Burn the Hamster Wheel: Stress Management Strategies for Today’s Real Estate Professional

Burn the Hamster Wheel: Stress Management Strategies for Today’s Real Estate Professional

By Cheryl Knowlton, CSP, CDEI, DREI

CEO & Chief Energy Officer, Dynamite Productions, Inc.


It is a low-energy word that sucks the life straight out of my soul to even say it.

Synonymous with exhaustion. Overwhelm. Unchecked chronic debilitating stress leading to illness and depression. A weariness that leads to collapse and ultimately breakdown.

Perhaps you can relate.

I started my real estate career in 1999. I was living in California with my soon-to-be ex-husband, and our four young daughters (who ranged in age, at that time, from 11 down to 1). I was looking for a job that would allow me to work from home, make my family my #1 priority, and still make excellent money.

I found the residential mortgage industry, and I was in love. I was making more money than I ever had before. Eighteen months later, I was divorced. My new financial independence gave me the financial freedom to break myself, and my four daughters, free from a highly toxic and abusive marriage.

I also struggled to find a balance.

That being said, I also struggled to find a balance between my work and my family. Being a single parent is HARD. I wanted to truly BE THERE as part of their lives. I didn’t want to miss their cheer competitions, dance recitals, football games, plays, or soccer games.

  • I have worked myself to the bone.
  • I have worked until I was fried crispy.
  • I have worked until I was overweight, unhealthy, and unhappy.
  • I have worked until I was truly sick—and then I worked from my hospital bed.
  • I have worked until midnight.
  • I have eaten dinner at 9:00 p.m. more times than I care to count.

Some days, I have to come back to the timeless principles I am about to share with you—and remind myself—to jump off the hamster wheel. And then I found that WAY too often, the next day I would jump right back on that hamster wheel and continue to allow bad habits to run my life.

It’s high time to BURN the stupid thing!

Here’s the thing. I am FAR from perfect.

My four beautiful daughters are all now grown and married and have babies of their own.

Every day is a new experience for each of us to learn and grow and develop new habits.

Every day, I am seeking new and better ways to improve the quality of my life.

I have discovered a few ideas that I wish someone had shared with me when I was a youngish, single mother of four active daughters who were involved in every activity you can think of.

I missed some of their most important moments. I’m hoping you don’t have to.

There IS a better way. There is a solution. You CAN enjoy success without sacrifice.

Let’s travel the road from Burnout to Bliss and create true life and business alignment a reality for you. Those who love you most deserve it.

Most importantly, YOU deserve nothing less.