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I'm doing it...I'm starting a business


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Some of you may have seen in the job bitching thread last week where I said that my old boss's old team lead, Mimi, called me to get permission to share my number and also to tell me that I should go into business for myself. Mimi's suggestion surprised me, but it's not like I haven't let the idea live rent-free in the back of my mind for years anyway. Within 2 days of her phone call, I'd set 2 appointments with real estate agents who want my help. 

It's been a whirlwind of anxiety and excitement and downright fear. But I'm going to do this. I'm going to start my own company helping real estate agents get organized and establish sustainable and scalable systems before they have need of full-time assistance (and some even after they've hired this assistance). Every single job posting I see for the operations side of real estate includes something along the lines of "develop and implement systems and processes for the business and create an operations manual" at the very top of the job duties list. The rest is generally routine administrative work that's only really possible (or simple) once systems and organization are in place. This is why I only worked for the last 2 agents for 6-7 months. That's about the amount of time it takes for me to organize, develop systems, train the agent in them, and then for them to realize they don't have a need for me to maintain what I'd built because what I'd built works really well. So instead of going through this several more times or finding a position with a more established team, I'm going to keep my flexibility and just do that for agents.

On Monday, I made a trip into the NW Austin Keller Williams office to meet one agent who wants my help. She's now under contract. And while I was there I was introduced (by Mimi's assistant) to another agent who actually looked at me all wide-eyed and asked if I was "The One" (with much reverence). I told him that I definitely was The One (because when someone asks you if you are a god, you say "yes"!), and shared my number with him. I had a free 30 minute consultation with him yesterday, and he booked me for a longer (paid!) consultation early next week where I'm supposed to check out all of his systems and give him a proposal for how I can fix them and train his brand-new assistant (who doesn't have any administrative or real estate experience). I also have a Zoom consultation next week with yet another agent who has a full-time assistant who just needs a bit of training and for me to set up a few systems for them. :eek:

I'd love for this to be a brag thread, but it's not because I AM FREAKING RIGHT THE FUCK OUT Y'ALL!!! How in the hell did I convince 3 different people that I know what I'm doing and that I can help them?? What am I going to do now? If I really sit down to think about it, I know I can do all the things I said I could - I have done them for myself or other employers. But how do I do it for them?? 

I already feel like I'm in over my head and I haven't even really begun to do anything yet. And don't get me started on pricing. I have no idea how to charge people yet. So far I've just offered an hourly rate that's my base rate for employment, so I already know I should have gone higher but then I feel bad for charging too much. 

Anyway. I'm calling it Realty Operations System Enhancement, or ROSE for short. I'm filling out paperwork for an LLC so I can pay myself like a regular employee and buy this house. And I need to figure out how that works. I bought the domain RoseATX.com, so now I need to figure out how to make a website. 

I'm so scared though. Just...absolutely terrified. And I don't really know of what. 

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Believing in yourself is terrifying, because most of us spend our lives learning that we’re failures and can never be good enough. But you’re not a failure and you are good enough to do this and succeed!

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I think you will be fabulous. Just make sure you charge what you are worth!

I love that your job is literally working yourself out of a job. My husband automates so much stuff at work because after he's done something once or twice he's like this needs automated. It really pisses people off because they want to sit back and do the same thing over and over because it requires no thought. He can't stand that and I'm pretty sure you're the same way!

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I don’t even remotely understand what you are doing, but I like systems and patterns and you are very excited about me so go do it.

 

edit: sorry I’m high

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This week I met with the 2 agents I wrote about. Both meetings went rather well. 

I'm starting to get a better handle on pricing. Most of it is mindset on my part. I'm trying to get over thinking about pricing in terms of my time but rather in terms of my experience and expertise and the value of those to others. It's really hard. Like...really really hard. 

And I have so much work to do on the front end here to create my own systems and workflow plans. Otherwise I'm going to be crazy overwhelmed crazy soon. 

 

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  • 4 months later...

Tons.

I was making super headway on this endeavor - had a website about 90% designed and set up, had all my documents and several templates set up for various types of jobs, had all my paperwork for an LLC ready to go, and then I had to put everything on hold. 

My husband's job started going south...quickly. 

In our quest to get my husband help for his obvious ADHD, we've actually discovered that he has some pretty major memory and comprehension issues that ADHD just doesn't explain. Some of these symptoms are things that I've always just attributed to "Trevor bullshit", but I'm starting to realize that so much of this has been getting progressively worse over the past decade or so. I accompanied him to the doctor to talk about ADHD symptoms one day, and we left with a referral to see a neurologist and an order to get an MRI of his brain. The MRI was clear, thank God. The neurologist gave him the dementia screen and said that Trevor passed but just barely. So in light off all this, I realized that his problems with his job (and really, every job he's ever had) were unlikely to improve, which meant that I was going to have to find a real job so he could quit his. 

We talked about it a lot, and, honestly, until we find out what's going on, Trevor's employment issues are going to continue making him almost unemployable or at least only under-employable (if that makes sense). It's hard to explain to most people because all of my examples of "Trevor bullshit" are things that EVERYBODY does just not to this degree or frequency, but it basically boils down to a complete lack of nearly every executive function. So for now, we decided that he's best being the stay-at-home parent and handling Luke's homeschooling and most of the housekeeping, and I got a job. 

Good news is, I did find a pretty good job. I'm now working for a home builder doing about 50% project management for our new builds and 50% bookkeeping. All of my schooling and experience have given me just enough knowledge about construction and accounting to make this job "not hard". I'm learning a lot as well. So it's kinda fun tbh. And the starting pay was a $15k raise over my last job. 

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ADHD can be pretty impacting to working memory and executive function. I mean, I swear my kids have a 5 second delay between hearing something and processing that you actually said something. Is neurologist going to look into anything further in terms of dementia?

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Not yet. He's sending Trevor for a sleep study and a full neuropsych eval. He believes that Trevor's issues are likely a combination of factors rather than one thing due to his age and lack of family history with dementia. (But Trevor's never known his dad, so there's a whole side of family history we don't know.)

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I don't know if dementia is the right way to think of it. It's weird so many versions of dementia are out there. I hope he gets the help that you guys need. I fear dementia because of some head trauma to me. 

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Yeah. I'm not really worried about him having any form of dementia. I just think that it's telling (and a little justifying on my end) that he barely passed the screening. It shows that there's definitely an issue, and I'm not going crazy and he's not just being obstinate. 

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A lot of those protocols are designed for neurotypical brains. When Q had her concussion, she totally bombed the concussion protocol and I had to remind the physician that she would not have been able to pass the exam on a good day. I told her that she was going to have to rely more on physical symptoms. Things like responding to a list backwards or put things in a certain order was super hard for her, even before she hit her head.

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