As a woman in investment banking, it never even crossed my mind that I would own and operate a thriving, custom home building business. I had spent the first decade of my professional life earning multiple banking and investment related designations, certificates, and licenses. (continued below)
Jennifer Knappe (and Zoey) visiting the new Peace Bridge in Calgary, Alberta.
Shortly after Richard and I had gotten married, we purchased a raw 6 acre parcel to build our first home together. While Richard had been building homes since he was practically a toddler, this was my first kick at the can.
That summer, I fell head over heels in love with the home building process. The smell of fresh cut lumber, picking out flooring, designing cabinets. My addiction to Pinterest and Houzz was firmly entrenched.
But it wasn't all rainbows and unicorns. Not only were we building the home ourselves, taking on most of the manual labour involved to save cost, but we were also both working full time jobs. And as always, I was working on achieving yet another investment designation. Ya...I was also addicted to learning. Crazy, I know.
Needless to say, my studying for the designation exam was bumped to the bottom of my priority list. The day before my exam, the preverbal "shit" hit the fan. As I panicked to cram in a week's worth of studying into one day, the stress of building a home in addition to still having a life to live came to a head.
Richard took the brunt of my mental breakdown, and so did the kids. There was screaming, fighting, and a whole lotta name calling. Not my finest hour.
With literally no sleep, I made the trek to the University of Lethbridge the next day to write an exam that I was spectacularly unprepared for. I failed that exam. I have NEVER failed an exam, let alone got a mark less than 80%. A couple of months later, I rewrote that exam and passed with flying colours.
As a firm believer that every life event holds a lesson to be learned, that experienced changed the way I look at the home building process. I have a deep appreciation for the stress that can come with the seemingly endless number of decisions to be made all while you still have a life going on.
Why did I walk away from a career in banking 8 years ago? Not only was I married to one of the best project managers in the business, but I knew that I could add immense value for the ladies who were looking to make their new home dreams a reality.
I am constantly looking for ways to make the process easier for our clients. From obsessively detailed budgeting to unlimited site meetings to evening and weekend client conference calls. Always improving, always adjusting.
Until next time,
Survival Specialist ~ Jennifer Knappe