As the overseer of EXIT’s blog, once in a while I submit a post under my own byline and today, my 20th anniversary with the company, is one such occasion.

I clearly remember my first meeting with Steve Morris in August of 2000.  My husband, David, and I detoured on the first day of our vacation so I could meet with Erika Gileo and Steve.  What I thought might be an hour’s meeting stretched to three, with David waiting patiently in the parking lot.  I left that meeting with an offer to lead the young company’s Franchise Support department.

Steve wanted an answer that day, so David and I carefully weighed the pros and cons of my making the switch from one of the top brokerages in the country where I had served as administrator for 11 years. While there were more pros than cons, one factor dominated my thoughts: fear.

At the brokerage I could do my job with my eyes closed and indeed once I ran payroll for 120 agents and 14 staff with no monitor.  If you know your job that well, you know it too well.  It was time for a change, yet the fear of casting off from the shore of familiarity for uncharted waters gave me pause. In her book, The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin directs readers to, “choose the bigger life” when faced with a challenging decision. With all other factors being equal, I didn’t want fear to be the reason I said no.  So, I took a deep breath, marshalled the butterflies in my stomach, and said yes.

Overcoming my fear was a pivotal life lesson. Joining EXIT Realty afforded me countless opportunities for personal and professional growth, the chance to travel to exciting places and meet extraordinary people.  I’ve been privileged to be part of the team that is changing the face of real estate and whose guiding question for every decision is, “What’s the right thing to do?”

I believe the Universe knew what was in store for me in the ensuing years and guided my decision.  Through David’s diagnoses of Parkinson’s Disease, Lewy Body Dementia and finally the metastatic melanoma that took his life, I was enveloped in a blanket of unwavering love and support by my EXIT family.  I couldn’t have gotten through it without you.

In closing, I’d like to share an excerpt from a note I wrote to Steve some years ago.

You showed me what it was like to be a catalyst for the Universe’s plans and although I could never repay you, I hope one day to pay it forward in your honour. As I write this, I have tears streaming down my face and that always happens when I try to quantify the unquantifiable impact you’ve had on my life.    

Thank you for everything, Steve.  I chose the bigger life.

 

 

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