It started out of necessity. My business partnership in retail was going south. Figuratively not literally. Coming up to 20yrs and the struggle was more real than it was in year 1. I was now a father of one and soon to be two. Life was becoming more expensive and my men’s clothing boutique couldn’t keep up. Something had to change. Truth is it never really felt like mine.
When I decided 20yrs earlier to leave a steady (but not very lucrative) area management position in Toronto to open my own clothing store some friends/family thought it was too risky and advised against it. Fast forward 20yrs and the idea (at the ripe old age of 48) of another professional adventure may have the faint of heart running to the nearest exit. That said something had to change. Real Estate seemed to be a good alternative. I had built up a large network in one of Toronto’s most affluent area’s and currently co-chair the local B.I.A. In short I was involved, trusted and most importantly liked at least I’d like to think so.
I came into the industry running. Launching into the luxury market and utilizing my vast network to get deals done in unconventional ways. My father taught me by example the importance of hard work, retail beat that ideal into me on a daily basis. The 35yrs of dealing with people gave me a unique skill set. Non verbal communication and empathy began to serve me well. For all the tension and grief my clothing business had caused it was essential for my success in Real Estate. For this reason I will always look back on my time in Retail fondly.
I was lulled into the comfort zone of my business. The day to day motions had become so second nature that I could have done them in my sleep. This was the most dangerous pitfall life can give you. Like a mirage in the desert its an illusion. One that if not checked can kill any personal or professional growth. This was very true in my previous career and is still something to be mindful of now. In short be comfortable with being uncomfortable.