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LEARN HOW TO START, RUN, OR GROW YOUR CREDIT REPAIR BUSINESS

Building A Multi-Million Dollar Operation From Ground Zero - Derricka Harwell

By: Daniel Rosen April 21, 2020

There's a common thread in success stories coming from the credit repair industry - most of them are about self-made people coming from nothing. And sometimes, you can't help but feel stunned when you hear about where they started from. 

Today's guest is a renowned member of the industry, currently running a multi-million dollar credit repair business. Her starting point? Homeless, living in her car with her two kids.

Please help me welcome our Credit Hero for this week - Derricka Harwell!

Derricka is the founding CEO of Beautify Credit, a massive credit repair operation she built all by herself from ground zero. Her unstoppable success is all the more remarkable when you take into account everything she had to endure to get to where she is today.

Even though she's living a busy life at the very top of the credit repair industry, Derricka is very passionate about education and community work. She is also an award-winning author, and she received the Author Of The Year accolade for her book Beautiful Credit in the financial literacy category.

I'm thrilled she managed to come on our show in spite of her busy schedule and share her journey with us. Tune in for some incredible credit repair insights and find out how Derricka created her multi-million dollar business from nothing.

 

From Ground Zero to Credit Hero

 

Anything can happen when life catches you off-guard and sends various adversities your way. But when you hear Derricka's story, "having it rough" feels like an understatement.

Homeless and living with her two young children in a 1995 Ford Explorer, desperately fighting off depression and feelings of hopelessness, Derricka was barely holding on. Still, amidst all of that, she somehow found the strength to keep going to work every day and apply for jobs that would somehow help her get back on solid ground.

Eventually, she was able to get a job at a bank, working as a financial service consultant, and from that moment on, things started to look up. At her first bank job, she was able to go to a 12-week University program where she learned about various financial topics, including credit. She couldn't wait to get to work and start helping people.

Derricka's second job was at a bank that had a predefined script that employees had to stick to. Driven by her desire to impact people's lives meaningfully, she would often go the extra mile for her clients. She'd offer practical advice that went beyond the constraints of the actual script. And the customers were delighted with the service they were getting. She became known as Banker Barbie among the clients. Pretty soon, the word got out, and everyone was in line to see her.

She set out to help people, helping them get a better deal. But, that also meant the bank wasn't making as much money as it could. And once her managers found out she was going beyond-script, Derricka got into trouble. However, the overwhelmingly positive feedback she got from her clients inspired her to try making it on her own.

 

How Derricka Started Her Multi-Million Dollar Operation

 

She left her bank job, but her former clients kept coming to her for advice. Armed with only a notepad and an ink pen, Derricka leapt into the world of solopreneurship. 

She started helping those who came her way, had great results, and the news about what she could do spread like wildfire. Pretty soon, everybody wanted Derricka's help with credit repair. And with each new happy customer, her confidence grew and wanted to help even more people. Before she knew it, Derricka was hooked on changing people's lives.

With her living room gradually turning into an office, the foundations were set for all the success she enjoys today. And all of it happened while she was still pregnant with her fourth child. Amazing!

After acquiring a significant amount of clients, juggling cases became really challenging. Derricka turned to online support, and after a failed experiment with a lousy piece of software that nearly cost her her business, she discovered Credit Repair Cloud

"Having the Credit Repair Cloud... It took my business from a six-figure business to a million-dollar business to a multi-million dollar business!" - Derricka Harwell

I've looked into it, and Derricka has been our client since 2015. And I have to tell you - it brings me such joy to see all that she has accomplished!

 

Be Generous With What You Know

 

At the time of our conversation, Derricka is performing an 18-city, 2-country tour where she visits numerous high-schools and prisons to educate people on credit. Her goal is to teach people who are most vulnerable to experience hardships of a low credit score. It's just such a wonderful initiative!

And in fact, her selfless attitude towards sharing her knowledge with others played a huge part in growing her business. 

Her first ever video talk she ever held was on Periscope, and four people watched it. Her mom was one of them. 

But she kept at it, slowly build her brand, and the audience for her live lectures peaked at a whopping 290,000. It just shows that consistency paired with sharing openly can go a very long way.

Over time, she built a rapport with her audience and established her brand across social media platforms. By being open in her communication and sharing bits from her personal story, Derricka was winning people over left and right.

"People don't do business with the company. They do business with that individual. They do business with you because they love what you're about." - Derricka Harwell

Derricka is in the business of changing people's lives, and we're so proud she is one of our Credit Heroes.

And if you'd like to become a Credit Hero yourself and start changing lives, then you should join our 14-day Credit Hero Challenge. In it, we guide you step-by-step and hold your hand while you launch your very own credit repair business.

Learn more about the Credit Hero Challenge here!

Sign up today! We'd love to have you!

Thank you so much for tuning into this week’s episode. 

And if you like listening to our show, please subscribe and leave us a review because it helps us get the word out.

Until next week, my friends - keep changing lives!


 

Be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform below!

