So I’m often asked if there is something I wish I had known when I first got into business. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not so much that I was missing specific knowledge or information as much as I was the right perspective.
My first couple of years in the real estate business were incredibly difficult. There were times when things went completely sideways on me, and the only thing that kept me going was my belief that God had a plan for my life. I just didn’t know exactly what it was.
I’d like to say that in time, things got much easier. I’d like to be able to tell you that every project now goes smoothly. I wish I could saw that failure is something in my past. But I can’t. I’ve had my share of heartaches and failures, and I know firsthand what frustration and disappointment feel like.
In fact, last year was one of the most difficult and trying times of my life. Some projects that I had put my heart and soul into started to fall apart for the craziest reasons. And some people who were really close to me, people I would have trusted with my life, stabbed me in the back. I went to a very dark place — the darkest of the dark, the very bottom of the bottom. And for a while I thought that everything I had done was for nothing.
Then I had a sort of personal and professional realization that completely changed the way I respond to adversity. My entire perspective on life shifted. I can’t pinpoint an event that caused this change but know that it came from faith and a whole lot of prayer.
I saw how many truly amazing people get lost in a narrative of disappointment and sadness and regret. I saw how easy it is to begin thinking of yourself as a victim. I saw the impossibility of living up to your potential when you’re stuck grieving over things that didn’t go the way you planned for yourself.
What pulled me back out of that dark place was remembering that I have been asking God to use me at an exponential level to help others … to create opportunity for others in a really big way. How was He to do that if I didn’t really, really believe that He had my back, no matter what?
I had to reach a point where I knew in my heart that everything that happens is for the good. And when I thought about it, none of my efforts were ever really wasted.
Here’s a good example. I spent more than 40 hours building a presentation for a project that never got off the ground. I saw that as a major waste of time and effort until the day, many years later, when that presentation became very relevant again. I was able to find it, spend half an hour repurposing it, and looked like an genius for being able to come up with a proposal so quickly. Connections I made years ago that didn’t go anywhere at the time turned out to be valuable relationships when the time was right. I simply had to recognize that God had been giving me singular puzzle pieces that would later come full circle for me to realize I had been doing His work all along.
Once I realized that God has more faith in me than I had in myself, I finally understood what it means to rest in the Lord. My entire perspective shifted to one of complete trust that allowed me to let go of the self-doubt and operate every day at my full capacity knowing that what I was doing was for the better good.
Do I wish I had had that perspective from the very beginning? I’m not sure. Maybe getting to that point was an essential part of my journey.
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