We had the good fortune of connecting with Kat Cannella and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kat, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
It’s all mish-mash and tangled now; there’s no such thing as simply work time or life time. I had a hard time coming to terms with this, especially after making the leap to real estate. While I’d like to be able neatly delineate my calendar, the truth is that neither my business needs nor my family needs work that way in real life. And largely that’s okay – I kind of like being able to flit from a showing appointment, to the gym to teach a class, to the PTA book fair at my kid’s school, to the office to work on a contract. And it’s all that intertwangling of personal and professional that adds value to both ends of the spectrum. It’s not so much a balancing act as it is a juggling act. I’ve gotten pretty good at triaging my time. I’ve also mostly accepted the the fact that you cannot do everything you’d like to, do them well, and all at the same time. So I have to make a thousand little choices on what needs priority at that moment, and live with the fall out. More often than not though, it’s my family that gets the short end of the stick, so I really try to keep my Sundays free in order to make time for the people that matter most in my life.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a Realtor, licensed in GA and AL. A little over 3 years ago I quit a job I loved doing, with people I loved working with, in order to create a life that would allow me to spend more time with my family and earn more income. People think being a real estate agent is easy and lucrative – you open some doors, and collect a fat commission at closing. The reality is much, MUCH different and boy did I learn that the hard way (as I am wont to do). While your schedule is yours to manage in theory, in practice you are at the beck and call of clients and vendors. If a client works 9-6 and can only go on showings after 7p, guess what? You’re showing houses long after dark. If the electrician can only squeeze you in this ONE day, you’re jumping through hoops to make sure he can get in the home to make the repairs. It is priceless, however, the feeling when your clients finally close on their first home and you know that you helped make that family’s dream turn into reality.

Some of the lessons I’ve learned are practical: clear communication up front solves a lot of issues before they become problems. It’s better to ask questions now than to clean up a situation later. A smile and a helpful mindset can go a long way towards establishing a relationship. If you can throw money at it and make it go away, it’s not much of a problem.

Some of the lessons hit a little deeper: Not everyone is going to like me, and that’s okay. It is a two-way street in business relationships, and I have just as much right as anyone to decline working with someone. I can’t fix all my client’s problems for them, and it’s not my job to internalize them either. I don’t have to pretend to be something I’m not to be successful.

I’m a pretty relaxed person, honest to a fault, and genuinely interested in a whole lot of things. I look for silver linings and I love to celebrate little wins with others. This has given me a broad network of friends and acquaintances, and I rely on them to keep me grounded and in the know. I think this easy-going nature has opened a lot of doors for me, more than have ever been locked because I didn’t fit a certain image. It’s taken me this long to realize that my strengths lie in the things that I am most self-conscious about – whether people like me, whether I’m being kind and helpful, whether I make a difference at all. When you stop worrying about what other people think, and focus on the things that are important to you, most of the drama goes away and things start falling into place in your life.

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.
Honestly, we’d probably do a lot of couch sitting and holding down bar tops, as I’m fortunate to have ride or die friends that I’ve known since grade school still an active part of my life. But if we were to see the all sights and do all the things, we’d probably spend a fair amount time on Broadway making our way through the dozens of local food and drink joints that live Uptown. We would raft the Hooch and zip to and fro across the river. We’d might throw some axes, do a paint-and-sip kind of thing, or maybe visit the museum. I would definitely drag them to the gym with me for a class at some point. Depending on the season, there’s a good chance we’d find a neighborhood pool to lay by for a while.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Oh man. There are a million people who have had an impact on me and I’d be silly to try to choose just one. To every person who has ever shared a word of a encouragement when you saw someone doubting their value, who has ever lifted up someone else and let the light shine on them for a while – you the real MVP. I guess my personal winds beneath my wings would be my husband and my mother-in-law. My husband Bobby keeps me sane when my to-do list grows longer than my energy reserves can maintain. My mother-in-law Sue is a blessing, and I am so lucky to have her support all my endeavors.

Website: katcannella.com

Instagram: @katcansella

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katcannella/

Facebook: facebook.com/katcansella

Image Credits
John Pyle, Katie Watson, Bill Adams, Victoria Neundorfer

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