Blog, Not Dog

Blog, Not Dog

  As I sit to write this, I have four little eyes staring at me. Two from my Silky Terrier, Tyler, and two from my Yorkshire Terrier, Livvie. I said “blog, not dog!” But as they look up at me, I know all they are thinking about is when I’m going to be done working so I can throw a Frisbee, when will we go for a walk, and if they are really good while I work, will I give them a treat. And then I think of everything they teach me on a daily basis. Nothing earth shattering. Nothing you haven’t heard before. Just simple life lessons as known by dogs. Take a walk every day. Get some exercise, no matter how little it is. I have a fitness watch that buzzes at me when I haven’t had significant movement in an hour. Some days that thing drives me crazy and seems to go off every 10 minutes – nope, it’s been an hour. Maybe it means parking farther from the restaurant for your lunch meeting. Maybe you will take the stairs instead of the elevator when going into that office building. Whatever you can do, you will be better for it. Forgive and forget. I must admit, my two “babies” sometimes fight with one another. Jealousy, dominance, whatever it is, they get ticked off sometimes. 10 minutes later, they are playing or laying with each other. Humans get upset at each other but we should be able to talk it out – even yell it out at times – and then work it out. We don’t do anyone any good by holding grudges. We’ve all made mistakes. We’ve all hurt someone. So, next time you feel the need to get upset, don’t let it linger. Chances are, the person you are upset with is already over it and you are just making yourself miserable. Stare out the window. My dogs have a chair they like to perch on in our living room. It is by a window. They will sit there for hours and let you know when the neighborhood kids are walking to school, when the UPS driver stops by, or (heaven forbid) a cat decides to lounge in one of “their” porch chairs. A lot of those hours, however, are spent just looking out the window. I don’t know if they daydream but I think that’s what we should do every day. Stare out the window for a minute. Think of all the possibilities that lie ahead – and then go make them happen. Greet your loved ones enthusiastically. This is a big one for my girls. I have gone out to my car to go to work and had...

Read More

The Luck of the Irish

The Luck of the Irish

As we approach St. Patrick’s Day, I was thinking about luck. I don’t know if there really is such a thing. I think we have a big hand in creating our destiny. Maybe I just think that because I’m not Irish and I can’t fall back on that “luck of the Irish” thing. Are Irish people actually lucky? I don’t know. All I know is I have had some incredible things happen in my life. Some may call it luck but I truly believe I had something to do with it. I believe in God and that He can make anything happen, but I also believe that he made the Universe and Energy and when we use those two things, we can make a lot of things happen. I have had amazing experiences and met some incredible people. Why did I choose to leave warm, beautiful, sunny Arizona in 1997 and move to Nashville Tennessee, a place I had never been? I felt led. How did I meet, and get to sing with great musicians like Paul Rodgers, Peter Stroud, Ed Roland, Mike Reno, Wally Palmer, Jack Blades, Jeff Carlisi, Robin Zander, Rick Springfield, and countless more? How did I decide to try my hand at real estate and grow it into a team that helps hundreds of people a year? Luck? At the right place at the right time? Knowing the right people? Probably a little of all three, but if I hadn’t taken chances, if I hadn’t spoken up, if I hadn’t moved to Nashville from Arizona at a young age, knowing only one person, I believe I wouldn’t have had those opportunities. Now that my life is more about making other people’s dreams come true, I think the same principles apply. In real estate, as in most businesses, you have to take some chances. You have to speak up. And sometimes, you have to be at the right place at the right time. Some things you can do to give you a better chance is to talk to those that have done it before. Ask friends or family about their experiences. Talk to your Realtor about what you can expect. Don’t go into it blindly. Make sure you are comfortable with what you are embarking on. You may be buying or selling your first home, wanting to invest in your first rental property, or moving across the country. Make sure you have professionals on your side to help guide you. “I say luck is when an opportunity comes along and you’re prepared for it.” Denzel Washington In my journey, I ask a lot of questions along the way. Whether it was starting out in music or later, starting...

