Not everyone gets a near-death experience. I was one of the lucky ones. On July 1, 2010 I had one foot in the grave. While the rest of the world was focused on the BP oil spill disaster which had just become the worst oceanic spill in U.S. history, I didn’t know it, but I was about to be in for the fight of my life. Fast forward to late August and you could have started shoveling dirt on me and I would have been none the wiser. I was in the ICU, comatose with my organs shutting down. I had always been told you were supposed to see God at moments like that.
Like I said.… comatose. Finally came around and the first day out of the ICU, my husband told me he wanted a divorce. I was so excited to be awake, the news did not even register. Still, I had survived. This my family and friends could celebrate. But no one expected me to thrive!
I had to learn to focus again, see again, walk again, read again, and become a single mom for the first time. I had to come to grips with and grieve over the fact that waffle irons, as handy and useful as they appear, cannot under any circumstances be used to extract catheters (more about this later). I was helpless. And it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Just what the doctor ordered, or should have ordered.
For up to that point, I was Kelly Mittelman Hager, a driven and successful entrepreneur and real estate agent, but neither an entirely happy nor an entirely whole person. Today I am both—all in and all here. I am more successful professionally than I have ever been. But even more importantly, I have found my place and my purpose in the world. It was a process that started with being helpless and recognizing that the only thing that you will ever really do alone is die.
The rest is all part of a big collaboration, at first with your parents who bring you into the world and show you how it goes, then increasingly it’s with others.So the first half of life was all about learning, experimenting, succeeding somewhat, but missing the point. The second half is about getting the point, recognizing what it takes and going there. And the point is this: You can have it all. But you cannot do it alone. Oh, and by the way, did I mention you have to have the guts to do it? Anything worth fighting for is never easy.
Over the last five years, post-coma, with a very large group effort lead by four powerhouse women, we have taken our real estate team from $10 million to $55+million. 2016 we anticipate breaking through the $100,000,000 mark.
We’ve developed a very non-traditional team model, where everyone truly supports each other.
Empowergize – That was the vision!
The team accepted the vision and fed off of my passion, but this mentality also gave them the opportunity to implement the strategies and deliver against the results. And this they have done. The beginning of our success came during one of the most difficult real estate markets in recent times (and the market still isn’t perfect). So I’ve just got to say, it pays to be helpless, at least for a minute. Despite our success, I’m not going to pretend our journey is over…we are in the middle of it!
I’m hoping you see something of yourself in me. You work hard. You are smart. You are creative. And you are an unfinished bit of business. And here’s what I hope you are thinking: If someone like Kelly can emerge from a coma and find financial success and happiness, then maybe I—coherent and sitting upright at this moment- can do even better. At this time in your life, you may feel lost and confused. Even worse, you may be feeling satisfied and content.