Nicole Espinosa

Welcome to this week’s episode of the Underdog. Today’s episode is one-of-a-kind. It is a conversation between the top one percenters in Real Estate, Pamela and Nicole, also known as the Short Sale Queen!

Nicole is a top-selling author of ‘Short Sales Uncensored’ and is the leading expert in short sales. She has closed thousands of short-sale transactions and continues to process hundreds a month for clients nationwide. Her extensive knowledge of distressed properties has made her the market expert when dealing with difficult transactions.

In this episode, Nicole and Pam shared their experiences and highlighted the following:

– What does it feel like to be the few women in the top one percent? What sets them apart from the other women in real estate?

– Nicole and Pam’s journeys to building their empires look like?

– The challenges that they both experienced throughout their careers?

– What are the nuggets of wisdom and advice that Nicole and Pam can impart based on what they know now?

Listen to how Pamela and Nicole shared and exchanged their remarkable stories. Listen to the full episode here:

– Apple iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/underdog/id1534385651

– Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6FbSDu0aNtuxAEiderUAfB

– Website: https://theunderdogshow.com

If you found this story worth your time and made changes in your life, we’d love to hear from you! Subscribe and leave a review.

Catch up with Nicole on her social links here:

– Website: https://thessqueen.com

– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nicoleisyourrealtor

– LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicole-espinosa-47214351

– Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thenicoleespinosa

– YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsgqmOW3WBEaaBv3pjgZc5w

The Underdog Podcast host is none other than Pamela Bardhi. She’s rocking the Real Estate Realm and has dedicated her life as a Life Coach. She is also Forbes Real Estate Council. To know more about Pam, check out the following:

– Website: https://pamelabardhi.com

– Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pamela_bardhi

– TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@pamela_bardhi

Click To Read The Transcript

Pamela and Nicole Collaborate to Share Their Entrepreneurial Journeys & Stories To Success

Kevin Harrington
Hi, I’m Kevin Harrington, an original shark from the hit television show Shark Tank and you’re listening to the underdog podcast.

Pamela Bardhi
Hello, everyone and welcome to the underdog Podcast. Today I have a very, very, very special guest who I absolutely love and adore. Her name is Nicole Espinosa, she is the short sale queen and she is out of this world. Amazing. And I mean this girl, you’re gonna kind of hear a collaboration of both of us speaking today and just vibing off entrepreneurship. Real estate and all the things and a bit of my story and her story kind of infused together. But she is an outstanding human being. She’s here in Texas, actually, we’re actually filming in Plano right now, which is incredible.

And we’re just here together, just really sharing our stories and really digging deep on all of them how we got to where we’re at. A lot of us both look at the situation of being super successful and helping other people get there and wanting to help elevate them, like Nicole is huge. And she’s an amazing educator. Like she’s absolutely incredible and built an outstanding brand that took her 13 years to get to just like hustle and love. Now she’s thriving, and helping other people get there as well. So I’m just honoured and blessed to have her here today to share her story as well and just be along for the ride because it’s one hell of a good one.

Nicole Espinosa
So thank you so much for coming.

Pamela Bardhi
Thank you so much for having me. It’s such an honour to be here. I’ll just never forget, like when I met you, I was like, dang, that’s my girl, like I just adore. Like, you just meet somebody, you click and you’re the same and you just get it. You don’t even really have to say anything. And that’s how it is with you. And I just

Nicole Espinosa
It really was just two seconds me like Hi.

Pamela Bardhi
Like, hey, where are you been like what’s going on?

Nicole Espinosa
And I’m so me and him. We are part of the same mastermind family mastermind, we were just talking about it. And I think one thing that is so refreshing is to see another, you know, boss, a badass that’s running a business on such a high level. That’s something that I just am so grateful that I know you and that I’ve met you because you’re so inspiring. Even just listening to you when we were there. Then of course seeing just how far you’ve come since it’s only been like a year seems

Pamela Bardhi
So crazy, because I say the exact same thing about you, right? Like I see you and I’m just like, I’m so inspired by her. She’s such a badass, like, she’s so amazing. Like, look at all the things he’s building all the people she’s helping and just like empires are being built. You’re doing that with love and authenticity. To me that speaks volumes, right? Because there’s a lot of people in this game. Well a lot of shysters in this game, do right? Then there’s a lot of ego and all that stuff. And here you are coming out with pure love and authenticity. I think that when you find someone that is exactly the same as you, that’s how it just flows like that.

Nicole Espinosa
Yeah. And I think that mindset is what’s so rare, especially among women. You know, we have so many women, there’s more women realtors, than there are any other realtors. And yet, they’re not running the business at a high level. Like when we go to mastermind, there’s like five women total. Maybe was there like four? I know that’s like, Wait, that includes us. So maybe three other ones. So it’s probably another reason why we were really drawn to each other do

Pamela Bardhi
Well, not only that was like crazy. It’s amazing to see young women are really stepping up in the game. Because yeah, there’s a lot of women in real estate. But in my experience are usually like 20 years older than I am. And it’s breezy, at least in the Northeast market, like in Boston. So it’s like it’s so refreshing to see this at like a young age is like going out there getting it like yes.

Nicole Espinosa
I remember when I first got licenced the average real estate agent was like 52 years old. And obviously I think that maybe that hasn’t changed. I don’t know.

Pamela Bardhi
But now can we get some stats up in here?

