2019 was a remarkable year for our firm. We exceeded every prior record our team set, from loans closed to homes sold. We added three new team members, taking our total to over 10 for the first time ever. We increased our office space. And we achieved all of this while I was gone for over half of the year.
For eight months I was on a sabbatical out of the country with my family. We sold our house and cars and lived on a sailboat in the Caribbean! It was an incredible chapter in our lives, but this post is not about our adventures (visit @SV_Storymaker for that) .
This is about the amazing team here at the office who made it all possible by caring for my clients while I was away.
Its not easy for a small-business owner to take time away from their company. If you ask other entrepreneurs, most would tell you they’ve never left for more than a couple of weeks, and even then were handcuffed to their cell phone just in case they were needed. Its common for an owner to be needed; after all its their company! Who else is going to handle the emergencies and tough decisions?
So how was I able to do it? Preparation of and trust in our team. This sabbatical was calculated for nearly a decade (watch this video for the backstory I shared prior to last year’s departure).
Every major life and business decision revolved around this singular goal of taking some extended time away with my family. As such, we were building a business that could survive without me. My business partner of 8 years, Lisa Ferro, has built The Blue Waters Group with me and has the same principles instilled in her approach to our company and clients. My support team of Donna Adams and Jennifer Perry have learned to do most facets of our job better than me, so I knew you were in safe hands. And my wingman, Chris McGann, the one who was recruited in 2013 to fill my role during this eventual sabbatical, became an All-Star mortgage and real estate consultant proficient at replacing me to care for you.
Sure, there were marketing pieces that were sent to you on my behalf while I was away, but I was removed from the day-to-day operations. I trusted my team because we prepared for this. My cell phone stayed with my team while I was gone; I did not check my work email from remote locations. I was not called upon when a transaction became complicated. I was not needed.
I am forever grateful for my team who not only kept the business alive in 2019, but who made it thrive as never before. I’m sharing this with you to remind you that what we do does not begin and end with me; the team approach to our services is what makes us great. Take comfort in knowing there is a team behind me who is caring, capable, and committed to serving you in my absence, whether for a single phone call or an entire sailing season!