I received this award recently, but I haven’t shared with many people. It’s not because I wasn’t proud of or thankful for the recognition. I really just didn’t know what to think about it.
Here, encapsulated a bit of ink on paper affixed to a wooden plaque, was a memento of my first year and a half in real estate. When I look at I see not just the proverbial blood, sweat, and tears; I remember the actual sweat and tears and toiling of achieving my modest success.
I remember the marathon of it all, and I see the faces and hear the voices of the people I served. I remember the houses and agents on the other side. I think of my managers and the agents who worked in our Cedar Hill office who helped me achieve this award for the office.
I also think of the agent who won the company-wide Rookie of the Year award who had been in the same training class as me. I think of how she made 10x what I made in her first year+ and wonder what travails she passed through on her way to that accomplishment. More power to her.
But mostly I think about what I learned that will help me get through the end of year two. If I were more optimistic about my progress, I’d be looking forward to longer-term goals. But right now, I want to pause to ponder the next stretch of road ahead in this marathon I’ve signed up for.
I’ve learned to keep a better watch on my pennies. As my savings ran out and I didn’t get all of the clients I thought I would, the need for a good, working budget became very real to me. Even though I had read and worked the Dave Ramsey baby steps to build up my savings to enter the real estate profession, I got into the bad habit of taking on debt once the income plummeted from where it had been when I was focused solely on freelance writing. I never thought I’d be back at step one, but I made it back there because of my income shortage.
I have a new perspective of bootstrapping to get out of this and have found a mix of ways to bring in income. My first garage sale was rained on, but I’m ready for the next try. I’m looking for freelance writing work to pick up that I can fit into my schedule. I’m driving for UberEats several hours a week. Family and friends have been generous too.
I think the greatest gift of all of this is seeing the amazing support that surrounds me. When I’ve felt broken and ready to give up, there have been those who’ve held me up when I didn’t think I could go on. Prayer and meditation is a deeper, quieter, and sweeter place than before.
And yes, I’ve learned more about the buying and selling of real estate. Every day there’s a new problem to solve while working to maintain the discipline of prospecting for new business in a way that is meaningful and kind. It’s a fascinating profession with all manner of human drama and comedy. More than any other work that I’ve done, I truly enjoy it.
So I take a deep breath and set my symbol of success aside so that I can move forward. I don’t know where the road will take me, but I’m committed and I’m continuing on.