I have to admit…I have delegated my blog writing in the past few years unless there is a subject that I feel very strongly about. This is one that has irked me year after year and I have dealt with it since I became a REALTOR® and have seen it happening all around me. Especially at this time of year when colleagues and competitors alike are proudly announcing their awards for the previous year.

Success shaming. It is very real and rampant in our society, especially when people can go on social media and ‘generalize’ it. It isn’t hard to tell when it is directed at you or someone you care about and recently I had a very strong opinionated jab at me and felt it unfair. We all have our own battles and I wish you luck in yours. I’ve got mine too.

I have been, and no doubt will continue to be, ‘success shamed’. It hurts. A lot. It is a form of bullying. It is mean. It needs to stop. But it won’t. It’s either to our faces or it is behind our backs. It is sad and it makes me sad. I’m a sensitive person. It actually makes me cry but to those of you who know me you aren’t surprised by this.

To those success shamers out there, and you know who you are, you may as well stop reading as you won’t appreciate this post. It’s a long post as I don’t do anything half ass. This blog is for people who have worked their asses off and found success and celebrate it. Whether you are a successful mom or dad who boasts about your children, a waitress who posts about making someone’s day, a nurse who went above and beyond or a CEO who boasts profits of the company they run. Sometimes success is putting on your pants each day as you suffer from depression. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you decide is success. This is for you. We know what we do to achieve success and the ‘success shamers’ we come across have no idea. Or they do and they don’t want to put in the time but have no issue trying to hurt you for your triumphs.

I am a successful real estate agent. Currently I am one of the ‘top REALTORS® in Saskatoon’. Should I shout from the top of my lungs that I am proud to have achieved this result? Or should I be quiet with ‘false modesty’. To not acknowledge my success is to rob me from the life experience and the experience I have given all of my clients that year. To not show it would make some think I don’t appreciate it…that I just expect it. It would invalidate my client’s belief in me. It would make my many “thank you”s along the way seem insincere. My appreciation is sincere. I am successful because of my hard work but also because of my clients loyalty and belief in me.

I have built my business from my sphere of influence and from hard work and dedication. Most importantly, I have built it by respecting my friends and clients and taking the joys with the sorrows. I have laughed and cried with my clients. Not every REALTOR® approaches business like I do and, as such, I believe there is a truly an agent for every type of client. Some people don’t like my approach and that is just fine. There is an agent for you. Not every agent likes my approach. That’s fine too, we can all respect each other and guess what? There is enough business to go around! Shocker to some, I know.

I am a new mom. I chose not to take time off after having my son as I am running a business and that business is me. I am that business. I go away…my business goes away. It is my passion and it is my hobby. It is my social life. Not everyone can have a ‘job’ that gives them all of that. I’m grateful for that every day.

I carted my baby around with me for the first 5 months of his life. Like a lot of my co-working moms and there are many. I am proud to align myself with these women as that is strength. Also the men. I have male colleagues who have done the same. Does that make me amazing? No. Did I do it because I had to? Yes and no. I have a good support system here but also wanted the time with my son and could do both. I found clients who supported me and had no issue with me taking ‘nursing breaks’ in my car or, in some circumstances, in the middle of signing up a listing. I have the best clients and most of them are repeat clients or referrals so we are matched well. Thank you to these amazing people.

Did I sacrifice a lot to do this? Absolutely. Would I do it all over again? Absolutely.

I have a nanny who cares for my child now while I work. Does that make me ashamed? No. It works for my family as the hours of a REALTOR® are so disjointed that traditional daycare doesn’t work. I get to watch my child grow and become a little person when I am in my home office catching up on emails, calls, doing market evaluations, putting out fires, crying because someone wasn’t loyal, laughing because of something I saw on social media, booking appointments, getting feedback for my sellers, eating my lunch etc.

I have an assistant for the work stuff I don’t enjoy or don’t want to do. Should I be ashamed? No. She is another form of my support system. She helps me so that I can spend more time with my clients. And my son. And my husband. Oh, and sleep. Sleep often gets overlooked with a person who is successful in their work.

I am a shitty friend. Should I be ashamed? Yes. This one I should be as often I put my client’s needs before my friends. They understand as they have also been my clients. They forgive me and accept me.

I am a shitty wife. Should I be ashamed? Absolutely. Hubby, I am sorry. Thank you for always supporting me even when I don’t put you first. I often put my clients before my husband and that is hard for him. Thank you for understanding the lifestyle even though you hate it for stealing me away.

Sacrifice. There is a LOT of sacrifice to be in the industry we are in. To be shamed for being at the top of your professional game hurts. Especially by fellow ‘professionals’.

