Venus Morris Griffin is Vice President & Associate Broker of Meybohm Real Estate and this week’s featured Woman of Wisdom. This is her story.
What/who inspires you?
My children inspire me every day. I love watching them become the people they were meant to be. I am inspired to work harder knowing I can help them have a better future by being able to put them through college. When they smile or when they cry, I know we can always lean on each other to learn from our experiences and make the most out of them. And, I’m most inspired when I see them selflessly do things for others.
What’s been the most surprising thing that has happened on your journey to Wisdom?
The day I discovered that in order to take back control of my life and my future, I had to first accept personal responsibility. It is the only way to truly feel powerful. If I accept that I was in a bad marriage, and I chose my husband then I have regained the power by knowing I can choose better to get a more desired outcome. If I choose to feel like a victim, it’s hard to move forward feeling like you have the power to change your future by making better choices.
What’s your typical day like now? How is it different from your daily routines in the past?
I begin my day at 5 a.m. I hit the gym for two hours to keep myself both physically and mentally strong. I come home to make breakfast and get my kids off to school before I start my work day at 8 a.m. I keep to a set routine to ensure my success. Being a successful real estate agent means you are consistent in your daily work routine even though it is monotonous.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I love meeting and helping people. It makes me feel connected to my community.
What advice would you give a woman over 40?
Never give up. Don’t give up on working out. Don’t give up on thinking you can’t excel in a new career. Mine took off in my 40s. I didn’t get a six pack after a year of working out hard. I was well into my 40s and the biological mother of seven kids when I got that six pack stomach.
What, if anything, would you have done differently in your life?
I would have listened more to my inner voice that told me something was wrong with my husband who started showing signs of losing his temper before I married him. I would have not married him. I also would have paid closer attention to our finances so I could have had a better idea of his nefarious activities before they came to light.
What things are most important to you now? Why? How have your dreams and goals changed through your life?
My family is everything to me. They are the reason I work so hard. I didn’t have a close knit family growing up. I wanted my children to have what I didn’t have, an instant support system, which is why I had seven of them.
My goals have become more work related as I got more into my career. Before 40, I was a stay at home mom. I became the sole provider for my family after my husband went to prison for 45 years. As I began becoming successful in real estate, I began making goals for myself. I always want to make at least $1 more than I did the previous year. I also want to figure out better how to take more vacations with my family. Real estate can be very demanding.
Tell us about any community projects you are involved in and why you support them?
If I hear about a family who is in need, I will buy them furniture. I recently put together a room for a little boy that every little kid would dream of. I loved seeing the look of amazement on his face when he entered it for the first time. I also hand out $100 bills to the homeless around the holidays. On another level, I have The Venus Morris Griffin Scholarship Fund in which I help children who have an incarcerated parent have an opportunity to go to college for free. This year I also held The Stories of Change Grant helping a non-profit organization work towards their mission.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Trust your inner voice/your gut. It will always guide you to make the right decisions. And as Maya Angelou says, when someone shows you who they really are, believe them the first time.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I built a beautiful oasis in my backyard. I have a pool, hot tub and cabanas. I love to relax in my own private space.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why? I really like Reese Witherspoon’s Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love, and Baking Biscuits. You can’t help but smile when you’re reading it. Being a southern woman, I relate with her fun stories of what it’s like growing up in this part of the world, but really, it will just make you feel good, and who doesn’t need that right now?
When and why did you start your business?
I needed to make money to help with our growing family, but I didn’t want my career to take me away from being a mother, so I chose to build a real estate business when I became an agent.
To what do you attribute your success?
I’m a hard worker. I instill a lot of integrity in my business, and clients see and feel that from me.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Stick to a daily routine. It will be boring and monotonous, but it will pay off. I also began by sitting for free in open houses, hoping it would help me find clients who needed a buyer’s agent.
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