For today’s #welldesignedlife interview, we are so excited to share the wonderful insight we learned from Heather Guild! We love that Heather acknowledges that we must manage our shifts in focus in order to be present where needed. Keep reading for more gems:
Let’s start off with an introduction! Tell us about yourself. Roles you play and what you do.
As I’m writing this, it’s 8:00AM on a Saturday morning. I have my second cup of coffee VERY close at hand, my little one is watching cartoons nearby, and I’m catching up on emails while waiting for a client to call me to discuss an offer. This is me. A constant blend of Work+Home+Family.
Many days I feel like the number of hats I wear must reach the sky… mommy, wife, Realtor, Auction Committee Chair, boss, friend… and depending on when, where and who I’m dealing with I may have on a few of those hats at the same time; but I’ve learned to embrace that and make it just part of the fun.
What accomplishment are you most proud of in life so far?
I often use the hashtag #buildingabusinessraisingachild I’m pleased that in the midst of soccer practice, karate, t-ball practice, swim lessons, play-dates, birthday parties, etc., I am able to stay at the top of my field. Consistently named a Top Producer within my company, I also received the recognition of being named a D Magazine Real Estate Agent for 2014 and one of the Top 25 Real Estate Agents in Lakewood by the Lakewood Advocate. This year, I expanded my team to include another agent, an assistant, and a guest blogger.
Tell us about your big dreams. Where do you want to go, what do you want to do, and why?
I’d love to continue to expand my real estate group, slowly and with intention. Additionally, I want to be a valued member of the community we live in and find a way to give back. Talking BIG dreams…? Part of me feels like I’m living my dream, but with expansion would come opportunities for us to give back to the community financially which would be important for us.
What are some struggles you’ve faced in achieving your dreams so far? Have you learned anything from them that you want to share?
I have a tendency to stop right at the moment I’m about to realize a goal. There is a certain fear in achieving your dreams and goals. What if you fail after you have already succeeded? Being aware of this paralyzing tendency is important. To that point a general self-awareness of your specific “hang-ups” is key; what are the things that prevent you from going further in your chosen field? Once you’ve given that thought… you can be aware of them and do something about it.
If you could go back and visit yourself at any age, what would you tell your younger self? What kind of encouragement or wisdom do you wish you had at that time?
Oh, I would love to tell my high school self about how much bigger the world is. I would love to tell her to travel and explore more, to not be afraid to step out on her own. I grew up in a small town and moved to Oklahoma City for college. At the time, that was the biggest city I had ever seen. The mall had a Pottery Barn and a J Crew… Hooray! When my husband and I married, he needed to be in a large city for his career as corporate litigator, so we moved to Dallas. Oh my… And now, my heart is in Dallas. There is a saying – I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could. Yes… That is so true.
What three daily things can you not live without?
My coffee, my iPhone, and my daily phone calls with my mama. My dear mother works as my assistant, and we often start our days with a conference call while I’m putting on my make-up and fixing my hair. I am pretty sure I could only get away with that with my mama.
What is something you strive to be intentional about? How do you design it into your life?
My attitude sets the tone in our home and in our group. If I get up stressed and angry, so it goes the rest of the day. If I come into the office flustered and irritated, the rest of my team feels the same. When I feel myself getting upset, I think about how I want others around me to feel. Do I want my son to go to school and have a bad day because I spilled toothpaste down my silk shirt? NO. Do I want my assistant to have a bad day because I’ve been dealing with complications in a deal that have left me tired and cranky? Of course not. And, as antiquated as this sounds, when my husband walks in after a LONG day, I try to have a great attitude and nice things to say for the first 20 to 30 minutes before I start telling him about things I need him to take care of. I am setting the tone… or at least trying to. (Let’s face it, some days are rougher than others!)
How do you create balance in your life?
Good girlfriends and an amazing husband help create balance. These are the people I trust to say, “Your face has been buried in your computer for too long…come out and play”. The problem with loving your job is that it can consume you. My husband is busy and successful in his own profession, so we both work long and crazy hours. We both try to keep each other in check when it comes to checking phones during family time. Having all that accountability really helps keep me in the moment that I need to be in.
What does your daily routine look like? Is there anything that helps you feel most successful at the end of the day?
I quietly sneak out of bed an hour before the rest of my family wakes up to have a bit of “me” time. This allows me to have my first cup of coffee before the house stirs, check my calendar for the day, prioritize a to-do list in my Day Designer and take care of any urgent emails. By doing this before I hear the pitter-patter of feet in the hall, I feel like I’m ready to give attention to my family for the next hour or so without being stressed about the day ahead. From there…Every day is different and crazy, but wonderful. At the end of the day a clean inbox, a checked off to-do list, and a neat house make me feel productive and successful.
What checklist(s) do you live by?
I love my Day Designer for everyday to-do items, and we use Top Producer for our Real Estate checklists. Additionally, my husband and I share Wunderlist (iPhone app) for groceries and other household lists.
What do you wish you had more of in life? What about it makes it so special?
Time to travel. With my job it is almost impossible… I need to be physically present, but I love to see new places. I love to experience them through my son’s eyes and see what he learns on each trip.
What do you wish you had less of in life?
Stress. Such is the life of a working mama. One day I will fit yoga into my schedule.
Are you willing to share a story with us about a time in your life when things felt out of control? How did you get back on course?
Immediately after the birth of my son, I was at a loss for how to proceed.
My entire life was turned upside down and sideways. My husband and I had been married for 7 years before our son was born and were both used to working long hours, meeting for dinner, just generally doing our own thing. We hadn’t given much thought as to how a new child would really change my life or his life. I was not prepared for the lack of “me” time that having a child meant. Nor was I sure if I was going back to work or not going back to work.
Luckily, my husband was very supportive. He was able to see what I was going through and help articulate it at a time when I was too tired to even think. I did not realize it at the time, but I was suffering from Postpartum Depression and Anxiety. Let me tell you, friends, this was not fun. With the help of a great doctor and a great husband, I started feeling like myself again. My husband was amazingly supportive and gave me the option of going back to work or not, including the option to go back a few days a week if that was what I wanted. These choices were a blessing. I was able to decide that yes, I WANTED to work. I made this choice for me. Not because I had to, but because I loved my job. With that being said… I re-evaluated my time. It became important to me to only spend time on profitable items. The way I looked at my business totally changed. Time away from my son became precious. I was more efficient. I was more discerning in the clients and projects I chose and as a result, my business blossomed.
Two things come to mind:
1. If there is a will there is a way. Please do not tell me I can’t do something that I have set my mind to doing.
everything you say…”This too shall pass.” It is a reminder that life is fleeting and that everything we think is a big deal will be fleeting too.
If you could share one thing with our readers, what would it be?
One of my favorite business books is Steve Jobs’ biography. My take-away from that book was that you can focus on 3 things at one time. It is so exciting when you start a new business or even when you are doing your business plan for the year to want to start a thousand new projects. You have so many ideas, and so did Steve Jobs, but he says you can only focus successfully on 3 things. Narrow down your ideas. Get to the core of what you want to focus on so that the 3 new ideas/products/marketing techniques you implement can be done well.
Thanks again, Heather for your transparency and sharing the lessons you’ve learned! If you would like to keep up with Heather, you can find her on Instagram!