Nicole Espinosa
I know. But yeah, I mean, and that’s, you know what it was, and there’s so many women. And it’s funny, because I remember seeing like big teams, and they would be the ones that would run it. But it’s like they didn’t have the strength or whatever the courage or any of whatever word you want to use to go out there and put themselves out there. They were more comfortable with being behind the scenes and then that man which you know, whatever, that’s fine being the brand. Then what happens is we’re in rooms with the top one percenters. And it just so rare to come by. So I think that’s a perfect lead in to like you like, how did you get into this business into real estate in general?

Pamela Bardhi
Yeah, so my journey was extremely interesting, right came to the US when I was five years old. And so my parents came because they won the visa lottery that my grandmother put their names in the visa lottery. So they even know the day my little brother was born in Rome. My grandmother walks in Qatar Ospital take me. I was born in China, Albania because it was a communist collapse, my parents went to Rome. So in Rome, that’s where they had my brother. So my little brother was born, my grandmother walks into the hospital and she’s like, Hey, congratulations on your baby boy, by the way, you won the visa lottery.

You go to the United States of America, and my dad’s like, that was like his dream. He’s like, Oh, yeah, he’s like, hell yeah, we’re going. And my mom’s like, just birth the child-like, what? How old? Were you? You were five. I was five. So my mom’s like, she really didn’t want to go because they didn’t know any English. No family here. Didn’t know where they were going to stay. And they barely had any money saved up. I think they had like 1500. They told me something like that, like enough for plane tickets. Then 1500 For like when they got there with a newborn, and a five-year-old.

So then, my mom obviously had to stay with me my brother because we were young. Like, it’s not like we could be self-sufficient. And my dad started working all kinds of weird jobs. Like I barely saw him when I was young. So he would be roofing, he’d be going to Kodak, like putting away photos. And then he eventually started in the restaurant business. He worked back of house cooking because when you can’t speak English, you do manual labor. So until you learn the language, and in the restaurant world, my dad met his mentor, the owner of the restaurant, and they became like best friends.

And so over time he was telling him, he’s like, so cool. Like, let me just tell you the two ways that you build wealth in America. A is real estate. B is owning your own business. My dad’s like, well, I’ve only been here for a couple years. Knowing I have the credit or the down payment to go out and buy real estate, like he was like, well beyond him. But he’s like, I do want to buy a business. So his mentor helped him out, to give him a downpayment, to go out and buy a business. So he did that when I was 10 years old. And so he bought a little like, Italian restaurant in Boston.

Nicole Espinosa
So were you in Boston by this time?

Pamela Bardhi
Yep. Yep, yep. So I was 10 years old, I started working there. So by the time I was 18, I was running the show with my parents. At the time I was 20. I was 21, I opened up two of my own restaurants and like, owned and operated them. And what happened was during that time, and then I was still back in on all my parent’s stuff. Because, you know, immigrant parents. They’re like, they count on you for everything right. Now, that is a bad thing. But I was working like 13 15-hour days between these three. And I’m like, this is like not so you were born. You had nothing to do that. Yeah, absolutely nothing, absolutely nothing 1315-hour days.

And then like, I’m like sitting in my restaurant. I’m like, exhausted. This is not sustainable. I’m like, I can do this now. Because I’m in my early 20s. But like, what about when I become a mom? Like, what about like, this is just not. And then like these real estate developers would start coming to like my restaurants and stuff. And I’m like, he’s like, drug dealers. Like, why are these people like, because they would walk in strolling whenever they wanted to wicked nice clothes, off cars. They were always talking about vacation and traveling, and someone might do they even work, what do they do? How can you afford this?

And then when I found out, they weren’t drug dealers, I was open to talk. And I was kind of like, okay, so what do you guys do? Like, what do you actually do? Like, really? What do you actually do? They’re like, real estate. Real estate development, they were telling me about how making money works for you. How the average millionaire has seven different streams of income. I went to college at that time, like by that time, like, I went to undergrad, and I was a beast in all my academics. Yet, I still never understood the principles of investing, real estate, or any of that.

Nicole Espinosa
They don’t teach anyone. You might as well have paid them what you paid the college to change your perspective, and teach you that. I mean, that’s so valuable. That’s crazy.

Pamela Bardhi
It’s insane. And so for me, like, it was like, what? And then my uncle started doing flips North Shore. This is around 2013 ish when there was still overflow from 2009 crash. So there were still short sales, foreclosures, and short sales, your arena, you know that you know, that area? So, my uncle was starting to do that. And I was like he’s making like 60k per flip 80k per flip 3050 I’m like, damn, those are big numbers. Like I’d love to do that. Right. As a different stream of income.

Yeah, like, I’m cool with that. I was like, what I need to learn because I don’t know anything about construction. I don’t know anything about real estate, I don’t know anything about anything. But you know, I’m gonna hire a coach and figure it out. Since what I did with the backup the store kind of before that. Even when I went to college, I still had the plan to work a nine-to-five when I graduated. Of course, you didn’t. Yeah, straight up. I didn’t go to college. Yeah, it was important.

Nicole Espinosa
I seriously, when I got into real estate, I was gonna go get my law degree because I’m like, You know what, I want to be a real estate attorney. I’ll never forget, my mentor told me and at the time, I didn’t really consider him a mentor. But now looking back, he had taught me so much that I’m grateful. And he’s like, Don’t ever go to college. He’s like, if you go to college, they’re going to train you to think differently. The way you think is what makes you money and what’s gonna make you successful. And that’s stuck with me so much because I’m like, holy cow.

