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Janine Bolon: Welcome to The Thriving Solopreneur show. This is Janine Bolon and today I have with me a wonderful woman by the name of Tray Urban. One of the things that is really cool about this particular solopreneur is that she left home at the age of fifteen. She definitely went through the school of hard knocks. She was a single young mother with three children by the age of twenty and dealing with the never-ending hunger for information when she went through jobs like locusts in a cornfield. I absolutely love that metaphor. After many successes in life and acquiring ten properties in different states, day trading stocks, maintaining a network analyst position and sitting on several committees and boards, almost all of it was washed away in a single swoop. After rebuilding a new empire, Tray now is a life coach, motivational speaker, and self-actualizing person. She travels the globe teaching, speaking, and being a divine conduit. Living her best life, she loves working with people to obtain their dreams and bring knowledge and inspiration to the forefront of their knowledge base. Thank you so much for being with us today, Tray.
Tracy Urban: Thank you so much for having me, Janine.
Janine: So, yeah, let us start off right at the very beginning. So, you left home at fifteen, went through the school of hard knocks, ended up becoming an entrepreneur of all things, what are you? Possessed? No. It is just a lot of solopreneurs feel like we are crazy people because we go into this high risk, high uncertainty life with our businesses and it is always fun to hear that story. So, what made you decide, “Hey, I need to start my own company. That is what I need to do.”
Tracy: I was very blessed to be born into a family, first off, filled with people who have their own businesses, not only the men who did mostly construction, carpentry, tile work, all that interior and exterior stuff but in addition, we have strong women who did everything from astrology charts to Mary Kay and everything in between. What I knew, always, was that I could always do whatever I wanted. So, when I left home and started off on my own adventures, I realized, I did things based on other people’s information about what was fun or what was exciting for them. Then when I went to do it, I was like, “Well, this is not so fun for me. I do not know why you like that?” Then I kept going through one thing after another and I am an organized freak, so I organized, conquered and I left in almost every position that people told me, “Well, it took two or three people to do what you did. So, if in case you do not realize that you are missed, you were.”
Tracy: I realized that I have this unique talent to see where things belong organically so that it runs the smoothest that it can be in all aspects. It is so funny, so I decided — get this — so when I was going to school, in ninth grade, we did all those SESAT tests, right? All the testing and my tests came back twelve-point whatever, thirteen-point whatever, and I asked the teacher, “What does that even mean?” This is three months into my ninth grade year in high school. They explained to me that I was testing out at college level in all of this testing that they did, the SESAT or whatever it is called. So, I am like, “Well, shoot. I do not need high school. I am already past you guys.” So, I left. I quit. I quit school. I started my life. I have a baby and I just started working. I had been working since I was eleven at the ski resorts in the back kitchen because when we were young, you could get a job at almost any age. There were not as many restrictions as there are now. I was used to working and my father had always taught us, “You got to earn your keep basically. If you want stuff, you need to make money to get that stuff because I am not just going to buy you stuff.”
Tracy: I was one of four children who were all taught this. So, we were all out and then we were witnessing our uncles, aunts, my mother, my father striving in all of these different ways and really learn how to be go-getters because what they all did was they hustled. This is prior to social media. This is prior to all of these lovely little venues where you could just throw up your little post on craigslist or whatever. So, we learned how to be a great conversationalist, how to fill into what people’s real need was, what they were not saying and say, “Well, this is I think what you are really asking for.” So, I went from that into the state because everyone said, “Tracy, how are you ever going to retire doing what you are doing? Just going from job to job, getting information, and quitting?” I was like, once I realized I did not like it or it was not fun anymore, I was like, “All right, I am done. I am quitting.” So I am going to quit, and I do not care because I realized that I was speaking into existence that which I wanted even back then because in my anger or frustration I said, “I am quitting this job. I do not care. I am going to get another job tomorrow,” in all of that power and I usually I always did and I did not care because that is what life showed me, is I got validated that which I spoke. So, I am like, “La, la, la, la.” So, people like, “Well, Tracy, you cannot just keep hitting rent,” and I keep listening to all these people and I was like, “Oh, well then, I got to figure how to buy a house.” Okay, so here I am, a single mom, three kids. At that time, I think I was making a bit more than minimum wage but I am like, “No. I could do this.” I know how to save money, get what I want, a great credit. My father was a great instructor of how to maintain good credit and the importance of paying your bills on time, or if you cannot pay them on time then find a way out or you have choices. Do not choose to just sink with the ship. I was fortunate because I realized not everybody gets great advice from their parents in some areas.
