Episode 3 – Real Estate was the Only Option with Ronnie George, Broker at George Group Estate

Show notes

We had the pleasure of speaking with Ronnie George, Broker and Owner of George Group Real Estate.
In this episode of EntreNetwork we cover several key topics including:

· Entrepreneurship was my only choice
· Taking Anger and Resentment and Transitioning to Drive
· Bringing on People changes Entrepreneurs

Connect with George Group Estate!

· Visit George Group Estate Website:https://georgegroupla.com/?fbclid=IwAR2sJDDP2x7zRQAF7lrPviOmZZMRwkDlOWTf3XH7Lt0ezf95hVv6ILlb8b0
· Follow George Group Estate on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/georgegroupla/
· Follow George Group Estate on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thegeorgegroupla/
· Like George Group Estate on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thegeorgegrouprealestate

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Team RMG 00:00
Welcome to entre network brought to you by revisione marketing group. This podcast is meant to serve as an entrepreneurial knowledge base of wisdom and practical tips in marketing, branding and technology to help grow your business effectively.

Sidney Jackson 00:17
So yeah, Ronnie George, welcome to entre network. Man, thank you so much for joining us today, we’ll just kind of give a quick dive into who you are as a person. So Ronnie George, military kid, right? You moved every two or three years, and then you finally got a chance to settle. You’re on the outskirts of Lafayette. So kind of tell us how you was able to get to Lafayette for the outskirts of Lafayette.

Ronnie George 00:46
First off, I want to point out the fact that you even knew that and did the research on the My little about me, it’s good. I like that. That’s that’s kudos on your point. But yeah, man, no, my mom remarried when I was, I think like in elementary school, and we moved around like 15 different schools before I kind of finished out. And I ended up settling, like in Alexandria area, got into real estate when I was 18. And then just kind of did that. And then I started my own brokerage in 17. And we just moved out of Alexandria, just you know, for a better area, just, you know, more peace of mind more opportunity. And I wanted to start another location in the Lafayette area. So that’s why we moved down there. And I find myself, you know, coming back and forth to Alexandria and trying to get to Lafayette area up and going. So that’s kind of where it a quick recap, you know, in a nutshell about, you know, my little past,

Sidney Jackson 01:39
guided. So what did you do before real estate?

Ronnie George 01:43
I have no idea. I mean, I was 18. So I have no I don’t even know, I probably did random. So I think I was working at Ace audio, which was installing cars, car radios, and speakers and stuff like that. And I was also a firefighter for a little bit, then I worked at the prison. So I did a number of different things. And that was while I was doing real estate, not all before I was 18. But yeah, I had no odds and ends jobs, but I was doing like real estate part time. And then I really went full time into real estate. Probably like in 2013, like I got my license in 2016 went full time a little bit the market crash. So then I pulled back state part time with it, and then went back full time in 2013. So then I was just doing nothing about real estate did. But in those downtimes I’ve worked at like the Bureau of Prisons, you know, right up here in Pollock, dealing with inmates and stuff like that. So that was fun, I learned a lot about people and respect and how to you know, I deal with people a lot more like a 20 year old age. So that really helped a lot. And then being a firefighter. So those are my I guess other careers.

Sidney Jackson 02:52
Got it. So what all of that was the biggest thing that allowed you to or that helped you. With real estate overall, you said, some of those jobs allowed you to kind of get to know people a lot more. So what kind of skills besides that one allowed you to transition to full time as a real estate broker, or agent and then broker,

