Self-Understanding for Opportunity Creation
Creativity & Innovation
Life Event 1 (Graduating high school with honors)
When I was growing up, my family consisted of my mother and me until I was 10. She then had my sister out of wedlock and married another man my stepfather when I was 12 and had my brother two years later. Because I was against the marriage my home life was tumultuous, to say the least. At my stepfather’s request, I was sent to a private school far from home. I learned then that his wishes matter to my mother more than mine. So I purposely did not apply myself in school. However, in my second year, it was clear that I was close to flunking out and after a long conversation with a trusted advisor, I saw that this would only hurt me and my future. It was a struggle getting caught up. With my student advisors help, I was able to retake some classes over the summer and was able to bring my grade point average up to 3.9 by the time I graduated in 1992. My Graduation date was set, and I was on the road to accomplishing something that I did not think I even cared about.
Life Event 2 (Surviving In California):
When my mother and I decide to leave Chicago, our family was not happy or supportive. They made it clear that they expected us to fell and return with our tails between our legs. California is a beautiful place to leave but as we all know it is one of the most expensive states to live. Moreover, I live in Orange County which is one of the most expensive counties to live in. However, since moving here in June of 1996, I have seen both ups and downs. But California is a great place to test your will to survive and your drive to be successful. My first job was for a small family-owned firm. I had an amazing boss, and I was well paid. I learned a lot about myself and proved that I could make it in California. That experience single handily shaped the type of business owner I want to be. Twenty-three years later we are still here, and our family’s objections and voices have now fallen silent.
Life Event 3 (Mortgage Executive):
After losing my first job in California due to lay-off, I felt a bit lost. Not wanting to prove my family right my next move had to be a big one. I knew my next job needed to be or lead to a career if I was going to secure my future. So I applied to various companies and when interviewing turned the tables and gave them a true once over, and I wanted them to know that I knew my worth and what I could bring to their company. I wanted them to be on notice that if you hire me, I will expect as much from them as they expected from me. I was offered several positions, and when I had accepted the position I that offered the most growth and potential. I notified the firms that I did not choose, why I did not.
The firm I chose allowed me to start from the bottom and work my way up (Data Entry, Document Prep, Account Manager, Underwriter, and Closing Specialist) in as little as three years. When I left after five years I had made it to Regional Vice President (Southern California) and my next position at another firm would continue on this level and end as Western Coast Division Manager. At this point, I have held every position within a mortgage company accept for vice president, president, or owner. This position was unattainable without some significant boot licking and sacrifices.
Life Event 4 (Marriage):
After focusing primarily on my career for the last 11 years, I was not sure if marriage and kids were in the cards for me. I had gone on several dates and had a few relationships. However, work was always the primary goal and came before anything else. I had made all this money but had no one to share it with. The relationships would always suffer because I was not always available and would work long hours. Every guy I dated thought I was great until they wanted me to slow down and I refused. I believe because I saw the writing on the wall. The mortgage industry was due for a drop soon. It had been steadily climbing, and the regulations for qualifying for a home had become more and more lax. At some point this what blow up in our faces or crash in a ball of flams. So in late 2006 when my employer had started cutting back on overtime, and staff I knew I had to get ready for some time off. So when my now husband asked me to marry him after only three months of dating, I decided to seriously consider it. I would finally have the time to focus on family with the impending slow down in my career. I was 33 with no children or husband, just a slew of failed relationships in my wake. So I agreed to marry him in September 2007, and it was the best decision I ever made. Moreover, lucky he came with his own son as we have not been able to conceive ourselves.
Life Event 5 (Choosing family over my work):
Now that the Real Estate market is making a comeback I am starting to become very busy again. As my husband is not requesting that I slow down, I am choosing to do so. He also works in a demanding profession (Insurance), and we want to have a little more time to travel and enjoy ourselves. So that is why I am getting my degree here at Ashford so that after Graduation I can open my own Real Estate office, I will be able to List Property, Sell Property, Mortgage Property, Manage Property, and Flip property. Once I have my business off the ground my husband will open his own insurance office and become an insurance broker. Moreover, through our success, we will be able to stipulate our hours and work remotely knowing that our hired staff can see to the majority of the daily tasks.
Puccio, G. J., Cabra, J. F., & Schwagler, N. (2018). Organizational creativity: A practical guide for innovators & entrepreneurs. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu