Don’t you wish you could achieve your career dreams overnight? Unfortunately, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but we promise it will be worth it!
In episode 2 of finding career zen, Leslie Heimer, a third-generation lending professional, joins Pete Newsome to discuss her trials and tribulations throughout her career. As an owner of a thriving mortgage chief lending office, she has been featured in multiple magazines, won the Women With Vision Award, and is known as one of the most powerful women in banking. How did she achieve all that success?
Leslie attributes her success to her parents and the way she was raised. From inheriting her mother’s ambition as a child to working at her family’s mortgage company, Leslie was influenced by generations of her hard-working ancestors. Do you ever feel the pressure of society? As a mother and a boss lady, Leslie talks about guilt and how she manages to push through judgment from the opinionated social media world we live in.
Does she instill the same values she received in her children? Does this new generation have a different mindset? Leslie says that the best thing you can do is “stop cutting their waffles” and teach them responsibility.
Did Leslie find her career zen? Tune into this episode if you are seeking career advice and inspiration!
Advice for achieving career success
Life’s success is not only measured by the figures in your bank account
The experiences and ability to be present and have more freedom are. Find a career that aligns with your own version of success, not just the numbers.
Career success is impossible without hard work
Every individual’s definition of career success is different, but in order to reach the pinnacle of any profession that you choose, choices will have to be made.
Life is not going to hand you things, it’s not easy and it’s not always going to go your way
You have to be willing to fight and work hard for the goals you want to achieve. It’s impossible to stay on course if failure is an option in your mind.
Success doesn’t happen overnight
It is your grit, guts, and resilience that will make you a superstar. You have to experience failure in order to enjoy success.
Your relationships are important
The people you know and the reputation you create matter. Meaningful, quality, and lasting relationships must be earned and invested in.
Build credit while you’re young
Have your parents add you as an authorized signer to their credit cards. Assuming they have good credit, your parents adding a co-authorized signer to their credit card will allow all of their history to be on your credit card.
- Tips for switching career paths
- Finding a job that is right for you
- How to find your best career path
- How to become a real estate broker
Pete Newsome 00:12
Welcome to finding career zen, I’m your host Pete Newsome and I’m joined today by Leslie Heimer.
Pete Newsome 00:17
Leslie is a third generation lending professional with more than 20 years of experience in real estate. She’s currently running a thriving mortgage practice as a real estate adviser with Stock Worth. She offers concierge services to her clients with the highest possible level of customer service.
Pete Newsome 00:32
Prior to Stock Worth, Leslie was the Chief Lending Officer and was named one of the 100 most powerful women in banking by the national mortgage professionals magazine. Leslie’s also a contributor for the prestigious Scotsman guide, and was recently named most connected for real estate lending by NNP publication for her social media influence and thought leadership, which I’ve seen personally and really enjoyed watching.
Pete Newsome 00:56
Leslie has been recognized on the cover of Focus magazine, the Orlando Business Journal, and Orange Appeal magazine for real estate and marketing strategies. And it was given the Women With Vision award in 2020. Orlando Family magazine recognized Leslie as top 50 Real Estate Professionals year over year since 2017.
Pete Newsome 01:15
Leslie earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida, which I will not hold against her.
Leslie Heimer 01:20
I see you’re FSU.
Pete Newsome 01:23
Pete Newsome 01:24
As well as a Master of Business Administration or MBA from the University of Maryland, with a focus in marketing. So Leslie, with all of that said, is it safe to say you’re a boss?
Leslie Heimer 01:35
I’m a boss, I will say that. I earned it at the young age of 44. I am proud of that nowadays.
Pete Newsome 01:43
That’s a long list of accomplishments for 44. I have to say that.
Leslie Heimer 01:46
Leslie Heimer 01:47
Really, I feel like you know, when you’re in your 40s, when you’re young, you always think that by the time I’m 30, I’ll be this by the time I’m 40, I’ll be this.
Pete Newsome 01:58
Well, we’re getting into right away, hold that thought because I first have to say there was something from your bio that I did not read yet. And it’s that you’re a seventh generation Floridian like I am.
Leslie Heimer 02:10
Oh, I did not know that.
Pete Newsome 02:12
Yeah, I didn’t know that either.
Leslie Heimer 02:13
I feel like that’s such a treasure.
Pete Newsome 02:16
It’s rare. Can you like follow that line back?
Leslie Heimer 02:20
I mean, my family are really nerd out about it. They’re much better at the like, lineage than I am. And like the guy who walked here, there was like a land grant that my great great grandfather was given, and Bones Mozelle and The Land Before Time references to my family in the book. So they’re much better about it than I am. All I know is most of my friends are surprised that I’m from Polk County.
Pete Newsome 02:47
From Polk County? Okay, I was going to ask what part of the state they lived in? Okay, mine is a little farther north, Madison County.
