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Why Did I Become a Realtor®?

The real simple answer to this is that there isn’t a real simple answer.

In a nutshell – I wasn’t happy doing what I was doing or the way I was doing it. I wasn’t happy with my business but I didn’t know why.

In 2009 I attended an event in Calgary which opened my eyes to a new way of interacting with the world and led me to a major career change. The other important influence on my life at the time was my son’s very first birthday. This event also caused me to really think about my life and how I was living it. 

Engage Today 2009 was a four day event which was themed on civic responsibly, hosted by Greg Habstritt and Kourosh Assef founders of SimpleWealth Inc. The event consisted of a few dozen highly successful world-class speakers explaining how they incorporated civic responsibility in their business.

The four Keynote Speakers were The Dalai Lama, Richard Branson, Stephen Covey, and F. W. de Klerk. To hear any one of these fabulous thought leaders on their own would have been an incredible experience but to hear all four of them back to back over a period of a few days was life changing to say the least. At the time I didn’t realize how much of an impact the event was going to have on me.

As I listened to each speaker I though about how I was living my own life and I realized I wasn’t living up to my own capacity as a compassionate human being and that I could do a lot more to help the people and the world around me. I was good at my business but I wasn’t feeling very fulfilled.

A year earlier my son was born, out of wedlock, and I felt a lot of guilt about this which was bad enough but as I listened to each speaker I started to feel a little worse. As they spoke I thought to myself:

Would my son be proud of me if I didn’t do anything more with myself or my life? 

Am I really helping people doing what I’m doing?

Am I even in the right business?

And the answers kept coming up short.

Coinciding with that event was the start of year long coaching program with Greg and Kourosh, a program that I’m still involved with today. Over the next year they brought back some of the speakers from Engage Today 2009 and also introduced our little group of 16 entrepreneurs to other thought leaders in order for us learn directly from them. 

As I listened and learnt from so many other great speakers and business people I began to understand more and more about myself and what made me tick. Over time I realized how uninspired I had become by the way my office was set up, who I was working with, and how my business wasn’t aligned with my personal core value of really wanting to help people.

In essence I was living a false life and it was slowly killing me. 

Over time the truth of what I stood for started to reveal itself like an onion with the layers being peeled back slowly one month at a time. I was enjoying all the learning I was engaged in but the additional knowledge was painful and only made my internal battles worse. I wanted to make some massive changes but I didn’t know where to start.

One day, while speaker with my mortgage broker, he brought up the idea of me becoming a Realtor®. I had worked with Garth Chapman for about a year and during this time he had got to know me fairly well. I had learnt to respect him as a businessman, an open minded creative thinker, and in short he had also become a trusted friend.

We were talking about business one day when out the blue he asked me why I kept doing what I was doing when I clearly wasn’t enjoying it. His next question, about me becoming a Realtor®, caught me by surprise. In short the answer was no I hadn’t ever thought about becoming one. He went on to describe how he thought I’d really enjoy working with other people and how everybody could benefit from the knowledge I had gained from my 13 years as a full time real estate investor.

The conversation left me a little stunned but out of respect for Garth I gave it some serious though. At first I really didn’t like the idea mostly because I was very attached to the identity of being an investor but it had become who I was instead of something I did. Thinking of doing something different for a living was causing me to have a bit if an identity crisis.

Letting go of the idea of being a full time real estate investor was tough but after thinking about it for a few weeks it all started to make sense. In fact I started to really warm up to the idea and saw how it was really in line with my core values. I love making people happy and it’s easy for me to do so when I solve some sort of real estate issue they’re experiencing.

Within a few weeks of Garth bringing up the idea I had signed up for Realtor® school and by October 15, 2010 I was a licensed real estate associate. Looking back I can’t understand why I didn’t do it sooner.

Thanks Garth for another brilliant idea.

Now I get to spend my days working with a lot of people I already know, I’m meeting a lot of new people, and I’m able to use the knowledge I’ve gained from my own personal experiences to truly help other people with something I’m hugely passionate about.

It’s a win-win for everybody involved.

I’m starting to love business again and so I’m happier as are the people around me and I know my little son Brody would be proud if he knew of all the changes I’ve made in the last few years and the changes to come.

From the outside it might not seem like much but internal changes tend to be a lot more complicated than they appear.  My brief description doesn’t tell the whole story but you’ll learn more about me and the journey I’m on if you follow my blog.


Wade Fenner

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