Category Archives: Business

January Review + February Goals

Goals Review

We’re nearing the end of January, so I thought it would be a good time to reflect on how I’m doing with my 2015 goals so far. In general, I’d say that I’m doing decently well with some and not as great with others. Some might find this discouraging, but I say it’s the nature of the beast.

Here are the things I’m doing well at:

  1. Waking up by 6:00-6:30. I’d be lying if I didn’t say this one is probably the toughest goal that I’ve set. Maybe ever. I seriously hate getting out of bed in the morning, and it’s been quite a struggle. However, there have been two instances where I’ve slept well past the 6:00-6:30 goal, and it’s had a tremendous, negative effect on my day. I’m going to keep this one up, but I’d say that we have a love/hate relationship at this time.
  2. Blogging 2x per week. I had to make 3 posts one week to make up for missing a post the week before, but I’ve met the monthly number. In my mind, that totally counts. I only made 4 posts in January of last year, so the fact that this is my 9th post for the month feels like a huge accomplishment…that’s more than double! I attribute a lot of the success so far to having a good deal of help from my assistants. (Thanks, girls…you’re the best!!) I can’t wait to see how this plays out as my work schedule fills up, but we’re headed in the right direction for now.
  3. Monthly quality time days with Matthew. I marked this one off too! I can already see that the first half of the month is going to fly by, and we’ll likely be squeezing this time in at the end of each month. However, the purpose of this goal is to make the time happen, so as long as I can mark this off by the end of each month, I’ll be happy.
  4. Host a party. I wouldn’t exactly count this as a party, but I did have some friends over for my birthday. Since the big goal here is to spend time with the people I love, I’m counting this as a party…and filling in a bubble on my goal sheet. 🙂
  5. Replacing mediocre things. I wouldn’t say that I did anything major towards this goal. However, I did make a pretty big step for myself. Hold on to your seats…this is a big one – I replaced the hand soap in our bathroom. Riveting, I know! On a serious note though, I was forcing myself to finish this bottle before buying a new one. The bottle was old and dingy. The nozzle was nearly clogged, and I didn’t like the texture or smell of the soap. The worst part was, it always seemed to leave little specks behind in the sink, so I was constantly having to clean the sink after washing my hands…so counterproductive! Nonetheless, it was still an unfinished bottle of soap, so I figured I needed to finish it before buying a new bottle. Not true. I threw this disgusting nuisance away and replaced it with a fresh, new bottle that smells lovely and doesn’t make a huge mess. One small step for mankind, one giant step for me!

While I did made some progress towards these five things, I didn’t do so well at working out regularly, random acts of kindness, or volunteering. Some of these are more annual or quarterly goals though, so I’m not too discouraged. Regardless, I feel like this month was pretty successful, and I’m excited to keep working towards all of these goals.

As we wrap up January, I’ve been thinking about what I want to do in February. Honestly, I struggled to set goals for February. For some reason, I just couldn’t really wrap my head around what I wanted to do. Finally, I settled on a few simple goals for the month.

  1. Leave with at least 3 big things (but no more than 5) from Family Reunion 2015. Family Reunion is the big, annual conference for Keller Williams. Agents from all over the world come together for a jam-packed week of training, networking, and planning. It’s nothing less than overwhelming. Since I tend to want to do all things at once, I hope to pick just 3-5 things from the conference that I want to implement in my business this year.
  2. Actually celebrate Valentine’s Day. Since we’ve been married, Matthew and I have never really celebrated Valentine’s Day. Honestly, I’ve always thought it was a pretty dumb holiday. This year, though, I’d like to make a little bigger deal of it. I think Matthew and I will do something special! (Side note: I can totally count whatever we do as a QT day and mark it on my sheet!)
  3. Hang at least 3 things on the walls. You’ve seen this pop up on several of my monthly goals lists. I have made a tiny, little bit of progress, but not near as much as I’d like. If I were being completely honest, I’d say that I struggle with just doing things. Instead, I have to plan everything out perfectly first. This is especially true for putting holes in my new walls. (Read: On Waiting for Perfection if you don’t believe me.) However, I’m growing a bit tired of bare walls. This month, I’m hanging some things. Period!