My whole life I was taught, trained, and educated, that in order to be something, in order To be qualified and have people take you seriously. Or have like those accolades, like, you have to say, I went to college, I got this degree. You know, I did all this stuff to be impressive, and to make money and it was literally the exact opposite. I was like, nope. And I hated school and now I’m learning more. I find myself reading more than I ever have, and trading myself. I’m like, Oh, my God, I do more school or education than I ever have when I was in school. But it’s just different financial literacy. It’s, you know, things like that.
So anyways, I just went, Well, you turned into a school, which is superb. I know, how hilarious is that? And I hated reading growing up, but I wrote two books. Make it make sense, make it make sense. Even when the first book I wrote, I’m like, I have no words to say, I don’t know. Like, I just talk. And so they’re like, great, talk into your phone and record it. And then you can get into a transcript. I’m like, holy cow.

Pamela Bardhi
So mind blown, right? Crazy. It’s so interesting how like, society places these things on us and so for me, that was my thing. My parents wanted me to go to college so that I could graduate and get a nine to five and have financial security for the rest of my life. Because they didn’t want me to go through what they went through working. Like those restaurant hours, 13-hour days, and things like this. It was so interesting because I did it. I was like, I’m gonna get into sports and marketing, and like, I want to do events. And like, that’s the thing I want to do. So I literally got an internship, my spring semester of junior year, in college. At the place that I legit thought I was going to work out when I graduated.

I was like, perfect, I’m gonna build a network and build the people. Like, when it comes time for a job, that’s gonna be their biggest sports arena in Boston can’t give out any news. I’m there and like, I’m hustling my butt off. It’s like the major sports team in Boston. You know, we’re a championship city. So a huge deal. You know, I’m sitting in these meetings with like, the biggest of the biggest. But I’m also raising my hand because people are asking questions. And then I get yelled at, after all, you’re just an intern, you can’t ask permission that can’t ask questions like that. I’m like, well, nobody else is responding, including everybody, like my ideas. So I was like, neck and neck with my supervisor all the time.

Nicole Espinosa
And I go, definitely a thing. Like any job I had, they just did not like me. Because I thought differently. And they didn’t make any sense to me. You have no common sense. Even as a student, I would get into it with my teachers, because I’m like, what your you’re doing this the hard way? Like, why would you do it this way? They are taught, or they try to teach, like, no, no, get in line. Like, get in line, this is the way we do it. You can’t think any differently. Let’s overcomplicate everything, let’s use absolutely no common sense. That’s why we have so many people that are absolutely irritating to work with. Because they went through the education system, and they complicate everything,

Pamela Bardhi
Everything. And for anyone who’s not aware of this common sense is not common. I just want to be clear, common sense is not common. Okay. So like, it’s just crazy for me to see because I understand you and everything you’re saying. And I was the same way I would be, and I’m sitting there and so many red flags happened during this entire internship. I was just trying not to see it, right. Yeah, I was like, no, no, this is gonna be my path. This is what I’m gonna do. Literally, I go into my final review at the end, and I’m busting my tail off. Like, I created a whole social media strategy for them a whole marketing strategy for them.

Like I went nuts, and above and beyond, to make sure this organization was gonna blow it out of the water for what? I go in there. I’ll never forget who’s her name rhymes with my name. Her name is Tamela mine’s Pamela. So it’s fun. So I sat in there and I’m like, I’m like excited. I’m like, I’m gonna get an A because it’s your internship to kill it. It’s a frickin internship. And I’ve been there every single day I’ve showed up like I knew and she literally gives me a b minus. And she said four words that changed my life. You’re just too ambitious. Wow. Like at first I was like,

Nicole Espinosa
Stay like she’s trying to make you feel small because that’s where she was at. And she’s like, nope, too much potential like Stop it like you’re doing too much.

Pamela Bardhi
Well, yeah, cuz I was like, I knew everybody in the office. Everyone you went and like all that’s, you’re blowing it out of the water. And I was also when it came to the top executive that was there who was like just projectile vomit over all of the not like literally, but like, all her emotions and stuff. Like she was a super reactive person. Exactly what you remember that and like, just like for anyone who’s listening.

It’s like, she vomiting like the exorcist in the office like, no. Just from her emotions. Yeah, she is she just would flip out on everyone. And I literally confronted her I was like, I don’t think what you’re doing is actually the right thing to take all your emotions out on other people. And then they’re like, here’s this little girl 18 year old, just like all over you, right? So like, all these things were like, built up.

Nicole Espinosa
And what’s crazy about that is now as a boss, as a leader. I would be so excited as a leader to have someone like you as an intern my organization to groom and help me grow. And in return, you would be so grateful to Me for the opportunity that you would probably be with me for the rest of your life. That’s what I look for somebody that’s just kind of like a clean slate. But that’s driven and willing to do what it takes because that’s so rare. So that tells you right there how limited mindset she had. Instead of pouring into you and bringing you in on the organization. She was so threatened that she’s like, Absolutely not like you just know, it is it’s absolutely crazy because at

Pamela Bardhi
First I was, so like, I’m a Scorpio by Zodiac. So like my whole energy is like I felt this internal rage and I was like, calm down. Now I’m counting on them like sitting in the chair. And I’m like, You’re just too ambitious, are you you know that all that stuff started going in my head

Nicole Espinosa
16 I was in that’s like, I’m sure you were crushed.

