What Does Jenny Think?


What Does Jenny Think?

This seems to be the burning question on the minds of those we talk to about our career change!  Most of our friends, family, and business associates have been informed that Ryan has “retired” from the mortgage industry and has moved on to lead a new life as a real estate investor and entrepreneur.  To the majority of people, this career change is viewed as an audacious move, so “What Does Jenny Think?” is on repeat in Ryan’s everyday conversations.  I thought I’d speak to this question today since there is so much interest in my opinion of his career change!

I’ve known since we began dating that Ryan was an outside of the box thinker.  He dreams like crazy. He is a crazy dreamer.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t hear “I have an idea…” So, from the beginning I’ve had to adjust my thinking and attitude to where it needed to be in order for him to flourish in who he was made to be.

For the majority of our marriage, Ryan worked for one mortgage company that was very good to him in a variety of ways.  As those of you in the real estate industry know, real estate is very lucrative financially but the days can be extremely long and the stress of a high volume of transactions takes it’s toll on you and your family. We began to see that our relationship could not strengthen and deepen if we did not spend more time together. So, after a lot of deep talks, prayer, and chatter amongst family and friends, we started our own mortgage company.  This was not exactly where my area of expertise was, but Ryan was so very good at his job and we felt like we should capitalize on his years of experience and knowledge.  After a couple of successful years of running a mortgage brokerage, we began to see that we had made the right choice to have our own business, but in the wrong industry.  It is hard to be successful at producing loans in a timely manner as a small brokerage because there are so many pieces of the process that are out of your hands.  We began to think about what would be next for us…

Ryan made the decision to join a big mortgage company that had excellent customer service and quick closings. He became a sales manager and recruiter.  The job matched his strengths but he came home each day feeling too corporate.  He was an entrepreneur at heart.  He knew it.  I knew it.  This was a great job with excellent benefits, and on paper it made a lot of sense for our growing family. But…

We had many more discussions full of depth and desires for our careers, family, and long-term goals. Brainstorming and note-taking were what our nights consisted of for months.  We were faced with the fact that we were in our mid-30s, and we knew it was do or die at this point in our lives.  Always on our short list had been that we wanted to 1) spend time more together 2) have a family business that could potentially move through generations 3)  bless others, using our business to do so.

So we made the decision to take the plunge and go all out to follow our dreams. We already know what is involved in flipping houses because we’ve been doing it on a small scale for most of our marriage (so that makes our big jump a little bit less crazy because we do have some expertise). Thus far we have really enjoyed the transition!  Are there adjustments that we’ve had to make (good and bad)? Sure. But overall, this is our best life.

Ryan demo



To sum up, here are a few quick thoughts:

  • This life change didn’t come as a surprise to me!
  • Affirming Ryan in his dream-following feels like the right way to love!
  • Ryan’s passion for a different work lifestyle doesn’t put me (or our kids) in a shady place, nor do anything to hurt us. In fact, it inspires all of us to dream big dreams. “You don’t need to be wealthy to live richly.” {Dave Ramsey}
  • I like being and building with Ryan more than I like the security of his “traditional career” and what that provides for our family.  In short, I married him–not his paycheck and benefits and prestige.
  • At the end of our lives, I want us to be proud of how we lived and who we poured into, not what we’ve earned or accumulated as treasures for ourselves. “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” {Annie Dillard}
  • My ultimate trust is in God, and I know that He will be with our family no matter where the road takes us. The Lord is my security, not the volume of dollars flowing in and out of our home.  “When the roots are deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.”{Chinese Proverb}

Are you thinking about chasing a big crazy dream?  Or encouraging someone near to you to chase their boldest life? Let me encourage you in this: “Your greatness is not what you have, it’s what you give.” {Unknown}

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