I’m often asked how I got into the “real estate training” business – usually by people who’d like to do it too. People who feel they have a message and are passionate about sharing it.
“So, Jennifer, how did you make the transition from being a reasonably successful real estate agent to being a reasonably successful real estate trainer and what advice would you give me if I wanted to do it, too?”
Well, truth be told (and I DO tell these people the truth that you’re about to read), I would never advise anyone to do it the way I did. Oh, I can’t say I know of a better way, although I have learned a thing or two along the journey, but unless you want to go hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt (yes, you read that right), find ANOTHER way to make your dream come true other than the path I took!
On that fateful day in April of 2006 when my business partner abruptly called it quits, leaving me high and dry with a real estate company I didn't want to manage by myself, I had $90,000 in the bank, $132,000 in my IRA and no credit card debt. That was the day I took my first step toward becoming a real estate writer and trainer.
Two and a half years later, once the dust had settled and I peered up from the bottom of the hole I’d dug for myself, my bank account was empty, my IRA was worth less than $20,000 and I had (are you sitting down?) well over $100,000 in credit card debt. For the more mathematically-inclined, yes, that means I burned through more than $300,000.
I started digging out. I’d like to say I cut up my credit cards, lived on rice and beans and became gazelle-intense (all Dave Ramsey’isms), but that would be a lie. Even after two and a half years away from the monopoly-money paychecks of a successful real estate career, I must confess I still had trouble telling myself no, especially when it came to investing in my business.
But things started to turn around; I made more good choices than bad, and as the Sell with Soul message spread, I gratefully started to enjoy the fruits of my labors.
Last month, I paid off my last debt; a $10,000 personal loan I had to take out when the basement flooded in the house I was trying to sell. That last $10,000 came from the inheritance I received from my mother who died last year (a year ago today, actually; miss you, Mom), and I’m not sure how I feel about that. I wish I could have used her money toward something a little more meaningful than paying for a flooded basement, but oh well.
Anyway, I’m probably not going to call Dave Ramsey’s radio show and scream “I’M DEBT-FREEEEEEE,” so I’ll do it here for my friends. And yeah, it feels goooooood.