Join The Empowering Process Podcast host, Gail Kraft, and her guest Chris Devincetis, co-founder of Legendary Real Estate Services, as he openly talks about Trust and The Imposter Syndrome.
“…I have to forgive myself for the bad choices that I made from the standpoint of not being the best in the relationship, for maybe closing the doors on the real estate business when I probably could have waited it out for a year or two fairly easily, and forgiving my ex for her failings, and just coming to terms with the fact that that’s the past.
… I think the biggest thing that happened was is I had to confront, really, fear and self-doubt. My self-doubt was a big part of it because when you feel like you’re incredibly valuable and then somebody completely devalues who you are, you can cop the attitude of you don’t know what you’re missing or you don’t know what I’m all about. I didn’t go there, but what I did do was I kind of went into frustration and anger…[Until] I finally got to a place of trust”
For more information you can contact Chris for more information at: D&D Global Marketing – firstname.lastname@example.org
Gail Kraft: Well, hello everybody it’s Gail Kraft here again from the Empowering Process Podcast. Who I have with me is a very dear friend of mine, Chris DeVincentis. I can never say your name.
Chris DeVincentis: That’s okay. [laughs] I guess it’s how you say it. It’s DeVincentis.
Gail: DeVincentis. Oh my God. I love it, and yes, he is Italian, and Chris has a story for us. And again, you know this past, year this Covid– this is not specific, but Covid really pushed him to the limit. I would love for him to share. He has this new business that he’s starting called Legendary Real Estate Services and its services. He’s going to talk about how he got here, about his pain. He’s going to talk about what it was like to have gut-wrenching experiences and what it was like to face those demons that we kind of hide from, maybe even a little bit of the Imposter Syndrome. Welcome, Chris. It’s great to have you with us.
Chris: Gail, thank you. Yes, it’s great to be here. Great to see you after a fair amount of time of just seeing you online and not connecting in person, so this is pretty fun, it really is.
Gail: I know, so we call this in person now. Isn’t that hilarious? [laughs]
Chris: Yes. Yes, it is. I guess it takes on a whole new definition, doesn’t it?
Gail: It does. It does. Tell us a little bit. We had 2020 come and shocked us all into the need to– the word is pivot, but it’s really reinventing ourselves and re-evaluating our priorities and getting to know who we are at a deeper level. Not only did the isolation of Covid hit you, but you had personal, professional emotional whammies. Let’s talk a little bit about that if you will.
Chris: Yes. Sure. Sure. I live in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and I’ve been here most of my life. My folks are just a little east of here in Kenosha. Back when I got out of college– a few years out of college, I got into real estate and about a year and a half in, I opened a ReMax franchise that I ran for about 18 years with a team. We did really, really well with that and then the 2007-8 economic downturn hit. That was actually a really fun time because I own a bunch of real estate and got a divorce all the same time. So [chuckles] I was no stranger to pain. That was my first introduction to mega pain all at one time and-
Gail: Just do it all together, right?
Chris: Yes, if you want to put a lot on your plate all in one 12-month period, that’s the time to do it. In difficult times like that you make choices and reflecting back on those choices– I think the biggest thing I learned from all of that, which came to serve me now in 2020, was that I have to forgive. I have to forgive myself for the bad choices that I made from the standpoint of not being the best in the relationship, for maybe closing the doors on the real estate business when I probably could have waited it out for a year or two fairly easily, and forgiving my ex for her failings, and just coming to terms with the fact that that’s the past.
The past doesn’t equal the future. The future can be as bright as you want to make it. In taking a year off in 2008 to do some network marketing, and coaching and training at a company that it was becoming quite successful, which really blended my sales skills, but also with my leadership skills that I honed there. I got an opportunity to run and manage a Regional Real Estate company that has seven offices and a hundred agents. I did that for 11 years and then Covid hit –[laughter]
– and then the unexpected happened at that point. Everybody was scrambling in business. Some companies like Compass were laying off. They just had laid off like 350 people which was 10% of their staff, so everybody was panicking, and I got let go. That was in the very end of March of 2020 and so, really, April 1st is kind of my Benchmark date for that and I had built these amazing relationships. I had coached and trained all the agents, selling a hundred homes a year with ReMax. We broke a lot of barriers in the marketplace, I mean, nobody had ever sold a hundred homes. We did it for 15 years and then it’s like a six-minute mile. Once you do it, other people start doing it.
All of a sudden people that did 20 are now doing 50 and they see what’s possible. That was interesting to witness, but I brought that to the coaching and training of real estate. The leadership that I did on like national conference calls and things like that in the network marketing business just allowed me to gain a lot more courage speaking in front of people and comfort speaking in front of people. So, in the 11 years, doing a lot of sales meetings, quarterly meetings, award banquets, you know, things like that. It just
Tied it all together nicely, but it was honestly mostly a shock. When I got let go in April, there were little hints on the wall, but at the same time it was– the financial part of it was a big part of it– at least the stimulus behind it. I found myself as a serial entrepreneur gone corporate, but now unemployed.
