You know how in third game when they would pick teams for dogeball and you hoped you weren't the last one chosen.... For the last year I have watched people get "memed" and I kept thinking, 'will someone ever pick me'? Well, I finally got picked! Sara Bonert, come on over to our team! And to get picked by Bob Stewart no less. Isn't that sort of like getting picked by White Goodman (played by Ben Stiller) in Dodgeball?
Ok, five things, here it goes....
1. I love being a Mid-westerner, but I didn't always. I was born and raised in Clear Lake, IA. Our great claim to was that Buddy Holly's plane went down there (La Bamba anyone?). At the time, I hated growing up in such a small town where it seemed like there was nothing to do. I finished college at Iowa State University and immediately wanted out. I packed up what little I had in my car and moved to Raleigh, NC because I had heard the Research Triangle Park was the next technology hotbed (not that I knew what that meant back then). I didn't know anyone, didn't have a job, and had about $1000 to my name. Long story short... Got a job selling Internet advertising and got moved around the South for six years. I ended up meeting my husband who was also in the industry while living in Atlanta, which coincidently, he grew up three hours from where I did! We moved to Chicago about three years ago and absolutely love it. Because I left, I can now fully appreciate what it means to be a Mid-westerner and am glad I was brought up as one. And now the corn jokes don't sting as bad....
2. I wish I had the guts to be a full time real estate agent. I absolutely love the real estate industry. I know there are downside to being a Realtor (as I read about them all the time on AR), but to be a real estate agent sounds like a fantastic job for so many reasons. While I have always been fortunate to have jobs that I love, I can't imagine leaving a place where I get a regular paycheck to go 100% commission. I look up to everyone who has made this leap for a go at it in real estate. I think someday my time will come. But in the meantime, I will have to settle for just buying homes (I have four right now!).
3. When I first started at Zillow, I didn't have any faith in the idea of blogging. I remember meeting David G. my first week in Seattle at the Zillow headquarters and finding out what he did. The first thought that went through my mind- so this guys gets to sit around and surf the internet all day and email with people?? (Sorry, David). Obviously I have since learned that he does A LOT more. But I have also learned that blogging is POWERFUL stuff. Last week I spoke at a blogging seminar (organized by Lola Audu, who I met through AR). To go from not fully believing in the medium to speaking at an event about it a year later is crazy to me!
4. I love working for Zillow. I spent the last five years prior to Zillow as the National Sales Manager of at The Real Estate Book magazine. I learned so much about how traditional advertising works and learned even more about real estate in general. I personally met with or presented to over 1000 Agents during my time at this company. Overall, this was a pretty 'safe' job, a good place to get the training wheels going. Now I come to Zillow with this great base knowledge of real estate and able to apply it to a very dynamic and interactive environment. I have learned so much from co-workers that come from places like Ebay, Amazon, and Microsoft- and in return I think I have taught them a lot of about the real estate industry. To bring all this to a new platform that is so public and is the catalyst for so many blog posts and discussions, really keeps me on my toes and constantly thinking about the next step. I have had some of the most thought-provoking conversations with co-workers, bloggers, and real estate professionals since coming to work for Zillow, and look forward to those conversations to keep happening.
5.And to end on a lighter note- I am a girl's girl. Write a blog post about hair products, new salon procedures, or a fantastic find you got on a recent shopping trip and I am all over it! I am not a techy person, I only play one on Active Rain. That is, until the day a computer can go shopping with you or apply or make-up, then I might try to learn a thing or two about them.
I glad to be part of the team that got Meme'd. More so, I am glad to be part of the AR community.
So, now I get to pass the tourch on to three more people. I think I will look to my Associate list for this one.
Sharon Leigh - Because she is the first person that ever added me as an Associate.
Jeff Kessler - Because he is the last person that added me as an Associate.
Amy Fewless - I met Amy at a Blogging seminar last week and afterwards she added me as an assocatie. She is just getting started at Active Rain and with Blogging. Good luck Amy!