by Heather Harnell

Welcome to our blog page! We will be posting about topics that are relevant in today’s market to help grow your knowledge of the industry. Topics will vary from design trends, how-to guides on construction renovations, important tips surrounding property management, events happening around Minneapolis for you to get involved in, or a spotlight on one of our clients who has proven successful in buying, selling, or managing one of their own properties with The Stepping Stone Group as their guide.

For starters, I wanted to introduce myself so you have a little background on who I am and where I’ve come from prior to co-founding this company. My name is Heather Harnell. I am the oldest of four sisters (no brothers…I know, my poor father) and we are closer than any other siblings I’ve seen, despite the 10 year age difference between us. I grew up in Minnetonka, MN, but with that, it is always necessary to clarify that I did NOT grow up on Lake Minnetonka or drive a BMW to the high school. I was not given a car at 16, but instead had to ask permission to use my mom’s minivan. My dad is one of the hardest working individuals I know; he provided for my family while my mom stayed at home with us. Watching him run his self-employed HVAC company has had a bigger impact on me than I can probably even realize because his spirit of entrepreneurship was clearly passed down to me. From as young as I can remember, I was selling girl scout cookies, chocolate bars, and books for various organizations door-to-door. As I got into middle school, I built a “Candy Shop” filled with Costco boxes of treats that broke down to a cost of 22 cents a bar, which I decided to sell to the neighborhood kids for one dollar a piece. Not bad for margins, huh?

From as young as I can remember, I was selling girl scout cookies, chocolate bars, and books

I started babysitting at age 14 and worked two jobs during college: waiting tables at Bubba Gump’s and Outback Steakhouse, and working the front desk at Golds Gym. Between playing volleyball at UW-Eau Claire and these two jobs, it is surprising that I had time for anything else. However, I was introduced to networking marketing by one of my Bubba Gump tables (classic move), and thus started reading Robert Kiyosaki because he is a big advocate for network marketing. Interestingly, I became engulfed with his passion and mindset for real estate instead. Following Kiyosaki’s suggestion in his books to enter into sales, I got hired at a logistics company right out of college that was known for its high level training and leadership. About two years later, I had reached a point financially where I was ready to purchase my first investment property. I couldn’t wait to put all of my book knowledge to action!

After a bad experience with a realtor who almost convinced me to buy a 2,500 sq ft single-family home as a smarter investment choice, I called my dad in frustration only to receive a name and number of someone he trusted: Ross Lumley. From that first phone call with Ross, my life has changed. After purchasing my first duplex a few months later, we were discussing the idea of a business partnership and looking at buying the next duplex together. It was apparent that our strengths and weaknesses fit well together in pursuing the same vision we had for our lives.

It was apparent that our strengths and weaknesses fit well together in pursuing the same vision we had for our lives.

I can speak from personal experience of the impact that The Stepping Stone Group can have on the pursuit of your dreams. Even though we weren’t in existence as a company back then, the man behind my personal education is the same visionary that leads the company today and we look forward to teaching you in the same way.

About the Author

Heather Harnell

Co-Founder. Oldest of four sisters. Her only child is the furball and company mascot Golden Retriever named Cabo, after her favorite place to explore. Volleyball lover, CrossFit guilty, and determined to keep up with Ross’ antics on the slopes. Needless to say, competitiveness runs deep in her blood.