Leslie Heimer 02:54
Okay. Yeah. I mean, at the end of the day, if you’re a seventh generation Floridian, you came from a small town, you know.
Pete Newsome 03:00
I think we’re probably related.
Leslie Heimer 03:01
We got to be, there is no doubt.
Pete Newsome 03:03
We’ll follow up on that later because I have a lot of research. There’s a lot of work that my dad’s aunt did. I have it all on the shelves behind me in a binder.
Leslie Heimer 03:14
I would love that Pete, my uncle would like die for that.
Pete Newsome 03:17
Cool, alright, good. Well, we’ll follow up on that. But I think let’s focus instead a little bit on what will hopefully be interesting to everyone else listening, which is really the success that you’ve had in your career. I want to explore you know, how you got here. So let’s just start with that, I want to start at the very beginning.
Pete Newsome 03:34
What was your first job?
Leslie Heimer 03:35
Yeah, my first job was working for my parent’s mortgage company, answering the phones, and listening to my mother, who is an unknowing, brilliant saleswoman.
Leslie Heimer 03:50
But just a very genuine in her approach. And I would sit outside in our reception office and listen to her speak differently to the elderly lady calling about this mortgage than she would to the young guy talking about this mortgage. And I could just hear her communicate up and down the ladder. And just fascinating, even though she didn’t do it with any intention.
Pete Newsome 04:13
I love that. And it’s so impactful for me as a career salesperson to know exactly what that means.
Leslie Heimer 04:22
I do it so naturally, and I’m like, wow, it just was a fascinating study to hear. And you know, my mom is a sweet southern lady and had been doing mortgages and finance her whole life.
Leslie Heimer 04:34
She sent me to college without any student loans. And that was my college graduation gift, was a return on her investment and some shares in her company.
Pete Newsome 04:44
Leslie Heimer 04:45
I always tell a funny story because I have some team members and employees who have gone through maternity leave. And you know, it’s such a different world nowadays for mothers trying to raise their families which I’m so grateful that I can create a different environment for them.
Leslie Heimer 05:00
I always say the toughest boss I ever had, after I had my second son did not allow me a maternity leave. And instead turned our conference room into a nursery and hired a nanny on site. So I could come right back to work. And that was my mother.
Pete Newsome 05:18
I didn’t see that coming. I should have, but I didn’t see that coming. That was your mother who did that? So how long were you? How long did you get to stay home?
Leslie Heimer 05:29
Yeah, like a week or two? Yeah, you know, it just was, women who grew up in like my mom’s generation, that work life balance was so very different than what we get to enjoy. And hopefully what I allow my team to enjoy in there is family raising and balancing acts that have to happen when you are a working mother or father.
Pete Newsome 05:53
It’s a changing world. It’s a vastly different world from the one your mother was operating in. That’s an understatement, right?
Leslie Heimer 06:04
Pete Newsome 06:05
Well, let’s explore that a little bit. What do you think about the changes? Do you think we’re in a good spot? Do you think the changes are positive?
Leslie Heimer 06:13
No, I do think they’re positive. I will tell you, Pete, that I struggle sometimes with some of that, you know, creating a wonderfully healthy, happy, fun, work environment and being able to maximize our productivity.
Leslie Heimer 06:29
But I think the pandemic changed all of us a lot and changed what we perceive as productive and necessary, you know, definitely made us cut out some things that are no longer necessary. But I think we have learned a lot from the millennials. And, you know, I think it’s helped me kind of make sure that my values are aligned, I’m a recovering workaholic, I say.
Leslie Heimer 06:51
So I think the younger generations have helped us see that maybe, you know, life’s success is not measured only by the plaques on the wall, or the figures in your bank account. But you know, the experiences and the ability to be present and have more freedom. That is certainly something that I have been fortunate to learn from some of my team members.
Pete Newsome 07:16
Yeah, you alluded to the pandemic was, the silver lining from that sounds like for you, and it certainly was for me, was being forced to change your habits.
Leslie Heimer 07:28
Pete Newsome 07:28
Forced to stay home, forced to spend time that, you know, you probably should have always but it just, it wasn’t the mode you’re, in it wasn’t how things would go.
Leslie Heimer 07:40
It didn’t seem like an option, to be honest.
Pete Newsome 07:42
No, it didn’t. It didn’t seem like a good option.
Leslie Heimer 07:45
Pete Newsome 07:45
One you should choose, that’s for sure.
Pete Newsome 07:49
Now, when going back to how you were raised, so to speak, was that something that was talked about? Or was it something that work ethic? How was it instilled?
