Behind every successful team, there’s a visionary leader who brings value, creates opportunities, and gives back to the community. In this episode, bestselling author, and visionary Julie Houston takes the other side of the microphone to discuss her journey with Fuller Wallet Media. She shares what inspired her to write a book and establish her company. She shares her insights into the company’s mission to bring value to their clients and the vision for the future. Julie also talks about her personal experience with homelessness and how she uses her success to give back to those in need. Throughout the conversation, Julie shares the gold nuggets from her extraordinary journey and her big plans for scaling and helping people in the future. She reveals the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone and being strategic in achieving your goals. Tune in now.
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Team Solo Cast Part 3
You have probably read the episodes prior, but I’m excited to be able to introduce you to the one, the only, mastermind behind the whole team, the visionary, Ms. Julie Houston. She’s a bestselling author and number one in four categories on Amazon. If you haven’t gotten the book yet, Less Than Zero: Start a Business, Change Your Life, do it now at FullerWalletMedia.com/hope. Julie, thank you so much for jumping on the other side of the microphone and allowing us to interview you and let your fans know exactly who they hear every week when you decide to show up to the show.
This is shall be interesting. All of my team is asking me questions.
Again, thank you so much for being on the show. Let’s dive into it. Why did you start Fuller Wallet Media? You have worked with some of the biggest names and designed their funnels. Why did you start this great company?
I have worked in the industry behind the scenes for about fifteen years. I have worked with some of the biggest names in the real estate space and still work with some very credible people in the real estate space. I have been doing this for fifteen years, and about a few years ago, I was like, “I still have an entity in that industry,” but I opened Fuller Wallet because I was defined as an affiliate manager for so long, but I’m building custom funnels from scratch for 2 or 3 years at this point and it’s like, “That’s not my focus.” I still do it with our clients, but I was at a crossroads where I got to make a decision. Something’s got to change.
I came up with Fuller Wallet Media and I was like, “We can offer way more services as a company as a whole than anybody else out there. With the credibility and experience of our team, for me, it was a no-brainer. I don’t share this often. I shared it with somebody I had a call with privately the other day, but when I set up Fuller Wallet Media, I owned other businesses as well.
I have just updated my will and my trust so that if I die today or I die in my sleep tonight, my business will continue to run. My team will continue to get a paycheck and business will run as usual because that’s how important it was for me. It’s to build something that I could leave so that people would know that no matter what, there’s an exit strategy plan if anything happens to me.
That’s unbelievable because a lot of entrepreneurs that are self-starters don’t think the way you think the way that you just said.
They are out for themselves. There are so many people who are out for themselves. They don’t care about what you do or how much work you do. They are 100% out for themselves and I have come across many people like that in my industry and other niches as well. You are going to find them everywhere you go, but we highly vet everyone. Jeff highly vets our guests. Melanie highly vets any type of promotion or any type of affiliate offer or client opportunity. I have a fully trained team that I can trust and rely on and get things done. It was that important to me that my team feels secure in knowing that I want them to have that security.
You mentioned Jeff and Melanie. Also, shout out to Gracie and Jeffey, but tell us how you have assembled this band of misfits and created the Fuller Wallet in there.
I’m from the Philippines and Melanie is on the other side of the world as well as the other two members. How are you able to ship us in Julie for Fuller Wallet?
I would love to. We are not shipping in. We are planning a trip out to the Philippines as a team to go visit our team in the Philippines. I’m waiting for my son’s graduation dates and stuff like that so we can arrange the trip because he is got family coming into town but we will be flying out to spend time with our team in the Philippines this year because they worked with us for so long. I met Jeff and I interviewed Jeff.
I am sorry for cutting you off, but I think you forgot. This is funny because we are supposed to schedule the interview for a Monday and we have this conversation on the weekend.
This was several years ago.
I was like, “How about I called you now, and let’s do the interview.” I called Julie instead and we did the interview.
I was like, “Fine. Let’s do it.”
Continue, Julie. Tell them.
