This committed mother of two, wife and realtor has created a beautifully-balanced life that’s all about relationships.
A successful career and family don’t have to be mutually exclusive, according to Susannah Stevenson, a woman who’s incredibly motivated in both areas of her life. “I love what I do—both at home and at work,” says Stevenson. “At the heart of it, being a good realtor is all about taking care of families and helping people have the lives they want. It’s an extension of my values, not a conflict.”
We caught up with this top performer at Wakefield Reutlinger to ask her how she makes both roles in her life complement each other rather than clash.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR DAY JOB.
I am a Realtor with WR Realtors pretty much all day. This isn’t a traditional 9-5 career. It permeates every fiber of my being.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY.
I am the wife of Brian, Vice President of Material Handling Sales with InCord and the man who puts the wind in my sails! I am the shamelessly proud mother of Jack, a sophomore lacrosse player at Transylvania University and my favorite son; and Anne, a sophomore at Summit Academy of Greater Louisville and my favorite survivor.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR CAREER?
My office family at WR Realtors, helping people and building relationships.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE CAREER AND FAMILY?
It is the art of the juggle and knowing when to put all the balls down and rest.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR BIGGEST TIME CHALLENGES?
I struggle to be on time because I am cramming as much as possible into every minute. I find myself starting a load of laundry and brewing a cup of coffee while talking a client through a situation on the phone and grabbing the science project off the kitchen table on the way to school. I have an orchestrated symphony of bedazzled squirrels in my brain.
HOW DO YOU HANDLE THEM?
Faith, gratitude and lists. I am a list maker and stay organized with the calendar on my iPhone. I pray for discernment in controlling that which I can and peacefully letting go of what I cannot control. I believe in therapists, mindfulness exercises, counting my gratitudes, optimism, and that we all deserve grace. I have a strong faith in God, my friends, family and humanity in general.
HAVE YOU HAD ANY TURNING POINTS IN YOUR CAREER OR HOME LIFE THAT CAUSED YOU TO SHIFT PRIORITIES OR ALTER THE BALANCING ACT?
My daughter, Anne, has had a number of life threatening medical challenges in her 17 years. I went into real estate in 2009 because it offered the flexibility I needed, and it fascinated me.
Anne had a health scare last spring that landed us in Cincinnati Children’s Hospital ICU for almost two weeks, during one of the busiest times of the year for a Realtor. Fortunately, I have an office tribe at WR Realtors that would rival the strongest army in the world. With their unwavering support, I was able to be at Anne’s side without any worry that my clients would be in good hands or that I remain their Realtor when I got back. Anne’s healthcare needs are carrying on into 2018 with an upcoming neurosurgery, and I feel so grateful to have my WR Realtors© co-workers by my side.
DO YOU TRY TO SHARE ANY ASPECTS OF YOUR WORK OR CAREER WITH YOUR FAMILY OR CHILDREN OR DO YOU KEEP THEM COMPLETELY SEPARATE?
Real estate is part of who I am. I don’t contain my enthusiasm and love to share stories and life lessons. This business covers subject genres from comedy to thriller.
DO YOU THINK YOUR WORK ETHIC HAS RUBBED OFF ON YOUR CHILDREN?
I hope so! They see that if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life. Calvin Coolidge’s quote about perseverance is on our refrigerator, in my dressing area and over my desk. (“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan, ‘Press on!’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”) They see that honesty, caring for others and dedication are character traits equally important at home and in a career.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIME FOR HOBBIES OR PASTTIMES OUTSIDE OF WORK AND FAMILY AND, IF SO, WHAT ARE THEY?
My wheels are always turning! I am on the Board of Directors at Summit Academy of Greater Louisville, on the Advancement Committee at Louisville Collegiate School, and I support Kosair Charities and various non-profits geared toward children with special needs. Lately, I’ve been drawn to figuring out how to take house items that clients want to donate and get them into new living spaces for women and children who are starting over or getting out of bad situations.
WHAT VALUES DO YOU TRY TO MODEL FOR YOUR CHILDREN?
Practice optimism and live by the Golden Rule, wholeheartedly and with intention.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS?
What my marriage looks like at this stage in my life, who my children have become, and this successful and joy-filled career in real estate that I didn’t even start until I was 40.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO OTHER WOMEN WHO ARE JUGGLING CAREERS AND MOTHERHOOD?
Time flies. Looking back, I have no regret in devoting myself to be my best version of “Mom.” As my children have gotten older and my time has shifted, I’ve put that same kind of devotion into being a great Realtor.