These people (and books) of influences in my life are in no particular order of importance, but are in the order they appeared in my mind as I pondered the guidance I've had along the way to get where I am today. Much like the photo I took of Victoria Falls, once the water is over the falls you can't put it back, but you can certainly learn from the experience. See that rainbow above the falls, it was nearly overpowered by the grandeur and roar of the falls, but it was there. People can add rainbows to our life as well.
My mother ~ Her advice was always encouraging and nearly always included some form of The Golden Rule. "Do your best and don't worry about what others are doing or saying," was one of my favorites and certainly applies to my real estate career.
My first broker ~ He was not the most successful broker in Palos Verdes but he was one of the kindest and cared deeply about the success of his agents. He passed years ago, but I still smile when I find myself quoting him. I vowed I would care more about my clients than my commission as a result of learning the ropes from a man who exemplified that trait. He was the living example of do what you love and the money will follow.
My four children ~ My children are the great work of my life. We are role models for our children and I believe what we do influences them much more than what we say. With this knowledge, I attempted to be the best version of myself in every way each day for them. Was I always successful? No, but it was a daily goal. Children see how we handle the good, the bad and the somewhere in between moments of life. One of my greatest satisfactions in life is seeing my children parent my grandchildren, and I compliment them often as it is the most important job on the planet. Successful parenting can change society and the world. It's that important.
All the biographies I've ever read 1000+ and counting~ I love a good biography! My elementary school teacher once told my mother, "Norma has read every biography in the school library." From Molly Pitcher to Warren Buffett I devoured the pages of their stories anxious to see how a small girl could contribute to the fight for freedom, or a small town guy make a fortune bigger than the best on Wall Street. Little Molly stood by the edge of the road and offered a cold dipper of water to the passing soldiers on their way to battle and on their way home. She made a contribution to the cause even though only a child. Warren built a fortune, but not overnight. His methods are more tortoise than hare, much like a successful real estate career is built one transaction at a time.
Consistency is the secret sauce to success whether you're selling houses, building an investment portfolio or standing by the roadside offering a drink of water to the thirsty. Consumers are thirsty for good information and they want a trustworthy professional with proven success to help them achieve their goals. People will trust you with their life savings if they feel they can count on you to help them realize their dreams. The biographies I read told them same story many times with the lead character role played by a 1000 different people. The common thread was passion, consistency and belief in yourself.
My college literature professors ~ One was a woman who taught me to love the power of words to transform and enlighten. The other was a man who taught me to feel the passion in the words and go out into the world and apply passion in your life's chosen path. Believe was his favorite word. Many of the great minds and writers who changed the world believed in their ability to make the world a better place through the power of their pen.
The people and places I've left behind ~ I know, sounds like a Willie Nelson song ~ In my pursuit of happiness and fulfillment in my life I've had to toss my pom poms aside and give up my position of cheering for someone else from the sidelines. For me, it is much more fulfilling to play the game.
With that said, I'll close with a Dorothy Parker poem: