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Molds fit for Jello®. Not for people.

Closing day. I listed the home, Christian Chiero represented the Buyer. Just a picture, but a lifetime in the making.

Because he was the youngest I had him the longest. During his senior year in high school it was just me and Christian. With Jordan and Lindsay away at college I would lie awake many nights waiting for the “ding” of the security system signaling a door opening and the familiar slap of a backpack hitting the floor. (Note to parents of younger children. Conventional wisdom is that you lose your kids when they turn 18, go to college, or get their first ‘adult’ job. This isn’t true. You lose them when they get a drivers license. Prepare your heart accordingly.)

We began a ritual called “midnight rides.” Many nights Kiff and I would get in the car and drive. Anywhere. Nowhere. We would talk. About anything. About nothing. Or not. It was a precious few minutes with this boy while I still had him.

One of our favorite topics to discuss was inventive business ideas. The tried and untried, the against all odds, the entrepreneur who jumped in the pool and hoped the water was there. The Steve Maddens who failed in life but wildly succeeded in shoes. The Angie’s who started with an idea and ended with a List. In this arena I shared Christian’s passion.

Christian went to college graduating with a degree in Business Management. He met Harmony who shared his desire for a life of professional self-reliance. They first tried the road most traveled. They both got corporate jobs. The nine to five. The rules and structure. The hope for the next promotion. I even bought him his first tailored suit to look the part. He loved the suit, he hated the part. What he loved was real estate. What he dreamed of was a life where he was the boss - for better or for worse. So while his friends went to work, wore the suits, got raises and moved up the ladder, Christian and Harmony quit their jobs. They “Door Dashed” in the evenings. They created their own digital media company to pay the bills while Christian got his real estate license. Only occasionally noting their friend’s progression up that ladder, they continued toward the dream one 18-hour day after another.

It wasn’t/isn’t easy. The problem with jumping in a pool and hoping the water is there is that sometimes the water isn’t there. (Those stories rarely make a good podcast.) You don’t know until you hit water. Or not. And the way down is a scary ride of what-ifs, maybe’s and should-I-haves? Christian was fully aware that each day Door Dash was filling a bigger piece of his resume.

He/we made a decision early on that he would do this on his own. While we shared a well established name, his vision was in the world of rehab and flip. He likes the ugly house, I prefer the pretty ones. He made his own connections and God provided a few. (Thank you Kevin Illitch and John Casey.) He is wildly succeeding and, more important, wildly happy. He is up to his neck in ugly houses and selling a few pretty ones. I’m so very proud of his hard work and courage. I’m so very cognizant of what it take to do what he and Harmony have done.

The pretty suit I bought him is hanging in a closet. That’s OK. What he wears now fits him so much better.

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