2018 – The Year of Trying.

At the end of each year I catch myself doing a review.

I could focus on all the pretty projects that I got to do but I thought I would write about the stuff that changed who I was as a person.

2018 was a year of just trying stuff. I don’t really have much to lose. I don’t have any kids right now and Kyle isn’t all that needy so what’s really holding me back from just trying?

Really putting myself out there and getting out of my comfort zone.

So I decided if I said I was going to do something, doggone it, I was going to give a good ol’ college try!

There are 3 things that I tried in 2018 that shaped me more as a person.

At the very beginning of 2018 I went to work for a company that showed a lot of promise in being a kitchen designer. I had found them on Indeed and from how the higher-ups made it sound and the money that they said I could be making, I need to give at least a try.

It was a job that was 100% right up my ally. I believed I would be helping people across Virginia, West Virginia and a little into North Carolina, in accomplishing their vision of what they wanted the heart of their homes to be like and I thought the company I was working for was offering a great service in helping them achieve that.

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Unfortunately, it took a bitter turn, and while I still loved going into families’ homes and helping in anyway that I could the company showed itself to be more predatory and took advantage of my lack of knowledge in commission-only jobs and big-ticket sales. It took about 5 months for me to come to terms with the fact that not everyone has others’ best interests in mind, especially when it comes to money. A hard lesson that, in hind sight, I am very grateful I went through.

Now that the dust has settled, I can look back at what I learned from that job:

  • I learned how to interact with people better and listen to what they say.
  • I learned how be more patient when things did not go the way I thought they should.
  • I learned to be more assertive, which in-turn taught me how to be a better communicator.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
  • It taught me how to make sales and work a commission based job.
  • It was the final push I needed for me to pursue my real estate license.
  • And finally, I learned to grow up.

There are really, REALLY crappy people in this world that truly do not give a rip about anything other than money and they will take advantage of every person they can. Not everyone deserves your benefit of the doubt. I learned to open my eyes, read the warning signs (which were there when I first took the job), not to be afraid to ask questions and to be okay with saying “no” when things don’t feel right.

At the end of May I said I was done with being taken advantage of and left that job. I gave it a fair try.

Any job that I’ve worked for previously I give it at least a year of my time before moving on but if it is a terrible enough company or a horrible boss I have no problem with cutting the cord earlier than scheduled. I’ve only had to do that one other time before going to work for this particular company.

So what felt like a quite a failure at the beginning of 2018, was exactly what I needed to push me in to pursuing my real estate license. To be honest, I don’t really know what was keeping me from going for it in the first place.

Actually, that’s a lie. I know exactly what was keeping me from doing it.

THE WORK.

Also, there’s not a whole lot of information out there about what you do after you get your license… Do you get with a brokerage? How do you get with a brokerage? How do you sign up with the MLS and who teaches you how to get clients and write contracts? Lots of questions that I didn’t necessarily have all the answers to when I signed up for the class but I just needed to try.

I knew that if I wanted to do it that it was going to take some true, hard work that I didn’t want to do at first (lots of studying and test taking).

However… I also knew that this time next year I was going to be wishing that I had, at least, tried.

Hmmm…

Work -or- Regret?

Work>Regret

So I got registered for a local real estate class that was scheduled to start right in middle of May.

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Know what else is right in the middle of May?

The Lucketts’ Spring Market

My super bowl.

I went back and forth on whether or not I should push the real estate class back to September, which is when the next one would be, but I didn’t want to wait any longer to do it.

My only other option was to power through it, realize that particular week was just going to suck, especially with all of the projects that needed to get done, and embrace the craziness of the situation.

“Just try, it only temporary, just try to get through it”.

I ended up have to miss one class for Lucketts setup day but I worked it out with the instructor and I was able to make it to all of my other classes over the next month and a half.

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It took me from mid-May to the end of November (7 months) for me to become an official REALTOR® in the state of Virginia. In a 7 month span I completed my 60 hours of education, passed the state and federal licensing tests and got approved by the board. I’m sure other people have been able to get it done much faster than I did but I am just glad that I didn’t wait.

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I’m learning that if you want to be successful and actually have a chance of making a mark on this world it is all about the long game.

Saying things like: “I would like to pursue that but it will take sooo long.” has been completely eliminated from my vocabulary. Nothing worth going after will be handed to you on a silver plater within 5-7 business days. I’m ready to admit that I had a “get rich quick” mindset before but now I expect big things to take 6 months to a year of hard work before I even begin seeing the results. That might sound like a long time but it really isn’t in the grand scheme of life.

Start your goals now and stick with it. Don’t wait for the least inconvenient time to start because that will never happen. You have to at least get started and try. You’ll be amazing at what you can fit into your schedule when you really want something.

If you follow me on Instagram you may remember me posting about training for a half marathon. The Hokie Half to be exact. I did some cross-country my senior year in high school but those races were only 5ks and the most you would run in training for those would be 6 miles… A Half marathon was something that I wanted to try and it would be a great way to be physically active again, but its definitely not something you can just wing the day of. So when I started talking about doing it, even though I was trying for it, I really needed to physically commit to it months in advance.

I could barely get through a mile of running when I first started and making it a priority around studying for my real estate license, maintaining my antique booth and working at a brewery was a interesting juggling act.

The daily practice of trying to get through running a mile turned in to trying to get through 2 miles, then 3, then 5, eventually 10 miles, all the way up to race day at Virginia Tech and completing the full 13. It was another great lesson in putting in the work over several months to complete a single big goal. There was no way I could train for one week and expect to go out an run the race without seriously injuring myself. I needed to plan long term and crush that instant gratification mindset that I had.

Training for the race taught me that your body is stronger than you might think and it can be trained to do whatever you want it to do.

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The job that I thought was going to be great but turned out to be terrible, getting my real estate license and running a half marathon were the 3 most influential events to happen to me in 2018. A year of re-building I guess. Other smaller things happened along the way but these are things that I can definitively point a finger at and say, “That changed me.”

This is turning into a long post so I will finish it off with some goals I have going into 2019.

  • Blog more. (I’m going to try to do it weekly).
  • 2 Half Marathons. (One in the spring and one in the fall).
  • 2 Million in real estate sales. (It sounds like a lot but thats only 4 – $500,000 houses or 10 – $200,000 houses).
  • 15 YouTube videos. (Filming projects that we work on is sometimes easier than taking pictures and trying to explain them in a blog post).
  • Take more pictures. (I always forget to take pictures and I’m losing out on documenting big events).
  • Pay off 2 credit cards. (A step to financial freedom).

I hope that you go into 2019 with clear written out goals.

It could be your year of trying or maybe you are building on a foundation that put into place 2 years ago.

I put myself to the test this past year and I’ll continue to do so but I’m also going to start building on a foundation that I have set over the past year.

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Enjoy the last day of 2018!

Work starts tomorrow.

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