Female Strength: The Balancing Act

Laura Jewett May 4, 2023

“She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. She walked with the Universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings.”
-Ariana Dancu
As a daughter, sister, wife, aunt, mom, and business owner, I, like most women wear many hats and carry lots of loads. I cherish the life that I have created; with my family being at the center of everything I do. BUT. I am not going to lie, finding that work/life balance and maintaining a successful business is an ongoing challenge. I LOVE what I do! I truly love connecting people with the perfect home for the next chapter in their lives. I love earning clients’ trust and having them share their very personal family goals and aspirations with me, sharing in their excitement about what we are working on together and inviting me to be part of their major decision-making moments.
Combine this with our other businesses of managing our short- and long-term rental properties and our new construction division and any chance of a spare moment in the day becomes a distant fantasy. BUT, I wouldn’t trade it for the world! We are enveloped in the real estate world which I think also gives us a unique perspective and level of expertise for our clients that is rare in the industry.
A few of the questions that I ponder on an ongoing basis to help maintain my perspective, ensure that I am following my passion and create balance in my life include:

WHO do you show up for every day?

Of course, for me, this is my family and my clients. But it is important to remember that we cannot and should not feel obligated to help everyone who asks. This is a challenging one for me as I want to help everyone but this can lead to not only doing a disservice to myself, my other clients, and sometimes to the client themselves as well. If they are asking for assistance in an area that is not my area of expertise or that will detract me from providing a premier level of service to my other clients, then the answer should be no. I also cannot count the number of times that I have accepted a partner meeting from a vendor when I knew that they would not be a good fit for my business. Saying no is ok!
I have also discovered that I may (sigh!) have overindulged my children over the years by saying yes too often or just simply doing things for them :/ Saying no or providing alternatives to allow our kids to accomplish something on their own builds strength and fortitude that will serve them well for the rest of their lives.

How do you show up every day?

My mantra has always been that perspective and attitude is everything! Happiness is a choice. Approaching challenging situations with an open mind and heart will lead you to the best solutions, in my business, you will frequently hear me say that there are no problems; just solutions! It just takes a positive attitude, an open mind, and some creativity to find the best ones that will create a winning solution for all parties involved!
This is also relevant in family life. My kids are certainly tired of hearing me say “Happiness is a choice” as that is the only response that they will get from me if they approach me with a bad attitude. Of course, our kids certainly know how to push our and each other’s buttons! Staying calm and not reacting at the moment is paramount. I do love the philosophies and parenting tools presented in Parenting With Love and Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay and highly recommend it to any parent that might be struggling with this.

What legacy do you want to leave behind?

This has been a persistent thought of mine as I think about a future, albeit modified/partial, retirement plan. We are so engrossed in real estate that we will never be fully retired from it but I do envision a future of more vacation time and less working hours. I have dedicated so much to my real estate career and helping others to realize their real estate dreams, that I have discovered that I do not want this to end when I transition out of some of the day-to-day business operations. With this in mind, I have been working on developing my brand and a team of like-minded agents to carry us forward long into the future!
At the center of this is being a connector in the community. We love supporting other small businesses that share the same level of commitment, attention to detail, and dedication to service excellence that we do! We especially love partnering with other women-owned businesses and finding ways to incorporate them into our business in a variety of ways. We also accomplish this connectivity through our Operation Give Back program that supports several local charities in our community that are doing vital work. Giving back to others, paying it forward, making a difference, and creating positive change are all part of the legacy that I want to leave behind as a person and a company. 
With regards to the family legacy, we are certainly doing this through our real estate holdings and teaching our kids the value and benefits of being business owners and what it takes to be successful. Our focus in parenting, first and foremost, has always been on being a good human being, everything else is second to this as everything else generally falls into place if this is your focus from the start.

You are not an Island

I have certainly come a long way with this one over the years as I was very persistent in always doing everything myself “so that it is done right!” Ha! The last couple years of my career have been the most rewarding with my assistant by my side. I have been able to grow and expand the community outreach programs that are so important to me, stay more connected with my cherished clients, and have more fun doing it in the process when I finally let go and hired someone to help. I encourage everyone to find the areas in your business and your life that you do not find joy in and seek help. The time, energy, and mental anguish that you get back from taking these things off your plate often pay back tenfold!
This is relevant in family life as well. We as women often think that we have to do everything for everyone around us. Setting boundaries and asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness!

Give Yourself Grace

Someone once told me that done is better than perfect. While I still try to achieve something close to both, there is value in this statement. If the pursuit of perfection is keeping us from moving forward, then we are doing ourselves and our business a disservice.
In family life, this is the same. It is ok that I serve my kids cereal for dinner on occasion or that they have to wear dirty socks to school since I did not get around to finishing the laundry. One thing that I need to improve on as well is taking the time to TEACH and accept imperfection (or rather another version of doing things). Towels that are folded differently than how I fold them are ok! (even if they won’t fit in the cabinet correctly ) I MUST resist the urge to refold them! It frequently is just easier and quicker to do it myself but taking the time to teach these skills, not only sets our kids up for success in life but also will take some of the load off of us as we are typically the caretakers of the home; along with all of our other responsibilities.

Stay Connected

It is important to make time and stay connected to the women in your life that inspire you. Surrounding yourself with successful people is the surest way to inspire success in yourself! With the hectic schedule that we keep as a family, this often gets put on the wayside but when I get back into these settings, I am elevated, inspired, and reenergized to do bigger and better things!
With family, we often take this for granted. Take time to have family dinners whenever possible. Prepare meals together, play board games together, go for walks or bike rides together. Play, laugh and interact without the distraction of electronic devices. Walk across the house to ask your kids something rather than just texting them LOL! So much of our life has become about convenience that it is important to take the time to really connect while you have the chance as I am already dreading the day when my boys will be going off to college to start their own lives. These moments together are fleeting…don’t waste them!
Life is messy yet beautiful! Get your hands dirty and fight for the life and business that you envision for yourself and your family. Engage your community to build you up, teach and inspire you. You deserve the life you envision for yourself! Approach life with gratitude, optimism and grace and focus on being a good human being. The rest will fall into place! 

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