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From Cocoon to Butterfly the Making of a Mega Agent
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During the growing period of your career, when the pressure is on to quit, remember the lowly caterpillar fighting it out within the cocoon; a symbol of struggling against all odds to bursting forth into a new life.

Kendra Shearer was the first Real Estate Apprentice Grand Prize Winner. Coming out of a successful career in nursing and entering a difficult career in real estate can send anyone into the ICU Ward. How is Kendra handling the challenge and is she winning? Following in Kendra's own words is a progress report of sorts and some wise reflections about what she has learned and experienced thus far.

"All of us know the principle of how the caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. You cannot intervene in the struggle as it emerges from the cocoon, or it will die. This same life force is in all of us, urging us to become the best we can be. The older I get, the more I realize that each day is a gift and is filled with unexpected twists and turns that all work toward the good. My job is to be open to the gift and to have the faith to let the miracles happen. I am also responsible for acknowledging that it is not due to my strengths and skills, but more than likely, my weaknesses.

Case in Point
In November 2006, I had no closings (therefore no cash flow) and had no closings scheduled for December, however, I believed that something good would happen. By the end of December, we had an unbelievable 3 closings. Once again, as of January 31, 2007, our forecast for February was $0.0. As of today, I was notified that a March closing wanted to move the date into February, and a client that we had helped build a home in 2006 (who terminated 10 days before closing) called with an urgent request to put a contract in on a house she found - could I help her? Also in January, I closed a client with a rare cancer that I have been working with for two years. What a celebration!

During this time, I have been reading a book written by Os Hillman, called "The Upside of Adversity - Rising from the Pit to Greatness". The book reveals a very detailed experience of both professional and personal failure and how the author used this time of adversity for extraordinary growth. Os has identified four tests that leaders go through as they rise from adversity. Here is a brief overview:

The Judas Test
This is a test of betrayal. Last year, I had 6 episodes where clients literally betrayed us! When I would speak to other agents about it, they would look at me as if I had 3 heads. Now, I can see the wisdom in what happened. In each instance, I had to think about how to handle the situation, what was the high road, even when it cost me a deal, which I needed so badly! I knew not to sell out, but the temptation is unbelievable.

The Integrity Test
This is the test of temptation. I believe that this is a daily issue for all of us. It is an integral part of the core values of my brokerage: to do the right thing and win/win, or no deal.

The Perseverance Test
This is the test of pressing through adversity and refusing to quit. Os says, "Suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character, and character, hope". In order to persevere, we have to eat right, rest, and exercise. It is what coaches try to address when they speak of physical health, mental toughness, and spiritual health.

The Success Test
This is the goal of the MegaAgent. It is interesting to note that it is a "test". Os says it is very hard to be successful if you don't have the character to deal with it. The tests rid us of pride, ego and a false sense of our own personal abilities so that we can be a great steward of the resources that we are given. Otherwise, we get lost in the idolatry of the wealth. Take a moment and reflect on where you are personally and in your business. Where are you in the tests?" Kendra Shearer.

The Real Estate Apprentice® Foundation was founded in 2004 and is a non-profit venture created to assist newly licensed agents by equipping them quality guidance, education, products and services designed to alleviate their concerns and facilitate their rise to successful profitability. This is accomplished by providing 5,000 annual grants, awarded every 6 months, which total $1 million. There are no strings attached and grants are sponsored by various major real estate companies, service providers and industry leaders.


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