How did I go from not feeling myself when telling people I was a real estate agent to feeling good, excited even, about being one?
It happened in a moment during an Enneagram class I was taking.
The Enneagram is a geometric figure with nine points that maps out nine personality types and their relationships with each other. Each personality type is distinguished by distinct motivations, gifts, blindspots and challenges and the “number” of each personality type looks at life through its own stance or “lens”. (See the link above for details.) What I appreciate most about the Enneagram is that it points each number to paths of health and wholeness.
As a “four” I seek to be genuine and unique I delve deep into my emotional life and tend to feel something is wrong with me. I am sensitive to my feelings. I am always on an unending quest for identity. (Thus the blog.) And I need to be creative.
I realized during class when someone was describing the creativity of “fours” that if I recreated myself as a business owner as opposed to just a realtor, I could change my perception of my work. I could shift from being misfit realtor who does not fit the stereotype of “smooth talking business lady making deals” to woman who grows her business serving others with her resources of knowledge and relationships. As a realtor, I can create my own business, my own role, my own schedule, and choose my path of professional development.
In a couple days, I am joining a new brokerage that’s a better fit for my personality and that has a vision I share. I’m resetting myself as business owner, not just a real estate agent. I will also be using my skills to help my parents with their properties. So what I’m learning will be practical and meaningful. I will be part of a larger team and can learn from the other realtors. There are weekly trainings and speakers. I like learning. I have a new logo. I have new plans. I feel great.
The shift in my my mindset was so much more than just a shift in how I saw myself as a realtor. After almost thirty years of searching and dissatisfaction with my career, I finally feel good about my work. I have started my own business and hope to use my skills to provide trusted support to my friends and family who need help with real estate. I also hold a lecturer position at Cal State Long Beach where I can use my Stanford degrees to mentor future educators. ( I had a similar A-ha moment several months ago when I realized that I could create my own role as an educator also. I used to feel so incompetent compared to my colleagues with 30+ years of experience until I realized my strength is counseling and encouragement.) I get to walk along teachers and support them as they transition into their teaching careers. It is so satisfying. It does not pay bills, but hopefully my real estate work will. I am still able to pick up my kids from school and drive them to their activities. I don’t know if my business will take off. I may find I don’t have enough time to juggle two very different jobs and my family. I may have few clients. I may completely flop. I may need to find something else. I am open to other possibilities. I am not afraid of failure. Failure will open new opportunities. I can recreate myself again. I am not holding onto anything too tightly, because I already have more than I need. My job title does not define me. I am simply doing the best with what I have. I am at finally at peace.
COMMENT FROM A READER:
A reader and and dear friend of mine wrote the following text to me after reading this post. She said I could share it with you all:
I have definitely been in positions where my “title” of my job rubbed me the wrong way, or the job itself was a poor fit. Many times, I questioned the same things that you did. It’s funny, but maybe because we have been friends for so long…we have so many of the same exact character traits. I feel I am also artistic, creative, and love connections with people. Cultivating relationships definitely makes me super happy. I find that letting a job or a title define you is a dangerous trap. I was recently taking David Lynch’s MasterClass and he said that being an artist requires you to find long uninterrupted periods of time to create your art. Do your work. He delivered prescription meds for a pharmacy for years until he had enough money (along with his dad) to create his own studio.
Many times, people forget that your job doesn’t define you. You define You. And that’s where you take the power back. I felt so helpless in positions I hated. I was and “international scheduler”, seriously that was my official title at Fox Studios, and it didn’t begin to really fit what I did. I was more of a post-production supervisor or producer, but it was not the title I got. I was a “Catalog Planner” at Disney, again seriously un-sexy people created these monikers, and I didn’t like that description even though I love logistics and planning. I saw it as a means to an end though. I wanted to save enough money to launch my own independent film production business and literary management company.
I found that some roadblocks in personal development that needed addressing though. I wouldn’t get my to-do list done for months. I would self-sabotage projects by just running around town doing anything and everything except the task at hand. My company shuttered in a little over 2 years. So now, I am the CEO of my own digital health and wellness business, and I adore that. I am improving those habits and negative self-limiting beliefs and behaviors daily. I wouldn’t call it easy, but it’s absolutely worth it. I love helping others get healthy and wealthy.
My dreams and goals are still the same. I want to run my own Indie Film biz, and I am making it all happen with this business I run now. Your story will resonate with many people. So may people don’t love their jobs, don’t love the “lot they have in life”or their current job title, and I hope they read your article and remember that they hold the reins to their future. I loved reading your post, please keep it up! Take good care!