Pete Newsome 08:01
Did it just happen by osmosis, so to speak, and having a good mentor, because I will still say that despite the benefit that we now see of not being a workaholic, and I want to challenge that a little bit later because I think you still may be. But there’s still the inherent value in hard work and what that delivers. So was it a conscious thing?
Leslie Heimer 08:29
I mean, I do think it was by osmosis. But I was so proud of the mother that my mother was and what she accomplished, and quite frankly, the lifestyle and the blessings that she was able to give us because of her hard work. And my father’s hard work, certainly also, but she was always a mom who worked outside the home. And I was always very excited to be a businesswoman.
Leslie Heimer 08:33
I would dress up in my mom’s clothes to be a businesswoman. You know, maybe we just learned so much from our parents that we don’t even realize we are. But I always wanted to go to school to be in business. You know, I used to say, I’m not going to go to college all these years and start popping out babies, but I love my angel babies. But I was certainly intentional about being a working mother and tried to tell myself that it was about, you know, quality over quantity.
Leslie Heimer 09:23
So you know, I did make those choices when my children were young. And I do feel like still today that my work ethic has been, what has given me the more and more of the opportunities that I have today in the career that I have, I don’t think I would have been able to, accomplish the things that I have without just trying to everyday crush, crush, crush, and the hustle mentality, which I know some people think is kind of outdated, but that’s how I did it.
Pete Newsome 09:56
Yeah, you know, as you mentioned earlier, how success is defined is a big component of whether hustling is necessary. So if you want career success, if you want to outperform others, if you want to reach the pinnacle of any profession that you choose, I don’t know how to get there without hard work.
Leslie Heimer 10:20
Yeah, I love that. I love that Pete and I appreciate you allowing the space to say, I don’t know, another way either.
Pete Newsome 10:28
If we did, we would take that.
Leslie Heimer 10:30
I would have done it.
Pete Newsome 10:31
I have said that for years! My first job out I was a senior at FSU. And I was a poli sci degree and a two point something GPA. So the firms were not knocking down my door.
Leslie Heimer 10:47
You’re hanging in there, though.
Pete Newsome 10:49
Yeah, I took a job with a staffing company. And in the interview in the spring of my senior year, the guy said, we work eight, eight, Monday through Thursday to five on Friday, should we continue?
Pete Newsome 11:01
That was my first introduction to that company. And with $20 to my name, and like I said, not the most attractive credentials coming out of school. I took the job and the work ethic I already had a good work ethic from just growing up and having to work but the hours that I worked then carried me forward everywhere else I went for the rest of my career seemed easy by comparison.
Leslie Heimer 11:26
Pete Newsome 11:28
They outworked everyone and the company was incredibly successful, wildly successful. They’re in staffing space, they’re a $10 billion privately held organization. And they did it by of course having good business practices and being consistent, honest, and ethical, all the things you wish to take for granted. But they outworked everyone. And I’ve never been able to get away from that thought.
Leslie Heimer 11:52
Yeah, I love that you said “By comparison, everything else was,” because that’s exactly it.
Leslie Heimer 11:58
You know, when when I left my mother’s little wing and went and had a new job. You know, I treated every job like I own the company, I’m going to sweep the floor if it needs to be swept and I’m going to stay late. I did, I remember being so fearful to leave the building before the boss left, just because I didn’t think that would look good. So I would just sit in my little office and figure something out.
Pete Newsome 12:23
It wouldn’t have looked good. That was right.
Leslie Heimer 12:27
Right, I just wanted to show them that I’m a company girl and I will do anything and I got promoted very quickly. And you know, those kinds of things are noticed.
Leslie Heimer 12:41
There’s a Friends episode that I still love when Jennifer Aniston starts smoking cigarettes, just so she can hang out on the balcony with the boss because that’s where the gossip happened. And that’s where she knew her promotion. And now I don’t condone smoking cigarettes, but FaceTime with the leadership, and being present, certainly, you know, gives you a little insight into things that are happening in the company, I guess.
Pete Newsome 13:05
Well without having any real idea what you’re going to say today, I’m not at all surprised that you are talking about the things that are generally accepted as how success happens in the professional world.
Pete Newsome 13:21
And to me, in my head, I’m thinking you’re managing your career, you’re managing your own success. You’re not, you’re not taking anything for granted, you’re not relying on someone else. You’re consciously doing the things that will lead to a promotion, advancement, recognition, whatever that is.
Pete Newsome 13:38
So when you were doing those things, was it conscious? Or was it just, that’s what you’re supposed to do?
Leslie Heimer 13:45
Um, I think both. It was definitely conscious. I wanted to be the best, I wanted a promotion. I wanted that bigger office, I wanted my production to beat John Jo’s production, or I, definitely made it a priority.
Pete Newsome 14:03
Got it. Now with your kids, have you tried to instill the same mentality?
Leslie Heimer 14:07
Those poor kids. I mean, those kids are screwed. Okay Pete, let’s be honest.