He did amazing and one of the things I do, which I won’t disclose. They are some internal proprietary information, but when I hire any VA, there’s a testing process that they have to go to through. There’s a dialect process that I test. Jeff knows that they have to read certain things to me to see other languages. I have to have a basic conversation. Right off the bat, Jeff was using American lingo that you’d have to teach most VAs because they need step-by-step instructions like, “What to do next, and when this is done, click here and then do this.” My team and my VAs are completely independent and get their jobs done. I met Jeff and we hit it off. Jeff is my right arm because he has been my right hand. Everything I have learned too, I have taught Jeff and I’m still teaching him.
Jeff, you are amazing.
Learning is a process. Every day, we learn something new.
Learning is a process. Every day, we learn something new. Click To Tweet
It’s important to me as a business owner that my team is also learning and growing in the company as well. When Jeff started out with me several years ago, did you think several years later you’d be working with me and have a US-based salary?
Exactly. I was only doing calls at that time. I was not knowledgeable about doing podcasts or affiliates.
I didn’t have to direct him all day long. Jeff gets things done just like my other VAs and they are qualified to be on the phone. They also have the American dialect where he can be like, “Yeah, that’s cool,” and understands it. Whereas with other people, you can tell you are on the phone with somebody from overseas or inexperienced. Jeff is a very experienced person on my team.
We know you are very busy, Julie. You are building funnels and doing affiliate stuff, but how are you able to balance teaching your team this and that or what task they will be doing today, tomorrow, or for the rest of the week and doing your funnel affiliate stuff as well? How are you able to balance that?
Do you want to know the truth?
People want to know, Julie.
I have worked my butt off in this industry. It’s a male-dominated industry too. In the years that I have been in this industry, I am going to disclose I have never in my life been inappropriate with any man or woman on the road and I take a lot of pride in that. My reputation is always a concern. I have a lot of pride in that.
Secondly, for me, if my team isn’t learning, growing, and having more opportunities to earn, then I have to look at myself as a business owner and say, “What am I doing wrong?” It’s because I’m not here to start a business where people have this job and ask for a raise and all that. We are, collectively, as a team. That’s how I want my whole team involved and that’s how I have gotten them involved.
Melanie’s learning new things. She’s getting good at it, and eventually, she’s going to be cross-training on that. Jeff’s learning new things every day. I invest in my team. If my team needs training or wants special training, all they have to do is ask me or the software, and I will get in the training or the software. I want our team to be strong, but be able to provide as much value as possible for our clients.
Communication is the key, right?
One-hundred percent. It’s the backbone of everything.
I’m glad you mentioned bringing value to the clients. We have established that we have got a great team. Jeff does his thing. Melanie does her thing and I do mine. Let’s talk about the value that Fuller Wallet Media brings to the client. What is your vision of where you want to take this and what we provide to a potential client or an existing client? Elaborate on that a little bit.
Our team is experienced from frontend product development to webinars all the way to a backend offer, whether that’s a live event, application, or whatever that may be, and all the things in between as well as traffic, social media posts, and things of that nature. We are a full-service marketing and media company. Not everybody is a custom package. I have clients that have a small little business and that’s okay. We keep it the way they like it and that’s what we build out. I also have more complex clients where I may need to do a custom build from scratch every month. It varies. I like having such diversity on my team and that we can serve so many different clients in many ways that there’s not one fit for all.
Having diversity on your team can help you serve different clients in many ways because there's not one fit for all. Click To TweetTalk to them a little bit about how charitable you are. We talked about it in the book. All the proceeds go to helping homeless women in the shelter, right?
Yes. One hundred percent of the proceeds for this book, Less Than Zero, I wrote this book and let me tell you why I wrote this book. I wrote the book fully to give back. All purchases for the Less Than Zero book I’m donating to women’s and men’s facilities nationwide. Also, a percentage is going to a veteran’s association as well. One hundred percent of the proceeds that are from the book are 100% donated.