That brought about you know– as strange to the sounds– it’s quite a mix it brought about some relief, some regret. It brought about some fear because I knew I could turn to this industry and go back on listing and selling real estate, but I also knew that I was a coach and trainer. At one time, had sold a tremendous amount of homes and I saw where this Market was headed with Covid not knowing how that would pan out. If you’re the coach and trainer, you better succeed.
Gail: Whatever that word means, by the way.
Chris: It does. It’s whatever means and if it means selling 20 homes in my first year or 50 homes in my first year– whatever it means, but it doesn’t mean opening your own company and then in two years closing your company. That’s kind of what it doesn’t mean in my mind. I had to know that I really wanted to do it too, which fortunately I really did, so when we made the commitment to do it, we opened the company up. We put the infrastructure in place– all the back office stuff. We started listing and selling real estate and we’ve been having some good success at it, but I want to talk about some of the challenges that we had and the challenges honestly came from me.
My significant other was also my business partner. While she has very limited experience in real estate, she has incredible knowledge about psychology, incredible knowledge about business, and she saw things in me that she had never seen before. Now, she knows it was pretty traumatic– what had happened. For a period of time, you mourn it and that comes in a variety of different ways. It can come in fear. It can come in anger. It can come in just commiserating with the people that you left or you know saying, “God, I can’t believe you’re gone.” And you’re like “yeah, I know that.” so and so and-
Gail: you’re going to be, “Sorry, this place is going to be no good without you.”
Chris: Yes, you realize how human you are at that point. For all the life that I’ve lived and all the hard things I went through, you kind of go through that whole cycle of emotions. Throughout that, I think the biggest thing that happened was is I had to confront, really, fear and self-doubt. My self-doubt was a big part of it because when you feel like you’re incredibly valuable and then somebody completely devalues who you are, you can cop the attitude of you don’t know what you’re missing, or you don’t know what I’m all about. I didn’t go there, but what I did do was I kind of went into frustration and anger. I was the guy at an NLP seminar one time who said, “I don’t get angry.”
Gail: [laughs] That’s right. You were.
Chris: Oh, yes. Oh, yes.
Gail: Well, you can’t get that, didn’t you?
Chris: Oh, yes. We still laugh about that. We do. We laugh about that all the time. What a stupid comment that. I tend to be a type of person– I can let go of things fairly quickly, but that isn’t always healthy because you’re holding them in. You’re not talking about them.
Jade, my significant other and business partner gave me the space to be able to just talk openly because– I finally got to a place of trust that she was it for me to be able to talk openly to about how I feel, and how I’m hurting, and how I’m really thrilled about what we’re doing. But, at the same time I still have this attachment over here to what I was doing, and who I was there, and the friends that I made– the people that I made that I still care a lot about, and we’re still coaching and training them through October.
I still can’t decide if that was healthy or unhealthy. It was healthy financially. It might have been unhealthy from a standpoint of disconnecting and moving forward faster, because it was just a lot of tentacles for a long period of time.
Gail: Sometimes we have to tread water before we can step out into a new ocean, right?
Chris: Yes. Yes. In my words it kind of created a soft landing. It was kind of what it did, which for me was more healthy because I’m really a people person. I went from being around 40 to 60 people all day who were in and out in, and out asking questions, and so on, to isolation– as we all did, really. That also, actually, was a perspective thing that I think helped me get through it is I went into isolation at the same time everybody had to go into isolation.
Gail: What a time, huh?
Chris: Yes. Yes, so that perspective of that helped me, I think, get through it in a more healthy way and I am a type of person I love people, but I’m one of those– we’re called like extroverted introverts. I love being around people, but it’ll be like hell trying to get me to the party.
It’s like I’m the guy that never wants to go, but when I go, I have the best time. That’s what I call it– an extroverted introvert. I’m a high I on the disc personality test and it drives Jade crazy because I always say, “We’ll be here for an hour” and I’m there for three.
Gail: She knows that about you now.[laughter]
Chris: She does. She definitely does, but she was so patient. That’s the part about this that I value so much. Quite a while back, she told me about what she was looking for in a human being, in a significant other and it was loyalty, honor, trust, and all those things. Those are things that were broken with me with my prior employer.
I found that her values and my values are very, very, very much in alignment. As different as we are, we’re the same in our core as many of us are. She gave me the permission and I knew I could trust her a hundred percent that I can be open with her about what I was feeling and what I was thinking, because it was manifesting in ways that were unhealthy.
We would have our Monday morning meetings for organization, priorities, and things like that. I started out by always playing this card with her like, you know Jade I’ve been doing this for 30 years.
