behind my ability to consistently maintain my intense focus on the journey of success and living a dream life. Is it easy all the time? Of course not, but when it becomes a habit – you will do it! If you commit today to begin each morning warming yourself up for the day ahead by feeding your mental spirit, your entire life will change in a positive fashion very quickly. It is like driving a race car with the emergency brake on and you try to go ahead, but you can’t move. You stay in the same location with your wheels spinning, burning up, making a lot of noise, but not going anywhere! All it takes is to release the brake and you will fly towards your WHY in life!! You need to review what your habits are and ask yourself…“Would I recommend MY habits to someone I truly love and care about?” Your entire future lies in your daily habits—positive or negative. You have the most powerful force right now in your hands, the ability to decide what your habits will begin to be. Find Your WHY & FLY!! John Di Lemme was a 24-year-old stutterer working in his family art gallery that dreamed of becoming a world-renowned motivational speaker. Over a sevenyear period of hardships, challenges and obstacles, John remained focused on his dream and ultimately built a massive marketing team of over 25,000 representatives in 10 countries and earned the financial freedom that he had always dreamed of. Visit John Di Lemme’s website.

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Erik Jenner, NMLS# 38025 Manager Mortgage Loan Sales direct: 949.253.5337 | cell: 949.293.1237 Erik.Jenner@kinecta.org www.kinecta.org/ejenner

Membership requirements apply. NMLS (Nationwide Mortgage Lending Service) ID: 407870. Information in this advertisement is intended for Real Estate and Mortgage Professionals only and not intended for consumer use as defined by Section 1026.2 of Regulation Z, which implements the Truth-In-Lending Act. Any expressed underwriting guidelines are subject to change without notice and are subject to Kinecta Federal Credit Union guidelines and all applicable federal and state rules and regulations. 18263-12/17





ealtor® Jason Rowland has great memories of time he spent with his dad, a builder in Orange County, going to job sites and watching homes being built from framing to finish work. Jason always knew that someday, he would play a part in this exciting industry. He spent the first few years of his career as a licensed gemologist, working for a local, family-owned business.

Written by Haley Freeman

When the owner retired, Jason found himself at a professional crossroads, and his path led him back to homes and real estate. He obtained his license at the peak of the market in the mid-2000s, and just as he began to get a foothold in the industry, the market’s momentum and values reversed. As agents around him dropped out of the business, Jason’s innate drive and positive spirit urged him forward.

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Perfecting the Four C’s of Real Estate “I looked at that market as an opportunity,” Jason says. “Since values were way down, from my perspective, it allowed people my age the opportunity to buy real estate, when they couldn’t have done so a few years before. I represented a high volume of buyers on bank-owned and foreclosure properties. I still have lunch and/or dinner with many of those past clients, and their properties are now worth double what they paid. I’m proud to say that, to my knowledge, in my 12-year career, I’ve never sold a property to anyone who ended up losing it.” Communication figures prominently in Jason’s service. From his days as a gemologist, he has adapted the four C’s of diamonds - cut, clarity, color, carat - and developed his own four C’s of real estate: Communication Creates Comfort and Clarity. “In my experience, one of the things that upsets clients most is when an agent isn’t there when they need them, or they don’t feel like they’re being informed. It’s all so vital. I also think Realtors® often overcomplicate real estate transactions. The world we live in is already complicated enough. I try to simplify the process and make it more comfortable for the client by making it easy to understand. I try to explain things in a way the client connects with, and make sure they’re well-informed during each phase. This is a relationship business. My goal is to provide a quality experience, so they will remember me the next time they buy or sell.” After establishing his reputation as a hard-working and conscientious real estate professional among his respected colleagues at Century 21, Jason joined Seven Gables Real Estate in Tustin, a company with a name for service excellence and a strong presence in the Central and North Orange County communities where he focuses his practice. “Our core values really aligned. The company is run by people of high quality, and it means a lot to me that they are always focused on putting the client first and providing an experience they won’t forget. Another thing that differentiates us is the quality of our marketing, and the fact that everything is done in-house, which saves me time and helps me to be more efficient.”

