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Finding Your Home in a Job You Love

by | Jun 19, 2024 | Member Spotlights | 0 comments

“If at first you don’t succeed”—you know how the phrase goes. It’s easy to recite back, “try, try, again,” but how easy is that to actually do? Many who have found success and purpose in their work would say that to “try, try, again,” is in fact not easy but that for them doing so—the practice swings, missed shots, lessons, repetitions—was what made all the difference.

Our presenter today, Travis Otto of Cornerstone Real Estate is one such professional. Travis grew up always wanting to be a police officer. He shared that he wasn’t exactly-sure why, but that when he was a kid a neighbor across the street had been one, and that might’ve been what initiated his desire.

In law enforcement, Travis went as far as working with a local unit as a teenager on a few small operations, and had been assigned and scheduled to go to the academy. But when it came time to actually go, he had the realization that the construction work he was doing was paying better than the career he was signing up for. That seven-something an hour for 6 months while in the academy was not going to be enough to support the lifestyle he had started building.

It was in this moment he decided to make a major shift and leave the career path he’d always laid out for himself behind, taking along only the life lessons and warm connections he had built.

Thankfully construction did turn into a 20 year career for Travis, great for the first three-fourths or so, then turning south with the market (both figuratively, and with a literal pre-crash flight to the U.S. South) for his last few years in the mid-late ‘00s..

Amidst the carnage of the 2008 housing crisis, Travis was pushed into another light pivot—from construction to foreclosure work. He thankfully talked to a colleague in real estate who got him work in some of the properties the brokerage dealt with. Clients were then so impressed with Travis’s work and professionalism that his name spread and he ended up inundated with enough to suddenly run a multi-man operation.

While many would call this “success,” Travis also wasn’t happy at this point with exactly where things were going, with all of the work’s accompanying flavors of stress.

In a moment of clarity one day not long before the 2012 Dexter tornado, Travis decided to end his business, sharing work and some resources with a few workers he had employed who he could highly trust.

With his contracting business’s success, thankfully Travis could take a few months to decide what his next major move would be. He spent some volunteer time on tornado relief projects, and started getting involved in helping the Dexter community in other ways.

During this down-time, Travis had lunch with a friend who suggested he try selling Real Estate.

But I don’t want to wear a suit, and I can be a little rough around the edges and swear a lot”—is a paraphrased version of Travis’s response. “And that’s why you’ll be great at it,” his friend and colleague said, perfectly. Despite his own feelings of imposter syndrome, he proceeded to get similar assurance from his always-supportive wife Peggy, and a few others just to make sure Peggy’s encouragements hadn’t been clouded with bias too.

Starting in Real Estate as the nation exited the largest downturn in half a century, Travis was able to beat the average Real Estate earnings his first year, basically double that his second, and has steadily increased his earnings, sales, and lifestyle satisfaction since—becoming a trusted household name for real estate in the Dexter community where he lives and practices.

With the help of some coaching, a couple prudent employment moves, and a stronger commitment to his own work-life balance—Travis has gotten to a point where he gets to live and work on his own terms, and largely continues un-retired from real estate because he still loves helping people get into a good house. Connect with Travis for the best help.

If you’re interested in joining a group of diverse businesses, and networking with successful professionals like Travis, check out our business networking group at border2border.biz/join! We always welcome visitors and new members, and look forward to connecting with you.

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