Category Archives: Business

Bad Days and Deadlines

What to do on a bad daySome days are better than others. Some days turn into weeks, and I’m going to be real with you – some weeks suck. This week is one of those weeks for me. I knew within an hour of waking up on Monday that everything was turning south quickly. By the time I made it to my office, I was ready to drop kick everyone that crossed my path. Lunch with Matthew wasn’t pleasant because my bad mood took hold of the room like a permeating stench, and nothing he could say or do was turning that negativity around. For the record, I did apologize for being in such a foul mood and just asked for some grace until I could get ahold of myself.

So what do you do on days or weeks like this?? Tuesday didn’t seem to start off any better and the rest of the week wasn’t looking so hot either. I’ve wrote before on what to do when you’re having a crappy day, and realistically, I needed to go into hiding and avoid everyone until this dark cloud of a mood could pass. However, what do you do when you have made a commitment with a deadline and you can’t simply withdraw from society for a bit? Unfortunately, when I needed to employ my usual tactics the most, I simply couldn’t.

Here’s what I did. I avoided as many people as possible. There was simply no need in infecting the masses with my mood. Because don’t forget, a bad mood and a bad attitude is just as contagious as a good mood and a positive attitude. If you’re not careful, you’ll have instilled the funk in everyone around you and that’s just not fair. Then, I put my head down and PUSHED through my tasks. I had a specific goal to reach and I buckled down and pushed hard for it so that I could get the hell out of there…for everyone’s sake, not just my own. And then I bought myself prizes

Thankfully, the commitment I made before knowing my mood was going to fail me had a specific deadline. Since I couldn’t set it to the side until I felt more positive and productive, I simply powered through. It’s like seeing the finish line at the end of a long race. You can see the end point and you can push yourself to reach it, even though you’d like to collapse on the ground. (I’m assuming. I don’t run races.) Either way, I can see the endpoint. I seriously buckled down and pushed hard for the goal, knowing that very soon, I’d be able to stop and retreat. As soon as I completed these last few (22 to be exact) tasks, I could give myself a break and do something to help pull myself from the funk.

Not all bad days are accompanied by pressing deadlines. If not, try to employ any of the tactics I mentioned in this post. If you simply do not have the ability to run away at that time, like my situation this week, my next suggestion is to buckle down and get your job done ASAP. Then retreat. Treat it like that last day of work before vacation. We accomplish more on that final day before leaving than we do all year! Don’t drag it out. Just get it done and then move on to something that will hopefully make you feel better. Dragging out your responsibilities will only make it worse, and at a minimum, it sure as hell won’t make it better.

In conclusion, understand that you’re going to have those days and sometimes those weeks. It’s ok. (If you find that you have more of these days than positive ones though, reevaluate your surroundings and make changes to remove the negative stimulus. Or speak to your health care professional.) I’ve been known to beat myself up when I have these bad days, because usually they make me pretty unproductive. And if you saw Monday’s post, you know that productivity and achievement are my vices, which I’m actively working on.

For now, if you’re having the sort of week that I am, get your work done and then go get you a cupcake. Do your best to feel better and if it’s just not happening right now, know that this too shall pass and it’s ok to have a crappy day every now and then.    

Firecracker – The Store

Firecracker - The Store logohandmade candleholders at Firecracker - The StoreI spent last night in the arms of a girl in Louisiana. Not really. Once I started that line, I just couldn’t stop. (See Garth Brooks’ Callin’ Baton Rouge, if you don’t get that one.) In reality, I spent last night setting up a booth of curated finds in the wonderful Southern Style Antiques. Matthew, Ashlee, and I worked hard and late and it reminded me of some of my fondest memories from the old Salt & Pepper.

It’s time to tell some secrets. For over a year now, I’ve been cooking up ideas for an online store. A part of me deeply misses the hunt for beautiful things and I needed an outlet for that. This love-child online store of mine was to be called Firecracker – The Store and would offer curated goodness (both new and old) that I sourced from all over the world. We’ve worked on this idea and nurtured it for over a year and planned to launch late last year, then early spring, then possibly in this fall. Needless to say, life happened and that sweet little idea kept getting pushed to the side.

vintage belts at Firecracker - The StoreThen, a booth came available in one of my favorite antique stores on The Alley and I knew this was the right way to launch this idea for the time being. It’d be tough to pull a booth together with my schedule at the time but I needed to do this. So, on a Friday night, April 29, my dream team and I ordered Johnny’s pizza and worked our fingers to the bone getting what we had ready.

