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I am writing this article in an airport in West Virginia on my way home after speaking at a West Virginia Association of Realtors® event. I am right in the middle of what I call “convention season,” the months of September and October, during which time I will keynote over 20 events for state associations and companies. This requires me to hit the road pretty hard.

In the last month, I have spent a collective one week at home, which can be difficult with two adorable boys at home, ages 5 and 3. In fact, a couple of weeks ago I had just finished up speaking at the Texas Association of Realtors® Convention and Xplode Conference and was scheduled to speak in Wyoming the next day. It would have been an easy flight from Texas to Wyoming, but instead I decided to fly back to New York, drive home and spend 2 ½ hours with my kids, only to go back to the airport and fly to Wyoming to do my event. For any parents out there, you know that this was a small price to pay to be able to tuck my kids in at night instead of the usual Skype call before they went to bed.

While these two months are not the usual for me and my family, they are still a reality. While my job requires a lot of travel, it is also true that most events are not held on weekends so I am almost always home and able to coach my kids’ teams on Saturdays and Sundays – with exception of this last weekend when I had to miss my five-year-old’s soccer game because I had to catch a flight.

I don’t write this so you will feel sorry for me. I have a great life and am able to inspire and have an effect on a lot of people, which is an amazing feeling and a great calling. I am writing this more so because I have the honor of working with a lot of Realtors® and salespeople and the one thing I always hear them tell me is that their “family comes first.” While for some this may be true, actions speak louder than words.

While we may say that family comes first, what I see so many times is that it is the family that is always having to sacrifice because mommy or daddy HAS to show this house last minute or HAS to take this call. I know first hand the allure that the “thrill of the deal” can have, but to achieve real success requires you to have the key the abilities to self-audit and be honest with yourself.

Does your family really come first? Have you really prioritized them and their needs over your own ambitions? These are not easy questions to ask yourself or answer but they are necessary if you are going to live the full, well-rounded life that you desire.

My life may not be the norm but the only reason that I am able to live the way I do is because I have asked myself these kinds of questions and been willing to not say “yes” to every opportunity that comes my way. I have not always been perfect and have made plenty of mistakes along the way but something tells me that as long as I am willing to keep asking myself these kinds of questions, my life and my business will be better for it – and so will yours.

Jared James is the CEO and Founder of Jared James Enterprises, an internationally sought-after speaker and trainer. James built one of the fastest-growing real estate teams in the country, was inducted into the International Hall of Fame for one of the world’s largest real estate companies and wrote a best-selling book—all before the age of 28. As an acclaimed speaker, James keynotes events for major real estate organizations and conducts regular webinars and training for nationally known organizations like NAR, CRS, Yahoo Real Estate,Trulia and Zillow Academy and blogs regularly for RISMedia.

To stay in touch with Jared James, visit www.facebook.com/jaredjamestoday and www.twitter.com/jaredjamestoday or visit his website at www.jaredjamestoday.com.


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