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The Balance Feature: Melissa Sofia on Living Up to Her Mother’s Legacy

Welcome to this month’s Balance Feature!  Each month Believe in Balance features an individual or organization striving to make a difference in the lives of the communities and the people they serve.

Today, I’m excited to introduce you to Melissa Sofia.  Melissa is the final of the three panelists who served on my Leading with Purpose panel at the WomanUP! conference in October.

Melissa is a wife, mom of 4, powerhouse, visionary, and woman with infinite time, at least that’s what I tell myself as I watch her lead an unbelievable number of very important roles in her life.

She has her Mom’s legacy to fulfill and she takes that job very seriously. There is nothing, this woman cannot do or accomplish.

I’m excited for you to meet her and learn a bit more about her purpose and how she’s living and breathing it through her children, her business and her two non-profit organizations, Mompreneur Meetup and Momcation.

Meet Melissa Sofia….

What is your purpose, how did you find it and why is it so important to you?

My mother was a Filipino immigrant from an impoverished province who scraped her way to America to attempt to live the American Dream. I was raised within that dream in the heart of beautiful San Diego, yet never forgot the stories she told me every day of where we came from and why we must never take opportunity for granted.

At 18 years old, I joined my mother’s real estate business working as a buyer’s agent and office manager. By implementing out of the box procedures and marketing strategies for SOI lead generation, we tripled her production within a year. At 21 years old we were on track for a record-breaking year when tragedy struck and my healthy mother suddenly passed away from a brain aneurysm leaving me to lead our small team while raising my 11-year-old brother.

From age 21 to 31 I sought refuge from the despair of losing my mother, best friend, mentor and business partner by working as hard as I could to live up to her real estate success.

I ran a small team at RE/MAX, sold condo conversions with a cutthroat team and learned the business of development, then joined a boutique brokerage who contracted our own conversion developments. I worked with some of the first big home flipper teams in San Diego, then moved on to small brokerages that finally gave me the freedom and support to redefine my dreams and set out on these two life missions:

  1. My dream was not to make loads of empty money, but rather to live up to the incredible legacy my mother had left behind, not in production numbers, but in the hearts and lives of people. I wanted to create a real estate agency that believed in maintaining lifetime business with clients through transparent communication and authentic relationships. I wanted to change the perception of the REALTOR and give buyers and sellers the safe harbor of a trustworthy agent, then build a brokerage with like-minded agents. Since 2014, I have been doing just that.

  2. To empower women who felt lost in the competition of the business world. I am a mom of four, and raising a family while owning a brokerage has not been an easy road. I didn’t know how to flow into motherhood as a businesswoman. I felt the need to hide what an involved mom I was in fear that I wouldn’t be viewed as the dedicated and successful REALTOR I am, especially in this world of social media where your life is on display. We are expected to work like we don’t have kids, and raise kids like we don’t work. Breaking that cultural mindset is so important to me and helping guide women to fight for the ability to stand tall and speak their truth is a passion of mine. We deserve to be proud to be both a respected, successful businesswoman as well as a dedicated mother in whatever capacity is right for our own family. In founding the Mompreneur Meetup in 2018, I built a group where women network & help each other excel in business. Even more importantly we celebrate each others’ successes, lift each other up in times of struggle, brainstorm through difficult decisions and offer recommendations and advice. We support each other’s needs when family, spouse or friends may not understand our needs. We are here to CONNECT and COLLABORATE. The beautiful core belief of The Mompreneur Meetup is that we need not blow out another woman’s flame to make our candle shine brighter.

In 2019, I created Momcation, a 3-day wellness retreat for Mom’s to rest, recharge and refill their bucket. This much-needed getaway allows women to connect with other fun-loving, mindful moms in a fabulously intimate setting that focuses on just their needs. The staycation features yoga classes, chef-made meals, expert-led workshops on marriage, raising happy children, the importance of self-love and so much more. Mompreneur Meetup is the gas to keep women moving forward in their businesses and Momcation is the much-needed break to help them take some time for themselves and rejuvenate.

As a Broker, a Mother, Founder of Mompreneur Meetup, Treasurer of AREAA and the Creator of Momcation, I am seeking to help women have it “all’ without losing themselves. I watched my mom gain a world of respect, business, and power, yet she lost what was most precious, time, relationships, her dreams to travel the world, and suddenly, her life.

As the world enters this incredible age of the Empowered Female Entrepreneur, let me stand as a reminder to temper expressing our powerful feminine strength with the ability to know when its time to take a moment, breathe and remember that the joy of the journey is the true destination.

What things do you do to ensure you’re living your purpose every day and especially that it is living within your organization?

I have a notepad simply entitled LIFE where I write all of the things I am currently working to accomplish. Every single night I run through my goals within each area of my LIFE which are first listed as big ideas and then broken down step by step all the way through to micro-to-do-lists. This allows me to view the big picture goals and reduce the feeling of “overwhelm” with a black and white plan of small items that are easy to accomplish. This also gives me the ability to review and refocus as much as I need. Through my LIFE list, I am reminded nightly that I have a bigger purpose, and that by completing each task bit by bit, I am moving towards those big, lofty and world-changing goals.

How can our readers find you?

People can learn more about me, my company, Mompreneur Meetup and Momcation visiting my website. I can also be found on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

I also just started a new podcast that features the stories of other mompreneurs who are living the joys and struggles of every hard-working mom. Check it out.

How are you living your purpose? I’d love to know. Leave a comment below or send me an email at Christine@BelieveInBalance.com.

Of course, if you enjoyed this post, I’d love it if you’d share it with your world. 

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