The truth is, I’d been collecting pieces for almost a year, a good bit of which was ruined in the flood. Of course that’s when a booth would become available – after the great flood of 2016! We searched high and low and fast to pull together enough fun stuff to open and prepped to be ready by the Spring Open House. Let me be clear though – if you make a visit right now, I want you to be warned that it’s not my best work. If you’re familiar with my previous retail escapades, you won’t see displays of that same grandeur. Yet. This is what we’re calling a “soft open.” A time where we “make it work” for just a bit until things level out some. It’s a period of getting back into the grove and buying myself some time until I can replace all that was lost recently. Nonetheless, I am THRILLED to be back in the game.

antique mirrors at Firecracker - The StoreIf you’d like to go by and check on Phase One of the Firecracker story, feel free to. The booth is located in Southern Style Antiques at 215 Trenton Street, West Monroe, La. You can also follow @firecrackerthestore on Instagram. There is one thing I know for certain, even as we’re just dipping our toes into the water, it feels like home. Having this project to think about and dream about gives me an outlet for my creative energy and a break from what has been my crazy reality. It feels like we’ve awakened a sleeping bear…and I’m back!

Breaks & Breakdowns

Breaks & Breakdowns. Read more at pamelapetrus.comLast week it happened. I broke down. Like ugly cried all day, waved my hands around in frustration, and complained to my husband about life (and people). Any sane person could see that it was bound to happen. We’re out of our home and routines. We’re rebuilding, which comes with its own headaches. I feel like every other day I’m afraid that I might be homeless again. I’m working like a mad woman, definitely not utilizing my team enough. I’m negotiating what I swear are some of THE hardest deals of my entire career. I put a booth in an antique store and bought an investment property that needs just as much work as our home. Just to name a few.

Clearly after a day of riding that emotional rollercoaster hard and fast, I knew something had to give. I didn’t want to give up any of my projects, so I decided to make a few small changes instead. Here are a few, in case you need to practice better break-taking too:

  1. I’m not carrying my phone with me to the bathroom.  I have quite a habit of carrying my phone everywhere I go. Especially the bathroom. My reasoning is that I can use the time walking back from the bathroom to respond to texts and emails. That might seem like a productivity trait. However, here’s what happens. First, if I’m looking down at my phone as I pass by all of the offices and real people along the way, I miss them. I barely say hello. I don’t ask about their lives. I don’t pause for conversation about new listings or troubleshooting in negotiations. I surely don’t offer help. I’m a busy lady! Secondly, if the phone rings while I’m in the bathroom, I legit try to pee faster so I can answer it before it goes to voicemail. That’s nuts. State labor laws mandate that employees get a certain number of breaks per day as well as a true lunch break. (What?! Is that real?) I don’t even give myself 3 minutes to walk to the bathroom! For now, I’m giving myself that time. I understand that I’ll come back to 25 unanswered text messages. However, I’m gaining 3-5 minutes of peace. Sign me up for that.
  2.  I must find time to relax and hobbies that aren’t directly related to my work. Both fortunately and unfortunately, the things I enjoy doing are very closely related to my “work.” Therefore, during my down time, whatever I find myself doing can easily cross over from down time to work and next thing I know, I didn’t clear my mind or rest at all. I think I’m learning that I don’t actually know how to “rest” at all and that I don’t have any hobbies that allow me to truly relax. Not good. And I don’t even know where to start with figuring that one out. Any help?
  3. I will take days (or at least half days) off where I transfer my calls and delegate out my texts and emails. Since I use my personal cell for work, my work can easily follow me everywhere. Even to the bathroom (see above). The fact of the matter is, I have a well-trained team of professionals who can troubleshoot and handle business, just as well as I can. I pay two full-time salaried folks to help me. I simply MUST unplug and allow them to do their jobs (and mine) every now and then in order to actually get a break. Otherwise, I eventually become a hot, crazy mess. I finally took an actual day off and it was the most amazing thing ever. Better than my birthday. I feel like a brand new person. I’m inspired, rested, and eager to work. Doesn’t that sound awesome?! It feels awesome.
  4. I need to set clearer boundaries, both for myself and for others. For example, I’m not available to chat real estate at midnight. I’m not going to answer a contractor’s question at 5:50 am. For most people who only share their office phone number, they would only get these messages between their regular office hours and everything else would just have to wait. They’d be at home watching Game of Thrones, oblivious that their office phone was ringing off the hook. Since I give out all of my contact info, folks can track me down at all times. This means, I never get to turn my work brain off. I don’t get to unplug or rest. I need to practice setting more clear boundaries and holding myself accountable to those. I can be accessible without being a slave to my work and my phone.