How are you doing with your goals so far this year? Don’t be discouraged if you haven’t knocked them out of the park yet. I haven’t either. We still have hundreds of days left in 2015, and there’s plenty of time to work towards whatever dreams you may have. Join me in setting a few small goals for the month, and let’s show February who’s the boss!

How ‘Do Not Disturb’ Changed My Life

Do Not DisturbThis fun fact is really only for my iPhone readers, although I’m sure there’s a similar function on most smart phones. It probably sounds a little dramatic, but I seriously can’t describe how big of a difference this new discovery has made for me.

As a realtor,  my phone rings literally all the time. If I’m not chatting with a client or lender, an attorney’s office is calling. If I’m not scheduling an inspection or appraisal, someone is texting me about a new listing. (Let’s not even mention emails.) I blow through a full battery in the blink of an eye, but I’m practically always on my phone. This isn’t a complaint…it’s just part of the business that I’m in. (It’s also part of the reason I don’t really get a “day off.”)

What does this really mean though? It means that my phone is still going off when I’m home for the night. It means that during family functions, I can feel my phone vibrating in my pocket. It means that during a meeting with a client, they see my phone going off nonstop, and they feel rushed. None of these things are conducive to a well-balanced, happy life or a successful business. I got 11 texts back to back at 3:00 am once! I do work a lot, but I’m likely sleeping at 3:00 am. My phone has literally rang at all hours of the night. Then, I’m awake with work on the brain, and I can’t go back to sleep. This I how I come to explore the world of do not disturb.

At first, I was hesitant to use this iPhone feature because I was afraid that my mom would need me in the middle of the night or someone would call with an emergency. However, I learned that a call from anyone in your favorites list would come on through. How perfect!

For several months now, I’ve been putting my phone on do not disturb when I get into bed at night. Calls and texts still come through, but I’m not notified. This way, I’m able to sleep peacefully through the night (most of the time) and yet still be able to receive messages that I need to handle the next day.

On a usual day, I switch my phone back to its active mode once I’m done getting ready in the morning. I’ve talked about things that I’ve learned, and one of those is that if I get a call or text early in the morning with something that needs to be handled right away, I immediately start rushing through getting ready and my day starts spiraling out of control. I’ve also learned that being able to get ready in a slow, easy pace is like heaven to me. There’s just something so refreshing to me about being able to take my time getting dressed in the mornings. Almost all of my best days start with this. Therefore, I quickly learned that leaving my phone on do not disturb until I was done getting dressed made a world of difference for how my day developed and my mood. After all, I think it’s best to try to keep work to “work hours” as much as possible. (That means I’m probably not going to text you back at 6:00 am. Honestly, I’m not much of a morning person, so you really don’t want to hear from me that early. You’re welcome!)

I say all of this, not to discourage anyone for reaching out to me at any time. (I don’t get phone notifications for emails, so feel free to send those at any hour!) Instead, this post is about learning what works for you and makes you most productive. I knock out such a tremendous amount of work in the daytime hours, that I know I can limit the late evening and early morning hours for my personal time. I know that my entire day (which in turn means my mood and my ability to help my clients) becomes so much better when I give myself some disconnected time.

I shared the foundation of my productivity method last week, and I’d have to say using do not disturb would be my next big thing. If you struggle to disconnect or carve out time for yourself, you’ll want to give this a try. No one will know that you’re using the feature (calls don’t go straight to voicemail), and you can be in better control of your time. I honestly feel like I’ve been a ton happier and way more productive by using this tool.

What about you? Ever used the do not disturb feature? Have any other tips for ways of limiting your connectivity? I’m all ears!

*Again, of you’re a client or friend of mine, don’t hesitate to reach out to me if needed. I’m nearly always available and if you don’t get me right away, I’ll respond as soon as possible. I’ll just be sleeping (hopefully) during the night time hours. 🙂

To-Do Notebook

Tennessee5Anyone who knows me knows that I’m pretty much always going 90 miles an hour. I seldom slow down, and I always have a million irons in the fire. As I get older, I’m trying to really get a grasp on my daily life in order to take it a little easier on myself and eliminate as much stress from my life as possible. I hope that you’ll do the same because stress is really, really bad for you.

