Life on Purpose

Life on Purpose

Life on Purpose

As adults we all think we live our life on purpose. 

We make conscious decisions as to what is in and what doesn’t make the cut.  We do this for ourselves, our kids and our families…sometimes across multiple families.

But this is just the problem.  Are we actually making choices OR are we going along with the crowd?

Going along with the crowd is not necessarily a bad thing.  Sometimes agreement “buys” us access into a group.  We buy into a belief or perhaps we buy into an activity that is “great for the kids”.  What we are getting in return is membership into that group.

And that is what leads us to living someone else’s life and values.

Our primitive brains(as opposed to the decision making part of our brains) are designed to desire this. It believes that when we have our tribe around us, we are safe.  Safety is the key to our survival.

And as far as our brains are concerned, going along with established norms or other “trusted” peoples decisions saves time and energy.  I mean why wouldn’t we go along with what our good friend recommended to us?  They know us and we like their values.  The challenge is that we do this more than we think we do, almost unconsciously.

And that is what leads us to living someone else’s life and values.

The “clean slate” of relocation
is a unique benefit.

All is Swept Away in Relocation

The unique thing about relocation is that all of these external influences are swept away in relocation.  Many times you will hear me talk about the “clean slate” of relocation.  This clean slate is the result of moving away from all that is known ~ the people, the culture and the rhythm of life.

The Clean Slate of Relocation is one of those unique benefits that is available in the first few months after the boxes have arrived.

When you do not know anyone and there is no normal to life, life in the new place becomes a blank canvas for you and everyone in the family to sketch out and create a vivid life that truly suits each one of you.  Sometimes the shift includes trying new activities or perhaps pursuing a different kind of friend.  It isn’t that anything in the past was bad, but rather this go round the ability to truly choose is available.

…the ability to truly choose is available.

Start with Who You Are

Starting with who you are can be a challenge, especially if you have kids at home.  We, as parents are so trained to be attentive to what our kids need or what our partner needs, we can lose track of ourselves. So, if the words do not flow when trying this part do not fret.  It is difficult for most of us during these years.

An easy place to start is with personal assessments like StrengthFinders 2.0, PersonalityHacker.com, I Said this You Heard That app or a Birkman assessment. From strengths to personality and temperament to stress responses learning these things about ourselves spurs on conversations within our families.  There are Ah Ha moments, “Oh that’s why I do that!”

“OH!  That’s why I do that!!

The effective direct result of taking these assessments is that we all think more about ourselves and what makes us tick.  We begin to associate those things that help us and those things/people/activities that suck every last piece of energy from us.

Teeing up this conversation within our heads helps us to see our wants…perhaps for the first time.

The Transformation Desired

One of the most brilliant questions I heard this week came from my friend Rob Fenlon, a StrengthFinders2.0 coach from the UK.  He has this question now that he asks himself and his relocating friends before relocation:

“What is the transformation you would like to see in yourself as a result of this relocation?”

Isn’t that brilliant?  What transformation would you like to see in you?!?!

How often do you think about your transformation?  We may have thought about it when in school and associated it with the kind of life we would have as adults.  But rarely do we pause long enough during these years to think about our own transformation in any context.

Transformation in the context of relocation comes down to who we will become. 

  • What will we learn?
  • What will we assimilate?
  • What will we choose to keep out?
  • How will be change?
  • Will our values be tested or changed?
  • How is our bravery, compassion and ability to connect changed?

When we think about potential transformations, ahead of time, we can truly craft how we walk through this relocation.

Life on Purpose is about Intention

What I like best about the transformation question is that in asking it, we become more intentional about all aspects of our relocation. 

Filling that clean slate of life now with intention is not hurried.

In relocation we make hundreds of decision, sometimes on a daily basis for months. The thought of making it even more decision laden can be a bit daunting.  To make every decision with intention?  Doesn’t that cause more work?

I argue that living with known intention actually makes all of that decision making easier.  When we know where we are going and what we want out of this relocation, we have the ability to look at all of those option and decide more easily…more quickly.

Filling that clean slate of life now with intention is not hurried. We are no long frienzied with “getting this done” and “getting the family settled”. 

…we are now seeking out those things that fit us.

With intention in view, we are now seeking out those things that fit us.  We only allow in those thing that lead us toward that transformation we are seeking.  Sure we may try on new things to test them and see if they fit.  But ultimately those people, things and activities we bring in are now aligned with where we are going as individuals and as a family.

Start Here

One of my free resources gets you down the path to living life on purpose.

The “3 Step Relocation Guide” provides you with links to the personal assessments I listed above as well as worksheets and resources to get you through every step of your relocation journey.

Remember if you have not connected, your relocation is not complete.  I can help.

If you would like to know exactly how this works choose a time to meet with me in the next week.  I will give you an overview of what is here on the website, you will receive real WholeLife Relocation coaching and tool or two you can use today.

I can help.

Ready to learn more?

ReloWomen WholeLife coaching can help you.
Click the button and choose your time.

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Sneaky Relocation Grief

Sneaky Relocation Grief

Sneaky Relocation Grief

Grief is the last thing most of us expect in relocation. 

The kids are looking forward to making new friends.  The paycheck bump is AMAZING! And you have always wanted to live here.  What could be better?

Grief though sneaks around, especially for those of us who look forward to relocating.  I love a new adventure…and yet, I will be the first to tell you that relocation grief is real.

Because of my unwillingness to learn how to walk through the grief, I never truly experienced living in London. 

My first adult corporate  relocation was to London.  My husband had an opportunity that would take our little family across the ocean to a part of the world I had always hoped to live, London.  We had a great flat that included someone else washing the towels and sheets. On the underground circle line, all of London was at our finger tips.  Life was fantastic.  It was fantastic for about 9 weeks. 

By 12 weeks, I was lonely and isolated.  I was missing my mom and everyone back “home”. John was at work all day and I had explored as much of the city with a 2 year old that I wished to explore. 

My routine of going out and then writing about our adventures, emailing them back home only entertained me for a few hours a day. By week 12, I was asking for a ticket home.  Just for a few weeks… but, nevertheless, a ticket home.

I thought that would help me ease in to this relocation.  So that I could live in two places at the same time, kind of like a commute.  However, that is not what this was.  This was a relocation.  Learning how to live in a new place.  Not in two places.  And with most things, trying to do two things at once…fully, does not actually work.

Because of my unwillingness to learn how to walk through the grief, I never really experienced living in London.  AND I was distracted and didn’t really live when I was back home.  Neither was normal and neither was home.  Two years where I lived two half lives…and those two halves did not make a whole.

I didn’t know at the time what I was dealing with because it didn’t come as sadness.  It did not present itself as pining for who I didn’t have.  It came in ways that I never connected to grief.

And that is the sneakiest part of relocation grief.

When we do not recognize grief, it infiltrates many areas of life.

When we do not recognize grief,
it infiltrates many areas of life.

Grief’s Many Masks

What makes grief so sneaky is that it shows up in places we are not expecting.  Sure, we expect to be sad or lonely at major holidays or at time of annual events we cannot participate in.  But we do not see it when it shows up at snappy with our spouse or doubting our decisions.

Grief appears in many different ways.  These ways look like emotions which can appear in life for a variety of reasons on their own. However, during times of grief, these emotions become grief’s acceptable masks hiding the grief itself.

Mayo clinic defines grief simply as a reaction to loss. In relocation, we have loss in so many areas of life. When you think about relocation in entirety, it is not surprising that it shows up like this.

