From a successful real estate broker to a convicted felon, I now speak about the lessons learned in prison. Orange was the new dress; I wore to speak at Real Estate Success Rocks, convention in Charleston, SC. An engaging audience of 400 real estate brokers/owners from all over the country, made me feel welcomed beyond my wildest dreams. (that’s a bit of a stretch, but sounds good). After speaking, a mortgage broker asked me if I had intentionally worn “orange” as a symbolic message. I laughed, and said, “What a great idea, but no.”
I believe the difference maker in our lives (mine was lovely Prison) can help us make a difference in others. It is said, “A wise man learns from his mistakes, but an even wiser man learns from someone else’s.”
I was scheduled to take the stage at 2:40pm to 3pm. The event host, Patrick is known for escorting speakers off the stage, if they go over one second of their scheduled time. (no pressure). I just didn’t want to be hand-cuffed off.
Here’s my secret, I had never used a power point presentation nor had I ever used a clicker. (that’s such a fun word to say…”clicker”, just say it) Now I find myself on stage holding this clicker thingy, and looking at two monitors below the stage plus I have to keep track of time, using a clock at the back of the room that I cannot even see!
Admitting to an audience of sophisticated, seasoned professionals was a piece of cake! NOT! It was like getting naked. I asked myself the night before, “Self, do you have a screw loose”? I decided I had nothing to lose but an opportunity to display a broken boldness. (Lucky me)
Most real estate conventions are filled with new ideas, techniques, innovative marketing tips and hearing success stories from other brokers. After the convention, you are left with an overload of information, trying to remember the 3-5 gold nuggets to implement when you get back to your marketplace, with the determination and motivation to do at least ONE. I certainly didn’t speak about new ideas, techniques, innovative marketing tips, and my success story is negotiable.
You see, (just pretend) you are in prison, and you don’t have the distractions you have today. No cell phone, no texting, no Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, no Match.com, Tinder, Uber, utility bills, shoe shopping, household maintenance, no half priced bottles of wine, or keeping up with the Jones’s. You become extremely familiar with yourself (not the person you are trying to be) and if willing, accept and learn things which can liberate you to see the world differently. The world doesn’t become cured, you become different.
Speaking about my personal thinking errors has become my resume to speak, not exactly what I had envisioned for myself. When someone asked me why I was passionate about speaking, this is what I said.
“You can hit me, spit on me, punch in the stomach, but when I saw the pain I inflicted on my family and three kids, it was unbearable for me. Even though I do not know you, I know what that suffering feels like and I don’t want other families and kids to go through that.”
Whether you are a real estate broker/owner, successful or new to a career. Whether you are a parent, spouse, single, divorced, widowed, daughter or a son, every decision we make has a consequence. CONSEQUENCE. Those decisions, well thought out or reckless will always have an effect or cause a result of something.
If I had two trophy rooms, one filled with all my successes and the other filled with all my failures, it’s the room of failures I have learned the most from. Those times of turbulence have made a lasting impression, like a thorn in my side. (but enough already, or I will need a bigger house).
We are called to serve, not to be waited upon. I don’t care how beautiful, successful, intelligent, wealthy, or talented you are, use the gifts you have been given for a greater good, those are the ones that will be remembered.
Be a servant leader, today. Holly