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{Re}defining Franny

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Home for sale with real estate sign in spring or summer season.

How I accidentally sold my house to start my business

Last August I fell in love with a house. I was in the midst of a war between my two worlds- the amazing corporate job I had with Comcast and the big bad world of entrepreneurship that I was wrapping my brain around. At the time, entrepreneurship was slowly winning the battle, the plan was to double my salary, then quit my comfy corporate job and transition slowly into entrepreneurship. I guesstimated this would take about a year- Easy peasy, I didn’t need to be one of “those” entrepreneurs who ripped the bandaid off, I could take this step-by-step. But then I fell in love.

To put “Franny in love” into perspective, I feel the need to back up and share the story that dubbed me “6 day Fran.” I met my husband on a balmy night in West Palm Beach at Wet Willie’s in CityPlace. I was living in Maryland with my sister at the time and working for a boutique PR firm in Baltimore. I was visiting my parents for my dad’s birthday in late July when a good friend, let’s call her Cupid, asked me to hang with her and an old friend (my hubby). That night I met Philippe, the man of my dreams. He was tall, dark and handsome with a smile that lit up the night. He was also working only 1 day a week at TGI Friday’s-every parents’ dream. 48 hours later, after the hangover wore off and I took off the beer goggles, I was more sure than ever. At the ripe old age of 24, I decided to blow off my flight back to Maryland to stay with him. 6 days later he told me he loved me, 1 month later I quit my job and moved down to Florida to be with him and 9 years-and actual careers- later (today) we are happily married. Needless to say, I don’t take baby steps, I go hard in the paint.

During this war of my worlds, Philippe and I talked about moving in the near future and looking for something downtown instead of in the suburbs where we had originally settled down. Growing up, I loved driving by the mansions downtown with my mom. My favorite were the 1920s Spanish style homes, something about the old-world feel of the courtyards and rounded archways that looked like they were straight out of a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel did it for me.

Philippe and I grew up in Wellington, before it was a city and when “the Wellington mall” was that 10 store building next to Checkers. We both loved growing up in the suburbs so we bought a house 10 minutes from where we both grew up (and to think, we never met growing up! So crazy). I never dreamed that I would live in a Spanish style home until I saw that house on Andrews for sale in late August. It was yellow with a brown roof and a wrought iron fence, close to the intercoastal with a guest house and a fireplace. I was in love (again).

Remember 6 day Fran? Well she came into full effect here. I contacted a friend-realtor-bartender (don’t we all know some of these?) who took us to see the house the next day and my love was solidified. 72 hours later I wrote a letter to the owner asking him to wait for us to sell our house so we could put in an offer on this home that I knew was meant for us. He was touched by my handwritten love note and accepted an offer from us backed by hopes and dreams (definitely not a bank at that point).

Considering we had no plans to purchase a new home, we weren’t financially prepared for this so pulled off the.fastest.renovation.ever to make sure we sold our house for the best price we could. We had 2 weeks to renovate and get our house on the market, giving us 4 weeks to sell and 2 weeks to close. Our realtor had a friend with his own contracting business who worked with us on pricing because we were willing to help with labor.  A divine mix of: a new credit card, my newly discovered talent in project management, a handy husband, and amazing friends and family made it possible for us pull off a renovation for $5,000 that increased our selling price by $25k. Our newly-renovated home had 5 offers within 48 hours, and we sold it for the asking price. ::bowing::

72 hours after we put down money we weren’t planning to spend on the perfect house we weren’t planning to buy, I listened to a Marie Forleo interview with this financial expert who downsized her life. Even though her story sounded nothing like mine, something about that podcast spoke to me. I called Philippe and the first words out of my mouth when he answered his phone in the middle of the work day were “I think we’re making all the wrong decisions.” To which, my brilliant husband responded in perfect stride with “OK. Let me step outside for this.”

It became clear that I didn’t want buy this house anymore. I just wanted to live in our house and move later. But Philippe reminded me that “we can’t UNsell our house.” Right, makes sense, shit.

We got out of the sale of the Spanish style home (I hope I never run into that guy in the street) and decided to move to a condo downtown. Two weeks of getting rid of 80% of our worldly possessions that ultimately resulted in leaving the 400 lbs solid wood handmade table Philippe built for our home with the new owners because no one could move it, and we suddenly had an ocean view and 5 minute commutes to work.

Then everything at my job changed! The local office went virtual and my territory expanded, which meant more travel and opportunities to work from home. Two of my favorite things, and a perfect setting to work on a side business. I should have been ecstatic, I would get to work with new leaders, expand my influence and build my business in peace with a beautiful view. But I wasn’t. I moved, same life, different view.

I hired a coach to help me start my business and during a session where I was feeling defeated and frustrated having unsuccessfully run from my real problem, my coach confronted my sadness and straight up asked me- how realistic is it for you to quit your job now?

I realized right then that the creature comforts I was holding on to for dear life (my house, my job, my car-a crazy story in and of itself, 50% of my shoes, etc) had to fall apart so this business could fall together. With a financial plan and a business plan, quitting my job was very realistic. I would have never considered selling my house to start my business on purpose. Then again, I would have never considered rearranging my whole life after meeting a man in one night either… I made the plans and less than 30 days after we moved, I left Comcast to go full-time with etn coaching + consulting.

When I pledged my love to my husband 6 days after meeting him, I had a pretty good idea what the outcome would be-an awesome life partner. When I fell in love with that Spanish style home, I fully expected to get a Spanish style home not a business and a whole new life. Aside from Philippe though, this has been the best decision I’ve ever made. Both times, I followed my heart and ended up right where I was meant to be.

 

Shameless plug- my job is to help you {re}define the way you lead your life, career and business so you can get where you want faster. Click here to learn more about what I do. 

 

Pssst. If you just read a page out of your diary and you’re ready to {re}define the way you lead your life, career or business, click here to schedule a free 30 minute session and let’s talk about it. 

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