Read More

When Life Hands you Lemons

When Life Hands you Lemons

  We’ve all had those times when we feel like life has handed us lemons. Sometimes it feels like good ole Murphy’s Law. The alarm doesn’t go off, the dog gets sick on the rug, there is an accident on the way to the office, we get a flat tire, our boss needs us to stay late to finish a last minute project on the night we have tickets to a hockey game. UGH! I have recently gone through some “lemon days”. At the time, I was thinking, “why is this happening?” When those days come, I try really hard to stay positive and laugh through it (I said “try”). I have learned that being upset and negative, only produces more negativity and can lead to anger or frustration. I live by the Law of Attraction that I have learned through reading books by Napoleon Hill. By staying positive, I can get through those tough times a lot easier, and mentally, a lot faster.   There are many nay-sayers when it comes to making things happen through being positive and the Law of Attraction. So, I guess they just have a lot of lemons in their life. In my experience, people want to be around positive people. It’s attractive. It is scientifically, magnetically attractive. Being positive doesn’t mean you are going to be rich and be able to do anything you want. It does mean that more people want to help you get what you want if you are positive and pleasant to be around. Who wants to be around someone who is always negative and doesn’t smile? There is so much to be thankful for. Even on our worst days, there is someone who is dealing with much bigger issues than we may ever know. If we are honest with ourselves, we can look back and see something good that came of what we have gone through and as Kelly Clarkson sings, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!”   This is a detour from the topics I typically write about but I felt like penning something I find helpful and inspirational. Days can get hectic, it can seem as if we are in the tunnel and the light is nowhere in sight. If we allow ourselves to get lemons and let them spoil, we can miss out on some great things. When life hands you lemons, I know everyone says you should make lemonade, but I prefer these: Better Than Starbucks Lemon Loaf, The Best Lemon Bars, and if life has handed you a whole basket full of lemons, try Limoncello!   Photo courtesy of Suat Eman via freedigitalphotos.net...

Read More

Realtors are like Santa’s Elves

Realtors are like Santa’s Elves

Santa has them. They just build toys and eat candy all day, right? I bet there is more than meets the eye in the job description. How do they learn to build all the different toys in the world? They would have to go to school to learn. And what happens when new technology comes out? They’d have to go back to school to learn about all the changes. They would have to take care of the reindeer and make sure they are in tip-top shape and ready for their big flight across the world. They would likely need to understand how the sleigh works, too, and know how to do simple repairs in case of emergency. Ever wondered how Santa knows which toys each child gets? Elves probably have spreadsheets and paperwork galore to keep it all straight. I am not sure if Santa has a cleaning crew, but I bet the elves do their share of cleaning so that everything sparkles and shines.   People.howstuffworks.com says that “elves would have to be powerful, energy-packed beings in order to fill Santa’s quota of gift-making” and that they are probably “feisty… hard-wired for constant activity.” Kidzworld.com tells us, “the average elf makes enough cash to support him/herself up in the North Pole, but it’s not enough money to retire on. Most elves are in their line of work for the love of Christmas and the kids that their toys bring joy to, not the moola.”   So, how are Realtors like Santa’s elves? Well, they do a lot more than meets the eye. I have people say to me, “Oh, I love looking at houses. I bet it is so fun.” Yes, it is fun. It is also A LOT of work. The good ones go to school, keep up with the latest changes in our industry, technology, neighborhoods and developments, learn and understand a lot about houses and mortgages that is outside our scope of work, do simple repairs, make sure houses sparkle and shine for showings, do tons of paperwork and spend hours on the phone.   But Realtors get paid a ton! They get a big fat check at the closing table. Yep, we do. We get paid when we sell something, not necessarily for all the hours we worked. Out of that check we pay our licensing fees, association fees, broker fees, MLS fees, we buy lock-boxes, pay the fee for the card that gets us into those lock-boxes, signs, business cards, phones, computers, tablets, gas, oil changes, and car washes for our vehicles that we drive clients in. Since most Realtors are not employees, Uncle Sam collects self-employment taxes. Again, without an employer contributing...