varied ages and backgrounds, and he understands the nuances that come with different transactions, including short sales, first-time buyers, right-sizing seniors, luxury estates and contingent sales. “I’m not afraid to try new things, and I think that’s important, since the market is always changing. I’m happy assisting someone with buying a $250,000 condo or selling a multi-million dollar estate. No matter the price point, real estate is the biggest decision, with the most money on the line. It’s their biggest chapter, so I look at it that way, too. I’m going to do everything I can to make their transaction go smoothly.” In his free time, Jason enjoys playing sports of all kinds, and he is a loyal fan of the Ducks, Angels and Denver Broncos. He is also continuing a family tradition of honoring those who have served in the armed forces. “My dad just passed away, and it meant a lot to him to help veterans. It’s something I strongly believe in and will continue to do.” Jason sums up, “My goal is to put every client in the best financial leverage position I can. I like to simplify each transaction and come to it in an honest and professional way, putting the client first and making sure their needs are met. I always strive to exceed their expectations.” Jason Rowland Seven Gables Real Estate 12651 Newport Ave. Tustin, CA 92780 Tel: 714.904.4152 Email: JasonR@sevengables.com Web: www.JRSellsOC.com CalBRE # 01507551

Another hallmark of Jason’s real estate practice is diversity. He is adept at connecting with people of ExecutiveAgent Magazine

A Message to Women: You’ve Got This!


hat would you tell your younger self?

It’s a question I’ve reflected on many times and have asked many women. A common thread weaves through most of the answers: Believe in yourself. You can do more than you think. Don’t let others define your worth. Take the chance! Do what you want. Dare to be more ambitious. Don’t settle!

You are no exception. You do that by refusing to let the voice of your inner critic dictate your decisions or limit your action. After all, when you buy into your doubts, it amplifies your anxiety about your current challenges and chips away at your confidence to take on new ones. In the process, you miss out on sharpening your talents, and the world misses out on the gifts they hold.

Admittedly, I’m biased, but I believe we women are powerful beyond measure. We excel at multitasking. We are innately compassionate. We are natural bridge builders, peacemakers and cheerleaders. We have nurturing hearts and can move mountains when we set our minds to it. Yet too often, we sell ourselves short. Way short. The voice of our inner critic rarely rests. It thrives on pointing out our flaws, focusing on our shortcomings, and dwelling on what we don’t have or haven’t done. It keeps forever striving, never arriving—waiting until “one day” when we finally have it “all together” before we can feel worthy or claim what we yearn for most. Yet as Kirsten Neff wrote in her book Self-Compassion, “There is nothing to be gained for beating ourselves up for beating ourselves up.” Rather, what serves us is taking a fresh look at where we are unconsciously allowing this well-worn habit of dwelling on what we perceive is missing in us and around us to keep us from taking the very actions that would connect us to our innate sufficiency, and from truly knowing that we are enough already. Always have been; always will be.


No one is born with an immunity to self-doubt or fear of failure, yet as I wrote in Find Your Courage, each of us has the ability to reclaim the power it can hold in our lives.

So how do you conquer the doubts and find the courage to live the biggest life you are capable of living? You stop talking yourself down and start embracing the “flawsome” woman that you already are—fabulous and fallible, brilliant and blundering, innately lovable and wholly imperfect—all at the same time. You stop letting self-doubt call the shots and start acting with the confidence you wish you had. You stop dwelling about what you don’t have and start making the most of what you’ve got. (Which is plenty!) You stop punishing yourself for past mistakes and start applying their lessons to live more deeply and choose more wisely. You stop thinking about what you’d like to say and start having the brave conversations you’ve been putting off. You stop saying yes to keep people happy and you start saying no to anything that doesn’t align with the boldest vision for your life.

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

Written By Margie Warrell

You stop waiting for permission or perfection and start putting yourself out there, ready to fail forward and forge a bigger life rich in meaning, connection and contribution. Because here’s the deal: The only way you can become the woman you most want to start acting like you are that woman already. Strong. Brave. Resilient. Persistent. Worthy. Bold. Creative. Focused. Trustworthy. Compassionate. Respected. Valued. Influential. Unstoppable.

at your heart and to take one step (though two is also OK) in that direction. Then tomorrow, repeat. If you could time travel ahead 20 years from now, I’ll bet your older self would be whispering in your ear, “Go on, be bold. Take the chance. Trust yourself. You’ve got this!” Because you know what… you have! And you know what else? This world needs more women to own their power, embrace their difference and to dare to make their boldest mark on the world like never before.

E-N-O-U-G-H. Now before you start second-guessing yourself (that path has is well-worn groove in your brain!), don’t think you need to know precisely what you are doing or exactly where you are going before you take the first step. As I discovered when I set off on a new path in my second career—with four children under 6, a fire in my belly and not much else—you just have to have faith in yourself that you’ll figure it out as you go along. Be kinder to yourself when you slip up. (Because chances are, that will be often!) So if you decided right now to “own your enoughness” and to live from the belief that you are capable of more than you’ve given yourself credit for… What inspiring goals would you take on (however audacious)? What changes would you make (however hard)? What chances would you take (however scary)?

