Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Random Act of Kindness #11: Stop the Car!

While staying in the mountains for the holidays, we were heading down to town to do some shopping. With winds gusting over 35 mph and freezing temps, there were a lot of branches and limbs laying about, including one that had fallen across a neighbor's driveway.  Our 12 year old son said, "Wait!  Stop the car, Dad!  Let's get out and move that branch out of the way!"
By George, I think he's got this!
This Random Act of Kindness is dedicated to sweet Victoria Leigh Soto, born November 4, 1985.  To learn more about Victoria and the other angels of Sandy Hook Elementary, go to:  http://mysandyhookfamily.org
Lovin' Life in the Lowcountry,
 
Janie

My mission statement:  To live each day to the fullest, with excitement, enthusiasm and a strong desire to build a successful and highly respected real estate business, earned by developing relationships through consistent and predictably high work ethic of always going above and beyond, and always doing so with a creative surprise up my sleeve.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Random Act of Kindness #10: Look for the Sign!



It’s the day before Christmas, and I wanted to share a story that my, now 80-year old, father shared several years ago about a particular Christmas Eve about 50 years ago.  Although not the easiest thing to duplicate, it is a story that is a true, RANDOM Act of Kindness. Every year, someone asks my father to tell the story, so I wanted to pass along what has become a part of our Christmas story-telling traditions. 

Several years ago, Dad was on a plane traveling home from another part of our world, and was reminded when he saw no signs of Christmas or the birth of baby Jesus, just how far we had come from that great event many years ago.  Ten days in lands where the birth of the Christ child is not a part of their daily lives reminded him to think of that blessed event in Bethlehem which has changed the lives of those we know and millions of others that we don’t.

As he pondered the difference this great event made in our world and how much more is needed for peace on earth, he began to think of Christmas past.  He remembered that Christmas years ago as a child, when he got the little red wagon he wanted so much.  Not only could he play with it and make believe, but he could also use it to haul in the firewood for the iron cook stove from the nearby woods.  There weren’t a lot of gifts in those days, but they still heard the Christmas story at their little church on the mountain in middle-Tennessee.  That seemed more important than the gifts, anyway, and the story seemed so “clear” with life on their little farm.  He just couldn’t imagine a baby lying in their manger.  They didn’t have sheep, but he envisioned the shepherds on their mountaintop and at night he could see so many bright stars.  But, he wondered, how did they know which was the star over Bethlehem shining down on the manger where Jesus lay?

His thoughts moved ahead to his first year in college and going home for Christmas was a major challenge.  He took the bus from Knoxville home to Bon Air, TN.  Then he walked through the snow for 3 miles to get home.  It seemed a long way in the cold, but now that he’s older, he found that slight.  After all, Mary rode a donkey all the way to Bethlehem and she was great with child.  His trip home for Christmas was so trivial in comparison. 

A couple years later, while in veterinary school at Auburn University, he and my mom traveled home for Christmas with their first born, my sister, who was about 6 weeks old at the time.  He had paid for her doll on the installment plan; he and mom were working their way through vet school, and funds were tight.  So, it was go home for Christmas in Tennessee for all the family to see their new born child.  

Years later, they left Tennessee and moved to Texas for him to go to graduate school at Baylor University.  As you may know, graduate fellowships aren’t very much support, especially when you have a family, too.  But on Christmas Eve, there was a knock at their door.  Much to their surprise, it was a Jewish friend of theirs and his children.  His friend immediately exclaimed, “I’m your Jewish Santa Claus and we bring gifts for all your children!”  He might as well have been one of the wise men who brought gifts for baby Jesus.

Back to his flight home, many other thoughts of Christmas past came to his mind.  After 10 days in a world without Christmas, he returned to Hong Kong.  Upon arriving at his hotel room, the music of Christmas was playing!!  What a joy to be reminded of the season.  Christ indeed still lives!