Read More

5 Simple Steps to Success

5 Simple Steps to Success

  I read a ton of articles, books, blogs, posts and quotes about how to be successful. It’s something most of us want in our lives. The interesting thing, though, is that being successful is different for everyone. For some, having their children grow up to be healthy, independent, contributing members of society is a huge success. For others, they need the big house, fancy car, perfect spouse and 2.5 children to feel like they have made it. Wherever you fall in that span, I have found that in my personal life as well as my professional life, these 5 steps always make me successful. I hope they help you too.   Think Positively It is all about mindset. Are you going to allow circumstances to control you or are you going rise above them and find the positive? It is a lot harder to get yourself out of a bad situation or to come up with solutions to a challenge if you have a negative attitude. I often share that most people believe that bad can come from thinking negatively (we all know those people who constantly say they have bad luck…they actually attract bad “luck” into their lives) so why don’t we also believe that good can come from thinking positively? When bad things do happen, you will find you can get through the tough times a lot easier if you try to have a positive attitude rather than dwelling on what’s wrong with the situation.   Take Care of Yourself We have heard it a million times. We have to eat right and exercise. But why is it so important? If we don’t take care of ourselves, we start slowing down. We will get sick more often (it’s hard to be successful if we are lying on the couch). We will be prone to obesity and disease – again, it’s hard to be successful if we are spending our time and money at the doctor and on medicines to mask the problem we probably could have solved by taking care of ourselves (oops, was that out loud?). I have read studies that say you should exercise first thing in the morning and then eat a nutritious breakfast. Perhaps it matters if you are trying to tweak your routine a bit to get that leg up you’ve been looking for. Overall, I think making sure it is a lifestyle choice is most important than when you do it. With all the conveniences we have in our world today, there really is very little excuse to not eat healthy foods and exercise regularly.   Read something I love to read. If I had my way, I wouldn’t even...

Read More

Staycation – Be a Tourist in Your Own Town

Staycation – Be a Tourist in Your Own Town

  Nashville has had an influx of tourists over the last several years. Every time I talk to a visitor, they have so many wonderful things to say about our city. They talk about the night life, the pro sports, the celebrities, the convention center, the hotels, the budding development, the cleanliness, and ALWAYS how nice everyone is. My other team members were born and raised in Nashville and I have been here since 1997 so we have seen a lot of changes. We also have taken for granted all that Nashville has to offer and, honestly, have a hard time keeping up with it!   We were inspired to take a day to be tourists in our own city – a staycation of sorts. We walked around downtown Nashville for the afternoon. We wanted to experience our city the way tourists do. We hit some honky tonks, listened to some live music, had lunch with a tourist from Maryland, drinks with an Illinois native, had pralines with folks from New York, stopped in the Johnny Cash Museum, made a souvenir at Hatch Show Print, watched every kind of tour bus go by, waved to bachelorette parties on Pedal Taverns, and cheered for some cyclists who just made a 7 day trek from Joplin, Missouri for a great cause.     There are so many events, many of them free, going on each week in Nashville and surrounding cities. There are charity events, concerts, new restaurants opening, sporting events, festivals, and celebrations of every kind. There are parks for people and parks for pets. Places to hike and places to rest. You can eat everything from biscuits to dim sum, vegan to carnivorous. You can visit a vineyard or a distillery. We have museums and libraries to get lost in and local theaters to lose yourself in while enjoying a play or musical. You would be hard pressed to be bored. I am glad I took the time to stop and realize that. Every day on my way into the office I pass by beautiful farms – even one with two longhorns! On any given day you may have breakfast alongside Tim and Faith, be in an elevator with Taylor,stand in line for coffee with Keith and Nicole, be in the school drop-off line behind Sheryl, sit by Ben at the movies, attend a neighborhood potluck with Jack, get your nails done next to Dolly, or choose your oranges while Steven is picking out avocados. And, as great as that all may be, the ongoing theme is friendliness. I just made Nashville sound pretty great – well, that’s because it is. We welcome you to visit Nashville anytime, but...

Read More