Shelly Smee is a Realtor, Managing Broker, world class athlete, artist, and poet.
What makes an opportunity exciting to you – in business or in life?
Excitement for me comes from the anticipation of heading to a new destination (geographic or internal). The giddy sensation that is a mixture of determination and trepidation when attempting a new skill, that’s what drives me. I have always gravitated towards doing things that are scary and or difficult. From my athletic pursuits to my artistic endeavours, I thrive in competitive environments. I have come to realize the constant in what brings me joy is the attempt to either break free of, or control matter against gravity. From plunging 33 feet off a 10 M tower to spinning molten glass, gravity can be your best friend or your worst enemy. I think it is a natural inclination for humans to want to escape the force of gravity. It explains our pursuit of space and the sheer joy of swinging on a swing. When life gets heavy, it’s the Gravity of the situation we need to assess and discover a way of being that makes us feel lighter, whether that is letting go, or holding on, is the yin and yang of life that I find so exciting.
What has been the greatest shift in your career or life and how did you navigate through it?
I think that shift is currently the pupa in the chrysalis. I am navigating some deep waters in this regard swimming towards my 3rd act. I am really listening to my heart and making choices based not on the doing but the being. I have achieved every professional goal I have set for myself in the last 26 years, so it’s now time to switch it up, and forming a Real Estate team is a big part of this. (Integrity Real Estate Group). I feel very fortunate to have 2 amazing men on my team, both seasoned Realtors who share the same values and commitment to service as me. It has been a huge revelation how much synergy can be created by joining forces and we are all having the most successful year of our careers in 2021!
Being in service to others constantly can erode your boundaries and being an entrepreneur is 24-7-365. 2021 is about paring down to the tasks that are the core of what I want my business to look like for the next 5 years. This is as far ahead as I’m willing to look right now. This will give me more personal time to write and create. Covid has certainly shown us that life can drastically change in an instant, so much of our current Real Estate market is being driven by the fundamental shift in what home means to people right now.
What has been your favourite experience you love to share?
Wow, this is a hard one, I have travelled a lot solo. I think going to Beijing for the 2008 Olympics (as a tourist) and getting on the wrong bus after the Women’s 10m platform final probably was the most praying I’ve done in another country. I hopped on the bus I thought was going to the subway station, but it turned the other way and did not stop for a long time. The full bus went further and further into the suburbs as one by one people got off the bus and at one point a lady shouted something which I am sure was, “hey everybody this silly tourist got on the wrong bus, does anybody speak English to tell her what to do?” By this point, there were maybe five people on the bus and a man (who was a professor of English LOL) told me the bus driver would call me a cab at the bus depot. It took many, many calls to find a cab that would come at 1 a.m. to the bus barn and drive me all the way to the other side of the outer ring road to my hotel. When the cab showed up it was a 30-year-old silver Honda, with a broken windshield, no suspension and zero cushion left on the seats, and makeshift seat belts made out of yellow plastic rope. My driver had few teeth, as he smiled and showed me his official cab license and I showed him the brochure for my Holiday Inn Express…his face dropped… and off we sped for 90 minutes, me praying the whole time we would not run out of gas or that the car would just fall apart. When we got to the hotel, he got out a small machine that spits out a tape receipt for my fare….it was the equivalent of six Canadian dollars, I was amazed and so grateful to have made it back I gave him what I thought was a decent tip (math under stress is not my superpower). He gave me a shocked look and pointed to his children’s photos and was saying something I don’t know what, but he was super nervous, practically crying, and did not want to take the money. I insisted. The next morning in telling my tale to my breakfast table mates, one of the ladies who was from Singapore gave me heck, as apparently the drivers could be fined for accepting tips (it was some tourist protection thing). And it turned out what I thought was a decent tip was actually more than six months’ wages!!! I was completely floored. My privilege and ignorance of cultural differences had never been more starkly thrown in my face. To this day I think about him and hope he was able to provide something for his family that he might never have had the chance to have. For me it was a harrowing cab ride, for that man, it may have helped buy medicine or school for his kids. I will never know but I think of this situation whenever I am feeling upset about something and need to get back to being grateful. We are so blessed to be women living in Canada, able to have careers, make our own money, and travel freely.
What are you up to right now that people should know about?
For this submission, I chose my birthday, June 1. The energy of a personal new year is always a mix of reflection and projection. I am writing this at the last minute, so grateful to be right where I am supposed to be, this is the knowledge of the 50s and I am going to embrace it 100%.
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