Pamela Bardhi
I was and literally, but it was so weird. So I like left offices, like, thank you so much for all like and I was like, hold it together, hold it together. Then like, I leave, and I go outside, and like I passed the threshold of like, the office building. And something just told me like, You’re not meant to do this. You’re meant to build your own. And I was and then I just felt this like, relief like this calm.

And then right after that. I called both my parents and I was like, Mom, Dad, letting you both know, I have no idea what I’m starting when I’m leaving college. But I’m just telling you, it’s gonna be my own business. I have no idea what it is. And I’m just letting you know that now. My mom flipped. Sure. She’s like, you’re going into your senior year. What do you mean, you

Nicole Espinosa
Don’t know what you’re like, you’re gonna share? That’s all they wanted was for you to graduate? And yeah. And to

Pamela Bardhi
Write and I was like, Oh, hell no. So like, it’s transformed everything. Because most people think like, I’ve just been an entrepreneur. And that’s what I was gonna do forever. But like, really, it was this, like, the

Nicole Espinosa
Journey of getting there is the hardest part because especially when you come from a background of college is the only way. I mean, I grew up in a small town, I say small town because it really was it was Orlando. But it was a small part of Orlando was caught up in our garden. And the people that I grew up with, the only thing that we were told was you have to go to college to be anything. Like $50,000 a year you have made it like 100,000 Oh, forget about it. That’s like people that are wealthy, you know. And so that’s what I was trained like, and if you don’t, if you’re a dropout. You’re just going to be some loser that doesn’t go anywhere with your life.

And I am so grateful for entrepreneurship because it showed me that like, once I saw the opportunity, and when I got into real estate. I was working for someone else, and seeing how they were blowing it. I was their assistant, and they just were like, kind of coasting and not really doing anything. And I’ll never forget that moment where I’m like, I can do this like I’m running your entire business, I can do this. And I realized like my actions and my results are direct correlation with my actions. So if I work just as hard as I am for myself, if I bet on myself, fuck everyone else. Look, the guys that you know, we’re like, who are you? Or whatever, like, who cares? I was 21 years old. Like, I saw that.

I’m so grateful that I took that leap, despite the doubt of like, Who do I think I am? We all have this complex of like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, do I think I write that impostor syndrome? And I don’t care who you are, everyone has it. Especially in the beginning. Because you’re trying to be like motivating yourself because no one else is doing it. And that’s the hardest part and what people don’t understand in this journey of like, you have to bet on yourself. If you do, like, there’s nothing that can stop you.

And when you do when you run with it, and like what you had said, as you went all in. I mean, look, look where you’re at now because you bet on yourself. But if you would have listened to your parents, if you would have listened to that girl. And listened to everybody around you, as you would still be stuck in that mindset. But that shift of like, Oh, I really am in control of my income. I and it’s you see, like, these possibilities are like, I can make so much money if I really wanted to. It’s incredible.

Pamela Bardhi
Well, it’s insane. As you mentioned so many important things. Like, just like that self-awareness, because a lot of the time as an entrepreneur, not only are you your own cheerleader for a little while, the whole time. But you also have to like mentally challenge everybody else who’s kind of doubting you. Because I can never forget, the very beginning. When I first started, I would have people that were family friends that I thought were like, supportive. And they’re just like, oh, you really want to do that. You really want you really want. And it’s like these are people you think were with you from the jump. But then like

Nicole Espinosa
They didn’t mean well, I remember my family, they were like, I see how passionate you are. And I remember the first couple years, of course, it’s just surviving. Like, and for me, it might have taken longer because I didn’t have a background of anything. I just I was so young, I just was ambitious. That’s it, I was driven. And I just failed at it. I learned all my lessons the hard way because I wasn’t lucky enough to even find a mentor that understood or even know to look for one. Because I always had this mentality of like, I have to take care of myself, the survivor mentality. No one else is going to help me and then having to learn like, oh, there are people out there that are willing to collaborate that are willing to help you.

But I remember in the beginning, my family, bless their heart because they see it now of course. But in the beginning, they’re like Nicole I know you’ve had heard about this, but are you sure like. You know, you’re really struggling. And that fueled me, but that hurt because it was like, Guys, I see it. Just believe in me, like, I see the vision, I saw it from day one, I knew what I was working towards. I would write it on my wall, like in my office. It would literally be everywhere of what I was working towards, and I just kept, I’m a visual person. So I kept it everywhere, of like, okay, I’m gonna, you know, have 10 closings a month, like, I’m going to hit those 10 closings a month.

I’m gonna have 100,000 in my account, I’m going to do all this stuff. And I remember like it was yesterday when they said it. It was one of those things where I’m like, I realized I have to keep going like that cannot affect because they don’t see it. God did not give them that vision, my vision, they can’t see what I see. Now it’s a different story. Now they’re like running everything by me. They’re like, Oh, what do you think, you know, they take obviously you seriously. But that for people listening, understand that people in your life, they’re not going to see it. Like they’re not going to and it’s not their job, it’s not their job to encourage you. It’s not their job to support you. Like you got to push past it. And mentally that’s the hardest part.

