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Heart and Sold is a model for working and living life that can be applied to any desire or discipline. It’s clear Fitzgerald has learned the value of taking the high road, of diffusing stress, of finding a valuable role model, of keeping the faith, and mostly, of believing in herself.
Heart and Sold is Fitzgerald’s experience of how to get started in residential real estate. This self-reflective view gives examples, analogies, and true stories. It is a step-by-step guide for the beginner, and the seasoned agent, wanting to perfect the art of selling real estate. It goes through managing your clients to managing yourself. It offers the reader a realistic analysis of what it means to be working on a commission basis and how that determines the plans for building your financial future. Fitzgerald gives concrete tips related to choosing a company to work for, a mentor to talk with, and a focus that keeps your ambition aimed at the big picture. Maintaining your reputation, your ethical ideals, and your partnerships can be challenging, but the reader will find ease in these situations through the retelling of Fitzgerald’s stories. She guides you through setting up an office space, setting a daily schedule, and setting boundaries to keep life in balance. The organization of an office, a database, and home inventory are systems that Fitzgerald uses today and still prove to be successful. Wondering what to say to clients or prospects? Heart and Sold offers sample dialogue in situations related to open houses, cold calls, and listing appointments. Heart and Sold shares the mindset of a respected businesswoman who gracefully balances the demands of an empire with the intimacy of her family.
There is in every true woman's heart a spark of heavenly fire, which
lies dormant in the broad of daylight prosperity; but which kindles
up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity."
Heart & Sold
by Valerie Fitzgerald
Simon & Schuster, 2009
When you change your mind set you change your life. A lot of people think that life is just a series of random events and coincidence. I believe there are no coincidences in life, and that everything matters and has a purpose. Every thought, every spoken word, and every action is important. You are the person you see in the mirror. You are the voice you hear in your head. You are the lead actor in your screenplay. You have the power to think positively, to encourage yourself, and to act responsibly and swiftly. No one can take that from you. Having a positive state of mind is the difference between having just enough and having a life of abundance.
It is normal to have some doubts; we all have them in varying degrees at one time or another. I call these thoughts “The Monkey on my shoulder.” The Monkey on my shoulder would tell me “I can’t, I am not good enough. It will never work.” This critical voice zeros in on all the insecurities we have as mothers and businesswomen at any given time in our lives.
Eventually, I realized that I could control that voice and subsequently my thoughts changed from: How am I going to provide for Vanessa, I’m a scared mother, I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t belong here, to: I will make a great life for my daughter, I am a great mother, I will have a great day, I know everything will work out. We will have a great life.
That empowerment changed both my real estate career and my life. It focused my thoughts and energy on what was good in my life and what could make my life better. Realizing that I could turn my world around made a huge difference. I stopped hitting my head against the wall and simply moved inches finding the opening to propel my career forward.
I had a whole new outlook on life. It was bright and sunny. The house with the eight foot ceilings was now vaulted with skylights. When clients demanded answers and lost their tempers, instead of viewing them as mean, impatient people who had no idea how hard I was trying, I understood that all they really wanted from me was to solve their problem. I became that problem solver.
Stay positive. Every time you start feeling down or distracted, pull up the vision of what you want. Remind yourself of your goal. Go out, buy another magazine, imagine what it would be like if you were ready to buy your dream home now.
Every idea, invention or dream begins with a desire for something better; the courage to face a challenge and the passion to get it done.
Excerpted from Heart & Sold: How to Survive and Build a Recession-Proof Business by Valerie Fitzgerald. Copyright © 2009 Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.