Gail: Did she put up with it? Jade? She really gave you space. [laughs]
Chris: No. She gave me the space after that because I had presented that enough times that it became beyond annoying. It became almost– like I’m no better than her. I’m no smarter than her. I’m no more knowledgeable than her. I know a certain aspect of an industry, but through that you can’t discount somebody’s ideas and somebody’s voice and things like that. I was kind of acting like this person I would never want to work with or work for and it was just like a manifestation of the pain, of the frustration, of the anger.
All those things kind of coming out and she was it because she was with me every day. After a really rough six-month period of time, I just opened up and was just kind of raw and real and she was so grateful that I finally kind of broke that dam open and let it come out– about the hurt, the anger, the mistrust. Those things that you tend to– I think I was grappling with it in my own way, but once they started kind of manifesting outwardly towards somebody else– was very unhealthy from a personal relationship, much less a business relationship.
I think we started doubting if we could work together. She realized it was more work-related than personal, but at the same time it was tainting everything and it was becoming– she made me just become real introspective about it and look in a mirror and just acknowledge and become highly aware of “Why are you saying what you’re saying” “Why are you being who you’re being when all I’m trying to do is help and give ideas?” and things like that. It was just lashing out, crying out, lashing out whatever you want to say.
For somebody who has done great things in an industry, I was grappling with emotions that I really hadn’t felt for a long time. I kind of felt on an island by myself and I realized that here’s this incredible life support system right in front of me who I can talk to, I can use as sounding board, I can be vulnerable with, and I started doing that.
That for me was a turning point and the thing that I think really accelerated is her acknowledgement of– you know, that was really brave and I can’t even tell you– you’re not just at [unintelligible 00:16:26] I can’t even tell you what that means to me– that you were so brave to finally come out and say that, and do that, and tell me.
The acknowledgment of her of my vulnerability was just encouraging more vulnerability and so that opened up the opportunity for me to just get settled, and get much more balanced, and put things back in perspective, and not let my emotions rule the hour, literally, because that’s what it did.
Furthermore, if I did it towards her, it was compounded because now that person who’s significant to me– it’s not just a business. The role that I now play, that’s so different than what I was. But now, it’s our relationship too that I’m putting In harm’s way and making very unsettled and unstable for no reason– literally, no reason. I was channeling it in the wrong direction and she allowed me to just really be open and vulnerable about saying what I’m really feeling and I really need that. I really needed that.
Gail: Seriously. What’s interesting Chris is– and I mentioned this in a few of my podcast– one of the things I do with my clients as I talk about the fact that we make shit up in our head, and it’s because our brain needs a full story and we never get a full story. You don’t know the full story of why you were laid off. You are just making stuff up, right? She doesn’t know the full story about what you’re going through, so she’s making stuff up, right?
Until you are able to put it out there on the table and actually talk about stuff that you are making up in your head and what it’s doing to you, it’s only then that you can say, “Well, that’s not a true story.” Right? because this Imposter Syndrome that you are experiencing, this doubt about your capability is not a true story.
Chris: Yes. No, it’s not. So many times wasn’t and my realization of that– and it’s so funny because I say that to agents all the time. I’m like, yeah agents are– there’s just these high-flying emotions and bundle of emotions and I’m just like, you know, quit making shit up, you’re making that up, and by the way, what you think is going to happen, that’s not the going to be what’s going to happen. A hundred different things could happen or a combination of all of those things, so stop it.
When you’re put in a situation where you don’t have closure or completion of a story, you end up doing the same thing, because you’re human and you need that feeling and you don’t know.
Gail: You don’t know.
Chris: No, you don’t know.
Gail: You need a story. You need a story.
Chris: Yes, and with Jade’s background she was the first one to just call me out on that.
She’ll call you out on anything which is super human to do that. I mean it’s a superpower of hers and people who meet her realize that’s a superpower of hers and they really love her for it. But it helped me get through it tremendously and now we’re in a place where it’s golden. I mean, it’s just golden. It’s so great to have somebody. I came to a place where I came to realize you might have 30 years in the business, but this is one of the smartest people you’ve ever known, who has amazing ideas.
When I had still anger, frustration– I wasn’t being open– I immediately threw her ideas like I put a wall up. Her idea can’t be valid because I’m thinking something different and I know. Now, the acceptance of her ideas– like a lot of times, the first thing I would do is deny it and then all of a sudden, I’d agree with it. Now, I’m getting to the point where I just agree with it and I go like that’s a great idea. It’s been stages but we’ve gotten to a point now and it’s been a year, which– I’m impressed. We made it through and it’s just a place now where there’s a lot of opportunity, and we’ve got a lot of great things going, and we’re doing a lot of business.