One thing that I’ve spent the last year or so working on is mastering my to-do list. One of the major productivity methods suggests that you write down every little thing that you need to do instead of just trying to remember things. It maintains that by not writing these things down, you force yourself to try to remember them wasting valuable brain space and increasing your stress levels. Once upon a time I was the person who never used a calendar or wrote out a grocery list…I did it all from memory. I shiver at that thought now!

Throughout this process, I’ve tried several different ways of organizing my life. I’ve used list software like Wunderlist. I’ve read pages and pages on processes like the Getting Things Done method. For a while, I used a combination of methods along with Wunderlist, and it actually worked pretty well for me. However, I soon fell off the wagon and quit using my newly developed system. I no longer had a grip on my days, and I didn’t have the desire to pick my old method back up. Then, I started using a little notepad to track my daily activities, and I felt in control again. Using this little notebook to keep track of what I need to do each day has made a profound difference in my productivity and stress level. Today, I’m going to tell you a little about my current productivity system and my beloved to-do notebook.

Tennessee5First, let’s talk about my requirements for a notebook of this type.

  1. Spiral Binding: I like my notebooks to be spiral bound so they stay open easily by themselves. I can’t stand when a book closes when I don’t want it to!
  2. Size & Weight: I carry this notebook with me at all times, so it needs to be lightweight and not too large. Most of the times I prefer something around a 5×7 size…it’s not too big and not too small and can easily slip in my purse.
  3. Paper: I do not like recycled paper. (I know, shame on me.) In theory I’d love recycled paper, but in most cases certain pens and highlighters will bleed through the paper and that can make a mess quickly! The pages must also be lined…it just makes sense!
  4. Cover: The book itself needs to be very durable since I’ll be using it daily for months at a time. Furthermore, I need it to be fun and cheery. This book is what motivates me to accomplish my daily tasks every day. A boring, plain book is simply not going to do that for me.

Tennessee5-3I’m pretty sure that you don’t know many other people who are so peculiar about a notebook. You should discuss daily planners with my friend, Amanda, if you think I’m crazy! Honestly, I’ve learned a ton about productivity and organization from her, so don’t judge!

So now that we’ve thoroughly discussed my qualifications for a to-do notebook, let’s talk about how I use it. I have a few different to-do list pages. I have daily to-dos and overall to-dos. (While I’m referring to them as to-dos all throughout this post, I don’t actually use that term in my notebook. That term is known to cause some anxiety itself. I haven’t settled on another name for them yet, but “to-do” is never written in my notebook.)

The overall to-dos are things that I need/want to do eventually but aren’t time sensitive. For example, cleaning out the pantry and selecting a new rug would be on this list. These items don’t have to be done today or tomorrow, but I do want to get around to them soon. It’s important to write these sorts of things down because otherwise they’re clogging up your brain space and can cause anxiety when you suddenly remember that you needed to do something like pick up the dry cleaning. Ideally, you would transfer items from this list on to the daily lists as time permitted. You should reference this list often to be sure you’re working towards the things you want to accomplish. Be sure to understand that this isn’t the place where miscellaneous tasks go to die…it’s more like the waiting room.

Daily tasksThe meat of my to-do notebook is my daily to-do items. Each day I have a page where I write the day and date as a header. It’ll say, “Thursday, February 7th” on the top and that page will include everything that I need to accomplish on that day. One of the important things that I learned during my productivity research is to not write down big goals. Instead, your list should be full of smaller items that can be accomplished quickly. For example, your list wouldn’t include painting the bedroom. Instead, it would include taping the edges, picking a paint color, buying paint and supplies, covering furniture, etc. Nothing should go on your list that isn’t a specific action itself. Therefore, my daily lists contain items like sending a contract to a client, returning a phone call, etc. I put any and everything on there that I need to remember with the goal being to not retain any of that in my head. I even include calendar items there like “lunch with Sheila,” but that’s mainly for the satisfaction of marking it off after lunch.