Many hours and thousands of miles later, he was back in Knoxville,  He realized throughout the city, every creature was moving.  The town was all decorated for Christmas.  The crowds rushed about the city from mall to mall, in shop after shop in pursuit of toys made in China, the latest iPod or Xbox.  There were toys of mass destruction containing mercury and lead.  The newest DVDs, and cell phones for text messaging people so you don’t actually have to “talk” to them!  As he began to get discouraged, thinking, “This is not what Christmas is about!” it was time to take toys to Morgan-Scott, which is the annual Christmas project he and mom’s Sunday school class participate in together.  There were seven vans and trucks loaded to the brim to bring good cheer to the little children in the underprivileged, under served community just outside of Knoxville.  Their minds were filled with joy as they made their way through Oliver Springs, Wartburg, and Sunbright, because they could make Christmas special for this group of needy families.

But his heart was still not overjoyed.  He had to wonder, “Does the star still shine over Bethlehem?  Will there ever be peace in the middle East?”  We worry about our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan…everywhere.  We pray for their safety and wouldn't it be a blessing if wars could stop and all people could have the peace the baby Jesus’ birth proclaimed?  We pray for God’s powerful hand to show the way, but he already did----if only everyone believed.

It’s now the day before Christmas.  Thoughts of family, Christmas dinner, sharing with one another our memorable Christmas times, our blue Christmases, and maybe even the “Grinch Stole Christmas” Christmas.  There are health issues, economics, family, relationships and emotional issues.  It can be a time of great joy or one of major concern.  It is often so busy, we can’t appreciate a “real” Christmas. 

But the most awesome experience he will always remember was one Christmas about 50 years ago, while our family was living in Kingston, TN.  He was one of the JC’s delivering Christmas boxes to the needy.  Naturally, as the local veterinarian, he was assigned the “out of town”, more rural requests.  The evening was getting late, and on Christmas Eve, he was driving as fast as he could between stops so he could get home for our family’s own Christmas preparations.  He had one more basket to go.  It was getting dark, and he was met at the door of a brand-new house, by an angry man who demanded to know why he was so late.  He noticed through the doorway, he had already received 2 other boxes from other sources and informed him they made their deliveries on schedule!  He couldn’t believe what he was hearing!  Thinking fast, he looked at his list and asked him his name.  (He already knew his name, but kept it covered with his thumb.)  When he told him his name, he said, “Oh I’m sorry….I am at the wrong house.  You aren’t on my list.”  (This was untrue, of course, but he would deal with that later.)  He walked back to his car and left, not knowing what to do with the undelivered box.  He drove through the night trying to decide what to do, when he saw a dim light in the distance.  It was not a bright star as guided the shepherd or the wise men, but he was neither, so he followed it.  The road was unfamiliar, and grew narrow.  Soon, it was not paved at all, and it was too narrow to turn around.  He could still see the dim light ahead in the distance, so he continued to drive toward it.  Eventually, he arrived at the source of the light.  He found a small wooden shack.  He knocked on the door, and a young lady answered.  The contents of the house were very modest, with furniture and cabinets made of sawmill lumber.  She had a plain scrub pine Christmas tree decorated with handmade paper chains and under the tree was a 5# bag of potatoes.  She had two children, one of which was a young baby lying in a hand-made, box-like cradle for a bed. 

He asked the lady her name.  When she replied, he said, “I’m so glad to find you!  I’ve been searching all night!  I have a Christmas basket for you from the Jay Cees in Kingston.”  “How can this be?” she said.  Again, he told a little White Christmas lie.  “But I know you!  I have my sources, so wait here until I can get your Christmas box!” 

He brought in the ham, the staples, fresh fruit, some candy and a few toys.  She was shocked and happy.  But before she could comprehend what was happening, he wished her Merry Christmas, and drove through the night.

Finally, he made it to Highway 58. As he traveled home late that Christmas Eve, he thought he heard a voice say, “Don’t worry about the lie---you don’t have to be a shepherd or wise man to worship the Christ child.  But tonight, you had a glimpse of what they experienced 2000 years ago.”

Today is the day before Christmas.  I know there are many amazing and miraculous Christmas stories out there, but I wanted to share one that is special to me and my family. May you all enjoy the blessing of the birth of the Christ child. Merry Christmas to all and to all a season of blessings!

One final comment, which is something Dad failed to mention, that was later pointed out by my mother:  Dad went back later to try to find the wooden shack where he delivered the last basket, and it was no where to be found.  He never found the house.

