If you ask my husband, he will tell you that one of my biggest downsides is that when I get discouraged about something, I go looking for something to replace whatever is causing the discouragement. A little over a year ago, I found Active Rain, but had no idea what to do with it. I played a little here and there. Slowly I began to catch on, and the rest is history. It is hard to admit that at age 39, I really wasnt sure where I was suppose to be or what I was suppose to be doing in life. However, there are a few members (some of which have no idea) that helped me become a better person. I would like to introduce you to some of my favorite Active Rain members. If I don't mention you, know that your just as special...but I only have so much time to type this...lol
Mark Flanders : Mark was the first person to ever acknowledge my writing. He was the first person to ever "Feature" one of my posts. I really am not that great of a writer, but he gave me the confidence to keep writing. Once, I had not written for awhile and he sent me an email wanting to know where I was. Now that I think back, it didnt really matter how bad the post was, he was always positive about it.
Mark hasnt been on AR in a long time. Atleast he hasnt posted, but I do check daily in the hopes that he might reappear someday. He was very involved in Active Rain in the beginning and I am sure that others really miss him as well. His encouragement is the reason I never quit blogging.
TLW, what a hoot she is! She was another one of my first contacts. However, my contact with her was more than most could understand. I lost my mother in June of 1997 to cancer. Growing up with my mother was difficult for many reasons. She was basically a suicidal alocoholic. Many time I can remember driving down the road with a gun and suicide letters sitting next to me. Many times I convinced her to turn around and go home to sleep it off. These events caused me to not allow my children around her much. Our relationship was very strained for others reason as well, some that I was at fault for. Since my mothers death, I have had a real hard time remembering the good things about my mom. The bad times and the weeks before her death seemed to over shadowed everything good. When I first read TLW's blog, I was hooked. She reminds me of my mom in the "good" times. Her wit, antics and smile. I often find myself visiting her blog when I am thinking about my mom. She just simply puts a smile on my face. TLW added me as an associate and wrote, "Her mom and I would have made a good team". LOL... it would have been a scary team.
Michelle DeRepentigny, my virtual sister. Shortly after I started on Active Rain, Michelle and I became Associates and subscribed to each others blogs. For me anyways, there was a sisterly bond there and still is today. Michelle and I dont live that far apart, but have yet to meet. I guess I need to take a day from my busy schedule and treat her to lunch. After all, I know she is slammed to the wall busy. Michelle is a real animal fanatic. She is a broker and it is obvious that her caring attitude cares over into her office. After reading some of her posts on what she does for her agents, I thought about moving from the family business to work with her. Ok, not exactly, cant leave the family business. Her dedication to the industry is something that I really admire about her. I will never forget Project Blogger, we were both so disappointed that neither one of us were chosed as apprentices. Michelle, we gotta do lunch!
Broker Bryant, is anyone else intimidated by him? Since day one I have followed him on Active Rain. He has so much to offer those of us just starting out in the business. I went back and read every single post he ever wrote. He makes a lot of sense and can yet be so diplomatic at times. His approach to the business and his clients is something that everyone should want to emulate. If someone was to ask me who I thought was the best on Active Rain, he would be at the top of my list.
I have been posting a lot lately about my expired listings package. What I havent mentioned is that it is because of Broker Bryant that I even started working expired a year ago. Being consistent and putting customer service first are two of the things I will remember him for. Big Bertha has also brought a lot of good laughs into my Active Rain experience. Only BB could get away with that.
Rich Dansereau and Danny Thornton of Home America Mortgage have helped me to stay sane. For a long time I have used other mortgage companies to only find that they left a lot to be desired in the area of customer service. Rich and Danny are dependable, honest and are quick to get my clients to the closing table. Without their services, I would be struggling today. My clients love them and that is all I need to know. They rock the mortgage business and forever have a believer in me. Beyond business, Danny is one of the best friends that a person could have. He is not judgemental and always there when you need to vent about something. His out look is always positive and he will always tell you just how he sees things. What a real asset both are to Active Rain.
Marey Hoeppner, my dedicated and hard working Virtual Assistant. I can remember when I convinced Marey to start her business. Little did I know just how well she was going to do. Marey and I have been very careful to keep Active Rain all about business, but I have to let you in on a secret.
Marey and I are best friends. Eight years ago, she introduced me to my husband Chris in an online business chat room. That is all history. Several years ago, we lost contact. I was going through some rough times, and quite honestly shut her out for reasons that I cant explain. Last fall we reconnected. It was like we never missed a day. The joy of having her back in my life has made me realize just how special "REAL" friends are. Not only are we there for each other when our kids are hurt, we are upset or more often just need to yell at someone for something, but she does a superb job of marketing my listings. My business would not be where it is today if it wasnt for her efforts and desire for me to be successful.
Katerina Gasset, the person that I want to be just like when I grow up. Actually, Katerina came into my life at a time when I was reconnecting with the Lord spiritually. I was struggling with some identity issues and trying to learn to deal with my past. She quickly taught me that when I could come to terms with my past, I would then be able to grow for the future. I am attending a program at church called Celebrate Recovery, its for members who are dealing with hurts, hang ups and addictions. (Geez, who doesnt have one of those three things). Katerina has shown me that we can overcome our past and become amazing people. Not only has she helped me on a personal level, but my business is exploding and I am looking at an amazing future.
I started attending church regularly about a year ago. I felt that it was something that was really missing from my life. I have become very active in our church. I really enjoy helping those that are less fortunate. I didnt realize just how much I was missing, until I started back. I didnt realize how screwed up my life was either. It wasnt until Katerina started coaching me though, that I REALLY believed I could do anything I wanted to do. Her strength, belief and stearn words when needed will carry on with me long after the coaching is done. From the bottom of my heart, " Katerina, your my inspiration and you will never know just how much you have given me. Thank you!"
Alexander Harb, Founder of the group, Christianity and Real Estate, you have formed one of my favorite groups. I make it a must to visit daily. I find that as I build my business there is no better business model than the Bible itself.
To my subscribers and consumers, it is because of you that I blog. All I hope for is that I can make a difference in someone's life. It doesnt matter to me if it is business related or personal. I just want to make a difference.
Has Active Rain really made this big of an impact on me. Yes, more so than I could ever write about here. For those of you wondering if Active Rain is all that...You better believe it.
Sally Cheeseman, thanks for a wonderful contest that caused me to get out of my comfort zone. Happy Birthday to a wonderful group.