We had the good fortune of connecting with JO GIPSON and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jo, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk taking is simply decision making. Many years ago, I left a comfortable, corporate job to start my first business. It required I leverage all my assets, risking every dollar I’d ever saved. On the surface that sounds risky, but I had the encouragement of those closest to me. I researched all of the “what ifs” and relied on a small pool of people who had successfully started businesses before me. I knew my family wouldn’t let me go homeless (that’s a great safety net). After many sleepless nights I signed for the bank loan and all of the responsibility. Then… nothing bad happened. Through ups and downs, the business succeeded. Now, I have had three businesses under my belt and the biggest lesson regarding risk is, “What looks like a giant precipice in front of you that requires a huge leap of faith, is really a small step – just a step in the right direction. After studying your options and making your plans, – take the step. It’s just another step.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am a realtor (an Associate Broker) and have a small team who help buyers secure their dreams and sellers navigate the challenges of selling a property. Virtually everyone knows or is related to someone in real estate. If you toss a rock, you are likely to hit one or two. The entry into our profession is pretty basic, nothing like earning my graduate degree but likely as useful. The challenge is staying in and growing a business. I was concerned that being an introvert would hurt me. I thought I’d need to be hob-knobbing with any and everyone – which wasn’t true. First, I am genuinely interested in people. One of the favorite parts of my career is the vast variety of people I get to know. I love details and puzzle solving. Selling a property can have a hundred moving parts, I enjoy making order of chaos and creating a clear path for our clients. My favorite part of real estate is negotiating. It is fascinating to figure out what the other entity finds important and use that information to get exactly what your client wants or more. I would like for people to know realtors are not all the same. My team and I are relentless about quality client service such as picking up the phone (a dying art), knowing excellent vendors/contractors, maintaining great relationships with our colleagues (which is vital in challenging markets) and working to satisfy our clients regardless of the outcome.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
When friends were visiting from the Netherlands we spent a few days in Savannah on the river and visited Tybee Island then went up to our cabin in North Ga near Lake Chatuge to experience the beautiful yet vast differences of Georgia in a space about the same as their entire country, actually larger. A great Atlanta day includes playing miniature golf and arcade games at the top of Ponce City Market, dinner at La Tavola in Virginia-Highland, stroll the botanical gardens at an Evening in the Gardens (Atlanta Botanical Gardens) and finish with a drink at the bar at The Clermont’s Tiny Lou’s.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
What I am I owe to my parents. I won the lottery at birth and had support and encouragement to do and be whatever I set to my mind. My parents exemplified honesty, integrity and kindness, characteristics I hold in the highest esteem. There have been many but three books that influenced me are Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird” with its idea that, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…” In my early adult life it was Arthur Frommer’s “Europe on $25.00 a Day” which I accomplished on less than that. The gift of travel opened my eyes to the similarities of people who look, sound and live differently than me. Travel is such a gift. Whatever you experience remains a part of you. In terms of my career my “go to” book is Chris Voss’ “Never Split The Difference” which is not about being stingy but about the art of negotiations. I use aspects of this every day and refer to it often.
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