I did what I had been told I shouldn't have done: I took 4 months off from working. No prospecting, no follow-up, no lead generation, phone calls, emails, open houses, appointments. Nothing. I spent the time at home with my family, and giving myself a long and much needed break from the stress I had allowed to enter into my life. I had been hovering on the edge of clinical depression, and hadn't had an honest good laugh in months. But I was also lucky, and smart. I had a busy summer, and everything closed smoothly around the beginning of September. I set up a budget and knew that if I was careful, I would have enough money to get us through for 22 weeks (I made it 17 weeks, probably because I overspent on Christmas).
Was is worth it? Absolutely! My kids grades skyrocketed, my husband is more relaxed, the puppies were housebroken, my laundry was caught up and I learned that I should've asked for help when mixing cement. I got through holiday shopping, wrapping and baking without feeling any pressure (for the first time since I was a child!).
More importantly though, I woke up on January 4th and thought, "I'm ready to go back to work." That is a very telling thing for me, because I had been debating getting out of the real estate business. I spent weeks trying to figure out what else I could do, and what else did I even want to do? With no good answers coming to me, my mind kept going over the possibilities. The ever changing schedule and inconsistent paychecks had taken a huge toll on me mentally and physically, and until that moment in time I didn't want to work at all. I wanted to curl up into a ball and hide. But life moves forward, and I live in a two paycheck household, so I knew I had to do something to earn a living - especially considering my husband's career in the auto industry.
It might sound funny, but one of the things that has motivated me to get my real estate career back into full swing again was my broker's decision to sell the company just before New Year's. Our new company, Hunt Real Estate, has some excellent systems in place that I truly believe will help my business grow, and help me serve my clients better than ever before. But this isn't about Hunt, it's about how I found myself again and started becoming the person I used to be. Happier, relaxed, motivated.
In the face of tight finances and a lukewarm real estate market, I'm more excited than ever to be back to work in real estate. Here I am, days after deciding to get going again, and I'm putting together my first deal after months off. I realize that without making the decision to take the time off, and working to make it happen, I wouldn't have been any good at any job. But with some serious downtime and inflection, I also realize how much I love this job.