Incremental Growth.

I know it has been a few months since I last posted.  I guess life kind of ebbs and flows — sometimes I’ll have the bug to post twice a day, sometimes not twice a month.  But as this year has progressed, it fascinates me to realize that I have been growing all along and hadn’t even realized it.  This year was a very important one for me in many ways, and by the time this post is over, you might know me a little better, if you care to.  (NOTE: I say “I” way more times in this post than I typically care to, but I found it difficult not to when looking inward at my own self.  Believe me, achieving an inflated sense of self is not my goal at all here!)

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Credit: Constructivecoaching.com

You may remember a post that I wrote last year about Seasonal Affective Disorder (click the link to the post in a new window), and what it means to me.  I was a brand-newly licensed Realtor in an office that maintains a very high level of energy, and an ethos and culture of integrity, honesty, and gratitude.  I loved it.  But they would sit us in class after class, meeting after meeting, and tell us that we needed to be “setting and executing goals for our business.”  Our “business.”  Well, I didn’t have any, and I didn’t know what it felt like to plan goals for “my business.”  It depressed me that I felt like I was only going through the motions when I filled out these plan forms (because I was).  “Wait!  So all I have to do is sell six listings and six homes to buyers, and I’ll make a hundred grand next year??  <Facepalm> Why didn’t I think of that?!”  It was impossible to practically and functionally imagine the effort it would take to achieve what I was writing down, simply by virtue of the fact that I hadn’t sold even one home yet.  I didn’t even know how the home buying process worked at that point.

I was unhappy with my job instructing aircraft maintenance because we weren’t paid spectacularly well (we still aren’t), and some of the students I had were grown men who somehow found it acceptable to try to bully their way into passing grades.  (They failed.)  I was also depressed because it really can be a struggle to be so far away from my dearest friends and family.  Then, about mid-way through the year, we learned that the for-profit school that I worked at was being closed down.

It was a trying time for Alli and me both.  I held onto the school job for as long as I could before running the risk of being let go — the instructional staff was kept on to “teach out” the remaining students — but the time came for me to find a life raft before the boat sank.  I found a job as a Service Advisor at Audi, and quit the school to develop skills in a different industry all together.

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Credit: mycouponexpert.com

And then it all clicked.  I don’t know what it is, but things began to fall into place all at once, in early October.

They announced that the school was reopening, and my boss told me I was the first person he wanted to come back because I had such a great relationship with the students, and am so enthusiastic about aviation.  I agreed to return because during my short time at Audi, it became clear to me that even if I had been able to sell more homes, the minimum 60-hour-per-week work schedule wouldn’t have allowed me time for it anyway.

I had two homes close in three months.  After doing my first deal in real estate waaaaay back in March, I had virtually no activity until October, when my second home deal closed.  Given current trends, I thought that was it for the year, but then, out of the blue, a dear friend out here introduced me to a friend of his who needed to buy a home on a pretty short timeframe — five weeks.  As it happened, luck was on our side and we got it done, and that home closed last week, in early December.

I filled out my first Profit and Loss statement, and my real estate business is in the black.  It hit me as I was doing this that I do, in fact, have a business to set goals for now.  My P&L showed me in plain numbers that the business took in nearly $1.2 million in revenues, and despite only being in the black by a few thousand dollars, it’s still in the black after operating expenses and taxes.  Many businesses run at a loss for the first couple of years, so I am pretty grateful that my family and friends have given me opportunities to help.

I am a business owner.  I have wanted to “own my own business” for the better part of a decade now, talking about it as if a business is something that you can buy, polish up, and drive occasionally (but never in the rain).  It wasn’t until I realized that I have spent the year transacting business — taking in commissions (revenues), managing where the money needs to go (operating costs and taxes), and managing my pipeline and reputation as well (planning for future business) that I thought of myself as an actual, self-employed business owner.  Of course, I am not yet fully self-employed — I still rely on my work at the school for income — but I am on my way to getting there.  I have high hopes for 2014 in this regard.

I am once again a student, enrolled in Eastern New Mexico University’s Aviation Science program (it’s all online, and they give 67 full credits just for having earned the FAA’s A&P licenses!).  Hopefully in the next couple of years, I’ll finally have the Bachelor’s Degree I should have earned ten years ago!

I can feel that I am growing in very small, slow increments.  Business is getting better, now that I recognize what I need to do to earn it.  I am honing my craft as a communicator while instructing our students at the school.  I am developing the way I interact with people with a level of care and awareness that I have never before had.  I have never had this happen to me before, and it fills me with an excitement and hope that I haven’t felt since I was a kid.  Factor in that Alli and I are still happily “dating” like we were 8 years ago when we first met, and what more could a guy ask for?

I hope your year has been filled with personal growth and productivity, and that your business has boomed!  Thank you for reading this far in, sorry it’s a bit of a novel.  Have a great rest of the week!

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    • Mom
    • December 11th, 2013

    Great piece, Jeff. You are on your way. Don’t stop & don’t let anybody or anything get on your way. Dad & I are very proud of you.

  1. I’m glad that you’re in a better place than you were a year ago, buddy. It’s good to look back and reflect on where you’ve been from time to time, and account for the progress you’ve made in life as a result of all of your hard work. I’m proud of you.

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