It’s ok to seek out answers to your questions. Never be ashamed of seeking out answers to your questions. Remember that the dumbest question is the one not asked. Always seek out people who are smarter than you to get solid answers to your questions.
Many successful people reinvented themselves in a later period in their life. Jeff Bezos worked in Wall Street before he reinvented himself and started Amazon. Sara Blakely sold office supplies before she started Spanx. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was a WWE wrestler before he became a successful actor and filmmaker. Arnold Schwarzenegger went from a bodybuilder, to an actor to a Governor. McDonald’s founder Ray Croc was a milkshake-device salesman before starting the McDonalds franchise in his 50’s.
How does one reinvent themselves? What hurdles have to be overcome to take life in a new direction? How do you overcome those challenges? How do you ignore the naysayers? How do you push through the paralyzing fear?
In this series called “Second Chapters; How I Reinvented Myself In The Second Chapter Of My Life “ we are interviewing successful people who reinvented themselves in a second chapter in life, to share their story and help empower others.
As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jason Gelios.
Jason Gelios is an Award Winning Top Producing REALTOR® in Southeast Michigan, Author of the real estate book Think Like a REALTOR®, Expert Media Contributor to media outlets and the Creator of The AskJasonGelios Real Estate Show where he educates home buyers and sellers the in’s and out’s of the process with real world expertise.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I was your typical young boy who grew up in Southeast Michigan just North of Detroit. I had a passion for video games, comedy movies and hanging out with friends every chance I got. I also loved to read. I remember reading every single Hardy Boys book available in the middle school’s library. I always found books fascinating. But life wasn’t always pleasant for me. Throughout middle school I developed major behavioral issues and could not keep my impulses at bay. I would disrupt classes and even get suspended. This behavior had led me to have to repeat the 6th grade. That was a terrifying moment for me that scarred me for years to come. Eventually, I straightened up and graduated high school. But I had to take one summer school class after graduation. They had let me walk the stage. Looking back I realized that these experiences would be the building blocks leading me to where I am today.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life? One of the life quotes that I live by is a quote from Zig Ziglar. “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” This reminds me of my mission to help others in my own efforts. To help as many people as possible.
How would your best friend describe you?
It’s funny because I actually asked my good friend this question not too long ago. My best friend said he would describe me as a man on a mission. A person who puts value forth for others to benefit from. A guy who is driven and goes after his goals with ambition and a hard work ethic.
You have been blessed with much success. In your opinion, what are the top three qualities that you possess that have helped you accomplish so much?
I have been blessed with more success than I would have ever thought. While sometimes I do feel ‘lucky’, I would say that my good luck has come from these three things. The first is self confidence. Having the self confidence to go out and do what I do to achieve success is key. The second is having a very strong work ethic. After all, a person with less talent can go out and outwork somebody who simply works less. I have always worked hard at all my jobs, but when I applied a strong work ethic to my second chapter, that’s when I really took off. The third is to surround myself with supporters of my cause. For me this one is about family. I’m not a huge time management focused guy. I feel life will push us out of whack at times. Having a strong family that supports me in my efforts has really played a large part in my success. I simply would not be where I am at today if it weren’t for my family and support system.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about ‘Second Chapters’. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before your Second Chapter?
I really did not have much of a career or really much of anything to look forward to professionally prior to reinventing myself and finding success in my current profession. I held a series of hourly jobs that I hated while counting down the hours before clocking out. I had no real goals or ambition to make more money or to be a success. I went through the motions and collected a paycheck. I hated my jobs and was never really excited to work for the supervisors that I had. I was coasting through life like a ship without a sail.
And how did you “reinvent yourself” in your Second Chapter?
One of the defining moments of my life where I really considered reinventing myself was when I was introduced to the mortgage industry through a family member. I met my wife some years earlier and was really inspired by her commitment to her goals and achievements. Her big goal was to have employment in the healthcare field as an RN. I watched her study for tests and together we would spend hours in the libraries. That was when I decided that enough is enough. It was time to pursue my own goals and to design a life that best suited me. I decided to take the plunge to become a professional sales person. Something inside of me didn’t want to be where I was. I certainly did not want to continue making the lower income that I was making in those jobs. That was the point in my life where I became fed up with my situation and decided to change direction and reinvent myself. Once I made that decision I never looked back.
