Manuel with his wife Alma and their kids Leslie (18 year old just graduated from High school and is ready for college), Yulianna (14 years old just graduated from middle school) and Manuel Marquez Jr (9 years old).

Manuel “Manny” Marquez was a thriving real estate investor who was financially devastated by the 2008 crisis. Fueled by the trauma of losing almost everything, he worked tirelessly at the expense of losing precious time he wanted to spend with his family and friends. He never wanted to be held victim to a crisis again. But thanks to The Ignite Mastermind, Manuel was able to experience peace of mind despite facing an uncertain future. Keep reading to discover how Manuel adapted an empowering mindset of peace and prosperity!

Meet Ignite Mastermind Member Manny Marquez:

  • Born in Mexico, he came to California to pursue his dream of building financial freedom;
  • Operates 3 successful real estate companies;
  • Other passions: spending time with his kids and enjoy the different stages in their life;
  • Fun Fact: Manny was a Freemason for 15 years.

Q: Manny, I know you had a very rough upbringing. Tell us how you managed to push through your circumstances and create a better life for yourself!

A: I am an American immigrant who never went to college, and I did not speak a word of English when I first arrived. All I knew is that I wanted to multiply my wealth. My primary goal was to grow my assets while preparing for any doomsday scenarios that may come about. Any career which helped me achieve this goal was A-OK with me. 

I was 19 or 20 years old when I discovered real estate investing. I’ve attempted to self-educate myself in this field, trying out different motivational programs and business-building workshops to get to where I am today. Today, I am a real estate investor who owns three separate companies: A primary real estate flipping company, a holding company and a property management company. 

Q: Three companies at once!? I can’t even begin to imagine how much work it takes to successfully manage them all, let alone a single company. 

A: I was a workaholic, no doubt about it. I was dedicating the best years of my life to building my companies and my net worth. What really fueled my work ethic up until I joined The Ignite Mastermind was the devastating financial crisis in 2008. I was 85-95% of the way towards being financially free, yet I ended up losing everything except for my main home and my family. To say I was traumatized would be a heavy understatement. 

As a result of my non-stop work, I completely forgot how to spend time with my family and enjoy their company. I couldn’t even make time for myself to relax and rejuvenate!

Q: I can only imagine how other areas of your life were impacted by this event. 

A: There were definitely other parts of my life which were negatively affected. When it came to my family and friends, I had good people around me. But one thing which always rubbed me the wrong way was how people would be happy, even when someone close to them passed away. I would silently judge them and think, “Why are they so happy? How dare they smile at a time like this!”

And because I could never get over how the crisis ruined my bottom line, I was always burning through whatever limited willpower I had. No matter how hard I tried, it felt like the finish line (i.e. my financial goals) were moving farther away. Nothing would ever be enough, I was never going to be prepared, and the work would never stop. 

“There are no bad goals, just bad deadlines…The Drunk Monkey enforces arbitrary deadlines that don’t exist. Then when you don’t accomplish your objective in the made-up timeline, you feel like a failure. It’s only a breakdown because of the arbitrary rule The Drunk Monkey created. It’s not a breakdown in reality.”  – Matthew Ferry

I was at the point where I was mentally killing myself to protect my family and myself from any future doomsday events like the one we saw in 2008. I realized that I needed to heal from the traumatizing experience and be totally fine with whatever may happen to me in the future. Otherwise, I would be running around in the same circle for all eternity.

Q: So this led to you discovering Matthew Ferry and his work? 

A: I was referred to Matthew by Cuthberto, my business partner for the last 9-10 years who is like a brother to me. When he signed up for The Ignite Mastermind (which was one year before I joined), I could clearly see a major change in his life. 

Not only did Cuthberto’s finances improve, but he also became a better human being. It was evident that his mindset had been optimized for peace and prosperity. Seeing his transformation inspired me to join the mastermind, hoping I could achieve a similar quantum leap. The cost of the mastermind did not hold me back. When I see something and I know it will enrich my spirit, paying good money doesn’t bother me. 

Besides, the last mastermind I was a part of for 5 years only focused on financial education. I needed that spiritual breakthrough and I knew Matthew was the guy to help me get there. 

Manny and his business partner Cuthberto Ramos. Before The Ignite Mastermind, Manny couldn’t find (or justify) the time to go golfing. Now he recognizes the value of getting out of the office and enjoying his success is essential for living an epic life.