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Topics: Podcast

Transcript

Daniel Rosen  0:00  

A few years ago, our guest today was so far down, she was homeless and living in her car with her two kids. But she now runs a huge credit repair operation, which has made her a multi-millionaire. And today she's going to tell us exactly how that happened and how she built her business up from ground zero to where it is today and how you can too. 

 

So the big question is this. How can we take our passion for helping people with their credit and turn it into a successful business without taking loans without spending a fortune by bootstrapping it from nothing, so we can help the most people and still become highly profitable? That is the question and this podcast will give you the answer. My name is Daniel Rosen, and welcome to Credit Repair Business Secrets. 

 

Hey Credit Heroes! I am so excited. Our guest today is the author of Beautiful Credit. She is a married mom of six with an amazing story. At one point, she was homeless and lived in her car. She now runs a huge credit repair operation and has become a multimillionaire. And she's going to tell us exactly how that happened and exactly how she built her business up from ground zero and how you can too, so please welcome to the podcast, Derricka Harwell. Hey, Derricka, welcome!

 

Derricka Harwell  1:29  

Hey, thank you so much for having me. I'm very excited to be here.

 

Daniel Rosen  1:33  

I'm excited you're here! And I'm glad you had time for us because I understand you're on tour. Tell us about that tour.

 

Derricka Harwell  1:40  

So I am on an 18-city, two-country tour where I am going to high schools as well as some of the prisons and jails talking to people about credit, educating them on credit. The tour started last year with going to the various high schools and educating high school graduating seniors with that one course, that's not taught in schools, which is credit so that when they graduate and they go to college, they know what taking on student loans means and credit cards and things of that nature. And then also, with the male incarceration rate for my specific culture, it is something that is extremely devastating. And I just kind of wanted to do my part. And so we included the prisons this year. So going to those particular areas where it's very poverty-driven, and trying to give as much education as possible. So I have been busy. 

 

Daniel Rosen  2:30  

Wow, hey, I want to know more about that. What is that like walking into a prison? Tell us about that experience.

 

Derricka Harwell  2:38  

It is at first overwhelming because the most I've ever gotten in trouble for it was like a parking ticket. But I am the product of a child whose father was in prison pretty much his entire life. I just reunited with my dad at the age of 33, which was last year. And so this was something that was very personal to me that I do something of this nature since getting back in my dad's life assisting him with fixing his credit, he's a 770 just got approved for a home and different things of that nature. And I said, you know, "Well, if I have the opportunity to share this type of information and education with him and give him this guidance, there's so many other lives that can be turned around. So, him, myself and my husband started talking about the system and what are some things that we can do to attribute to it and we start throwing different cities into the tour for it.

 

Daniel Rosen  3:27  

Wow. What's your father in prison all your life? 

 

Derricka Harwell  3:31  

My father was in prison the last time before last year. So last year, I went back home I'm from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I went back home and I was surprised by the mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin with the proclamation so August 9 is Derricka Harwell day. Wow. And yeah, I was very excited about that. And the very next day, my husband was like, hey, let's get in touch with your dad. Let's make this happen for you to meet your dad. So that was the first time I had seen him since I was three years old. The last time I saw him and now there I'll be 34 this year. So, at that point, it was just it was a very difficult thing to kind of it was just so many emotions more than anything to see. But yeah, he was in prison for a very long time. He was just kind of in and out. So I just didn't get the opportunity to see him. I didn't grow up with him right by my side, but we are definitely making up for lost time now. And credit is a huge part of his life. So he's loving it. He's absolutely loving it.

 

Daniel Rosen  4:26  

That's awesome. Now, how about going into speak at a prison for the first time was that scary?

 

Derricka Harwell  4:33  

It was, I think it's the level of nervousness that I had was probably the same as I do when I go speak before anyone. It wasn't anything that I was really scared about. I'm speaking to a very specific group of individuals that are there. So it wasn't anything that was intimidating. I'm a tough girl. But I will say listening to their stories. I thought that I was going to go there and I was just going to teach them something and they end up with teaching me a lot, a lot about life a lot about everything. So it was very powerful, very empowering to be able to give them some of the things that they needed. So I'm like, hey, while you're in here, and you got some time on your hands, here's how to write an effective dispute letter. So when you get out you got good credit, you can do this, you can do that. And so listening to them say, Hey, I was gonna I'm in here I'm in trouble for flipping bricks you know doing the bad thing but now I can get out and do real estate and flip real bricks and do this you know, in a whole nother light. So it's just it's very empowering is very amazing. I was just I was nervous. I'll be honest, I was nervous. Not scared, but definitely nervous at first.

 

Daniel Rosen  5:37  

Oh, well, yeah. flipping a brick.

 

Derricka Harwell  5:41  

That is a... It's basically selling drugs. Oh, but it is yes, they call it bricks, the type of drugs that it is. So they went in prison for selling drugs and for doing things in terms of drugs and distribution and things of that nature. And now they're out in some of these same houses that you know, they were arrested in front of them. Or we're doing legitimate things out of, you know, these vacant houses. Well, now these are going to become their investment properties. And that's extremely powerful, you know, to know that I can go in and give you the education to get you there.

 

Daniel Rosen  6:12  

Wow, that's really, really cool. Thank you. I love you. And I would love to go back and learn more about what your life was like before credit repair.

