Monday, February 26, 2018

Not A Whole Lot Of Anything

Gunner watching it snow.
Not a whole lot going on this week but good stuff all at the same time. I got to see Jules and have a quick meal with her and Mason and in that same vein, Mason and I were able to meet up with David and Lisa Anderson for a bite as well. Oh, and it snowed in Auburn this last week! It wasn't much, but it absolutely snowed. This is Gunner watching it out the window.

Mason and I worked on the entrepreneur club and did some planning for the Kids Expo and how we will organize the kid's panel, in addition to reaching out to some of our media contacts to see if we can't make a few television appearances happen when the time comes. This is the time that the work is happening, the emails, the phone calls, all the stuff that isn't really the fun stuff. Oh well, it's what creates the forward motion. In the meantime, there are the quick visits with friends, the dogs, and the warm blankets on the days when it snows just a little bit outside. I hope you all have a great week and do something that makes you happy.

Monday, February 19, 2018

It Was A Happy Valentine's Day

It was Valentines Day and you know our family is all about the Schmoop! I made cookies for my single girlfriends and I made Dave a Valentine that is reminiscent of our early love story. 

The artwork of Patrick McDonnell and his comic strip based on a dog named Earl and a cat named Mooch holds a super special place in our story, in fact, Mason's nursery was Mutt's themed. Neither here nor there, just happens to be the very kind of schmoop that Valentine's Day is made for, and of course we know from past experiences, the handmade card won't hold any significant meaning to Dave until he's had it for many years and it's old, like him! 

Today, on the 76th anniversary of the Japanese having been interned in America, why is there no news of Americans who were interned in other countries at the same time? My grandmother, mother, and aunt were interned in Shanghai at this same time. They wrote a book...I believe you can order this as a print on demand. 

This is the story of a family caught in the middle of war. John Dakiniewicz, an auto mechanic and veteran of the U.S. Army infantry, and Zina Kossenko, a refugee of the Russian revolution, met in 1926 in Shanghai, China. They settled in the city and established a family, but during World War II they and their young daughters became civilian prisoners in a Japanese-run internment camp. Their daughters, Wanda and Jeannette, are the authors of this family memoir.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Team Partak!

It's around this time every year that we hear all the motivational stories of NFL football players who beat incredible odds to not only play in the NFL, but to actually make it to the Super Bowl. I'm a huge promonent of kindness and positivity and you can ask my family, if I'm not asking, "Is that loving, are you being kind?" I'm reminding us that we are "Team Partak!" It makes no sense to be competing against each other or berating the people who are on our own team - it is far more optimal to be lifting each other up. There is more to this, but I want to repost something a wrote a number of years ago because it resonates with me more each year. I think it will resonate with you, too.

