If you happened to miss Dick Greenberg's post this morning, read on. Take a moment to thank Dick for stating so well how much this Active Rain community brings to many of us.
So, after almost three years playing in the Rain, I made my Million today. It's obviously a major milestone, and one that comes with a lot of emotional content. The most compelling emotion I'm experiencing right now, however, isn't one of achievement, or even relief - it's gratitude.
When I first arrived here three years ago, I was a different person. I think it's fair to say that after 19 years as an agent, I was close to something suspiciously like burn-out. I was tired, disillusioned and hugely disappointed with the industry. I was finding very little inspiration and there weren't many challenges of interest. And I was very angry - life at the bottom of the real estate food chain can be an ugly struggle, particularly when your livelihood has become the main staple for the organizations that should be nourishing you (at least in my imaginary better world) instead of sucking your blood.
In all honesty, I'm still disappointed by the industry, and still disgusted at the predatory behavior of its organizational infrastructure. But I'm no longer tired and I'm no longer wasting energy on anger. I am stimulated and challenged. My energy levels are much higher and I'm a lot happier.
The difference? ActiveRain has showered me with gifts. And it's all because of you guys.
I have met and become friends with people whom I deeply respect, who represent the best standards and ideals of what we do, whether its real estate, construction, staging, lending, inspecting, part-time furniture sales or just plain living. You have inspired me.
I have learned so many things. Some make me a better agent, some make me a better person. Some extend my capabilities into areas that, three years ago, I didn't even know existed. What you have shared has found an eager audience.
I have become part of a community I care deeply about, one that is unique among the weird lands of the Internet. This is a strangely nice place for an industry known for its less savory practices, and it's that way because we all want it to be that way.
I have become a better writer. While 80% of what I write is simply to feed the Google monster, that other 20% has been pure reward. The opportunity to express myself freely, and have some of you actually like it, is insanely cool and immensely appreciated.
ActiveRain has been great for our business. What we do here, when done properly, works and translates into income. But that's never been sufficient to fuel my fires, and there are other ways to get Google's attention. But most importantly, by your example, you have shown us that there is a better way possible and have given Mary & I the confidence to strike out on our own, on our search for that better way.
So please accept my heartfelt thanks. You guys are great and it has been enormous fun - you're interesting, engaging, entertaining and funny, and you have made me laugh - a lot. We like to say that all real estate is local - Well, AR is one awesome neighborhood. I'm hopelessly addicted and I'm sticking around for the next million.
Mary & Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC
2601 S. Lemay Ave. #41
Fort Collins, CO 80525