If I do not get excited and share my success I am understating all of my appreciation throughout the year; I’m grateful for my clients who work with me because they believe in me and my integrity but also my ability to get the job done. I’m grateful to them and want them to see that their support means the world to me. I couldn’t do it without them! I’m grateful to my colleagues who support me and refer business to me. To my competitors at other brokerages for being fantastic professionals who want to work together to do what we do best…sell houses. And we push each other to be better. To my family who puts up with my crazy life every moment of every day. To my friends outside of real estate as most of us lose touch with those ones as our lives revolve around the ‘job’. To my sleep who I don’t see enough of. To my fitness as I have put you on the back burner.

Success=sacrifice and denying the acknowledgement of that success is not cool.

Life is too short for jealousy and resentment. Lift each other up. Empower. Share in successes. Be there for failures. Just be a good human being.


Kari Calder

Saskatoon real estate agent

Century 21 Fusion



  1. Kari – so very well said. I to am a Realtor, a successful one and I also run a successful Brokerage. While our circumstances aren’t exactly the same there are many similarities. I too am proud of what I have accomplished and share it. I also believe my clients appreciate me and want to celebrate those accomplishments with me. Unfortunately there will always be those who either resent/envy the success or want to belittle those for achieving it. I personally try not to judge others as I have never walked in their shoes and don’t know all their circumstances.

    This is an excellent, personal and pointed blog post – I congratulate you for writing it and for your success, you accomplish so much. I’m sure your husband agrees with me too!

    Have an awesome 2016 and celebrate all your successes large & small.

  2. Well said Kari! Years ago I sold 11 homes in one month which was by far my best month ever. I had a guy in the office want to sit down and talk about it. I’m thinking he wants some tips as he was struggling and I’m always happy to share. One of the first things out of his month was “I don’t like how you do business”. That was when I discovered it’s lonely at the top.
    Scott Stratten also wrote a great blog and my top takeaway was “don’t feed the trolls”. http://www.unmarketing.com/2009/10/26/trolls-meatheads-and-my-mom/
    Happy selling and look forward to celebrating success in Vancouver!

    • Thank you Jeff! I’m guessing the guy who didn’t like the way you do biz is no longer in the biz as it sounds like he may belong to the ‘business should fall in my lap’ group? Always a pleasure to hear from you and yes, see you in Vancouver!!

  3. Thank you for speaking out. Many remain silent to avoid conflict, but hoping that it will just “go away” if ignored doesn’t work.
    Kudos. Oh, don’t change a thing. Heads always turn to a light in the darkness.

    • Thank you Ed! I love your saying ‘heads always turn to a light in the darkness’ as it is so true! Best to you 🙂

  4. Thanks for saying what I could not put into words. Many of my friendships and possible friendships have been wrecked by other’s jealousy. It sucks that so many women have to be so mean to other women who are successful instead of showing appreciation and support. I believe it’s they are bitter because they have given up on their dreams and themselves. So these bitter people make it a no win situation for women – you stay home with your kids, you’re not successful – you work outside the home and you’re a neglectful Mom. So I say to myself, “It’s a no win so don’t play their game.” Congratulations on your career success, your new family member, and a wonderful blog post!!! I’m originally from Saskatoon and if I ever move back, I will think of you when I need a house. All the best in 2016!

    • Thank you Joelle! You are so right…we need to stop beating ourselves and women around us up and be happy with what makes us and others happy! All the best to you as well and if you ever hear of anyone needing a realtor here you know who to call 🙂

  5. Beautifully written Kari! In this business there are a lot of highs and lows we don’t really talk about the lows but when you have had a successful year you have every right to be proud of the success you have accomplished. I hope you have another successful year! See you in Vancouver!

    • Thank you Mary Kay! This biz definitely has highs and lows…we proudly announce the highs but the lows are private and it is time we share both with the public as they only see the glory, not the story as one woman put it. Congrats to you as well and yes, see you in Vancouver!!

  6. I do not know you and I live in another part of the country but I want to say thank you. If I ever wanted to buy a home in Saskatoon I would search you out. You are real and for anyone who can’t or doesn’t appreciate you, well it sucks to be them and it’s their loss. Congratulations to you and I wish you everything that makes you happy. 🙂

    • Thank you Joanne! I appreciate your comments…it was very personal for me to write as obviously it is my own journey but a lot of things apply to others. We shame people all the time but especially women and it is frustrating as I hear from many of my friends that it feels you can’t do anything right some days. We must be doing something right though 🙂

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