I live on an acreage in a thirty year old two bedroom bi-level, and it’s perfect. Our old pine cabinetry, pine board walls and wood looking vinyl floors are just my kind of rustic. Adirondack chairs are the only seating in our livingroom for now, because we’re still looking for that perfect-for-us couch. Until then, wooden deck chairs it is. (Don’t worry, we have a couch in the basement.)
I sell modern homes, and love to show them off, but would probably never choose to live in one. I wear a suit to work, but when I get home, I trade it for comfy home clothes – mostly because we have pets. Lots of them. Two dogs, and eight cats. (Only two in the house) No partridge in a pear tree though, so I think we’re still okay. But, with all these furry pals roaming around, pet hair is part of our life …and wardrobe. I don’t mind, our fuzzy buddies are worth all the lint rolling they necessitate.
I am really looking forward to summer though – not because I’ll do more of something, or less, but because I feel more… me somehow. Personally and professionally, I feel like this is going to be the best year. I feel more comfortable in my own skin than ever before. Personally, I’ve worked through some frustrations and bad habits that have held me back. Professionally, I’ve reached some kind of balance between work and home – which is dang near impossible for a Real Estate agent! And the continuous work I’ve put in to build my business is yielding more and more reward. Between getting okay about who I am and seeing some big progress in my business, I’m excited for the opportunities this year will bring.
It was a gorgeous day – the kind where flowers bloom, birds chirp, and the sun shines like a spotlight on the empty deck chair. It was the kind of day that beckoned me outside to bask in it. It was also the kind of day that had me inside, at my desk, tapping away at the keyboard. Neighbors worked carefully in their garden, and I tried not to be jealous. A bird perched on the deck as though waiting for me. I turned my back to the window and kept typing. When I’d finally finished, the sun had sunk below the treeline, and the bird had long gone. I’d missed it.
Sometimes the day ends, and can feel like the whole thing was a waste of time. Sure, I was busy all day doing things, but what did I actually accomplish?
My clients were served well, emails and phone calls were exchanged all day, but no Real Estate deals were signed, no one found that perfect-for-them house. Did I really help them?
I chatted with family and friends, parting with smiles, but did I really encourage them at all? Did either of us leave more alive and refreshed for having been together?
These are what I live for. Did I accomplish them today?
I’m sure you don’t know what I’m talking about, and never experience this yourself.
But I’ve learned ‘waste’ is just a mindset. I know it might sound a little weird at first, but really – I challenge you to think of something that’s a “waste”, and you will discover even that had something useful come out of it. I’m not saying it’s always a beautiful or desirable process, I’m just saying it’s not altogether a waste.
I’ve taken this view with my work, and it’s been a huge motivator. Especially on days when I am tempted to feel like I’ve wasted my time, I consider what useful thing has come out of it.
Investing in a client, regardless of the result, is never a waste. It is my business card. I sow into my reputation with how I treat others.
Time with friends and family – even if it’s brief, superficial or frustrating – is never a waste. At the very least, I might learn how not to interact in the future. Or maybe they were uplifted by our time together and I just didn’t know it.
I don’t mean to say it doesn’t matter what we do, because all will be useful. The lessons we can learn from a tyrant like Stalin do not warrant becoming like Stalin to teach the nations. I’m talking about even when we’re trying hard to do our best, there are going to be times it feels like it’s all for nothing. In those moments we can be glad that nothing is wasted. All things really are useful.
I really cannot think of anything we would call “waste”, from which something useful does not come. Can you? Even years spend on video games instead of with people. Even war. Even garbage.
It’s pretty amazing, and I find it hugely encouraging on those days that just don’t measure up to my ideas of productivity and results.
I’m looking forward to spending some time with my flowers. … if I can find them. The crazy pace of these last months – that and the amazing amounts of rain – have kept me out of the garden. Weeds are growing tall…
Can I just say I love gardening? It’s where I do my best thinking and get the most epiphanies. After spending some time weeding and planting, I’ll come back in the house call, “Wendell! Wendell!” and proceed to bestow upon him my new found wisdom. He doesn’t seem to mind.
I don’t know what it is about putting our hands in the dirt, working with it and having it under our fingernails. Somehow, there on my knees among Daisies and the Lillies, weeding becomes thoughtful. Prayerful. Maybe it’s the quiet. Or the kneeling. Or watching the simple but miraculous growth happen for yet another year. Perhaps it’s the gratefulness of being a homeowner and having free will to plant what I want! My dream was to plant trees and shrubs and watch them grow. It’s kind of symbolic! When ones life has been transplanted, somehow we crave being rooted! Stability within a changing environment. Either way, it’s peaceful and refreshing, and I can’t get enough of it! I’m so glad my day off was a sunny one so I could garden!
And the results of garden therapy are clear:
My favourite plant is the rocket ligularia:
Me after gardening:
I feel cleansed, content, satisfied and relaxed!
How about you? What is your therapy? What refreshes you?
In this industry, working hard is great. Working even harder and faster though, is super effective. Maybe it’s not just our industry, but our cultural belief that the busier someone is the more accomplished and successful they are. Either way, there is a definite pressure for more -more clients, more sales, more team members or staff to help us work even more. Even when I think I can’t take it another day, and I’m worried I might burn out from this crazy pace, the answer suggested is to get more -more staff, more technology…
As I’m working toward getting a day off (Yes, it really is that hard to get a day off!), I’m allowing myself to dream about what I would do with it. Some dedicated, hard working people have suggested that, with my ‘extra’ day, I could accomplish even more – market more, serve more clients, and make more money. And it’s true.
