Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I will still CHEER you on! Promise!

Dear Friend,

I am so sorry it took so long to draft this letter to you.  We had a lot of back and forth dialog the other day about your intentions and how you feel about things and how others see you  I have thought about this for more than a day now...what I wanted to convey to you. 

Its really hard to open someone's mind and deliver the 'goods' that you want them to understand...the ideas and feelings you want them to absorb. I don't know you and you don't know me, but I am trusted by many as an advisor with both career and personal lives. 

Just a thread divides our lives...yours and mine.  You are a generous caregiver, a person who puts others first.  A person who ensures the happiness of many at the expense of their own.  There are a lot of us out there.  Part is caused by the socializing of girls in our society, part is our birth order, part is the DNA that dictates our personality.  We do and do and do for others and take great pride in that fact.  We feel whole by creating a loving home and that is 100% wonderful. 

The thing is that's all great if there are no money issues, but if there is financial stress, that's a signal that something is wrong.  Just like pain in your body signals something's wrong. Something's gotta give.  I told you my story...the very abridged version of my story...but there is a lot more to it and its the lemons that were tossed my way that caused me to take such dramatic steps to change the way I see things.  I was a homeless teen, I suffered from depression for a full decade of my life.  I gave my Mom my financial aid money to help her pay the bills when she was working 14 hours a day to support 2 teen children.  I stayed by my fathers side on more than one occasion while he lay under a noose he created for himself. 

I feel so lucky to have been thrown all of this stuff so early in my life.  It was a huge lesson for me to realize I must take control of my own life, my own attitude.  My parents were broken and needed to see that all of their efforts would be like a torch taken up by me.  They were bankrupt, exhausted, broken and homeless (Dad) - - - I spent a lot of days saying 'poor me'...then in my early 20's I had my first child and I realized that I had a mission to change the future story of my family.  I poured my heart and soul into motherhood and I always put him first.

I insisted on being a stay at home Mom even when we couldn't really afford it. I just knew in my heart that a strong family was the cornerstone of all good things.  We sacrificed and suffered and finally, when the time was right and the kids were older, I decided to walk along side my spouse to take the pressure off of his back.  I always worked part time and we pieced together the money and made it work, but it just wasn't enough. What I wanted you to understand is that I was overweight, broke, in terrible health and insecure when I started real estate.  I was so unsure of myself and I was teetering for the first 1.5 years before I was introduced to a coach/mentor who showed me tough love.  That's what I'm trying to do for you and the others there too.

My coach actually made me cry a few times.  Not intentionally of course.  I'll never forget when he said, "You say you're always working?" "Well I don't believe you because I could make more money as a paper boy than you did in all of your real estate transactions last year!" Wow.  That really hurt.  I slunk away and went to the bathroom at work and wiped away some tears.  He was right and the truth hurt.  He basically said go away and when you are telling the truth to yourself about your lead generating then I will be happy to coach you. It was at this time he pressured me to take the Floyd Wickman Program...I bucked and resisted like a wild horse! The thing is, he said, its numbers game and if you call 100 per week then you would score a minimum of 3 appts.

The truth was I didn't want him to be right. I wanted to be right.  I wanted to be in control ...and as a person who ran all of the details of the family, I didn't believe that if someone else took the wheel and steered, I would be OK.  It was only in the very scary moment of releasing my power that I experienced a break through.  Floyd told me, one tearful day, "Lisa sometimes you have to break down to break through." I never forgot that.  It wasn't easy. It was like pushing a boulder up a mountain.  But when I learned to control my attitude and my time, I became more and more empowered.  If you ask the people who knew me 5 years ago, they would say they are shocked by my success.  I didn't have to become a 'phony' person, or a different version of myself.  I just had to demand a few things like respect for my time and that made all of the difference in the world.  There are those who judged...the church ladies who worked me to death (I allowed it) who suddenly had to find another person to head all of their committees...I was judged by teachers when I backed off the responsibility and leveraged some of it. 

The thing is I just kept telling myself...would these people pay my house payment if I couldn't?  Would these people care about my days as a poor senior citizen who only eats generic spaghettios? I saw what happened to my one offered to pay their house payment...and in fact the only reprieve my Mom was ever offered was a case of wax beans.  That after 25 years of tithing to a church and sending their 4 kids to the private school!  Honestly, I don't care what people think of me now.  I used to.  I used to ask others what people said about me.  I don't do that any longer either.  My position is this: "It's none of my business what others think of me!"

I started with baby steps.  My spouse agreed 2 make dinner 2 x per wk.  That was the beginning of the whole shift...a shift where our careers now hold exactly equal importance but more importantly, the pressure to BE ALL in every way was also lifted off of my back.  The expectations are more balanced and it is how it should be.  Money doesn't represent anything to me but options.  I now have options I never had before and it is fantastic. The peace of mind is huge and the confidence is just as big.  Now I can take the time and energy I used to use towards worry and use it towards fun things like writing books, going to movies with my Mom and making big plans for our family!

Sorry for this LOOOOOONG email, but I just want to really underscore...whether I was paid or not, I would CHEER you on the pathway to your success~ whatever that looks like!  You can email me any time, 3 wks from now, 3 yrs from now and I will still CHEER you on!  Promise!
Lisa Ekanger !

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