Lists, lists, listsThe goal of this notebook is to keep me from forgetting important things, but it has so much more value than just that. It frees up my brain to focus on more important things than trying to remember what 17 things I had to do today. It also helps me to stay focused and productive. More importantly, it reminds me of just how hard I worked that day. I’m quite the workaholic and I struggle with guilt issues on a daily basis. When I wrap up a day with a full page of items crossed off, I can remind myself that I worked hard today and I deserve to take the evening off. I can remind myself that even though the day may have been chaotic, I still knocked it out of the park and got a lot accomplished. The value of this little notebook has surpassed what I ever thought possible, and while I may switch to another system eventually, this method knocks my socks off right now.

What system do you use to organize your to-do lists and stay productive? As you know, I’m very goal driven, so talking about productivity methods gets me excited! I’d love to hear about how you handle daily tasks…please share!

On Taking a Day Off..

Mmm... CoffeeI laid in bed on Christmas Eve morning reading blog posts and drinking coffee, which is basically my favorite thing to do. Truth be told, I don’t get to enjoy this sort of down time very often, so when I do, it feels amazing. (I almost always post something on IG.) The previous week(s) had been so busy that I was pumped about the chance to just rest for a bit before getting up and getting ready for the holiday festivities. I read a post about taking some time off, and it led me to think more about what taking time off means for me.

In 2015, I hope to share more about what the real estate industry is like, and I think this post is a great start. When it comes to taking “a day off,” let me begin by saying that never actually happens. Before you think I’m being a Debbie Downer or complaining about my job, let me be clear….this isn’t a bad thing, and I’m certainly not complaining. The reality of real estate is that your always working. (We’ll talk more about what “work” means for me later.) For a variety of reasons, there’s really no such thing as a day off. I work primarily from my cell phone, so I’m almost always available, even if I’m not at the office. There are probably only one or two times in 2014 that I didn’t do any work on a given day. Owning your own business most often means that you don’t get to leave your work at the office over the weekend or holidays. Instead, work comes home with you and follows you every where you go.

GatlingburgOur trip to Gatlinburg would be somewhat of an example of this. I planned to be completely off for a week. I terribly needed a break after the whirlwind that was May. I forwarded my phone calls to another agent and tried to do as little work as possible while on this vacation. However, I still responded to texts and emails every chance I had and had to handle a mini crisis from afar, that ultimately led to me crying in a restaurant bathroom. Embarrassing, but exhaustion will do that to ya.

The Gatlinburg trip shows how days off go for me in this business (minus the crying usually). I was technically “off” on Christmas Eve, but I had already handled two items of business by 8:30 am. It’s highly likely that I’m still working, even if I’m at home, at the mall, or on vacation. Being able to separate my life from my job can be a tough battle to fight. It’s very, very easy to let your work-life take over your personal-life, especially when you’re a workaholic, like me. I struggled with this a lot in the beginning of my real estate career. Here’s the kicker though…sometimes my work creeps in to my personal time, BUT I get to do my job from practically anywhere!

Working From My BedAt first glance this post probably seems negative. (Read: I can’t ever get away from my work!) However, after a few cases of burnout and tears to my husband, I realized something magical – I can do my job while simultaneously doing other things, giving me a ton of flexibility. Yes, I may never actually get a “day off.” However, I can get my nails done in the middle of the afternoon while simultaneously securing a deal on someone’s dream home. I can leave the office if I’m feeling shut in, and work from my patio instead. How amazing! Yes, I may technically have to do a bit of work on Christmas, but I can likely do so while getting back to my family quickly and easily.

As I sit and reflect on the past year, one of the things that I’m most thankful for is this career. I’m thankful that I took the leap of faith to start a new business (and for my support system who encouraged me). I’m thankful for learning how to really work this business in a manner that suits my needs. I’m thankful for a successful, mind-blowing year and the fruits of my hard work that Matthew and I are enjoying. I’m thankful for how much I’ve learned about this career and making it work for me over this last year. I’m certain that I’ll still struggle with carving out time for myself, but I’ve learned so much about making that happen this year, and I’m looking forward to an even better 2015.