Can you tell us about the specific trigger that made you decide that you were going to “take the plunge” and make your huge transition?
The specific trigger that made me take the plunge into my second chapter was when my wife and I were talking about marriage and our future life together. I was also inspired by her tenacity towards achieving her goal of a Bachelors Degree in Nursing. I came to the realization that I really did not want to be doing the back breaking physical labor that I was doing for the rest of my life. This was the pivotal point where I took the plunge and decided that my future would be a better one! One that I truly designed for myself. For such a long time I was being reactive in my jobs and in life. I was hoping that somebody else would design my life for me. It was time for me to take action and make things happen.
What did you do to discover that you had a new skillset inside of you that you haven’t been maximizing? How did you find that and how did you ultimately overcome the barriers to help manifest those powers?
I had been told often that I had a personality perfect for sales but I never really knew how to hone in on that skill. Going back to my childhood I was that kid who could not sit still. I would get bored easily and get into trouble often. Growing into becoming a young man I was really not inspired by boring jobs and mundane tasks. Taking the plunge into an outside sales position such as the mortgage industry really seemed to fit me well. One of the major challenges I had to overcome was a speech impediment. Going through my childhood with a speech impediment was not easy. I was very outgoing but I would experience multiple issues when I would stutter or stammer. Defending myself oftentimes led to fights and suspensions from school. I had to really work at trying to sound somewhat normal when I spoke. Fast forward to the point in my life where I wanted to reinvent myself, I had to really work at not only getting over the self doubt that I had but I also had to make my speech sound fluent and normal.
One of the best ways I overcame those barriers was to dive in and gain as much information about what I was selling so that I could be more confident in my communication. Mastering this habit became a real confidence booster because I knew what I needed to say and how to say it. I would also read as much as I could about presenting and selling. While I did not improve overnight, I saw myself actually getting better at speaking and communicating with clients. This really gave me the confidence to think bigger and to actually set goals of being better at my craft. This was the first step towards success in my second chapter.
How are things going with this new initiative?
I am at a place in my life where I never thought I would be. The level of success keeps rising for me, due to the implementation of the skills that I have learned. If you would have asked the younger version of me if I would experience the level of success I am experiencing at this point, I would have thought you were crazy. Yet here I am. While I am enjoying every day of this journey, I am not looking to stay at this level. Every day I am driven to pursue more out of life. To be more, and be a better version of myself than I was before. Many people gain some success and then hang out at that level. For me the success that I have had is fuel for my fire. It shows me that I can up my game and succeed at an even higher level. To increase the size of my goals and to gain new skills. If you were to look at my written goals today verses years ago, you would see a massive difference. When you reinvent yourself, you learn that you can be so much more in life than you think, it really gives you the drive and energy to go after bigger goals and make bigger plans.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
One of the biggest drivers in my success has been my wife Erica. Whether she knew it or not she was inspiring me in the early days to really want more out of life. When my wife and I met I was a laborer without a plan. I had no real goals and no real future. Seeing her work at her goal of obtaining a Bachelors Degree in Nursing really made me think about my own future. I came from a good childhood with great parents that loved me and they provided the things that we needed to have a nice life, but I was still struggling with my speech impediment and my hyper active behavior. It wasn’t until I met my wife that I really started to direct that focus into something positive and into an endeavor that has now created a much better life than I would have ever imagined.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?
After years of having success in the mortgage industry, I decided to make the move to become a REALTOR. I had enjoyed my time in the mortgage sector, but was looking for a more enjoyable profession. Not a career that had me locked inside an office all day. One of the first defining moments and most interesting story from my second chapter was when I won my first award for my role as a REALTOR. I was with a broker for a short time and won the prestigious Rookie Of The Year Award. My wife and I got dressed up and attended the brokers annual awards show. This was a fancy event where all the agents in the office met to mingle as well as possibly take home an award. I will never forget that night as my wife and I were seated at our table with some of my colleagues. They had been giving out awards for a little while when it happened. They announced my name! As I look back at the picture my wife snapped of me standing up and heading to the podium, I can still remember the tingle that went through me. That huge feeling of accomplishment as the room applauded for me. It was the most interesting and monumental time I can remember. This was proof that I had found my niche. My second chapter had seen some success. My peers, family and friends saw that I had changed and that I had embarked on a journey that would change my life forever.