Ronnie George 03:17
I guess the main thing is realizing that there’s so much more to life that people take advantage or don’t take advantage of by when I would go and work at the prison. And there were people that are stuck there for years or for life, they’ll never get out, I get to leave every single day. So it really got to show me like the conditions that they got to live in. And all this other opportunity that I have, you know, and I would keep doing real estate and stuff like that part time. So it was the appreciation of the opportunities that we do actually have as individuals not being in prison, you know, so that alone right there shows you that it’s like, it’s not really that bad. Like all these things that we see online and all this stuff, it’s like, trust me, it could be much, much worse. You can be away from your family, you can be away from this, you can be stuck with a bunch of other dudes or women or whatever stuck in an area that you’ll never see anyone you know, or love. So it’s like I mean, come on, it could get a lot worse than what we really have it here. So it’s that understanding that appreciation. There really helped when I left there, to go into full time, I’m just really enjoying every single day of what I was doing with real estate, I’m like, I get to do this for a job. Come on, you know, so that type of stuff. And then learning how to deal with people who were, you know, twice my age that committed these crazy crimes and to get them to do stuff to clean their room. To stay off the grass like to do like, start you have to learn how to talk to people, you know, and show respect to one another. And in the prison atmosphere. It’s all about respect, you know, and it’s like people will do horrible things to other people who disrespect them. So it’s like you Learn that dynamic of how to treat a person in a respectful way. And that carries over with real estate, you know, you understand that people might go through tough times, but underneath all that they’re still a person. And they might just be experiencing something difficult. So you can be that, that rock or that pillar that kind of keeps them stable and solid, while they’re going through their tough times, and stuff like that, and getting them through the deal. You know, and being that emotionless individual and not making it about yourself, but understanding they’re going through the situation, and I’m here to get you through that, you know,

Sidney Jackson 05:36
know that that’s a really good point, because we recently got a house probably a year or so ago, and I’m putting yourself in the buyers shoes, or the seller shoes, right? You’re pretty much there to help. And then the questions that you have, or that the buyer or the seller has, you have to be able to ask those questions, and really put yourself in their shoes and make it about them. Because in a sense, it really is, right? It’s a big decision for that person, no matter what they’re actually doing, if its own buying or selling. So what all of that what made you get into entrepreneurship overall, you said you started at 18 into the real estate world, right?

Ronnie George 06:19
Yeah, no, I mean, but touching back on exactly like what you said. A lot of people think that they are a certain way until they put themselves in a stressful situation, and then the side of them comes out and they they’re freaking out. They’re like worried they’re anxious, they’re like, they’re just in a situation they’ve never been in. And I think that’s where the value of real estate agents Really do come in is because we do this every day. So it’s not about us, we can remove the emotion. But buyers and sellers don’t buy and sell properties every day, you know. So they’re not used to dealing with the emotional ups and downs and the setbacks and stuff like that. So if anything, that’s where real estate agents will always hold their value, simply because they’re there to kind of bring everybody back to neutral be like I got this, I can take care of this. And that’s kind of where I kind of, I guess, my perspective on real estate. But as far as what got me into entrepreneurship is basically because I was fired from the other brokerage that I was at. So I really had no choice. You know, I was like, in the middle of this big chaotic thing that just didn’t turn out the way that it should have been. It was like social media being social media. So basically, people just kind of cast me out of my own way. And I’m like, Okay, well, I know, I didn’t do these certain things that were being presented in a certain way. So I’m like, I’ll just prove y’all wrong. So I had to start my own business, I had to basically, it was survive, or, you know, that was really the only option. I had to survive, I wasn’t gonna give up. You know, I was a single dad at the time. I basically, it just went through divorce, I had two kids that I had to pay for, for child support. And real estate was all I knew. So it’s like, I basically had no option, you know. So that’s what kind of forced me to start my own brokerage, it was more of an ego thing of being like, you know, what, I’m going to show you, I’m going to prove you’re wrong. And I did, you know, I proved them wrong. And I basically started my own thing, and that fueled it. And then that transient transitioned me over to being appreciative of being able to be this real estate agent that can teach and help other people have an amazing life through real estate. And that’s been my focus of like, how can I take what I’ve learned to help you become successful? And now that’s why I like the broker role of like, you know, all new agents that can come to me, I can help them, I can show you exactly what to do step by step, because I’ve been

Sidney Jackson 08:53
there. Yeah, definitely. With that, I had somewhat of a similar path. So I went for this, not agency, but this government entity, and I was let go, just because of budget issues or whatnot. But that kind of forced me into entrepreneurship full time anyway, right. And those first three months, probably the toughest, definitely didn’t have a lot of responsibilities as far as like kids and wife and mortgage and stuff like that. So for you, man, I congratulate you for taking that step and being able to thrive, right, you spoke, you spoke about ego. So being able to prove them wrong. And then the growth that you have within both with the company and you are on on a personal level. Yeah, being more appreciative for the people that you actually help right so that those motivations kind of change as you grow individually and as a person. And I think it’s really good for you to kind of highlight that because people I think people make make it sound bad to say, Hey, this is what was driving me, because everybody has ego. Right? Right. But for you to transition that, and um, yeah, transition that and be a more powerful motivator is super. Yeah, in the man.

