My out of the comfort zone came in 2011. I had been working for a company for 13 years with the job title of Janitor but did many different jobs at the company and was putting myself through college. I was told every time I applied for a different job that I didn’t have the education or experience.
After receiving my degree in December of 2010, I put in for yet another job and was turned down yet again. So, after much discussion with my husband, I decided to go back to school and get my Real Estate License by enrolling in Hondros to pursue this dream of becoming a Real Estate agent.
I spoke with the company to let them know that I would be missing some work to go to school. I had never been written up or even been in trouble with this Company. So, March of 2011 I started taking classes and within 3 weeks I had finished the classes and been written up for missing work. I continued working at this company, now going into May scared to leave and give up a 4-week vacation, paid holidays and Christmas bonus and paid insurance. So, I put Real Estate on hold till July, took my test for Real Estate and passed. Still not wanting to give up the security of a mediocre job, I continued to go in to this place that I really didn’t enjoy. By August I just couldn't stand being there anymore so I gave my 2-week notice. I was already part of HER Realtors and was going to pursue this as a full-time agent.
At this point I already knew that my goal was to become a Broker. This dream would have to wait until the transaction numbers were there. This was not the best time to get into the Real Estate market as it was in a downwards spiral. Lots of foreclosures, which at the time worked out great for me, HUD’S were at an all- time high and working them was a great opportunity for a new agent to learn. I became one of the top agents in our area and was loving what I was doing. After getting my transaction numbers, I decided the time was now after 3 years to pursue the Broker status. So, again, took a class to help me reach my goal. Took the test and passed.
I had always wanted my own Brokerage so started Leading Stars Realty. I took a leap of faith and started the company almost 4 years ago. Things haven’t always been “easy” but the rewards are great. Love helping my clients find the home of their dreams or sell the one they own to pursue other dreams.
All I can say is never give up on your dreams they can come true with hard work and dedication.
I started my real estate career 12 years ago at the age of 24 with a small brokerage in the far southwest corner of Ohio. And there I stayed, working my way to the top, loving my company and my career. I enjoyed helping mentor new agents and I loved my coworkers. I had envisioned myself being in management someday, but wasn't exactly sure it would happen anytime soon. Nonetheless, I was happy... Until one day when I was offered a position with a large, national real estate brokerage... They were giving me an official title in Agent Training & Development, along with putting me on the fast-track to management. As a female, I know that sometimes opportunities for women in management are few and far between. And, with a Master's Degree in Human Resource Development, I also know that it's often difficult for leadership to recognize the value of HR-related positions. Lastly, despite everyone else's hesitation (family, friends, colleagues at my old company and new) and warnings about "oh, you don't want to be in management...," this just felt right. I had to go for it and I couldn't look back. Saying goodbye to my manager, who had been my mentor, a second father, a best friend, a counselor and often my biggest fan, was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but I did it. I miss them more than they probably know, but I know I made the right decision. I am often reminded of one of my favorite Shel Silverstein poems, and I've been reciting it to myself almost daily:
Listen to the musn'ts, child
Listen to the don'ts
Listen to the shouldn'ts,
The impossibles and won'ts
Listen to the never-haves,
then listen close to me:
Anything can happen child,
anything can be
I was encouraged by the CEO of our local Board to run for a Director position. She told me I would be a wonderful fit. I took it very seriously and made a video and campaigned hard for the Director position. I asked for support from several people in the Council to help me with marketing ideas and implementation. I sent out multiple fantastic email communications to our membership.
I’m at a smaller company and I was previously warned that it was a popularity contest and those who are running with the large broker companies would win. I didn’t care at all what they said and I ran anyway because I have a wonderful relationship with most of the Realtors in Toledo, Ohio. I lost the election and that’s ok. My purpose was to get in there to make a difference and make some changes for the better for our industry. But even without winning, I got to use the platform to speak out about changes I felt were important in our Board for the future.
The experience opened me up to serving my community in ways I didn’t expect I would get a chance to do. It was a huge learning experience and I will use the lessons to make me better in the future and will always remember to never give up…my faith teaches me to trust the process and that it will happen when it’s meant to be.
I stepped way outside of my comfort zone and landed flat on my face, but I choose to look at the positives. It’s not that you fell that is the important factor…it’s how gracefully you get up from the fall that matters. This experience has inspired me to search out and try other leadership opportunities in the Council and in my community.
I had always been a behind the scenes kind of girl. Give me a task and I’m on it. But in 2014, I was asked to step outside my comfort zone and apply for the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors “Realtor of the Year Award.” This involved applying, interviewing in front of a panel of my peers and ultimately giving a 5 to 7 minute acceptance speech to 700 of my colleagues. The thought of getting up in front of so many people had me considering declining the award. But with the help of Toastmasters and my experience in leadership with our Women’s Council of Realtors Cincinnati Network, I graciously accepted this wonderful award. From this experience came an opportunity for a leadership role with my company. I could not be happier. It’s amazing what you can do when you step outside of your comfort zone!
“Some of the best moments in life come from doing things that scare you the most!!! Unknown
My mom, brother, husband, cousins and I decided that we were going skydiving this past fall. This is something that we all wanted to try, and we finally got up enough courage to do it! Of course you think about every bad thing that could happen, but I also found myself thinking, life is too short, now is the time to live it! My husband and I were the first to go from our group. The plane ride up felt like an eternity and when I thought we were as high as we were supposed to be, I was informed that we were only half way there. Pretty sure the nerves started to kick in at that point. When we got to the top, 9,000 feet up, my stomach hit the floor!! The door opened, I felt like it was sucking me out, panicked a little, then stepped out onto the ledge, thank goodness my instructor was with me! He told me to keep my head back and away we went! Free falling was by far the most amazing feeling in the world! What a rush!!! The free fall was for 30 seconds and I have never felt so free in my life! I thought I would be scared out of my mind, but it was the complete opposite. It’s a feeling that I can’t really explain, but a great one!! Once he pulled the parachute, I got the opportunity to really take it all in. The views were breathtaking!! The landing was much easier than I had pictured in my head. Such an amazing experience!!! If you get a chance to go skydiving, I highly recommend it!! You won’t regret it!!! I’m looking forward to going again this spring!!
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