Grief’s masks include:

  • Homesickness
  • Numb
  • Loneliness
  • Doubt
  • Loss
  • Overwhelm
  • Frustration
  • Confusion
  • Outright miserable
  • Regret
  • Snappy
  • Explosive
  • Angry and more…

Pause…Taking Time to check in

When you react in a way that slows down a process or causes strife it is time to look back and see if grief is clouding the situation.  Yes we may get angry when a relocation partner fails to do their job, but how angry are we.  And if we were not in the middle of relocation, in regular life, would be act the same way?

In the midst of relocation the busyness can hide grief, especially when it comes in so many different ways.

It is in that pause and an earnestness to seek the truth, that we find it hiding behind one of its masks.  Behind that mask is not as scary as you may believe.  It is only grief that want attention and still wants to hide at the same time.

When we take time to see it without its mast that is when we can begin to move forward.

Why all the emotional masks?

Grief outside of death is something few of us have regular practice with. It is something that many of us avoid looking at or discount with personal judgement.

“I shouldn’t be feeling this way.”

“Do you know how blessed you are?”

“This is a good thing.  What’s your problem?”

All of this personal judgement pushes grief underground. But like many things we push down it doesn’t stay there long.  The more we push, ignore and fight…the more we feed it and the bigger it gets. This is when it appears in the many different ways listed above.

It has to come out, and one of those ways is more acceptable to many of us than the grief itself.  And with that mask it is allowed out.

Allowing Grief

Once grief is identified, then and only then, can we allow it and then begin to walk through it.

On Thursday’s ReloWomen podcast, how you walk through grief will be discussed in detail.

For the remainder of this blog we will spend a little time talking about allowing grief. 

Typically, a painful emotion will be pushed down, avoided or even fought.  Have you ever tried to be calm or tried to be patient?  It is like holding a large beach ball under the waters.  At first it is kind of fun to try and hold it there, but soon we get tired and POP! It comes shooting out of the water not to be held down.

Grief is like that.  It will not be ignored.

To avoid the pop the most effective strategy is to allow it.  Allowing grief or any negative emotion is best done by almost stepping outside of yourself and observing what is going on within you. Imagine sitting beside yourself and providing compassion and a guiding hand.  This 3rd party observation will lessen the sharpness of the emotion and allow you to really see the grief…all aspects.  What it is tied to. What it means to you. What it means about the future.

It is in the allowing that we can even find peace.  It is funny thing about us humans we can experience multiple emotions at the same time.  By experiencing the grief and also compassion for ourselves we can then find peaceful moments.  This is where energy is regained so that we can face the prospect of another day.

Grief does not mean anything has gone wrong….

Grief does not mean anything has gone wrong. It is representation of a beloved season that has passed.  All is not gone.  Life has only changed, into something new.

Join me on Thursday’s ReloWomen podcast for the conclusion of Sneaky Relocation Grief.  Learn now to walk through it and in that, create your dream life in your new community.

If it is time to NOT relocate alone.  If you are looking for tools and guidance to relocate and finish strong, tryout WholeLife Relocation Coaching today! 

I so look forward to meeting you!

Ready to learn more?

ReloWomen WholeLife coaching can help you.
Click the button and choose your time.

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Will Work for Friends

Where is Home

Will Work for Friends

Will Work for Friends

“Will Work for Friends” was a tongue and cheek article from 20 years ago in the Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine.  I was living in Minneapolis at the time and the issue of finding friends was such an issue in the city, that it made the Minneapolis St. Paul magazine cover.  The cover had man and woman, both in their late twenties holding a carboard sign “will work for friends”.

The original story told the plight of finding friends and how it was so difficult after school and once they had joined the workforce.

Friendship and community connection are critical to the success of a relocation for each family member.  These connections are what ground us. 

Without connections we struggle to find any kind of normal.

Connections from acquaintance to deep “you can call me at 3am”, all weave together to form a sense of security and support.  The connections in the local community make a difference.  They form a cornerstone stability from which a sense of home can be built.

But as adults where do we start? 

Why is it so hard?

Most of us adults think finding friends should be easy, like it was in school.  The magic of school led us to believe that friendships just happen.  We strike up a conversation with that right person and we are Best friends forever or at least until the end of the school year.  It was predictable and we seemed to just have friends.

Except this is not actually the way friendships begin or evolve.

School made us think friendships happened by magic.

Relationships like most everything else evolve.  It begins with an introduction, then getting to know you, the shared experiences, the testing and the deciding.  Each piece is integral to the relationship process.  Because these things happened as a result of the K-12 years we did not see the individual steps in the process and therefore did not know they existed.

So now when we step out into the real world of our new community, we use faulty expectations. This process requires more time and attention than we expect to give it.  This leads us to think we are incapable of connecting or finding friends.  And after the magic does not work, we give up accepting failure.

Beyond the faulty childhood friendship expectations, we typically don’t recognize a shift in rules.

The Rules Changed

When we move more than 30 miles from where we begin, know that the rules of engagement have changed.  If you really think about it, say the next town over, you can see it.  How the community interacts with each other and outsiders.  What the community finds of utmost importance.  Even how they typically vote.

Each community no matter how big or small, has its rhythm and a way of doing things.  This can be pointed out to us in what time is the acceptable time to put on the garbage or whether or not we should support the local sports teams.

He let her go ahead on Christmas Eve!?!!

When my sister visited me in Texas for the first time she went to the grocery store on Christmas Eve around 4pm just before the store were closing at 5pm.  As she stood in line to pay with her 5 items the gentleman ahead of her, with a few more items than her, invited her to go ahead of her.  This was gob smacking to her.  Where she was living everyone was kind and patient but this type of courtesy was rarely offered, especially when both had a similar number of items.

It isn’t that one is better or worse.  It is just that the rules of engagement are different from community to community.

Expecting what’s not there

The other challenge to relocation is that when we live in a part of the country like the one my sister walked into, we begin to EXPECT that is the norm everywhere.  That everyone SHOULD act a certain way, like your neighbors should show up with contact information and a plate of cookies on the day you move in.  Or perhaps neighbors should mind their own business until there is an emergency.

What are your expectations?

But it should be….

When we move into a new community, we expect that it will be like where we came from.  The last community is then the latest point of reference.  Why would it be different?

These “universal truths or expectations” are what get us into trouble the fastest.  Expecting things of people that have no knowledge of how we believe it should be, sets us up for immediate disappointment.

So how do you traverse these things and find your people?

How to find friends…your tribe!

First, understand the relationship process from first meeting to “can call you at 3am”.  There are many different steps and required bridges to cross between them.  See Connections: The power of female friendships by Mary Sheehy.

By understand the process you set reasonable expectations for yourself and others.  One of the biggest mistakes I made year after year was expecting too much of people.  They were kind of weirded out.  Do not, be me.

Second, do what you love!  Find whatever version of what you love in the local community, sign up, make arrangements and get involved.  In doing what you love and are passionate about, you will easily find like minded people who you can build shared experiences with.

Shared experiences are one of the keys to building connected relationships. 

Third, learn – learn – learn.  Use this time and attention to learn about the local community.  Learn those unspoken cultural rules through observation.  Learn what they all get excited about and are passionate about.  Learn and find the places where you fit into this new local community.

No place is perfect and neither are the people.  First learn what is there and then find where you want to participate and …participate.

