We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Mercado and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, how do you think about risk?
Risk is what you do when you listen to your heart. I think taking risks is healthy, and necessary for growth to occur within ourselves. I was a product of chaos so for a long time I equated taking risks as doing complete 180 degree changes, and burning all previous options to the ground. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that risks are the whispers of your heart. They are pointing you in the direction that you need when you ask for it, but it’s call is shrouded by fear from our previous experiences and perceptions. I think that fear as an underlying emotion in risk makes it seem like something we should avoid, but in reality, it’s the test of growth. All your choices lead to this one defining moment, and that moment it’s that risk, the one step left to take. Taking risks in my life have led me to this exact moment where I’m about to take another.
In my personal life, it was a risk to leave my family and home in NYC with my husband to move to Florida and start a whole new life. It’s a decision I’d make over and over again because it allowed us the opportunity to flourish in our careers. It allowed us the space to create intimacy for ourselves as a family and have 2 children. It gave us the financial stability to buy our starter home and then our dream home. It gave me the incentive to lean into self trust and confidence to become a business owner and leave my career in education for a career in real estate. It’s also that validation in how well that things turned out, that I can continue to trust myself and lean into the things I love.
In my career, I still take risks, big and small. It’s a risk to send out marketing campaigns not sure if someone will contact me. It’s a risk to invest time and nurture a lead, since there’s no guaranteed money unless it ends in a closing.
It’s a risk to switch gears from Real Estate into media, because I’ve been in the real estate industry for sometime, and have established myself as an expert in Florida.
This one feels like my biggest risk because it’s me finally listening to the little girl inside. The one who started singing at 3 and who always wants to perform for people. I shushed her for a long time, and I’m taking the risk of listening to her, leaning into the gamble on myself, despite what people may think.
Risk is where you find reward. How you quantify that reward is up to you, but Risk is the only way to get there.
What should our readers know about your business?
I am the business owner to 2 businesses, Jennifer Mercado, PA and Insightful Media, LLC. As Jennifer Mercado, PA, I am REALTOR/Broker Associate with Sapphire Properties in South Florida. I became a full time realtor during the pandemic, after I quit my job as an educator in August of 2020. The transition from teacher to realtor felt seamless in terms of skills; the organization, time management, and education of being a teacher transferred well into real estate, but the business aspect of it was the learning curve for me. I had previously worked in real estate as a receptionist, assistant and closing paralegal, so becoming a self-employed business owner was in and of itself another full-time job, aside from sales. It took a lot of mindset work, tweaking my old beliefs as an employee to an employer and gaining financial knowledge in a more direct way, has helped me continue on in Real Estate. Being a Realtor is NOT easy. As with anything, you have inherent skills and then you have to put the work in to learn what you’re lacking. That is a constant truth. Real estate has an added layer in compensation being commission based, meaning you can be AMAZING and still walk away with no money if a deal falls through, a client walks, or a seller relists. That’s a daily practice in self-worth and esteem. What that helped cultivate in me, is seeing people where they are, reaching them where they might be and help from there, not from a place of transaction. I’ve learned to cultivate relationships, and am learning where to enforce boundaries as well. The misconception of just being a people person to be successful is one I’d like to change in Real Estate, because no one person is for everyone. You’re people are out there, find them and serve them.
Insightful Media LLC is my newer business, and it’s where I provide social media content coaching, classes, and content for real estate agents. I’ve started as the Social Media Director for my brokerage, and would like to create courses for Realtors who struggle with the creative piece in their marketing, social media and camera presence. I used to be a clown for an entertainment company, and that has set up healthy foundation for performing and speaking with all sorts of people. As a little girl, I LOVED to sing and perform on camera. My mom has VHS (aged myself) of me singing on camera, giving home tours of our apartment, introducing family members, etc. That performer in me has manifested in other creative ways, and Insightful Media LLC is the tangible takeaway of that gift.
In addition to all of that, I am also the Chief Chapter Director / South Florida Director for Boss Talks Network, a women’s membership platform that provides mentorship for women entrepreneurs looking to increase their economic footprint globally. I get to host events monthly, connect with like minded women, interview guests and moderate panels all guided to helping women entrepreneurs level up.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I were to host a guest, usually my sister from NY, I’d take them to Hullabaloo in Downtown West Palm for Brunch! We’d enjoy the downtown views, walk through Clematis and then to a nice rooftop drink at the Ben. For Dinner, we’d go to Jupiter’s own U-Tiki and enjoy a delicious seafood meal overlooking the lighthouse across the Harbor. We’d also check out the Loggerhead Marina, gorgeous beach pier and rehabilitation center for Turtles, also in Jupiter. From there, we’d head down to Delray Beach, for drinks at the Sandbar and an historic walkabout to Sandoway House, where other sea creatures are rehabilitated to go back into their natural habitat. Delray is where we’d end the tour, enjoying the new Marketplace, and the Arts Garage. It’s one of my favorite towns to visit since there’s a wide range of activities, and styles for any group of friends to enjoy!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband, Arnaldo! He’s been such a rock and a home for me. He’s my sounding board, and the amazing partner I get to raise children with. My mom also a great supporter and help, which allows me to do the things I am able to do. My mentor, Judy Ramella, also my broker, for pushing my leadership boundaries beyond what I expected. The founders of Boss Talks Network, Hillary and Wendi, for seeing something in me I didn’t see myself! My coaches, Tracy Litt, Gaby Abrams, and Jordan Duvall for providing me with the mindset, healing and branding shift where I can finally SEE myself. My dear friends Sandy, Rebecca, and Eleanor for always talking me off ledges and holding nonjudgmental spaces for me. Lastly, Krystle Brown!!!! for recognizing me in my element and for speaking my name in rooms of opportunities.
ViviImage Photography, Viviana Garcia