THE BIG WHY
In Real Estate coaching, and especially at Keller Williams where I work, we are often asked to decide upon our "Big Why". What is the One Thing that makes us want to do what we do? It can change from time to time, as we meet our goals or as our needs change. My big Why for Real Estate has most often been my family. I sell Real Estate because I want to be able to provide for my family and I want to work in a business that allows me to be available to my family when I am needed. Real Estate allows for a more flexible schedule. That generally means that I don't make as much money as I could if I would really work harder, but I like that I can work when I want to. Some people wouldn't think that I was very successful because I don't make a ton of money, but to me, I AM successful because I'm living life as I want to live it... I spend a lot of time with my grandkids now, and was able to spend a lot of time with my children when I felt that they needed me to be home in past years. I have clients who have become great friends and who refer business to me because they feel that I've done a good job for them, and being less busy than many of my fellow Realtors means that I can give my clients pretty much undivided attention as they need me. Since I have a husband with a great job, it's a Win-Win for me.
When I decided to do this trip, it meant taking more than four months off of doing my job. That's a pretty tough thing to do financially, even with my laid-back style of working lately. I'm still recovering from knee surgery, so I haven't been very active and this allowed me the freedom to step away from my job for the time it will take to do this trip. I'm a little conflicted about walking away during our busy time of the year, though, even though I'm very excited about doing the trip.
So, why am I taking this trip?
Several years ago, when our youngest son, Matt, was in middle school, I wanted to try homeschooling him and I thought it would be a great idea to drive around the country, visiting zoos. I would get him involved by writing a book about all of the zoos and have him give a kid's perspective and I would write the adult perspective about each of the zoos. My husband, Bob, was not as excited as I was. Neither was Matt. So, that idea went out the window.
Then last year, I wanted to visit my mother who lives on the West Coast near Portland, Oregon. I live in Maryland. My ADD-addled brain's thought pattern went, "Wouldn't it be fun to drive there? Oooh! If I'm driving there, I could take Tommy (our grandson, who was 7 at the time) and we could visit his other grandparents in South Dakota. Oh! And we could take a different route on the way back and visit his other great grandmas who live in Oklahoma and Kansas... Oh, and we could see all these great sites... " You get the idea. Sadly, Tommy wasn't interested and Bob, again, thought I was crazy. We ended up flying to the West Coast.
Driving around the country has long been something that I thought would be fun. A little grueling, perhaps, but fun. Bob and I don't get along so well when we travel together, so going alone is probably the best choice for our sanity and our marriage. No sense throwing away a perfectly good 33-year marriage for one trip around the U.S.! LOL
As I've said before, it started out as a "What If..." project. Almost a joke, in fact. But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do it. It's now become almost a reality!
Brian Buffini is a real estate coach who I have followed for years. I love the things he teaches and his idea of doing "Pop-Bys" is something that I've tried to do at various times, though I have not been good at it in the past couple of years. He suggests that we should Pop-By our past clients with a small gift, reminding them that we are in the real estate business and thanking them for their past business with us. We should also ask for referrals and build our business in this manner. When I was doing Pop Bys, I was doing a good amount of business just from the referrals I received from my friends and past clients.
I thought this trip would be a great way for me to Pop By to see many of my past clients who have moved to other places and a good way for me to get in touch with other Realtors around the country. Referrals between other Realtors is a good part of business, too.
But this trip couldn't just be about business. It needed to be about something more than just me. I have been a speaker for Heifer International (www.heifer.org) for at least 10 years. They are an organization that I believe in and trust. So, I'm trying to figure out a way to make this be a fund-raiser for Heifer International, also. My friend Laura Scott suggested that I make a Flat Stanley type project with Judi the Heifer and take pictures of a flat cow everywhere I go. What a fun idea! I think I might change the name, though. LOL
So, here are my BIG WHYs.
1. Pop By past clients, friends, family and other Realtors to enhance our relationships and become better friends.
2. See the Continental U.S. and hopefully get enough sponsors through Kickstarter to go to Alaska and Hawaii.
3. Raise money for Heifer International.
4. Prove to my husband (and others) that I can travel around the U.S. for free.
5. Have fun!
At my bridal shower nearly 34 years ago, the attendees were asked for their words of wisdom for me as a new bride. My sister Linda wrote, "Always Have Fun!" Some people laughed, but it is the only thing that has stuck with me and it is still my creed. So, Always Have Fun!