On the ReloWomen podcast on Thursday we are going to talk a little more about those friendship stages from two perspectives.  It is when we have missed expectations that we do the most damage to self confidence around our ability to make friends.

It does take getting out there and on Thursday I will help you understand how that process flows and relationships evolve so that you are as effective as possible.

If you are ready to learn how

ReloWomen WholeLife coaching can help you.
Click the button below, choose a time and let’s chat. 

Categories

Where is Home?

Where is Home

Where is Home?

In the movie Under the Tuscan Sun, Diane Lane plays a 30 something recently divorced woman who is moving out of her house.  When the movers come to move her things from her home, they repeatedly ask her…”What about the piano?”  “Stays” she says.

What about the sofa?” they say  –  “Stays” she says.  “What about the table?” – “Stays” she says.  Finally, the four burly movers ask her what she does want to have moved and she points to a few boxes in the foyer.  “Just those.”

Forward a few months later and the boxes arrive at a Villa she has purchased in Italy.  As she opens up the box and sees the items, specifically a small blue vase and a cookbook, she has a flood of memories come back.  Memories of her old life and times when she thought she was happier.

That small blue vase becomes her start point for creating a home.  In arranging and cleaning her bedroom she says, “Go slowly through the house. Be polite, introduce yourself, so it can introduce itself to you.”

As the movie progresses, each room is greeted individually.

So, did she bring home with her in those few things or did she create home there?

Home is a little bit of everything.  Home is:

  • Who you are mixed with
  • What is there,
  • And a bit of interdependence

Sense of Home

What is home in the practical sense?  I would argue that it is a place where you can relax and recharge, gathering energy to face another day.  It is comfortable and familiar.  It both a place and what is done there(house and community). 

When I lived in London, we did not come home for Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving being a major family gathering back home, it was difficult to be so far away.  To fight back the feeling of loss, I decided to create Thanksgiving in our little flat.  That was a struggle, especially since it was just a regular Thursday in the UK and they do not have turkey’s until Christmas.  Even with the struggles, the activities of preparing the food and watching the parade from New York and perhaps watching the Rose Bowl made our little flat in London feel like home.  The smells, the activities, the conversations and of course a few calls home.

I figured out what I needed from the community and even enlisted local help.  Together we created a day that was familiar while also being new.  This brought us a sense of home in the little flat, thousands of miles away from “home”.

Begins as the Maverick Loner

The fact that we choose to relocate across the country taps into our independent adventurous side.  This natural independence can work contrary in terms of creating a sense of home.  Because we can make things happen while not knowing much about the area, let alone many people here, our first survival mechanism is maverick loner.

We get it done and get it done, now!  By the time we land in the new place, we are so practiced at giving order and making decisions that the idea of letting anyone else in sound dreadful.  We are convinced, that will just slow us down.

Sure, we have met some people, but only as acquaintances and only when necessary and they serve a purpose.

Humans yearn for Community

We as humans, need community.  It is built into our DNA.  Even the most introverted, typically finds a way to connect and build a community around them no matter how it looks.  Humans have evolved over thousands of years and our history has taught us that we are safer in a community.  That is why it feels so awful to be shunned or left out.  Shunning removes the safety net.

So as we move forward into our new physical communities, know that part of home here will be built upon this place here.  Just like it was before

That is because the community provides a piece you need to feel at home.  But this is not everything.

Knowing what to Expect

No matter the place, each one has a certain rhythm and provisions of which we partake in .  Initially, it is transactional.  We drop off our dry cleaning.  We pay for it as we receive clean clothes. There is comfort in that.

But eventually it deepens.  We pause to ask about their kids.  We notice when the walls get painted.  We may donate to the local soccer club they sponsor.

The expectancy becomes personal.  It morphs into a dependence, no matter how small, on each other. And so perhaps a smile is now expected and noticed when absent. They may call and check in on you if nothing has been dropped off for a few weeks.

The care and concern now runs along side of the original transactional relationship.  The expectancy will be seen at the doctors office, with a neighbor or with a receptionist.  It is a level of familiarity that fills one of the necessary sense of home pieces.

Bringing in the Familiar

Some of the most enthusiastic stories I get from EXPATs are about holding holiday gatherings for family and new friends in a place that doesn’t celebrate it.  Between the familiarity of preparation and celebration, and the opportunity to introduce new people to it creates so much of what makes a place home.

And this sense of home happens little by little.  The first time I saw a tiny bottle of Aunt Jemimah syrup in a local shop made my heart leap.  I had thoughts like I CAN make this work.

Like the little blue vase, we always bring the familiar with us because it is part of who we are.  The familiar provides cornerstone in for our sense of home.  A solid place to step off from where we find our footing so that we can explore what we do not know.

It is from the familiar then that we bring in the new to craft our local sense of home.

New Home is the Old Home

So really, the new sense of home is the old sense of home with a few additions.  All throughout life we add and subtract from the live we live.  From our sense of home.

Looking back your childhood home is not your adult sense of home or just after college home.  Home, what it is, changes for all of us…ebbing and flowing as we learn, grow and experience life anew.

Home is something we take with us wherever we go.  We do have those things that spark precious memories like when Francis opened that box in Under the Tuscan sun.  And some of those, we are able take them from place to place like grandma’s cast iron skillet.

And then there are others like my grandmother’s house in Michigan, that I will never see again, but will be part of me and bring me loving tender memories each time I see it in my mind’s eye. 

Home is with you everywhere you go.  It is part of who you are, what you do and  the things that come in and out of our lives.

This is GOOD NEWS. 
Because home is always a thought away and therefore home is always with you.

If you are ready to learn how this works…
click the button below, choose a time and let’s chat. 
You can take home with you.

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Resilience and Relocation – Build it and Utilize it

Resilience in Relocation

We need it…but what is it??

Resilience:

      1. The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
      2. The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.
        Lexico Oxford dictionary

In all relocations there are times of difficulties and tough situations.  Hits that we take called missed expectations or straight up fails.  Our ability to “spring back” has a direct effect on our experience and the ultimate success of our relocation.

But how do we have resilience?  Some people say it is something we are born with. However, resilience can be learned. It is a super power benefit learned through relocation.

This super power is visible in most of the relocating women I have know. These women walk through some of the most stressful situations in a calculating manner.  It is like they are completely present, while able finding all potential options simultaneously.

Once the boxes land we know close to nothing. It is now that we need to exercise our resiliency.  Because resilience provides Authentic Confidence and Flexibility in the face of the unknown.

Resilience and Better Management

When we are resilient, we are better at managing everything.  We are not distracted by those doom and gloom thoughts.  We are not stuck in confusion or overwhelm. 

We look for options, confident that we can figure this out.

We have “Authentic Confidence and Flexibility” required by resilience to create, manage and navigate more clearly.  Being present allows us to see what is, as well as what can be, simultaneously allowing us to build a bridge between the two.

Every task, process or person needing management is managed more clearly and cleanly.  Thus, increasing the chances of relocation success.

Resilience Starts Within

“While we often turn to quick external solutions, building long-term resilience to stress starts from within.”

~ From McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, article
Don’t Stress Out: How to Build a Long Term Resilience”.

According to McKinsey resilience requires six personal elements. Elements that can learned, defined, controlled and strengthened.

Purpose and Values – Knowing what you value and your purpose allows us to be confident in our decision and flexible in the new we bring into our lives, as long as they are in line with our purpose and values

Mindfulness – The ability to be fully focused and present in the current situation.  They suggest practices such as meditation to train the mind, so that it can be focused at will.