Ronnie George 10:18
Yeah, it’s basically the way that people want to take that and use it as fuel, because all ego is is really just an emotion and all emotion is fuel. And so eat, whether it’s anger, whether it’s sadness or whatever, if you can harness that emotion and channel it into energy and to action, then it actually propels you forward. But most people, what they do is they channel it inside and they hold it, they build resentment, and then they get mad at people, and then they get upset at people and then they blame everybody else for their problems, when what they should really do is channel that and take action and move forward to remove themselves from the situation that they’re in. So basically, I took that as an opportunity to say, Okay, I’ll prove you wrong. And now Yeah, I was fueled with anger, resentment, I all these different things, so that, and I had to survive, so I had no option. And so it got me moving forward. And then I was like, You know what, and then and only then once you get out of survival mode, then you can start to reflect and be like, Okay, how did I get here? Alright, my bad, I got a call coming in. I actually did out. And then and then so basically, once that happens, and then you can actually self reflect on like, how did I put myself in this position, instead of blaming everybody else for why, Oh, you did me wrong, you have to assume responsibility for the things you did that led up to the things that happened, even if someone did something that you didn’t like, you still cause that to happen in some way. Because people don’t randomly just do stuff for no reason. Maybe, like, say, for instance, in your position you you could have maybe saw some budget cuts or something downsizing or something like that, or whatever. But if something if you got fired and cut off, and you just want to say Oh, woe is me, poor pitiful me and did nothing about it, which most people do, but you say, you know what, I’m confident enough for myself, I’m going to figure this out, I’m going to move forward. Same thing, like if I’m confident in myself enough, I’m like, Well, I guess this is the opportunity. Let’s see what I have. Let’s try and move forward with. But the self reflecting is where I really took the ego took the anger, transition it over to become a better person. So those things don’t happen again, to put me in a negative space and actually see the lessons that God’s trying to teach me to be like, Okay, all right, I see, I wasn’t ready for this stage of my life yet until I learned these lessons. Because if I if I was further up, and I still had this ego, or still was acting and doing the way that I was doing to cause whatever chaos, it was going to destroy a much bigger picture. But I had bigger things set up for me. So I had to learn these lessons Now, in order for me to to grow. And it basically if, if you have dreams and aspirations, then you’re going to be tested and be like, okay, let’s see how big how bad, you really want these these dreams, I’m going to throw some tests at you, I’m going to throw some obstacles at you. And if you actually overcome them, it’s like, okay, you actually do want this, then you’ll have a little bit of success. But most people keep hitting that. And then they just go back to normal and be like, ah, I don’t really want it that much.

Sidney Jackson 13:30
No, I can definitely relate to that man. Because here, every vision, it’s a lot of stuff, a lot of obstacles that we have to go through, especially with contracts. And just working with different clients is like a roller coaster, roller coaster, in a sense. And then not to think of all of the overhead and then payroll and all this stuff that comes with being a business owner. But my approach is always like, hey, everything is going to be our Right, right, because it has to be, and everything is pretty much a test. So what all of this stress what all of the well, pretty much all the tests that comes with entrepreneurship, and leadership as well, I really tell my people, hey, it’s okay to fail, fail as quickly as possible push through all of these emotions. Emotions are fine, it’s normal. Let’s go ahead and get clear, and then push forward because that’s all we can do. And then a year from now, we’ll look back on this same point where it’s like, Hey, we were stressed, we’re overworked. And it’s just a lot of stuff. But that growth is going to happen. And then a position like this, it’s just gonna feel like it’s pretty much normal or baby steps, in a sense, right? Because you’re going through those personal development and personal growth as well. So yeah, incredible. Yeah, I

Ronnie George 14:50
like to say embrace the chaos. Yeah, basically the same thing. It’s like, I think if you constantly try and put they caught the chaotic things that happen In growth in constant order, you’re actually going to restrict your growth. So in going through seasons of growth, you have to embrace that chaos. And it’s like, hey, look, we’re gonna push through this and once stuff settles down, then we’ll get stuff lined out and smooth and dialed in, it’s not gonna be perfect and streamlined. Nothing is it just does, it’s not like that. It’s just organic, crazy growth, you do it, then you stabilize, you build a nice foundation that you’ve leveled up to so that way you don’t fall back.

