Welcome to Investing Across Borders with Lauren Cohen. Every week she will share valuable information that you need to know in order to successfully invest in real estate and other business endeavors in North America. We believe in helping clients invest, live, work, and play across borders. And now, your host, Lauren Cohen.
Lauren Cohen 0:27
Good morning, everybody. And welcome to investing across borders. I’m your host, Lauren Cohen, international, legal and real estate expert. And we are here to teach you how to invest live, work and play across borders. And interestingly enough, my guest today is across the border, actually across an ocean. She is currently in France, although she does spend much of her time living here in Palm Beach Gardens. Isn’t that right, Millen? And we actually have not met in person, although I feel like we have. And this is our second take at doing this podcast because unfortunately, we had problems with the recording. And releng was kind enough to help and facilitate this today. And we’ve rescheduled it a few times because we’re both so very busy. But it’s a pleasure to have you here. I’ve really gotten to know you over the months. So it’s even better to do this today. Millen calls herself a financial, independence mentor. And she has quite the story. She was born in Lithuania, which is where my family’s actually from. And she’s married to a gentleman who is from France. And she’s now there in France for a couple of months, back and forth. She has quite the nomadic life. She truly does invest, live, work, and play across borders. And her whole modus operandi is about dare to change, taking advantage of opportunities, finding financial freedom, and really helping women to find that financial freedom. Millen, please introduce yourself and share some of your background. Wharton, quite the pedigree, you’re just amazing, you’re lovely, and you’ve been through so much in your life. So please introduce yourself.
Millen Livis 2:02
So first of all, Lauren, thank you so much for having me, I really appreciate the opportunity to talk to you every time we talk. A couple of times now, and also share with your audience some really inspiring messages and showing that a common woman like myself, who went through hell and back, was able to turn her life around. So I like to say that where you’re at now, it’s not as important as the character. Your character determines your destiny, not your current circumstances. And I want your people to really hear this out. Because here’s what happened to me. Like you mentioned, I came from Lithuania and I was pursuing my American dream. I wanted to have a better life for myself and my family. In the beginning, I was very humbled because when I came to the United States, even though I had a master’s degree in physics, I didn’t speak English. So whats the value of your experience and knowledge if you don’t speak the language, right? So I started as a florist, a system where I didn’t have to talk much. And it took me one year to self teach myself English. And the first professional job of the one year was IT consultant for Merrill Lynch. So I was very fortunate. And from there, I climbed the corporate ladder,
Lauren Cohen 3:26
How did you get into Merrill Lynch as an IT consultant? That’s a huge company. You just taught yourself English? I mean, you must have really impressed the heck out of them. Because to get a job there is a big deal. It’s corporate America, it’s not like you’re working for a mom and pop on the street, right?
Millen Livis 3:43
It was corporate America. I think what also helped me, that during this one year, not only I was working as a floor assistant, I was volunteering, I was working for, I think it was some nearby hospital where I was working as a developer for a program. So I did have a background, I did have the skills. And so I think that was impressive. And also overall, I guess, the way I communicated, I don’t know, ask them why they hired me.
Lauren Cohen 4:15
They dared to take a chance. Right?
Millen Livis 4:19
Exactly. And I was delighted, obviously because for some reason, at that time, one of my American Dreams was to learn to work on Wall Street and learn how to invest in the stock market. And yeah, so you see how your goals come to fruition when you just really believe and act in a very determined way. I went through many, many interviews, it didn’t happen overnight. You know, just imagine all the efforts that I had to put in to prove that I am capable. And you know, I didn’t speak as fluent as I speak now. After all the experiences and books, everything. So anyway, I hope I answered your question. So I got them early. And so I worked there for some time then I was changing companies I worked for American Express bank, Australia’s Dean Witter, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, I’ve always been here, worked for major Wall Street companies. And, you know, my salary was toward the end of my wall CPA was great. It seemed that I was living my American dream, because I had a beautiful house in the suburbs. I lived in New Jersey at that time, in central Georgia. And I had a family I had friends, everything on the surface seemed to be working. And something inside me stopped working. Basically, it was like some kind of void that I could not explain. I was unhappy. But I didn’t want to show it, I had to be, you know, basically wearing this happy, professional mask at work and at home. I was raising my daughter, because my then husband was so busy, he was working at night, building his own company, it was his breath. And during the day, he also happened to work for Merrill Lynch, also as a consultant. So we leave kind of like paralyzed with him. And I felt that at some point that it’s not working for me, but I was afraid to change. I was consciously settling for less than I wanted in my life. And it was a moment when I remember clearly sitting in my office in Walter center, I think, like 58 or 63 floor, looking at my computer screen and thinking like, do you see yourself doing this for the next 10 or 20 years? So that was the pivotal moment. And I was like, absolutely not. Then what was next? Oh, you know, I happen to be quite a decisive person. When I decided something, I act on this, like, it may take me some time. But once I decided that act, you know, I’m driven, I walked out of my marriage, which shocked my family, like my family was like, he’s not cheating. He’s not beating, you’re like, hearing the good provider? What’s wrong with you? So I left him, I rented a small apartment, rundown apartment in Hoboken, New Jersey, and then I said, Okay, what about my job, I have to change something. I cannot continue like that. And because I didn’t know what to do. I said, Maybe I should go to the best colleges in this country and get degrees. And maybe I will get clarity after. And frankly, my manager inspired me also because he was a working graduate. Anyway, I was in my early 40s, I was afraid that I may not be accepted. Because you know, because my background. I had good education, but not in this country. So I applied to five colleges, just in case I was not accepted. I got accepted to all five and of course, I had to choose the most expensive one, the most mysterious one. And so I went to the Wharton Business School. And at work also, I think I shared with you last time we spoke is that it was a kind of freaky situation because I was planning on continue working with me.
