For those of you who know me, or follow me on social media, you’ll know that right now I am at the “KeySpire Summit”, which is an educational Real Estate Investment Conference held in Niagara. I’ve been fortunate to be part of a team of Real Estate Professionals that gets to attend these events a few times a year, which has been such an incredible experience so far — as always.
Technically I am here to bring real estate opportunities that are tailored to real estate investors — which is my job as a realtor. The most valuable part of being here is NOT selling properties though, it’s meeting people, and listening to their stories.
I get to meet realtors from across the country who have larger teams than me, sell more homes than me — think differently than me.
You can’t grow by only being with people who think the same things you do.
Aside from the other realtors, there’s Mortgage Professionals, Lawyers, Accountants, Syndications, and a host of others. Because of the sheer diversity of backgrounds and professional expertise, you can’t help but learn and grow.
I read a book a while ago called, “Fathered By God” by John Eldridge, and in this book he tells a story of how he was on a tour around some of the small islands in the Pacific North West — Grizzly Country. Here’s how he describes the journey:
One of the most haunting experiences I have ever had as a man took place on an early summer day in Alaska. My family and I were sea kayaking with humpback whales in the Icy Strait, and we stopped on the shore of Chichagof Island for lunch. Our guide asked us if we wanted to go for a hike into the interior of the island, to a clearing where grizzlies were known to feed. We were all over that invitation.
After a twenty minute walk through a spruce forest, we came into what appeared to be a broad, open meadow about four hundred yards across. Being midday, and hot, there were no bears to be seen. “They’re sleeping now, through the afternoon. They’ll be back tonight,” he said. “C’mere — I want to show you something.”
The meadow was actually more of a bog, a low-lying jungle of brushy groundcover about two feet high, barely supported underneath by another foot of soaked moss and peat. A very difficult place to walk. Our guide led us to a trail of what seemed to be massive footprints, with a stride of about two feet between them, pressed down into the bog and making a path through it.
“It’s a marked trail,” he said. A path created by the footprints of the bears. “This one is probably centuries old. For as long as the bears have been on this island, they’ve taken this path. The cubs follow their elders, putting their feet exactly where the older bears walk. That’s how they learn to cross this place.”
I began to walk in the marked trail, stepping into the firm, deep-worn places where bears had walked for centuries. I’m not sure how to describe the experience, but for some reason the word holy comes to mind. An ancient and fearful path through a wild and untamed place. I was following a proven way, laid down by those much stronger and far more prepared for this place than me. And though I knew I did not belong there, I was haunted by it, could have followed that path for a long, long time. It awakened some deep, ancient yearning in me.
I have had the opportunity to meet and talk with people here who are walking the trail, wearing in grooves for people to follow. Scott McGillivray, Brian Persaud, Corey and Tiffany Young, Pierre-Paul Turgeon, some guy named Ajay from Southern Ontario… and so many more. These people are all Giants, they are the Grizzly Bears who have continued to press a trail through the bog that can be real estate wealth. What an honor it is to be here with them.
Here’s the thing, when you meet people like this, Giants, you realize that they are just a human being like you. They have put in the time and effort, and have worn a trail that you can follow. THIS, is the real power of coming to events like this — encouragement, by walking with Giants.