 

Derricka Harwell  6:23  

Oh, we can go back even before that. 

 

Daniel Rosen  6:25  

Let's go back even before that first. Tell me more about your childhood. Because this is fascinating.

 

Derricka Harwell  6:31  

Thank you. I am the oldest of four sisters. I was always the very honorable A B honor roll student. I grew up with my mother and my stepdad who I just call my dad who's an amazing man. He's a pastor. I love them to death side. They have very humble beginnings, if I can call them that. never had any type of education on credit, never had any type of anything but I did go to the best school and The state of Wisconsin and it is still the best school to this day in terms of high school, but I still didn't get education on credit. So as I got older, I did go to college, I attended lane college. And when I left lane, I went to Virginia. And being in Virginia was quite the experience because I did go through homelessness with my daughters, I separate it from my husband, who wasn't my husband at the time, we were just dating, and I experienced homelessness. And it was extremely, extremely difficult, especially with two children. Most people when they tell you they've been homeless, they've been like from couch to couch or they're at this person's place. I didn't even have that luxury. I didn't have the luxury of a hotel. I was literally in a 1995 Ford Explorer. And I was too embarrassed to share this with anyone and when I did share, a lot of people didn't take it as the opportunity to assist me. No one took it as Oh, we need to get her some help. Let's take up an offering at the church. Let's do it just really created Have more conversations about me. That was really it which was even more devastating. So when I say I'm tough I've been through. 

 

Daniel Rosen  8:06  

Yeah I can imagine so you were living in the car with your kids?

 

Derricka Harwell  8:12  

I was living in the car with my two daughters, my youngest daughter at that time her She's my Gabby cakes is what I call her. She was still in a car seat, couldn't even walk still drinking milk, not even solid foods yet. And it was difficult every single day of that was extremely difficult. I remember being cold and having to ration out when I could crank up the vehicle so that it could be warm. You know, I remember having to put my oldest who's going to be 13 this year, but she was barely two at the time and she was potty trained, but I remember crying telling her that I had to put a pull up back on her and you have to use the bathroom in this pull-up. It's 3am we can't walk into any of these places. So you can go to the bathroom. You have to wait to the sun comes up. You know, I remember having those conversations those very difficult conversations with her and she's not really understanding but still being obedient. It was just a very low time for me. I suffered from depression. Because of that, I felt like I failed as a mother. I just... I felt like I failed all the way around. So it was very, very difficult. And the craziest part is I still worked. I still got up and went to work. I was a waitress at the time. So and but it didn't stop my drive. I was still putting in applications. And later on, I did end up getting a job at the bank. I met a phenomenal woman I call her mama Anna. But she took myself and my kids in and assisted me with getting proper attire and I started working for the bank. And that was my introduction to credit and how important it really was and, you know, everything that surrounded that and the student loan people were still calling me.

 

Daniel Rosen  9:47  

Wow, what were you doing at the bank?

 

Derricka Harwell  9:49  

So I worked at the bank as a financial service consultant, and it was really amazing. I process mortgages. I did everything from credit cards to sales. I did a little bit of everything. I worked in a personal banker position as well, when I switched from one thing to another. And I loved it. I loved it. It really taught me a lot. It gave me a lot of education. The first bank I worked for, they actually had a university where you go in and you learn about credit, it's, I think it's 12 weeks long. We learn about credit, you learn about mortgages, you learn about small business, so you just kind of have that education all the way around before you start servicing people. And I thought that was really amazing. 

 

Daniel Rosen  10:25  

I'll bet that was amazing. And then as you're helping people with the loans and things like that, that's when you were starting to see all the credit issues.

 

Derricka Harwell  10:32  

Yes. So I learned a lot, especially when I switched from one bank to another, I won't say which. But when I switched from one bank to another, it was just it was a totally different world. I'll say that because it was a much more conservative bank. And so I noticed that a lot of lower wealth, I don't say low income, I say low wealth, but a lot of lower wealth, individuals that came in that could not get approved. You know, I had to read this thing verbatim to them, you know, like, it's a script Do you have to stick to the script? Read it to them. That's it. So I started taking the time out where I would read the script, I would stick to policy. However, I would start taking the time out to let them know Hey, listen, I've seen this happen. If you pay this down, you can do this because utilization makes up this much of your credit score. So pay this now, wait for it to report, here's the free way to check your credit report. And then come back to me in 30 days, and I'll do your loan.

 

Daniel Rosen  11:25  

Wow!

 

Derricka Harwell  11:26  

I started kind of doing that. And I came in dressed up every day they labeled me as the banker Barbie. And there would be a line at that bank, like literally a library. Everyone was waiting to be assisted by me, everyone because I would do more than just read you a script and send you on your way. And I start getting in trouble for it. And that's when my husband's like, you know what, I think you could do something on your own. Is that instead of you getting in trouble because I would take a long time with clients to sit with them and you know, and sometimes the larger banks, they don't see that as valuable, you know, When people come in, you got a certain amount of time to deal with each and every single person so they don't always deem it as necessary to sit down and take 20 minutes, 30 minutes, you know with one person, and you've got four other people to service but people would literally come in to see me only they would sit in the lobby and they'd like, would you like to be assisting? No, I'm waiting on Derricka.

