June 30, 2011 <br /><br />When it comes right down to it, isn’t life the result of really hard decisions we have made? It’s those twists and turns that are a product of what we opted to do or not to do that really form the people we are today. One of the toughest choices I had to make was when I was a college sophomore and was faced with having to choose between a fantastic job opportunity or staying in school. I deliberated over it for days and I’ll never know what would’ve happened had I have opted to finish college but I do know that taking the job set me on a professional course that ultimately shaped who I am. And, while I ended up returning to UCLA years later to finally get my degree, I can appreciate that great chances don’t often present themselves twice. <br /><br />When my husband Ben came face to face with his own difficult, life altering decision: whether or not to stop practicing as a lawyer to become a real estate broker instead, it reminded me of my own fork in the road years earlier. I couldn’t tell him what to do but part of me hoped he would take the safer route. It was early on in our marriage and our babies were young so of course I was worried about the stress and financial strain of going from a steady paycheck to a commission based profession. "</p><p> I thought of all his long, law school nights spent studying and working so hard and I hated to think it was all a waste of time. I truly believed as a lawyer, he had the power to really help people and what a gift that was to give. But then I also pictured him in his law firm, stuck in a grey office cubicle, hunched over the tiny print of a contract, hardly ever coming into contact with the sunshine, barely able to spend time with his family given the constant demands of banking billable hours. I knew that this wasn’t who Ben was and every day he went to the office he was denying himself the life he was meant to lead. <br /><br />At first, the real estate road was rough. The economy was in an absolute downhill slide and it seemed like the worst possible time to enter into the field. Slowly and steadily, though, Ben started putting buyers and sellers together and it was obvious that this was what he was meant to do. He could enjoy the personal side of business and meet people face to face as opposed to being stuck in an office all day. He could be home for dinner and get the chance to enjoy seeing his children grow up. The most surprising yet validating aspect of the business, though, was the fact that he is really helping people achieve their dream. After all the negotiating, escrows, inspections, re-negotiating and complications are done, he really gets the chance to see the emotional result of all his hard work. The day he gets to witness the expressions on buyers’ faces when they open the door of their new home and realize that it finally belongs to them is why he loves what he does and has proven to be so phenomenally good at it. <br /><br /> Summer is the perfect time to step back and think about what can be changed in all of our lives. If something isn’t working, why not take a little risk and set down a path of doing something different? Whether it’s a job, a relationship, a project, a home or just a point of view- why not take a risk and see what comes from it? I know our family has benefited from taking a couple of chances and I bet yours might, too. <br /><br /> As always, If you have any real estate related questions, feel free to give Ben a call. You know he would love to hear from you. <br /><br />Thank you so much, <br /><br />Lilli<br /><br />p.s. An additional thank you to all those who donated to the Friends of Castle Heights after our last letter went out! Thanks to your kind generosity, our school made over $2000!!! If you would like to continue to make donations or just be kept in the loop about our fabulous school, please send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.