Lovin' Life in the Lowcountry,
 
Janie

My mission statement:  To live each day to the fullest, with excitement, enthusiasm and a strong desire to build a successful and highly respected real estate business, earned by developing relationships through consistent and predictably high work ethic of always going above and beyond, and always doing so with a creative surprise up my sleeve.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Random Act of Kindness #9: Phone-A-Friend!

I had a precious client that was a dear, dear, elderly man.  He (Mr. P.) had bought and sold many houses through me over the years.  But the most important thing about my relationship was not financial----it was what I learned from that sweet, old man.  He was 94 years old, and had seen and done more in his lifetime than I probably ever will.  He was orphaned as a young boy, and grew up in foster homes.  As a young man, he served his country, fighting in World War II.  As a civilian, his first job was loading pallets for Nabisco. Over the years, his hard work paid off, and he moved up within the ranks of the company.  He retired with them as one of the most top producing salesmen Nabisco had ever had.  In his earlier years, he had married the love of his life, and would light up when he talked about her, even though she had passed many years ago.  They had one son who is a successful neurosurgeon in Dallas, and I am proud to say, is a client of mine now!
My dear old friend used to call me now and then and say, "I have some things I need to discuss with you. Can I take you to lunch?"  And as a gentleman, he would come to my office and pick me up, rather than meeting me at the restaurant.  We would talk over fried chicken and ice tea, about everything EXCEPT real estate.  He just wanted someone to share his day with.
Funny thing is, this nonagenarian taught me more about myself and my professional career than I ever expected. The old-fashioned work ethic and public relations skills he didn't realize he was teaching me will always be a part of who I am as a professional, and I am grateful to him for the time he chose to spend with me.  
There are many people that spend the holidays alone, for whatever reason.  Don't forget these folks in the excitement and celebration of the events:  Give them a call to let them know you are thinking about them. 
Knowing  Mr. P. was spending Christmas alone, I called him on Christmas Day to wish him a "Merry Christmas," only to hear his granddaughter, unexpectedly answer the phone.  I found out from her that Mr. P. had passed away a few days earlier, and they were in town for the funeral. Unfortunately, I was out of town at the time, and missed the funeral, but I got to spend a lot of time talking to his son and granddaughter, and was able to extend my condolences to them personally.  I wanted them to know what a wonderful father/granddaughter they had, and what a special blessing he was to me.  
This Random Act of Kindness is dedicated to Benjamin Andrew Wheeler, born September 12, 2006.  To learn more about Benjamin and the other angels of Sandy Hook Elementary, please go to:  http://mysandyhookfamily.org.
Lovin' Life in the Lowcountry,
 
Janie

My mission statement:  To live each day to the fullest, with excitement, enthusiasm and a strong desire to build a successful and highly respected real estate business, earned by developing relationships through consistent and predictably high work ethic of always going above and beyond, and always doing so with a creative surprise up my sleeve.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Random Act of Kindness Suggestion #8: Here's a Tip!

When you eat out at a sit-down restaurant, as you are paying your check, how about leaving a gift card in addition to the tip?
Have you ever thought that restaurant servers have a physicially and emotionally draining job?  They are on their feet the whole time they are working, running food here,  refilling drinks there, and making sure numerous tables of guests are well taken care of.

Show your server some appreciation and leave something extra when you pay your check.  A gift card to a coffee shoppe, restaurant, gas station, car wash, etc.  I am sure it would be appreciated!  Servers are always taking care of everyone else---I am sure they would appreciate being on the other side, and be the one being taken care of!
This Random Act of Kindness is dedicated to sweet Ana Grace Marquez-Greene.  To learn more about Ana and the other angels of Sandy Hook Elementary, go to:  http://mysandyhookfamily.org
Lovin' Life in the Lowcountry,
 
Janie

My mission statement:  To live each day to the fullest, with excitement, enthusiasm and a strong desire to build a successful and highly respected real estate business, earned by developing relationships through consistent and predictably high work ethic of always going above and beyond, and always doing so with a creative surprise up my sleeve.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Random Act of Kindness Suggestion #7: After You, Sir!