She is a just an amazing business partner to have. I’ve learned that the thing that’s most important to me about other people needs to also be what’s most important to other people about me and that’s to trust. So, I’m out the other end of the cycle and just feeling totally on fire about what we’re doing, and where we’re headed, and the future. It’s an amazing time to be very seasoned professional in this, but it’s also really good to have somebody who’s not and they have fresh ideas.
Gail: It’s fresh time. It’s fresh time. The whole purpose of last year was not to pivot, but to break down preconceived ideas as to what works and what doesn’t– To allow fresh perspective on anything, on yourself, on your business, on your relationships, on your emotions, on how you achieve things.
There was a time in my life, Chris, where I was a planner. I’m still a planner I have to plan it and then, bam, do it. This year, every plan that I put into place was delayed by two or three months. This happened or that happened or this– and what last year taught me was like, okay, not a problem. You know, I’ll go this way. Okay, I’ll go that way. Right?
Chris: flexibility is key.
Chris, Gail: It really is.
Gail: It Really, really is.
Chris: Yes. As an entrepreneur, you got to be super flexible in my industry, because it’s changing so rapidly with technology. You have to be flexible and I just find, too, that the person who is more open to change and adapting to change is going to win at the end of the day. You’ve got to work hard. You’ve got to work smart and commit, but you’ve got to be open to change.
My industry is notorious for not being open to change at the age and level and people hate change in general. They like everything to stay the same, but you and I both know that that’s like the recipe of the comfort zone and the comfort zone doesn’t take you anywhere.
Gail: No, it’s very dangerous.
Chris: It’s very dangerous, but people really resist change, which when they tell me that I let them know “That’s exactly where you don’t want to be. You do not want to keep sitting in that comfort zone. You come to me for coaching. You come to me for training” like stop it, you know, embrace it. Spend some time learning it. You know, it’s one bite at a time. It doesn’t have to be all in one day, all in one week.
You end up giving people strategies to be able to overcome that and feel comfortable with change because at the end of the day, big change equals a tremendous boost in confidence and self-esteem. The ability to believe in yourself and know that you can do things that you otherwise didn’t know so-
Gail: and to be unapologetic.
Chris: Oh, truly. Yes. absolutely. Absolutely. Unapologetic, for sure. Especially in these technological times. You can’t believe that you know more than you do or that you can’t always learn more from other people, because it’s just a never-ending stream of knowledge and consciousness about what’s available out there. We tend to fall into those traps sometimes and it’s great to have somebody around you, like you over this, like her, here– to be able to shake the tree and make you see things differently.
Gail: It’s just amazing. It’s almost like you didn’t even know that that part of the world existed, right? There’s so much deliciousness, yet.
Chris: Yes, I was going to use that word before.
Gail: [laughs] Right?
Chris: I was.[laughter]
That’s a good word.
Gail: You can share it. I have no ownership on it.[laughter]
Gail: Deliciousness.com for seriousness. But, thank you Chris. If people are curious and want to know more about your business and more about your journey, how can they get in touch with you, Chris?
Chris: Yeah, you know they can message me through my website at legendaryrealestateservices.com. They can email me at ddglobalsupport. Our parent company is D&D Global Marketing, but it’s email@example.com. Goes right to my email. If there’s any entrepreneurs out there or any people that are looking to start their own business and just are looking for some of the keys to confidence, and just the opportunity to be able to talk with somebody who you can, like yourself– for sure to give them the courage to be able to just forge ahead every single day and take-no-prisoners kind of mentality. At the same time, feel completely empowered to make mistakes, because you will. I always told agents, I’m like “fail forward” like “just don’t stand still.”
Gail: Right? Motion, motion, motion. Everything is motion. Just keep it going.
Chris: Don’t stand still.
Gail: No. No. Okay dance, [chuckles] I shouldn’t be showing off, but I’m going to talk about this before I shut up. I’m a frustrated dancer. You know that I’ve competed. I’ve danced in lead and follow type dancing. It definitely is–It’s geometry, and it’s energy, and it’s motion. Right? Wherever the partner is moving sets your motion and your motion sets his motion, and it’s amazing– feeling when you create something like that– is tremendous and that’s what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about creation. You’re creating a business. You’re creating a life. You’re creating a moment by moment. You’re creating.
Whether you choose to sit on your ass and watch TV, you’re creating a person sitting on their ass watching TV, right? It’s your creation. By the way, you’re also creating the hemorrhoids that you’re going to get because you’re sitting on your ass, right?[laughter]
You hated those right?
Chris: Even too much of a good thing is a bad thing.
Gail: That’s right, but that’s another story. So, thank you everybody. This is Gail Kraft from the Empowering Process Podcast and if this inspired you by all means, like it, share it, comment below. If you have questions, let us know. I do an Ask Me Anything segment from time to time, and I’d be happy to answer those questions. Share us. Like us. Just join the crowd. Thank you, everybody. Thank you, Chris. This was great.
Chris: Thank you, Gail. Appreciate it.