“You start in the shadows…and one day you’re in the spotlight”.
That’s how Robin Sheakley describes the development of career in her family’s business, Sibcy Cline Realtors. Her grandfather, Robert Joseph Sibcy, founded the real estate firm in 1930. It is now widely known and respected in the Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana region, with over 1,100 sales agents and 22 branch offices. Her parents, Rob and Pamela Sibcy, are at the helm, known for their business success and community involvement.
Robin always knew she would join Sibcy Cline. In college she obtained her real estate license and even sold the house she lived in off campus. After graduation, she started off as a loan officer, and spent five years in a branch office learning all aspects of the lending side as well as gaining a full understanding the real estate transaction.
One day her father told her that “you’re going to manage,” and she began to develop her skills in interviewing, hiring, and building a team. Robin believes that surrounding herself with strong people, with talents and skills different from hers, is vital…and that supporting them is even more important. In her words, “I work for everyone else.”
Robin is now President of Sibcy Cline Relocation Services, a separate corporation, affiliated with Sibcy Cline Realtors. She is also an active and devoted community volunteer.
In their book, Women in Family Business Leadership Roles: Daughters on the Stage, Mary Barrett and Ken Moores observe that many daughters learn from their experience in their family’s business and then “build their own stage” and become entrepreneurs. Robin has done just that.
She’s the founder of Moving for Love (www.movingforlove.com), a relocation service that assists individuals that are moving to fulfill a personal passion. And she hopes that one day her own children will decide to work with her.
When I asked Robin for any advice she would give to other daughters working in their family’s business, here’s what she suggested:
1) Observe how things get done, take good notes, and always be a student.
2) Surround yourself with people with whom you work well.
3) Roll up your sleeves, help out, and set an example.
4) Laugh at yourself – a sense of humor is so important.
Robin’s excitement about her career shines through as she describes her work with Sibcy Cline and now with Moving for Love. “I love helping people find homes,” she said recently. “Real estate really is a family business.”
Have you built your own stage? In what ways have you become an entrepreneur within your family’s business?