So get to it! Margie Warrell is a best-selling author and international speaker who is passionate about helping people be more courageous in work, leadership and life. Margie has learned a lot about courage, resilience and risk since growing up on a small farm in rural Australia. Drawing on her background in business, psychology and coaching, Margie runs “courage building” programs with organizations worldwide, from NASA to Wells Fargo and the UN Foundation. She has also lectured at Columbia, Georgetown and SMU. Her best-selling books—Find Your Courage, Stop Playing Safe and Brave—have been published in seven languages. A mother of four teenagers and ambassador for Women in Global Business, Margie walks her talk when it comes to living bravely. More info at MargieWarrell.com.

Just for today, I challenge you trust that you have all the resources you need within you to do whatever tugs most

ExecutiveAgent Magazine



Nomination Form Nominate a fellow REALTORÂŽ to be featured in one of our feature stories; on the cover as Executive Agent of the Month, or as a special feature story. All candidates must be nominated by a real estate professional. The selection process includes a questionnaire, personal interview, reference check and final approval by the Advisory Council. Candidates are evaluated based upon professionalism, length of service and uniqueness of story, as well as industry and community involvement.

I Nominate: Name_______________________________ Company___________________________ Address____________________________ _____________________________________ City, State, Zip_____________________ _____________________________________ Phone______________________________ Email_______________________________ Submitted By: Fax/Email nomination to: Executive Agent Magazine PO Box 73384 San Clemente, CA 92673 Fax: 949.266.8757 Email: Info@eamag.net Tel: 949.297.8323

Name_______________________________ Company___________________________ Phone______________________________ Email_______________________________


Cover Story

Ryan Schramm Executive Agent of the Month

ExecutiveAgent Magazine

Ryan Schramm Broker / Owner

Written by Haley Freeman - Photography by Ian Wiant


yan Schramm and his wife, Courtney, are the visionary co-founders of real estate boutique Creatus Properties in San Clemente. “’Creatus’ is Latin for ‘creation,’ Ryan explains. “It’s a beautiful word. We help people create that perfect existence in their home. A home is many people’s greatest asset, but it is also their shelter - their place of safety and protection. Creating that existence is not always easy, but we’re here to help.” Ryan is among the fortunate few whose strong sense of identity and purpose emerged early in life. A Southern California native and graduate of USC’s prestigious Marshall School of Business, he began his career in the

commercial real estate sector. San Clemente was a place Ryan’s family frequently vacationed when he was a child, and for him, its sparkling beaches and laid-back lifestyle had always conveyed a special allure. When Ryan was ready to obtain his broker’s license and open the doors on Creatus, he sought out the community that was his boyhood ideal. “Seventy percent of our business is in the city limits of San Clemente. We all live here and own houses here, and we’re passionate about this city. The whole culture is geared around the ocean, and it’s a city with a lot of charm. I love driving from property to property and spending most of my day looking at the ocean. I can’t think of anyplace else I’d be happier living and selling real estate.”

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With the opening of Creatus came an opportunity to shape a forward-thinking business and service culture. “As an independent broker, we’ve embraced the new era of real estate. We don’t operate inside the box; we’re blazing the trail and doing things differently. Real estate is a very traditional business, and companies that have been around a long time are trying to figure out how to change. We’re defining the change. My firm holds traditional values, but uses out-of-the-box thinking in marketing and the way we communicate to get better results. Clients benefit from all that because properties are being marketed in a way people want to see them now, not 10 years ago. We have a comprehensive understanding of the way people shop for real estate and what they’re drawn to in this fast-paced environment where you only have seconds to capture their attention.” The company’s distinctive brand presence and carefully curated marketing reflects a genuine passion for homes and gracious living. “Courtney is responsible for implementing a lot of the marketing you see, from our website, to the way our listings look on Zillow. We like to deliver our message in a clean, crisp way. We realize there are only so many

things somebody can focus on at once.” In 2017, the team’s listings closed for 99.7 percent of original asking price, with an average of only 25.9 days on the market - manifesting the efficacy of their robust marketing and pricing strategies. “That’s two times faster than the average sale in San Clemente, and 15 of the 17 homes we listed broke record sales prices in their respective neighborhoods.” A family-run enterprise, Creatus offers a warm and welcoming client experience driven by the team’s harmonious personal relationships and shared values. “There’s no better extension of me than working with family,” Ryan says. “We have a consistent culture of service, and we pride ourselves on being sharp and ready with the skills our clients need. Knowing our business and how to protect our clients’ investments is something we take very seriously. I believe the team always out-performs the individual. I love the word ‘synergy.’ In practice it means the sum is always greater than the parts, and one plus one equals more than two. I think we’re proving that every day.”