Acceptance – In WholeLife Relocation Coaching, we focus as they do in feeling your feelings without fear.  Allowing those feelings without resistance allow you to be present and step out of “your comfort zone”, into all of the new relocation presents.

Defusion – This is about finding those thought that create negative results in our lives.  When we are aware that these thought exist in our brains, we are able to capture them and defuse them at the thought level, before the results become reality.

Self in context – Seeing the big picture and us with in it.  Becoming the watcher of ourselves removes some of the emotional attachment we have to circumstances and outcomes.  This big picture helps us to be flexible and confident in our decisions.

Committed Action – McKinsey says that “Developing authentic confidence requires us to think through the changes we want to make in our daily lives.”  Our relocations are all about change.  By thinking through options, being present, seeing the bigger picture and knowing who we are…we are committed to the actions we choose. Because they are all in our best interest.

All six of these rely on our willingness to determine what we believe, monitoring and choosing what we think and deciding what is most important to us in the long term.  That self-awareness and living on purpose propels us forward.

Ready and Resilient

Ready and Resilient is actually a US Army program.  This is a program for all of their soldiers.  Their goal is to have each one of their soldier ready and equipped for any challenge that they step into.

Isn’t this how we want to be?  Ready and Resilient.

Self-Awareness is where the US Army Ready and Resilient program begins.

      • Self-Awareness
      • Self-Regulation
      • Optimism
      • Mental Agility
      • Character (Knowing your strengths and strengths of others)
      • Connection (Interdependence)

Again, the power comes from within.  Our ability to know, monitor and direct ourselves ~ our minds really and ultimately choosing resiliency on purpose. 

This means that, when practiced and honed, we can meet every situation with the attitude of I’ve got this. And we possess tools that we are skilled at, to back up that belief.

We no longer wait on anyone to rescue us from a downward spiral.  To make everything “better”. We have seen and practiced with the power within to change our own lives.

Resilience:

      • Starts with the belief that we can.
      • Shows us what we need, if anything is lacking, to acquire.
      • Allows us to start from optimism so that we can see options and our abilities.
      • Reminds us to take care of ourselves physically and mentally to maintain mental agility.
      • Asks us to call on our strengths and the strength of others.
      • Reminds us that we will not be doing this alone but as a community…first as a family and then within the larger new community.

Resilience can be called up on, from within, to overcome any circumstance.

Building Resilience

Building resilience begins by recognizing what has been overcome and seeing how life has evolved over time.  Circumstances that used to crumble us no longer have that power.  People and judgements that made us shrink away, do not affect what we do.

This practice of overcoming obstacles builds personal resilience.  Find the proof in your past it is there.

Next, determine to get curious about your feelings.  These are physiological reactions in our bodies, that is all.  Where does that “feeling” present it self in your body?  Across your chest or a tingling in your head.  When you get curious and look at yourself from a third party place those feelings lessen in the moment.  When we figure out what is driving them we can sometimes get them to wander away.

Finally, choose a belief that serves you.  One that gets you someplace.  It has to be believable or your brain will reject it. So no sunshine and unicorns. Practice thinking and saying this new belief out loud.  If you have chosen one your brain doesn’t accept an immediate negative feeling will appear.  An easy check.

Once you have this new belief, put it in your phone or on a card and carry it around with you.  It will take a while to remember this when the negative ones flood in.  When the other appear, pull this one out and remember that you believe this.

This process help you build all of the 6 US Army Ready and Resilience areas:

      • Self-Awareness (Seeing what is)
      • Self-Regulation (Choosing new beliefs and actions)
      • Optimism (Believing you can)
      • Mental Agility (tackling those old belief and actions and choosing new ones to produce new results)
      • Character (Awareness again – Inventorying your strengths)
      • Connection (Though not a direct part of this process, many connections with others will be improved by taking control of any kneejerk reactions.)

Take a hit get back up without injury.  If you think about the challenges as “learnings”, what our guest podcast Tania Thomas calls them, then there is no self judgement to slow us down.  We learn and we get on with it.

The more we see and learn from our “learnings” the more resilient we become.

We have firm ground from which to step off from into a new direction.

We ReloWomen build new lives with each relocation, bigger than before.  Once we know we can walk through the hits…we walk through relocation well!

If it is time to Relocate without Drama, set up a call and let’s have a chat.  You have lots of options.  Click to schedule your chat now.

Other Blogs: #1 Relocation Challenge

Links: 

McKinsey and Company article – “Don’t Stress Out: How to Build a Long Term Resilience

US Army Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness – https://readyandresilient.army.mil/CSF2/supportdocs/r350_53.pdf

Three Steps to Building Community

Three Steps to Building Community

Three Steps to Building Community

Building your community truly consists of 3 simple steps. Simple to understand steps. 

      • Doing what you LOVE
      • Dating the community
      • Choosing vs. Settling

The goal of these steps is to take advantage of the clean slate of relocation and only invite into life that which serves and supports the life desired.

Doing what You LOVE

Doing what you love is just that, seeking out what you like to do in the new community.  That is where you will find others, here, who love what you love. 

These activities can be found on programs like MeetUp, at businesses (riding clubs from a bike shop), through the chamber of commerce, the local parks and rec department, the library, and churches.  The last two Jazzercise groups I found were at a local church and the other was a city recreation center.  You never know.  Look everywhere.

Whether you want to play in an orchestra, do volunteer career counseling, train for a marathon, learn a language or hang out with other people who read Brene Brown, these activities are everywhere.  It is important to not assume they are only in one type of place. 

Doing what you love vs. trying something new

Participate in an activity you already know and love. This makes every outing into the new community a rewarding experience.  Regardless of whether the people you meet are friendship material or not, you do something you love.  This makes finding friend prospects a bonus.

Yes, the point here is to meet other people. However, we can never count on our future friends to be there. We cannot count on our tribe revealing themselves to us in a first meeting.

When interacting with the community early on, choosing activities we already know we like allows us to control the experience and therefore our expectations. We walk in knowing, we have a win.  We do not depend on other people for our happiness or contentment.  In the early months of relocation, this can become an obsessive focus.  When we count on ourselves and we can create joy regardless of others actions or interest.

That joy we create within ourselves will ultimately will be what attracts new friends to us.

Dating the Community

The idea of dating the community can be off putting, perhaps exhausting.  Like we need one more thing, one more unknown to suck energy from us during relocation.

But that is why you start with what you love.  The second reason to begin with what you love is because in order to figure out which of these people would be good friends for you, you must spend time with them.

Finding a friend is not like seeing your soul mate friend across the room. 

Your eyes meet and both of you are struck with the thought, “That is my new best friend.”  From that point on both of you have a friend to do everything with.  That is only a Hallmark movie type of things…and in that case romantic.

One of the things I learned over my many relocations is that “Friendships Don’t just Happen”.  That is also an enlightening book by Shasta Nelson.  Friendships take time, an investment on both sides. 

I know THAT is not what you want, especially if the boxes are unpacked and everyone else int he family is plugged in.  At this point, you are wondering if all there is anything more to life than dishes and laundry.  With your actual friends being across the county or on the other side of the world that exhaustion can just set in with a side of why bother.

But bother, you must.  You can do this.  And in your heart of hearts, you know how you will feel on the other side.  Those friends so many miles away are proof of that, so let’s get started.

Invites and more invites

Invitations extending outward, not toward you…unless you happen to move to Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama then you might receive a few.  Most of the invitations will be from you to others.

