Long ago when I was 20-something, you would have heard me say, “Change? Oh sure. I am a very adaptable person. I LOVE that nothing ever stays the same. That would be soooo boring.”
Looking over my resume this morning, the word ‘Adapt’ caught my eye. This no longer describes me accurately. It should say, “Forced Adaptability is possible, but not wanted.”
I have grown to like routines, schedules & task lists. These are a necessity for me to be able to function. I am noticing more and more that a temporary monkey wrench will unravel the plans, routines & schedules for the rest of the week. Where, when did I lose my capacity to deal with change in a positive manner?
I have been a real estate agent for 8 years now. The beginning of my career was really good, the last 2-3 years have been really bad. I still have fleeting moments when I do truly love real estate. But, for most of the time, it is the monkey wrench that screws up the things that I would rather be doing. On Friday night, my “broker/boss/partner-but-not-really” transferred all the phone calls to me. I had 30 seconds notice that I would now be on call, all weekend. That pissed me off.
The whole “broker/boss/partner-but-not-really” bit pisses me off, too. There is not a definition to our professional relationship as to who is/does what. Well, that is not entirely true. If it requires paperwork, computers, internet, marketing, driving, work with buyers or scheduling showings, that is my job. Her job is to pay the bills and do listing appointments. To make a long story short, this is not a thriving business. I didn’t put up capital to be a partner, but instead offered to take the bulk of the workload to pay my dues. This was informally agreed upon. I cut the business spending across the board, downsized the office sq. ft. & rent payments, cut unnecessary advertising, bills, marketing and miscellaneous office expenses. We went from spending $5000 per month in business expenses to approximately $1000. Bills are getting paid, business is picking up but it is not thriving. We should be able to close 2-4 deals a month. We haven’t closed anything since September, last year. Yes, That is 5 MONTHS without a paycheck.
Which brings me to my point… change is inevitable. I have been beating this horse in some shape or another for the last 6 years with this company. The hard part is that I truly consider my “broker/boss/partner-but-not-really” a true friend, one of my few. I don’t really want to leave her holding the bag alone, but it isn’t my financial obligation. It is getting to the point that I get anxiety when checking my email or when the phone rings. This ‘business/office’ isn’t my monkey, but I feel extreme guilt even when I think about walking away for good. Working a commission based job, I Get up, go to work, work hours and HOPE to get paid. I want a normal job. Get up, go to work, work hours, get paid. Even if it is just part-time. I want the security of knowing that I have a schedule I can work and work around.
This is a renewal year for my license. I am seriously considering not renewing, but then I start thinking about all the money, time and effort I put in to getting my salesperson license and then my brokers license. In real estate, that is the equivalent of a Masters Degree, right?
I have two options:
1. renew, but hold my own license, stop working for my friend and get a paying job.
2. Let my license expire, which will inevitably end my working in real estate and get a paying job.
I hate to not renew my license, but I feel like if I keep it, real estate will keep pulling me back. What would you do?