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Real Estate, Redefined The Creatus culture is also big on health, vitality and personal growth. Ten percent of the company’s operating budget is spent on self-improvement. “It’s important for clients to know we spend time exercising, resting and eating right so we can be a better service provider to them and come to our work with our batteries fully charged. We are constantly investing in new tools and skills that make us better at what we do, and we network with professionals from around the country to learn about what’s cutting edge. All of these things keep us sharp. Would you rather work with a professional who’s just reacting to everything, or somebody who’s proactive, planned and strategic?”

Clients are answering the question with their radiant reviews. One buyer commented: “We never would have been able to get our offer accepted for our new house if it wasn’t for Ryan’s relationships. With four strong offers at full asking price on the home, we thought we’d never have a chance to get our offer accepted. Ryan said he would do everything in his power to get us in the home. After two days of him making calls, writing emails and handwritten letters to the sellers, our offer was accepted. We would not have the home we love if it wasn’t for Ryan and Courtney being so persistent and calm during the most exciting time of our lives, that is until we buy our next home with Ryan and Courtney!”

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Another client stated: “Ryan was instrumental in helping us buy and sell two properties. Both transactions were unique and somewhat complicated. Ryan’s knowledge and expertise helped make both transactions happen. Ryan, Courtney and his staff are pleasant and motivated, and were a pleasure to work with. Ryan went above and beyond to make sure both transactions were completed. We would surely use Ryan and his team in the future, if needed.” While still relatively young in years, Ryan possesses more than a decade of industry experience and an irrefutable track record of success. His team’s well-crafted business systems and energetic professionalism is both wowing clients and outstripping the competition. A recent seller had this to say: “After researching a number of Realtors® in the South Orange County area, I decided to go with the husband and wife team of Ryan and Courtney Schramm. Although much younger than the

other Realtors®, I felt they had the drive, motivation and tenacity to see my house sale through. In my opinion, a Realtor® must be confident, responsive and have impeccable attention to detail. Ryan and Courtney exceeded my expectations in all these areas. I give this team my highest recommendation and look forward to working with them again in the future.” Ryan and his team are saying yes to opportunities and helping to redefine this new era of real estate. They see themselves as members of a profession characterized by high integrity and a heart of service. “We handle every client with care and treat them the way we would want to be treated. Service is the core of our job, and when we lead with it, everything else falls into place.”

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Ryan Schramm Creatus Properties 120 1/2 S. El Camino Real, Ste. 208 San Clemente, CA 92672 - Tel: 949.212.1433 Email: Ryan@creatusproperties.com Web: www.http://creatusproperties.com - CalBRE #01851291

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Investing Yourself ne of the most fascinating stories I’ve ever heard comes out of Holland. The citizens in the little village of Ida in Holland were astonished when Hans Bergen died because he left an estate of $40,000 to a young girl named Anne Martin. She, of all people, was the most surprised villager of all, for she had never spoken to Hans Bergen. How could such a thing happen to her?


avoided him like the plague. Perhaps Anne Martin saw the extreme loneliness in Hans and gave him the only thing she could—a smile. It’s amazing how much we can do for others when we invest a little of ourselves in them. That builds winning relationships because people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care—about them.

Well, Hans Bergen’s will told the story. It seems that one day Anne Martin smiled at him. It was the only smile he had ever received in his lifetime. Grotesquely ugly, Hans had lived a lonely, affection-starved life. His ugliness frightened and repulsed the villagers and they

Zig Ziglar is a beloved author and America’s motivator. He is the author of 25 books and offers training and consulting to organizations all across the globe. To learn more about Zig and his business visit his website at www. ziglar.com.