Leslie Heimer 14:11
I’m just kidding.
Pete Newsome 14:14
You’re not kidding though.
Leslie Heimer 14:16
I mean, I used to give, when I would have organizations ask me to speak on the work life balance. I had a little fun pie chart that would say “MYTH”. It’s a myth. There is no such thing. Some days I was a really good mom. And some days I was squealing in on two tires because I forgot about the field trip. And I was lucky to have help when my kids were young and I did outsource some of that and try to be as present as possible when dinner when it was dinnertime or on weekends.
Leslie Heimer 14:53
But I definitely was a working mom and you know, maybe I justified it when they were young by saying “Well, they’re going to see how hard mom works.” I want them to know that they’re going to have more opportunities in life because I’ve worked hard to give them some of those opportunities.
Leslie Heimer 15:11
But you know, at the end of the day, sometimes I struggle with myself like, was that being selfish? Maybe I just wanted my goals. Obviously, my kiddos are great and wonderful and fine. But you know, I think every mom will have guilt, no matter what if you’re a stay at home, mom, if you’re a working mom, but I definitely was very focused on my career when my kids were, I was not the PTA president.
Pete Newsome 15:35
Do you think, you were present, right? So I knew of you because we have sons in the same class who played football together in high school, so I’d see you there. But then it wasn’t until we connected on social media when I saw how much you do. So that’s why I kind of laughed, when you said, you’re no longer a workaholic, because outwardly you sure appear to be.
Leslie Heimer 16:00
Now my kids are like, grown. They don’t even let me play with them anymore. So maybe my recovery has regressed?
Pete Newsome 16:11
And maybe that’s not a bad thing, right? Because everything has its time and place in life.
Pete Newsome 16:16
But when you talk about guilt, do you think that’s a function of what society? Did society place that on you? Even though maybe it’s unfounded? Because what you’re describing is, that you’re describing yourself as a mentor, that motivated you growing up.
Leslie Heimer 16:35
I know, sometimes I have to talk to my therapist about that, like, do I have some challenges like my own mother? No, I do. I think you’re right, Pete society definitely makes mothers and women and fathers feel a certain way. And you know, it is hard in this world of social media, you’re constantly worried about what someone else is going to think or how someone’s going to judge you or feel.
Leslie Heimer 17:00
And, you know, it’s part of my daily affirmation journaling, that I have to operate outside of that fear, right of fear of what other people are going to think, what they are going to judge you by, but it’s a dichotomy in this world, and things are changing in our social culture, and the expectation to be a fully present full time mom, and a full time, you know, employee and client provider, it is always a juggle.
Leslie Heimer 17:31
I think that I don’t think some of those things haven’t changed as much as our culture would like for them to have changed. But I certainly do not make any apologies for the fact that I did put my career, not before my children, but it was a close second for most of their lives.
Pete Newsome 17:50
That’s a great way to phrase it. And I think it’s very commendable that you’re conscious of it and unapologetic for it as you should be. I mean, I can’t think of a better. We need good mentors right now, young people need good mentors. And we could talk for hours, if not days, I’m sure about how children are raised today, even in the last, let’s say, 10 years.
Pete Newsome 18:21
You know, what’s changed? I think our kids are sort of, you know, being right around 20. Part of that evolution, and I think half the generation was raised one way because the backlash of parenting, I’ll just say it right, the participation trophy approach that happened a little bit before ours were born.
Leslie Heimer 18:46
Pete Newsome 18:47
I think I did, as a parent, I started to see the backlash of that, I started to see the downside of that. Because look, Life is not easy.
Pete Newsome 18:56
And one of the things that I hope well, this is one of the early episodes of, this new podcast finding career zen, but I think what has to come out is acknowledging that life is not going to hand you things. Life is not going to be easy. It’s not always going to go your way and you have to fight and climb and work really hard to achieve and that’s okay, like that.
Leslie Heimer 19:25
So, yes, I can tell you that my oldest is in his 20s and starting off in college, and for all of my self depreciation of being a working mom, you know, my husband and I both felt like gosh, you know, did we prepare him well enough for just how freaking hard life is because you don’t want them to freak out when something happens that you know is going to happen because it’s life.
Leslie Heimer 19:53
I think social media, where I am so guilty of it, too. I try to be authentic and real but I’m not going to put that so and so and all the troubles and the drama, but that is real life, you know, not the highlight reel that we see on Instagram. And I think it can be such a crippling effect on all of us If we only think that it’s rainbows and unicorns every day.
Pete Newsome 20:21
Well, we’re not serving anyone well, by making them think life is easier than it is or success will happen sooner or faster than it will. Quite the opposite, and like we talked about earlier, if we had examples of how to cut corners and how to succeed quickly and easily, then we, of course, would share that but here we are still working hard because we have ambition and goals.
