By Jared James
I am going to keep this brief. I’m writing this article sitting in the West Virginia airport on my way home after speaking at the West Virginia Association of REALTORS®. I am right in the middle of what I call “convention season,” which consists of the months of September and October. During this time I will keynote more than 20 events for state associations and companies, requiring me to hit the road pretty hard.
In the last month I have spent a collective one week at home, which can be difficult with two adorable boys at home, ages 5 and 3. In fact, a couple of weeks ago I had just finished up speaking at the Texas Association of REALTORS® Convention and Xplode Conference and had to speak in Wyoming the next day. It seems like an easy flight from Texas to Wyoming, but instead I decided to fly back across the country, land in New York, drive home and spend 2 ½ hours with my kids and put them to bed, just to go back to the airport and fly back across the country to Wyoming to do my event. For the parents out there, you know that this was a small price to pay to be able to tuck my kids in at night instead of the usual Skype call before they went to bed.
While these two months are not the usual for me and my family, they are still a reality. While my job requires a lot of travel, it is also true that most events are not held on weekends so I am almost always home and able to coach my kids’ teams on Saturdays and Sundays – with exception of this last weekend when I had to miss my 5-year-old’s soccer game because I had to catch a flight.
I don’t write this so you will feel sorry for me. I have a great life and I’m able to inspire and have an affect on a lot of people, which is an amazing feeling and a great calling. I am more so writing this because my life is not normal, I admit, but I have the honor of working with a lot of REALTORS® and salespeople and the one thing I always hear them tell me is that their family comes first. While, for some, this may be true, actions speak louder than words.
While we may say that family comes first what I see so many times is that it is the family that is always having to sacrifice because mommy or daddy HAVE to show this house last minute or HAVE to take this call. I know first-hand the allure that the “thrill of the deal” can have, but what most successful people have in common is the ability to self-audit and be honest with themselves.
Does your family really come first? Have you really prioritized them and their needs over your own ambitions? I am not saying that these will be easy questions to ask yourself or answer, but they are necessary questions if you are going to live the full, well-rounded life that you desire.
My life may not be the norm, but the only reason that I am able to live it the way that I am is because I have asked myself these kinds of questions and I’ve been willing to not say “yes” to every opportunity that comes my way. I haven’t always been perfect and I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way, but something tells me that as long as I am willing to keep asking myself these kinds of questions, my life and my business will be better for it – and so will yours.
Jared James is the CEO and founder of Jared James Enterprises (JJE) and travels around North America speaking to and coaching REALTORS®. Connect with Jared at www.jaredjamestoday.com, on facebook.com/jaredjamestoday, or follow him on Twitter @jaredjamestoday.