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Written by Haley Freeman

Jorge Mercado


f you’re searching for a down-to-earth Realtor® with the dedication to do whatever it takes to help you buy or sell a home in Southern California, look no further than Jorge Mercado. Born in New York

12-year tour of duty took him to far-away locations from Okinawa, to Iraq, to Kuwait. He also spent three years as a Marine Corps recruiter in Connecticut, where he and his office achieved results that surpassed those of their peers. “We were the youngest office, but we were really successful because we operated differently. We weren’t scripted and never systematic. We were just ourselves. We liked to have a good time, while being honest and keeping our integrity.” While stationed at Camp Pendleton during his last months of service, Jorge decided to make real estate as his next career. “Since I was so successful as a recruiter, I realized how much I liked being independent, and I knew I didn’t want to work for somebody else. Real estate seemed like a great opportunity to own my own business, so after I was honorably discharged, I got my license.”

and raised in Florida, Jorge joined the United States Marine Corps immediately after high school. His

The personal and professional skills Jorge developed during his years in the Marine Corps have been great assets in real estate. After beginning his real estate career elsewhere, Jorge observed the success of Keller Williams agents, and decided to join the company. “I’d been watching Keller Williams for a while. I saw a lot of good agents in that office, and the success they were having there drew me. Keller Williams is interested in helping other people become successful. Something the Marine Corps taught me is that it matters who you surround yourself with. Being disciplined and having a positive mindset leads to everything else. You have to get out there and take action - just step outside the door and talk to people. I’ve learned that anywhere I go is my work environment and a place to meet a potential client.”

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Honor, Integrity and Service

Jorge’s no-nonsense business style is inspired by his East Coast roots, and his authentic approach to real estate engenders the trust of others. “Clients who choose me tell me it’s because I’m straightforward and not too salesy. I put a lot of emphasis on the basics of communication. I think there a lot of people in real estate who are focused on the digital world instead of the personal service people are really looking for.” Here is how Jorge’s clients describe him in their own words: “Jorge was very professional and courteous when we were shopping for a home to buy as a rental property. He was very informative and worked with us when we asked so many questions, and was patient - we wanted to look at so many properties! The process was smooth, and we look forward to working with him again.” Another stated: “Jorge is super responsive and puts his clients’ needs first. As with any professional relationship, make sure you ask lots of questions and are completely informed throughout the entire process, as I did. Jorge promptly responded to any of my concerns and kept me informed as timelines changed due to circumstances out of his control. I could not be happier with my experience, and I look forward to buying multiple properties from Jorge.”

use my VA loan, and it helps me relate to my clients and how they feel when they buy a home for the first time. I live in Garden Grove, and I’m in the process of trying to help other veterans in my area and wherever I find them. Eventually, I also want to start buying investment properties of my own.” Jorge is in real estate who he is in life: a genuine, conscientious individual with a heart of service. “I think it’s important to just be who you are, and when something needs to be done, get it done. I don’t care so much about the money aspect. I’m here to do my job with humility and integrity.” Jorge Mercado Keller Williams Realty 17785 Center Court Drive, N., Suite 120 Cerritos, CA 90703 Tel: 949.416.3722 Email: Jorgedreamhomes@gmail.com Web: www.JorgeMercadoRealtor.com CalBRE: 01999846

Jorge is completing his degree in marketing, and he recently used his VA benefits to purchase his own home. “I was happy and excited for two whole months after I bought my home. I was grateful to ExecutiveAgent Magazine

How to Solve Any Problem That Gets in Your Way


hen you’re faced with a problem, ask yourself these practical questions to solve it.

You know the importance of applying discipline and effort to overcome any problem that stands in your way. But some problems call for more than steely determination—they require you to step back and apply some mental power. If you’re faced with a roadblock like this, put it all down on paper. When you write a problem down on paper, you take the emotion out of it. With the emotion gone, you can look at the roadblock objectively. You can figure out what you did right. You can figure out what you did wrong. You can figure out how to change it. Here’s what you do: Pick a problem out of your head and pull out a piece of paper. Draw a line down the middle of the paper. On the left-hand side, jot down the problem in detail. We’ve got so much going on in our heads that it may just be difficult to isolate this particular problem. Just state it the best you can. On the other side of this paper, you’re going to write some solutions. There are three questions to ask yourself to generate those solutions, to solve almost any problem. The first question you need to consider is this: What can I do? You don’t want to go any further than that if you can solve the problem yourself. Start jotting down any options that come to mind. Lay out the alternatives. Then begin analyzing them. “Let’s see, number three… no, that one would take too long. I haven’t got that much time. OK. Number two? Not sure. OK. Let’s look at number one. Maybe the one I thought of first is my best one.”