My father told me about a time he was walking toward an exit door when a young boy went running past him, nearly bumping into him.  Just as he was about to judge this young man, who appeared to be rude and disrespectful, he realized as he approached the door, he was anything but....the boy had run past him so abruptly so he could open the door for him.  He was humbled by the kindness this young boy had extended as he helped an elderly, arthritic man out.
Have a patient, tolerant and open mind.  Always remember: Things aren't always as they seem.
This Random Act of Kindness is dedicated to sweet Caroline Previdi.  To learn more about Caroline and the other angels of Sandy Hook Elementary, please       go to:  http://mysandyhookfamily.org
Lovin' Life in the Lowcountry,
Janie

My mission statement:  To live each day to the fullest, with excitement, enthusiasm and a strong desire to build a successful and highly respected real estate business, earned by developing relationships through consistent and predictably high work ethic of always going above and beyond, and always doing so with a creative surprise up my sleeve.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Random Act of Kindness Suggestion #6: Return the Buggy!

One day, it was pouring down rain when my son and I went to the grocery store.  Before we got out of the car, I suggested that we should retrieve a few extra carts from the parking lot and return them as we walked to the store.  Of course my son's first response was, "Don't they have workers that do that?" I replied, "Well, yes they do. But I am sure they don't like to have to go outside in the freezing rain to retrieve the carts.  Just because you get paid to do something doesn't mean you wouldn't like a little help now and then with the least favorite part of your job."
So another teachable moment----we both grabbed several carts and pushed them to the front of the store.
Now when we go to a parking lot , he is in search of runaway and abandoned carts in the parking lot to retrieve.  We got my husband on board with it, too, so now it seems neither of us can walk past a grocery cart with taking it with us to the front of the store.....Rain, shine, sleet or snow!
This Random Act of Kindness is dedicated to sweet Anne Marie Murphy.  To kearn more about the other angels of Sandy Hook Elementary, go to http://mysandyhookfamily.com
Lovin' Life in the Lowcountry,
 
Janie

My mission statement:  To live each day to the fullest, with excitement, enthusiasm and a strong desire to build a successful and highly respected real estate business, earned by developing relationships through consistent and predictably high work ethic of always going above and beyond, and always doing so with a creative surprise up my sleeve.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Random Act of Kindness Suggestion #5: Dinner To Go

One of the best parts of these activities is the opportunity to get your family involved....especially the kids. Kids imitate what they see, so it is important they see adults being kind to one another.
One night, the first year I started my list of 26, I sat down with my family so we could come up with some ideas.  We had a giant crock pot of chili on the counter that was ready for us to have for dinner that night, but could have easily fed two families.  As we sat at the kitchen table writing down ideas, my son, who was 10 at the time, decided we needed to immediately drop what we were doing, and take half of it to our neighbors down the street who had just had a baby a couple weeks prior.  So we bagged up a container with half the chili, a sleeve of saltines, some wrapped chocolates, and headed down the road to surprise our friends.  We got to spend some time with friends, get some "baby love" and share some laughs.  Good times for all!
This Random Act of Kindness is dedicated to sweet Jessica Adrienne Rekos, born May 10, 2006.  To learn more about Jessica and the other angels of Sandy Hook Elementary, go to:  http://mysandyhookfamily.org
Lovin' Life in the Lowcountry,
 
Janie

My mission statement:  To live each day to the fullest, with excitement, enthusiasm and a strong desire to build a successful and highly respected real estate business, earned by developing relationships through consistent and predictably high work ethic of always going above and beyond, and always doing so with a creative surprise up my sleeve.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Random Act of Kindness Suggestion #4: A Hot Cuppa Chocolate To Go!

Early morning bus rides during the winter can be a little chilly for the driver, opening and closing the door over and over again.  Send a to-go cup of hot chocolate with your child to give to the driver. Add a wrapped treat with a note taped on the side, letting them know how much you appreciate them!  Stand back and just wait to see the reaction and smile you get!
This Random Act of Kindness is dedicated to sweet Avielle Rose Richman, born October 17th, 2006. To learn more about Avielle and the other angles of Sandy Hook, go to: http://mysandyhookfamily.org