Sidney Jackson 15:29
Yeah, so we went through our own period of growth, probably like, within these last three, four months, and it’s been pretty crazy. And then now it’s time to kind of reflect and then put systems in place, document what we did, what we didn’t do what we could have done better, and just automate different processes. So once we experienced that growth, again, is not so chaotic, right? But at the same time, not build out something completely, to put some kind of handicap on us to, because being a small company, you have the flexibility to make decisions quickly, right. But all of the data that we’re collecting our clients, all of the data from websites, paid advertising and stuff like that, it’s important to just kind of have that at your fingertips and be able to make those decisions. But yeah, I mean, for you, I have seen, I’ve been watching you with just video production, some of the landing pages that you do, how you present offers and stuff like that, to people that want to join your organization, or your group. It’s it’s incredible man. So from a marketing standpoint, how were you able to grow? Because you started the brokerage in 2017, right? Yes. And you have currently 17 agents?

Ronnie George 16:54
Yeah, I think it’s around that. Well, I think we just got a new guy. So 17 or 18.

Sidney Jackson 16:58
Okay, so how were you able to grow to 17 or 18 agents, from 2017.

Ronnie George 17:08
transparency, I think that’s the biggest part of it is full transparency. And I think just going back to what you said, it’s, you know, I took a, I guess a natural, I guess I naturally have a passion for marketing, like I love marketing, advertising, solving problems, coming up with creative solutions, and actually testing those and implementing those. So I’ve constantly trialing and airing different things. So I built the website, I’ve built every, you know, marketing piece that I’ve done from ads to, you know, landing pages, all that stuff. So I know how they work. So that way, I can sit there and teach and tell other people, hey, do this, do that. So they don’t have to try and figure it out. But I use that as basically full transparency when I came out, you know, basically saying, look, here’s what we’re offering, here’s what we do better than everyone else. And I just stayed consistent with it. You know, I come out with a compelling offer, I did my math and stuff when I was contemplating housing to start the brokerage. And to figure out what my splits were going to be what my commission cap was going to be what I was going to offer what I wasn’t going to do. So I just sat there and did market research. And what I saw other people were doing, ran some numbers on what I thought was attainable. And I said, Okay, if I could do this, this, this, this, this is doable. And so I basically set my goals out before I went after them. And then I basically was like, Okay, I need X amount of number of people to be able to make this work. And then after you achieve that, it’s totally not what you expected it was gonna be so then you have to modify and be like, but at least you got there. And I think the biggest point with entrepreneurship is you’ll start at a, but you’ll never arrive at z unless you go and pursue B. So essentially, you might have product day, and you’re like, Oh, I’m gonna, I’m gonna sell whatever widget, right? I’m going to sell this amazing thing. And then you introduce it to the marketplace. And the marketplace is like, I don’t really want this, but we do like some of this. So you modify it, and then you get to be and you’re like, oh, here’s the modification product, oh, we’ll offer you this. And like we really like this. But if you can improve this, so then you create product seeds, and you’re constantly tweaking and modifying it. And next thing you know, before 567 iterations down the road, you’re selling and doing something completely different than you thought you were, but everyone loves it. But you’ll never figure that out, until you at least try and introduce something initially to the market. And I think that that’s where a lot of people stop when it comes to entrepreneurship. They never just try and introduce the product and listen to that feedback loop of like, well, we really like this, but we don’t like this and then you just gotta tweak it. And eventually you’ll get there if you just keep improving what you keep offering.

Sidney Jackson 19:49
Indeed, and that’s one of our values here is constant improvement, transparency, and results because that’s those are the only things that matter true. to individuals, right? So what constant improvement we see a lot of small business owners, they want perfection upfront in a sense, right? So they want the logo to be extraordinary. They want the website to be defined everything on there before they launch, right. And sometimes that’s fine. But if you’re a small business with limited resources, get something out there as soon as possible. That’s what we always say, perfection is searching for it, it costs a lot of time. And it’s not guaranteed for anyone. And then even if you do spend all of the time doing it is no guarantee that the clients will like it or love it, right. And that’s the only thing that matters if your clients like It or Love it. So constant improvement, having that feedback from the clients, clients is extremely important. How have you been able to kind of do that over the years? Because you talked about on reflecting on just yourself after you were able to grow? So from 2017 to 2018, probably was the roughest year for you, the first four years of brokerage?