problem-solving question: What could I read? Maybe there’s a book on your problem. Somebody may have spent a lifetime trying to figure out this problem. You could receive the instant benefit of this person’s advice if you take the time to look. Maybe it’s concisely written somewhere. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. If you do your homework, you just may find the solution. Start taking notes on what you’re reading. Book number one: This guy’s crazy. Book number two: This guy’s too shallow. Book number three: This guy’s got some interesting things to say about this problem. If that still doesn’t work, then ask question number three: Who could I ask? What should you have ready when you ask somebody to help you? You’ve got your notes to show them. You say, “You know, I’ve tried my best to figure it out myself, and it has left me short. Here are some of the books I’ve read. Here are my notes. I’ve researched this material, and I’m still confused. Could you possibly help me?” You can’t believe how willing people will be to help you if they know that you’re willing to help yourself. I promise you, if you try these ideas and ask these questions when you’ve got a problem, you’ll be able to solve just about anything that gets in your way. Jim Rohn knows the secrets of success - in business and in life. He has devoted his life to a study of the fundamentals of human behavior and personal motivation that affect professional performance. He can awaken the unlimited power of achievement within you! Reproduced with permission from the Jim Rohn Weekly E-zine. Copyright© 2006, Jim Rohn. All right reserved. For information about Jim’s keynote presentations and seminars, contact the FrogPond at 800.704.FROG(3764) or email susie@ FrogPond.com, http://FrogPond.com.

If that doesn’t seem to work, here’s the second 30

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Joe Juliani Written by Haley Freeman

self as a top-producing loan consultant, and then as an industry pioneer, when he obtained his broker’s license and merged his lending practice with real estate sales. He still maintains his status as a licensed loan originator, along with his real estate broker’s license. Joe also possesses more than 2,000 hours of experience in real estate appraising. With literally thousands of successfully closed mortgage loans and real estate transactions to his credit, and an informed view of local home values, Joe offers his clients a greatly enhanced real estate experience. He continually seeks new education on issues relating to mortgage and real estate law that will impact their most treasured investments, and he is relentless in delivering service with integrity. He leverages Arbor Real Estate Professionals fine reputation in the Newport Coast, along with leading-edge technology and carefully curated marketing, to help buyers and sellers succeed in every transaction.


oe Juliani, Broker-Associate at Arbor Real Estate Professionals and leader of Joe Juliani & Associates, is motivated by a genuine passion to serve others. That passion to serve is the driving force behind his purpose: to provide the industry’s finest representation; and his promise: to treat everyone like family. A Southern California native with deep roots in the Rancho Santa Margarita community, Joe is a beloved neighbor and trusted professional throughout RSM and South Orange County. Helping families achieve home ownership has been his career-long endeavor. He began in the mortgage banking sector, where he distinguished him-

But it is Joe’s sincere interest in people that truly sets him apart from his peers. Motivated by empathy and inspired by his faith-based values, Joe is wholly client-focused. His wife, Heather, is his most valued business partner, and he describes her as the backbone of his team. “We’ve spent 23 years together, and I couldn’t do what I do without her. She handles all the backend details, and she’s the one who makes everything come together and look seamless. I think real estate teams have gotten so big in recent years, and the focus has become, how many deals can I do, versus, how many people can I serve. Nobody is just a number here. Our business is more than 95 percent referrals, because we know our clients personally and want them to feel they’re shopping at Neiman Marcus, whether they’re buying a $300,000 condo or a $3 million luxury property.”

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Serving With Passion, Purpose and Promise Joe’s heartfelt client reviews are evidence of his extraordinary professional care. A recent seller commented: “JOE IS AWESOME! Joe stands out because he is trustworthy. He understands that the bottom line is customer service and satisfaction, not his commission. He treats you with honesty and respect and works his tail off to find you the perfect house or get you the best selling price for your current house. Joe truly is a gem and a great guy! If you are looking to buy or sell a home, I cannot recommend Joe enough!” Another client who has done multiple transactions with Joe, said: “What can I say about Joe and his team? I have been with him since 2012, and two separate condo purchases, and the man is to his word every step of the way. He fought tooth and nail to get the terms I wanted, as well as the properties I wanted. There is nobody in this real estate world I trust more than Joe.”

guy with a big heart and a sincere love for community. He and Heather are united in their abiding faith and tireless service to people in need. They are the co-founders of Precious Little Bean Coffee (PLB), a passion project that began with their desire to provide for underprivileged children. PLB is a philanthropic initiative that now raises funds for many charitable organizations through the sale of privately labeled, premium, fresh-roasted coffee. Together, Joe and Heather led 17 fundraisers last year, donating more than 400 hours of service and raising more than $500,000 for worthy causes. Joe and Heather are also ardent supporters of Children’s Tumor Foundation, The Literacy Project, 4 The Fallen, and Patriotic Service Dog Foundation, to name a few. Joe emanates a genuine love for people that is backed up by his positive actions. “With all the peaks and valleys, this business is still my passion. There has never been a time when I second-guessed my career path. Loving on people and making them happy is what drives me. In real estate, there is always an opportunity to help somebody, and I believe that’s what I’ve been called to do.”

