Ex-Educator Katy Fleming: Connecting People, Collaborating, Doing Deals

Many investors wear many hats. For 20 years, Katy Fleming of Lafayette regularly swapped out of her real estate gear and into her alter ego as a sociologist and educator. She taught medical ethics at CU Boulder, directed a county AIDS awareness program, and implemented a health assessment tool for Colorado schools.

The swapping stopped last year, when she made a commitment to full-time investing. Her long trip on the W-2 trail ended in May 2015.

Along the way, her real estate interests have included wholesaling, flips, and creating turn-key rentals in her home state of Ohio. Recently she co-founded a company to purchase multi-family properties in Colorado and Texas. This year she’s getting a Colorado real estate broker license.

“I am happiest when I’m involved in connecting people, collaborating, and doing deals in which everyone’s needs are met. ” explains Katy. Personal development has been a large part of Katy's motivator. Katy’s earliest motivators included the pioneer late night TV guru, Carlton Sheets. Along the way, she grasped the need to overcome fear.

“I realized I could take a risk without anything falling apart. Finding balance is the key. One quote has been my tipping point in many investment decisions. Leap and the net will appear.”

Action without education can be inefficient at best, disastrous at worst. “It is crucial continue building a knowledge base and be comprehensive about due diligence,” she said.

Vestiges from Katy’s education days include a few good technical tools. One is xmind, a free mind-mapping and project management tool. She sets aside chunks of time for three priorities identified the night before. She uses the Thunderbird app for calendar and tracking tasks. Many face-to-face meetings have been replaced with conference calls and Skype.

And her past a health educator was not lost in the transition to full time investing. “I get enough sleep and eat ridiculously healthy food,” she said.

The day begins with a nut protein shake, and often includes dark chocolate somewhere along the way. She runs, hikes, and does yoga. “I’ve found that when I slip up on taking care of myself, I’m not effective. So I’ve learned to stop beating up on myself when I fall short, and get back on the horse.”