 

Daniel Rosen  12:22  

Wow!

 

Derricka Harwell  12:23  

And it helps that I'm traveling was I speak three languages fluently. And so I would do a lot of the translating for the paperwork that was with the bank. So when I would get my Spanish speaking customers that would come in and they're like, Nope, I want to Erica only cuz she's gonna break down that credit thing. So we're finally going to get a house. I don't want to talk to anyone else. So word spreads pretty quickly. And before I knew it, I was walking. I walked out a Bank of America's doors and never looked back.

 

Daniel Rosen  12:47  

Wow. That's amazing. Now I want a whole bunch of things. I want to ask you all at once, but I've got to know what was the third language?

 

Derricka Harwell  12:55  

Oh, Io, Paolo, Italiano. I speak Italian.

 

Daniel Rosen  12:57  

Oh, how cool. Oh, that's great. Right. Yeah, it's interesting, you're helping all these people have the bank and actually, I mean, I believe the banks are evil. And I believe I believe that the banks benefit a lot from people having bad credit because they can charge them more, you know? Yeah. 

 

Derricka Harwell  13:17  

So giving people that education to tell them the difference is probably what got me in the most trouble letting people know that Listen, you can get approved for this or you can do this and do this and come back to me in about 90 days and your interest rate will be cut in half so the bank will make less money off you you don't have to put down the downpayment You know, it puts you in a much greater position and that a lot of times when the credit scores better depending on where they're located and where I was working at the time from East Coast to now the South It was a lot more programs you know, that were available, Hey, you got to 640 Well, now you can get this you know, downpayment assistance program that it gives you that $10,000 that you need to buy that home, so really trying to assist I was so much for the people and less for my employer. Yeah, I was, you know, we were gonna have to part ways eventually.

 

Daniel Rosen  14:03  

Wow. So you left the bank? And then how did you start to form your company with the credit repair?

 

Derricka Harwell  14:09  

Oh my god, goodness. So let me tell you the Credit Repair Cloud, it literally saved my business. So when I first got started, I had left the bank that I was employed for. And I had so many people again, I was labeled as the banker Barbie, and people were looking for me all the time and what find me on Facebook, Hey, can you help me with this? Or can you just tell me this about my credit? Or I just got a couple of questions. I know you're not at the bank anymore. So I literally started with a notebook and an ink pen. I didn't even have a laptop or anything. And so a good friend of mine at that time was going through a divorce and she said, Hey, can you help me fix my credit? I'm trying to get an apartment. I made all the excuses in the world just to be honest. I was like, I really don't know. I don't have the software. I don't have you know, the bank I worked for they had everything. I just got a notebook and she's like, no, I believe you can do it and 21 days we deleted over $40,000 worth of debt, she was eligible to get into the apartment before her lease was even up where she was trying to go to. So that gave me all the confidence in the world. And she started telling other people then they start reaching out to my husband and Beautify Credit was born. Before I knew it. My husband had got me a laptop, and then he got me a printer, then I needed a fax machine, and the living room became the office.

 

Daniel Rosen  15:26  

Wow!

 

Derricka Harwell  15:26  

It was just at that time we had, I think I was pregnant with Audrey, who was my fourth, I have six children. Audrey was my fourth child, and we were giving birth to a baby and giving birth to the business all at the same time. That's amazing, amazing. But we started with super humble beginnings, a notebook and over time, after acquiring so many clients, it was a lot to keep up with. And so I started reaching out to other people that were in the credit repair industry. And I was like, Hey, what are you guys using? How are you doing this? And no one wanted to tell me anything. So I started looking stuff online. I use another software before you guys. And that's how I almost lost my business. There was like, so many things that still I needed, you know, and I found the Credit Repair Cloud and it was like, Oh, my God, I'm smiling like this is it. And so having the Credit Repair Cloud, it literally... It took my business from a six-figure business to a million-dollar business to a multi-million dollar business. And it's just it's been amazing ever since.

 

Daniel Rosen  16:30  

Wow. I'm so glad to hear that. I...

 

Derricka Harwell  16:31  

You too! You guys are amazing! 

 

Daniel Rosen  16:34  

Well, thank you for believing in us. We look to see how long you've been with us and it was 2015. Right. Kenan? Yeah. So thank you and thank you. I'm so glad it's worked out. So is this the first business you've ever had?

 

Derricka Harwell  16:50  

So I was in the beauty industry. When I got labeled as the banker Barbie. I went into the beauty industry and decided I was going to do everything beauty people wanted to know about my skincare. Care routines they wanted to know about my makeup and my hair and all that stuff. And so I went there because I was able to do that while I was still in banking. But my passion is where I am. So it just didn't last long. Like beauty is fun. But this is truly what I wanted.

 

Daniel Rosen  17:15  

Yeah, I mean, especially when your very first client, you You gave life-changing service. Yes. Within 21 days. That's amazing.