Pete Newsome 20:52
That should be rewarded, right? That should be celebrated, not admonished, and certainly not avoided in conversation. And I think a lot of parents experience what you’re talking about, what I’ve experienced myself, which is, I worked really hard to provide the life for my kids that I wanted them to have. But in doing so, I shield them from adversity and struggle and they think life is easier than it scares the hell out of me.
Leslie Heimer 21:20
Same Pete, like I did not want to raise two soft kiddos, you know, my husband used to say, “Stop cutting up his waffles.” And that’s like the funny metaphor in our house because stop cutting their waffles.
Pete Newsome 21:37
That could be its own podcast, it could be its own thing. “Stop cutting their waffles.” I’ll be very disappointed in you If you don’t either turn that into a book or a podcast.
Leslie Heimer 21:47
Pete Newsome 21:48
I mean, that’s really perfect. Because that same joke, I have four and my youngest, that was almost verbatim the lingering joke with him was like, are you still doing this?
Leslie Heimer 22:05
It’s just so hard. It’s just so natural to just want to love them right to death, you know?
Pete Newsome 22:12
Yeah, and I suspect as I continue to do more of these podcasts, that this is going to be a recurring theme. And so we can move on from this. But let’s just let it be said that for anyone listening who wants to achieve the kind of success Leslie’s achieved, that it hasn’t happened easily, and it didn’t happen overnight. Is that fair to say?
Leslie Heimer 22:34
It’s very fair to say lots of bumps.
Leslie Heimer 22:36
Listen, I am a third generation mortgage lender. My grandmother was the first female banking lending banker in Central Florida, it was a big deal in the 60s, right? You can imagine she was the only one wearing a skirt in the boardroom.
Leslie Heimer 22:54
So my whole life I’ve been in mortgages and real estate and we owned a mortgage company in 2008. So trust me, when I say there have been some ups and downs. And I always say that I don’t think you know, it’s never and kind of ties into our, children and, the next generation. It’s never the smartest person that was brilliant, the most innovative, creative, right? Because there’s plenty of those folks.
Leslie Heimer 23:23
But I think it is the grit and the guts and the resilience of those and that’s what makes a superstar in my opinion. Like, do you have the stomach to get back up and do it again? Every time, every single solitary time.
Pete Newsome 23:39
Each time you get up you’re better for it, you learn more, there’s a lesson that hopefully comes from it that you can avoid making that mistake again but you have to make it in the first place right?
Pete Newsome 23:39
Great advice and failure are necessary to evolve to learn and I have learned so many of those lessons painfully in the moment, over the last almost 17 years since I started my staffing company. And like I said, it’s really you don’t see it at the time. It’s impossible to but if you are committed to staying on course if failure is not an option in your mind, no matter how many times you get knocked down.
Leslie Heimer 24:22
Pete Newsome 24:24
No one else can tell you what it’s going to feel like, you have to actually do it.
Leslie Heimer 24:28
I’ve read all those books, I’ve read them all twice.
Pete Newsome 24:34
I’ve never been shot at but I assume that reading about war reading about that happening in a book seat. We all see the movies in no way represent what it’s actually like. It’s a terrible analogy.
Leslie Heimer 24:51
But it’s powerful and it’s an effective analogy.
Pete Newsome 24:54
We have to experience failure and frustration in order to, as much as anything to enjoy success, right, because, you know, and that’s another thing, where if it always seems too easy, you think you’re smarter than you are. You’re thinking you’re doing things right, even though you may just have not gotten caught yet.
Leslie Heimer 25:14
Pete Newsome 25:15
You think you are doing the right things the right way. And I also believe that it makes it harder to enjoy the true successes because if you don’t earn it, if you don’t work for it, if it doesn’t happen, by paying a price, it probably lacks meaning.
Leslie Heimer 25:32
I think that too, and I hate to be like, you know, have an old, outdated, old fashioned mentality, but you know, you do have to earn, your stripes in a way, you know, if there was a shortcut, I’m excited for somebody to find that. But my shortcut was grinding it out.
Pete Newsome 25:57
Leslie Heimer 25:58
Starting over yet again.
Pete Newsome 26:00
So with that said, what advice would you give to someone earlier in their career, who wants to go into real estate or wants to go into lending?
Leslie Heimer 26:10
Yeah, I would definitely say that relationships are so important, you know, relationships. I’ve moved a couple of times in my life. And every time you move, especially when you’re in sales, because at the end of the day you’re in sales, right?
Leslie Heimer 26:24
When you’re in sales, and I have a certain pet peeve for people that say, I’m not in sales, let me tell you something, we’re all in sales. I don’t care if your job is in it, and you’re programming code every day behind your computer, you still have to sell yourself to your boss, to your spouse, we all need those skills to market and make ourselves be marketable.