Pamela Bardhi
Right? And then they’re trying to protect you at the same time. Yeah, that’s all they know. Because they’re programmed to a job. And so you have to then surround yourself with entrepreneurs and like-minded people. So that you can also aid to feel sane, and be you feel supported and collaborate, right. So like, in that way, that was kind of one of the things that helped me. But it was like insane, to just like, drop everything and try to figure out what I was gonna start and then eventually getting into these two restaurants. Then, you know, jumping into the real estate development side of things after I hired that coach. I ended up purchasing my first property, like two months after I started that program, and literally, like, took on that project. It was a full gut renovation.

Nicole Espinosa
Of course, it wasn’t just cosmetic.

Pamela Bardhi
They say it is but no, we tore apart everything. Yeah, and I’ll never forget. This house is down the street from like, where I graduated college. So I do that very, very, very, very well. And I just remember the family was like the kids who were still there because our parents had to go to nursing homes. So the house pretty much fell apart. Because you know, older parents and all of that stuff. I just remember them telling me they were like, Pamela’s bringing this property back to life. Like how we remember it when we were kids because it’s now in shambles right over time. And I was just like, well when you talk about flipping houses and doing all these things, you think of it in such a numerical way. But then like, there comes this massive responsibility with

Nicole Espinosa
Emotional for sure. Very, very, like huge responsibility in

Pamela Bardhi
that right. Then I’ll never forget, after I renovated that property, seeing the whole property come to life. Then seeing the family that ended up buying it interacting with the space. They brought the kids and they were so excited. And they came in and they’re like, oh my god, like I remember the little girl going oh my god, mom get to ceilings. This is a huge ceiling Momo book, look, look and just like these things, and I’m just in the pack, I’m like I create, it’s crazy. Like I do this, I think cool is this. And then I made almost 100k on that flip. I’m like, Well, I can’t do anything else.

Like what tops this the money and the fulfillment for me was like, you can’t even compare it. So like, slowly, I started getting out of my restaurants and selling and leasing them. And then diving deeper into real estate, like getting my real estate license. Then learning the commercial world, the residential world kind of on the side as I’m building properties and doing all these things in Boston. But like I focused on specific niches that I wanted to focus on. Because all the most successful developers were like, Damn, you need to choose your market. Choose your asset class. And know that like the back of your hand.

Nicole Espinosa
So when you were jumping into I mean because developed real estate development is I think you’re the only woman that I’ve ever met. Like real estate in general, we talked about is male-dominated. Yeah, real estate development is you’re dealing with contractors and all that. And so talk us through the mindset. Because in the beginning, you didn’t know everything. And so do you think that it made a difference? Because you had that coach, they kind of fall back on. But like, talk us through the mindset of what it took to show up and call the shots on something that you were still trying to feel secure about, like still building competence

Pamela Bardhi
about? Yeah, well, I’ll tell you my way is and they’re hilarious. Basically, I had my coach who was like teaching me. I had construction checklists and went through all these things. And I just remember, and my uncle was a general contractor as well. So I just remember, like, having to call them all the time on stuff. But like, my biggest thing was like, Okay, well, what do I know how to do? Well, mine is like building relationships and taking care of people. Like, I would treat all my contractors the same way. So when I would jump on a project, I’m like, Hey, I’m the owner, I’ll be managing you guys and all that stuff. Cuz, in the beginning, I had a different general contractor that was working on my projects.

Then I came in, stepped in, and became the GC myself, happens all the time so I was like, okay. So Essentially, I would always be walking through with the GC in the beginning. And saying like, okay, what are the steps like, and then eventually, when I learned the process. I was able to kind of stay on top of people to figure it all out. Because in the beginning, I had to look like I knew what I was doing. Because otherwise, people would be like, Who are you and I’d just be sitting there reading the books. And like going through all the things meeting with other developers as well.

Like, I’ll never forget this. I walked into Cindy’s samples office when I was like before I ever bought my first flip. So she was HGTV star, she had the show tough as nails. She builds like 2 million-plus properties in the markets close to me, which is like reclined in newton. So I remember seeing her and she was like, badass on TV like, and on social media. She’s just like, Beast, Beast, Beast. She’s the only woman I ever knew. That was in real estate development. And she’s like, swinging hammers like, monster. I remember stepping into her office for the very first time. And I was like, hey, Cindy, like, I know, you don’t know me. This probably looks psychotic.

Honestly, the fact that I’m actually here with you right now. But like, I just seeing you do it. Like starting since the 80s. Like, what you’ve built, like really has inspired me to do it. So like, I think my success also came off of modeling and watching those before me, right, who really took it to the next level. And I remember her, she just dropped everything as busy as she is, give me a huge hug. She’s like, this is my cell phone number. Anything you ever need. You call me goosebumps? There’s not many people that are willing to do that. And so she even like I was on her show, like last year. She’s still like, super close with me. But like, how cool is that? Like, don’t be afraid to contact those that you admire, you just never know.

Like, if people are always willing to help. Authentic people are always willing. Yeah. 100%. And so that was a huge thing for me. So I’m like, if Cindy did it, like, I can do it. Right. And I always knew that I had a support system behind me, should I ever fail? But I will tell you there be times that contractors will ask me the question. I’m sitting in the room. I’ll never forget this one, especially. Pam, do you want to flush mount fixture here or semi-flush loud? Like, what is that? Then I’m like, Oh, hold on a second. I gotta take a phone call literally step outside and Google. You model and you Google and you’ll make it through anything in life. Right? Like,

Nicole Espinosa
the answers. My favorite is when I would start going to jobs and taking over and they’d be like, Well, why don’t we wait for your husband? Is your husband gonna kind of keep my wife happy? I’m like, my favorite. I’m the one actually cutting checks. So why don’t you review it with me? And it’s like this ego check constantly. Now, of course, I have nothing to prove. So I just laugh it off. But in the beginning, it was like, Do not make me puff my chest here. Like, what the fuck? You’re there? I have no husband. Thank you, you know? Yeah, right. You’re like, but it was Yeah. And then the first time I ever spoke on stage, I was so nervous, like, so much anxiety, just like this imposter system syndrome.

