It’s been over a month, and it’s two days late, but I am finally back with a new episode! This last month has been one of the most challenging since I began pursuing my dream. That’s why I haven’t been as active on the podcast and the blog. But there are a lot of exciting things still in the works. I think I’ve aged a year or two in the last month due to stress but I am clinging to God to get me through and I am thankful that He has continued to provide for me and my family even if I am often too blinded by my anxiety to see it.
00:00-01:45 Moving Day | Playing a Gig
01:46-03:20 Grilling Assorted Meats and Getting Settled in a New Hometown
03:21-06:15 A brief geography lesson | Royersford | Spring City | Visiting the Springford Historical Society Museum
06:16-07:20 A new podcast | Discover Springford |
07:21-09:00 Achieving a goal | What’s next?
09:01-15:30 Being Candid about Struggles in the Real Estate Business | Sacrificing Your Ego on the Altar of Duty
15:31-16:22 Housekeeping and Outro
In the last episode, I rehashed the last decade of my life as we sat on the cusp of making settlement on our new home. At the time it was released we had not yet officially settled. Well, I’m happy to report that we made it! Then on May 20th, we moved in and hell didn’t freeze over! What an incredibly satisfying feeling to have finally accomplished this goal which has been over 6 years in the making. My in-laws were kind enough to take our kids for the weekend so that we could focus on the move.
It was a long and tiresome process. Not only that, but it always seems that I have a gig the night we move. So I proceeded to make the hour long drive to Quakertown to perform with my dad after nearly 12 hours of loading and unloading furniture and boxes. We performed for four grueling hours and then I made the 1 hour drive back home to arrive safely in my new driveway at 2:45am. About 20 hours since I’d woken up the day before. But it was all worth it!
You know why? Because I can finally grill again. Oh the assortment of meats that will be grilled in my backyard! I can almost taste them. In fact I already purchased a charcoal grill and smoker and assembled it.
My wife and I decided to check out the local diner in hopes of immersing ourselves in our new hometown. It was everything I hoped it would be. I envision the two of us growing old together and sharing thousands of eggs and cups of coffee, not to mention playful banter with the wait staff and cast of characters this all-american smalltown provides. I have so many ideas on how to get involved in the community that I can’t wait to implement. We still have plenty of boxes to unpack first but before long you are going to see some cool new things begin to happen in the world of Desiato Homes and Real Person | Real Needs.
You have no idea how excited I am to put down roots and I can say without reservation that Royersford has never seen the likes of me before. I have dreamed of living in a small-town for nearly a decade, but seemed to always be on the outskirts. We waited and prayed that God would give us the right home, and unbelievably, I sort of got two small towns for the price of one. A brief geography lesson- Royersford sits on the border of Montgomery County, PA, along the edge of the Schuylkill River. On the other side of the river in Chester County, PA is the small town of Spring City, PA. These two towns are connected by a bridge and over a century of tradition. Eager to embrace the traditions of my new home town, I recently visited the Springford Historical Society Museum in order to trace the history of these sister cities. I met a man who was nearly 90 years old and was volunteering his time as a host. He took me through a library of newspaper articles and books about notable people and places in the area. He allowed me to view several artifacts from the days when Royersford and Spring City were booming with industry, due in large part to the Reading Railroad, which used to pass straight through the towns. We even found his highschool yearbook, back when Royersford and Spring City had their own rival schools. I share this experience in order to whet the appetite for my next podcast venture. As I’ve matured, I’ve come to really love history, particularly local history. I also have grown to love documentaries. That’s why I am in the pre-production stages of launching yet another podcast, called “Discover Springford.” It’s going to be my way of getting immersed in the local history and tradition of my new hometown by interviewing local residents, business owners and prominent members of the Springford area. It’s still in its initial planning stages, but you’ll be hearing more about it in the coming weeks. This will be great for anyone who likes to hear about small town America or is someone who lives in and around the area. Now this will bring my total number of podcasts to five, so I guess it’s safe to say that the Real Person | Real Needs Network is off and running. In the meantime, I encourage all of you to go to www.discoverspringford.com and like the Facebook page. That is where all of the updates will be on the progress of the podcast.
With all of that being said, you can probably understand why I’ve sort of been MIA for a while now. The truth is things have been a little hazy for me for the last few months. You see, I started this year, my 3rd year in real estate, with guns a-blazin’. I hit the ground running by developing a 12-part video series to help people overcome their fear and develop a plan of action to find their life’s purpose. The podcast doubled and then tripled in the total number of subscribers. I was super excited because I felt that the last two years of hard work were starting to pay off. And then something unexpected happened…
The phone stopped ringing.
The emails stopped coming.
The Facebook comments were fewer and farther in between.
My pipeline of real estate prospects seemed to disappear into thin air.
And I started to panic.