Leslie Heimer 26:49
Even Orlando, I always say we both come from probably small towns, Orlando is like the biggest small town. And the people that you know, and the reputation that you create, really does just matter, so much more than you realize. Especially when you’re first starting out. So just to try to never burn a bridge and yeah, stay late. Don’t leave before the boss. I mean, maybe that’s an outdated notion.
Leslie Heimer 27:14
But just being there, a lot of times, it’s you know, you always say like, there’s no such thing as luck. And yeah, it was lucky that maybe I was still at work at seven o’clock when they needed somebody to help on a $30 million proposal that was about to go off in an RFP to the government. But it was lucky that I was there. But I was there at seven o’clock and none of the other interns work. Those kinds of things are just how I’ve had some opportunities in life.
Pete Newsome 27:43
I heard a quote over the weekend, and the guy, who said, his name escapes me right now, I’ll put it in the show notes. But it is something along the lines of that luck is the residue of planning. And you could also say luck is a residue of planning and effort. And, you know, I like to say I’ve been lucky at times, but for each time, I think I’ve been lucky, I’ve been equally unlucky.
Leslie Heimer 28:14
Pete Newsome 28:14
With overtime with work, it does balance out. And this is consistent with I think, what seems to be a theme of our conversation, which is, you know, relationships don’t happen, meaningful relationships, quality relationships, lasting relationships, they don’t happen quickly, right? They have to earned
Leslie Heimer 28:34
Pete Newsome 28:34
Like everything else.
Leslie Heimer 28:36
That’s so true, and you have to invest in them.
Pete Newsome 28:40
You do, constantly, right? You have to feed them and water them, like anything in life, if you want them to grow and prosper. It requires attention along the way.
Pete Newsome 28:51
Would you say everyone is in sales, I think that is also something that is understated or not acknowledged enough. and to me in terms of career advancement or success. You have to be conscious of what that means.
Pete Newsome 29:10
If you’re a programmer. Well, you have to sell yourself to some degree if you’re looking to advance right, if you don’t want that, then no harm no foul. By all means, keep your head down, don’t interact with people, and don’t look to build relationships. But if you are ambitious, and you want to achieve more, that is going to almost always be tied into someone else’s opinion, someone else’s perspective of you and you have to manage it.
Leslie Heimer 29:41
You do you have to go to the Christmas party, even if you don’t feel like it. You have to, you know, be about the company. And you know, I’ve had adults, that was lateral in my position in other corporations, and maybe I was the BD girl and they had a different role and they’re like, “Oh, well, I’m, I’m not business development, I don’t have to go”?
Leslie Heimer 30:03
Well, you are because the company pays your salary because of those types of efforts. So in all to me and all large corporations or small entrepreneurial businesses, the senior leadership certainly is expected to be in business development or sales.
Pete Newsome 30:26
For sure. And I think some of these things that we’re talking about can be perceived negatively today.
Leslie Heimer 30:34
I hate that I wish that weren’t the case. You know, I don’t like that a salesperson is considered icky. It’s a, wonderfully fruitful, honorable career.
Pete Newsome 30:44
Absolutely, and anyone in sales over any period of time, you know, has to have high quality traits that are generally considered admirable in any situation, you have to be honest, you have to be you have high integrity, you have to be reliable, accessible.
Pete Newsome 31:03
I mean, these are all very attractive traits that anyone should strive to possess. But as a salesperson, all you have is your reputation. Really, and, you know, folks like us have, you know, guard that, at all cost, and can’t afford to cut out corners.
Leslie Heimer 31:17
It’s tough sometimes because there are some crazy people out there.
Leslie Heimer 31:18
Pete Newsome 31:21
There are indeed.
Leslie Heimer 31:24
You got to make them happy at the end of the day and do the right thing.
Pete Newsome 31:27
Yeah, I mean being the Boy Scout or Girl Scout at times, seems like you’re the chump too. I’ll never regret doing the right thing in any situation. That’s how you sleep well at night, too.
Leslie Heimer 31:42
It’s true, it is hard, sometimes you do feel like you’re swallowing your pride a little bit. We all want to, you know, kind of protect our ego, but I just always have to check myself when those situations arise and say, okay, Leslie, is this your ego? You know, that’s making these emotions an emotional decision.
Leslie Heimer 32:06
And really, you know, get in your head a little bit like those touchy feelings, things that we’ve talked about, to make sure that the decision I’m making is a clear one and not you know, about my own pride.
Pete Newsome 32:21
Yeah, absolutely. Those things are developed over time as well right?
Leslie Heimer 32:26
It’s a muscle.
Pete Newsome 32:27
Leslie Heimer 32:28
Another muscle that we have to work out and exercise and the more that we do it, you know.
