So, this yoga thing may be kinda dangerous. All the asanas and breathing and meditation are clearing my head and making me think.
My work situation actually appears to be settling down a bit - I'd say the odds of long-term employment have improved significantly this week. And I'm not sure that makes me happy. I spend my days in a windowless office, flinging endless streams of problems faster and faster, like Lucy in the chocolate factory. I'm not happy. I like the people, I truly do, and that does matter a lot. But the work, eh.
I'm missing real estate. I do like the reliability of a paycheck plunking into my bank account every other week, but I miss the adventure of real estate sales. It was fun, if not reliably profitable. Last night my daughter started texting me pictures of houses she liked and I realized that I don't WANT to sit in a development office; I want to interact with real humans, talk to them about their needs, help them get what they want (or sell what no longer works for them). I want to get out in the world again!
But if I'm going to do this again, I am going in clear-eyed, with a plan, a timetable, and resources and a budget OF MY OWN. I could write a book about How To Do It Rong, because I did just about everything wrong, getting talked into trainers, systems, various programs for success, that I secretly (and eventually not-so-secretly) found obnoxious and archaic. I couldn't change who I was to do business the way the experts insisted it must be done.
I think I hurt the feelings of a former colleague a few weeks ago. She called me as I was leaving the supermarket on a Saturday morning, and at first I thought she was going to suggest we grab lunch at Panera (we'd done this a few times in the past year). But, after a few sentences of "friendly catching up talk," she launched into what I immediately recognized as a Script. She'd called me to fish for leads. I'm afraid I hurt her feelings when I flat out told her I recognized the script she was running, and asked if it has been working for her? Well, she admitted, not so much. But it will! Her newest trainer swears that it works! She plunged in again, and I dutifully promised to give her a call if I heard of anyone interested in "buying, selling or investing in real estate in the next three months."
"The next three months" is a critical part of the script, because just about everybody's interested in real estate eventually, but you are playing a numbers game and looking to fill your pipeline with solid prospects, and oh damn, it's amazing how I've internalized the lessons I found so repellent when trainers told me that's the only way to get business, because real estate is a "numbers game" and three hours a day of cold calling/working your SOI (Sphere of Influence) is the Ticket to Success! And I do know brokers who made a ton of money and built an empire off three hours a day of cold-calling, 20 years ago. Now, they have name recognition and a solid market share, so they don't need to know or care that the world has changed.
I have two words for this: Caller ID. I know my own sphere, and I know that after the second time I called them for some faux-chummy "catching up" and then shifted to pumping them for business, they would start screening my calls and possibly decide that happy hour with me doesn't sound like fun. I know this because I would react that way. (I still take this woman's calls, because I feel for her, but seriously, I don't believe this shit works.)
Shortly before I decided I needed a steady influx of cash and took this development job last year, I had stumbled upon a book by the trainer of my dreams: Sell with Soul: Creating an Extraordinary Career in Real Estate without Losing Your Friends, Your Principles or Your Self-Respect
I was so thrilled to find that I wasn't out of my mind - that it really IS possible to be successful in real estate sales without doing the things that made me cringe - but alas, by the time I figured out that there was a better way, I was tired, my bank account was a bit alarming, and I needed a break, and the aforementioned steady plunking of the paychecks.
Now, I'm thinking I want to go back into sales, but My Way (which is also Jennifer's way - God bless her for validating my feelings about how it should be done). I'm setting a tentative re-entry date of January, 2015. (Tentative because if my current situation changes, I'll have to fall back and regroup for very basic monetary survival reasons.)
Between now and then, I'm going to build my plan, marshal my resources, set my budget, read a lot, amass website content (and learn my way around WordPress for real) and dammit, I'm going to do this as ME - a crazy dog lady nerdy vegetarian grandma - not as some trainer's outdated idea of what works. I will most likely set up a separate site and blog, after I have amassed enough content to make it worth visiting, and it will be local, useful, funny, and of course heavy on the dogs. Then I'm going to SHOP brokers until I find a brokerage office that doesn't push the Guru of the Week and has a good vibe. After doing it all wrong, I'm ready to do it MY way.
I am more excited and energized than I've been in months. Damn that yoga.