Three Action Thursday has been in existence for over a year now. I guess you could say we are having our 1st birthday! It’s unbelievable how quickly time has passed. While I hope you have benefitted from this weekly dose of insights and advice, I’m honestly most proud of just being able to establish the writing habit for myself, and for (mostly) sticking to it.
My Top 5 favorite pieces thus far (in no particular order)
These five pieces received the most feedback both positive and negative. They also spurned the most conversation in our Facebook Group.
- An Antidote to Normal: 8 Phases to Reach Your Dream State
- This is Why We Are Lonely
- Avoiding Groupthink
- My Biggest Mistakes
- Pull Up Your Pants, Your Ego is Showing
The distribution of Three Action Thursday has also grown, and I am now realizing that many of you may not know my personal story. I apologize in advance to anyone who knows this already (Hi Mom!!!). Here’s a synopsis of my personal and business life ….
I am the son of a career military officer. I have lived in three countries, and seven US states. My parents have been married for over 40 years. I have one sister (a religious sister) who is doing big things in Southern Texas for the poor and disenfranchised near the border.
I went to high school in the Panhandle of Florida and went on to college at THE University of Florida for both undergrad (Environmental Science) and grad school (Geographic Information Systems). While in grad school, I married my best friend Stacy. Upon graduation Stacy and I moved to the Washington, DC area, I began my professional career at Lockheed Martin, and we prolifically had four children (a girl, then a boy…and we thought that was so much fun we did it again with another girl, then another boy).
My family and I are practicing Roman Catholics, and are active in our church community.
I started my career at Lockheed Martin in late 2004; meanwhile the Washington, DC housing market was exploding. In 2005 I got my real estate license with the sole intention of doing just one real estate deal: my own! However, going through that process made me realize how much value I could provide to others by helping them buy (and/or sell) their home. So at 25 years old, I became a young engineer AND a Realtor.
For the next four years (2005 to 2009), I did the best I could to provide as much value to others in both the domains (engineering and real estate), and both seemed to go pretty well. I was getting promoted at Lockheed Martin for my work there, and I was doing some real estate deals as well. In 2009, my broker told me that he was shutting down his brokerage, and at that point, I decided to go out on my own. True North Realty was born. While I could have joined up with one of the other brokerages in the area, ultimately I knew that I wanted to establish my own culture and identity. I wanted to create a certain experience for each client and I wanted complete freedom to do that.
For the next seven years (2009 to 2016), I grew a lot professionally. I became middle management at Lockheed Martin, eventually managing 50+ engineers and learning how new and existing engineering was priced to our customers. Meanwhile, I was growing on the real estate side, too, as year after year I was awarded my Association of Realtors’ “Million Dollar Sales Club” awards.
In 2016 Lockheed Martin announced it would be selling off its Information Technology business to Leidos and only keeping a very small percentage of it. Out of sheer luck (or God’s providence) I found myself “stuck” on the side it decided to keep and watched 99% of my co-workers and brethren get sold off. Late that year a former employee that I had managed (now at Leidos) called me in search of a specific type of person with a niche skill to fill an open position. After giving him a few names and hanging up the phone, I spent the next 10 minutes thinking about how I could do that job, and that perhaps I could do it “on my own” with my own company. In that moment, opportunity met spirit and Leverage Information Technologies was born.
Since making the leap to full time entrepreneurship, both businesses have thrived. True North Realty helps people sell (and buy) millions of dollars of real estate on a yearly basis, and is incredibly rewarding for me on an interpersonal level. I really enjoy helping people transition from one stage of their life to the next. Meanwhile, Leverage Information Technologies has taken off! As I write this, we have 10 employees with an 11th starting soon, and 10 more in the pipeline for 2019. I am having a lot of fun building a “people first” corporate culture and I really think it’s affecting our employees’ and our customers’ lives for the better.
True North Realty and Leverage Information Technologies will continue to provide top-notch services in their respective domains by maintaining a “people first” philosophy. I plan on continuing to support causes that matter to me and serving on boards. Specifically, we have a little more work to do funding-wise to finish the school that my father and I started in Uganda via The Well Spring of Blessings; if you’re moved to contribute, you may do so here.
I have some personal health and wellness goals, but that’s for a future piece. Mostly I want to make sure I am making an impact in the lives of my wife and kids, and hopefully dropping some pearls of wisdom for you all on a weekly basis.
Three Takeaways from my Story
- The successes I have obtained in life, whether business or personal, have only come because I have decided to provide value to others on a consistent basis over a long period of time.
- Patience has been incredibly important. I have never rushed anything. I’ve always tried to keep the long game in mind and have passed up near-term profits for long-term success.
- I married incredibly well. I chose a life partner who nurtures and supports me. She keeps me in check when the madness gets out of balance, and reminds me of what is most important in my life.
- What is your story? How will it impact or change others’ lives? Document it somewhere, even if it is just a couple pages in a journal.
- If you like these weekly updates, please shoot me an email and let me know. I’d also love to know what you have planned for 2019.
- Decide what the next book you are going to read or listen to and why?**