I opened my first real estate company in 1991 in the 1960 area and later, in 1994 in The Woodlands. It became the most successful independent firm in North Houston, soon to grow to over 55 agents. When it grew that large, and while I was still one of the top agents in Houston, it became too hard to manage. Several companies approached with offers, and we chose Coldwell Banker, selling to them in 1998.
It was a bittersweet time for the agents and me, who loved our own way of doing business. However, it allowed me, once again, to spread my wings and concentrate on my personal business. One of the most touching sentiments I kept was a framed poem from one of the agents, called, “Hold on Tightly, Let go Lightly”. It is a motto that encourages you to obtain the optimal balance between productivity and inner peace.
“Hold on” suggests that you work hard, stick with things, give it your best shot, preserve, pursue your goals and never give up. That has been my mantra for 37 years in this business of real estate.
The “let go lightly” side, however, suggests that you shouldn’t try to continue to bare all of the burdens on your soldiers alone, but give-in to allowing others to take over some of the tasks. Doing that can only add to the success and happiness in your personal and business life.
In your personal life, raising children is a great example as you should do just that – ‘Hold on tightly, then let go lightly”. Luckily, I have achieved that part of the motto raising my children to do just that and for which I am so very proud of them and their success’ in their personal and professional lives.
In my business life, I will admit, I haven’t done as well at letting go. I even admit to being a “control freak” trying to be a superhuman handling everything I can on a personal level. Luckily, I am selective with my business and don’t take on more than I can handle – until recently.
Now for the past three years, we brought back our fabulous real estate company which has, once again, gained huge success while keeping it small for me to continue to focus on my personal business. The 20 agents, staff, and I have special synergistic magic that allows us to be a team while being individual agents working on our own personal business – joining forces as needed.
Six months ago, I decided to create another extension of the company in opening a coffeehouse next door to launch our giving back to the community project. Knowing nothing about the food business, I had to wade into a new world and learn all sorts of things that needed to be done. Again, trying to control everything, I finally hit the wall. I had actually made myself ill and for the past few weeks have had to “pull-back” and take time off to heal and regroup.
So an amazing thing happened during these past four weeks, to make it the best and the worst of times in my life.
Being sick for four weeks isn’t good at all, but the lessons I learned are invaluable and the love and care I received are life-changing. Number one was confirmation of what a great family I have. Lead by our four children and of course, my husband, the three sisters, and brother swept in and took over the care part of the recovery. Working in harmony with one another, they made sure all aspects were covered and someone (mostly several) of them was always with me.
The next thing is, I suddenly appreciated, even more, the value my staff and agents were to me, picking up and taking over with little or no instruction from me.
Lastly, and amazingly, the coffeehouse, which had been open a week when I got ill, swung into action with those unbelievable young folks taking over the ordering, inventory, and staffing. They kept Lovebeans Coffeehouse, everything I had ever envisioned. And, imagine -all this happened without me at the helm!
What a lesson learned that just reminded me to go back and read those wonderful words that were framed for me over 20 years ago. It only took that long for me to realize the true meaning of it and will certainly structure my new way of life moving forward.
It takes a village, and I have the best of all villages that anyone can ever ask for – I hope you do too.