Pete Newsome 32:34
So for anyone young listening, I think we’ve driven home the point effectively, that, you know, don’t be afraid of hard work, success doesn’t happen overnight, and focus on building relationships and your reputation along the way.
Pete Newsome 32:48
So with all of that said, just a couple of more questions, if you went back and gave yourself advice, 18 year old Leslie, you are on a time machine? What would you say to her?
Leslie Heimer 32:59
I would say this is probably a very specific answer. I mean, of course, I’d say all the things as you know, stop plucking your eyebrows so much. Fashion, I had to get a little beauty tip in there,
Pete Newsome 33:12
You only get one thing to say and that’s how you’re going to blow your chance.
Leslie Heimer 33:16
I will say very specifically if there are any entrepreneurial folks out there. In 2008, we allowed our hope to be a strategy.
Leslie Heimer 33:29
Hope is not a strategy for business. And, you know, as much as all of those manifestations and think positive thinking, you can’t just keep flooding your own resources and depleting your own resources before you make hard decisions.
Leslie Heimer 33:50
That’s just something that, I did learn and it’s one of those things that roll off the tongue very easily. But hope is not always a strategy. So surround yourself with the right you know, advice, the right team, the right people who are not just going to be like yes, men, but are experts in their field that can help you kind of navigate the ship.
Pete Newsome 34:11
What would you have said to 18 year old Leslie, in particular about 2008, and how to anticipate that.
Leslie Heimer 34:19
Like I definitely would have shut it down quicker. You know, I would have reeled in the reins quicker unfortunately it is what it is I would have helped my team find new career paths quicker.
Pete Newsome 34:33
So I was two years into starting Four Corner, my staffing company, and any dime I had was tied up in that it which is to say I had no extra ones. And everyone around me was a real estate genius. Everyone was just printing money and it seemed too good to be true.
Pete Newsome 34:57
Which of course we found out it was.
Leslie Heimer 34:59
Pete Newsome 35:00
I kind of feel like that again. Do you think we may be this is going in a little different direction? But how do you feel about where we are right now? I just saw a chart the other day that showed the housing price to median income is higher right now, the ratio is higher than it was in 2008.
Leslie Heimer 35:19
Yeah, I do think it’s a very different problem. I, tongue in cheek say that I was responsible for half the foreclosures in Central Florida in 2008.
Pete Newsome 35:30
Leslie Heimer 35:35
Those were the rules, the lending laws were very different. And you could buy a house and I would give you hundreds of 1000s of dollars, even if you did not have on paper a way to repay that. So it was just a bit obviously such a complex industry.
Leslie Heimer 35:49
But the problem was very different. The credit problem was very different. And now the pendulum has swung the complete opposite with the Dodd Frank Act. Now, underwriting guidelines are brutal. So to me the difference in this housing situation, most people have a ton of equity, because they’ve been borrowing way below their debt to income ratio, because of how strict the underwriting guidelines are.
Leslie Heimer 36:14
That’s not to say that I don’t think that there is a recession or correction happening with the housing prices. But I don’t think it is to say that and trust me, the PTSD that I have is serious Pete. So I would definitely tell you if you know, It certainly keeps me up at night, I just think it’s a different problem. So I don’t think it will look the same.
Leslie Heimer 36:36
But I do anticipate, you know, that the inflation and the insanity that’s happening in the housing market has to change. So I certainly, personally, am being more cautious. But the credit issue is not what it was in 2008, everybody is sitting on a ton of equity. So that’s just like a different scenario.
Pete Newsome 36:58
Yeah, I’ll tell you more about it later. But there was, I needed to get a loan for the staffing business as it started to grow back in 2007. And I called SunTrust, who was my mortgage issuer at the time, and I said, hey, I need a home equity loan and or a line of credit. And they said, “How much do you want?”
Pete Newsome 37:17
I said how much can I get? And they said you can get up to 249,000 without an appraisal. I said, Okay, sounds good. What do I need to do? Come down, and sign a couple of papers. And by that afternoon, I was handed a checkbook with the equivalent of 250k.
Leslie Heimer 37:34
Without an appraisal?
Pete Newsome 37:36
Absolutely, no logical conclusion had that much equity in my home
Leslie Heimer 37:41
Over and over again. I mean, so just being on the lending side, that helps me have a little peace at night because that would never happen.
Leslie Heimer 37:52
It is so hard to get financing nowadays, even if you got millions of dollars in the bank, that still doesn’t mean you’re, you know, it’s just the pendulum is like the opposite. They don’t allow us to lend over 80% of the appraisal, like on and on and on. So, if that helps you feel a little more comfortable that housing part of that. And the credit is not a credit bubble.
Pete Newsome 38:17
Well, who can you help? Who should call you and what should they call you for?
