Welcome to my about page. This is the page on your website where you get to talk about yourself and what you bring to the table. So here goes... this is my story...
Since I was 15 years old I knew I was going to be an entrepreneur. Actually, most likely it was even before then. I remember as a child I loved to teach. I loved teaching so much I would force my brothers and sister who were younger than I was to sit in front of a chalkboard we had every day after I got home from school. I would teach my siblings all what I had learned that day in school. Needless to say, they were super smart and could read before they started school. I truly have a love for learning.
I dreamed of opening up an orphanage and taking in all the orphaned children from all over the world when I was only 10 years old. I was going to teach them all how to read and write. There is an exercise I do with my clients to help them discover their passions: think back to when you were a child, what did you dream of being when you grew up? Clues...
When I was 12 years old the school district I lived in offered me a real paying job with a real paycheck to teach a group of African American children to read who were illiterate. What a great experience and how I loved to be in a classroom teaching. I soon learned you don't get paid very much to teach in the traditional roles of teachers.
The journey of being an entrepreneur begins with hard times.
I was a straight A student in school. My teachers used to tell me if they could give a grade higher than an A they would give it to me. Unfortunately my pre-teen and teen years were quite turbulent. My father and mother were divorced. My mother was an alcoholic and got high on other drugs. I found out only about a year ago from my aunt that she went to visit us in Germany while my parents were still married and found me making sandwiches and feeding my siblings when I was only 5 years old. My mother was a brilliant genius with no capability of taking care of common sense things like feeding her 4 children. She would get caught up in painting an amazing painting and the world outside of her brain just was not connected.
I started to hang out with bad friends and started to do bad things as a pre-teen. By the time I was a teenager I was staying away from home without permission, a runaway. This lifestyle would end up getting me molested, kidnapped, raped and other bad stuff. Being homeless most of the time and panhandling put me in very vulnerable positions. Not a great life. The courts intervened and placed me in a group home where I started to thrive. They got me a job working for the San Francisco water department as clerk when I was 15. This is where I learned I would never want to work for someone else! It was a terrible experience. I learned very quickly that I wanted to be the boss, not the other way around.
I started modeling for Gunne Sax in the city and loved it. But then in the group home, I was considered rehabilitated and they wanted to give my bed to someone who needed it more. They said they would send me back to juvenile detention until they could emancipate me. I thought to myself, " I am going to be locked up for being good?" I don't think so. So I ran away again. This time I ran away to Hawaii. I got a fake ID and got on a plane to Hawaii all by myself.
An uncle of mine lived in Hawaii so my mother arranged for me to stay with him. He was a super alcoholic and had an alcoholic roommate and it was not something I was comfortable around. I got a job at McDonalds in Waikiki which was walking distance from their apartment. They did not have a car and of course, either did I. I did not even make it 2 weeks at McDonalds, I did not even wait or go back to get my paycheck. I decided this "job" stuff was not for me. I went back to modeling and then go into acting and starting my own business designing clothing, a very small tailoring business.
An Entrepreneur is Born
My mother committed suicide when I turned 18 years old but I believed for years that someone killed her. It was an assisted suicide. I found out just a few years ago that she had liver cancer which she most likely knew and did not want to die from the liver cancer. It was a really rough time for me at 18. That is when I met the man I would marry.... who was abusive.... we would go on to have 5 children together... that is another story for another day. After 20 years at the age of 40, my children and I escaped from him and started over again.
I remarried a wonderful man who is my husband today and together we had my 6th child when I was 44 years old.
When I was 21 or 22 years old I got my real estate license and was on my road to entrepreneurship. During the course of having children and being a mother, I was always looking for ways to maximize my time to earn income and still be a mom that was full time with her kids. My kids never saw the inside of a day care center in fact, we homeschooled. I would run my businesses around our homeschool time. Real estate was one of my businesses. I also ran a day care in my home when the kids were little. This created a way for me to earn income and give my own children other children to play with. This was all long before there were cell phones, personal computers, fax machines. The big invention of the day was the cordless phone. The options were no where near as many as there are today to earn income as an entrepreneur. As a family we started a Tae Kwon Do and ended up owning several of them with one of them being in the top 10 of the most successful Tae Kwon Do schools in the country. All the kids are black belts. They all learned how to be instructors. Life was great in the business part of things. At home, things in that marriage were different. Again, another story for another day:). Divorce is hard on moms especially with so many kids. With the divorce we severed all ties with business as well. I knew I always had my real estate business I could fall back on.
Fast forward to 2007. The real estate market crashed here in Florida. My current husband warned of the bubble but no one listened. We knew we needed to strategize and find another source of income. We decided on doing short sales for homeowners. How would we get the word out about something no one even knew about? We had experience negotiating short sales but in 2007 we could count on one hand the other agents who could also do short sales in behalf of homeowners. This is when I started blogging. Within 3 months our phone started to ring with homeowners ready to list their homes with us to do short sales.
Before I started blogging I decided I needed to study SEO. I had to figure out how to get our blog in front of the right audience. Zig Ziglar said if you want to become an expert- study for 1 hour a day in that field for 5 years and you will know more than most people in that certain field. I did not have 5 years. I did the math and started studying 8 to 9 hours every single night until I could dance around anyone in SEO, blogging and digital marketing. I continue to study and keep up with digital marketing strategies today.
Another very important step I took was to pay it forward on blog networks in the real estate space. I helped other agents be better agents, learn also about SEO and marketing online and get more business.
Other real estate agents started to call me to hire me to coach them to learn what I was doing to get the listings we were getting and the online dominance we generated. That is how this all started.
One thing led to another and soon I was hired by many brokers, agents, our chiropractor and dentist as well as other local businesses to help them with their SEO, build them websites, social media and other digital marketing strategies. Then I started being invited to speak at big events to share how and what you need to do to be out in front in your niche online. I had rediscovered my passion for speaking and teaching!
I have lived a tough and hard life but all the things that happened in my life are what has made me who I am today. I rose above the streets, the homelessness, the despair, the crime, the abuse, the victim.... we are the sum of our experiences and those experiences can either make you or break you. The choice is yours.