I am certain we are always harder on ourselves than other people are on us, but let me ask you, how much confidence do you really have in yourself? Watching the Super Bowl a few years ago, Russell Wilson said (and the story was told about him many times that day) that his dad asked him, “Why not you Russell? Why not you?” He could have said, “Because I’m too small because my arm isn’t strong enough…” he could have said to his father all the things his critics were telling him, but he didn’t. He held on to his dream and let his father’s voice echo in his head, “Why not you Russell?” This, in turn, became, “Why not me?” To his team, “Why not us?” So who are you? Are you like Russell Wilson or are you the one who caves into the critics. Dave suggested that some people succeed to spite their critics. Okay, I suppose the "Tell me I can't and I'll show you I will!" isn't a bad thing, but why are we not all simply lifting each other up? I preach to Mason almost daily, "Are you a friend people want? Do you lift your friends up by encouraging them, or are you being the kid who will say, "Yours sucks, mines better!" Well, the truth of the matter is, he's a boy and a very competitive boy at that, he has to work to remember to not compete but to lift his friends up. It is my hope that by starting this message with him now, by the time he gets it, it will have shaped him to be someone who lifts others up and encourages them to ask, "Why not me?"
I’ve been the one who listens to all the people who say things like, “You can’t be an actress, you are not the right type, you are not tall enough, you are not thin enough, and you are not like a model.” “College isn’t really for you, eh, er, I mean, you are not really the college type.” “It would just be good if you could follow something through, you never follow through.” “Oh no, she has an idea, you know what that means, it’s gonna cost me money.” Where does one find the strength to not listen to those naysayers while still loving them, and still have the gumption to ask, “Why not me? I can do it, I can be it, I’m enough.” Do you feel like you are enough? I don’t. I also don’t think that many women do, especially women who are wives and mothers. As women who feel so much responsibility for the lives of others, it is incredibly difficult to focus on anything else. Heck, truth be told, we can’t focus on any one thing because there are so many one things to do, how is it possible to focus on just one at a time? From keeping up with the housewifery, the kid's school work, after-school schedules, medical and dental appointments, grocery shopping, in my case, real estate that I am trying to do more of while working for another top producing agent, and more…so I’m told to drop some of these things and focus on me, my business, what I want. Really?
And where does talent play into this equation? Dave brought up the example of the people who audition for American Idol, the people who can not sing. Is it a good idea to encourage these people and set them up for failure? I would say in life, this example is more an exception than a rule. We live in a society that is not one of encouragement but of competition and the belief that we can make people stronger by continually knocking them down - some people, yes, others, no. And to the singing point, certainly, not everyone can sing, as I well know! But could we encourage one to sing for pleasure yet say, "Singing may not be your professional calling - how can you craft a career around music so you can be in the environment that you love and feel successful?" Again, it's all in how it's done and keep the message positive.
So let me be very clear, I am not complaining. What I am hoping my message will come across as is this, if we really see big things and lots of potential in someone, why don't we focus on growing that? Let's not focus on the failures, or what appears to be shortcomings, let's focus on continuing to encourage the ideas for success - no matter what someone else might judge or evaluate. Many will say without failure, success is impossible. I don't know if that's true, but I can attest to plenty of failures. Russell Wilson held on to the voices that were encouraging him and he dismissed those that told him he wasn't good enough, big enough, strong enough or enough enough. Let's all take a moment today to first acknowledge that we are enough and can be anything that we want, and second, find someone else to lift up and encourage - really make it matter, touch them, look them in the eye and make sure you have their attention and lift them up. Be the voice they can hold on to next time someone tells them they are not enough.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Crazy Bay Area Real Estate Market

I'm working the real estate deal of my life and it's been a total blast! I'm so grateful for my broker who lets me be me, my clients who trust me, and my family who find joy in that I love what I do. I earn my paycheck and love what I do, how can it get better? Oh, to hear our four favorite words that are coming very soon, "We Are On Record.”

With that said, the RE market in San Jose is like another planet! Seriously, I've been put on notice that I will be at the house to show it to another agents buyer, I've been told that it would be "vry-vry bad" if I don't sell to a family that needs this house, if I don't let someone in the only time they can go, I won't sell the house at all, and finally, how dare I accept a preemptive offer before every one gets a chance to see/show the house. I'm seriously laughing at the texts and voice mails that are coming in - 29 in the last 48 hours - and some of those have left multiple messages - one caller left 7 voice mails in the span of one hour ( 5:15, 5:16, 5:22, 5:25, 5:33, 5:48, 6:15).

And then there was this conversation…

SJ Agent - Any update on my offer?
Me - the sound of the start of a reply…
SJ Agent - Please help me get this house my buyers love it and guarantee to close, guarantee or I buy your house.
Me - the sound of the start of a reply…
SJ Agent - If there is anything you want me to adjust, anything, we can do that to get this house.
Me - (quickly) No, that would not be fair to the buyer the seller selected. I know you would not like that to happen to your buyer. Would you like to be our back up offer?
SJ Agent - Okay, just confirm it now.
Me - the sound of the start of a reply…
SJ Agent - My offer was best at 3:33 pm and offers were due at 3:00. Why you don't tell me I was outbid?
Me - You weren't outbid, and offers were due at 3:00 PM, not 3:33 PM.
SJ Agent - What? How? 
My phone blows up, 3 or 4 calls back to back. I answer and he can not believe that it is possible to accept an offer that is not all about the money. Again, he wants to know what he can do to get the house. 
Me - wait and see, if it comes to needing a back up, you can up your offer. You do realize this is not my house, it is not my decision. LOL! Crazy bay area market.

I’ll let you know when this closes - at this point we are listed at $690,000 and offers are coming in well above $700,000!