So apparently it seems that I am writing a short series here. My first blog was about Focusing on Change , my second was about Old Habits & Past mistakes and now I’m ready to tackle another area… Believing in yourself .
Most of my life I struggled with my identity and where I fell into place in this world. I grew up the middle child and was always trying to be as good as my older brother in many aspects ( except sports because I was and always will be better than him). Sorry big bro.
As time went on I started to find my way, yet as my dad always put it, I had a big black cloud over my head that seemed to follow me around and create havoc in my life. Yes, some of the bad things that happened to me were my own doing: flipping a car on its roof, setting the tire-park on fire, not obeying the rules my parents set forth, and failed relationships, just to name a few. Yet, being diagnosed with ADHD wasn’t a choice I made.
The ADHD led to issues beyond my control as I managed to fail out of college, not once but twice, made decisions with a clouded mind stumbled past failed relationships. As my two brothers and I got older, I started to see their successes in life, kept comparing myself to them, and once again struggled to find my place in this world. I didn’t believe in myself. I could go on and on about this but I’ll fast forward some.
After many years of working in landscaping and design, I decided on a change in careers. Two good friends in NJ were appraisers and asked me if I would want to learn it and work with them. This was 2003 or so, and when they‘re holding stacks of cash and I barely had enough money to buy a couple beers and live at home in your parents basement, the answer was very simple, YES.
I look back on that day and I felt like I had finally found where I really belonged. Sixteen years later, I am still an appraiser but I haven’t come to really believe in myself. Now I’ll fast forward again.
Years go by and things are slowly taking shape. I still had that BLACK CLOUD following me, but less frequently. I still struggled with life, and I was still trying to find my place in this world. In 2007, I moved to Atlanta, GA and started my own business, What’s It Worth Appraisal Services. It was just before the housing market crash and I was doing okay for myself.
As for many appraisers, the crash was good and bad: good because I was making money doing foreclosure work, and bad because the former day and age of the way things worked was over. The AMCS (Appraisal Management Companies) came into play. When that happened I had a choice to either leave the profession or to figure out how to work with them. I chose to work with them. However, once again I had uncertainty in my life and I just didn’t believe in myself. I’ll fast forward again…
Years go on, and I build my business around the new laws and regulations in place. Many appraisers closed shop or went on to find other jobs within the AMC platform. Like many appraisers, my attitude changed and I went into full-on hate mode. I became so set against AMCs and how things worked that I changed myself.
In 2014, I formed the 100% Real Estate Appraisers group on Facebook which now includes 2600+ independent appraisers. My reason for forming this was that I was a member of other groups and forums, however, they were full of so many AMC employees, lenders, and others that the appraisers didn’t really have a place. I wanted this 100% group strictly for independent appraisers to talk.
What I didn’t realize was that as the group continued to grow, I became more involved in the group and less focused on my business. I also didn’t realize that I was craving the attention and loved it. I was also being approached by people I never thought I’d ever come in contact with. I surrounded myself with these people and believed everything they had to say. I was becoming more than an appraiser, but also becoming what they wanted and needed. However… I FOUND MY PLACE and it was ensuring that I would be seen. I was finally starting to believe in myself, but not for the right reasons. Fast forward…
In 2016, I married the best woman I’ve ever met in my life. Someone who actually believed in me. Between 2017 and now, I had some good things and some bad things happen. Professionally, as many know, one of my biggest challenges was taking on and suing Coester VMS and Brian Coester for hacking into my email accounts. Two years of hell with this lawsuit. Two years of trying to do the right thing.
I had so many folks behind me and the people close to me… Well, when push came to shove, many abandoned me. It was no longer in their best interest to champion my cause. On a more personal note, my family life was having its problems as well, combined with the lawsuit, and a perfect storm was the result
I lost myself. I lost my place in this world. I had no reason to believe in myself, and that led to my addiction to alcohol. For over two years, I just flew by the seat of my pants, tried to impress, and spent a lot of energy being angry. Angry at everything related to the appraisal world. I made many mistakes. I’ve apologized for them, I’ve taken up sobriety (145 days as of this writing) yet I still have work to do.
So what am I getting at here, you may ask…? I could have given up. I could have walked away. I could have taken the easy way out. I didn’t. It’s never too late to believe in yourself… Its never too late to change. I am doing the hard work, I am doing my homework, and I rid myself of all things negative in my life. I started new. I regained focus.
I have learned new ways to cope and to handle things. I am taking the steps to rebuild my brand, my business, and my life. I have a great social media presence, have learned better marketing skills, and have a plan for where I want my business to go. I am learning to be a business owner and not just an appraiser. I have taken the steps to further develop this blog and a podcast. I am restructuring my business priorities and surround myself with successful people. I no longer am angry at the world or the profession and the challenges we as appraisers face. I no longer associate with the ones that walked away and didn’t understand. I have had more GOOD things happen to me in the past five months than in the previous ten years as an appraiser. It’s because five months ago…
I STARTED TO BELIEVE IN MYSELF NO MATTER WHAT!