Lovin' Life in the Lowcountry,
Janie 
My mission statement:  To live each day to the fullest, with excitement, enthusiasm and a strong desire to build a successful and highly respected real estate business, earned by developing relationships through consistent and predictably high work ethic of always going above and beyond, and always doing so with a creative surprise up my sleeve.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Random Act of Kindness Suggestion #3: Beverage to the Bellringer

My son and I noticed the Salvation Army bell ringer at the market had an almost empty bottle of Coke at her feet when we entered the store.  We bought a fresh, cold bottle and gave it to her on our way out of the store as we dropped some change in her bucket.  The look on her face was priceless! Part confusion, part appreciation, part, "What is this for?"  We wished her a Merry Christmas, and give her a big "thanks" for her contribution to the community and walked through the parking lot, with huge grins on our faces and a high-five when we got to the car.  This stuff works!  The giving to others was an even bigger gift to ourselves!
Every year, thousands of volunteers stand outside stores across the country in all kinds of weather---rain, sleet, snow, sun....ringing bells to draw attention to drop some change in their red buckets.  The traditional red kettle is one of the first signs of Christmas, with millions of dollars collected each year to help needy families, seniors and the homeless.  The donations provide Christmas dinners, clothing, and toys to families in need.  Financial assistance also helps with basic necessities, along with seasonal aid.  The volunteers that ring the bells for hours at a time are an integral part of the success of this program.
This Random Act of Kindness is dedicated to sweet Daniel Barden, born September 27, 2005.  To learn more about Daniel and the other angels of Sandy Hook Elementary, please go to:http://mysandyhookfamily.org.
Lovin' Life in the Lowcountry,
 
Janie

My mission statement:  To live each day to the fullest, with excitement, enthusiasm and a strong desire to build a successful and highly respected real estate business, earned by developing relationships through consistent and predictably high work ethic of always going above and beyond, and always doing so with a creative surprise up my sleeve.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Random Act of Kindness Suggestion #2

Is there someone that has made a difference to you or your kids, somewhere along the line?  A teacher, coach, parent, friend, pastor......that really helped you in some way?  How about sending them a "Thank You" note, just to let them know how they impacted you/your child?
Think about your child's teachers, coaches or youth directors.   The amount of time, energy and emotional effort these men and women put into our kids is huge, and as in many public service professions, is often a thankless job.  Our kids spend hundreds of thousands of hours with these dedicated care-givers each year.  Let's tell them how much we appreciate them!
This Random Act of Kindness is dedicated to sweet Josephine Gay, born Decmber 11, 2005.  To learn more about Josephine and the other angels of Sandy Hook, go to http://mysandyhookfamily.org.
Lovin' Life in the Lowcountry,
 
Janie

My mission statement:  To live each day to the fullest, with excitement, enthusiasm and a strong desire to build a successful and highly respected real estate business, earned by developing relationships through consistent and predictably high work ethic of always going above and beyond, and always doing so with a creative surprise up my sleeve.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Random Act of Kindness Suggestion #1: Donate to Toys for Tots

The Toys for Tots Program collects new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distributes them as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community. 

In 2012, State Troopers stood outside a Kohls store to collect toys for the local kids.  As I dropped some toys in the bins, I didn't realize how emotional it would be, after the what happened the day before. I could hardly say “Thank You” to the troopers before I burst into tears walking to my car. Acts of Kindness are a gift you give to yourself as much as those you are acting toward. Although I couldn’t stop crying for what seemed like forever, it made me feel so good to do something in honor of the Sandy Hook victims.  It was then that I decided to make it 26 Acts, one for each life that was lost at the school that day, now an annual tradition for me and my family.  

In Charleston, go to http://charleston-sc.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/default.aspx for more information and collection site information.  Or you can go to their main page, http://toysfortots.org/default.aspx.

This Random Act of Kindness is dedicated to sweet Charlotte Helen Bacon born February 22, 2006. To learn more about Charlotte and the other angels of Sandy Hook Elementary please go to http://mysandyhookfamily.org/

#randomactofkindness #sandyhookelementaryschool #toysfortots #janiepughsellshomes#lifeinthelowcountry
#carolinaonerealestate 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Blessings---The Tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary

Today marks the anniversary of the tragic event of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre on December 14, 2012.  Whether you knew someone personally or not, it affected us all. After the tragedy, I was angry.  I was upset.  I cried at the sight of the victims on the news.  I wanted to cast blame.  I wanted answers!  As a mom, I, of course, thought, “I just can't imagine the pain those poor parents are experiencing.”  But I was still able to do so many things I take for granted everyday:  I was able to hug my children a little tighter, look into their eyes a little longer, laugh at their childish antics, cheer at their ball games, smile at their triumphs....Things that were taken from those parents, two years ago today.