Like, who do I think I am? Why did I say yes to this stupid like in memory you know, backstage? I’m sure you had that moment before. Always. Yeah. And I’m like, you still I still get butterflies now. I’m just kind of like, I was gonna be myself, you know. But um, I remember the first time and this guy backstage. He was like, so who are you with? Like, are you here with someone or like, I’m like, I’m sorry, what I was like, I’m actually gonna go speak. He’s like, by yourself on stage. I’m back here because I’m one of the speakers. And I will never forget what that did to me.

I was like, I’m gonna go fucking crush it. Because it is so rare to this guy. I mean, it was an innocent. It wasn’t like a guy that was being an asshole. Like, he was genuine. Because he had not seen one other woman on that stage. The entire lineup was all men. And you know, men love to be like, oh, you know, whatever, boss, babe shit, or whatever? I’m like, No, you don’t understand. Once I got on there, I had a line of women that were in the audience that was like, Oh, my gosh, you’re so inspiring.

And I thought that I couldn’t speak English. I thought afterward. I’m like, Oh, I remember what I talked about. I was so nervous. But I had a way bigger line than any of the other speakers. Yeah, but it was mostly women and men that were like, thank you so much for showing up. Because I have not seen anyone that looks like me. Like, I have not seen anyone that does what you do. And I have, you know, like what you said, you were so inspired by her because you knew that it was possible, because she already did it. There’s so many women that are even like listening to this right now that are scared to like, put themselves out there. But what they don’t understand is that they’re inspiring someone else. And because you show up, you inspire someone else to show up.

And that’s how things change. That’s how we interact with women differently. And that’s how we’re able to see that it’s so much bigger than us. I think, you know, we had said earlier like off camera was like, at a certain point. It’s not about money anymore. It’s about impact. I think that’s something that is fuels, both of us like, hey, we want to make a big bigger impact. The money’s great, you chase it. Once you have it. You’re just like, okay, all right. No, like cool. What’s next? Yeah, like, what’s my purpose? Like? How can I constantly, you know, impact other realtors? You know, and I know with you, that’s what you’re doing with your network right now. And so talk about that.

Pamela Bardhi
Yeah, so it was interesting. So like, I was beasting it in the real estate development world, and, and then having like my brokerage side. Hit seven-figure net, built a nine-figure real estate career made it to Forbes and Time Magazine by 26. And then like was financially free and I’m just saying so

Nicole Espinosa
quickly, like MIT guys made to Forbes magazine. I’m gonna just slow that down real quick. cuz she’s just like, yeah, timing to also anyway, it’s like, no, no, no girl 26 Yeah, put it in slow motion. That’s incredible girl named crossbow.

Pamela Bardhi
And like Time Magazine has a real estate Trailblazer. And I’m like, sitting there. And I’m just like, Whoa, yeah. Because I also had this intrinsic motivation. Yes, it was money. But then also this thing that an immigrant woman can do this at a young age.

Nicole Espinosa
So what’s your excuse? Like everybody listening? Because you didn’t have anything handed to you? You came in and just did it? Did You figure it out? You Googled it, you found the right resources. Like there was nothing about your story that said you should be here. The only thing about your story that said is that you were going to be educated. That’s it. But not that you were going to make this impact and, you know, be that person. So that’s absolutely incredible.

Pamela Bardhi
It’s insane. Because I was like, this is literally like the underdog story. And what motivated me is a lot of people asked me this. What motivated you to like, grind like that? I was like, Well, when you see your parents come here from nothing. And build something and they literally like they didn’t even have the money to but they would put me through private school. Like every dime, they had extra they invested in me and my brother. I was like, How can I not do it harder for them? When I think about oh, this is hard. I’m like, you know, it’s hard coming here with no family, not speaking English, barely having any money figuring out

Nicole Espinosa
you imagine the mindset doing that, like mean? Yeah, like how

Pamela Bardhi
like seeing my parents go through that. And then like my dad later telling me in life, because I never saw this young. Because he always tried to, like, be happy and give us whatever we wanted. He’s like, Pamela had one bathroom, I would cry. I didn’t know how I was gonna pay the rent. I didn’t know I was gonna do anything. And he’s like, can I see you now? I’m just like, well, you know, and I’m like, and now I’m not stopping. Now. I’m like, Okay, now I’m determined to help other people get there. Because I that little tap on the shoulder was cool for 24 hours. For all these magical ish to happen.

Then I’m like, Okay, now, what’s next? What’s next is impact. That’s when I started my podcast. And then that took its own underdog. Yes. Underdog podcast. And like that, you know, because what I was seeing was this that people see. I’m sure that you get this, right. They see you at your success levels right now. They forget everything Nicole did up until this point, but Nicole super successful can’t touch her. Like, they forget all the things that you’ve been through to get here. Yeah, right. They just see you, you’re the success, you happen to

Nicole Espinosa
see your highlight reels and you happen. So easy, so easy. It’s like, literally, I feel like I’m just now getting the hang of it. And 13 years later.

Pamela Bardhi
Well, there’s this huge disconnect, where they seem super hyper-successful people. And they and they’re like, I can never get there. So that’s why I created those podcasts to showcase authentic stories to highlight. Like, no matter the success levels, here’s all the moments that it took to get there.

Nicole Espinosa
And I think something that maybe you didn’t even realise and maybe have, but something that you gave your parents was a change of perspective. And something like that’s the best gift you could have ever given them is to do better than them. And now show them a better way. Because they were, you know, at their capacity of what they knew. And they just knew, hey, I did better than my parents. Like, that’s all I can do. Even as a parent, like, I just have to do better than my parents. Like, I want to give my kids everything that I felt like I was missing or whatever. And now, for me, and I’m sure you feel this way, like the best gift I can give.

Like what I when I see my sister, when I see my dad and I see my kids, like their perspective change of what’s possible. It makes me the happiest person ever. Because now they think different. And I did that. They now want to invest, they see that it goes beyond their income from an employer. Like they see the opportunity, they see what wealth looks like and things that I had to learn from other entrepreneurs. Because I was the most financial illiterate person on this planet. And I’m like, okay, just talk to me, like I’m done. But I was a sponge and I will learn and I was willing to be to humble myself and just learn.

And like, if you’re willing to tell me and give me your time. Like I’m willing to learn and I think a lot of people they’re too prideful to become a student. They feel like no, no, you can’t No, you can learn something from anyone like it just experienced or not experienced. And to see my daughter, like she’s eight years old and she just thinks that anything is possible. She’ll sit here and be like, well, we’ll make it happen. The fact that she talks that way now, oh, my God, you’re going to be so much further along than I was.
And that’s just, it just makes my heart like, I’m like, Okay, I did something right. You know, like I worked this hard and to be able to make that impact. That, to me is the best gift that we can give our family and our friends to see now that they’re changed our impact on them, because of what we did. We did the hard work. And now it’s impacted them as a result.

Pamela Bardhi
But like, what a gift is that, right? Like, I think you probably got so much more fulfillment out of that than anything else you’ve ever done in your life,

Nicole Espinosa
because like 100,000% 100,000, more than any money I ever made, to see how they think now. And to see, just, it’s almost like, proving it to them to you know. I remember the first time I was talking to my dad about an investment. And I know that for him, he knows I’m like, super ambitious, and he’s known me and my whole life, obviously. So he’s just like, okay, Nicole, and I think he’s just, he’s so supportive. So he’s just like, Oh, that’s cute. Like, that’s how it feels. Like, oh, I want to call I’m gonna call you know, I don’t know, do what you’re saying. I don’t even know if it’s real.

But yeah, go. And I remember the first deal I brought him in. He’s always supported me, like blindly even when he didn’t understand. But he knew that, like, I would do great, great, like from day one. And I remember the first deal I brought him in, and I was like, Dad, you know, I’m gonna bring you in, I’m gonna give you 20% I’ll do everything. You know, I just want to thank you for supporting me, you can be in on this.

And I remember wiring him the money and he was like, like, because then it was real. It was like, what? I didn’t do anything, give me $25,000 Like, what the hell? Like, I remember everything shifted. It felt so good to be able to feel like, See, I did it, you know. And like to have that full circle moment where it was beyond like, Oh, that’s cute. Gonna call to Hey, so, you know, taking you seriously type of thing. You know, it’s like full circle. Like, everybody has that kind of moment where you’re just like, I did it.

Pamela Bardhi
You sit there. And you’re just like, well, now is yeah, not only are you impacting yourself. You’re impacting everyone around you, future generations, and so on and so forth. Like social media. Now, now we can reach 1000s million people. And it is absolutely incredible, right? Like one freaking gift. It is like,

Nicole Espinosa
the cost of entry is so cheap, you just use your phone. But most people blow the opportunity because they’re not consistent. And they don’t utilise that to be able to reach people. But I mean, I remember back in the day, you had to get a billboard, and do all that. I mean, we have just been so blessed to just come up with because we’re similar age. How old are you? 30 Okay, 33 Oh, my God, I’m older than you. But like, we grew up with technology in our generation that I went from, like, I remember the little Nokia like car phones.
And then it was just like overnight from pagers to car phones, just to cell phones. But limited cell phones to some the rich people had it. And then everybody had it and there’s only nights and weekends. It just kind of evolved to like the iPhone one. Then now we’re like, 14, and but it was just our generation saw it so quickly. Because it involves so quickly and other generations, it took decades. For us, like we’ve been so lucky to be able to reach people like I have people fly in from all over the country. That I’m like, I can’t believe that you can impact people just by doing that. I mean, by putting yourself out there.

Pamela Bardhi
It is so amazing. And it’s like what a time to be alive. Yeah, in good ways. And in bad ways. But like, this now is feeling entrepreneurship, like it’s nobody’s business. Because you now no longer have an excuse. You don’t need a brick-and-mortar, literally only need your phone, you can do your email from your phone. Now you can set up an email alias that’s super easy to create your own website. Logo, social media pages, you’re good business right there, you’re ready to rock and roll.