 

Derricka Harwell  17:22  

Yes, it was very, it was very mind-blowing. And when I realized the impact, because sometimes we don't realize the impact that we have on other people's lives. And when she caught she was just in tears. She was like, I'm crying, you know, because I can finally get myself and my daughter into a better neighborhood. I know, I'll be approved for this apartment now. Like, she was just so grateful. And I was just trying something, you know, hey, let me get my feet wet, then I still have this knowledge. You know, just because you leave a job doesn't mean the knowledge or education leaves you. So you know, I still had it and I still wanted to push through and it was the start of something very beautiful.

 

Daniel Rosen  17:59  

Wow. Really, really cool. Now for all the people listening, they're all at various degrees in starting their credit repair business or growing their credit repair business. I'd love to get into the business part a little bit here. I mean, I know I understand your success stories play a big part of your success. I've seen all your testimonials on your site and on social media, it does that generate a lot of your business.

 

Derricka Harwell  18:25  

It does. I actually started my business very for 2020 is not as traditional as what most people would. I'm someone that does a lot of homework. So I wanted to do a lot of homework on the business. I wanted to figure out how to get more clients as the business was going, especially when I finally got your software and I realized I can take more people on then 10 and 20 and you know, I can get hundreds of people so I started doing that I made flyers. I took those flyers to where my specific demographic was. So I went to beauty salons, I went to nail shops, I was at laundromats. I was Outside of Walmart, I made friends with every general manager from Memphis all the way to West Memphis, Arkansas. I brought Kroger doughnuts. And I would go to Krispy Kreme at the end of the night and I would get those doughnuts for like $1 and 34 cents because I was like pinching pennies. And I would take those donuts the next morning to one of the salon owners and say, Hey, breakfast is on Beautify Credit. Can I talk to some of your clients and oh, yeah, they're they're not selling, you know, with a donut and some coffee in the back. So I went out to my clients that way. And then as social media grew, I actually started on Periscope. Like what Facebook Live is for Facebook. periscope is for Twitter. So I started there and had a pretty huge following there. I can't even remember what my name was on there. But I started with maybe four people. So if anyone's listening that is like, well, only three or four people show up on my lives. Keep doing it. I had a whole four people and one of them was my mom. Okay. And then by the time I ended up leaving Periscope, it was about 209 90,000 really huge following. And then Facebook Live became like the next big thing. So I started doing Facebook Lives and sharing information and education and things just kind of went viral from there, which was really great for business. Wow. And how often are you doing those Facebook Lives? Well now since the tour, not as frequently as I would like, but I'm gonna try to do one at least twice a week, maybe at the least once a week. But I would try to do them at least twice a week. And I would just come and give credit education, give education that we're not normally taught in the school, some of the things that I would teach to the high school seniors that I'm giving, you know, to them on the tour. A lot of Did you know, is what I like to give. And when things change right now we go through and I don't get into politics, but I do tell you how some things in politics can affect your credit. So some things that were proposed and what this law means and how it can affect your credit. The Equifax breach was like huge there was so many people that were on that live it was just craziness but Just coming and letting people know what this is how it will affect you. Because sometimes we watch the news and we still don't get it. You know, they don't always speak into layman's terms. So I became the voice for the people to give that breakdown to. 

 

Daniel Rosen  21:13  

Is there anything happening in the news right now? That would affect us?

 

Derricka Harwell  21:18  

Yes. Yeah, there are a lot of things. So, student loan forgiveness is probably one of the biggest things that a lot of people are looking forward to when it comes to politics, and are the presidential candidates, if you will. So those things, of course affect you affect your credit report, getting those student loans forgiven? And if so, how are they going to be forgiven? Those are some things that can affect you. Sometimes, we don't realize when there's a cancellation of debt, whether it's that old repossession or the student loans, you're going to get that 1099 c form. So really just going in and explaining what that is and how this is now a percentage of that is taxable income. So how they didn't just go away completely, you know, giving people those particular breakdowns. I forget the council woman's name I want to say starts. First name I think is Ayana that made a proposal to make some changes. With regard to how credit is reporting. I know Elizabeth Warren wanted to make some changes with regard to how your credit reports report and what reports on them. She wanted to have things such as your utility bills and things of that nature. So just letting people know how this can affect them. And what can occur with this. When I talk to my audience, my students is what I like to call them. I like to give them what's called a breakdown of all your bills their primary bills and secondary bills, according to Mrs. Harwell. And so your primary bills are what reports to the credit bureaus, your secondary bills are what doesn't but you still have those bills. And if you are someone that's in a place where I once were where I was trying to figure out which bill I can pay this month, and how I was going to do that, I would always pay the primary bills first to preserve the credit and the secondary bills, I would make those payment arrangements and things like that. So when you have a presidential candidate that says I'm going to take some of these secondary bills now and make them primary, it's important that people Know that it's important that people understand how this can affect them?

 

Daniel Rosen  23:03  

Absolutely. In fact, another thing I just heard about was they're wanting to take away power from the CFPB.