As you extend invitations know that the first obstacle is the busy established lives of others.  They are in a groove.  Most people and families have each week laid out roughly as to what happens where they go and what they do.  Breaking into that will take some time.  No matter how lovely or enticing your invitation, that schedule must be shifted and morphed to accommodate a new activity or invitation no matter how small.

This is both a practical and mental shift for the people you are reaching out to.  Both of which affect those weekly activity expectations.  Rarely do the delays or nos mean anything about the activity or you.  As with many things it has to do with them.

With these delays, nos and perhaps last minute cancellations again it is important to schedule the first couple of “dates” with what you LOVE.  And if there is a cancellation, you still have something happy making to do.

Keep inviting and manage your expectations.  We have to meet people and spend time with people to create relationships.  Those invitation will lead to the dates.

Time equals Connection

When I was struggling to connect in my last city, I decided to research what this was all about.  I wanted to figure out why I was having so much trouble.  It had been 4 years by this point. Was it me or was it them?  Was it this community?

In my research I came across a book called Connecting: The power of Female friendships by Sandy Sheehy.  The relationship concept in the book changes how I looked at the place I had landed.

What I learned through “Connecting” was that in order to connect with people, in order to form relationships I needed to spend time with people.  We needed to have shared experiences and through that a relationship could find its footing.  Without time or shared experiences nothing could be formed.  I was expecting that Hallmark movie type connection when that didn’t exist in my world and especially not in the culture I had relocated to.

Which takes us back again to doing what you love.  Doing what you love provides that shared experience in a safe non-pressure environment for everyone.  No one has expectations except for doing that activity.  This is important because when our only goal is to make a friend, that is a bit creepy and just about every person picks up on that.

We have to let people get to know us in a safe and unpressured way.  We can only do this through dating.  I wish I had another word for that but that is what it is.

And the last words on dating your community…please take your time.

Choosing not Settling

In that first few months of relocation, and if it drags on the first couple of relocation years, when we are not connected and we are still feeling like a flag blown off its flag pole tossing in the wind, we can get desperate. 

This is a place that we make poor decision.  Poor decisions about what we do and who we let into our lives.

Being desperate for a “friend” leads us to settle for any warm body that will meet our need for connection.  We settle for that who without considering the effect they have on us and our family.

When we settle for someone who does not fit who we are or our lives the results are everywhere.  We can see them and so can our family. 

You know you have settled when:

      • That friend date has been exhausting
      • It has been all give and serving
      • Even doing what you love is draining
      • You are agreeing to things you never would have before
      • Or you no longer do what you want to do

Consciously Choosing

We all think that all the people in our lives are all there by our choice. But there are many who just kind of got in.  And they are not too annoying or harmful to kick out. So it becomes easier to just let them stay.

However, it is time to not live like that anymore.  There are no shoulds in relocation because of the clean slate, which creates a wide-open opportunity to choose everything.  So, choose according to who you are and what you love.

If you are having trouble figuring out what you want go back to the 3 Step Relocation Workbook and work through the 1st section again.  Sometimes we as wives and mothers have spent so much time taking care and managing our families that we do not know what we want in people anymore.  We cannot identity who would really work best for us.

Ultimately, the people and the new activities that are best for us are those that encourage and support us to become more of who we are.  These people and activities help us grow in our ability to positively impact our lives and the lives of those around us.

We know they are good for us because we pouring into them are creating energy for us not depleting us.  And though giving and taking is not an even 50/50, there is enough give and take that both sides benefit from the relationship.

Use Dating the Community time to test all of this, so that you create your interdependent tribe who freely give, receive and support each other in alignment with your needs and values.

ReloWomen Podcast

On Thursday we will continue this discussion with an interview from Tania Thomas, a serial relocating woman who has lived in multiple countries since she was a little girl.  Tania grew up with the world as her community.  Listen in as she talk about developing community and its impact on her relocations.

Available on Apple Podcast, Spotify and other podcast players.  ReloWomen Podcast.

Have a wonderful week!  For more on Building community and all things relocation explore more here on ReloWomen!

Another Friendship  Blog:
https://relowomen.com/relocation-the-whos-the-void-and-the-friend/

Tool to Make Better Relocation Decisions

Tools to Make Better Relocation Decisions

These tools to make better relocation decisions,
are not relocation standard.

Assessments, Relocation and Better Decisions.

Many of us took personal assessments before we graduated from high school.  Or perhaps we took them as part of a team building process on the job. But I have not met one person who took these specifically for relocation.

What they measure though, is valuable, if not more valuable in the family setting.  That is because each family member has an innate interest in the relocation.  Outside of the core family, personal assessments can help to identify they type of partners, communities and new friends that create success for the relocating family. 

If you know who you are, the needed whos and whats are more easily identified.

Personal Assessments provide personal knowledge.  Knowledge that can positively impact all decisions and potential success.

What if you believed you had the answer to just about any question, options or conundrum that presented itself?

What if you knew the answer before the question was asked? 

Believing “I’ve got this!” before any question or challenge appeared…opens up options and changes the outcome. 

Assessment Types

Today, we are talking about 4 types of assessments:

      • Personality
      • Temperament
      • Strengths
      • Stress

Knowing these four areas leads to better decisions in every context, like when choosing a school that will embrace and encourage your child, choosing a great employer and negotiating with relocation partners.  Knowing who you are, and all of the “whos’” in the family, affects every relocation decision.  Knowing as much as possible, leads to “right decision” the first time.

      • Who to bring in and who to keep out.
      • What to bring in and what to keep out.
      • How to handle a situation and how not to handle a situation.
      • How each family member gets along best.
      • Which strengths and talents can be tapped into and synergized.
      • What personality types or process types will not work with the family.

When the personal who(s) are known, then it is easier to identify the people, activities, communities and processes that will most likely align with the family.

Personality Type

There are many different Four Quadrant personality type assessments on the market. You, like me, may have taken the Meyers-Briggs assessment in High school and college.  I found it kind of interesting then.  But when I took it later in life it began to make sense due to life experience. 

It reveals personality traits like drive, awareness of details, desire for continuity or even extroversion vs. introversion.  Interestingly, personality assessment can change over time.  This is because personality can be influenced by culture, life experience, what we learn from others and even relocation.

A FREE personality assessment based on the Meyers-Briggs Test is from Personality Hackers.  The nice thing about this company is that they provide immediate results to an email. That free information includes potential personality traits and even how one type gets along with other types.

This assessment takes about 10 minutes.  https://personalityhacker.com/genius-personality-test/

Temperament Type

Temperament is different than personality, in that temperament is hardwired and unchanging.  What I learned through taking this assessment is that I am not as go with the flow as I thought I was.  As a matter of fact, my family was like…”No, you are kind of controlling.  And you always have been.”

Once I made peace with this information I realized it made quite a bit of sense.  I could see it as I looked back over my life.  I always thought my sister was the controller type, but it was really me.  I am the ring leader in my little family,  and that’s OK.

FREE Videos that explain and explore the different temperaments are available from the app “I SAID THIS, YOU HEARD THAT”, available on Apple IOS and Android.  Watching the videos as a family will help everyone easily see which temperament they are.

A workbook is available for approx. $30 with a paper assessment and worksheets at https://www.isaidyouheard.study/.

Strengths Type

The Strength assessment is the fun one.  CliftonStrengths or StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Gallup lists out the strengths for each individual in descending order.  They have interesting titles like Ideation and Woo.