So rather than try to make sense of it or search for answers that didn't exist, I went in search of all that was precious and good. In a world that has a potential for so much hatred and evil, I knew that there was also a lot of kind and wonderful out there....I just had to look for it.  So I went in search of “Random Acts of Kindness”. If I didn't witness someone else doing it, I did something myself.  I shared these things on my Facebook page, and I received so many sweet comments.  It turned out to be a gift I gave myself.  It made such an impact, I decided to re-post them (and a few new ones) each year.  These posts will start tomorrow, and go for 26 days:  One “Random Act of Kindness” in honor and memory of each life that was lost.  I love to read posts from others either being the “do-er” or “receiver” of a “Random Act of Kindness” (or “Paying it Forward”), so please feel free to add your experience in the comments of these posts for everyone to enjoy!

This experience gave me more peace and motivation than I could have ever imagined.  As I am usually exhausted, (and more than a little cranky) after the holidays, I had an energy that was exciting! As the New Year began, I changed my focus from what I hadn't accomplished by years end to what I had done right.  I tried to treat people the way I thought THEY would want to be treated.  I tried to be sympathetic and to understand that other people's behavior may be the reaction of something beyond their control.   I tried to put myself in other peoples shoes----Maybe the crabby lady in the drive-through that didn't say much more than an inaudible grunt as she handed me my bag of food was probably upset because she just got a phone call about an ill family member...The woman in the grocery store that was yelling at her kids in the middle of the store was probably stressed about paying for her groceries after learning her husband had just lost his job.  Rather than being a jerk, rolling my eyes, or worse, I was humbled to realize, that could just as easily be me.

So as 2014 comes to an end, I reflect and realize how blessed I am.  Although my husband's job created the need for us to relocate to a new state, we were blessed that the move was to Charleston, SC, an amazing community that we love more and more each day. The other day, after I dropped my son off at school, I had to dash into the grocery store at the last minute.  Now keep in mind,  it is 7 am, and I had just thrown on a sweatshirt,  yoga pants (that have NEVER been to a yoga class), and sneakers, thinking I could dash in and out and no one would pay much attention to me.  Yet, as I am running back to jump into my car, a gentleman exits his car next to mine (which, at that hour, is the ONLY other one in the parking lot), throws his hand up, flashes a great big smile and shouts, “Merry Christmas, young lady!”  How could you not smile and have a great day after that! I smile at how blessed I am that my son has adjusted beautifully to his new home. He was embraced by the most awesome group of boys, being the newest member of his travel ball baseball team. He has amazing teachers, youth leaders and baseball coaches that are molding and shaping him into the man he is going to be someday.   I smile because both our girls are hard-working college graduates----one that walked the stage just yesterday!  I smile when they come home for the holidays and want to experience the same old family traditions.  I smile because I am blessed with an amazing, responsible husband that is a wonderful provider and also an awesome dad to our three kids.

I realize how blessed we are that although we had to leave some very dear friends in GA, we have made some new friends that we are making new memories with. (And the drive to our old friends is not that far.)

I realize how blessed I am to have found a new brokerage to work for that is a perfect fit for me.  My broker is supportive and a real joy to work with. Never a dull moment when Rob Woodull is around! My colleagues have graciously welcomed me and all are simply wonderful.  Our administrative staff are fabulous. Our marketing and training staff and facilities are, quite simply.....superb!

I realize how blessed I am to have a career that puts me with some of the most wonderful clients. To be entrusted to help them with one of the largest, most important purchases they will make in their lifetime, is quite an honor.  They share their families with me.  They share their dreams with me.  We share lots of laughs, and yes, sometimes tears.

