We had the good fortune of connecting with Julie Stansell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Julie, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Work life balance is one of those concepts I thought I had figured out after spending so many years working in a corporate environment. Once COVID hit, I really had to re-assess what this concept has meant in my life, what I wanted it to mean, and what it would look like in the future. Companies also had to evaluate what productivity and work life balance meant to their employees during and after COVID. There are three things I have learned around this concept and always keep top of mind- 1) Work life balance is controlled by me. 2) Work life balance will look different depending on phase of life, employer, or career path. 3) The balance is fluid, it will ebb and flow. Embracing these concepts has really been pivotal for me. In my past life, I fell victim to the mindset that my life revolved around my career. If the job called, no matter what time, I needed to answer. In present times, while my career is very important to me, and my clients’ needs are a priority, I recognize the need for boundaries. I am able to flex my time to still meet the needs of my clients, my family, and myself. Acknowledging that the balance will ebb and flow has also been key for me. It’s not always going to be an equal balance every day but remaining intentional over time is what matters.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am a REALTOR® who’s mission is helping others find joy in their journey. There are so many REALTORS® in the great state of Texas, and especially in DFW. This creates a big challenge for anyone trying to break into the industry, since every person probably knows many agents already. It was not easy making a complete career change especially into real estate. While I made the career transition, I was also making major life changes at the same time, which added another layer to the challenge. I spent close to twenty years in one industry previously (Retail), building my career. I enjoyed it. I progressed nicely, was able to travel around the world and country, received awards, and worked with great people. Then COVID hit. My company filed for bankruptcy and ultimately closed. I had two choices: 1) the easiest one- find another similar job in the same industry and keep plugging away. 2) the hardest one- do something totally different and see what happens. I picked option two. ‘Hard’ is an understatement for what I went through to make the transition. I turned forty in that same year, and ultimately launched an entire lifestyle change. Health and wellness took on a whole new meaning for me. I overhauled my physical and mental health, while launching a new career. While it was extremely difficult, all of it worked well together in creating a successful business. I was healthier in my 40th year of life, than any year prior to that, and I experienced the most growth and fulfillment as a result, in addition to a successful first year in real estate. This has been one of my life accomplishments that I am most proud of!
It is hard to do new and different things, which is why many people never will. However, this journey has been the most rewarding, and I would do it all over again. I was able to overcome challenges in this transition through keeping faith, investing in myself, finding great mentors and support systems, creating balance, and using my past experience to propel forward. My biggest pieces of advice to people are:
1) Just start.
2) Just keep going.
3) Don’t be afraid to re-adjust.
4) Life is too short not to try new things, don’t be afraid to.
5) Invest in yourself.
6) Find a mentor.
7) Know what your values are and what is important to you.
8) Always find joy in your journey.
As a real estate agent, what sets me apart is that my business model is not focused around transactions, rather on experiences and relationships. I did not become a real estate agent to win sales awards and push as many transactions as possible. I became an agent because at my core, I enjoy helping others. I recognized that I can use my gifts to create a better experience for people in the world of real estate. “Joyful” is not the description that typically comes to mind for people when thinking about buying or selling real estate, but that is at the core of my mission statement, and the feedback I receive from my clients is just that…..a joyful experience all the way around. Not only do I accomplish the goals of the client, I also add in this extra layer of a truly exceptional experience that you just do not find with every agent. I am excited to see where the next twenty years take me!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
What a fun concept! A week in DFW, TX with my best friend to explore fun things! I love the DFW Metroplex because there is such a vast array of cities, culture, and activities that can really fit anyone. I would have to start on the Fort Worth side and work our way over and around. Downtown Fort Worth for starters with Sundance Square (there is always something happening there!), a visit to the Stockyards, lunch at Joe T Garcia’s, and dinner at Reata steakhouse, followed by Four Day weekend comedy club. I also always love seeing shows at Bass Hall, and there is typically a great one on any day of the year! I am looking forward to the Nutcracker Ballet in December. I would also devote a day to the museums in Fort Worth. The Kimball and Science and History museums are some of my favorites! We would then work our way East and spend some days in the mid-cities. I love Grapevine being nestled right in the middle of the Metroplex but having that small-town feel with old Main Street shopping. It’s also the Christmas Capitol of Texas so a great place to visit for fun activities in the Holiday timeframe. Some of my favorite Main Street places to visit are the Farmer’s Market, Good Things for All Seasons, and a nice dinner at Bob’s Steak and Chop House! A stay at the Gaylord Texan is also one of my most favorite hotel experiences in the Metroplex. I love the sports that we offer in the Metroplex! A visit to Arlington would definitely be on the list in hopes to catch a Cowboys or Ranger’s game. On that note, heading North to Frisco, TX would also be on the list. I love the new Star complex there with all of the shopping, dining, and experiences offered. It’s also always fun to catch an FC Dallas or Roughrider game while there! While in Frisco, I would have to take my friends to BEYOND Pilates studio! It is my most favorite studio in the Metroplex with fabulous instructors and ownership (owned by Beth Crain!). I would then have to make a visit to the Frisco Mercantile. It has some of the most unique and fun shops owned by local residents. One of my favorites is The Guest House (owned by Debi Kruder)! I can always find something there. Odin Leather goods would also be a stop as we venture back toward Dallas. Located in Lewisville, TX, and owned by Odin Clack, these are some of the finest leather goods you will ever find, made right here in Texas! From there, we would venture towards Dallas, making stops in Addison where you can always find something good to eat and drink! Being in the world of real estate and design, a must-stop for me is the Design District in Dallas. The stores are so inspiring and you never know what you will find! I would have to plan a stop at Ascension Coffee for a beverage and small bites. Making our way to Downtown Dallas, I always have to stop at The Dallas World Aquarium and Perot Museum. I would have to eat at Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and top it off with a visit to the Rustic after! From there I would have to make a quick jaunt south to Waxahachie where you really get a Texas small-town feel at only 45 minutes from downtown Dallas. I love checking out the shops on the square there, one of my favorites is The Wild Thyme Herb shop, owned by Nancy Morgan, and bites at The Dove’s Nest. I love touring the historic home district of Waxahachie also!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I must give huge credit to my husband, Stuart. He really is the biggest supporter that I have. Without him, I would not have been able to shift into an entirely new career. He is also a great example of balance, servant leadership, and fatherhood. He has an amazing story, and inspires me every day to keep going. I also must give credit to my children who make me want to be better every day. Finally to my brokerage, leaders, and mentors- I have a fabulous work team that I believe is rare to find, and I’m so blessed to experience that!