Woo is one of my 5 Strengths – “People exceptionally talented in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with someone.” From https://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths

This assessment show what each individual is strong iin, what they should lean into and where they will most likely experience success.  My dad asked me to do this for years.  When I finally gave in, I found this enlightening especially in relation to how my father and I work together.

https://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths Top 5 Strengths $19.99 or
all 34 CliftonStrengths $49.99 per person.

Stress Type

Knowing your stressors and more importantly, how you react in normal situations vs. stressful situations is enlightening.

I think most of us think we will react the same exact way, based on our values and who we are, no matter the situation or the people involved.  But, that simply is not the case.  When I took the Birkman Assessment a few years ago, I was shock to find out that I do not react the same way during stress.  In some situations, I do the exact opposite of what I would in a “normal” situation.

Relocation months 0 to 4 is anything but “normal”.  This is why I found the Birkman Assessment so fascinating and applicable.  During relocation we all experience multiple missed expectations and disappointments, perhaps daily. When the stress response is known ahead of time, the response can be decided in real time.  Knowing that the “normal” response is not the auto response, we have the ability to remember, pause and choose our response.

The Birkman is the most expensive of the four assessments, but it assesses something that the others do not; Stress and stress responses.

Birkman Method Assessment https://birkman.com/solutions/birkman-basics/

Assessment Wrap up

Most importantly, sit down as a family and compare everyone’s results.  Each family member, through this exercise, will learn something new about each of the other family members.  The new knowledge, especially when the kids learn something unknown about their parents, gives the children another way to think about their parents and potentially create another connection.

When talking about each person’s personality, temperament, strengths and stressors each family member, everyone gains new insight and has new ability to understand the others.  This understanding drives compassion.  Compassion drives patience in the time of hardship or disappointment.

Patience is something that everyone in the family needs an abundance of during relocation.

Practically Speaking

On the PRACTICAL SIDE, know this information helps drive those “first right” decisions I talked about in the beginning.  It is through knowing ourselves that we can hire the best partners.  Whether real estate agents, mortgage brokers, movers, inspectors, etc., when we know ourselves we are able to:

      • See the people who will best work with us.
      • Share or adapt to our work ethic and rules.
      • Negotiate for things we now know are important.
      • Educate partners as to how best to work with us(time sensitivity, attitude, work ethic, communication, pet peeves, etc).
      • AND Not bring in people or processes that will slow or hinder our relocation.

Personal assessment knowledge provides a new level of control. 

In Relocation, the last thing we need to is have anyone slow it down or throw in a monkey wrench.  The assessments help identify who and what will not work or serve the relocation.  Even when we must accept the only option, this information provides a reminder to communicate what is most important to a partner so that they can be successful.

For more information about all things relocation explore the ReloMoms Weekly Podcast available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, as well as the other blogs here on ReloMoms.

WE ARE REBRANDING!!  As of October 1st
ReloMoms becomes ReloWomen
Same great mission with more inclusion.  All of us women, whether accompanying or transferred employee, design, create and run our lives and those of our family. 

By including all ReloWomen…we all can Relocate Well!

Ready to NOT relocate alone? 

Try out Whole Life Relocation Coaching. 

Schedule your hour of coaching today!

Vital Tips for Choosing the Right School

The RIGHT School?

What Actually Matters?

This question causes parents sleepless nights.  For many of us, relocation gave us the first opportunity to choose our child’s school.  Many times, especially with the first child, we chose the local community school.  For those of us public school kids, that is typically where we send our children.  The school boundaries determining where they go and how they would be educated.

As long as the parents around us thought the schools were OK, we never considered another choice or what actually made a school, good. We accepted it.

Relocation changes that.  Perhaps for the first time, we must evaluate and make a choice.

The responsibility for our child’s education lands in our lap. It is a weighty decision that will impact where we choose to live, what our children get to do and what they will learn both actively and passively. That feeling of responsibility makes the decision making process more difficult.

Before we can decide we need to find some information.

The Internet School Search

Looking for school information looks a lot like shopping for a new car.  We look at what others are driving or considering.  We want one that as many features as we can afford.  We typically test drive the ones at the top of our budget.  We know we are not going to get everything we want but, we want as much as we can get.

When shopping for schools, the ones with the highest rated educational features look the best. The easiest stats to find are The Big SIX School Stats:

  • Testing
  • Graduation Rates
  • Internet Ratings
  • Sports/Arts Ranking
  • Diversity (economic & racial)
  • The Facilities

Each of these is relatively easy to find on the internet through the district and state education websites.  Facebook & Instagram provides images of what these schools are like. Other relocation sites provide some of this and current parent opinions on a 0 to 10 point scale.

Certainly, The Big SIX School Stats are important.  We should be able to identify the right schools for our kids.

Right?  Not necessarily.

The challenge with all of these sources is that they are easily skewed.  It is like looking at your best friend’s social media posts.  Most likely she is not airing the issues she has had in her family, with her schools or in her life on social media.  We individually and as institutions want to show our best side.

Whether the booster clubs, the districts, the PTA, etc., every part of a school has an intrinsic agenda to sell their school or program.  Therefore, only the best information will be presented.

What about the test scores, is this irrefutable data?  It may or may not be.  But, what does it matter? Will some other kid’s ability to take a test determine whether your child can achieve high test scores?  The answer is not necessarily.  Your child’s ability to test what they know is independent of the other child, their history and abilities.

Beyond Test Scores and Sports Rankings

What really matters in choosing the right school is truly understanding the school.  A school is not test scores and sports programs.  It is a living community.  Just like a one on one relationship, it will educate, impact and affect your child and your family.  All of the influences, the programs, the culture.

To understand as much as possible before the choice is made dive into knowing the following:

  • Parent involvement
  • Student culture
  • Social pressures (dress, participation, status, etc.)
  • Parent culture
  • Counselor availability
  • Administration hallway presence
  • Heavily funded preferred programs
  • District wide incentives and focus
  • Educational options
  • Education pathways & rules for access
  • Discipline rules and procedures
  • Charity and community endeavors
  • Extra-curricular activities/travel/access
  • Specialty programs and true availability (STEAM, Special Needs, Dyslexia, Gifted & Talented)
  • Student expectations (academic, behavioral, participation)
  • Parent expectations (academic, behavioral, participation)

Consider each of these and determine what works for us and our child, what is a challenge and what is a distraction or an impediment to our child and family.

What really matters is what makes a difference to your child and your family.

A Living Community

This small list represents only a fraction of what goes on at school.  A School is a living community, that functions like any other community.  It provides the structure and the rules for life with in the school.  The purpose served may be to educate children, but most of the education that goes on outside of the classroom, is what typically determines how children learn inside the classroom.

How do I know? Because 8 years of school taught my child, he was “stupid”.  That is a hard thing to unlearn.  Believe me, it still sneaks up on him as a college student…well after he has proven himself to be anything but stupid.

We tried time after time to understand why he struggled, asking administrator after administrator and teacher.  He wasn’t struggling enough for services even though multiple teachers requested evaluations.  This led to being told by peers he was “stupid”, and he accepted it.   The severe dyslexia went undiagnosed for years.

These communities have stronger influence than any test score or football ranking.  It is important to know a school’s daily culture, so that children can be placed in a school where they can thrive.

