I came to Atlanta with a different but similar mindset that I had in California. All the moving and buying new furniture, getting licenses, and joining associations COST thousands of dollars; so I decided I would get a job and build my commercial real estate (CRE) company slowly or at least that’s what I thought. I applied for and received my Georgia Real Estate Broker license while I was still in California.
I arrived in Atlanta in June 2014. I planned to take the GA Bar in July but I wasn’t prepared but took it anyway to see what the exam entailed. After taking and not passing, I wish I would have studied because I actually didn’t score that bad considering. I found a place to live after a month of staying with a friend. Once again, I was under the wire because school starts in August in Atlanta and not September like many other districts. I applied to several advertised commercial real estate positions. I eventually was hired as a Team Lead in September by another Asset Management company but a much larger one. I felt like I had to take this job; I realized that I was being counterproductive to my vision. I am a woman faith but found that I wasn’t behaving like one. And on top of that, the company had a lot of its operations overseas and I was not comfortable with some of the business practices considering my previous experience with the foreclosure industry. So I left the organization before my health insurance could even kick in.
In the interim, I continued to apply for CRE related positions, networked and pulled my license out of the state required escrow and opened The Thomas Agency of Georgia, LLC, with some help from my son’s father and no real office or business cards. I landed an interview with the largest commercial real estate company in the world around the same time I interviewed for the first position I accepted. The position at the CRE company wasn’t exactly what I wanted but it would get me in the door. It was a support position. To my delight my direct supervisor and the Manager over the department were both minorities and understood the challenges of the industry from our discussions. I was hopeful and resolved that I would take the position UNTIL I received the actual offer to begin in January 2015 but the compensation wasn’t anywhere near what I expected or needed. Now some would say, you’re in Georgia, the cost of living is lower, the position was an entry point, so take it. One of my mentors suggested just that but the position was being groomed for management and the compensation wouldn’t change and they even wanted me to sign a 18-24 month contract meaning that I could not move up or around in the organization. No Bueno! I was really conflicted because I prayed to God for the job but I also recalled the glimpse He gave me of my future and that position was nowhere in it. At that moment, I chose to recognize my own worth.
In the spirit of transparency, this past year has had moments of difficulty, that I even called that same manager at one point to see if that position was still available. I had moments of regret after speaking with others in the industry as a mentee. I will discuss my mentee experience and what it affirmed for me in a later post. Despite those moments, which didn’t last long, I changed my mindset and begin to invest more in my business and myself. How can I help others build their legacy, one property at a time and I’m not building my own? The answer to my question was create your own lane. You’re not getting the offers you want? Use your skills to make the revenue you want and deserve. I don’t want to be forced into a box in order to get the experience I want. So I went and found the education and the people with the experience I needed. I speak things as though they are even when they are not. I want to do business God’s way, my businesses are my ministry. I remind myself not to be moved by how things appear at the moment and to stay focused on the promise. In short, I BOSSED UP and you should to in regard to whatever your dream or vision is.