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Women With Vision Magazine
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"Do what is easy, and your life will be hard, Do what is hard, and your life will become easy."
- Les Brown
"I see this so often in my clients. They're looking for a quick fix or a magic bullet to help their business grow. When, in fact, we do have to put in the work. I've seen loan officers year after year acting as a 10 /1 loan officer. In other words, a loan officer who's been in the business for 10 years, one year at a time, and they simply hit the reset button every year looking for the next set of shiny objects. I call these S.O.S.’s: shiny object syndrome. It's a cry for help. But my real question is, are you putting in the work today so that you can have the best possible practice and life tomorrow?”
Jen Du Plessis is a woman who needs little by way of introduction to anyone involved in the finance, real estate, and mortgage world. Jen is considered a leading expert in creating world-class teams. Through her coaching and speaking, she improves leadership skills to build powerful teams. She has been in the financial services industry for four decades, and during her 35-year career, was listed in the Top 200 mortgage originators nationally and funded over $1 Billion in mortgage loans.
Jen is the author of numerous Amazon #1 best-selling books, the host of two top-ranking podcasts, and the producer and host of her own TV Show – Tell Me I Can’t – reaching over 350 million homes monthly. She is a charismatic speaker, having shared stages with such icons as Tony Robbins, Les Brown, Darren Hardy, Jeff Hoffman, and Sharon Lechter.
Above all, Jen is about family. She readily counts her biggest success as being her family. She and her husband were high school sweethearts who have managed to keep the sizzle alive in their 40-year marriage.
“We met when we were 15 and 14, attending the same high school and graduating on the same day,” Jen says. “We are often referred to as Danny and Sandy from the movie Grease because I am polished and conservative while my husband is a risk taker, and he also happens to be a drag car racer. We have raised two beautiful and successful adult children who treat and communicate with their spouses in the same manner. Period. Faith has always been the glue binding all of us, period. I love how my children are doing the same for their children today.”
Jen recounted a story of learning a pivotal lesson early in her career centered around the importance of family and its relationship to success.
“It was a turning point in my practice over 25 years ago when I was a wholesale rep. I was in my late 20s and had two small children. I was calling on brokerage firms which consisted primarily of men in sales positions. As you can imagine, I was always fighting off advances during that time and working hard to prove I was more than an attractive young woman. I was always professional in my appearance and my approach and kept my personal life to myself. I thought this was the best way for me to demonstrate my professionalism and be taken seriously. To my surprise, however, one day, I was talking to someone in the office and happened to mention I had two children and I love to dance. (I am a competitive ballroom Latin and swing dancer and have been for years.) A loan officer by the name of Vinnie pushed himself back in his rolling chair and caught himself on the frame of the door to keep from falling into the hallway and yelled out to me, “Hey, Jen, you have kids?”
I promptly responded with, “Yeah, why?”
And he replied, “If I had known you had children, I would have given you business a long time ago. I thought you were some young chick who was spending all the money she was making on the weekends partying.”
To which, of course, I replied, “No, actually, I'm trying to make a living and support my family.”
From that moment on, Jen told everybody about her family and children, making them a pinnacle part of her success. Everything Jen does in business is to serve her family. To move ahead in business, Jen suggests you begin by sharing the real you. This opens doors and allows bonds to develop that will excel your business in record time.
Not all valuable lessons arise from an overheard conversation. Jen sees opportunities to learn every day and reminds it’s up to us to take action both to learn the lesson and implement it.
“I recall a time when I was refining my brand,” Jen recounts. “I sent out an email to friends, family, and a handful of my referral partners, asking them to describe me in three words. Of course, I heard accolades such as, you're smart, you follow up, your personality is great, you're a strong businesswoman, a great trainer, and the like.
One response from an owner broker of a real estate firm I did business with included the phrase ‘not present.’ It was a tough pill to swallow, and I immediately knew I could not let this go. So, I put my big girl panties on and called him to ask if he would explain.
He said he had watched from a distance as I went from person to person at events, like a bumblebee going from flower to flower. A little bit of this conversation, a little bit of another conversation with eyes always moving beyond to the next person. He told me I was simply not present. He compared my interaction to being like a bride at a wedding who wants to talk to and thank everybody. He said there’s more value in having a handful of strong and deep conversations rather than having hundreds of superficial conversations.
I was dumbfounded and embarrassed and knew I had to change.”
Jen is a seeker who values change and introspection as essential tools for growth in business and personally. She coaches clients to stop working in and on their business and move toward working above and beyond their business.
“Success is personal. It might be financial to allow you to move beyond your business to spend time on the beach. It might be moving beyond your business to create another business. Some are driven by fun. Others are driven by family and serving and supporting a community, while the systematic approach to creating efficiencies drives others. Success comes from finding the steppingstones that will allow you to work on purpose and play with passion.”

