Myrna L. Selzler is a lifelong entrepreneur and CEO with over 30 years of experience in the real estate industry. She is the host of the MLS Leadership Show and founder of the Million Dollar Broker program – learn more here. Read on to learn more about Myrna.
Off to School
Small town girl heads off to the big city. Coming from a town of 1,200 prairie souls, the University of Alberta with a student population of 25,000 was quite a culture shock. After bouncing around in the Arts, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics, with a major in Family Studies and a minor in Business.
Home economics may appear to be a curious background for someone who loves to own and manage real estate companies (and real estate), but it is not as unusual as it might seem.
The dynamics of running a business run parallel to the dynamics of having a family. In a family, Mom and/or Dad is the manager and if the kids don’t get what they want – like get to go to the movies – they go to the other parent in search of a weak link so they can get what they want. The same thing occurs in business but with managers and employees. I used the family theory education daily while running my brokerages.
Like in a family, when some of the siblings are playing well together and some are not, a business has highly functioning teams and some that are barely speaking.
And like in a family, the finances of a business need to be examined or there will be strife.
When I graduated from university, I realized I was too young to be a counselor, but I was not too young to be a commercial realtor. I always had a winning streak when I played Monopoly, and I had studied contract law and loved it.
I once had a vision that if I could start enough businesses, I could create more employment than the government. That did seem a bit naïve, but I have helped many people become entrepreneurs – from an aesthetic business, butcher shop, sports lounge, property management, insurance, mortgage brokerage, and ones I have long since forgotten.
As a little girl, I would go door to door to sell Bingo tickets for the Knights of Columbus (my dad’s men’s church group). I could make $2.00 per book. That was my initiation into prospecting.
One of my first jobs out of university was being an executive recruiter and the discipline and processes I learned from that served me well in understanding recruitment.
My favourite business has been the real estate brokerage because there are so many moving parts – people management, conflict resolution, marketing, HR, financial management, industry regulations, client relations, operations, contracts, and so on and so on. The constant challenges energize me. I love that. And I love being able to reflect the greatness of those around me.
Now, I get to work with people who want to create a business culture where their employees and agents can thrive. That is truly exciting.
Real estate is such a challenging profession – without a regular paycheck, real estate agents learn to face their fears, their limitations, and grow beyond them. I get to be part of that.
Seeing the World
My favourite places to travel are Portugal and Spain where I have hiked and biked the Camino de Santiago three times. The Camino was anything but five-star. I never knew where I would sleep and the uncertainty was invigorating. Meeting people from all over the world gives me a perspective of different lives and my own blessings.
‘Camino’ to me means ‘one life, many paths’ and I remind myself of that while travelling, and when back in my real world.
I have a fulfilling family life – two daughters and their devoted spouses and kids, two sons and the talented women they share their lives with, a mini-me niece, one brother, three sisters, my mom, and so many more nieces and nephews who enrich my life.
With each individual, I get to explore ideas, places, things. I see the world with different lenses and I see the tapestry of our family. This is where my true riches are.
With Your Host,
Myrna L Selzler
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