As I write this I immediately see 1,000 ways that I’ll cheat. It’s so easy! And most of the time I even want to. I do not, however, want to lose and entire day of productivity recuperating from not taking a break. Seriously guys, I’m the worst boss of myself possible. I’ve written a few things on this topic that I haven’t shared and maybe I should get around to that. Also, something similar here and here.

Clearly, this is an ongoing struggle for me. I’ve read several articles about set break time and rejuvenation. I already understand the importance. I just don’t do it. Anyone else struggle with this? If you have some tips for doing better, I’m all ears. You can leave a comment, email me, or call me after midnight. Kidding. Don’t do that last one. I’m setting boundaries now.

I’m looking at you, 2016.

2016 at pamelapetrus.com2016 is going to be one of those years that stand out. I just know it. I’m making some major changes in both my personal life and my business and it’s going to either be one of those situations where you look back and say, “what in the hell was I thinking?!” Or I’ll look back and know that the changes were worth the risk. No matter which outcome becomes a reality, I know that I’m practicing my skills as a business owner and living boldly, and I’m thankful that I still have the courage and confidence to do so.

In 2015, I took a leap of faith and hired a full-time assistant. In 2016, I’m transforming that position a bit and hiring another very important member to the team. Both of these plans for the very near future are scary. The reality of them is nothing less than daunting. However, in life and in business, you sometimes have to take leaps of faith. (I talked about how I do that here.) Because of the immediate changes on the horizon, I fully expect for 2016 to look very different than today.

As I think about what’s ahead for my business, I have to remind myself that change is good and that sometimes growth is painful. I remind myself that I want to do big, bold things with my life and to do so, I’m going to have to put myself out there. I have to make myself uncomfortable for a bit in order to truly experience the next level in my career. It makes sense that I’m nervous, scared even, because they always say, “if your dreams don’t scare you, then they’re not big enough.”

Well, I’m going to dream big this year. I’m going to think big this year and imagine all the possibilities. I’m going to learn hard lessons. I’m going to experiences ups and downs, although I hope there are significantly more ups! I’ll either sink or swim. I’m putting in all the chips and my fingers are crossed under the table in hopes that I win big. I’m going to be courageous.

As I set out to accomplish so much this year, I must prepare myself. I must prepare myself to focus and to be determined. I must prepare myself for a new way of thinking. I need to get ready for my life to look much differently, and even possibly be a bit chaotic for a while. How does one fully prepare themselves for so much? I’m not even sure I know. I know that I’ll be setting big and small goals like a boss. I know that I’ll have to hold my team accountable, and expect them to hold me accountable too. I know that I can’t accomplish this alone and that I want success through others to be what in turn makes me successful. Buckle your seat belts, folks. It’s going to be an exciting year!

Most of this post centers around hopes of taking my real estate business to the next level. This is what funds my perfect life and supports my family. If you’re interested in a career in real estate, please reach out. I’d be happy to talk shop. Also, and even more importantly, if you know of someone hoping to buy or sell a home in 2016, please let me know! This is how I keep the doors of my business open. And don’t forget, I can help with someone’s real estate transaction ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD! Don’t be shy…email me at pamela at pamelapetrus dot com!

My Favorite Tech Products…from a Non-Techy

Mt Favorite Tech Products - from a Non-Techy // pamelapetrus.comThere’s no doubt that this is a digital age and in my line of business, technology makes a world of difference. With the exception of actually showing homes, the rest of my job can be done from practically anywhere with cell service and an Internet connection. I’m not going to talk about the actual real estate related technology that I use in this post. However, I thought it would be fun to share some of the more universal products and systems that I use. These items can be translated into almost any industry or lifestyle, and I thought it might be fun to show a bit of how I work/get things done.