Thriving for my son came in the form of private school.  We shifted him to an college preparatory school. This was the first time where he was surrounded by kids who wanted to learn. He was expected to learn and participate.  In this environment and with these expectations he rose to the occasion.  In a smaller school, he could no longer hide from the other kids, the teachers or himself.  He found his voice and participated.  It wasn’t an easy ride.  It would be 4 more years before his dyslexia was diagnosed, but he found a community that was inclusive and academically interesting. Here, he was willing to put forth the effort and learn.

With the educational clean slate of relocation, there is no school that must be attended.  The options are wide open, even more wide open with online and home school options during the COVID pandemic.  Take advantage of the wide open options and find the living educational community that encourages, inspires and drives personal growth.

Identify Your Right School

Your Right School, one defined specifically for your child starts with a vision of the perfect school. A specific vision for each of your children.  Do not judge or hold back, just create.

For each of your children, what would the perfect school look like?

  • What would they learn?
  • What is your child’s potential (all areas)?
  • How would they be treated?
  • What does discipline look like?
  • What opportunities would they have?
  • What extras are offered (travel/arts/sports/clubs/language/STEAM/etc.)?
  • Are there program spots for my child?
  • What does each day look like?
  • What does your child need to become all they can be?
  • What do they expect of my child and the family?
  • The school will provide…
  • The school will communicate (through/when)…
  • As parents we will have _________ access and participation options.

Defining these things ahead of time will help you see the matches available.  Understand that due to the nature of organized school, no child is perfectly served by any school, private or public. And this is OK.  What you are doing here is creating a vision specifically tailored to each child.

This vision of the right school, helps you quickly identify which schools in the new community will best serve your child(ren).  This vision helps you move beyond the Big SIX School Stats, and focus on the school aspects that will positively impact your child and your family. 

“Begin with the end in mind.” ~ Steven Covey

Real Parents have the Information

You may be thinking, “But I don’t know any parents there.”  This is not going to be a problem. 

Finding real parents in the community happens with each phone call into the new community.  The real estate transaction alone will provide many locals who can connect you.  The local real estate agent, mortgage broker, title company and inspectors will all most likely have clients or co-workers with children in the different local schools.  This informal networking starts real information flowing your way.

One of the easiest call to make is to each school. Ask how to contact their PTA president and Membership chairperson.  These people will be excited to tell you all about the wonderful aspects of the school.  Be sure and ask about specific programs or services your child may need, and if they know of any parents who have kids like yours who could give you more information.

A non-traditional call is to the Chamber of Commerce.  Sure, this is a business organization but many of the small business owners are local and have children in school, both public and private. 

Local membership organizations are filled with real parents.  If you are a Junior League member, Rotary/Lions club members, MOPS member or might like to join the garden club, contact the local clubs.  After receiving club information ask about the schools and school options.

Parents typically love to talk about their kid’s schools.  The real parents are the most likely source to learns how the school fail as well as how to overcome some of that

Understanding a school’s culture before experiencing it can be difficult. However, by making these phone calls and talking to real parents, getting a “feel” for each school becomes possible.  This way, by the time a tour is walked and school counselors give their sales pitch, a real view of what that school is all about can be better understood.


If you are ready to plan and organize your relocation
download the ReloMoms 3 Step Relocation Workbook today. 


My passion is to help you relocate well from packing to connecting!

Have a wonderful week and come join us in the
ReloMoms Community on Facebook.
Monday – Facebook Live, Tuesday – ReloMoms Blog, Thursday – ReloMoms Podcast

Remember that Relocating Well is done best, Together!

What is Relocation Coaching

(c) Csrobles | Dreamstime.com

So, what is Relocation Coaching?

Relocation coaching is using the best tools and resources available and a guide who went before you, to create a relocation that serves your family.

Just like in sports, if you want to become a top athlete, a coach will help you enhance the skills you have. Help you identify skill gaps and provide training to help you learn quickly and achieve top performance.

By hiring a coach, you do not have to try out multiple training methods.  Nor do you have to search for information or spend time sifting through things that apply and a whole lot that do not apply. 

Like a sports coach, a relocation coach determines where you are and then provides what you need, information, resources and skills training.  No spinning your wheels or wasting time.  From logistics to mind management relocation coaching guides you through each week, with a special focus on managing the mind.

Mind Management

How we “think” during relocation, the negative or self-destructive thoughts, those are the ones that can get us into the biggest pickle.  In relocation, due to the short time frame and high expectations, we can find ourselves making decisions in a hurry.  Hiring relocation partners because the discounts are only good right then.  Choosing communities and school from recommendations by people who we do not know, because a decision must be made.

There are so many pressures and shoulds and outside expectations to be met, many of us bend to it, because it is just easier.

Easier in the moment.

It is not easier when we realize those decisions were based on other peoples’ values and needs.  Not ours.  And then we get to make it work.

No Bending to External Pressure

A relocation coach does not bend to those pressures.  As relocation coach, I am only interested in:

You and your family relocating well. 
This means that helping you to identify and execute family centric relocation plan, share resources and tools to prevent distractions as the new job ramps up, and stay with you until the family is acclimated and engaged in the new community.

This is achieved by concentrating on what is most important.  You, your family, your individual and shared values and needs.  Every decision based on who your family is leads to great first decisions.  From choosing a community to choosing and managing relocation partners, coaching helps you align your values and needs to make more decisions right, the first time.

Internal Pressure

The pressure and judgement we put on ourselves during relocation can be far more limiting than any outside pressure.  It may begin as second guessing the decision to relocate.  It may appear as concern over your job prospects or wondering if the relocation is having negative effects on the children.  When life is not just as we would like it to be, we begin questioning everything.  Doubting.

The reasons for the relocation and the benefits we have experienced so far, are nowhere to be found.  The negative talk takes over and presents itself as truth.

Ultimately, it is your internal negative/self-limiting talk, flashes of passing thoughts, that will knock you down.  If repeated often enough, “I can’t do this” eventually, you will experience overwhelm and shutdown.  Perhaps for an hour or a few weeks, but it will come, like a self-fulfilling prophesy.     

As a relocation coach I am watching for this.  What we say to ourselves produces results in our lives.  It drives our emotions and what we do…and, what we do not do.

Watching for these thoughts is difficult on our own.  We like to lie to ourselves or at least sugar coat with a thick layer of frosting.  This looks like “It’s fine.”  “I can deal with that later.”  “I didn’t really want that anyway.”  But these can be deadly to productivity.  Though we are trying to convince ourselves it is all OK…

Our brains call foul,
 digs in its’ heals,  works hard to find proof,
it’s not fine.

Weeding Out the Negative

Through relocation coaching, you have a partner walking through your garden of thoughts.  With this process you begin to see for yourself, the weeds that are sprouting to choke out what your dream for this relocation is. 

As you see these weedy thoughts, it becomes possible to choose whether to keep them or not.  It is from this vantage point you can make the strongest decisions.  Decisions that allow you to easily pull up those weeds,  get you back to your relocation goals.

With those thoughts seen and resolved, staying present becomes easier.  This provides space and energy to make those decisions on the fly, especially when something goes wrong.  In addition, being present and at ease, gives your mind the ability to consider all types of options and create better solutions.

Relocation coaching is for all stages of relocation.  It doesn’t matter which stage you are in, just decided, in transition or settling in and connecting, relocation coaching walks with you to where you want to be.  Living the life you want to live, your way, as part of the new community.

Try Coaching for Yourself!

You can tryout relocation coaching for free.  Email me, Annette Walters, at ReloMomsOne@gmail.com to schedule 2 Relocation Consults.  You will learn something use and walk away with tools you can you today.