If you’ve ever considered a career in real estate and have questions, I’d be happy to talk to you more about it. It’s a tough industry sometimes, but it’s also one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. There are so many things that I love about this career, and I’m happy to talk to you more about it if you’re interested. Click this link to get more information about the company I work with and feel free to email me!

Two Years of Blogging

Downtown Carriage RideWell folks, it’s been two full years of blogging for me here at My Neck of the Woods! I really can’t believe that two years have flown by so quickly and that so much has changed in such a short time. My first post was on September 14, 2012. (Honestly, I planned to post an anniversary post on that day but was thinking it was October, not September. I did the same thing last year. Oops.) Nonetheless, I’m happy to report that I still love this place, and that I appreciate you for following along with my crazy life.

So much has changed in my life over the past two years. I’ve gotten married, sold a business and started a new one. Matt’s gone to nursing school (and will finish in February!). We’ve bought a house and a car. We’ve celebrated a first anniversary and a second. We’ve tackled cancer and done some traveling. Two years seems like such a short period of time, but I can assure you that I’ve done so much in those 730 days. A lot of it has been shared here on this blog, and it truly means the world to me that you want to follow along.

GatlingburgIn addition to all of our personal changes, this blog itself has changed a lot. When I wrote that very first post, I really had no idea what to expect. Previously, I had just shared my thoughts in extremely long Facebook posts. I had really wanted to find a way to speak out for months and months, but launching a blog seemed so daunting. One day I just sat down and did it. I created a free blogger site with little to no knowledge of how it even worked. I didn’t have goals or plans…I just knew I wanted to try it. A few months later, Matthew created a more complex (and attractive) wordpress site for me, and I felt like a real blogger. My only readers were friends and family, and I wasn’t even sure what I wanted to post about. I just knew I wanted to write.

In the beginning, I thought this would be a DIY blog with lots of fun ideas and tutorials. I thought I’d post inspirational tidbits and blog a lot about decorating. My pictures were absolutely horrible and the layouts of the posts were choppy and hard to follow. I didn’t know what I was doing, and looking back at those early posts are quite embarrassing. (Feel free to take a gander through the archives if you’re brave enough.) However, the important part is that I took the step. I knew that I wanted to tell my story, and I jumped out there and gave this blogging adventure a shot. I just started posting. I didn’t spend years researching my options or learning the best ways to post. I started snapping pictures with my iPhone and posting my thoughts on the internet. I shared crappy projects and bad photos for quite some time as I learned more about the process and my goals for this space.

Wedding PhotoAfter two years of blogging, my photos are better (not fabulous, but better). My posts are more like me (not always perfect, but they’re me). I post more regularly (not quite like clockwork yet, but I’m getting there…they’re definitely more frequent than before).

After two years of blogging, I know more about what I want from this space. Like in the beginning, I still want to tell my story. It might not always be a thrilling, invigorating story, but it’s mine. My foremost goal for this space is to simply share my life with those around me. My second goal is to inspire. Whether inspiration be found in a project or home tour or through a post on making this world a better place, I simply want to inspire others to make their worlds work for them. I want people to find beauty in everyday life and see the possibilities that lie around them. At this point, I don’t think this blog will be the place to come for a new DIY tutorial. Two years of blogging has helped me to learn more about myself and my goals, and for now, I’m going to focus on telling my story and using this medium to inspire and encourage others.

Day 1: From Where I Stand

When I really sit and think about the fact that it’s been two whole years of posting here, I feel so humbled and thankful. Many of you have read along with me since the very beginning and you’ll never know how much that means to me. For some, you’re new here and that’s just fine too. The fact of the matter is, I feel incredibly honored that you all come here and read my writing (which is sometimes more rambling than writing). You come back post after post and read along. Sometimes you comment. Sometimes you email or message me. Sometimes you mention posts in public, and no matter how you reach out to me, please know that I’m incredibly appreciative. I don’t know what the next two years are going to look like for me, but I can’t wait to see it play out, and I can’t wait to share it with you here.

