When Deanna Lawrence started her career as a realtor at the age of 23, she found herself answering the same question over and over again – why should a client choose her over someone with much more experience? Within minutes of meeting Lawrence, the answer becomes obvious – she does it all.
“I’ve been a therapist, I’ve been a cleaning lady, I’ve been a nanny,” she laughs, describing her seven-day work weeks and unconventional client services. “Real estate is really about relationships and trust. I’ve always remembered watching my parents’ experiences with realtors and feeling like I could do it differently. I wanted to change the way the business was being done.”
Lawrence walks and talks like she’s been navigating the industry for years – but the path that took her here wasn’t always a straight line. After hustling hard to pursue a career in the sometimes-crazy world of finance (“I saw some scenes straight from The Wolf of Wall Street,” she laughs) Lawrence found herself craving something more. “I knew working for someone else wasn’t going to make me happy, and I wanted to be all in,” she explains. “That’s how I’ve always strived to live my life."
While Lawrence knew she wanted something, she wasn't sure what it was. “I always thought that I was going to have this specific career and make a ton of money, and that drove me for a long time,” she explains. “I was afraid to not be an employee.” It was during this period when the owner of the gym she frequented noticed Lawrence and convinced her to get in front of the class and try her hand at teaching. At 21 years old, Lawrence had her doubts.
“I had voices in my head telling me ‘you sound weird; nobody wants to listen to you teach a class.’” But she took the leap and felt a shift in her confidence nearly immediately. “Before I started teaching, I remember feeling like my body was a strange place – I didn’t know how to carry myself,” she explains. “Once I got up in front of a class I started to understand positioning, and breath, and awareness. Fitness became a safe place for me.”
With a newfound sense of confidence and community, Lawrence took the leap to pursue the real estate career she’d always been drawn to but shied away from. And now, while hustling hard as a team of one and teaching at least eight classes a week at local studio Kondi Fitness, Lawrence has a new mission – to recreate that safe place she found in the fitness community for others. “I want to create a bigger conversation for people who are struggling with something – whether it’s depression, or an eating disorder, or anxiety,” she explains. “Right now I’m in a place where I’m thriving, but it really means nothing unless I’m having an impact.”
We caught up with the realtor and fitness instructor during a break from her fast-paced life, catching her in those much-needed and replenishing off moments.
Meet Deanna Lawrence.
Lounging at home
“I try to always start my day with a workout. My mental state is fully connected to my physical activity – if I don’t get that workout in, I go stir-crazy.””
“With my clothing, everything has to do with comfort. An outfit you’re comfortable and confident in can get you through the tough days.”
“Pick something and become obsessed with it. Let it excite you, and keep doing it until it stops exciting you.”
Out and about
“It’s important for me to find time to quiet my mind during the day – even just for 5 or 10 minutes. Running always helps, and there’s nothing better than a glass of red in the bath.”
“I’ve learned that success is a direct result of the work you put in. There’s something thrilling about that.”