Ronnie George 21:09
No, it was actually the easiest because I wasn’t trying to hire agents, then that was me starting a brokerage doing my own thing. And I was just like, it’s just me. So I crushed it. I was just like, making sales left and right. It’s when I started to become more than just myself. That’s when it got difficult when you step into more of a management leader role type, you stop thinking about what’s best for you, and what’s best for everyone else. That’s that’s where it got difficult. So but yeah, we started bringing agents on at 18. But that’s where it gets tricky.

Sidney Jackson 21:43
Tricky, and D. So you I think you build a solid foundation, would you agree as far as like building a personal brand and doing marketing and video content? In 2017? I don’t think I followed you in that time period. But

Ronnie George 21:59
yeah, I mean, I was probably just doing my same old thing. I was running Facebook ads, collecting names, email, phone number, and then following up assessing criteria information, and then going out and finding them stuff. And then I started coming up with creative marketing stuff, to be able to get business going, you know, I come up with like $1 listing and flat fees and all these things, just to get business going. Because I decided I was going to sit there and figure out how to get business, instead of competing with everyone else, I was going to do a different approach, I was going to do price penetration, or create different offers and stuff like that. So basically I said, Okay, I’ll sit here and take discount listings, just to get listings, because that way, it will at least get something going. And then that way I can use it as like a marketing campaign or a one time offer or something like that, just to spur those things, to get some kind of business coming in. So then that way, I have something to promote something to advertise. And that’s really what actually kicked the business off. Instead of me trying to be like, Oh, I offer x, y, z. It’s like, I can do this better than them. And they’re like, okay, I’ll choose that because it was a better option, they got more, they got more value, they can see it. And that’s what actually helped me survive with.

Sidney Jackson 23:13
I think when I was reading your bio, on the website, you were saying your approach was basically either love me or you hate me, you can’t play the middle. So how has that kind of played out for you as a brokerage early on. Anyway, that’s

Ronnie George 23:28
tamed down a whole lot. Simply because when it comes to branding, I have to now realize it’s not just me as an individual, it’s me as a brokerage and a brand that other agents then identify with. So if I’m out here doing crazy stuff, then they might not agree and want to distance themselves. But also at the same time, I have to challenge myself, because that might be a limiting belief, they might want me to be doing those type of things, because that’s probably why they joined it in the first place. So I don’t necessarily know so I’ve kind of dialed back a lot. But now I’m slowly pushing back out there of really trying to push the envelope again, simply because I think that’s why people picked me in the first place. Because they knew that I did things differently and stuff like that. And I’d rather be the one leading that as an example instead of encouraging them to do it. So it’s just the biggest struggle for me, it’s been more of an identity crisis of going from Top Producing real estate agent to real estate broker and getting off that real estate agent mindset out and being like, what does a real estate broker talk about, like, in like real estate agents, you know, they show houses, they do property tours, it’s like, but if I keep doing that, then people will associate me with real estate in the agent perspective. So it’s like I have to be more business minded. Or at least I think I do, I don’t know. See that’s my constant struggle now of figuring what direction and what kind to kind of put out as a broker, you know, so that’s what’s tricky.

Team RMG 25:06
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Sidney Jackson 25:46
And they would So you said another tricky part of just growing a business was bringing on additional agents are bringing on agents, what was the biggest challenge you faced on when bringing on agents to your brokerage,

Ronnie George 26:02
figuring out how to even recruit people, you know, that was the thing so I just I come up with a different solution. I said, Okay, well, I’m just gonna get all the email addresses to all the current agents and just start spamming them. So I basically just I dialed in a nice looking newsletter through MailChimp. And then I would just come out like with the weekly email and mail it to every single real estate agent. And it made a lot of people mad because no one was doing that, because I was flat out sending it to the brokers, the owners, the agents, and they were like, stop trying to recruit my agents. I’m like, hey, if it’s making you mad, I at least know it’s getting some traction. And that actually brought a lot of people on because, again, full transparency, I was like, hey, look, here’s what I’m offering, I just want to let you know, just putting it out there. I don’t call people I don’t call real estate agents, I don’t ask them if they want to come join it, don’t sit down and say you want to have a cup of coffee and let’s meet, I’d rather put all the information out there and let that person make an informed decision. And they’ll reach out to me. And then that usually works because we have very little turnover rate because everybody’s happy here. Because they chose to come here. I didn’t sit there and try and constantly convince and beg them to come here. You know because if they don’t want to be here I’d rather than be somewhere else because I want them to be happy wherever they are, you know, so But yeah, the figuring out how to recruit agents was a very tricky thing because there’s really no playbook, you know, to that if there is those companies aren’t really sharing that.