The first thing that I absolutely couldn’t live without is my cell phone. I often joke that I wouldn’t have been able to sell real estate in the “old days.” Seriously…having to actually be at the office to take a phone call or driving across town to pick up a house key??! No way. In all seriousness, having the opportunity to communicate remotely makes a world of difference. I am able to take care of business from wherever I am and it saves me a ton of time. (Thinking about buying or selling a house? Text me!) I currently have an iPhone 5, and I could definitely use an update. I’ve been waiting not-so-patiently for the new release and preordered my new one this week. The struggle has been real. There are a few reasons why I love my iPhone for business. It syncs well with my devices and has apps aplenty for the various services I need. Undoubtedly, you could use a different type of phone. For now though, I’m still an Apple girl.

My next favorite item is my Surface Pro 3.  (I purchased the i3 processor.) This is my only home computer and it works great for carrying along on trips or to client appointments. The main reason that I love this device is because it’s super thin and lightweight. It’s likely not going to have the capacity to operate larger, more complex systems. However, it works perfectly for a large amount of web work and navigating various files. It can be used in tablet or desktop mode and I love the flexibility it offers. I also added the Surface Pro keyboard which makes it operate much like a desktop computer. If you carry a computer with you frequently, I highly recommend the Surface Pro over a traditional laptop. (Also, I love this new case!) (Link)

This fantastic little mouse. Matthew really wanted this little guy when we were mouse shopping. (That’s a real thing, didn’t you know??) It is most definitely the most expensive mouse I’ve ever purchased. However, it’s also the coolest. My favorite thing about the Flex mouse is that it completely flattens for traveling purposes. How great!

My iPad. I entered iPad land with the original, full-sized iPad. Sometime last year I purchased an iPad mini and I’ve loved it ever since. I like the size of the mini much better for traveling and for leisure use. It also weighs a lot less which is great for sticking in my purse. I use this iPad both in a personal nature (Hello, Pinterest.), as well as for pulling up houses and handling contracts on the go.

At home, I have an Epson Workforce WF-3620 printer. The reason I chose this option for home was because it was the smaller of the versions that offered the features I needed. Primarily, I needed to be able to print on legal paper, and I wanted the option to scan items straight to my email. (I’m looking at you, real estate contracts.) Having this feature makes it much easier for me to handle business from both home and my office. I save tons of time this way.

My office computer is a Dell All-in-One and I also love it.  (Although, I don’t remember exactly which one it is.) It moves quickly and I love the lack of space it requires. My office isn’t the largest room of them all, so I’m thankful that this computer takes up less space. I haven’t noticed any difference in its capabilities from a regular desktop, so I’m satisfied. Again though, most of my work is done in basic software programs and online. I can’t guarantee that either the all-in-one or the Surface Pro would work as well for larger programs. You might want to do some more research if that’s what you need it for.

The most important machine of them all is the coffee maker. Actually, it probably makes me the most productive! It doesn’t matter which kind you use, just be sure you have coffee available. Lots and lots of coffee.

These are the basic items that I use on a daily basis. They are what keep things moving along as efficiently as possible. If you’ve been researching new products, these might be a good place to start. I’ve thoroughly been pleased with all of the above.

What items do you use to be most productive? Is there something you couldn’t live without? I’d love to hear details!

Learning to Wait

Using my Get To Work BookThere have been a few situations in the past where I’ve waited what would seem like “too late” to start something. There have been deadlines approaching that I’ve been aware of and rather than marching full speed towards them, I’ve waited. On the outside, it looks somewhat like procrastination. However, I’ve recently decided that it’s more like patience.

With practically everything I do in life, I need for it to feel right. Over 90% of the time I operate on my gut feeling. It’s how I opened my first business at 23. In a depression. It didn’t make any sense on paper, yet it felt right. My gut feeling is the same thing I used when getting married in 12 days, selling that first business, and opening another. To the outside world, none of those made much sense. However, my gut said go for it, and I did. I’ve used the same approach for many big and small decisions over the years and it’s working for me. That’s not to say that I have always made the right decisions…that’s a different post entirely.

At first, I myself thought it was procrastination, followed by a bit of luck when things worked out. It seemed like I’d put things off until the last minute and then somehow it would magically come together. I’d feel lucky or that I squeezed right by the doors of doom. Recently though, I started seeing this tendency of mine in a new light. I realized that things did usually come together, even if it happened on a different timeline than I originally deemed appropriate. I learned that I shouldn’t force things to happen, just to make progress early on. Instead, if I’d practice a bit of patience, things would likely still come together in the end. Rather than force myself to do something, I should just have a little bit of faith and wait until it felt right.