 

Derricka Harwell  23:09  

Yes, I did a live video about that as well. So the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is the only bureau we have as consumers that look out for us in terms of big banks like we were talking about earlier. So when you are victimized in terms of predatory lending, and things of that nature, it makes it very difficult for you to fight the big bet bank all by yourself. And even when it comes to things such as what's reported on your credit report, sometimes we have to send things out to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as well. So they're wanting to kind of get rid of this Bureau, even though it's the only one that's for us. So they've been talking this for about three years now. I don't think it's gonna happen. But if you keep in tune with my Facebook page, you'll definitely know if it does.

 

Daniel Rosen  23:50  

Good! I'm gonna be tuning in there for my news.

 

Derricka Harwell  23:52  

Awesome. Awesome.

 

Daniel Rosen  23:54  

You know, I want to know how you get so much engagement from these posts, are you also sharing your personal stories?

 

Derricka Harwell  24:01  

So yes, I do I share a lot of my personal stories, being into credit repair and fixing my own credit, it actually kind of catapulted me into the real estate game. And so a lot of people wanted to know, how are you acquiring so much wealth outside of credit repair, credit repair, can't be doing all that. And it was, it most definitely was. But real estate is something else. And that's really my husband's industry. But I just kind of dabbled into it. And I love so many aspects of it. So it just kind of pushed me into it as well. But sharing those stories online, really helps to create the engagement that you need. People want to know who you are, you know, I've got a really great business page. I've got a great Instagram page and things of that nature. But the bulk of my engagement comes from my personal page, you know, everyone wants to know, well, if I give you my identity, who are you? You know? Is she a mom? Is she a wife, you know, what does she do? Do I have to worry about is this page going to disappear, you know, later on and so they get to learn more about me They get to learn about my spirituality, they get to learn about my kids sometimes what I had for breakfast, you know, it just depends and you always get some financial literacy on that page.

 

Daniel Rosen  25:10  

That's super cool. Do you tell stories about your clients as well, their success stories?

 

Derricka Harwell  25:14  

I do. So I have and I told my husband, I said, if I do this interview, I'm going to promise not to get teary eyed because my clients, they just, oh my god, I have some of the most amazing people that contact me with some of the most amazing stories. I get breast cancer survivors. I get just a little bit of everything. Most recently I shared a story I think it was last year for a mom that had a disabled child. And she wanted to get she got to prove she already had her home. She had gotten approved for a home and this was years prior. She had a vehicle and it was working years prior she wanted a van that was wheelchair accessible because all she wanted to do was to be able to take her baby to the park. And I just thought this was so beautiful. I was like and she's interesting me to be able to do this and so we worked on our credit for just a few months. It wasn't, you know, very long. And one day I got a picture to my iPhone, I just burst into tears. It was a picture of the water. And her son was sitting there in his wheelchair she had gotten to take him out. And it was just it was amazing. She said, I got the van, or I think she got a van or she got a truck two days before. She said, You're the first person that I told and it was just so amazing. You know, I'm the part of the family that gets to know your social and gets to know your date of birth and what's on your credit reports. It's just so incredibly rewarding. And then when you share those stories, other people they get to share that experience with you. And it makes people feel open. You know, it's kind of like it's okay to share my situation with her now because it's not so bad or I've heard that she's had worse. You know, this is she's seen this she's seen it all. So I know she can assist me I don't feel like my situation is so hopeless, you know anymore. So sharing those stories is a huge part of creating that engagement to let people know you're normal. You know, you're normal. It's okay, everybody. He goes through something, whether it's divorce or sickness or anything that can affect that credit report. You know, it's okay. And let's just take care of it.

 

Daniel Rosen  27:08  

Wow. It's amazing it again, I have so many questions I want to ask. But just this really illustrates what we're always saying about being credit heroes and changing lives. You really are changing lives.

 

Derricka Harwell  27:20  

Thank you. And I love it. I love every aspect of it. 

 

Daniel Rosen  27:23  

Yeah, it's so cool. It's so incredibly cool. How did you? I'm so terrible at social media. I do Facebook Lives, but um, they're really uncomfortable for me. I'm trying to be better. How did you get so good at this? How did you learn?

 

