From the start on ActiveRain my blog has been a true mixture of me... the person and me.... the broker. I am in this business as a result of a real awful boss at my last job... in fact...
My first "grown up" job was the Principal's secretary at a middle school here in Putnam County. To this day the man who hired me, Fabian Fain, I think the world of and I might have retired by now if he'd stayed at the job, but he left and I truly hated my next boss. So I went job hunting.
From that job I was hired as a graphic artist for a local newspaper. I loved that job. Not only did it give me a wonderful creative outlet in actually creating ads it was a wonderful place to be and learn. I learned so much from so many people, it's where I truly fell in love with baseball (thank you Mark Williams), learned to love taking photos, became a stronger person than I thought I could be and found out about friends who stand by you in the worst of times.
One thing that I don't mention a lot because I try not to say things that lead to people thinking ill of others, is that my daughter's father, my x, asked me for a divorce on February 20, 1988 on a Saturday morning. I was expecting our daughter at the time. The divorce was final on April 20th that year, my daughter was born on June 20th and he was married to someone else on December 20th. It was a really tough time for me. The people I worked with were fabulous. I had offers from "want me to go in the labor room with you" to "want me to kill him" And while I didn't take any of them up on those offers I did learn about standing by your friends in a way I never had known before.
Then, I got a new boss and I hated that job. So I quit. But in a few days I was working in radio. I have a wonderful life long friend I met at that job too. It was a just a short time in my life, but I learned a lot and I also have some Cd's by Eric Clapton that can't be purchased. Then, I got a new boss and hated that job. Her name was B. Rich, but well that isn't what I called her and she zero business managing people.
On my lunch break one day I went into a real estate office to apply to be the secretary. The broker, Jim, said I was way over qualified and couldn't pay me anything near what I had been making. I was okay with that and even worked two other part time jobs to pay bills, but that was okay because I was happy at work. I had just gotten my license and was loving real estate when my broker was about to turn 62 and going to retire. He talked to a local associate broker and offered to sell him the firm. I knew that associate broker and knew once again I would HATE my job if he became my boss. So I went and sat across the desk from Jim and said... just tell me how much you want. I'm tired of having to find a new job because I get a new boss and have NO SAY in it.
I was 29 and a single mom and I agreed to pay him $175,000 for the lock stock and caboodle. My parents thought I had lost my mind. I had been licensed for less than six months when I bought the company. I hired him to work for me for the 2 and half years until I could qualify to sit for my broker exam. I took the class as soon and I could and took the test the very first day I was eligible under the Georgia law (three years actively licensed). I was finally somewhere that I could stay and not get a new boss that would make me hate my job.
It's almost 24 years later and I still love this job. Oh of course I have days that I am beyond frustrated at things and people, but at the end of the day there is no one who can make me not love this job.
Being my own boss gave me the freedom to work when I wanted and be there for important times for my daughter. She was just 6 years old when I bought the company. It gave the ability to earn a good living and still set my own hours and not miss ball games. I coached her in little league, I've taught Sunday school for more than 25 years, I was the secretary and treasurer for the local pilot club for a number of years and I helped start a non profit organization called Freedom Foundation. Being my own boss gave me courage to do things I might not have done otherwise.
And when I think about what kind of boss I am, I will just say this one thing.... no one has left my company and continued to work in real estate. They retired or died. I think that speaks volumes. I never would be the kind of boss that makes people HATE their jobs.
I have no regrets... not a one. I don't regret that first failed marriage that ironically happened 34 years and 1 hour ago today. I don't regret any of those jobs where the things I learned have guided me in this industry. I don't regret my 2nd failed marriage for the sole reason of it teaching me to spot abuse. I was at the right place at the right time to meet the absolute love of my life. And as much as I love the job I've done the past quarter of a century my three top jobs are wife, mother and grandmother. Teaching children about God's love on Sunday mornings runs a very close race to my favorite three.
Since I'm being all personal here... I'd like to express my gratitude for this platform. It is a blog community filled with some amazing people. I have learned so much valuable industry knowledge from so many here. I've learned some life lessons here. I've made some of the closest friendships in my life here. If I don't already know you, I hope you read this and comment and I get to know you better. PS- threw in some historical photos just for fun. Last one is from an amazing group of AR people getting together to share and learn and fellowship.