I know I’m married, but I just wanna publicly say that I’m in love with The Property Brothers, and Joanna’s man, Chip, from the Fixer Upper. I have dreamt of the three of them and me. Home alone. In my kitchen. On demolition day! Oh honey, that would be on my bucket list if I had one. So there you have it. My deepest, darkest fantasy. I’ve admitted it. But I know for sure I am not the only woman or man who loves these HGTV Shows and what they have done for my drive to pull out a sledge hammer on the regular.
I actually helped a team of coworkers build a house in Louisiana for Habitat for Humanity right after Hurricane Katrina struck. We had to wear hard hats. And gloves. And snap red chalk lines on the foundation, marking where the walls would go where none had existed before. I learned how to use a circular power saw and nail guns. Oh, I was hardcore, honey! And I learned through that experience that I don’t like taking short cuts, that precision matters to me.
Shortly thereafter, I purchased and rehabbed my first home. I’ve been itching to get to it again. So much so that my husband Al and I invested in Fortune Builders, the premier real estate education company in the country, that provides the systems, tools, and coaching programs to accelerate new and existing real estate investor businesses. I was smitten and talked Al into going to a meeting with me. He immediately recognized the income-generating opportunities, being the investment guru that he is, and agreed that we should be rehabbing and flipping our first house this year. (Yay!) I keep telling you divas you can never have too many streams of revenue coming in. You might want to take another peek at our Prosperity post on having a Side Hustle!
The best part about my rehabbing days was me and the professional contractors standing in front of Home Depot at 5:59 a.m., waiting for the doors to open. Like I knew what the heck I was doing. But I felt like I was among my tribe. My friends don’t like going to new restaurants with me because while they’re oohing and aahing over the menu, I’m checking out the doorknobs and light fixtures. But these (mostly) male contractors at Home Depot didn’t mind my fawning curiosity over the differences between adlocks, deadbolts, and knob locks versus lever handle locks, cam locks, and Rim/Mortise locks. Ahh, I get moist just thinking about doorknobs!
What’s a nice girly-girl, luxury-retailer snob like me (see my post on Neiman’s vs. Saks) doing salivating in a Home Depot and foregoing manicures for measuring and caulking and hammering? I can’t explain it. I just caught the bug. To this day, every time I go into my guest washroom in my suburban house, I look at that “before” picture I have hanging on the wall and feel like I accomplished something. With my own two hands. Or maybe it was the fact that I purchased and remodeled a $500,000 house as a single woman. Or the thrill of learning how to do something new as a middle-aged woman, like using power tools. But whatever it was, I felt alive, like I hadn’t before. Home Depot is chiseled near and dear to my heart because it was the only place, at that time, where I truly felt at home. I get sentimental every time I walk into one to this day.
Perhaps rehabbing isn’t your thing. But sometimes, when you step outside of your comfort zone, even after you’ve hit the $150K salary, you actually find yourself. It might be the local arts and craft store like Michaels and Hobby Lobby for you. Perhaps it’s a beauty supply store. (I recently made my own clip-in extensions and they look marh-va-lous!) Or you love the spa-life so much you go out and BUY one, like my friend Vivian Pickard did after leaving her successful corporate career behind. Or perhaps you have the urge to stay rooted in a professional kitchen all day, wearing a chef’s hat, like television executive Keisha Smith-Jeremie, who turned her love of applesauce into Sanaia, a successful applesauce business she runs while continuing to do her corporate thang. Or how about corporate attorney Tiffany Hall, who felt so empowered by cocktails, she launched her own Empower Cocktails line! Whatever it is, I beg you to go find your tribe outside of, and perhaps in-addition-to, your nine-to-five gig. Not just as a way to generate more revenue (although that’s a really nice side benefit). But as a means to tapping into all of yourself. No matter where we are in life, we are not one dimensional. And sometimes tapping into our passion points can prove quite enlightening, not to mention lucrative.
Send me pics of you wearing your new hat, even if it isn’t a hard one. As long as you’re hard at work doing what you love, or hanging with your true tribe, that’s all that matters. Because that’s where the real renovating magic happens.