Sunday, January 3, 2010

My adventure began...

So, you may be wondering (be careful about wandering too far, you may get lost), how did this handsome bald man get started in real estate? What led him to a cut-throat, destitute, difficult, over populated career field? I would answer that with two answers: 1) a laughing, "that is a great question!" followed by 2) the below, long winded answer

Really my story starts over 16 years ago when I was just a lad starting my first job--working for Charles T. Parker (a custom home contractor in LaVergne) as his "yard boy." Working at Crosslin Supply, Dad got to know Charles fairly well and landed me the job at only 14 years old and it was pretty good. I liked Charles and his family and they treated me right. I worked for him in his yard and on the site cleaning up for 2 years or so and then he let me start working with the crew. It was hard work but was fun. It was really cool to see the fruits of your labor in something truly tangible. College started and I decided to go different ways. It was a tumultuous time for me. I would really like to forget it.

Fast forward a few years and we (Cindy and I) are moving to GA for my first teaching job. It was awesome and I loved it but Cindy wanted to be back home. We moved back to TN and bought our first home (the one we are in now). This kicked my desire to have real estate holdings into OVERDRIVE. I desperately wanted to have a small real estate portfolio but had no idea how to successfully go about building one (still don't, entirely). Eric Brown talked me out of it and into investing in the stock market. At the time, this made the MOST sense. I was not ready for real estate. I was teaching and coaching at Blackman and that monopolized my time. Well, three years go by and I decide that I don't want to coach anymore. I'd had a successful 3 years at BHS both in the classroom and on the mat. In the classroom, I had taught 8 different preparations in 3 years, written 2 state approved special courses, taught a special course that I did not write, and had been given high marks in all of my teaching evaluations. I felt pretty comfortable in my role as a teacher at BHS. I also had success on the wrestling mat. I had never coached anything, at all, prior to 2006. In three years, my team generated 5 individual state medals, numerous tournament medals, two region championships, a coach of the year trophy for me, a national champion, and all kinds of other acknowledgements. Not bad, eh. Well, I loved that team and even though I did not want to coach anymore (it was really putting a strain on my marriage and I basically missed the first 2.5 years of Jonas' life), I certainly did not want the team to suffer. I did what I thought was right--I resigned immediately after the season. I figured that doing so would give the administration the opportunity to snatch up any good coach that might come available (you know, the sooner the better). I learned a few valuable lessons. 1)NEVER give up any responsibility without tenure. 2)NEVER assume that people you think have your team's best interest at heart simply because they are the administration of the school actually do have the team's best interest at heart (they didn't hire another coach until August and that was only after the parents raised three levels of you know what) and 3) sometimes teaching ability has nothing to do with teachers keeping their teaching jobs. In other words--I got fired. The set up was brilliant. I had a contrived unacceptable review (caught by a technicality in the way the review was set up) and then blindsided on the day before Good Friday (interesting side note, tornadoes ripped through Blackman on Good Friday, perhaps it was God's vengeance? just kidding).

Needless to say, my world was ROCKED. I have never been fired from anything! I went through a range of emotions from sad and depressed to extremely pissed off to relieved (I had been thinking of not teaching anyway). Either way, I was definitely scared. Now what? Do I try to teach somewhere else? Do I go back to school? Do I completely change careers? How am I going to support my family? Luckily, Cindy was graduating in August and I had unemployment. The pressure was on her to find a job. I also had this pressure and I applied for freakin EVERYTHING!! We attended a 48 Days to the Work You Love workshop and I felt empowered to try something new, but what? I decided to investigate real estate. Cindy and I decided I would go to real estate school. I enrolled and met a wonderful person named Cha Barefield. She recruited me to Weichert and there you go (stay tuned for part 2). I guess the thing to remember is that God uses all kinds of things to get us where he wants us. Do I feel a calling to real estate, yes. I love the process, I love the people, I love the responsibility and I love the hours. I can work when I want (basically) and can spend all kinds of time with Jonas. In addition, it frees me up to pursue other things that I am interested in. Really, sometimes you have to ride out the bad stuff to find your passion. Thanks BHS administration for creating the wave for me to ride. I was angry at first and now I am grateful.

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