So take a look around you and count your blessings.  Then pass along some of the goodness in your heart by helping someone that could use a little kindness.  Do it in memory of the precious babies and teachers that lost their lives two years ago. I will guarantee you this:  The more kindness you give, the more you will receive!   #randomactofkindness #sandyhookelementaryschool #janiepughsellshomes #365thingstodoinwarnerrobinsga
#goldenkeyrealty

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It's All About Dat Fish, 'Bout Dat Fish...No Chicken!

When you live in a coastal community, it is always a good idea to know where to buy the best local, fresh seafood.  Mount Pleasant Seafood on Shem Creek is one of those local favorites!
A family-owned business for more than 60 years, it is timeless....just what you would expect a local fresh seafood market to be...from the wooden porch to the concrete floors to the friendly, laid-back staff to the fresh fish displayed on ice.   Stepping inside, they will make you feel like part of the family in the casual, no-frills market. It's all about the fish---whether it be the fish, or the sauces, sides or dessert to go with!
Love a Shrimp Boil, but don't have the equipment to prepare it for a crowd?  They've got you covered---just give them a call and they will have it hot and ready for you!  Hosting an Oyster Roast?  (A hugely popular event in the Lowcountry). They've got you covered----they can either cater your event or supply you with everything you need to host the perfect Oyster Roast or Shrimp Boil!   
For more info or to place an order, check out their website at www.mtpleasantseafood.com or their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/mtpleasantseafood/info

Lovin' Life in the Lowcountry,
 
Janie

My mission statement:  To live each day to the fullest, with excitement, enthusiasm and a strong desire to build a successful and highly respected real estate business, earned by developing relationships through consistent and predictably high work ethic of always going above and beyond, and always doing so with a creative surprise up my sleeve.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Lessons Learned from the Doghouse: Business Plan 2015


Have you ever noticed the intense focus of a dog?  If you haven't, let me tell you what I have learned about it from our labs.  
We have two labs.  One is the mother and the other is one of her pups from the litter she had in 2011. My husband, being the primary care-giver of the dogs,  is their main focus, the love of their life----He is their "WHY".  They rely on him to survive and thrive....A pretty big "WHY", I'd say!  When he goes to fill their bowls with food, every morning and every night----they jump and spin around like it's time to PARTY!  "Woo hoo!  Chow time! This is the best day of my life!"  When he is in their view, the dogs won't take their eyes off him. I can be sitting right next to him, and even though I take a secondary seat in taking care of them (I have a pretty strong allergy to dogs, and unfortunately can only spend a limited amount of time with them up-close), they won't take their eyes off him.  He is their primary focus, taking care of and spending a much greater amount of time with them.  (And oh, we can't forget he provides them with the "best day of their life", twice a day!)  And when the puppies were first born, the puppies focus was on mama---she was their "WHY"----they relied on her to survive and thrive. They didn't take their eyes off her---especially whenever she was taking a break from them, and was just out of reach.
How intense is your focus?  What is your "WHY"----why do you do what you do?  Setting aside earning a paycheck---WHY do you do it?  Is it for your family?  To be an impact to your clients and help them achieve their dreams?  To improve your lifestyle?  To improve your knowledge? To be famous? Or like the labs--to survive and thrive?
If your focus needs some sharpening, just imagine how our businesses would thrive if we had the same intense focus and energy as these pups, in everything we did? What if we had a "Woo hoo---this is the best day of my life!" mentality?  Do you love what you do?  Do you celebrate and appreciate that you have a career you love?  Does your attitude say "Woo Hoo!" or does it say "BOO HOO!"?  What if we didn't allow interruptions and/or setbacks to get in the way? What if we really focused on what would really get us to our "WHY"?  What if we had clear and achievable goals along with a concise plan, and followed it with laser focus?  What if we knew what we wanted and didn't take our eyes off the target until we achieved the goal (AKA:  The "WHY") ?
2014 is winding down, and it is time to start working on business plans for 2015.  It is time to really focus on WHY we are in this business and how we will achieve that "WHY".  It is time to start writing down our goals, and how we plan to accomplish them.  
Take some time to really focus on this task.  Find a quiet place to work, where you will have no interruptions or distractions, and really give it some thought.  What tasks require most of your time and attention to get you to your "WHY"?  What tasks have you found propel your TOWARD your "WHY" and what pushes you further away?  Use these ideas to create your business plan.  Getting your business mapped out for the coming year will give you the headstart you need to get 2015 off to a great start. By beginning with the end (your "WHY") in mind, planning the journey is a whole lot easier, and your success a lot more likely!  WOO HOO!!!! 

