Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Decade of Lessons Learned

As we celebrate a decade of business ownership this spring, I share with you our Top 10 list of lessons learned along the way.

Energy—find it, create it and share it.  If there is one thing I believe people want more of, it’s energy.  We learned right away, energy is contagious and a magic ingredient for success. There has always been a direct correlation between the level of energy in the office and the amount of shared success.  Even when energy has been hard to come by, the more we propel it through the office, the happier and more productive people are.

All news is good news—the more you know, the more you grow.  Over the years, we’ve come to appreciate whenever and whatever we can learn from others.  The more we know, both positive and negative, the easier it is to make decisions.  We’ve learned a lot about being open and approachable, inviting people to participate in discussion around decisions we make for the company.

Slowing down—listen and learn.  As we have learned to slow down, to listen, we’ve been able to make more thoughtful decisions. If we only listened to what we wanted to hear, we would miss a whole lot of what’s really going on around us.   And, when we listen to those who don’t always see the world as we do, we get an opportunity to learn more about ourselves in the process.  We continue to learn new ways of doing things by listening to the ideas and thoughts of people around us.

Adapt and adjust—best laid plans.  I’d say the one thing we can always count on is for things to change.  We’ve always been motivated by setting goals for the future, planning out every step along the way.  When something changes, we have learned to stop with our plans and take a second look.  Sometimes this means scratching our original plan all together. The ability to be flexible and patient, with an attitude and willingness to adjust when necessary, has helped hold us back and pull us through when we’ve needed it most.

Perspective—value from a 10,000 ft. view. What goes up must come down.  Over the past 10 years, we’ve experienced the peak and pit of unprecedented times in real estate.  In hindsight, we are grateful for this gained perspective.  Confidence, with an unwavering commitment to the vision of how we desired things to be, carried us through.  Most importantly, we’ve learned attitude is the one thing you can control when everything else feels out of reach; it influences everything.

Conviction—stick with what works. During the recession, the anchors of our business kept us from floating downstream. We’ve experienced uninterrupted growth in market share over the past 10 years, regardless of the economic climate.  We continue to be committed to hiring and retaining the best in the business while providing superior support/tools to service buyers and sellers.

Beyond business—pebble in the pond.  Why Windermere?  Partnering with Windermere has been instrumental to our success over the years. From the beginning it’s been a perfect match, a symbiotic relationship in regard to company culture, support and community involvement. As a company, our reach of influence in bettering the lives of the people here in Lane County, through the vehicle of providing real estate services, continues to motivate and inspire us. The philosophy of investing in our community through the Windermere Foundation gives me hope for the quality of life my own children will experience living here.  These past 10 years have felt like the greatest gift of opportunity to give back to the organizations that make this community a place we call home.

Surrounded by support—we couldn’t do it alone. We always refer to the company as our “first family”, before we started our own.  Without them, we wouldn’t be celebrating a decade of success.  The amount of love and support we’ve received over the years continues to drive our passion and commitment on this journey.

Boundaries—a balancing act.  We are constantly reminding ourselves of this lifelong lesson as we learn to find balance between work and life.  We have found value in making an effort to find a place where personal well-being is a priority.  Showing up for someone else means putting you first; when physical, mental, and spiritual health become a priority life becomes much easier to manage.

Family First.  Until we had our own children, we never understood.  One of the most valuable lessons we’ve learned thus far is the importance of keeping family and/or loved ones at the center of our universe.  The perspective they give us has created the distance we need to gain clarity.  We have found an immeasurable amount of strength and reprieve from them on this journey.