My passion is to help you relocate well from packing to connecting!

Your ReloMom Friend – Annette

 

For more information about relocating well

The ReloMoms 3 Step Relocation Workbook goes into detail as to what you need to know in order to relocate well.  And it is FREE!!

An intensive 27 page guide for relocating well.

How Much Real Estate Agents Get Paid

Free photo 4667172 © Vladimir Sazonov – Dreamstime.com

How Much
Real Estate Agents Get Paid

Wondering about how much real estate agents get paid when signing a listing agreement with a 6 or 7% commission attached?

I have. Looking at paying $20,000, an amount it seems I have to pay to sell me house, yeah I wondered. What is the deal with real estate commissions?

If I hire a real estate agent with multiple properties for sale and mine is the least expensive, are they going to ghost me when I need help but the other client – worth a $35,000 commission – needs them too?

This blog is about real estate commissions, both the structure and the incentives that that typical commission structure drives.

I caution you. Rather than getting wrapped up in what’s right or wrong with this system, see as neutral. How a current system works. Neither good nor bad. That way you can negotiate more effectively and create expectations for you and your family that can be met.

Incentives driven by the structure

Money and incentives.  If you really think about it, the people lean toward that which provide the best opportunity, especially when it comes to money.  Why do some sales people switch which of their company’s products they are selling?  It has to do with the products that pay the most commission.  It is the same in the real estate commission structure and becomes larger issue in relocation.

Following the money is how personal interests and incentives are seen.  That old quote “For wherever your treasure is, there your heart will also be”.  And when it comes to relocation, more times than you would like to believe, …

the agent’s service to the relocation client wains because of the money. 
Really,the lack there of.

Real estate agents establish a fiduciary relationship with their clients through contracts(buyers representation agreement or listing contract). This is a contractual obligation to put their client’s interests before their own. When it comes to money though are we humans able to do this?

Money pays our bills – housing, fuel, food, clothing and for our fun.  And it is no different for real estate agents.

In 2019, the average gross income for real estate agent was $42,501 a year according to Salary.com.  AND if the agent is lucky enough to be in the 90th percentile of all agents they earn $64,585. This is not the lifestyle of the rich and famous for almost every real estate agent you will hire. This means that your real estate agent is going to have to hustle to find as many clients as possible…at all times

Chances are you and your family is not the only client.

Money Drives Attention

If a real estate agent can’t make a car payment or the kids needs braces this month, they will focus their attention on the clients and transactions that have the highest commission and have the highest chance of closing. 

“Well I am not going to hire those struggling real estate agents.”  However, knowing an agent’s finances is not part of the interview process.  You will not know, no matter how shiny their Mercedes Benz is.

This is why I spend so much time last week on using the interview process to evaluate what the agent is going to do for you and putting it in writing. That formal agreement will help the focus to stay on your home as much as possible. Finding the Right Real Estate Agent

Understanding how the money moves help you understand when and how your real estate agent may be distracted even in the middle of managing your contract to buy or sell.

Commissions: Where does the money come from?

Most real estate agents are paid, on both sides of a deal, according to the listing agreement at the time of closing. The listing agreements is a contract between sellers and a real estate brokerage they have chosen. 


Note The listing agreement is not a contract between the real estate agent and the sellers.  It is a contract between the sellers and the agent’s supervising broker/brokerage.  The real estate agent is just that, only an agent of the brokerage they are associated with. 

Also, though many of us assume the “standard commission is X%” for our area, know that all commission are negotiable, per federal law.  The excuse that “all brokerages in Santa Fe charge 6%” is potentially price fixing and therefore illegal.  If you want to negotiate, negotiate!  The commission to sell your home doesn’t have to be what everyone says it should be. 

Buyers, you also have the ability to negotiate, so feel free.


The commission will typically be expressed in terms of a percentage.  For example 6% or 7% of the final sales price of a home.  So for a final sales price of $350,000, the commission would be $21,000, assuming a 6% commission. 

Let’s continue with the $21,000 commission example to demonstrate where the money goes.

Commissions: How is it split?

As a seller you might be thinking that’s a lot of money to pay to sell my house!  However, that $21,000 is about to get carved up, multiple times.

The first split is between brokers.  Typically that $21,000 will be divided in half with $10,500 going to the seller agent’s broker and $10,500 going to the buyer agent’s broker.

The second split between the brokers and the agents.  The contract determines how much the your real estate agent actually grosses out of this transaction.  These agreements can be anything from a per transaction payment (say a flat $350 per transaction) to a 50/50 split of that commission coming to the broker after closing.

Now consider that real estate agents are typically contract workers.  They are 1099 broker contractors and not employees.  They do not receive any company benefits healthcare/retirement/etc.). Many times the brokers will charge the agents to be part of their brokerage, between a few hundred dollars a year to thousands of dollars a year. 

Expenses continue. Real estate agents will have to pay for their own health insurance, professional associates, MLS access and those fancy key fobs that get them into all the houses.  Other expenses will also include business equipment, supplies, transportation, phones, internet etc..  When it comes down to it, independent real estate agents, these solo entrepreneurs with hopefully realize 50% gross profit.

This is a huge discrepancy.  And unless you know an agent, you don’t know.

In our example the agent commission from this transaction could be as much as $10,150 to as little as $5,250.  Net income before taxes then, could be as little as $2,625 for up to 100 hours of work in 6 to 8 weeks.  Full time real estate agent averaging 8-12 home transactions per year could be grossing only $31,000 a year depending on their average home sale price.

Add the Relocation Management Company

Now, let’s say you hire the agent referred to you by the employer’s relocation management company(RMC).  These agents are busy and have lots of experience. Perhaps 24 homes a year or more.  This is due to the “hot leads” provided to them by the RMC.

These RMC real estate agents will receive all of these hot leads and in exchange pay between 30 to 50% of their commission.  On top of that many brokers take their split off the whole commission rather than what’s left.  This is a double negative for the agents.

So in our same example of a $10,500 commission, at 40% the RMC would receive $4,200.  The agents would then pay their broker, at a 70/30, $3,150.  The agent would then receive $3,150 before expenses and taxes.  Even if they managed a 60% profit margin, this agent only receives $1,890 for at least 100 hours of work.

As to the relocating family this is important to know!

By having to focus on multiple clients at the same time dilutes the attention they can give to you and your home sale or purchase.  And if a million dollar home client comes, who do YOU think is getting the most attention.

Just information

As relocating families, we do not have time to chase down some one’s finances or manage how people think.  We need to find agents of character who have the ability to overcome this type of human nature. 

We need to come to a formal agreement with our chosen real estate agent as to:

  • How often and what they will communicate
  • When they will be available
  • How they will track dates and documents
  • How they will manage our real estate contract from execution to close
  • Who is their back up when not available.
  • ETC.

This may be the way the system works but by knowing it we can prevent innate negative incentives from impacting our relocation.

Last week’s blog talks about how to hire talented, effective relocation real estate agents. https://relomoms.com/the-right-real-estate-agent/

Have conversations, contract expectations and follow up, follow up, follow up. This is a delegated process not an abdicated one.

Knowing how real estate agents are paid, helps all of us understand more about the industry and how it works as we make decisions about Our Relocations.

More This Week

Join Annette Walters on Thursday’s ReloMoms Podcast to expand the disscussion of how real estate agents get paid.  On iTunes and other podcast players.

Other information about real estate agents can be found online at www.ReloMoms.com

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