Gratitude & How It Shapes my Business

Mortgage and Lending with Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, NMLS #138061 MMCD #1141

Gratitude & How It Shapes my Business



     Here I am at 1120pm with 40 minutes to complete this contest from Sally.  I wanted to write this on Thanksgiving, but to be honest, the entire holiday & weekend that followed got lost -in a very good way.  Lost in Newport Beach Sunsetfamily, good company, great times, and for the first time in a long time, a long period of relaxation.  I guess "lost" isn't a good word.  I have gratitude for the drive a few days of down time have left me feeling.



     To me, gratitude is a perspective.  It's an attitude that's sometimes obvious, but is becoming more obvious each day.  Over the years, I have learned to be thankful for everything, and to never, ever sweat the "small stuff" (I've also learned that mostly everything, if looked at it in the right way, is "small stuff").  I can't write a story to explain my feeling of gratitude, but I can cite plenty of examples.



     Gratitude was tonight, when I went to get groceries, and noticed a homeless woman sitting in the shadows.  This was the first night in a long time when we've seen more than a passing rain storm here in CA (and even quickly-passing rainstorms have been sparse).  It was cold by our standards, rainy, and here I was, able to leave a house, drive in a car, and pay for a car load of good food for the week.  I bought the woman a meal from the Panera Bread in the same strip mall, and I felt grateful that I could. 



     Gratitude was aplenty on Thanksgiving.  I was thankful for many of the same things I'm sure most others are - health, for both me and my family, our time together, and great food, but I also made sure to venture over to Newport Beach to catch the sunset.  I thought of a story I recently read of a 100 year old woman who got to visit the ocean for the first time (if you haven't see it, it's worth a look).  I realized - I know the smell of the ocean air.  I know what the colors look like when the sun is setting behind Catalina Island - from the bright oranges and pinks, the deep reds to the pale purple of the snow capped mountains behind me.  I know the chill of the Pacific when it first touches the skin, and the feel of the warm sand between my toes.  Some people go a lifetime only imagining these things.   I felt grateful.



     A couple of years ago, my grandmother, who I am incredibly close with, had a stroke.  We nearly lost her.  I was so incredibly devastated, but thankfully after months of uncertainty, she made a nearly full recovery and we've been given more years with her.  I'm grateful.  Now every time we talk, or every time I let her beat me in Words with Friends (or if I'm going to be honest, every time she kicks my butt all on her own), I am grateful.  For me, the perspective of being thankful for literally EVERYTHING I have is a mindset that's makes me so happy.  If I didn't have a car, I'd be thankful to have a bike.  If I didn't have a roof over my head, I'd be thankful to live in such a nice climate.  If I didn't have food, I'd be thankful for strangers that would help.  If I lost literally everything, I'd still have experiences that many go a full lifetime without.  There is always, always something to be grateful for.  Always something to smile about.



     In business, I try to keep a similar perspective.  How amazing is it, that out of every bank in the country, every loan officer at those banks, amidst a constant bombardment of advertising, people would choose to work with me and to refer me business.  I have clients I've helped, and in turn, have been referred their brothers, sisters, cousins, coworkers, best friends, and even children.  WOW. 



     In 2015, I need to get back to focusing on simply remembering that WOW.  2014 was a lot of noise with licensing, major changes (my first full year in CA), company growth (positive growth, but even that comes with growing pains), and trying to re-establish myself here.  Admittedly, I probably let a lot of that noise interfere with the level of service I provided - I'm still getting referrals, and I still get thank you's, so I think I've done a good job - but GOOD isn't what I want.  I want to do a job that shows my clients exactly how GRATEFUL I am for their business, for having them in my life, and for being allowed into theirs to help with one of the biggest financial decisions they'll make in their life.



     Gratitude plays a role, big or small, in each & every day.  For 2015, I'll be keeping a gratitude journal, and focusing on maintaining a perspective of gratitude.  I won't be waiting for 2015, though.  I've got a whole month before that, so I think I'll get started now : )


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Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning John. You are so right, it is easy forget or not pay attention about being grateful. It is easy to get caught up in the small stuff and forget about the things that are really important.

Make it a great week!

Nov 30, 2014 05:19 PM #1
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667 (MT), 914-419-0270 (NY), Broker in NY with Grand Lux Realty and in MT with (coming soon!) - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

What a wonderful gratitude post.  You are obviously focusing on all the right things. It's so true that there is always SOMETHING to be thankful for.

Nov 30, 2014 07:11 PM #2
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

I love this post! It embodies the very essence of gratitude, in my opinion.

I have vision issues and am at high risk for a detached retina, but as I said to someone recently, every day I get up and still have my vision, which is still correctable, I feel incredibly blessed.  That is the key!

Nov 30, 2014 07:45 PM #3
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Gratitude at it's finest John....a post well worth waiting the last 40 minutes to write......quite amazing sir.