And like, that’s the beautiful gift of that. It’s just the coolest thing ever. It’s like look back, right? Because I think a lot of times, like you and I are super driven people. So like, a lot of time, we have a hard time celebrating that success. Because we’re like, we’re like 10 years ahead. And then so like we’re like looking back oh man, but like we’re 10 years ago.And like to celebrate that I think also is like a super great thing. Like I always say celebrate

Nicole Espinosa
the small wins. Because it’s so easy when you have all of these goals to just like you said focus on that and then not be able to really enjoy it because the journey is life. What we’re doing right now, that’s it, you know, getting to the next goal is great, but you have to enjoy the process. Because the process is what makes you who you are like all of those things that you went through. You develop so many skills because of it so many lessons because of it. It made Pam who she is, you know.

Pamela Bardhi
and like just recently my parents will the restaurant that they had for 23 years. That was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. Like ever like that topped anything else I’ve ever done. But that’s not to say that this journey comes without struggle.Thing was struggling. Oh, she’s like I mean, I remember my first couple of deals, I lost so much money that wasn’t even mine. So like, my only the only reason I got out of those holes is because of mentors, because of supporters. And they’re like, and you know, and I would call them up, and I’m like, I royally fuck this deal up. I’m like, I don’t know what to do.

Because I stepped outside my mark. And you told me not to. I know you did. But I bought this deal anyway. Because, you know, you start to go on and on. They’re like, just chill, just breathe. I did that too. You’re just like, suddenly, you don’t feel so alone. So it’s like that network. That support group is like, everything. But like, anyone who’s listening right now, it was like going through some issues in their business. Because what happens is, you were talking about this earlier, the pridefulness. And the ego of the entrepreneur, that can also kill you, if you don’t let that down in the right times. Because if you don’t know how to ask for help, you will drown. Period

Nicole Espinosa
Doesn’t have to be lonely. I wish that I would have known that sooner. Because I spent so much of my entrepreneurship journey alone, and just feeling it. Because I didn’t know any better. So I think that’s why I always talk about collaboration. I always talk about this. And, you know, we say it so much, but like people don’t understand until they do until they get into rooms where they’re like, I’m not alone. Not only am I alone, but like, Man, my goals are low, man. They’re small. Because I’m talking to someone else who’s been in Forbes and has done these incredible things. And like I need to up my game. I thought I was doing good until you know, that kind of perspective.

Pamela Bardhi
Well, you always like helping each other level up to which I think is super valuable. And that’s like, a space that I got to you know, doing my podcast, I was like, this is super cool. This is amazing. Now that actually moved me to wanting to help more people and like doing more public speaking and doing these things, because I just enjoyed it. Like I loved hearing, like when people got out of certain things. And I’m like, yeah, oh, well, this is a totally different realm. And I kept hearing a little tap on my shoulders, like, Pam, you’re doing great things for yourself. What are you doing for the world?

And I’m like, she I’m like, What am I doing. when you really ask yourself those questions is when you’re motivated by money for such a long period of time, and you have different motivations. Then you’re like, Okay, well, what am I really doing here? And so that’s when I decided to shift and it wasn’t until the beginning of this year that I made that decision. Close that all my development projects, stabilise my entire portfolio. Going from everything I know to everything I don’t know. But like learning that as I go, and just being surrounded by amazing people, it’s an incredible journey. But that’s my biggest goal. Right now, in real estate.

Nicole Espinosa
I think I’ve talked about this before, but I think that a lot of entrepreneurs don’t understand that your Y is constantly changing. So in the very beginning, it’s survival, right? It’s, my Y is I need money, and I need to make money, and I need to pay my bills. And then it’s, Hey, I want to be comfortable. And then after you get to that point, then like you said, like, what’s my purpose? Because now I have this almost like, complex of what am I here for? Because I already made the money, and it’s empty.

So you have to survive, you have to make money. I mean, this is not a, you have to do that. There’s no point if you don’t, but then it’s what about what’s the impact? And like, How can I, you know, impact other people. And really give back the same way that like the people that you were talking about. That means a huge impact on you and your business and gave you the shot? Like, allowed you to teach you all of that and bet on you so that you could do it? Because they could absolutely have been like, No, I’m not gonna waste my time. You know, the cheerleaders

Pamela Bardhi
the cheerleaders in your life, I know that they make all the difference. And that’s why I strive to be that for people now cuz I’m like, I know how freak in tough it is. Yeah, like, holy crap. Do I know like, I and that’s why I’m like the number one fan. That’s it. People are like, Pam, You’re so dramatic. I’m just like, No, I’m your cheerleader. I got you did it. But like, as you remember vividly, and I know what it’s like, you know. So if I can help in any way, like, I wish I could be like, I’m wanting to be that person that I wish I had when I started. That’s what I want to be. And that’s what I strive for.

Nicole Espinosa
And I do the same thing. I think that’s what drives me is like when I see people that were in the same situation than I was, and no one took a chance on me. No one bet on me. I go out of my way, because I’m like, I remember, like, I know exactly what it feels to feel like that. Like I can help you. It’s not hard, I promise. Like let me fast track you. So you don’t have to go through what I went through. And it’s such a gift. It is that I just completely enjoyed this conversation. Thank you so much for joining

Pamela Bardhi
I really enjoyed it too. Thank you, Nicole. So that’s it for today’s episode of underdog. catch us next week, always dropping on Thursdays. And remember, if you’re interested in real estate. Or want to learn how to create more money and magic in your life. Check out meet with pamela.com and let’s chat sending you so so much love

Tune in to the episode to hear the rest of my incredible interview with Nicole Espinosa.