Advice from a Former Foster Child to Help You Survive Turbulent Times

Times are strange right now. When the best advice those in charge can give is to sit at home and wash your hands, it’s no wonder we all feel so vulnerable.
Advice from a Former Foster Child to Help You Survive Turbulent Times

Times are strange right now. When the best advice those in charge can give is to sit at home and wash your hands, it’s no wonder we all feel so vulnerable.

It’s times like these though when people either bury their heads in the sand or rise up and turn bad situations into unbelievable opportunities.

I’ve never done this before but I want to share something very personal in the hopes that it might help you get through these tough times. Until recently, I’ve been too ashamed to bring it up as it carries a bit of a stigma, but here goes.

When I was 10 years old, I was suddenly thrown into the foster care system. I was bounced around from home to home until I eventually landed in a group home. When I was just 16, I was sent out to live on my own and fend for myself.

Those were very lonely and extremely uncertain times but I had to quickly adapt to my ever-changing surroundings and learn how to look out for myself. If I hadn’t done so, there’s no doubt that I would’ve become a victim.

There were many challenges along the way but I managed to rise above, put myself through university, meet my wonderful wife who I’ve been married to for 25 years, enjoy a successful real estate career, run my own business — all while raising two amazing kids!

I credit my childhood for my ability to get through tough times and make the most of bad situations. I’m here to tell you that you can not only survive uncertain times like these, but you can actually thrive! Here are a few things I’d like to share:


When I was in foster care, I did my best to stay in contact with my family members as often as possible as it helped me stay mentally strong.

Social distancing is key right now but it’s still important to socialize from a distance so use video conferencing services such as ZOOM or Skype to keep in touch with your family, friends and clients.

This is also a great time to open up and build relationships with your subscribers so that they can slowly get to know and trust you. Just adding a few sentences to the intro section of your newsletter can make a huge difference!


It would’ve been so easy for me to get lost in drugs and alcohol when I was growing up in order to escape the harsh reality of my situation but I knew that if I did, it would’ve been the end of me.

As tempting as it may be, now’s not the time to give in to unhealthy habits that will cloud your focus. It’s important, now more than ever, to remain mentally strong for you and your family and to fine-tune the future of your business.

For example, use this time to learn how to edit videos or create an ebook that offers valuable information such as a first-time buyers guide that you can give away in exchange for people’s email addresses.


During my time in the foster care system, I was constantly let down by various different adults who were supposed to be looking out for me. I, therefore, had to learn how to rely on myself.

When I used to sell real estate, I considered myself an entrepreneur. Being in business for yourself can be scary, especially during times like these, but it’s comforting to know that you have complete control over your own destiny and that you don’t have to rely on others to come to your rescue.


It was always my hope that a nice family would come along and adopt me, or that I might be able to one day return to live with my Mom or another family member. Although this never happened, that hope kept me going.

It’s important in times like these that we don’t lose hope when it comes to our business. There will be better days ahead but in the meantime, use this opportunity to take care of things that you had previously put off such as building up your subscriber list.


Whatever you do, don’t put a newsletter off because you don’t have any subscribers yet or because you have to “get your list together”. You’ll never be able to properly build a list if you don’t have anything to subscribe them to.

If you’re ready to supercharge your business with our fully customizable newsletter that comes with professionally pre-written real estate related content, now’s the perfect time as the first month is just $1!

Don’t let a newsletter be another one of those things you put off month after month, year after year. If you take action now, you can start building a strong list that’ll see you through the toughest of times. If you don’t, you’ll have nothing but regrets 🙁

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3 Responses

  1. Russ, thank you for sharing your story and your insights. I watched your recent video and took away some great suggestions for building my newsletter audience, as well as customizing my newsletter so that it looks and sounds like me! You’re doing a great job!!

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