After reflecting on this little anniversary, I feel like I should say this – whatever little dream or idea that you may have, it’s time to take a chance on it. Take a chance and try something you can’t stop thinking about. You don’t have to know everything about the process and you likely won’t be fabulous at it on day one. However, taking a leap of faith and just starting will be so much more rewarding that never trying. It’s better to have tried and failed than to always wonder what could have been. Chances are, you won’t fail at all. Chances are, that you’ll be able to look back in a few years and see how much you’ve learned and how far you’ve come. Changes are, you’ll look back and be embarrassed at how little you knew back then but be proud of how much you’ve learned.

Matt & Pamela with a new Honda AccordHere’s to the next two years of living and learning and trying all of the new things! Thanks again for your support and encouragement through my journey.

Dear May, I love you.

Top Agent, Pamela PetrusMay was the most fantastic month. Big things happened around here. During the month of May, I closed 14 houses for a volume of over $1,100,000! This number put me as the #3 agent in our office for this month (out of over 100 agents). I was also the #6 agent in our entire market with hundreds of agents. I definitely don’t mean to brag but this is such an amazing accomplishment, and I’m so excited!

I also post this to say that I am incredibly thankful to have everyone’s support in this journey. I would not been able to accomplish such things in one month without you all sending business my way. (Remember, if someone is looking for a new house, call me first so I can help them! They don’t even have to pay me!) Most of my May transactions were from friends and family calling me to let me know of someone looking for a home. This means the world to me! I simply cannot succeed in this business without you all spreading the word for me. You’ve done that, and I’m THANKFUL! If I could drive to each of you and hug your neck, I’d do it!!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Please keep the referrals coming. I’m looking forward to a successful June too!

Salt & Pepper – New Ownership!

Salt & PepperAs most of you know, I opened Salt & Pepper Accessory Boutique with my sister in 2009. Almost 4 years later we sold the business to our wonderful friend, Jessica Pollard. Both Sherri and I wanted to pursue other things, (I am LOVING new real estate career by the way.) and we knew Jessica could take the reigns and make magic happen with the business. Since taking over, Jessica has added her own spin to our little shop, and it’s been so fun to watch it evolve. I thought I’d take a minute to formally introduce Jessica to my readers and friends.

Pamela: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview for my readers. Tell us a little about yourself.
Jessica: I am originally from Oak Grove, Louisiana and this is my second retail store to own. I have a degree in fashion merchandising and have worked in retail for 19 years…it’s in my blood! I love being able to be creative with the business and styling customers based on their individual personalities.

Pamela: Nineteen years is a long time. What makes you love the fashion/retail industry?
Jessica: Fashion is ever changing…from styles and seasons to colors…there’s always something new to explore. Plus, getting to interact with customers is very exciting.

Pamela: What sorts of products have you added to S&P?
Jessica: I’ve added more clothing options, new boots, sandals, and the well-loved Minnetonka Moccasins. I’ve also expanded our collections of customer favorites like Lenny & Eva and Natural Life.
Pamela: (You all MUST go see the new Lenny & Eva products…they’re my favorite!!)

Pamela: What have you done to make the store your own?
Jessica: I have taken the clothing options in a different direction, offering a different style than the store had before. I’ve also added local art from our area.

Pamela: What do you feel sets S&P apart from other similar businesses?
Jessica: We take great pride in our customer service…you just don’t find that everywhere. Plus, our merchandise is so versatile that it fits any age group.

Pamela: What have been your biggest challenges from owning your own business again?
Jessica: It’s always tough to find unique products that aren’t offered just anywhere, and that’s something I’ll always be pursuing. Staffing is sometimes a battle because it’s important to find employees that work hard and represent your business well. On top of that, I’d saying finding the balance between a work like and a personal life is something I’m continually working on.

Pamela: As we wrap up, please tell us what your favorite trend is for the Spring 2014 season.
Jessica: The boho trend is my favorite! I love boots with dresses because it’s funky and fun. Plus, I’m in love with fringe!

