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Shelley Duke, Broker/Owner Red Bird Realty of Greater Tallahassee, LLC

Shelley Duke, Broker/Owner of Red Bird Realty of Greater Tallahassee, LLC, has been entrepreneurial-minded most of her life, but it took a pivotal birthday to move her forward with her dreams. Named for Shelley’s late Grandfather, James Padovano who was also in Real Estate, Red Bird Realty is rapidly growing. Shelley and her husband Oak are proud parents to 8-year-old Ava and a German Short-Haired Pointer, Greta.  In her free time she is an avid traveler, loves to spend time with her family and scrapbooks when she the time.  Meet Shelley.

1. What is the most interesting thing about you or your business?

What makes my business interesting to me is that every “sale/transaction” has its own story. I meet new and interesting people each day and while helping them w/ real estate, undoubtably their “story” unfolds….from first time home buyers who are starting their professional careers to middle-aged couples recovering from “short sale/foreclosure” situations who need to “start over”, to older couples who are moving into town to be with their grandchildren. Each story and each situation has its own unique “story.”  I should write a book!

2. What makes business ownership worth it to you?

When I turned 40 I decided it was time to stop working for someone else and to finally “do it.” Owning my own business had been on my New Year’s resolution list for way too long. I finally “made the time” for myself to do this and I have not regretted a single moment. Because I am working for myself and with my real estate partners it is more of a motivation for me to do well and I find myself happier in general because I can control my individual preferences.

3. Describe your typical day.

A typical day involves a lot of phone calls, and emails and social networking.  The internet is remaining my most important line of communication, especially with real estate sales.

4. Would you ever trade running your own business for a 9 to 5 job?

I have never worked 9 to 5 in my life. I have always been a social person and in sales and though my hours are not “traditional.” they have flexibility.  That being said I work the equivalent of a full-time job’s hours and probably more…but Its on my schedule.

5. What advice would you give to someone considering business ownership or entrepreneurism? Are there certain skills or traits they need to be successful?

My advice would be to “go for it.”  Don’t be afraid to try something new. We each have one life to live….if you fail, start again and try harder or try something different until it fits!

6. Why do you think you’re successful? What does success mean to you?

My motto is “work smarter/ not harder.”  Our generation will do a lot of things differently from previous generations . Forget the old models of how you are supposed to work and do it YOUR own way… if you can accomplish your work from home instead of a 9 to 5 office, then go for it, if you can have a completely “paperless office.” then that may make sense for you. For me, success is measured by my own happiness and satisfaction and includes meeting my personal goals along with my professional goals. This balance is always a challenge and is always changing. My advice is to surround yourself with positive and energetic people as well as people who are better than you at certain tasks so that you create a great balance.

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