Tracy: Trust me, that was the great part because there were not a lot of other places where there was great advice from my parents. So, I appreciated that wisdom and knowing that I could always do the next thing. That I could always do something else and I would eventually find a home. So, that was when I landed in state after I said, I kept thinking, “Where can I change my job every twelve to eighteen months within a single organization without losing my seniority or my tenure? I know. I will work for the state.” Because it is so huge and people are like, “You could transfer to all these different departments. You would have so much flexibility compared to what you are doing.” So, I said, “Okay.” I took a serious pay cut and I said, “I am going to start up in the mail room.” I literally started off as a mail room clerk distributing reports to all of the managers. Guess where the perfect position for a great social loving communication, go-getter needs to be where you can meet all the managers?
Janine: So, yeah, you were able to then get a position where you were tying into your perfect job. You were tying into, “I love being able to get to know new people and chat away with them.” So, tell us a little bit about how you go from being an employee of the state so that you keep that excitement of every eighteen months you can transfer and do stuff, how did you end up being an entrepreneur? How did that happen?
Tracy: That was that another hard knock. It was so fun because from the mail room, within months I was fortunate that three different managers in three different sections — and I worked for the Department of Revenue at that time and maintained the job there for over twelve years. So, I have a choice of whatever section I really wanted to be in because they all said, “We will create a position for you, Tracy. If you are willing, we will do it.” So, then I ended up– Well, I know I love IT technology because it moves fast like me. It is always burning itself out and it is always needing something new. So, I started out in the IT department and I eventually became a network analyst traveling around all of Colorado supporting all of the motor vehicle office, the driver’s license offices, all of these huge entities from the wall, all the way to the desk and everything in between. On my happy ride home one day to go to happy hour, my husband had picked me up, and then we would go meet my sisters, we got rear-ended at a dead stop and it completely changed my life. Not only did it cause severe damage to my entire spinal cord but I was told it caused a disc to bulge within hours and I was completely paralyzed. So, after my job had found out– By this time I had been with the state for over seventeen years, and after six months, they let me go. Even though I could have been on the help desk, I could have been all these other things, they freed up my future and I said, “Thank you,” after I got done crying.
Janine: Yeah, because after you got down with the first blow of, “Oh my gosh, I have lost my job,” and then you go, “Wait a minute. Wait a minute.” Okay, first, you got to cry it out but then after that, you are like, “Well, wait a minute, let me look at where I am and what I can do moving forward.” So, what did you decide to do at that point?
Tracy: Exactly. So, I gathered all of my knowledge and I said, “Okay, Tracy, what do you want to do, okay? Because this is what you can do, this is what you can do, this is what you can do from all these different arenas.” Then I really started to say, “What do you like to do the most?” This is before I really understood that the more I get excited about what I want to do, the better the quality of opportunities that will come my way. So, at this point, I am just like, “Well, this is the one that is going to cost me the least amount of pain.” But it is where I have my background and my skills. So, from that point, I said, “You know, I started speaking into existence. I am so grateful to get paid to do all the things I want to do and I get paid to go all the places I want to go. By trade, I know how to work computers really well and cameras, so I ended up recording some of my favorite speakers and teachers and I got a two-fold. So not only did I get to be in the class and learned all of the things that now excited me in this whole new way but I got paid to be there. Then one thing led to another and the more I identified and got clear about what made me excited and what I really like and what my unique path was and not trying to fit in to all of these big balls that people keep throwing you, “Of being a real estate investor, be this or be a day trader. You can do this.” Because until you figure out what you want then– To me, I feel like I wasted a lot of years figuring out that I did not like things. If I could tell my younger self something, I would tell, going back to the question I probably did not answer the first time was, I would tell my younger self to, “Love your uniqueness and stop trying to fit in to all of these places because you feel left out, but instead, find your unique freak family.” Like, I call it.