Salt & PepperThank you, Jessica, for the interview!  Make sure to stop by the store on Antique Alley soon and show her some love! You can also follow Salt & Pepper on facebook and Instagram. She’ll ship items nationwide, so be sure to snag some of your favorites! We want you all to welcome and support Jessica just the way you did us. We truly appreciate the love you’ve shown her the last 8 months, and we hope you’ll keep it up!

Salt & PepperAs for me, I truly loved getting to know you all and have missed seeing your faces regularly. Please add me on Facebook (Pamela Bryant Petrus) so I can keep in contact with you. (You can also follow me on Instagram or twitter.) Furthermore, if you know of anyone hoping to buy or sell a house, please call me! My contact info is on my real estate page.

Salt & PepperBefore we wrap up, there are two more things to talk about.

  • First, Jessica is hosting a FASHION EVENT this Saturday, March 15 at the store (400 Trenton Street, West Monroe). The fashion show starts at 7:00 pm and there will be food and lots of fun. I will be there cheering Jessica on and I really, really hope I’ll get to see lots of familiar faces there. Please join me in supporting Jessica’s first event at the store!
  • Second, Jessica and I are teaming up to offer my FIRST EVER giveaway on the blog! You can enter to win a $25 gift certificate to Salt & Pepper just by heading over to the S&P Instagram (@saltandpepperboutique). Take a look around and then come back here and comment with your favorite item. (Be sure to click “follow” because you don’t want to miss seeing the spring arrivals.) Leave a comment here and a random winner will be chosen on Friday, March 10, 2014 at 4:00 pm!

Thank you again for stopping by! Don’t forget the show on Saturday, and be sure to comment for a chance to win! Much love – Pamela

6 Months in Real Estate!

Pamela Petrus, RealtorToday marks exactly 6 months since I got my real estate license! I must say that these last 6 months have FLOWN by, and I have learned and experienced so much in a short period of time.

I wanted to take a few moments to reflect upon what these last 6 months have been like.

1. Since I can remember, I’ve ALWAYS wanted to be in real estate. I can remember watching episodes of House Hunters for hours and hours. Something about the industry has always called my name. Once I decided to get my license, I realized that I had been right all along…I feel like I was made for this industry!

2. I finally accepted that I’ll never know every single thing there is to know about real estate. Every single transaction is different, so there’s always something new to learn. At first, this was difficult for me because I’ve always been an overachiever and not knowing all of the ins and outs was tough! However, I’ve learned the processes backwards and forwards, and I’ve accepted that each new transaction will bring with it something new to learn. For example, I now know what to do in the case of a government shutdown. How can I ever get bored??!

3. Possibly my most favorite take-away so far is all of the new friends I’m making. From fellow agents to clients, I’m thrilled with the ever-expanding network that I’m now a part of. I’ve always said that I’m in the business of making friends (even in my last business), and that’s so very true here. My goal is to finish every transaction with a new set of lifelong friends, and I feel so lucky to have already made so many. When a client invites me to their Christmas party or texts me randomly to check on Mom….it seriously means the world to me. I absolutely love that this industry gives me hundreds of new ways to develop my love of people.

4. As of yesterday, I have closed my 7th house! That may not seem like much, but when I began, everyone told me to prepare for not selling anything for 3-6 months. I’m immensely proud of myself for having already closed 7 houses in this 6th month period. There are “seasoned” agents in our market that haven’t closed 7 houses this whole year! Long story short, I feel so very blessed to have been able to hit the ground running and have launched this career with such success so early on. I am incredibly proud (and relieved) because breaking out into a new industry on faith alone is very scary!

5. I’m planning to finish up 2013 strong and have even bigger plans for the next year. I sincerely appreciate everyone who has sent buyers and sellers my way, called me for real estate advice, and supported this dream of mine. I seriously could not do this business without you all sending business my way, so please keep it coming!

Pamela Petrus, RealtorHere’s to an even better 2014!

Happy Halloween!

