At the core of Keller Williams is a conviction that who you are in business with matters and that the company we keep can contribute to our lives in untold ways. To illustrate this, Nicole DeMiglio shares how a single act of kindness was paid forward in spades, creating a ripple effect of generosity true to the culture of KW.
The not-so-secret formula to a strong organizational culture is a company’s unique blend of mission, vision, value, and of course its people. Of all these elements, it is the people who most greatly impact a caring culture. I experience and benefit from the culture at Keller Williams daily because of the people who are here: my mentor, my coach, my colleagues, my peers in my organization. Through the last seven years, there is one particular event which showed me what it meant to be part of something that is bigger than myself.
In 2012, I joined Keller Williams as a part-time transaction coordinator during a pivotal time in my life. I was a single parent dealing with the aftermath of divorce and finances were tight. An agent took a chance on me and brought me into his team on a leap of faith. The opportunity helped put me on the path to financial security and taught me how to build my own business. Today, I serve as the director of education for Fulcrum Properties Group and am a certified KW MAPS Business Coach. But this isn’t the experience that exemplified the Keller Williams culture; something completely unexpected and generous happened soon after, and it would not only change my life, it would plant a seed in my children as well.
“No More Excuses”
On a typical day in 2017, I was viewing leadership videos in a KW Executive Assistants Mastermind Facebook group and decided to post a comment. The post was encouraging people to plan their business around their vacations and not the other way around. The idea being that we have to live just as much, if not more, than we work. “Balance and vacation,” I thought to myself – sure, that’s easy for others but not for single parents like me. I posted a response saying this was a good reminder and something I’d like to work on, especially as a single parent with limited financial means. A mega agent in the group responded to me saying, “No more excuses. Pick a place and I’ll pay for you to go.” I was astonished. This couldn’t be real, but it was real and he was serious. “Who would be this generous?” I asked myself.
I told him I always dreamed of taking my girls to Hawaii someday and he said, “Done! Book it and my assistant will help you.” I couldn’t believe it – he bought airfare and hotel for me and my girls. We were going to Hawaii; not someday, but today.
Once the trip was booked, my own amazing team stepped forward and contributed to the trip excursions, making this not only the trip of a lifetime, but the lesson of a lifetime as well.
This was the Keller Williams culture at work.
Paying It Forward
My girls and I often revel in the joy that week brought us. I was living behind the limiting belief that I couldn’t afford to take them on a vacation. I told myself stories that vacations were only possible for other people, not for us. I was living for someday, not today. The trip transformed my family beyond the memories we made on the beaches of Hawaii. It showed my girls what it means to live a generous and abundant life. We came home really believing life has no limits.
Ever since the trip that transformed us, I have wanted to pay it forward.
This year, I helped form “Vacation Possible” – a program of the Fulcrum Foundation, the nonprofit endeavor of Fulcrum Properties Group. The Fulcrum Foundation gives back to the community it serves by way of sharing a portion of each commission earned. Vacation Possible is an extension of this giving that will afford a handful of families the experience of a life-changing vacation, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to do so. After all, a caring culture is about giving back and investing in people; not only making your big dreams come to life for you, but helping others with theirs as well.
Through the contributions of generous people, several lucky families will finally get the chance to experience the vacation they never thought possible, just like I did. Yes, we are in real estate to help people buy and sell homes, but we are also with Keller Williams, and that means we are here to build careers worth having, businesses worth owning, lives worth living, experiences worth giving, and legacies worth leaving.
Together, the possibilities are limitless.