Sidney Jackson 27:36
As far as resources, who has been probably like one of the biggest resources you used as far as like knowledge, wisdom, business academic things like that to help you grow as a business

Ronnie George 27:52
and I don’t know it’s a lot of self research you know, I watch a bet David you know Cardone Gary Vee like Ed my life, you know, the usual is, you know, all the top social media people. But I mainly it’s been more a lot of reading, you know, I’ll sit there and do a lot. I do Audible, like, you know, and I’ll sit there and read different books, and listen to different podcasts like Tim Ferriss and stuff like that. And then when they reference a different book, I’ll download the book, and I’ll listen to that. So those types of things really help a lot. Hmm.

Sidney Jackson 28:23
So as far as entrepreneurship, it’s always a roller coaster, right? So what, what was one of the highest points you had, from like, 2017 Up until now, as far as like gratitude, or pretty much anything, one of the biggest, the highest points you have seen within entrepreneurship and this doesn’t have to be like revenue, this can be more so a personal thing, where you seeing one of your agents succeed. So pretty much anything that just filled you with gratitude as a business owner.

Ronnie George 28:59
Yeah, like two things we’ll like seeing agents push past their mental barriers and really embrace their potential and actually go for it and achieve it. That’s really gratifying, you know, to be able to see them get to that level. And then this year, we also hit like 100 million in sales. And to have everybody there we have like $100 million party and stuff like that. And it’s, it’s cool to be able to sit there, book an event, pay for all the catering for everything and then it’s like the agents Don’t you know, spend any money, it’s like, to be able to have the money coming in to where you can just constantly come up with different things, to reward the agents for the success, you know, that you’re able to have. And to see that they’re the people some people that were there when we first started to still be there and see how far they’ve grown and the things that they’ve overcome and stuff like that. So it’s, it’s really cool to be able to see all that and actually be like, holy crap, like this. You did this. You know, it’s pretty cool. Like I still feel like I’m just like, just a regular person. I don’t I see myself as a boss or owner or whatever I just see myself as someone to try to push this thing to be as big as it can and help as many people, you know, become the best agent, they can be essentially.

Sidney Jackson 30:13
And the and mine is somewhat similar, because I have a few people and people on a team and I have one young lady who’s coming into leadership. And she’s the project manager for a lot of different things for the company, right. And we interface with different government organizations, and you have people that run the state of Louisiana, would then just like overseeing different projects and stuff, and seeing her been able to kind of talk to these people and figure out different problems now, compared to, like, nine months ago, when she was just like in this show, and then just allowing her to fail, get that knowledge and then find confidence. And in the face and with different people. It’s super rewarding. And then Michael, as well, he’s our IT Support Specialist. He’s super comfortable in the face and with different clients and people and figuring out questions and just champion different things. So that growth within them personally is super gratifying. So I think with entrepreneurship, once, once you start bringing on people, it becomes less about you as the individual and a lot more about what’s best for the team. How can you make sure that the environment is good and stuff like that? So yeah, I mean, I think you’re hitting it right on the head. As far as I croak as a business, because we only have two people now I’m going on three, or four team members, and you have 17. Yeah, that’s, that’s quite a bit. That’s a lot of personalities to kind of get to know, right?

Ronnie George 32:00
Yeah, but I guess the thing with it is, is I never realized how good I am at this role until like, I always had an idea that I would be like a good boss, or a good leader or whatever. But when till you actually do it, you’re like, oh, wow, I actually have these characteristics that are actually good, because I am really good at paying attention to characteristics that other people display and help them overcome their mental barriers to push past those things. So it’s like, that’s actually really beneficial and something to help people grow. So I’m able to sit there and giv