I have two recent examples for you. First, I’ve been toying around with the idea of a new business. If I were going to run with this idea as originally planned, I would need to travel out of town during the month of August. I was forcing myself to make a decision and get things in order, so that I would meet this self-imposed deadline. It just didn’t feel quite right though, so I hadn’t bought that plane ticket. It seemed like I needed to, yet something was holding me back. As I waited just a bit longer, things started coming together, although they’re shaping up a bit differently than I originally thought. I didn’t need to “get it together and make a decision” as I had been telling myself. I just needed to wait.

Similarly, I’ve known that I’d need to hire a new assistant since June. My current assistant would be moving in August, and I had a few months to find someone new. I had plans to attend a few trainings, etc. before I started the interviewing process and those didn’t work out like I had planned. I was also considering revamping the position a bit and morphing it into something that would enable my real estate business to grow. Weeks started passing. I went to Alaska. My trainings didn’t work out as planned, and I hadn’t made those decisions on what the position would look like in the future. More weeks passed. I’d sit down to write an email or Facebook post about the fact that I was hiring, and the words just wouldn’t come. No words?? I never have a problem with words! Somehow though, I couldn’t draft a “now hiring” post or a job description to save my life.

Now it’s August, just a few short weeks before I’d be left assistant-less. I felt like I had procrastinated again. I’d waited too long to start looking. Finally though, I started thinking of it differently. I realized that in the past I’ve thought I was procrastinating, and then things fall together at the right time. I realized that I had much more success with waiting until things felt “right” than I did with forcing things along. I even had that conversation with my husband. I said that I didn’t know what this position would look like and that I didn’t have any strong leads. Even though time was seemingly running out, I just needed to wait.

On August 6, just 14 days before my current assistant would be leaving, I received a call that there was a young lady interested in the job. I knew this girl from previous encounters and had always been very impressed with her. As soon as I learned that she was interested, I was immediately excited. We breezed through the interview/hiring process over the next couple of days and by August 10 I had hired a new almost-full-time assistant. I’m thrilled with my decision and I can’t wait to see how my business grows. I’m also looking forward to the opportunity to build and new relationship and I have a distinct feeling that I’m going to learn a lot from her loving, positive attitude.

I’ll spare you the rest of the details for now, as they’re not the true reason for this post. My ultimate point here is that sometimes you just have to wait. If something isn’t feeling right, it might not be the right timing. Rather that force a new idea or plan into action, sometimes you must practice a little patience. I certainly do not mean make a habit of procrastination. (If you find yourself procrastinating often, I talk about that here.) Instead, I’m talking about those times where things feel forced…those times when the right move or decision isn’t clearly obvious. If you’re a person who operates primarily on instinct as I do, you may need to just step back and wait for a bit. To the naked eye, it likely seemed that I was avoiding the search for a new assistant. On the contrary, I finally identified that I shouldn’t force it and the right person for the job was just around the corner. If anything, I’m learning to be patient and to follow my intuition.

I feel like I’ve learned another important detail about myself this month. Identifying these tendencies has taught me how to give myself a bit a grace. I’m learning more about how my own mind and body operates every single day. With this new quality identified, I feel even more in charge of my life. Learning this, coupled with the promise of a very large and very positive change in my business, has given me a new dose of inspiration. I’m feeling recharged and motivated, and I’m more than excited to see what the next several months hold. Here’s to big discoveries and bright futures!

Being a Business Owner

Business Owner (4)

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.

Business Owner (1)

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.

Business Owner (2)

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.

Business Owner (3) 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.

P.S. A post on how I manage a full to-do list.
P.S.S. Click here if you’re interested in becoming a professional realtor.

Just One Goal.

progress > perfectionIf you’ve followed along here more than two days, you know that I’m no stranger to goal-setting. It’s one of my favorite topics, and it’s often how I measure my success. I’ve written about not accomplishing goals before, and I recently had another break through that I thought I’d share.

I have a tendency to want to accomplish everything. Literally everything. This shows up in practically every area of my life. Have a day off? I want to do all of the fun things. A regular day at work? I think I have to get every single thing done. Goal setting time? I’m going to work towards every single idea I had. Did you see my idea list for #the100dayproject? My mind ran wild with ideas, and I wanted to do every single one. When we started renovations on our first house, it was sooo hard for me to not do every single project at once. I probably would have done them all if the funds would have been available!