Jen’s vision of success is found by living her legacy while building it.

“I'm having a blast. I have no intention of leaving what I'm doing now. Even though I don't need to work, I love helping people accelerate their results in record time. I love helping people multiply their income in a short period of time. I love seeing the aha moments when my students get it and finally put themselves first, put the systems together, and hire people to do work they no longer need to do because their genius zone is somewhere else. I love being on stage and inspiring people. I love seeing people achieve their goals and dreams faster than I did. It took me 35 years to get to where I wanted to go and included numerous years in between to get things right. It was important to learn from others how to initiate rather than talk. Stop talking. Take action. Get results. If I can inspire people to do exactly that, then I have contributed and created an impact.”

One of Jen’s favorite parts of the industry is the daily fix. As she explains, “It's amazing how many other businesses are mundane. This business moves at the speed of light. Every day there's something new to learn, even after 40 years of being in the business. I am a habitual student of my craft, both in personal development and in my tactical skills. It's funny that so many of us don't like change when a new guideline comes out or new requirements for compliance are released. Yet we crave it. It's why we're in this business. If we didn't have that change, we would be bored. Let's face it. It's a drug for us. Our industry is solid and safe. We know people can get loans through a computer, but the personal touch, the deep relationships we have with people, guiding them financially is still prevalent and needed.”

Jen’s goal is less about creating an empire and having the biggest, baddest coaching company in this industry. She is interested in serving each individual client intimately so they receive the best results. Perhaps her greatest lesson has been to pay herself first to make sure money is always in the flow because that's where wealth is grown. Saving in a bank account is not going to help wealth. Saving in a 401k is not going to help gain wealth. Wealth can give you the freedom to grow your business, contract your business, move on from your business, grow more businesses, and spend more time with family.
“What I've learned about leadership and what I teach and share from my experiences in my mastermind groups or with my coaching clients is, number one, to be present. Number two don't treat everyone the same. Every person you're leading has a unique personality, different levels of competence, and different levels of commitment. Use personality, competence, and commitment to approach, guide, and help everyone using their unique difference to meet them where they are. You can be highly directive or highly supportive, depending on their competency level. Oftentimes I ask my coaching students what they prefer and later discover what they need. This allows my students to reach and gain results I could never have imagined as a loan officer myself.”
“We flatter those we scarcely know, We please the fleeting guest; And deal full many a thoughtless blow, To those who love us best.” ― Ella Wheeler Wilcox
For a long-time leader like Jen Du Plessis, it’s difficult to winnow the many beneficial platitudes and truisms into a brief article. One concept that stands out is her belief in people and desire to help as many as possible to design and step into their best life.
“I think many people are lacking love of themselves,” she explains, “and are touting everybody else, but they're not touting themselves and giving grace to themselves when they fail. It’s important to celebrate opportunities. Compliment yourself. Give yourself a virtual high five and realize, wow, I am really good at this.”
This is one of Jen’s favorite quotes. She sees parallels in the finance and mortgage industry, where the tendency is to put business before everything. “We flatter everyone. We’re nice to everyone, even if we don't want to work with them. And then we take it out on our family members. I remember specifically a time when I was talking to a client on the phone, doing the pleasantries, telling them I could help them with their loan, and asking them about their family. When my daughter, then a little girl, approached, trying to get my attention pulled on my shirt. I asked the client to hold for just a moment, and when I went on hold, I began to scream at my daughter. I remember saying things like, I'm doing this for you.
I'm making these calls so you can have things. You can be patient. You can wait for me, and when we get off this phone, I will have a conversation with you. I am not happy with you. I then proceeded to take myself off hold and return to all those pleasantries with that client. I have learned from this quote time and time again. I believe we need to be as good to ourselves as we are to our business. When we focus on creating a strong life first, our businesses will be ready for anything.”