Audrey HepburnThis year’s Halloween plans were rather tame. However, I made sure to take full advantage of our Halloween event at Keller Williams. We had a potluck lunch and costume contest at the office, coupled with a baby shower for two of our agents.My first instinct was to go as a mermaid, but I decided on Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s…it would be much easier to work in after the party. Do you know anyone who has their hair professionally done for a Halloween costume? Yeah…probably not.

Halloween HairI should point out that it was literally FLOODING  on Halloween morning. Of course it would be, considering I had a legit hair appointment for this costume. I had my hair done first thing that morning which means I wore a shower cap and sweat pants to take my mom to treatments. It was a lovely sight! Then, I rushed home and changed. It was tough not to look like a drowned rat by the time I made it to the party, but somehow I pulled it off!

Audrey Hepburn and a BallerinaMy new assistant started her first real day on the job, so she joined us as a pretty ballerina. Doesn’t everyone wear a tutu to their first day at the office?? There were witches, a banana, a pirate, Captain America…you name it! Courtney made the most adorable homeless person…her sign really made the costume. It read, “Homeless. Need rich husband.” What a fantastic solution!
Audrey Hepburn helps the HomelessAudrey Hepburn and Brett MichaelsBrett Michaels even made a star-studded appearance! I should mention that his vest and leather pants were from my garage sale stuff. No joke. My Mom made that zebra vest for my senior prom date to match my dress. Again, not joking. This was before zebra print was everywhere…I was making a statement!I think my most significant accomplishment this Halloween was mastering cat eyes with liquid eyeliner! Makeup is not really my thing, and I was terrified of that liquid liner. Now I think I might rock it everyday! For inspiration on Audrey Hepburn make up, this 12 minute video was pretty detailed! You can also try the scotch tape trick, but I failed at this one…I taped my eye shut!

If you want to see what Audrey Hepburn looks like in the morning, click here!

Audrey HepburnSo, how do you think I did?? I simply love dressing up!

What’s Going On…Real Estate

La Real Estate Commission

Man, it has been an exciting day! It’s as if everything that I’ve been working towards for months culminated suddenly today.

I took my real estate exams this morning….and PASSED! I feel very excited to have passed both the state and national portions on the first attempt. I feel even more excited that this huge step is behind me, and I’m one step closer to beginning this new adventure.

Real Estate ExamNot only did I accomplish my last big hurdle before becoming a licensed real estate agent, I also finished up some important paperwork for the big switch over at Salt & Pepper. It’s amazing that both of these huge events unfolded today, within hours of each other.

People have been shocked that I am leaving Salt & Pepper and constantly want to know how that makes me feel. That’s a tough question! Of course, I am sad to bid farewell to such an important and huge part of my life. However, closing this one door is opening such an exciting new chapter, that it’s impossible for me to be sad for long. I’ve dreamed of trying real estate from the sidelines for years, and I am so very grateful that the opportunity arose.

As with any new adventure, I’m a tad nervous about conquering this new territory, but there’s something about it that feels right. I have a ton to learn and trainings galore in my future, but I can’t wait to take it all in. The tough part is behind me, and now I’m ready for the fun stuff!

Paperwork galoreI should be officially licensed as early as Monday, and I’ll be ready to start selling stuff! If you are considering buying or selling a house, hit me up! Even if you don’t live in this area, I can still hook you up with a fabulous agent in your town. Also, please tell your friends about me! If you’ve ever worked with me on anything before, you know that I always tell it like it is and will never, ever sell something that I don’t believe in. (Pardon the sales pitch…I have to find clients somewhere! My father-in-law always says, “If you can’t sell things to your friends and family, then who do you think you can sell to?” He has a point.)

La Real Estate CommissionAs I sit here and reflect on these past few weeks and the excitement of today, I can’t help but feel completely and utterly blessed. I’ve had so many wonderful opportunities already in my life, and I’m lucky to get to continue learning and growing. I have an AMAZING support system that stands behind and encourages me every single time I tackle something new. You guys are awesome!

That reminds me…thank you all for reading this blog (yet another project of mine). I started it as a creative outlet for myself, but it means the world to me that you all care enough to read along. So, THANK YOU!