Janine: Right, like they call it, yeah, your unique freak family. Some people call it finding your tribe and all that. But really, that is what it is all about. As an entrepreneur, you have heard me talk about this, is, if you really want to thrive as a business person you really have to sit down and decide what is the lifestyle that you want, and then you have to fit your business into those cracks. It is not the other way around. A lot of people go the exact opposite direction which is what you were sharing. You were sharing about–
Tracy: I did.
Janine: Yeah, I know and I was there for a period of time as well. But when I had my episode that was my life-changing event where I am like, “Enough of this noise. I am doing it my way.” When I put my foot down and said, “All right, I am living life this way and it is going to look like XYZ way.” Then I said to the universe, “Now, figure out how I am going to make money doing this because I want to help people and this is the way I want to help them and this is what I have to offer.” So, definitely, becoming that kind of pigheaded or tenacious as I prefer, to call–
Tracy: I love that word.
Janine: When you become that tenacious about something. Talk to us a little bit about how things turned the corner for you at that point? Share with us that excitement because not everybody has felt what you have felt, so share with us a little bit about that.
Tracy: Yes, and I love your words, Janine, because I love that visualization of fitting in the cracks because it is all the perception and before I used to perceive that I was falling through the cracks and everyone — you know what I mean in that — but I did not realize that spirit or great divine, creator, the source was doing its best to help me find my little crack that is so uniquely and beautifully mine that no one else could fit into it. When we start really allowing ourselves to be the happiest we could be and go after that which excites us the most, it is amazing, the new doors that start opening. But first and foremost, you have to be willing to let go of the rest and let go of the perception of, “Well, this is the only way I could get money.” Let go of the idea of how a lot of us were trained that there are only certain ways to achieve what you wanted. So, for me, I was gifted and blessed that I am a go-getter. So, it is like I went and I got the information myself to maintain the positions that I did and get into the position I did. Not everybody has that kind of drive to do it without the education or does not have that kind of structure within themselves to do that. So then, you have to find what works for you.
Tracy: Some people work better online and now we have all these online education options. There are support groups. There are meet-up groups. There are countless ways to start finding your niche. The beautiful thing is, is that what you do uniquely, no one else will do in that way, in that exact harmonious vibe that attracts the people who are waiting for you to get clear about your unique awesomeness so that you can start getting the baby steps in building that foundation to do that. One of my best, best advice for people who are starting off is get– Because you know we all wanted to go legit and get the business name right away and we want to submit paperwork and do this, that and the other, and if you feel so called to do that, just name it your name because you can always do business as something else while you discover what is going to fit under the umbrella of you. But uniquely, your name is yours forever, so then you save the money of having to keep changing it and changing your bank accounts because trust me, I did it. I did things–
Janine: Yeah, I was about ready to say, it sounds like a personal experience here of just use your name. Because really, when it comes to your business name, most people do not care. They do not care what your business name is. It does not define what it is you are doing. It does not define your brand. It does not define you. But you, your name, like you said, is very appropriate for that. So, any last thought you care to give our people before we step out of here? Anything you care to share that are like some top tips on working your own business?
Tracy: First and foremost is to find the people who are exampling that which you seek. Once you start, then you could start creating or giving your ducks in a row per se, or having– It is like finding the star to follow. Then once you see somebody who is exampling something that excites you, you know that you can do whatever you want, however you want it. It does not even matter, there is a way to work around physical limitations these days, there are ways to fill in the educational gaps these days. Trust that your best life is waiting for you to just start asking for it and giving thanks for it. You build a structure within yourself, next. The most important thing is your time with yourself and if you are not investing in yourself during those times, the reflection of that will show in your exterior world. When you are wondering why things are not exactly why, you can ask yourself, “How much time did you spend on Facebook? How much time did you spend on social media? How much time did you spend on your own self, marketing your own self? How much time did you spend contacting people or listening to videos that are actually feeding you the information you want in the way you want it?” That is key. Then just be happy. Lean into whatever excites you.
Janine: Lean into whatever excites you. That is the advice that we are being given. Thanks so much. I really appreciate you being with us today, Tray Urban. It is wonderful to see you.
Tracy: So grateful, Janine. Have a wonderful rest of your day.
Janine: This is Janine Bolon with The Thriving Solopreneur. Remember to keep your feet firmly on the ground as you reach for those dreams and the stars. Have a great day.