Now I knew that my chosen business model and marketing strategy would mean slower growth than my competitors, but I also knew that I was being true to the core of my character. And for the most part things seemed to be working. But for some reason, things seemed to be regressing in certain areas. Maybe it was the result of our move taking up the majority of my thought process and time for nearly 4 months. Or maybe it’s because one of the business relationships I had established in my first year in real estate ended without warning.
This particular relationship had resulted in 5 real estate transactions over the course of 12 months and then just like that, without even a courtesy “heads up,” they decided to go in a different direction to save money on commissions. This immediately after I sacrificed $1800 of my income in order to keep a deal of theirs from falling through. The “Thanks” I got was finding out through Facebook that their spouse had obtained their real estate license. Now I am grateful for the deals that came as a result of this relationship but I also know that I had already been discounting my commission and was willing to take 4 months worth of groceries out of my pocket on this deal because I anticipated future sales as a result of making this sacrifice. So much for that.
Now I’m not trying to throw myself a pity party. I’m merely trying to explain where my head has been lately and what I believe God is teaching me as a result. I have no way of knowing whether I am right or not.
One of the many misconceptions people have about real estate agents is that they make more than enough money. I would say there are a handful that make a lot. Then are the majority who lead you to believe that they make a lot based on how they present themselves. Then there are the rest of us. If you do a quick Google Search you’ll find that the average agent makes about $25,000 a year.
But money was not the reason I decided to pursue a career in real estate. It was the independence. I’d be perfectly content making what I made in my desk job as long as I was fulfilled in my work and felt that I was using the gifts God had given me.
Granted, the commission checks I get are larger than some people’s bi-weekly or semi-monthly salaried paychecks, but that is without taxes, health insurance, 401k deductions, or business expenses being considered and those dollars sometimes need to stretch one to two, or maybe even three months depending on the amount of current prospects I have.
People also think that you are an employee of a real estate company and that they pay you to work on real estate transactions for them. This is also not true. You are a self-employed independent contractor and any real business you get you need to generate on your own from scratch. That is why when people ask me about real estate I paint a pretty bleak picture because most people are not cut out for the daily grind and uncertainty that comes from being self-employed in such a highly competitive industry.
With the volatility of such a career, it is easy to start to spiral into thoughts of inadequacy and negativity. I started to beat myself up for putting myself in this predicament when I could have easily just kept my desk job and paid my bills like a normal person.
But I have to keep reminding myself why I’m doing this. Because I don’t want to live a life full of regrets and “what ifs.” I soon began to realize that as much guts as it took to quit my day job, it takes even more to admit that you are not as successful as the world expects you to be. And even more difficult is admitting to yourself that you are not invincible. It’s humbling. It’s uncomfortable. And without the proper perspective it feels like failure. But I’m starting to come to the realization that I would only fail if I didn’t do everything within my power to achieve my goal.
I did not keep my desk job when I began a career in real estate. Some may say that that was foolish. Whatever it was, it’s in the past and my wife and I agreed on the decision at the time as being what was best for the mental and emotional health of our family. This year, an opportunity presented itself for me to work about 15-20 hours a week as a W2 employee while still maintaining the flexibility necessary to operate a full-time real estate business. I resisted and am still resisting, even though I’ve now been working this job for over a month. Frankly, it felt like I was admitting defeat in the world of entrepreneurship.
But ultimately I need to provide for my family anyway that I can. Some days that’s through real estate transactions, other days it’s by playing gigs. But the long and short of it is that your ego should never get in the way of doing what’s right in the moment.
For instance, my number one priority was to provide a long-term housing solution for my family. Last month I was able to accomplish that. Now what kind of person would I be if I allowed the pursuit of my idealistic dream of being an actor, and my own enormous ego, to stand in the way of that? The answer is not someone you should pay any attention to.
Instead, I am trying my best to juggle the pursuit of my dream with my duties as a husband and father. With that comes pain – the pain of sacrificing your ego on the altar of duty.
The adjustment of moving into a new home, and now adding the new responsibilities of a part-time job to an already 24/7 real estate career has been one of the biggest challenges I have faced since I began pursuing my dream. That’s why I haven’t been as active on the podcast and the blog. But there are a lot of exciting things still in the works.
Ironically, once I started my part-time job, the real estate business has gone into hyper-drive, and I’m on the verge of converting the biggest deal of my career. I think I’ve aged a year or two in the last month due to stress but I am clinging to God to get me through and I am thankful that He has continued to provide for me and my family even if I am often too blinded by my anxiety to see it.
This post is cathartic for me, but it is also intended for the individual out there who feels that taking a lower paying job or picking up extra hours in retail is beneath them. These people are more concerned about the glamour of being an entrepreneur than simply working hard and providing for family. Believe me, I’ve been battling that enemy for a while now. Your ego needs to be defeated before you can ever move forward and grow as a person.
I’m getting there, but I haven’t yet arrived…