One of the main questions I get about the new, old house is if I’m opening the front porch back up. The short answer — no. The porch is currently enclosed with old crank windows all the way around. I’m not sure when the open porch was closed in, but my guess is that it’s been that way for a very long time.
As you know, I recently started rehabilitating a 100 year old house for myself. Saving old houses has been a dream of mine for many years and I’ve been so thrilled to get to bring this one back to life. Before I purchased this home, I set my eyes on another 100 year old beauty in Monroe’s Garden District. I’d shown the house to a few clients and it had not worked for any of them. I began thinking about purchasing it myself and what I could do to update it without losing any of that old-house character. I even started a Pinterest board for it! Long story short, I decided I wasn’t quite ready for the project at that time, and shortly after, a different set of clients had the opportunity to make it their home. Continue reading
It’s been right at one month since I closed on this diamond in the rough. It’s amazing how much has changed in such a short time, and I’m pretty jazzed about it. These photos were all taken last night, so I could show you what’s been done lately. Continue reading
My tip top favorite thing about living here is being on the water and the views. My camera roll is full of photos of that bridge in different lights. The clouds are beautiful and I wake up every morning to the sunrise in my bedroom window. Not being a “morning person,” having that view to see when I first wake up is motivation to go ahead and open my sleepy eyes! Sunny days, cloudy days, and stormy days — they’re all a beauty on the river. Continue reading
Kitchen cabinet demo is almost done! We were able to remove that fabulous sink and it looks like it is salvageable. I’m excited that there’s wood under the kitchen ceiling too! We uncovered some old wallpaper there which was an interesting find. I’m sure it was really pretty during its time. There’s not wood under that breakfast nook addition and I’ll either add more bead board or sheetrock that area. I’d really like to understand why the bead board is cut into pieces like it is on the one side. Oh, the unanswered questions. Also, there might be wood under the paneling walls. Fingers crossed. Continue reading
It’s been a productive few weeks with the old house renovation project. Demo always moves along the quickest and has the biggest impact. Eventually, I’ll share my plans/struggles/ideas for each room. For now, just try to use your imagination the best you can. Things are moving fast over here! If you don’t remember what it looked like before, you can start here. Continue reading
There’s this 100 year old house. I saw its pictures online and took a spin to look at it up close, to see if it might be a good investment. I walked in, observing its slanted floors and dated fixtures. Noticing its potential. I envisioned turning that one room into a third bedroom and reconfiguring the kitchen. I imagined people gathering for parties and kids playing in the big yard. Next thing I knew, I envisioned myself there. Continue reading
Last 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:
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
2016 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!
Trying something new or starting a new adventure can absolutely be one of the scariest tasks ever. Sometimes when we start out on a new path, everything feels so uncertain and frightening. However, if you push through that initial fear, wonderful things are usually right around the corner.
In the last several years of my professional career, I’ve launched multiple new projects and businesses. With each new endeavor, I always feel that tinge of fear. So far, I’ve been able to push myself through that and I’m always glad that I did. As I’m on the verge of doing a few new things, I’ve started thinking about how I handle this uncertainty and what I do to push through that part of the process. If you find yourself getting nervous as new opportunities arise, here are some things to consider:
1. Will you regret NOT doing it more than you’d regret any negative outcome? This is my number one motivator when it comes to new projects. Most of the time, we’re secretly afraid of failure. What if it flops? What if it ends badly? I always imagine myself 30 years down the road. If I don’t attempt this new project, will I regret it later? If I avoid something out of fear, will I look back later and wish I would have just sucked it up? If the answer to either of those is yes (and it usually is), then I know I have to push forward.
2. What is the absolute worst thing that can happen? Go wild with this one. Most of the time, the absolute worst thing really isn’t that daunting. Take real estate for example. When I decided to get my license and change careers, it cost me around $2,500 to get stared. If I was terrible at it or hated it, I had only lost $2,500. In the big scheme of things, that’s not too risky, and I wouldn’t be financially crippled for the rest of my life. Realizing that a $2,500 investment (plus my time) was all that I was risking to go after something I’d always wanted, made the risk seem much less daunting.
3. What could the potential outcome be? Let’s switch gears to the opposite end of the spectrum. If everything goes ideally as planned, what will your life look like? What is the best possible outcome? Are you able to envision a better life? Obviously, there’s a chance that things won’t be as glorious as you’re able to imagine. However, there’s also a chance that they could be even better! Sometimes we’re only able to imagine a small portion of the potential that lies ahead. If you can dream of this new adventure creating a life that you love, it’s definitely worth exploring. On the other hand, if you’re not able to see the positive results very clearly, then maybe it’s not the right option for right now. Either way, dreaming about the potential can make you see things more clearly and guide your decisions.
No matter how scary, no matter how elusive, when we continually think and dream about a particular item, it likely means we need to explore it. When our thoughts tend to gravitate towards the same item, our subconscious is probably telling us to explore it. Sometimes these are large, daunting things. Sometimes they’re small and more manageable. Either way, we never know the outcome of something until we give it a shot.
During this stage of my life, I’m committing to chasing those dreams. I’m taking advantage of this life of mine. I’m learning tennis. I’m starting new businesses. I’m making bold decisions in my home. The way I see it, life is much to short to wonder “what if?”
If you’re toying with the idea of doing something new, I hope these few points provide some enlightenment. Think through them, consider the options, and then just go for it! Starting in the scariest point. After that, you’re just working towards your dreams. What do you really, really want to do? Go do that thing!