Millen Livis 4:20
I was like, I don’t think I can last for three. So anyway, I was relying on this salary at my job. And they said, okay, you can do part time, work and go to school. And then at the last moment, it says you have to choose a job. And it was scary because I really left my box. I was already renting this apartment. Yes, I did have savings. But I also knew that, you know, my payment for my prestigious Wharton MBA degree would be quite substantial. So I didn’t know what to do. I was really scared. And that was another decision moment for me, because I really had to decide if I follow my dream. If I follow my intuition, or I stay in the place that is comfortable. And guess what? I decided to resign. I resigned I think it was end of end of May or beginning of June 2001. And then September 11 happened. And I was watching September 11 unfolding in front of my eyes across the river because I wasn’t live. I mean, I cannot describe the shock. You know the turmoil that I experienced.
Millen Livis 9:21
I mean we all felt it, but you were right there so it’s…
Millen Livis 10:00
I knew every corner of this building. So anyway, that was the first moment when I said, I have to trust my intuition, I really have to follow my gut. Anyway, so I graduated. And then I said, I don’t want to go back. Everybody was saying, like, go back, because, you know, this prestigious degree would let you be at the high level now, and blah, blah, blah, blah. And you know, Breville is all the travel. And I was like, I don’t want to go back. But then what? And that was the moment when I said, What do you really want? What do you really want not because someone said, Go for this prestigious degree, or blah, blah, blah? And the answer was freedom. And the next question was freedom. But how? And the answer was financial independence, right? I wanted to be independent from any man, any boss, and just basically live my life on my terms. And the next question was, okay, more freedom, financial independence, but how? And the answer was multiple sources of income.
Millen Livis 11:08
So I already know how to invest in the stock market, I had my portfolio, by the way, that time, I had financial advisors managing it, because I didn’t have time. You know, like most people, I was focusing on how to make my money work for me, right? So anyway, and then I said, but I see that most rich people really invest in real estate, and I had no idea how to invest in real estate. So I decided that I will study state investors. I flew all over the country, I researched them, I studied with them. And then I finally started my real estate investment company. And the beginning was great, we invested in multiple states, and then 2008 happened and collapse, we collapsed and business partners that I was fortunate to have, as part of my investment enterprise started saying, Let’s get out, let’s get out, let’s sell and I was like, we cannot, we are upside down right now. We cannot. So it was very challenging moment. Because, you know, for me being an integrity, I wanted to do what they wanted to do with their money. But I couldn’t. So I got really depressed. And then in addition to service analysis, I drove to see my real estate client and I basically got into a car accident, and injured my neck. So long story short, I was in physical pain, I was emotionally broken. And financially, I was broke, because I was paying my team from my savings. And I had to let go, my team, etc. So that was the moment when I felt like, how could you waste all the talents, all the experience all the knowledge that you had, like you assess your failure, I literally was saying, I am such a failure. And you know, when you keep saying this to yourself over and over again, you just go downward spiral over and over again. And here I was Valentine’s Day 2008. Sitting in my apartment in Hoboken and contemplating how to end my life, I could never believe that I could get so low. Now I said was the darkest moment of my soul, or my divine crisis. But I can tell you that the choke me this painful experience to really shake me up so much that I had to look at life differently. So anyway, I was fortunate. I don’t know, how can I explain it otherwise. But I think it was by the grace of God, I was walking on the street. I met some neighbor. And we started talking and she said Millen, you have to talk to this guy. And I was like, Okay, give me his card. And she’s like, no, he will call you, because I would not call him. I was avoiding people. I was so ashamed. I felt so ashamed. And as you know, shame is a very low frequency, vibration, feeling emotion. So the guy called me and he happened to be a life coach. And when we started talking, it’s like, Samson just started clicking on me. But he said to me, Millen, failure is not the person. Failure is an event. It has the beginning and the end. And I was like, Oh my god, so there could be the end of this. And he said, Absolutely. So we started talking. He helped me to redefine how I define my why how I define success in my life. And I remember clearly that it was like a little light of hope that he gave me. And I think he said, You MUST work with me. And I said, I can’t afford you. I was like, really at the end of my financial. And he said, Oh, my darling, you cannot afford not to work with me. And here again. So that was the turning point that started feeling better, I started eating better, I started thinking better. And within few years, I made good investments. And I came financially independent. And then I moved to Florida, I wrote my first book, I was like, pregnant was this information. Like, you know, I never saw myself as an author, like I was trained as a scientist. So the way my mind works is like, if they give them you know, like, very logical, and here, I was, like writing, just like it was pouring out of my body seemed like that. So the first book was a shift toward purpose, secrets to an amazing career. But it’s a story about my transition from corporate to entrepreneurship. And then in 2016, I published another book called a shift toward abundance secrets to financial freedom, we’re talking about duality of money, policy of wealth, and how we, we’ve got to be aware of our spiritual nature, but at the same time, know how we can use practical tools in order to be support ourselves, and create impact in in the world and our family, etc. And then after that, everybody was expecting that I will be just continue writing books, but I thought that I really want to work with people because they read books, that’s what happens. And I also felt that I was so fortunate to survive the crisis that I survived. And I know that what is personal is also universal, that there are the women there who might be going through challenging time and don’t have a cope and or maybe women who have made money, but they still act like slaves to money. And I said, I have to share what I now know. And that’s when I create it, I reverse engineering my my steps. And I created this method that now I call the millenarian method. And it’s basically holistic system for becoming financially independent. And that’s what I use when I work with my clients. So that’s my kind of like a very, very long story in that short version. I think you’re muted Lauren.
Lauren Cohen 17:31
It’s a great story and it is very inspirational and helps people to realize that you can get through your darkest time. I have another friend name is Diane Foster. And she also she has a twin, probably there about 22 year olds now and she at one point several years ago almost took her life and she has turned that around to help inspire others as well. So I think the important message here is that you can find your silver lining which is as my book is called through anything and when you get to that darkest time sometimes it means that the light is right around the corner and from the lens the light was allowing her the fact the freedom to teach others how to achieve similar freedom and it’s been a great story and she has a wonderful following all over the world. People are investing in real estate and the stock market and opportunities all over the world and using and working with Millen as a coach and I’d love to know how do they, How do my listeners reach you Millen to find out how they can achieve their own financial freedom and dare to change their lives?
Millen Livis 18:35
Thank you for asking this and thank you for for your generous compliments. Well I know I believe that we’re all different we all have capacity to be financially independent but we are in different phases in life. Sure. So the best way for me is to support people in the audience would be to talk to them and see where they are right now, exactly what skills they need. Maybe it’s developing wealth, investing strategically in the stock market, paper currencies, more real estate. So in order for me to determine that I would like to offer 30 minutes complimentary consultation I call it never worry about money again. And we will as well I will definitely determine what is your quickest shortest pathway to financial independence because it’s unique for every person.
Lauren Cohen 19:27
I love that because for a lot of people ask me, well how much is this and how much is that and what do I do and what’s the answer and how do I do this and how do I get my views and how do I invest. And I’m like it is not one size fits all. We have to build a customized strategy for you. And Millen is offering this to you at no charge.
Millen Livis 19:45
I forgot to mention the link. So the link is speakwithmillen.com
Lauren Cohen 19:58
Yes question when Do that investigation? Do you always come up with solutions?
Millen Livis 20:05
I don’t come up with solution. I come up with the umbrella pathway. Because some, like I said, we’re all in different phases for some people is maybe right now, they don’t have any job. They don’t have any income. And maybe it’s building the business. Yeah, you know, it’s not always jumping into investment. Like I have clients who came to me, because they wanted to invest, but their business didn’t provide consistent income. So we focus on that, right. So some people come to me they have money on their 401k or IRA, that seeking still because they have bad experience investing the point they’re afraid to start investing again, they’re afraid to lose money, which is one of the main fears that people have around investing. So with them, we go back and we revisit, like wealth mindset, mindset that every investor has to have, and strategies for investing. So you will never lose sleep over your investments. That’s the idea of strategic investing. You may lose a little bit here a little bit there, but you will never lose so much that you will lose.
Lauren Cohen 21:15
Lovely. Well, thank you so much for being my guest here today. It’s a pleasure to have you as always, I’m Lauren Cohen, I thank my lovely guest, Millen. And I’m Lauren Cohen, host of investing across borders, where we teach you how to invest live work and play across borders. SpeakwithMillen.com to set up a free consult with her. Thank you for your generosity. We’ll also be in the show notes. And it’s a pleasure as always to have you on the show. Signing off for today. Wishing everybody a wonderful day and a wonderful week. Take care I’m Lauren Cohen. Thanks again. Bye for now.
Thanks for listening to Investing Across Borders with Lauren Cohen. Make sure to check the show notes for any links and for guests contact information. If you have questions for Lauren, please reach out to her at FOUNDER@ecouncilglobal.com. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please subscribe, rate, review, and share the podcast with a friend.