NikeWhen I was setting my goals for 2015, I had to pare them down a bit. Even after limiting myself some, I still ended up with quite a full list of goals (three separate lists actually). When I purchased these tracking sheets for monitoring my progress, I was pumped. Here’s the problem though — I was tracking too many things.

I had a sheet for exercise. A sheet for blog posts, quality time with Matthew, and 3 sheets for tracking work goals. I had 8 of the beautiful bubble sheets in a pocket folder, ready to track everything…everyday. I’m sure most of you are already seeing the problem here. I, however, did not. After all, I love marking things off and filling in bubbles! It was going to be fantastic and fun!! My thought was, I’ll keep myself motivated because I’ll enjoy getting to fill in the bubbles. Wrong.

Somewhere around the end of February, I quit using them. All of them. I wasn’t doing as well with some of my goals as I’d hoped, and I honestly couldn’t even remember what some of the sheets were for without checking them.

walking in the rainIsn’t this how we end up not accomplishing most of our goals? We fall off the wagon, lose momentum, and then give up all together? The sheets even say it – progress is more important than perfection. Even when you get off track, the important part is that you get back at it. It’s ok to lose sight of the goal every now and then…you just have to get back on track when it happens.

So…I filled in what I could remember on my sheets and then started tracking things again. I did well for a few weeks and then around mid-March, I quit again. Of course, I was getting discouraged. I was working towards some of my goals, not others. I had certainly lost momentum with tracking things, even though I loved these sheets so much. Then I had the all-important breakthrough that I’m sharing with you today. I was doing too much.

I’m currently taking BOLD through Maps Coaching at Keller Williams, which is a life-changing program. It teaches you how to grow your real estate business, yet more importantly, it teaches you how to become a better person. In my BOLD class last week, we talked about a daily habit tracker. (I immediately thought of my bubble sheets and simultaneously felt guilty for being behind yet again.) We talked about how it takes 66 days to form a habit. We’re 110 days into 2015, all of my daily tasks should now be habits! Why am I not rolling out of bed bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (what a weird saying!)? Why am I not exercising like it’s second nature?? My mind was racing.

As the coach continued, I finally had the realization that I so desperately needed. I could indeed conquer every goal in the world…I just needed to do them one at a time.  I was stretching myself too thin, dreaming of big ideas, so I wasn’t able to focus on any one task enough to make any of them happen. I was committed to becoming a better person. I truly wanted it. Those sorts of changes don’t happen overnight, though. I might still be able to accomplish all of these things in 2015. However, I’m going to need to focus on one thing at a time to do so.

goal setting sheetsSo what’s next? I’ve chosen to work on my physical fitness goal first. Rather than having a sporadic fitness plan where I work out out here and there when time allows, I am committing to making time for physical activity. It seems like the most important one to address for the time being, and it’s the one I want/need the most. I pulled my exercise bubble sheet from the portfolio and hung it on the fridge. I’ll be focused on that one goal for now. The others can wait.

I’m sharing this realization today because it was huge for me. I need to really understand this concept and remember it. Furthermore, if you struggle with trying to do too much, you could benefit from trying to pare things down a bit too. If you set a goal for the year and then quit in the first quarter like I did, understand that it’s not over. I really considered giving up since my track record for the first quarter wasn’t so impressive. Don’t do it!! We still have the majority of 2015 left to readjust and make magic happen. If you’re not sticking with your goals, simply reevaluate and make adjustments. If you’re committed and approaching things the right way, you will win. I simply can’t way to see what this adjustment does for my goal-setting process. I also can’t wait to see what it does for you!

Speaking of goal-setting, I pre-ordered the Get To Work Book from Elise, and I can’t wait to get it in my hands!!

Family Reunion 2015!

KW Family Reunion 2015KW Family Reunion 2015KW Family Reunion 2015I spent most of last week in Orlando, FL at Family Reunion. Family Reunion is one of the largest real estate conferences in the world, if not THE largest. Keller Williams agents from around the world converge once a year to discuss results from the previous year and insight for the current year.  We spend most of the days in classes, learning new strategies for growing our businesses, and this year was no exception….I learned A LOT and left with a TON of ideas!

KW Family Reunion 2015The biggest announcement for 2015 is that Keller Williams is now the #1 real estate company in the world!! In 2014, we were pleased to announce that we were the largest company in the US, but this year’s announcement was even larger! It is honestly so humbling to sit back and think of what a magnificent company it is that I work with. The Keller Williams company was started in 1983 in Austin, TX. In just 32 short years, it has grown to #1 in the world. Such substantial and sustainable growth in such a short period of time is a large testament to the culture and vision of this company. I am very proud to get to work with such a fantastic, progressive-thinking group of people.