This isn’t a money-maker for me. When I came to this point, I have been approached several times by people to write a book. I was like, “No, I’m not going to write a book. I’m not an author.” This was the hardest thing I ever did in my life because I wrote this book and then I had it reviewed. It is my story of how I came from absolutely nothing. I had less than zero. I was emotionally, mentally, physically, financially, and in every way possible broken. I had less than zero in all of those areas of my life.
You were homeless, right?
I was homeless. I was in a women’s shelter. I got my food from the food banks to the point where I saved up enough money to get into this beautiful, glorious efficiency apartment in Pasadena, Texas. I was so grateful and I was like, “If I have a roof over my head and I can feed my son, that’s all that matters.” I had one guy who was an influencer for me and believed in me. He had kids my age. We met at a weird time in life. His wife had recently passed away and I’m homeless. He was the first person that opened my eyes. I give that story a little bit of how I come from the shelters and I share the actual marketing tools and resources that I did use to start my businesses and that I still use now.
The gentleman is still a mentor of yours, correct?
He still is. I talk to him frequently. He works for a very high-end developer in Houston. I still stay in touch with him regularly, which I love. He got remarried. His wife is amazing. I’m truly blessed to have that.
I’m sure he is very proud of you. Look at the success you have had. When he met you at that time where he probably felt at his lowest when his wife died. You go through that.
I’m homeless and then I write a book.
He’s got a big piece dedicated to him. I’m sure he’s like overwhelmingly proud of you. That’s astonishing. Kudos to you. I know he’s proud of you.
Thank you. It wasn’t even a process for me. I had to relive a lot of my childhood. I don’t get in graphic gory details in the book because nobody wants to read that. It’s glazed over but I do tell you my deepest, darkest moments and what I did to get out of them, and how I started my businesses.
I haven’t finished the book yet. I’m halfway through. I got it on Kindle and I love it. I know you personally and you have been there for me. I have known you for a few months now. You were so welcoming and generous with your information and your knowledge that it was almost surprising because it was like, “What?” What is she seeing me to where she’s taken the time and investing her knowledge in someone like me? It was astonishing to me. You deserve all the success.
Thank you. I feel like I’m at a point in my career. I still have a lot of growing and learning to do. There’s still a lot I want to do for my future, but we have also been investing for a few years now. My husband works on the houses. He’s retired. That’s another blessing that came about from doing the right thing and putting one foot in front of another. It’s like getting out of my comfort zone.
It’s like Melanie being a guest on the show that she co-hosts is getting out of her comfort zone and she killed it on her episode. Getting out of that comfort zone is key for anybody, but you have got to be strategic. I’m sure there was tons of planning and tons of research before you bought that first property and invested.
I used every penny to my name. I found this beach lot because my husband wanted to build it at the beach. I bought this lot. I had $5,000 in savings. That’s all I had to my name. I negotiated it with this seller and I was like, “This is all I have.” They just wanted to get rid of it. They paid for the survey and everything. I got one little tiny lot at the beach and I thought like, “This is all I need.” The guy that owned the two lots next to me, I did the Loral Langemeier from The Secret. I wrote a letter every day and he called me right after I bought the first lot and I had no money left over. We had enough to do the run the ground and underline and all that. I was like, “Okay.”
The guy responds right after I close on the lot and I have been writing him for months. He calls me and he says, “I got your letter.” It was our dream to retire down at the beach. He goes, “I get letters every day and I got yours. I’d like to sell it to you.” I was like, “Sir, I would love to buy it from you, but I can’t afford to pay you that all at once.” He was like, “I will owner finance it.” That’s how I got those two lots. The years gradually went on and we ended up purchasing fourteen lots in the neighborhood. Debbie and John were on the other street.
You keep talking and I’m going to start writing letters so I can get some land. Deb and Melanie, you all take over.
I’m curious, Matt, because we know Julie’s a workaholic. She works seven days a week but aside from work, Julie, what do you like to do during your free time, maybe Sunday? Do you do something to enjoy?
