As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize there are times when it’s okay to be a follower. There are people that I have unconsciously and consciously followed throughout my life. One of those people is AJ Pettersen, my brother.
I still remember AJ beginning his career in real estate. He kept telling me that I would be able to join him someday, that I would love the work. And I knew he meant it; I naturally enjoy the things that AJ enjoys. However, this was about three years ago and like any typical college student, I was avoiding the major life decisions that awaited after graduation.
A couple months ago I entered my senior year of college, only four classes shy of a degree and one more season of baseball eligibility left in the tank. With my undergrad nearing its end within less than a year, I decided it was time to stop avoiding the future.
I began my search; applying for jobs that sounded interesting, but without any idea of what kind of work I would enjoy. The job application process began with a few rejected interviews and was followed by a few rejected jobs. I believe this was because I wasn’t a good fit for any of the companies I applied or interviewed for. In the end, I simply did not have a passion for what they did. This forced me to evaluate what the meaning and purpose of my career would look like. Through further self-examination I discovered the beginning of that answer: I wanted to make a positive impact on people’s lives.
During my job search, and without talking to my brother, I was comparing each opportunity with the chance to work alongside him and run my own business.
After months of searching and debating, I had my last interview in Chicago… and looking back now, I am pretty sure I had already made my decision before taking off. So, the day I arrived home, I called my brother whom I have called so many times throughout the years and told him I wanted to seriously talk about real estate.
And I guess the rest is history…