Q: As an immigrant whose native language is not English, how did you feel before you met everyone at the first in-person retreat? 

A: I was a little nervous because I was not a fluent English speaker. It is difficult for me to fully explain what I am feeling when I am not speaking in my native tongue. This was by far the biggest challenge going in, but I never shy away from a good challenge. I ended up enjoying the time I spent with everyone in the mastermind and I walked away with relationships I hope to keep for the rest of my life. 

As for Matthew and Kristen, I say this in the most endearing way possible: They are normal human beings who have been blessed with the gift of wisdom. There are very few people in the world that can impact people the way they can, which makes them more than qualified to lead a group of high achievers. 

Q: Did any of the changes you experience in the in-person retreat stick with you after you returned home?

A: Oh yes, and I think a large part of that was due to the weekly group calls. Through frequent contribution and interaction with the other members, I have noticed my self-confidence go up and my fears slowly melting away. The Ignite Mastermind has given me the tools and strategies needed to design my own life without being driven by the fear of an uncertain future. 

I am no longer scared of “what if” situations because absolutely nobody knows what is going to happen, which is freeing when you choose to take on the perspective that you are the creator of your own life. 

Q: Love it! Manny, could you tell me more about the changes you experienced in your day-to-day life as a result of Matthew’s mastermind coaching? 

A: When it comes to my business, I experienced some pretty straightforward changes. Not only is my net worth up, but I am producing more and working far fewer hours than I did before. For the first time in a long time, I can enjoy my life without feeling guilt or shame. It definitely changed my perception of self-development programs I had taken in the past.

While I was in my first year of the mastermind, my mother was suffering from severe respiratory issues. The work I did with Matthew helped me learn how to be detached from the situation and avoid emotional battles with my other family members. I don’t refer to detachment from a sense of indifference. What I mean is accepting that whatever will happen will eventually happen, and that my mom would be at peace when it was her time to go. The entire experience was revealing because I was finally able to understand the concepts of ‘life’ and ‘death’ from somebody else’s perspective. 

All of this would not have been possible if I didn’t first accept myself and believe in myself. Once that happens, I started accepting my friends and family for who they are and my perception of them changes for the better. Acceptance is a state of being that has allowed me to be at peace with anything, even when conflict and chaos are present.

Like Matthew always told us, “It’s never them. It’s always me.” This perspective helped me train my mind to enjoy life, think differently and get rid of bad habits that were sabotaging my progress towards my goals. 

Q: Out of all the breakthroughs you had, what would you say was the biggest “quantum leap” for you? 

A: By far, it would have to be releasing the trauma I was holding onto from the 2008 crisis. I am still practical in knowing how to prepare for the downsides of life, but I have achieved total peace of mind. I am no longer acting out of scarcity and desperation. Which is amazing when you look at the coronavirus crisis that’s affecting the world right now. 

“…negativity in any of its forms is not actually necessary. When we are experiencing joy, it is much easier to handle day-to-day challenges. When we have peace of mind, our sense of well-being increases and our creativity explodes.” – Matthew Ferry, excerpt from Quiet Mind Epic Life

In doing so, I have alleviated myself of all the ‘bad’ debt in my life — credit card debt, loans, and so on. My primary home is almost 100% paid off, and I’ve allowed myself to take on ‘good’ debt. This kind of debt is either being paid off by tenants or is part of a larger investment property that will provide an exceptional return on investment in the near future. 

And with the peace of mind comes the realization that I am already achieving all of my goals. I only felt like a failure because I was the one who chose to keep moving the finish line forward. When I stopped imposing arbitrary and made-up rules on myself, I no longer had to beat myself up all the time. 

Q: You have clearly become a better man and experienced the breakthrough you were looking for. How can new members of The Ignite Mastermind do the same? 

A: I would have to say the most important thing you can do is take the experience seriously. This is not a vacation. This is a unique opportunity for people who know they want something different and are willing to make a big change in their lives. At the end of the day, you are the one who wakes up every morning and stares at your reflection in the mirror. You are the only one who truly knows whether you are in integrity with yourself or not. Nobody is going to watch over you or do it for you.

You can get an incredible amount of help from other members, and the homework is all laid out for you. It absolutely works if you do everything you are instructed to do.

But above all else, you have to learn how to get comfortable with being uncomfortable if you want to make a permanent and long-lasting change within yourself. Breakdowns are how you get to the ultimate breakthrough!