If there’s one thing I could talk about all day long besides goal-setting, it’s business. It doesn’t even matter what type of business really. I just love the concept. Looking back, I can see signs that I was destined to be a business owner from day one.
I’ve opened two business so far in my short lifetime. At 23, I opened Salt & Pepper Accessory Boutique with my sister. At this point in my life, I had very little experience in knowing what all was out there in the world. I did have experience in the fashion industry, and this business came from the idea of providing affordable, out-of-the-ordinary fashion accessories to the average woman. The premise was that a shopper would get the service of a boutique store at affordable prices and that absolutely everyone would be welcomed there. Our staff was rigorously trained to make every shopper feel special, important, and wanted. I loved how we were subtlety empowering our shoppers.
After opening in 2009, we added clothing, shoes, vintage furniture/home decor, and various household goods. We also expanded and moved to a newer, larger building. Looking back, my sister and I opened a business that thrived primarily on disposable income right in the middle of a recession. Realistically, that doesn’t seem like a smart business move. However, I’ve always operated on my gut feeling and something said go for it.
Four years after opening Salt & Pepper, I made the oh-so-tough decision to sell the business and move on to new ventures. To this day, I miss searching out the coolest, non-mainstream items for the store. Nonetheless, I love business number two and haven’t looked back.
I became a licensed realtor in June of 2013. At that time, I really had no idea where this career would take me. All I knew was that I’d always had a strong interest in the real estate industry. Shortly after becoming licensed, I created Pamela Petrus, LLC. On the surface, it looks like I show houses for a living. Sometimes my short answer to people when they ask the ever-popular what-do-you-do question is, “I sell real estate.” That’s just the short answer though. In fact, I run a business.
At this time, Pamela Petrus, LLC is a business that focuses primarily on aiding third parties in the sell and purchase of residential properties. I don’t show houses all day, and I’m not a salaried employee of Keller Williams Realty. lnstead, I am an independent contractor (self-employed) and Keller Williams is my broker.
In all honesty, I’m likely selling myself short by saying, “I sell houses.” In reality, I am a business owner. I am a professional marketer and negotiator. I study pages and pages of contracts daily. I manage communication between a host of parties involved in a single real estate transaction…bankers, lawyers, buyers, sellers, contractors, insurance agents…the list goes on and on. I possess a wealth of information, not known by the general public. I protect my clients’ investments and help them make the best decisions during what’s often the largest purchase of their lives. Frequently, I’m a counselor and I help manage emotions.
I don’t just show houses. I do all of the tasks done by the average business owner. I advertise. I pay payroll. I research my market. I study trends and manage finances. I pay lots and lots of taxes. Undoubtedly, my paycheck comes from commission paid on the sale of a home. That’s ultimately how I pay my bills. However, it’s so much more elaborate than selling real estate as a hobby. I didn’t get into this industry to look at pretty houses everyday. I’m a professional, not a hobbyist.
In thinking about what it really means to be a business owner, sometimes I’m taken back. Sometimes, I myself, forget to treat Pamela Petrus, LLC as a business, not a job. Sometimes I’m simply amazed/proud/humbled by the fact that I’ve opened two businesses already, and I’m not even 30 years old. Most of all, I’m thankful for this business mindset that I possess and for the opportunity to do what I do.
This post came to be after a pretty humbling realization I had. I read all of the blog posts on business. Seriously, if one of my favorite bloggers writes anything about their businesses, I’m all ears (or eyes, rather). I’m always a tad jealous of how much control they have and how unapologetic they are for crafting things to be how they want. Then, it dawned on me. I, too, am a business owner with the ability to run my business how I choose. I don’t have to work with mean people. I can manage my schedule so that it provides the best life possible for my husband and I. I get to decide what I will and won’t do and what’s next. The scary truth is, all of the decisions begin and end with me, and I get to decide how this business of mine is ran. That fact is both invigorating and immensely frightening.
What’s next? Something big. Only time will tell. I do have big plans, for sure. I have dreams of investing (rentals and remodels), coaching, and consulting. I’m not sure what each of these items will look like, yet I know they’re on the horizon. Will I open other businesses? Most likely. Will I continue to run a real estate business? Most likely. Will I constantly be looking for the next big thing for me and my family? Definitely. I truly believe that the best lives are lived by always seeking new adventures and by always looking for more. Some ventures may succeed and others may fail. However, you’ll never know which is which without making that first step.