10 Years of Change
This month Jeff Dowler, CRS asked us to take a trip down memory lane and think about what's changed - 10 years ago feels like a lifetime, and so much has changed I could probably write a book (and maybe I will!), but professionally, 10 years has moved the needle a lot. Personally, the needle has moved quite a bit, too. Let's dive in:
- 10 years ago I was living in Northern Delaware in a suburb of Philadelphia (about a half hour from the city). I'd bought my first home that year at the age of 23. Fast forward to today and I'm on the other side of the country in California.
- 10 years ago I was a loan officer working as a mortgage broker with just over a year of experience, with no idea what was about to hit (the great recession). Today, I'm still a loan officer, but that's a smaller role. I work on the executive team of a national direct lender, Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, helping clients with loans in 15 states and managing a sales team of close to 100 people.
- Just about 2 years ago I made the decision to move from Southern CA to Northern CA - while not as big a change as Delaware to California, it was a pretty monstrous task to decide to start over again. I was a loan officer in one of our Orange County offices and accepted a position to work with our corporate team where I am today in San Ramon, CA.
- Just over a year ago I moved into a management role working with our sales team training them on the latest and greatest of our systems, and teaching them to provide value to their clients and real estate partners the way I strive to do in my personal business.
- Just about 9 years ago the bottom fell out of the entire industry. For about 4 years, I went through about as tough a series of events as anyone could professionally - with companies going under daily, no one certain if loans would fund once started, and sitting with hardly any experience in an industry collapsing in on itself. I made a decision to learn all I could and work my ass off to make it through, and the decision paid off. One of my mentors told me "Trust me, if you can make it through this, you will never have to worry about money or work for the rest of your life.". It's still too early to tell, but he was on to something. Those terrible years taught me so much about myself, this business, and not only how to surive, but how to plan, grow in a shrinking market, and to find success even when it seems like there's none around.
- Over 10 years I've had my share of heartbreak, hard times, and "dig deep" moments, but I've also been incredibly blessed to see more births of loved ones childrens than losses of anyone close to me. I've learned to cherish the time I spend with the people I love, and to cherish the time I have with myself as well.
- About 6 years ago I decided I wanted to spend more time outdoors - this led to hiking, which led to trailrunning, which led to trail races, and today I couldn't imagine my life without time spent in the mountains or on the water. Professionally, I learned that time away from the office is a necessity, and what I need to recharge physically, mentally, and spiritually.
- About 3 and a half years ago, I decided that faith was missing from my life. I decided to go back to church, and that decision was one of the best I've ever made. My life is infinitely better thanks to God.
- I've always been an athlete, but over the past 10 years I've learned what's best for my body. I cut back on drinking, started eating a healthier diet, and learned to train in more specific ways for the goals I wanted and the things I enjoy being good at competitively. Today, at 34, I'm stronger, faster, and much healthier than I was at 24...and 25...and 26. And if you're wondering, yes, I plan on being better at 35 than I am at 34.
- Looking back over 10 years, a lot more has changed, too. I don't have much hair left, and thankfully, I care less about it. I'm a lot of years smarter, I've read a lot more books, have experienced more, and have met and learned from 10 years worth of people and relationships. My industry still faces challenges, and my job isn't easy, but it's rewarding and I love a good challenge. 10 years ago I was intimidated by real estate agents and anyone with more than my entry level experience in the industry. Today, I train others, offer advice to agents, and guide people to do better for themselves. I'm not perfect, but I'm more self-aware and always trying to be better.
Memory lane is littered with laughs, tears, people and relationships that have come and gone, great months, bad months, and moments that I'll always carry with me. In 10 years so much has changed, and I'm sure the next 10 years will be filled with more - some for better, some worse. I have no idea where I'll be in 10 years, but I know the sky's the limit. I know the road isn't easy. And I know there's going to be heartache on the way to more milestones. And more than anything else, I know I'm looking forward to every step of the way.