KW Family Reunion 2015KW Family Reunion 2015We also announced that we’ll be welcoming our peers to our neck of the woods next year. Family Reunion 2016 will be in New Orleans!!

Over 11,000 agents attended this annual conference. If you ever need perspective on how small your corner of the world is, sit in a room of 11,000-12,000 like-minded people who do the same exact thing you do all across the world. It’s an invigorating experience and offers an ample dose of perspective.

KW Family Reunion 2015KW Family Reunion 2015Now that I’m home from the 2015 conference, I’m ready to take this year by storm! It’s so easy to return home and get caught up in the daily hustle and bustle and never implement any new ideas. However, I’m committed to taking steps to implement the things I’ve learned and ideas I’ve had. I plan to set aside time for dreaming big and planning for my business. After all, these are the things that will set me apart and guarantee my success.

Whether they’re personal or professional, I hope that you’re setting big goals for this year, and I hope that you’re committed to making them a reality. Don’t forget…you and you alone are in charge of what your life looks like and where you go. Don’t let the routine of daily life cloud your focus. Here’s to a happy and successful 2015!

KW Family Reunion 2015Want more information about becoming a realtor? Click here! You can also email me at pamelapetrus at gmail dot com!

Related: Family Reunion 2014 – Pheonix, AZ

Keller Williams Family Reunion – Phoenix, AZ

In front of the Keller Williams sign

I wrote this post after returning home from Family Reunion in Phoenix, AZ last year, but I never got around to sharing it here on the blog. In honor of being in Orlando for Family Reunion 2015 this week, I thought I’d finally share the post. Enjoy!

I spent five days in Phoenix for the Keller Williams Family Reunion last month, and I’m totally fired up about what 2014 will hold for my career. (For the record, Family Reunion is an annual conference where our agents get together and discuss trends, ideas, the past year, and what’s new for our company.) There were over 10,000 agents flooding downtown Phoenix for this event!

There were 16 of us from Monroe/West Monroe, and I loved getting to know our team a little better. Even though we work together on transactions and see each other around the office every day, you don’t really get to know someone until you spend a solid 5 days with them!

Unfortunately, my brain was on real estate overload most of the time so I didn’t even snap many photos. We were in back-to-back sessions every day and any free time we had was primarily spent eating. If you’re ever in Phoenix, you must try the key lime pie at Fuego. It was simply delicious. It wasn’t like your regular key lime, and if I ever make it back to Phoenix, I will definitely be stopping by for a slice.

Old Spaghetti Factory

The atmosphere at The Old Spaghetti Factory was fascinating. After making our reservations, we found out that it’s known to be haunted! One of the A&E shows came and agreed that their were indeed spirits present there. The decor was very cool but also a tad creepy considering the place is supposedly haunted. I have several photos from this place, so I may make a separate post soon. Believe in spirits or not, I didn’t go to the restroom alone!

Touhy Family

My other favorite, non-real estate experience was hearing from the Touhy’s, the real-life family from The Blindside. I’ve always found that movie to be so inspiring, and it was great to hear from the real family. The mom, Leigh Anne Tuohy, talked about how she keeps some cash in the console of all of their family’s vehicles so that they can easily give a couple of dollars to someone on a street corner. (For those who say they’ll just buy drugs or alcohol, she says that you’ll be judged on the kindness in your own heart. Let them be judged for what they do with the money.) The biggest take-away from their presentation for me was that you don’t have to adopt a neglected, homeless kid to make a difference in the world. (However, that would help.) I’ve talked about this several times, but even the smallest gestures can make the biggest difference. I’m sure you can think of instances where someone has said or done something to completely turn your day around. It was such a powerful experience.

While I am more than happy to be home to my fantastic husband and my normal work schedule, I am thankful that I had a chance to attend this event. I found some much needed motivation and came home full of ideas for better serving my clients. I am thankful for the chance to be “in the business of making friends,” and I look forward to knocking it out of the park in 2014!

Have you ever thought about a career in real estate or do you have any general questions? I’m willing to help in any way that I can, so feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email or text!

My Tweet: Are you using your time to make a mark or are you just marking time? #kwfr