Passion or Paycheck? Real Estate vs The "Real" Job

Real Estate Agent with John L Scott Market Center 700512026

I have always had an artistic mentality. Money never seemed to be the main motivator and that used to drive my father crazy. Being creative, having an entrepreneurial spirit meant diving into things for the very first time with no prior experience, just an "I can DO this!"  attitude. Way too many hit-and-miss jobs in sales, and other things that sometimes paid the bills, sometimes not. 

Then, at the age of about 40, I got what my dad called "a real job". In his mind, I'd finally made it. I had a salary, health benefits, bonuses, etc. Working with the aged in long term care in different factions really was a passion for me, for most of the ten years that I did it. But, as the paychecks got fatter, and the recruiting of me got better, I ended up working for a national respiratory company that was all about numbers, and pushing their sales force. 

The last two years I really HATED my job. The money didn't matter and when Monday would roll around, I didn't even want to face the day. The absolute worst feeling for someone who is motivated by passion not by a paycheck. 

My wonderful husband was "seeing around the corners" in 2005, and we both knew that owning two homes would not be financially smart with a bubble bursting soon in the economy. We sold our urban home in Beaverton Oregon in 4 hours, I quit my job, "retired" and we moved to our slice of paradise, our then second home at Fishhawk Lake fulltime.

A year later, I entered the real estate world. Many years before, back in the early 90's I'd tried to take a course through the mail about real estate--an utter failure in every way. This was my second chance both at doing something I'd felt a great urge to do and was deeply passionate about and my second chance at making good money, even if it wasn't what my dad would have called "a real job". 

Eleven years later, there isn't a single Monday that comes that I don't look forward to what my day, my week, my year holds in store for me as I absolutely LOVE what I do and wow--I make good money, TOO! (Dad, you would be so proud of me...and I know you see it from the other side). The gold at the end of the rainbows!  

 (My photo of a double rainbow on Fishhawk Lake). 

This is my entry for Grant Schneider's second chance do-over contest. Thank you, Grant, for the inspiration! 



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Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

What a great blessed to do something that you love!  

Dec 25, 2016 07:11 AM #1
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Merry Christmas, and a wonderful story of a do over.  A

Dec 25, 2016 07:26 AM #2
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Geneva Financial, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Well, Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Realtor (503)755-2905 your post for your personal 'Do-Over ' is a doosie. Merry Christmas to you!

Dec 25, 2016 08:10 AM #3
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Hi Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Realtor (503)755-2905 It sounds like you made the right choice.

Merry Christmas.
I hope you are having a great day.
Bill Roberts

Dec 25, 2016 08:12 AM #4
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Continue to enjoy your Mondays and all the other days. Merry Christmas.

Dec 25, 2016 08:25 AM #5
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Gayle - Great story. I learned that lesson very early and luckily found a way to be happily independent in my first career, so the transition to real estate much later on was welcome and easy. You're so right - it ain't about the money. Have a wonderful Christmas day!

Dec 25, 2016 10:10 AM #6
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Gayle -- you found your passion.  Location.  Vocation.  Avocation.    And that's a pretty terrific gift --- year-round and especially at Christmas.   

Dec 25, 2016 12:50 PM #7
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Kristin Johnston - REALTOR® I've done things I love, but never really made much money at them til the last several years! Merry Christmas, joyful lady!

Ron and Alexandra Seigel I loved your do-over story, too. Merry Merry to you both! (Got our other gift--thank you so much! Will try one tonite). 

Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI NMLS#1483386 did you guys write one? I'd love to read it! Ho Ho Ho to you and yours~

Yeah Bill Roberts I finally got it right! Whew--Merry Christmas. 

Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland back acha, dear!!





Dec 25, 2016 01:38 PM #8
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Dick Greenberg I can't recall what your first career was...remind me! And at life's end, the money is down at the bottom of the list when it comes to what is really important in life to leave as a legacy--unless it helps others~

Michael Jacobs absolutely loved this--wrapped up so nicely in a neat verbal "gift" from you. Thank you. Merry Merry.


Dec 25, 2016 01:40 PM #9
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Merry Christmas Gayle. You embody the spirit of Christmas and all the beauty of nature. Thank you for taking such good care of your natural surroundings and always filling us with creative inspiration. You are truly a joy to know!!!

Dec 25, 2016 03:41 PM #10
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Just a quick drive by to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year

Dec 25, 2016 04:58 PM #11
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

You are such an amazing woman, I know that your Dad is very proud of you and the woman that you are!!!

Dec 26, 2016 05:48 AM #12
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Gayle, for sharing some of your positive experience with your career in real estate. Best wishes for continued success in 2017.

Dec 26, 2016 06:56 AM #13
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Realtor (503)755-2905 Sometimes life is just not all about the money. I used to tell my son anyone can make money not many can really live life.


Dec 26, 2016 07:15 AM #14
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good Morning Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Realtor (503)755-2905 - thanks for that great entry.  I guess timing is everything with the sale of that house.  If you don't have passion for what you do then life is miserable.

Dec 26, 2016 07:45 AM #15
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

It's funny, we talked about this with my son  and his wife over Christmas. Doubt we'll ever retire because we love our job. Real Estate is the perfect fit for our needs in life. I have to admit though, I did love broadcasting while it lasted. For some us, we can have more than one job where we followed our passion. I guess it can change based upon life. 

Dec 27, 2016 09:00 AM #16
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

ISn't life interesting how it turns out. Many of us didn't set out to be real estate agents but found our way later. I know you are an excellent agent and your clients are blessed with you working in their behalf, Gayle.

Dec 27, 2016 02:20 PM #17
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

There is something magical about being able to live in Paradise and help others find their own slice of Haven! Beautiful Post... thank you for sharing

Dec 29, 2016 12:58 AM #18
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

LOVE this post! I left teaching to get into real estate and each morning I am so glad I did. I left teaching back in 2005. We have a lot in common when it comes to how we feel about what we do! Wishing you an awesome New Year!

Dec 30, 2016 05:37 AM #19
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Enjoy the holiday weekend and have a Very Happy New Year!

Jan 01, 2017 06:00 PM #20
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Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate

"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905
Want to know more about living on a private lake?
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