This is a great topic for an AR challenge! I enjoy reading about the other members' lives. So here's a dive into mine--the more interesting parts:
The oldest of four kids, we grew up in St Louis MO in a small house with one full bathroom for six people! It was an old neighborhood, University City, which is a lot like the Kansas City 1920s neighborhood I live in now called Brookside. Kids walked to school, to the small grocery for treats, and as I got older--we hung out at The Loop (still there!), a string of small retail stores, "head" shops, independent movie theaters and our favorite spot: the Dairy Queen.
I loved listening to the radio, KSHE FM, through the 1970s. I went to school and became a music DJ--oh those years were so much fun! We did listener promotions, went to concerts, I met some cool bands (U2, Elvis Costello, REM, etc) in their early days and ran around with a group of 20 somethings who LOVED music. We made mix tapes and analyzed album covers. Ahh...youth! That's a picture of me in my DJ days--to the left of the girl in plaid shirt.
After several years I decided to do something else, and got into the hospitality business. I worked for a couple of hotels, include Hyatt, and eventually organized conventions for the Kansas City convention bureau. Those were great times as well--lots of travel, meeting new clients and I loved showing off my city to visitors.
Then..9/11 happened and the layoffs began. Although I was the only one who came into the office that day to help the convention in town (thousands of people who had to alter travel and hotel plans, especially after airports closed) as my boss refused to come in to work for three days, I was one of the people who got cut. That left me wondering..what to do next? I knew one thing: I never wanted anyone to have the power to fire me again. I was done with petty office politics and suck ups.
By chance, one day I ran into a woman I used to work with at the Hyatt. She had started in real estate a few years earlier and asked if I wanted to join her small team. I was working part time at a tour company. After going through the pros (set my own hours, can pick up the kids after school, be my own boss) and cons (commission only, very little money the first few years, work weekends), I decided to give it a try.
You often hear people say "getting laid off ended up being a good thing for me" and it was true in my case. I loved my convention job but once I got rolling in the real estate career--I loved it even more. And, the financial rewards are better, working just as many hours as I did before.
And because no one can fire me, and I don't have to deal with age discrimination or unbalanced pay, I plan to keep working. Still enjoy coming to the office every day and meeting new clients of all ages and backgrounds. As I look ahead, the big question is: what will selling real estate be like in five or ten years???