Did you ever struggle with believing in yourself? If so, how did you overcome that limiting belief about yourself? Can you share a story or example?
This is a hard question. I really struggled with believing in myself and that I was capable of doing great things. Thinking that I would be successful was never really a consideration until I decided to start my second chapter. This was curated when I was exposed to what my wife was striving for in college. Without that experience I probably would have ended up just coasting through life maintaining a job that I hated and not experiencing the level of success that I have currently. Overcoming this challenge became easier as I decided that I was going to reinvent myself and to create a better life by learning what I needed to be successful. I am a firm believer that all of the answers we need are in books. I started reading books about my profession and teaching myself everything that would make me better and sharpened. Knowledge may be power, but knowledge with implementation is the real power. Knowing what you need to know and then implementing what you have learned is what really makes someone successful.
In my own work I usually encourage my clients to ask for support before they embark on something new. How did you create your support system before you moved to your new chapter?
For me one of my biggest supporters was my wife. But I also had the support of those around me. My parents and my in-laws were really supportive and encouraged me to pursue my second chapter. Having a strong support system helps. It keeps you moving forward on days where you just don’t feel it. Seeking out people who I know are supportive was key in my success.
Starting a new chapter usually means getting out of your comfort zone, how did you do that? Can you share a story or example of that?
I will never forget when I first started in the mortgage industry. There was no training or help offered at all. I was pointed to an empty office and given a phone book to make phone calls in an attempt to refinance the mortgages of strangers. Not only was I very nervous about this job, I was also stammering over the phone like you would not believe. The fact that I was outgoing helped a little, but not much. I remember how I would be sweating heavily as I would dial the phone thinking of how I might mess up what I was going to say. I showed up to that office daily determined to conquer the fear. I would not allow that fear to hold me back from success and where I wanted to be. I reminded myself that if this profession did not work that I would be back where I was. I surely did not want that to happen. I had to step out of my comfort zone and tackle the task.
Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
I have created a great video on this topic on my website located here.
- It’s ok to seek out answers to your questions. Never be ashamed of seeking out answers to your questions. Remember that the dumbest question is the one not asked. Always seek out people who are smarter than you to get solid answers to your questions.
- Have patience and trust the process. Many people want to be successful so fast that they often get discouraged way too soon. Having patience and trusting the process will allow you to stay at it longer. Don’t let impatience rob you of your dreams.
- Think big and have specific goals. Prior to my second chapter I was thinking too small. I was not thinking as big as I should have been. Once I decided to think bigger and want bigger success in my life, it allowed me to make the change and start my second chapter. Having specific big goals is crucial as well. If you are looking to make 100k a year, you need to detail how much that is per day and month as an example. You won’t reach big goals with vague details.
- Always seek out positive information. One of the things I really try avoiding is negative information. Filling your head with negativity is a cancer and can kill you dreams of a better life. Seeking out positive information is the best thing you can do for your mind. Positivity will keep you in check and propel you forward towards your big goals.
- Always be learning with self education. Once I reinvented myself and started my second chapter I sought out self education big time. I read and listen to audio books and seminars daily to keep me motivated and to help my mind stay focus on my mission. This was a major contributor to my success.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
There is a saying out there that says a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. I would encourage people to do what they can to lift others up. To provide the value however they can whether it’s through their work or their personal endeavors. Lift others up and provide encouragement.
What do you want to be remembered for the most?
I would like to be remembered for the value that I brought to people professionally and personally. The inspiration that I have given out to people who needed it. The ear I lent to friends, colleagues and family. And the sharing of ideas and advice that I have gained over the years.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
I encourage everyone to visit my website ItsAllAboutTheRealEstate.com and to Follow Me on Social Media via the links on my website.