My Women Own Nashville project has started off with an outpouring of love and support greater than I could have ever imagined. I have responded to at least 100 emails and am currently in the process of organizing the names and information of nominees and candidates. Although I initially committed to 20 features this year, I'd love to surpass that number however I can. It has been so inspiring to meet women in our community who are doing big things and I've only just begun. We are the heartbeat of Nashville. The business owners, leaders, organizers, makers, creators, teachers, professionals, mothers, artists, healers, writers, and the list goes on. Don't stop sending in your nominations, and please don't hesitate to nominate yourself. Although I can't promise that I will be able to feature every woman nominated, I will do my best to include as many as I can. It's important to me that I feature a diverse representation of Nashville area women with no limitations or barriers. We all deserve to be seen and heard.
I am also looking for sponsors for my project so that I can serve more women in our area. I have big ideas and dreams for this and would love to talk to anyone who might be interested in discussing sponsorship ideas and what that would mean. For more information, please send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
Meet Michele Mazzu, a Nashville based Crye-Leike Realtor with designations such as Green Agent, At Home With Diversity, and Seniors Real Estate Specialist. Michele has a diverse background and a variety of life experiences that not only allow her to be a success in her field, but a confident advocate for so many. She is very involved in her community and is currently serving on the Beautification and Environment Commission for District 15. She's fiercely dedicated to doing the best possible job for her clients, knows all of the great places to eat here in Nashville, and truly has a heart of gold. For more information on how to contact Michele, visit her website: michelemazzu.com.
Tell us a bit about yourself, in general.
I have lived in a lot of different places in my life, urban, suburban and rural. West coast, East coast and The South. I have had a large variety of life experiences, from working on farms to being a young professional woman in New York City to being a stay at home, home schooling mom for 19 years.
How do you try to stand out from the crowd in your field?
I am not your typical Realtor and that's not just because of the tattoos. I don't identify as a Salesperson. I do not try to sell myself, instead I just try to help my clients. I have knowledge, skills and talents that can help them transform their housing situations and dilemmas. I think of my job as trying to make clients lives less stressful, more joyful, and financially rewarding.
Have you read any good books (any genre) or have you heard any good podcasts lately?
I am a big believer in "Sharpening The Saw" therefore I am as always looking for opportunities to strengthen my knowledge. I am constantly taking Continuing Education courses during brief moments of down time. I love reading and have in recent years mostly focused on business and personal development genres. I recently read "The Giver" by Burg and Mann. Podcasts are my favorite though, especially since I am in my car so much. For fluff and fun I am a huge fan of the sisterhood and empowerment that has grown from the true crime/comedy podcast "My Favorite Murder". I eagerly await new episodes. But I often shower, starting my mornings listening to the "Brian Buffini Show" or "Ninja Coast to Coast" to get into a mindset of productivity, positivity and growth.
Do you have any rituals or routines that help you stay as balanced and grounded as you can?
With age comes such clarity and wisdom! So I recognize that my auto-pilot is set on "speed through life" and tend toward anxiousness so slowing down and focusing is extremely important. My broker loves to remind me to be patient. So number one is starting each day with gratitude. I purposefully look around at my life each morning, before tea even, and examine all the simple things I have to be grateful for, looking for new things every day. When I feel stress I take three deep breaths. I have learned too, when there is, what seems to be a work crisis, to not immediately respond but to instead take a break, a few breaths and let the panicky feeling pass before responding. When all else fails get outdoors!
What’s one challenge that you face as a woman and business person? How do you overcome it?
I am a strong women, I am passionate, I am a go-getter and I am fiercely loyal. These are strengths that can go both ways. We know strong, passionate women in our society are viewed as bitches. I have a lender who refers to me as "A Bulldog". I use this as a point of pride. I am a protector and I can be aggressive (or at least I look like I am… shhhhh it's a secret). I am a expert negotiator. I concede only when needed. I view transactions as win-wins so I make sure there are no losers.
My emphasis on loyalty has been an issue for me. Some "friends" who I have loved and supported for years, see my business knowledge as a source to tap into then when it comes to who will help them with their real estate transactions, despite having been asking me for help and advice for months and making a verbal commitment, they choose a discount agent. I offer full service real estate services and I am a full service agent. I completely understand when, up front, someone tells me their uncle, sister or neighbor is their agent. But please don't expect me to help and advise you then change your mind last minute. I have gained a lot of knowledge about who my real friends are through becoming an entrepreneur.
What are 3 things you want to work on (or are currently working on) in your life?
Making time for exercise. Making time for exercise. Making time for exercise.
What advice would you have for someone just starting out in business or entrepreneurship?
Here are my tips if you are just starting out in Real Estate. View it as a job. Set an alarm and show up daily. Know up front you can not be successful and take days off. You get hours off, not days. I don't understand how being a Realtor can be a part time job. There are a lot of regular expenses involved and you need a regular income to pay those expenses. Have a fat saving account to live off of for the first year. Constantly Sharpen The Saw, never stop taking classes, learning the technology and growing your knowledge. If you want to know more, contact me.
What do you love about being located in Nashville? What are the biggest challenges?
As I mentioned before, I have lived many places but Nashville is my Favorite! This is home. I Love this city. I love that there is so much beauty and nature all around. I love that I live seven miles from the downtown and all the skyscrapers and cranes and I have fox, deer, and hawks in my yard. I love the miles of Greenways, accessible to all. I love the small town feel of my community of Donelson and how anywhere I end up I can find a friendly face.
Biggest challenges are transportation and gentrification.
What helps to make your day go by faster? What do you do when the day is dragging on?
My days wizz by! I have to schedule meals and down time. I actually focus on slowing down. I can easily work on paperwork from 6:30am until noon, meet clients from 1-5pm and go to community meetings, do networking and events until 9pm. I occasionally schedule naps. I leave my computer in my brief case, turn off my phone and lay down with doggos and/or kitties. I turn on a white noise machine and check out.
I also have Friday's marked off as "We Time". My husband Randy has the day off and we try to spend it together. Sometimes that means housework and chores and sometimes that means being lazy. But mostly it gives us time to communicate and check in with each other.
What are a couple of your favorite places to go in Nashville to unwind?
To unwind, I love my little Donelson neighborhood joints. I am so lucky to live in a place that has neighbors investing in and opening great restaurants and bars. You can find me at Homegrown Taproom, Nectar Urban Cantina, Wine Down, Phat Bites and Various Artists. I really miss seeing live music and that is definitely something I would like more of in my life.