Lovin' Life in the Lowcountry,

Janie

My mission statement:  To live each day to the fullest, with excitement, enthusiasm and a strong desire to build a successful and highly respected real estate business, earned by developing relationships through consistent and predictably high work ethic of always going above and beyond, and always doing so with a creative surprise up my sleeve.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Leaps of Faith

                                   
Relocation to a new area involves not only moving from one home to another, it also involves finding new service providers such as doctors, dentists, hair stylists, grocers, oh, and of course, your new Realtor®!  This is a process that can sometimes be overwhelming, if you don’t know where to start.  In searching for the best of the best in your new town, I recommend you find these professionals by getting referrals from satisfied clients and customers.  Sometimes, you need to find someone that can step into the middle of a process, and manage it to completion.  For example, orthodontic treatment.

Yesterday, I had to take my son to a local orthodontist because he had a problem that couldn’t wait until we went back to his provider in Georgia for his last appointment.  I called Crescent Moon Orthodontics on Daniel Island, and much to my surprise, they accommodated the “emergency”, getting us in to see my son right away.  Dr. Michael Zetz and his staff welcomed us with smiles, enthusiasm and excitement.  Not only did they welcome us to their office, but to the community, as well.  Among all the obvious care and attention to detail in making office visits a pleasure, (such as a technology station, snacks and beverages, monthly contests for the kids, overall fun d├ęcor….I could go on and on…), my son was especially impressed when we arrived and his name was up on the “Welcome” board, along with the other patients that were scheduled to be seen that day.

So how is this relevant to real estate?  Let me explain.  It is a big deal to take your kids to a new medical or dental provider that will make the child feel at ease.  It is a big deal for parents to feel welcome in their new community, when there is so much uncertainty and apprehension that goes along with relocating a family to an unfamiliar area.  It is a big deal to arrive as the new kids on the block, leaving behind friends and colleagues, and in my case, clients, to start fresh from scratch.  But in life, we know to expect that there will always be change.  It is in how we handle the change that determines our degree of success and happiness.

While talking to my son’s new treatment coordinator, Brittany, I was telling her how impressed I was with the office and staff.  She explained that their office had recently been “re-built”, as the result of a fire.  Ironically, I can completely relate, as the office where I worked in Georgia had experienced a fire that required us to relocate several years ago, first to a temporary office space to what eventually became our beautiful new office.  The 12-18 months of displacement were extremely difficult, and quite honestly, the most difficult year of my real estate career.  I am not going to lie and say I didn’t consider giving up and finding something else to do.  It was frustrating and hard to stay focused and determined to succeed.  But I did it.  I re-focused, made some necessary changes, and by the time my family and I relocated to Charleston, I had re-built my business, and it was thriving better than ever.

So now I find myself back in that familiar place of re-building.  By the time I left Georgia, the majority of my business was repeat and referred business from satisfied clients and friends.  This is the best kind of client---one that comes to you based on a recommendation from someone that trusts that you will go above and beyond to take care of their referral.  Starting with a common connection often creates a more relaxed experience for all parties involved.  Peter Drucker stated, “Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” It takes courage to take a leap of faith and go where you think you can make a difference and succeed, even if it may not be the EASY choice.  Success is hard work.  It requires time, effort, focus, perseverance, sweat and tears.  It requires determination and a mind-set that you are going to succeed by providing exemplary services that stands out from the rest.

So as a request, I ask that you keep me top of mind and give me a call when you:  1. personally have real estate needs or, 2. know of someone that does.  I can promise you that you the experience will be first-class service that has kept my clients completely satisfied over the last decade!


Lovin' Life in the Lowcountry,

Janie

My mission statement:  To live each day to the fullest, with excitement, enthusiasm and a strong desire to build a successful and highly respected real estate business, earned by developing relationships through consistent and predictably high work ethic of always going above and beyond, and always doing so with a creative surprise up my sleeve.



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