There I was, yet again, on my phone outside a restaurant having so called “dinner” with my family, pacing on the concrete-curb-balance-beam(you know the one); talking with a client “who needed me,” when I happened to glance through the restaurant window to see my family laughing and enjoying dinner, creating memories…without me!
My heart sank. And in that moment, I realized that after 20 years in lending, working ridiculously long hours, experiencing financial ups and downs, being overwhelmed and stressed in the daily chaos, chasing uncommitted Realtors (often on weekends) and harming my family, life, health and business; I hadn’t been in many of their memories at all. Somewhere along the way I had lost sight of what truly made me happy.
I thought, “Oh my gosh, I’m prisoner to a business that owns me, and I’m losing everything that’s important to me!”
'Busy-ness of the Business'
I was so focused on the busyness of-the-business (doing activities for the sake of activities) that it felt like eating soup with a fork. I was tired, drained and not fulfilled. When I was with my family … I really wasn’t. Yes, I was there, physically; but never emotionally.
How many games, recitals, romantic evenings, birthday parties have you physically and emotionally missed? Do you even remember them?I’ve been there…for 20 long years. It just makes me sick to think about it now…just sick. When do you really uncover this reality? When your daughter tells you about something fun that happened during a family vacation, and you don’t even remember being on that vacation!!
To make matters worse, at that time, I was consistently funding 18 loans a month but couldn’t seem to break through the ceiling to the next level. I was losing sleep over what I could be doing wrong, feeling that everyone else was doing more business than me, resulting in me having the insatiable drive to work even more! I began to wonder if it was all really worth it.
Living in chaos, working long hours, babysitting your loans,chasing clients, Realtors and money doesn’t result in success. Period.
Life and Success
So then, I started to think how can we gain both experiences– life and success? The great Les Brown, says “If you’re casual about your life, your life will become a casualty.” Ask yourself, is your life becoming a casualty because of your business?
I’ve come to learn that, “A life of priorities and values,adds value everywhere in your life.” Prioritize your family, and you will be fulfilled; your health, and you will feel better; your finances, and you will sleep better. Everything in your life will grow—including your business!
My father used to say, “Jen, you can rust out or you can wear out, it’s your choice.”
It is a choice. A choice to be present during the journey we call life. What I learned was that if I was going to withstand a long-term career in lending it would be essential for me to choose my life desires first;and then build an amazing business to add value everywhere. I can help you with this too.
The key was to get out of my own way and let go of the invisible chip on my shoulder. The chip many of us have—my clients only want me, no one else could do a better job and it is easier to just do it myself.
Crack the Bottleneck
I was in a bottleneck situation because of my inability to let go, and my insatiable appetite to control everything. Sound familiar? When I was able to slow down enough to think through my business, I was able to recognize that one of the reasons I was experiencing a revolving door of referrals wasn’t because of me, it was because of the systems that were created to build a killer customer experience. If I could duplicate the experience and the systems utilizing team members, I’d get more of my time back.
So, I made the choice to hire others to help me with tasks I dreaded, and within a few months, we broke through that glass ceiling; and not just to 19 loans per month, but right on up to 26, and then 30 and more.
I had created a client attraction system, which in turn saved time and therefore allowed me more personal time to pursue the things I loved (like competitive ballroom dancing, boating, competitive shooting,“dates” with my husband, children and grandchildren).
Be Present in All Aspects
There would be no stopping our team, resulting in over $1 billion funding, during a time when I began to transition into full-time speaking, coaching and podcasting. More than just the funding volume increasing; my personal and professional relationships excelled as well. Then there was my psychological state. I was present in all aspects of my life. To my surprise I attracted even more people, which allowed me to continue to work less, live more and grow my business.
Looking back, I’m dumbfounded as to why I spent so many years sabotaging everything that was so important to me. Imagine the results you could be experiencing right now, if you could make this type of pivot in your business?
Ten years after my “restaurant” experience, there I was yet again, this time spending a month with my husband in Europe sitting on the balcony of our hotel in Barcelona, Spain. I gazed across and looked at him, thinking and feeling so free-spirited, relaxed, present, and experiencing life. In that moment, I realized that my business was growing and running smoothly back home…without me!
And that felt good.