Gratitude - My Biggest Cheerleader
Debbie Reynolds is sponsoring a 10-day Thanksgiving Post Challenge and for Day-4 of gratitude, I give you my biggest cheerleader!
As many of you know, my secret to success started many moons ago...
I worked as a Registered Nurse in the Trauma Operating Room in a Level 1 trauma facility here. When my trauma room was empty, I would pop over to the Recovery Room to assist. That is where I met one of the hospital's VP's and was selected to be one of six nurses to pioneer a new home care facility. Little did I know that home care facility would become one of the largest in the Southeast, with many, many nurses, physical therapists and other medical professionals employed there and in several offices!
Also, little did I know that this new home care facility would completely change my life...
I traveled ALL over the Charlotte region, working with a variety of patients with a whole host of illnesses. I was one of only 4 nurses who was chemo-certified so, I was assigned a quadrant that I covered during the week, then we all rotated weekend call, so we were back to traveling all of the region on the weekends! It was exciting being a part of this new business and I absolutely loved my job...and my patients!
Our scheduling coordinator was a friend of mine who made the patient assignments for the nurses. One day, while chatting with her, she lamented that she had a patient who lived just down the street from me but, the nursing director would not let her assign this patient to me because I was already over my quota for patients. A couple of phone calls later, I had convinced her to just give the assignment to me and I would deal with with the fall-out from the nursing director if she had anything to say about my overload status!
The patient? Ray Maxwell, a quadriplegic with a simple, post-operative dressing change; he was not an oncology or HIV patient which was my specialty at the time. Ray was definitely an 'easy' patient for me!
He was scheduled every day at 2:00 with me to perform his dressing change. We would sit and chat and soon became fast friends. I made him my last patient of the day because his home was very close to the JCC, where my boys (ages 3 & 4 at the time) were attending 'pre-school' during my work hours.
Because I had no scheduled patients after Ray, my final appointment for the day, we would sit and talk until I had to leave to go pick up my boys! He worked at Bank of America, FULL TIME, drove an accessible vehicle and was completely independent! Yes, he's a quadriplegic - 'super quad' is what I call him!
He quickly recovered from his surgery and I 'discharged' him from my care. He asked to take me to dinner to say 'thank you' - that was only the beginning!
When I first met Ray, I was a single mom, who was quite content raising my two little ones alone. Frankly, I had 'sworn off' of men altogether! I was never, EVER, going to date again, much less MARRY! Ray did his magic and swept me off of my feet! He was (and still is!) a fun but, kind, gentle, romantic - simply amazing man! He met my boys and absolutely fell in love with them and they, him.
After dating for awhile, we finally married and have lived and continue living happily ever after! Ray is totally my HERO and the main reason that I'm in this busines! He tired of me giving our home phone number (this was before cell phones!) to my patients and having them phone me at 3:00 a.m. in need, me running out, only to get home in time to get the boys to school and start the day all over again! He begged me to stop working altogether so, I later 'retired' from nursing. It didn't take long to realize that I could not live the life of a 'retired' woman so, I picked up my real estate career and have never looked back!
Ray is thoughtful in every way and rarely thinks of himself. He has always been there for the boys and me. He attended every single soccer match, band concert (Matt), swim meet and basketball game of theirs and never complained. One of our boys (Ryan) played year-round basketball and believe me, there were a LOT of games! As well, he took on my cheering for the boys while I worked on MANY deals in the local gymnasiums!
Our boys grew up and flew the coop, the last one leaving during the absolute worst of real estate markets. I maintained my nursing license for years, keeping up with my CE courses to keep that license active as I had worked very hard for that degree. I was determined not about to actually go back and use it though!
The next years were going to determine whether or not my business was going to survive or, more importantly to me, whether I was going to be able to keep my boys in college, Ray began having medical conditions associated wtih his paralysis which necessitated his retirement from BofA. My luxury market was in the tank and overnight, I needed to regroup and tweak my business model...and FAST!
Despite the fact that Ray was having medical issues, he remained supportive, offering suggestions when I asked but, ALWAYS keeping positive...ALWAYS cheering me on, regardless of our fears of what could come if the Great Recession continued. He would allay my fears while keeping his own concerns to himself. When I would log a super small deal, I would say, "I know it's not much but, it'll help until the next one." Ray would ALWAYS exclaim, "No, this is just what we needed - we're good!" - always the dedicated cheerleader!
To further explain my former 'business behavior,' I never did my own books - Ray has always handled them, as well as our personal books. Yes, I was that wife, who had no earthly idea how my finances were except when he would 'update' me - verbally! I had no idea how we were faring financially - I left that completly up to him. Silly as that sounds to me today, I was truly okay with that - and I believe God knew what he was doing putting Ray in charge of the finances! Hindsight: I was glad I DIDN'T know!
You see, out of sight, out of mind was key during the time of such a down market! With Ray cheering me on and not sharing any of the financial stress with me, I was able to focus on my business. He knew, had I known where we stood financially (not near bankruptcy but, not where he knew I wanted to be either!), that knowledge would have seriously distracted me! It wasn't until 2013, when the market had shifted, that he shared with me HIS fears...and our tight, shoestring budget that he had managed for us.
I have since signed on with an amazing real estate coach who mandates that I complete a personal budget and a P&L every SINGLE month! I now know where our personal money is and how the business finances are at any given moment. I will say, however, that it was a blessing not knowing during the recession! That said, it does feel good knowing how we stand now - not to mention, we managed to get both boys through college too! Whew!
My husband works exclusively with our team, wearing many hats---he is The Maxwell House Group's CFO, internet guru...oh, and cheerleader! Not only is he a financial genius but, he is a mastermind with the computer and does all of our website management & online marketing--except for property descriptions, photos, social media and, of course, ActiveRain blogging (he'll tell me if I have a typo - when and if he reads my posts)!! He manages both the business and household finances as well. In order to better serve the team, he was recently licensed and I couldn't be more proud of him! (During the time he was in school and sitting for his exam, our 'cheerleading' role was reversed!)
We hosted 3 local real estate teams in our home last winter for "Winter Wine & Visions" - Ray is displaying our team's vision board.
Ray is my biggest cheerleader - he's the family's biggest cheerleader too!
I am so blessed to have someone so special in my life!
© Debe Maxwell | The Maxwell House Group | CharlotteBroker@icloud.com | Gratitude - My Biggest Cheerleader