While Joe’s credentials are among the most impressive in the industry, he’s known as a down-to-earth SoCal

Joe Juliani Arbor Real Estate Professionals 425 30th Street, Ste. 1 Newport Beach, CA 92663 Tel: 714.356.8112 Email: JJuliani@ArborRealEstate.com Web: www.JoeJuliani.com CalBRE # 01164175

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You Succeed By


istening to the reports about what’s presently going on in the economy I’m reminded of a time, a number of years ago, when we were going through what many people are going through now. The end of the month was approaching and we were experiencing a cash flow challenge. It was, in all honesty, one of the greatest tests of faith I had experienced in a very long time. Interestingly enough, I stayed positive throughout, knowing somehow that it would all work out for the best. During the last week or two of the month my resolve was tested several times. Using everything I have learned about the law of attraction, and staying focused on what I wanted, I managed to stay “locked on,” to borrow a phase from Lynn Grayborne. The tricky part and where I believe many people get tripped up, is holding your attention on what you want, while ignoring the “reality” of what is. Visualizing what you desire while being careful not to notice what has not yet happened. Let me explain.


When facing challenging times, a drop-off in revenue for example, most people devote a lot of time and energy noticing the lack of business. This is generally the opposite of what they want. What they want is lots of business. The law of attraction, a universal law as valid as any other law, like gravity, tells us essentially “we attract of what we focus on.” The subtlety here is that if we are noticing the lack of revenue, we will attract that. In other words, we will attract more lack of revenue. The challenge and I believe the real test of ones faith, is to ignore reality and only look at what we want. We then let go and trust in the Divine Power, that it will appear in the perfect way in the perfect time. The only way it cannot is if we block it by holding our attention, our power as a co-creator, on less than what we want. During my recent challenge, I knew deep within my being, at the cellular level, that everything would work out. I went about my business taking appropriate actions, holding my attention on what I wanted, being appreciative for everything I already have (counting my blessings) and yes, ignoring reality.

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Ignoring Reality I know that there people who will say I was crazy or foolish and that we have to “be realistic!” There was a time when I might have tried to convince them I was right. Now all I do is smile for I know better. A few days before the end of the month, in the middle of a phone call with a friend, I went on-line to check my bank balance and see what was happening, to see what checks had cleared and what yet had not cleared. When I looked at the screen I almost fell over, because what I saw there was a very large deposit sitting in my business account. A small part of me still thought it might be a mistake, but I rejoiced in what could only be described as a miracle. I realized right then and there that all of our positive focus and refusal to accept lack had in fact produced a significant result.

Step 2 – Know what you DO want. Write it down. Then, here’s the “secret”, spend some time each day feeling the feelings that you will experience when you have what you want. See and feel yourself as you would if you already had your desire. For example, if what you want is more money, you probably don’t want little pieces of paper with numbers on them. You most likely want some feeling associated with having the money. Maybe it’s joy, freedom, security or some other good feeling.

I believe this was a “sign” that our faith was not in vain.

Focus on this feeling and recreate it in your body. Imagine you already have the money and are feeling the feelings it brings. Experience all of the good feelings that will come with your desires.

“What so ever you ask for in prayer, believe you have received it and it will be given unto you.” This quotation from the Bible explains it all.

Give no attention to the fact that you do not yet have it. Ignore reality during this “Feel good” time. Do this simple exercise for a few minutes each day.

Activity Step: In your journal complete the steps below: Step 1 – Know what you DON’T want.

Jim Donovan is the author of the International bestsellers, Handbook To A Happier Life and This Is Your Life, Not A Dress Rehearsal. You can visit his website at JimDonovan.com.

Write it down.

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Happiness as a Priority


t’s always been interesting to me that the average person (go ahead and ask them), spends ten times (or more) the amount of time watching television than he or she does even considering happiness. In fact, in one pole that I conducted, not a single person out of more than 30 people admitted to spending even one second thinking about how they might go about becoming happier! Some of these people spent anywhere from 2-7 hours a day in front of a television set, yet not one minute contemplating what could amount to the most important question of one’s life—how can I be happier? One of the first rules of any venture is that in order to get somewhere, you need at least a general idea of how to get there and, at the very least, where you are going! We’re really lucky in a way as learning to be happy is a very easy thing to do. In fact, happiness is our natural state. If left to our devices and if we could find a way to stop interfering with the flow, we’d be extremely happy right now. So while life did not come with a instruction book on happiness, it really didn’t have to. By following some really simple principles and also knowing how to get out of our own way, we can become extremely happy, regardless of our present circumstances. Most people would agree with the notion that when a baby is born, he or she is a fairly clean slate. In other words, they aren’t vicious, reactive, judgmental, dissatisfied, prejudice, jealous, or angry. Instead, they are simply little beings who are curious and open to learning. Unfortunately, most of the time they eventually learn some pretty negative thinking which leads to some pretty unhappy times. We are taught that our thoughts are real and that we should pay attention to them. Problem is, they aren’t real,


they are just thoughts. Think of a time when you were, say, driving home from a baseball game and on the last play of the game, your favorite player, dropped an easy ball and blew the game and the season for your team and all the fans, you being one of them. You’re now in the comfort of your own home and the outcome of the game is brought up by other members of your family. You start to think about the dropped ball and you start to get depressed. You launch into a lecture about how the team needs new outfielders! Yikes, it’s happening all over again! It’s as if the dropped ball is happening all over again in your living room. As you think about it, you get more and more distressed, after all, you rationalize, he “did” drop the ball! That’s true he did drop the ball. But let me show you how easy it is to dismiss that thought now that the event is over. You’re about to see that while the unfortunate event did occur, it’s now only a harmless thought with no power over you other than that which you give it. And once you realize this, happiness will be moments away. Have you ever been driving and some other driver nearly knocks you off the road—maybe even comes within a foot or two of killing you? It’s happened to me a few times in the almost 30 years that I’ve been driving. Whether it has ever happened to you or not, pretend for a minute that it did. Imagine the thoughts that would be running through your mind while you were still heated. I can imagine the thought “I should kill that guy,” being one of your thoughts, or something similar, relating to some sort of revenge. Now the question becomes, “would you do it?” I mean it. Would you kill the driver? Of course you wouldn’t.

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And other than the fact that it’s against the law and that you’re a moral person, why wouldn’t you act on that thought? The reason is simple: The thought was just a thought—like the thousands of other thoughts that run through your mind every single day. You realize it was just a thought and you promptly dismiss it. This doesn’t mean you aren’t a little spooked or that you don’t care—of course you do. But by dismissing the thought, you put the event behind you, opening the door for you to move into the present moment and be happy in this moment instead of caught up in a thought that is just a thought, like all other thoughts—including the thought of the baseball player dropping the ball. Today, as we live our life, that event is merely a thought carried through time, via our own thinking As long as you see it, not as a reality to contend with, but as a simple thought, you are free to live right now, in this moment. Because thoughts are just thoughts (all of them) you have the power to drop any thought, at any time. You are absolutely in charge and have the last say! This is the ultimate in taking responsibility for your own thoughts and feelings. Here’s a little more food for thought. Let me ask you a funny question. Would you ever, even for a moment, consider writing yourself a nasty, mean-spirited letter and then mailing that letter to yourself? Then, when you get the letter you open it and you’re immediately offended by the mean and obnoxious content! You storm around the room and act all out of sorts! Of course this would never happen in a million years, but why? The reason is that you would be aware that it was you who wrote the letter. How silly would it be to write a letter and then become upset by that very letter?

thinking. Think about it carefully. Why would you ever have a thought—any thought, no matter how negative or scary—and then become nervous, reactive, angry or in some other way bothered by it? Remember, it’s just a thought you’re having, just like all the others. And what’s more important, you’re the one who produced the thought to begin with. Being upset by your own thoughts is a little like smashing your head against a wall and wondering why your head hurts. Remember, you wouldn’t act on a scary thought like killing another driver, no matter how bad he or she was—why? Because it was just a thought. The secret to a happy life is to realize that all of our thoughts are just thoughts. True things happen all the time, but once they are over—or if they haven’t happened yet, they are just thoughts. Before I close, take one last look at that ball player who dropped the ball. Regardless of how high the stakes were, it’s now, today, right now, nothing more than a thought— no more or less important than any others! Try applying this logic to all of the thoughts that run through your mind and, pretty soon, you’ll be dropping any negativity you’ve been burdening yourself with—and what you’ll be left with is, you’ve got it—happiness!! Richard Carlson, PhD, was considered one of the world’s foremost experts on happiness and stress reduction. As the author of thirty popular books, which have sold more than 26 million copies worldwide, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, he showed millions of people how to not let the small things get the best of them.

Well that’s the exact same logic we can apply to our

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