Leslie Heimer 38:20
Um, I certainly love helping first time homebuyers. I know, this being a zen gig career kind of podcast. I think if our listening demographic are younger, I think it is important for young people to build their credit even while they’re in college.
Leslie Heimer 38:40
So one great tip I always have for kids in their 20s, 19, or 18, you can buy a house, is to let your parents add you as an authorized signer to their credit cards. So you can start building credit and have a great credit score and understand money, they don’t teach you these things in school, which is very frustrating to me.
Leslie Heimer 39:02
But managing your financing, paying your own bills, paying a credit card bill, even if it’s a very small credit card, just to build that credit. And, you know, begin to understand how those things look as an adult, as you move forward.
Leslie Heimer 39:17
I know, those things also evolved with generations not wanting someone to rent someone to buy. But we all know that renting is crazy nowadays, and I don’t think that will change just based sheer on the demand, certainly in Florida. I don’t think the rent prices will go down. So I would love to help counsel if anybody wanted to prepare to buy a home anytime in the future, but it’s important to build your credit when you’re young.
Pete Newsome 39:42
So this is great advice and something I didn’t know, that I’m not doing. I mean, my oldest just graduated from college. She’s 22, she’s entering the workforce and she’s going to want to buy a house at some point. And that credit, building of credit is something that plagued me, I was the guy who signed up for the free credit t-shirt.
Pete Newsome 40:05
They had my fraternity logo on the credit card in college and didn’t pay it for two years. Yeah, that’s a different story.
Pete Newsome 40:14
So yeah, just say that one more time, if you could. And I think this should be in chapter one of stopped cutting their waffles, I’m a partner in this effort now.
Leslie Heimer 40:24
Residuals coming your way.
Pete Newsome 40:28
So explain it one more time briefly, if you could.
Leslie Heimer 40:30
Yeah, you’ll have your you know, any students or graduates listening, just have your parents add you as an authorized signer to their credit cards. So your parents if they have good credit, your parents assuming they have established credit.
Leslie Heimer 40:46
So credit algorithms look at not only the repayment history, but even more importantly, the history, the length of time that you have had credit, has been a good steward of your finances, and are managing available money.
Leslie Heimer 41:03
So what the most powerful needle mover in a credit algorithm is showing that you, “Leslie Heimer, you have access to $1,000. But you’re only spending 100.” That is the formula for perfect credit. If you have $1,000, and you’re spending 999, you’re probably you’re living outside your means, right? You’re not managing your finances well.
Leslie Heimer 41:25
So adding a co-authorized signer to your credit card will then allow all of that history to be on their credit report.
Pete Newsome 41:35
Wonderful, wow that’s huge. And I don’t know how I didn’t know that because it seems very important.
Leslie Heimer 41:42
Thank you for that feedback. I need to make a TikTok!
Pete Newsome 41:48
Well, I think we just did?
Leslie Heimer 41:50
Pete Newsome 41:52
Alright, so we’re at the time, I promised I’d let you go. But one more question.
Pete Newsome 41:58
Leslie, at this point where you are now have you found career zen?
Leslie Heimer 42:02
You know what? I think I have? It only occurred to me when you asked me, the first question of our episode is, am I a boss and you know what, I am and having some confidence and enough bruises and scars to know what you’ve been through, you only get confidence through that.
Leslie Heimer 42:22
That is kind of my career zen to be able to feel finally, no imposter syndrome, and, know that every day that I have the tools no matter what the market does to meet the goals that I have for myself.
Pete Newsome 42:37
Awesome, well from my perspective, what I’ve seen and why I was so eager to have you on and really appreciate you agreeing to come on today is what I see you do on social media is just such a powerful, just awesome thing to see.
Pete Newsome 42:55
Because you’re showing everyone who you are professionally and financially, you’re professionally and personally, you’re blurring the two things together, which I have always believed is impossible not to because you’re Leslie.
Pete Newsome 43:09
And that’s who you are. And this is who you’re going to get. So I can just tell you, from what I’ve seen, your energy and enthusiasm for what you do is enviable, and, you know, I know you’re a great mentor for your boys.
Leslie Heimer 43:25
Thank you so much, Pete. That means a lot because I just think the world of you so coming from you that truly is, I appreciate that.
Pete Newsome 43:33
Well back at you. I appreciate that. So thank you so much, Leslie for coming on today. We’re going to put your contact information in the show notes so everyone knows how to get ahold of you. And I look forward to doing this again soon
Leslie Heimer 43:45
Yeah, this was so fun, thank you.
Pete Newsome 43:47
We’ll come back on so thanks for listening everyone. Have a great rest of your day please go on and rate and review the podcast. We certainly would appreciate it and have a wonderful and safe rest of your day. Thanks for listening