Derricka Harwell  27:37  

Oh, my goodness. So I started on Periscope with a very small audience. And I think that's the best way to start. Like, if anybody's listening and it's like, hey, my following is small. Just turn your settings on public. It's very important because if you have your settings on private, you have your settings on your friends and family only you're hiding from all of the people that need you that need to see what it is that you're talking about. So that was the biggest thing, hitting that public button was probably the biggest thing. But starting with that smaller audience and just getting comfortable with them, and before I knew it, it's like I've got Best friends All across all 50 states and a couple of countries that I've never met. And it's really cool. And it's really awesome. And they, they become comfortable with you enough to share their story. So you start sharing your stories, and it's just a relationship. That's what it really is. Because when you think about business, people don't do business with the company. They do business with that individual. They do business with you because they love what you're about. They love what you stand for, you know, they love how you assist people, how you're compassionate, how they're not just the number, you know, the same way we do business when we're not running our businesses. So creating that relationship with each and every single father, I greet people when they come into my live videos and let them know I see them and I thank them for their support and all of that and it's amazing. It's really amazing. Another thing for social media is the groups I'm in a lot of groups that say that and I get called upon, will you come and speak in our group? And I'll go to the group and I'm like, wow, there's 300,000 people in here. Okay. So you're speaking in front of a group of I don't know, it might be single moms group, and they're in here to talk about breastfeeding. And now they want to talk about credit because someone purchased this very expensive breast pump on a credit card, and they got, you know, no interest or something like that, or, you know, a child got sick, and they realized they could use the care credit card. Well, how do I get that? You know, how, what is that? You know, tell us about it? And how do I get you know, so getting into all these different groups is a really, really great way to help create some engagement around your pages. Well, I used to just come into the groups and be quiet and then I started answering people's questions. When someone would post a question, I would just get in there and I would say, Oh, yeah, this happened because 35% of your credit score is your payment history. So when you miss that payment, this is why this happened. And so it makes other people look and they go Wait, wow, okay, yeah, that makes sense. Who is she again? And so they come to your page, they get educated. And before you know it, they're a part of your following, you know, and they're really huge supporters as well. Those are the supporters you want. You don't want to buy followers, you don't want to spend money on following and things of that nature because it's really about having a strong support system. I'll take four quarters over 100 pennies any day.

 

Daniel Rosen  30:20  

And do most of your clients these days come from all the social media?

 

Derricka Harwell  30:25  

I think that most of my clients probably come from word of mouth now I think getting it was social media, probably a good 80 90% of my business with social media. But I get so many people now that are like, Oh my gosh, you're on social media. I didn't know you know, and they've signed up, they've signed their cousin up, they've signed their spouses up and three of their co-workers have come along the ride. So when you're doing great work for people and you're really passionate about getting them to their goals and assisting them, you know, the word spreads and I also I attend I don't know if you see it on my social media, but I go to closings. I go at the dealership, I negotiate like every dealership from Southaven, Mississippi, olive branch Mississippi all the way to Memphis, they know me. So, wow, I go and negotiate and have conversations, you know, with my clients, because sometimes it's not enough just to get good credit and have a great score and a great file. But if you've never had that you really don't understand how to use it. You know, you really don't understand what advantages you have. So making sure I give them that education or having those conversations with them about what's the difference between an FHA loan and a conventional loan, you want to buy that house, let's make sure you're in the best position. So when I show up at the house warming with Grandma, and I'm eating chocolate cake, and I'm introduced as the woman that made it happen, everybody wants to connect with you. So word of mouth is huge.

 

Daniel Rosen  31:42  

And always over-delivering. 

 

Derricka Harwell  31:44  

Absolutely, yeah, absolutely. Yes. Absolutely. 

 

Daniel Rosen  31:49  

With all this word of mouth. Do you even have to advertise at all? 

 

Derricka Harwell  31:52  

I do. I do. I don't think you have to. But I think that consistency is something that's really important. I think it's really important that I always show up for my business. I think the day that I just stopped showing up in its totality, my business will stop showing up for me. So advertising for me has been a little bit of a different form because it just comes in the form of education. You know, now I don't have to say, Come and sign up with me, I can change your life, I can do this, I can do that, you know? And I say, Please believe me now. It's, you know, what, Hey, did you know what was happening with this? Or did you know the law was changing? And this is going to affect you this way? Meet me at 7 pm Central Standard Time, so I can tell you all about it. And now everybody's like engaged I click in and there's like several thousand people there waiting on me like what's Where? What's going on? So? So that in itself is a form of advertising, you know? So that's something that creates engagement. It builds credibility, so people know who you are and what you're talking about. And you're not just you know, Jane Doe out here saying I can fix credit.

 

Daniel Rosen  32:49  

Absolutely. And you know, what else gives you credibility? Having a book, thank you. This is so awesome. Your book, what is it and for those of you just listening not seeing the book is Beautiful Credit. Where can people get your book by the way?

 

Derricka Harwell  33:04  

So my book, I'm new to Target stores everyone. So I'm officially in target. And it is such an amazing feeling. So you can get my book at Target. You can get my book at books a million, you can get my book at Barnes and Noble. You can get my book if you have an iPhone at the Apple iBook store, if you have an Android, the Google Play Store, Kindle Fire Amazon, and the list just goes on. just about everywhere, and I'm very excited about it. 2017 I became author of The Year category of financial literacy. So I'm officially an award-winning author for Beautiful Credit.

 

Daniel Rosen  33:40  

Wow. And I know how hard it is to write a book. It's hard, it's painful. Yeah. Congratulations and Wow, that's amazing. What is the book done for you?

