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Editor’s note: This week RISMedia is running a five-part series of Q&As with Top 5 in Real Estate member Valerie Fitzgerald, owner of The Valerie Fitzgerald Group ( in Beverly Hills, California. Valerie will offer unique insight into what it takes to be successful in today’s challenging times, and her new book, “Heart and Sold: How to Survive and Build a Recession-Proof Business,” due on bookstands May 19.

Part 3

RISMEDIA, May 13, 2009-RISMedia: Where did you get your inspiration or ideas for your new book, “Heart and Sold: How to Survive and Build a Recession-Proof Business”?


Valerie Fitzgerald

Valerie Fitzgerald

Valerie Fitzgerald: For years now I’ve been speaking across the country, which gave me the opportunity to meet women from all over. So often, women shared with me their personal challenges, which they perceived as impossible obstacles. I always listened and offered whatever I could in term of tangible things to do, or just much needed motivation.

I always connected with the women, but never proclaimed that I too had those feelings or were in those shoes. The inspiration to write Heart & Sold came from wanting women to know and understand they are not alone. Many women, including myself, have had to overcome challenging situations to reach great success and I wanted this book to be a bridge for women to feel they would do the same. It takes inspiration and motivation to make positive and effective changes in your professional life.

RISMedia: What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing Heart & Sold?

VF: How vulnerable I could be. How open and honest writing this book would make me in terms of sharing my life. I always thought certain parts of my life should be hidden, and my struggles shouldn’t be shared with anyone. Being vulnerable is a positive place to be, it helps you grow, connect, and move forward toward achieving goals and dreams.

RISMedia: What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

VF: Busy. I’d wake up around 6:30 to exercise and be out the door by 9:00. I’d spend a full workday with clients, listings, or real estate related ‘to do’, get home around 6-7:00, grab something to eat then start writing. I’d finish around 2-3:00 in the morning and call it a day. Then start over again the following day.

I was often tired, but I was in the zone. I loved what I was doing. I love and will always love real estate, so the 9-5 is never a ‘grind’…I love my job. Writing was the same way. As I mentioned, I learned to love being vulnerable and having this book as an outlet was a wonderful gift.

I believe being present, no matter what you’re doing keeps you in the zone and moving forward.

Tomorrow, Valerie will offer her thoughts on the three top business rules she lives by and how to use the power of visualization to grow your business.

For more information about The Valerie Fitzgerald Group, visit

Missed Parts 1 and 2?

  • Part 1: Competitive Marketing and Pricing Challenges in Today’s Market 
    Part 2: The 3 Worst Mistakes a Seller Should Avoid