30 Day Blog Challenge Day 1: Strong Women

I always say I’m going to start using my blog and do a 30 day blog challenge so yesterday I looked up the sign in information as I seldom use it and barely know how! My grey cat with piercing green eyes just jumped into my lap – oh he’s handsome but really not a good time Ernie! The moon is high lighting up the darkness thru the window. I love to write. I ¬†also love to go to bed early and get up super early. I sit and think, meditate – at least that’s what I call talking to myself!, drink coffee, stretch, watch the sun come up and try and focus on a clear path.

I’ve been bored this past year or so doing all the detailed work it takes to put properties up for sale. Its hours of work on the internet typing and my shoulder is starting to get a bit worn out from it – need a break. Sometimes I quit but my daughter Amber, who runs Smile4u, knows I always rehire myself back usually the next day. I always point out that I am the most knowledgeable worker we have so it’s a good idea to hire me back! This fall though I quit for a whole entire week only taking phone calls from the office and customers. Otherwise I didn’t turn on my laptop. So technically I didn’t really quit as I still had bills to pay!

What I absolutely love to do is explore land! So I guess I’m going to blog for 30 days and figure out what I want to do. I was a banker for 14 years and grew bored towards the end of that career. I knew I needed to move on and do something different and develop myself further. It was one of the scariest things I ever did as I had a pretty steady good paycheck being an AVP of a bank. But I did quit and started investing in real estate in 2001. So I hope there’s more for me ahead than sitting at my desk playing with my photos and typing!

I want to teach and my friend Becky hooked me up with this really cool blog a few years ago when I was attempting to put on a real estate seminar. It didn’t happen, one of the biggest disappointments in my career. It was embarrassing having to cancel but not the end of the world looking back now. Since then I went thru a divorce that took longer than the OJ Simpson trial!

As I sat on my rock outcropping meditating in the sun yesterday I thought what’s next Chuck? I’ve been called Chuck since I was a kid and when I dig deep into my mind it’s chuck that I’m trying to talk to. Char the Explorer wanders around the desert. Chucks the smart one who stands up and tries like hell. No I don’t have multiple personalities (at least on most days I don’t – ha), but Char was a name I was forced to use during my banking days when I was the new accounts representative. I was told that some men would not want to do business with a girl named Chuck. And when some men sat at my desk they would ask where Chuck was and when I said I was Chuck some didn’t believe me. So my manager ordered me a name plate that said Charlotte. Of course I still told all my customers to call me Chuck!

So as I sat on my rock wondering what this is all about and what’s most important to me, I thought it’s really to teach others. I really enjoy talking to people about real estate and all that other stuff that goes along with it. Septic, wells, zoning, off grid, earth ships, hunting, you name it. Some people think I know it all but I certainly don’t! But I do know enough to help you figure out what and where you can get answers to your research. I spend a lot of time researching myself which makes it easier to have better conversations with my customers.

*That’s my first advice for those investors reading my blog! Do your own research! Don’t take anyone’s word for it just because you read it on someone’s website!

As I left the rock and started towards the house a voice said you need to write for other women. You need to tell them how hard it can be being a female in business, especially on the internet and my daughter came to mind.

A few years ago Amber took over running the office and is the one who answers the tons of emails we receive. She calls me once in a while and says “eww gross, someone wants to know if the blonde comes with the property! I’m going to tell them that’s gross – that’s my Mom and I say yep sounds good.” Of course we professionally answer the question if there was one included and ignore the crap. But a few have been so vulgar that you want to call the police!

*Advice #2 for investors wanting to do business on the internet: People are more apt to trust and do business with you if they can see a photo of you, know you are a real person and feel like they know you. A few times recently while researching who owned a particular piece of land I have come across other land companies that say things like “we are a corporation and our investors are experts”. Hmmm..ok…I’m a corporation too, hence the Inc after the Smile4u, but who is Smile4u Inc? It’s definitely me! Don’t hide and be afraid to show yourself. I used to weigh 350 pounds and you will still find photos of me on my website from back then.

Back to the Strong Woman part: All day long I get phone calls about land and sure I get lots of compliments about my work, knowledge and sometimes my beautiful smile. I always say thank you very much and focus on what they need. But once in a while it gets a bit odd: are you single, where can we meet, and even creepier and I just hang up! At times I add names like “weirdo
customer” into my phone contacts so I can ignore their future calls. I don’t show land. But I have occasionally met customers at title companies, attorney’s office or at the county courthouse. Be smart and safe about where you do business whether it be in public or on the internet. No one’s money, no matter what they have in their hand today, is as important as your safety.

The idea of taking care of myself during the divorce was scary. But I am Smile4u and before that I was a banker. I’ve been taking care of myself for the past 30 years. I remember how scared I was to quit that good paying job at the bank but I was going crazy being bored! And if I can do it so can you! Don’t be afraid to try!

In September 2016 I attended a conference in Utah and met a 29 year old woman named Gloria. Oh she is spunky and full of life and advice. She actually is 84 and her wisdom is as great as her age! I felt lucky pushing her wheel chair around the conference as everyone wanted their photo taken with this spitfire lady!

One night we enjoyed a bottle of wine alone in our hotel room. She shared quite a few stories about her life and listened as I seemed to spill my guts about my few difficult years. She listened understandingly offering stories of wisdom and I felt like I was talking with my Grandmother. It’s easy to look at someone who is successful financially and think wow they are perfect. But life’s not perfect for anyone although definitely some peoples struggles are way more difficult than others.

Gloria said she had something she wanted to share with me and pulled out the poem Strong Women. I took a picture of it and keep it taped to the cabinet beside my desk and catch myself thinking of her frequently. So it seems fitting that I end the first of my 30 day blog with the poem she shared with me. I dedicate it to all us strong women who don’t always see just how strong we are!

Strong Women:

Strong women are those that know the road ahead will be strewn with obstacles but they choose to walk it because it’s the right one.

Strong women are those that make mistakes, admit to them, learn from that failure and then use that knowledge.

Strong women are easily hurt, but they still extend their hearts and hands, knowing the risk and accepting the pain when it comes.

Strong women are sometimes beat down by life, but they still climb back up and move forward again.

Strong women are afraid. They face fear and move ahead to the future as uncertain as it can be.

Strong women are not those that succeed the first time. They’re the ones who fail time and again, but still keep trying.

Strong women face the daily trials of life, sometimes with a tear, but always with their head high as each new day dawns.

By Brenda Hager.

Gloria and I pretending to be asleep – or at least we we’re supposed to be! Figures she didn’t close her eyes – didn’t want to miss a thing!

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