 

Derricka Harwell  33:50  

The book has been amazing. So I actually started writing the book for high school seniors. When I was first getting my business started. I started the book actually in 2015, and I've just kind of picked it up and put it down. And I have the most amazing support system that is my husband and my children. And my husband's like, you got to get this book down whatever it takes, you got to get this book done. And he just created a way for me to be able to get in that zone and get that book out for these babies. And I just didn't realize how many adults were going to love. The book I was just trying to get into the school system is one of the textbooks and I'm like, I have to keep it short and sweet and straight to the point. I don't want a bunch of fluff, you know, in the book. And so I set and I wrote it, and I had the most amazing publisher says Sheena Davis with purposely created publishing and she published the book, and it was just an amazing process. And before I knew it, I got nominated, I got an email and then she said, Hey, you were nominated. You had the most votes, you know, you had the most this can you get out to Baltimore and I was hesitant. And I showed up to Baltimore and I'm so glad that I showed up because I won and I got to meet some really iconic People while I was there was just such an amazing experience. But after winning author of the year, it really puts my book at the forefront of the company. So saying that I fix credit. And if you're listening, never just say I fixed credit, you do more than fix credit, you are a life changer. You are a game changer. You are a financial coach. There's so many other titles that you can utilize, but saying I fix credit, it's sold 2017. So I got to add under my my list of accolades, if you will, of the things that I've done and accomplished, award winning author is one of them, well, then everybody wants to know the book. And so you know, sharing the book has really assisted in really just kind of affirming who I am in this industry and my credibility.

 

Daniel Rosen  35:44  

Awesome. And for all the people out there listening who are just getting into the credit repair industry, and just learning the ropes. I understand you've got a webinar where people can really learn how it's done right?

 

Derricka Harwell  35:55  

I do so... and it's on sale right now. So This is the best thing. So if you are just getting your feet wet, you are just getting into this industry and you're still trying to figure things out. You're still trying to figure out dispute letters or even just how to read a credit report. Sometimes I understand it can be embarrassing. Sometimes you don't want to reach out to some of the people in the industry that you feel like are very powerful or iconic or epic in this industry. So I created this webinar for everyone. For those that are do it yourselfers for those that are wanting to get into the credit repair industry. It is called the Beautiful Credit Webinar. It's available on my website, which is beautifycredit.com/webinar. And it really breaks down that entire step by step process on how to assist yourself. It talks about CFPB, FCRA, FDCPA, all of those all of the alphabet letter. It tells you what all these organizations are, what the various acts are really just kind of breaks things down for that person that is just looking to get started in this particular industry. It's a really great resource.

 

Daniel Rosen  36:58  

Wow, that's super cool. Cool. Okay, yeah. Yeah. What's that web address again?

 

Derricka Harwell  37:04  

It is beautifycredit.com/webinar.

 

Daniel Rosen  37:08  

Awesome. Okay, now we're gonna get into something fun here. We're going to go into the rapid fire round of questions. 

 

Derricka Harwell  37:16  

Oh goodness!

 

Daniel Rosen  37:17  

Yeah. So in this, you answer just like a couple words or a sentence or two, the first thing that comes to mind, are you ready? Okay, I'm ready. Okay, if you could go back in time. What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started?

 

Derricka Harwell  37:30  

That I am unstoppable. That nothing can stop me but me.

 

Daniel Rosen  37:34  

I love that. What's the most important lesson you've learned as a business owner?

 

Derricka Harwell  37:38  

Oh, wow. Probably forgiveness.

 

Daniel Rosen  37:41  

Oh, that's a good one. Is there a book that has changed your life?

 

Derricka Harwell  37:45  

My book has been the most impactful book thus far.

 

Daniel Rosen  37:49  

I love it. What does business ownership mean to you?

 

Derricka Harwell  37:53  

For me business ownership, it means the opportunity to change lives for other people. A really great business, it serves a really great purpose if you want a multi-million dollar business you have to solve some type of problem and this is that for me so it just means being a problem solver, being a game changer so I love this more than a title of boss or CEO.

 

Daniel Rosen  38:13  

Awesome! What's your advice to anyone just starting out with their credit repair business?

 

Derricka Harwell  38:19  

Consistency. Don't stop, don't stop and pick up something else and do something then come back to credit repair. Consistency is key. People are watching you, all of your potential clients are watching you be fearless in everything that you're doing and just keep going. Keep moving forward!

 

Daniel Rosen  38:34  

Awesome. Well, I want to thank you so much for your time today. And you're gonna... What's your next city on your tour?

 

Derricka Harwell  38:41  

Next, I believe I can play... I think I'm in Newark and Newark. Let me tell you really quick before I let you guys talk too much, Okay, so let me know you gotta cut me off. Newark actually just changed the laws in Newark, New Jersey where credit education has to be issued and distributed out in the public school system starting at middle school so I'm very excited about going to Newark.

 

Daniel Rosen  39:02  

Wow, that is really cool. I can't wait to hear about that. Well, thank you so much Derricka. I really appreciate it and you guys out there if you're enjoying this podcast please click below to subscribe so you don't miss out if you're feeling kind, rate, and review so we can keep moving up the charts. And thank you again Derricka for being here.

 

Derricka Harwell  39:23  

Thank you for having me. It's been a pleasure. 

 

Daniel Rosen  39:25  

Okay, have a great day you guys and changing lives! 

 

Want more Credit Repair Business Secrets? Then get a copy of my book The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Credit Repair Business. Get it free at creditrepaircloud.com/freebook. Inside this book, you'll find my top 35 secrets to removing items from credit reports and turning that into an amazing business that helps people, changes lives and makes you a great living in the process. Get it free at creditrepaircloud.com/freebook.

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