I don’t want to be busier or have more responsibility though. And it feels like confessing a secret to say so because, as much as we talk about wanting to ‘enjoy the moment’ and ‘live simply’, we really do prefer to dash around, and respect those who do. But I do not want to run faster and work harder – actually, I’m not sure it’s humanly possible! I want to rest occasionally, to recharge so that I can serve my client base with the highest quality of care possible and do this long term.
So what would I do with a day off? Mmm, I would play in the flowerbeds – that’s rejuvination right there. I might go on a lunch date with my hubby, or have coffee with a friend, knowing we would not be interrupted by showing requests. Oh. I know. I would leave my phone at home. Yes I would.
How about you? If you had … a maid let’s say – how much time would that save you each week? More importantly, what would you do with that extra time? Would it free you up to make more money? Take on an extra project? Sun bathe on the beach?
Work’s high pace has made recent months a blur. But things are clearing up, and not at all like I would have thought.
This industry demands 7-day-a-week availability. It could make me cuckoo sometimesif I had time to go crazy. I thought the answer was to hire the standard team of employees – admin. assistant, data entry, photographer, ad writer… I didn’t like that idea though – all the commitment of maintaining staff, the pressure of making sure there is enough work to keep everyone busy seemed like heaping another huge thing on my plate. So I dropped the idea and continued to feel stuck.
Then I delivered some papers to my new bookkeeper, suggested an idea to my graphic ‘designasaur’, and I realized a ‘team’ really doesn’t have to look a certain way. These two business people are helping me with my business while running their own. Borrowing their professional skills, I get much more done – and get it done well! I can delegate some of my tasks to them and trust their best efforts will be on it. Ooh. I think I’m on to something here.
I need more! By surrounding myself with more professionals like this, the workload is shared and I can specialize. I can also then give my clients more focused attention. It means I might be able to hand off work for a day and.. oh, I don’t know, have a day OFF? More professional ‘on-my-team’ people means less harried distraction. It means less time dedicated to tasks and more time for people. After all, (say it with me)
Sometimes people ask me why I have a white picket fence on my Real Estate signs.
I wish I could tell a big romantic story, or reveal some compelling moment when I suddenly knew this was the sign for me.
It’s much simpler than all that. I’m selling the dream. I help people find that perfect-for-them home, the dream lifestyle they hope goes with it. That’s what I’m doing this for.
White picket fences have long represented an ideal lifestyle. The boy, girl, dog, tree with a tire swing, and the white picket fence. To put it on my sign sends the not-so-secret message that I want to help clients find that dream property.
I’ve had all kinds of clients with all kinds of lifestyle dreams too.
I love all their dreams, and adore helping them hunt for that perfect fit.
I think for myself the ideal lifestyle would be close to what I’m doing now, just less busy. I love dashing into the frey every day and meeting lots of new people – that energizes me. But I also love to retreat to my flower garden, chill on the deck, and enjoy my cabin in the country.
How about you? If you could live anywhere – any country, any property, and have any lifestyle, what would you choose?
Every workplace has its ‘Staff Only’ closed door. Each industry has its seedy underbelly. Do you ever wonder what happens when the professionals take down their showy smiles? And how can you know what they’re saying behind the scenes?
I just happen to be the fly on the wall. And I’m dying to tell you how you can know whether or not you’re about to hire a bad Real Estate Agent.
9 Clues You Might Be Hiring A Bad REALTOR®
1) They approached you after your listing with another agent expired. They tried to sign you. That kind of thing flies in the States, but here in good ole Canada, it is federally not okay.
2) They know that you have a verbal agreement to work with another agent, and continue to try to get your business anyway. Translation: they do not respect other agents
4) They tell you negative things about specific competitors. “Ah, they don’t know what they’re talking about” or “That agent isn’t even local”. Competent business people don’t find it necessary to put someone down to climb their way up.
5) A name-dropping gossip will as easily splice you verbally as anyone else they’re bashing. This is how they talk about everyone, everywhere. Translation: You’re next.
6) If you feel guilty – about hiring or not hiring them – there is a possibility you are being manipulated. Either they are pushing emotional buttons, or you easily feel guilty about a lot of things anyway. Translation: don’t let guilt make your decision. It doesn’t usually lead anywhere good.
7) They lie. Even white lies. A business professional that places a low value on honesty and integrity- do I need to say this? – can’t. be. trusted. Please stop trusting them. Translation: If you’re okay with someone lying for you, just know they will also be lying to you.
8) They refuse to talk to, look at, or work with a particular agent. This is a sign of a huge power struggle. It could be a whole-office boycott against a particular agent (these things happen), or it could be their own control issues. Translation: They won’t take offers from an ‘enemy’ agent because of their own office attitudes. You will lose out on offers and showings in these games. In this game, you are the pawn.
9) They tell you to break contract and hire them instead. Translation: umm… illegal counsel… theft… need I go on?
Eating healthy on the road or at home is kind of a no-go for me, and I’m okay with it.
The jig is up. I am not on the bandwagon of healthy eating. All the organic, vegan and raw food diets sound like great, healthy ideas. If I had a little more time to prepare and plan and research, I might even change a few things. But it’s one of those ‘one day’ things I’d like to do – like taking up pottery or learning to play the banjo – I probably won’t ever get around to it.
I confess! I eat out. A lot. And when I do, I’m not always buying salad. I love pizza. Premade, meat laden, overpriced, highly processed, chemical infused, no-good-for-anyone, delicious, crunchy, make-me-drool pizza.
And I’m okay with not boarding the healthy eats train right now. Kudos to those who do. And to those who don’t… I understand. It would take a lifestyle change and we’re not all there. We won’t even all get there. Part of health is being okay with who you are and the choices you’re making. So I’m going to eat my delicious pizza slice piled high with cheese, and be happy.
Are you a closet fast foodie or have you boarded the healthy eats train? What’s your eating lifestyle like?
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