Nov 30, 2014 08:56 PM #4
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Thank you for sharing. All of us have a lot to be grateful for and we should think of those things when we face challenges in life.

Nov 30, 2014 09:44 PM #5
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning John. I am so glad you have more time with your Grandmother and appreciate and are grateful fot all too.

Nov 30, 2014 09:54 PM #6
Bob Ratliff
Robert Ratliff Realty - San Antonio, TX
"Sold with Bob"

John, it's great when we can find the big WOW in each days journey. You're certainly a very unique individual and have a heart of gold.

Have a beautiful week

Dec 01, 2014 12:04 AM #7
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi John -- two word pop out to me from your amazing post --- perspective and WOW --- I think you have nailed this one!

Dec 01, 2014 12:52 AM #8
Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

John Meussner ~ we have talked about putting things in the right perspective and how important it is to be thankful of what's in front of us... And it is very obvious the we both do our best to make sure our head is in the right place

Dec 01, 2014 01:30 AM #9
Gloria Todor
Century 21 Absolute Realty - Springfield, PA
& Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA

Hi John,  Great that you chose to give that woman a meal instead of passing her by.  A gratitude journal is a great way to stay focused on the important things in life.

All the best to you in 2015.


Dec 01, 2014 01:35 AM #10
Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl
Samsel & Associates - Clark, NJ
The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Hi John,

Nice post.  You're absolutely right about perspective!  

Dec 01, 2014 07:34 AM #11
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

John, 40 minutes? And here I thought you were going to say you were down to the last minute :) :) :)

you do have much to be grateful for, and never lose sight of what is truly important in your life.

Dec 01, 2014 09:14 AM #12
Les & Sarah Oswald
Realty One Group - Eastvale, CA
Broker, Realtor and Investor

John - you have said it all and perfectly...

There is gratitude every where in every situation. We just need to look for it and realized that every provision that we are granted is a gratitude. I am so grateful that our path crossed in 2014. Wishing you much abundant gratitude to fill your days in 2015. (S)

Dec 01, 2014 10:53 AM #13
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

John Meussner - great idea of keeping the gratitude journal - why should you wait till 2015, though? I'd rather start today.

Dec 01, 2014 12:12 PM #14
Claude Labbe
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

John, I like how you slid in under the wire.  It's as if life is so full, yet you manage to pack it just a bit more with gratitude.

A few years ago, a friend was telling me I never stop to smell the roses.  I challenged her and she relented.  But she said "sure, you'll fly halfway across the country to smell THAT rose, but sometimes you forget the ones you are standing in".

Which is to say, I understand your perspective.  Keep reaching, and now, keep journaling.

Dec 01, 2014 01:54 PM #15
John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

Joe - thank you for stopping by & the comment.  It's true, very easy to get caught up & forget all that we have.  Have a great week.


Kat - thank you, I try...not as grateful as I should be every day, but I'm working on it.  Appreciate you stopping by!


Susan - thank you so much for the kind words.  It's true that there's always something to be thankful for.  If we wake up without our vision, there are others in the world that aren't lucky enough to wake up at all. 


Roger - thank you so much, I appreciate it, and I cut it as close as I could for this contest.  Hopefully December's will be done sooner!


Gita - thank you for the comment.  I think it's the tough times when it's especially important to be grateful.


Sheila - for that I am eternally grateful.  Growing up my grandparents were so young, so having a close call was a wake up call to appreciate my time with them.


Bob - I really appreciate your kind words, thanks so much.  I hope your week is a great one as well!


Michael - thank you kind sir, appreciate that.


Jon - so very true.  Thank you for the comment, and let's keep realizing all that we have!  Makes life so much easier!


Gloria - thank you for the comment and same to you in 2015.  I don't like giving cash, but when I can afford to spare a few bucks I'll gladly buy someone a meal.  I'd hope if I'm ever in that position that others would do the same.


Team Zuhl - thank you, appreciate the comment and glad you stopped by.


George Souto I cut it close my friend, if you look at when I posted the comment in Sally's contest thread, you'll see just how close.  Won't be doing that again!  Thank you for the comment.


Sarah & Les Oswald thank you so much!  I am incredibly glad we got to meet and hope that we'll run into each other much more in 2015.


Praful Thakkar already started!  Hopefully I can keep it going, I'm sure it won't be difficult to think of something I'm thankful for each day.  Thank you for stopping by.


Claude - thank you for sharing your story.  I can see your perspective as well.  I think there are great things to be had in life, and those should be recognized & pursued.  But those flowers you're standing in are probably pretty special too!

Dec 01, 2014 02:55 PM #16
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

You are living a very fulfilling life with this attitude AND running a successful business with it as well.

Dec 03, 2014 05:12 AM #17
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

John~ Keeping our focus on gratitude will enrich our lives and our business.

Dec 03, 2014 05:13 AM #18
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