How to Create Financial Freedom with Edward Rushing
By Yuresh Shayzer
November 21, 2023
In today’s episode, our guest is Edward Rushing. What sets him apart is his commitment to giving back, and sharing the wealth of knowledge and skills he has acquired. However, our conversation goes beyond these achievements, delving into life's intricacies. Whether you're seeking insights into overcoming internal battles or unraveling the intangible traits behind wealth creation, this promises to be a captivating discussion. Join me in welcoming our guest, the inspiring Edward Buddy Rushing. Let's dive into the conversation!
[5:20] Why should I listen to you?
When I interact with someone, my top priority is to add value. Whether it's bringing humor for a good laugh, offering new perspectives, connecting people who can make a positive impact on each other's lives, or providing support, my goal is to leave a positive influence. I want our interaction to enhance their life, making it better in some way. This approach, when applied wisely, often leads to mutually beneficial relationships. It goes beyond immediate gains, creating opportunities for shared experiences, emotional fulfillment, and sometimes even financial benefits. Adopting this mindset has personally brought me immense joy and satisfaction.
[14:45] Could you briefly describe what you do and share insights into your unique approach and how it developed?
I appreciate you asking in that way; I haven't shared it like that before. Currently, I'm married with two young kids, and I work for myself in a business called Whitefeather, named after Carlos Hathcock, the Marine sniper. Our mission is to assist military veterans and their families in building financial freedom. We're part of a larger coalition called Veterans for Financial Freedom, sharing the same mission. Millions of people volunteer to serve and protect the American dream, but upon leaving the military, they face significant challenges—homelessness, drug abuse, and suicide. One key reason is the abrupt transition from a highly structured, focused environment to civilian life, where they lose purpose, structure, respect, accountability, income, and many other skills.
Transitioning out, they often experience a loss of identity and struggle to adapt. The mission of our business and coalition is to help veterans overcome these challenges, providing support, mentorship, and resources to enable them to live the American dream they fought to protect. It's been the most fulfilling endeavor for us professionally, witnessing the positive impact on the lives of those who have served.
[19:00] How did you personally navigate this transition? Was it based on your own experiences, or did you have a close friend or mentor who guided you through it?
Certainly, most of us don't just stumble upon our purpose, right? It's more of an evolutionary process. Personally, growing up in East Tennessee on WIC and food stamps, without electricity or running water, life was challenging. Witnessing privation, drug abuse, and hardships, it seemed like this was just how life was. Trying to understand why people on TV lived differently fueled my desire for change. While your life is now stable, imagine living in fear of getting shot every time you step outside. This stark contrast exists in America. Growing up, I was determined not to continue that legacy and to break the cycle for my family. Fortunately, after high school, I was accepted into the Naval Academy in Maryland, a life-changing opportunity as I couldn't afford college. The academy experience, coming from a small town, made me feel initially out of place.
[24:05] Could you share the journey from building your business to the point where you felt a sense of accomplishment or success?
I gained insight from Tony Robbins that fundamentally altered my perspective. He highlighted a crucial idea – that beyond a certain income level, money loses its power to enhance happiness. Robbins emphasized the significance of infusing meaning into life by contributing to others. This revelation guided my approach, particularly during my initial real estate investment in 2007. Unbeknownst to me, this venture coincided with the housing market crash. Despite challenges, I invested my entire $30,000 savings, undertaking renovations personally. Two years later, the property's appraisal revealed a value of half of the purchase price. Unlike those thriving in the mid-2000s, my journey commenced with a profound setback, fostering resilience.
[27:34] Amid challenging situations in life, what thought patterns or approaches did you develop to navigate through them? How did your mindset or strategies evolve based on your experiences?
So, in essence, my transformation began with the assistance of a friend named Larry, a realtor. Despite the real estate market crash, Larry pointed out the lucrative opportunities in a military town. The correlation between increased housing allowances for military personnel and rising rents presented a chance for high cash-flow properties. Larry's practical advice guided me to invest in properties with substantial returns. Importantly, this experience instilled a valuable principle in my approach – the mindset of either winning or learning in every endeavor. I embraced the lessons from this situation, acknowledging that my mistake was rooted in a lack of market knowledge. The key takeaway was the importance of continuous education, a commitment that shaped my journey over the following years.
[33:00] How do you navigate and reconcile your difficult childhood experiences with the positive mindset you've developed, recognizing that not everyone has faced similar hardships?
This is a profound question that weighs heavily on me. My kids are four and six, growing up in a wealthy Southern California family, a stark contrast to my upbringing. While I don't want to draw parallels to your ability to face challenges, given your unique experiences, there's a distinctive aspect related to military life. Unlike combat situations, where one's life is on the line, my current business dilemma, though significant, pales in comparison. It prompts me to evaluate the scale of the problem realistically—losing a million dollars versus facing mortal danger. It's a perspective that, perhaps, only someone who has been in life-threatening situations can fully appreciate. Now, as a parent in Southern California's perceived "bubble," I grapple with how to prepare my children, Austin and Alana, for the harsh realities beyond their privileged environment. While their upbringing shields them from life's unfairness and injustice, I'm eager to instill resilience and a deep understanding of the real world.
[47:50] What are the exciting things that you do that the world should know about?
Most of what we do revolves around the mission of aiding military personnel and veterans in achieving financial freedom. Over the past six years, we've assisted approximately 600 core members—regular military individuals who were not initially wealthy, and many have achieved financial freedom. Witnessing their transformations, with around 30-33 people becoming millionaires through real estate investments and businesses, is truly life-changing. Our movement, Veterans for Financial Freedom, is a free community teaching people how to utilize their VA loans, engage in house hacking, optimize VA benefits, pay off debt, and establish income streams. The goal is to impact generations of service members and their families, and it has evolved into a movement much larger than myself.
[50:53] What promise did God make to the world when he created you?
I would do everything I could to make my corner of the world a little bit more like heaven in the time that I was here.
[25:10-25:17] You will get fulfillment when you are able to provide value to others
[48:55-49:00] You don't need money to build financial freedom; you need knowledge and action.
How to connect with Edward Rushing