I have just started doing this, and I’m going to share this. This is a personal moment and I haven’t shared this with a lot of people publicly. It was one weekend after a race and I was exhausted and I was like, “Why are you not so tired?” I ended up having shingles. About a few years ago, I got sick with shingles from stress and it broke my body down. I literally couldn’t stand on my own. I lost my hearing. I lost my vision. The air will hurt if you walk by me. It was due to stress. I got through it. I thought, “I’m good to go.”
I wasn’t balancing my life, work, family, and things like that. I now have a coach that I personally work with that I have been opening up that freedom. In my free time, Jeff, I do enjoy reading now. Not just my book. I enjoy reading a lot of books and supporting other colleagues of mine that wrote books. I love to read their books and try to support them there. I also am learning to drag race, which I am enjoying because when I get on the bike, I don’t have to think about anything else except what I’m doing and it’s just me.
To clarify, that’s motorcycle drag racing. She’s not drag racing in a car.
She is a motorcycle driver.
I do ride a bike as well, but it’s 155cc. How many ccs of motorbike do you have, Julie?
Dale, how much power does my motorcycle have? The bike I race is a ten-second bike. Come over here, baby. They have some motorcycle questions so I need your perfection here on my bike that I’m racing here. Let’s talk about the bike I’m racing.
We own three race bikes and she’s starting off on the smallest one. We put her on a Kawasaki 250, but the wheelbase is so short that she flipped it the first time out.
I never rode a Kawasaki. I always rode a Harley.
Julie, did you show your husband that picture we made you in Photoshop? Did he get to see that?
It’s with you pumping that wheelie.
Yes, he saw it in the group. You posted me on the motorcycle. What about my bike? It’s 120 horsepower.
It’s a ten-second, quarter-mile bike, but I got to turn it down for her, but it’s stretched with the wheelie bar so it won’t flip on her.
It won’t flip again. You won’t break your arm.
He’s like, “That bike won’t flip,” but everybody said the Kawasaki wouldn’t flip either and that didn’t work.
Poor bike. Poor Kawasaki. I got to go.
It was nice meeting you.
It’s nice meeting you, Sir. You had flipped your bike and broken your arm. It happens.
If anybody can do anything extraordinary, it’s Julie and that’s what we have learned from this.
Are you kidding me? It’s our whole team. Let me throw this out there though. Melanie’s a hardcore Harley rider too. She does some pretty wicked motorcycle rides.
I have heard some of her stories.
She is a pretty strong bad buck girl on a motorcycle. We have done some serious rides.
We have got a great team. I think we take a little bit from everybody, but what you give all of us and the clients is unbelievable. We thank you for everything that you do, your vision, and where we are prepared to take it and follow you on this journey. I’m just thankful to be a part of the team.
I’m grateful for everyone that I have on this team.
To wrap it up, Julie, do you have a piece of advice for people out there who are planning, who wants to start their own team, their own company, or start to write their own book? What piece of advice you can give to them?
That’s a really good question in three different areas. I would say that if somebody was interested in writing a book, first, before you even write the book, know what you are writing the book about, what your avatar for the book is, and what you want to focus on with the book. My suggestion that is once you figure that out, write the chapter that you want, the headlines, and break down the information you want under those chapters. What was the second question, Jeff?
For people who want to start their own podcast or their own team, or if they want to start their own company.
For anybody that wants to start their own team like Matt mentioned that entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart because it is a daily grind and hustle. Some people love it and I love it. I love the hustle of putting deals together, connecting people, and helping people. I think that’s where our team adds a lot of value for a lot of people.
If you’d like to know more about Julie, you can go to FullerWalletMedia.com/hope and buy the book or you can contact Melanie and schedule a meeting with us. You can learn how to work with us and we’d be happy to do it. Thanks so much, Julie, for lending your time. I know you got to run but we appreciate you. We look forward to going along this journey with you.
I appreciate all of you. This journey isn’t a Julie journey. This is a Fuller Wallet journey. I want that to be clear.
You heard it here first. We are on the journey with you. Take care and we will see you next episode, guys.
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