Radio Maine Episode 80: Emily McConnell

 

9/11/2022

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Hello. I'm Dr. Lisa Belisle and you are listening to, or watching, Radio Maine today. I have with me a dear friend who I'm really excited to have in the studio. This is Emily McConnell, who is a partner at the New Height Group. Thanks for coming in today.

 

Emily McConnell:

Hi, Lisa. It's nice to see you.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

I am just blown away by all the changes that you've made in your life over the last maybe five years. Does that sound about right?

 

Emily McConnell:

Five or six years since I've left the magazine.  Yes.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Yes, exactly. You and I knew each other back in the days of Maine Media Collective and your position there was more financial if I'm remembering correctly.

 

Emily McConnell:

My decision there was to do anything that needed to be done.  It was a very like a jack of all trades type role.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

But you are now doing something really different.

 

Emily McConnell:

Yes,  I've moved into real estate development in real estate sales.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

So let's back up a little bit. You're from Maine.

 

Emily McConnell: 

Yes. I'm originally from Belgrade

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Lakes. Yeah. And now I'm up practicing in that area as a physician. And I know that it's just a beautiful part of the world.  How did you make your way down to Portland?

 

Emily McConnell:

Portland was always a big city when I was growing up.  so it always had that pull for me.  I left Maine to go to college after high school and was in upstate New York for college, but I always knew when all of my friends from college were moving to New York or Boston that I wanted to land back in Maine. I just wasn't really sure where so when college was over, I moved to Belfast, I worked for MB and that then became bank of America.  and then in 2008, when the financial crisis hit, my job as a recruiter and hiring manager for a bank went away and it was the perfect opportunity to move to Portland. And so I jumped at it.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

So when you were growing up, did you have a sense that you wanted to do something in development or that you wanted to do something in recruiting? What, what was your sort of life path?

 

Emily McConnell: 

I don't really think that I had a clear image of what I wanted to do when I grew up.  but now that I do this work, I can recall things from my childhood that sort of clicked and made sense, like my dad sold windows and doors.  and I remember him bringing home blueprints and spreading them out on the table and like looking through the blueprints and getting really excited about all of the, you know, this is how a bathroom is laid out and this is the kitchen and thinking in my head how to follow through a floor plan and imagine how you might live in a house like that. So looking back on things like that, now I can see that this work really fits with what I like to do.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

So that, that's an interesting kind of idea that, you know, it's pretty easy to say, oh Yes, I come from a family of, I don't know, lawyers, teachers, doctors, and you're like, oh, I come from a family where somebody put something in front of me, there was a visual and somehow it kind of imprinted on my mind and ended up impacting my future state.

 

Emily McConnell: 

I really liked the imagination part of it. You could take these two dimensional plans and think about a three dimensional building and how it would work. And I was always impressed that architects and designers could imagine something and then put it down on paper and it could be constructed that way. So I think that that's what really drew me to that sort of thing. And now it works with sort of my project management and strengths in, in, in that field.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

So as a partner in the new height group, tell me what that means.

 

Emily McConnell:

So the new height group is a small company of only four people.  We develop real estate in and around Portland, Maine. So we've built three condominium buildings in Portland, and we've done some additional work in other communities in Maine.  we're currently working on the redevelopment of the Mercy hospital building on State street.  Mercy built a new hospital and moved to a new location and we're taking the building constructed in the 1940s and turning it into much needed workforce housing in Portland.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Well, that's actually very interesting to me cuz I had one of my children at Mercy hospital. Yeah.

 

Emily McConnell: 

It's really hard to talk to anyone in Maine without hearing about a mercy hospital connection.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

So as you're, I imagine you've been on the site and you've walked around. So as you're walking around, are you kind of having the sense of babies being born and people living lives and the nuns and the people taking care of people?

 

Emily McConnell: 

Definitely when it was an operating hospital and during the first couple of months now the interior demolition is nearly complete. The exterior demolition is complete. So it doesn't quite have that same feeling. You can sort of see it starting to take the shape of an apartment building.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

So how does that feel? I, I I'm, I'm, I'm so interested in this because just for example, on our property, we took down a bunch of trees and it made me really sad because there are trees and, you know, the birds don't have a place to live anymore, that sort of thing. But then on the other side, I'm thinking, okay, but something else is gonna go there and more trees will grow up around it and something new will happen. So as you're working through this process and bringing new things to life, are you, do you have any emotions around it or is it just kind of a business feeling? 

 

Emily McConnell: 

It's more of a business feeling to be honest.  I mean, mercy, the Northern light mercy health made the decision to build themselves a new hospital.  a, a building constructed in the forties does just not have the modern amenities that a hospital needs. So they were really looking for a partner to make sure that this really prominent building in Portland was repurposed in the way that would best serve the community. And the housing crisis in Portland has been a critical issue for a number of years. And we knew that in order to convince Northern light mercy health, that we were the people to sell the building to, we would need to convince them that it would make an impact on the housing problem.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

Well, that's actually pretty exciting.

 

Emily McConnell: 

It's very exciting. And in addition to the apartments that will go in the hospital themselves, we're also selling a couple of parcels to community housing of Maine to build affordable apartments for seniors and families. So a hundred affordable apartments, plus the market rate apartments in the hospital.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Do you ever get pushback from people who maybe delivered their babies at mercy or remember the good old days or have thoughts about development in Portland?

 

Emily McConnell:

Yes. There are a lot of thoughts about development in Portland.  and we hear all of them.  developers are agents of change and people don't always like change. It's always hard. So that is just a part of the conversation. And I think that if you are going to do this work, you just have to develop a little bit of a thick skin about it and try to understand where people are coming from. People are coming from a place of like being concerned that the place that they love is changing and helping people understand that the changes that we're making can actually benefit the community instead of help, you know, instead of gentrifying or destroying it can be all the difference in getting the neighborhood on your side when you're doing a project like this.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

I actually really love that because I know that a lot of times we think about change management, which is kind of project oriented. You lay out the steps, you achieve the goals and if you can achieve all the things you need to do along the way, then you'll get to the other side. But there is, there is actually an emotional component to it. There's oh, completely change leadership thing that you actually have to engage

 

Emily McConnell: 

People feel so connected to where they live and their neighborhoods.  a lot of people that live in Portland, you know, have been there for their entire lives. So I, you know, have nothing but empathy for that.  That being said, like, you know, we do need to make some changes and we do need to make Portland into a place where people feel welcome and feel like they can afford to live there and feel like they can live in a place where they can walk to work and easily manage their day to day. So that means more housing.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

Yeah. So, I mean, you can simultaneously validate where they're coming from and also say, but wouldn't you want a place to live if you were a new person coming to Portland, if this were you, you know, 50 years ago wouldn't you wanna feel welcome too? Yeah.

 

Emily McConnell: 

Portland's having a real moment and it feels like that moment has been going on for quite a number of years now, but it doesn't seem to be slowing down at all. So I think that one of the ways that we can capitalize on that is to make sure that we have enough housing for people who wanna live here.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

And that is something that I think we don't often consider. I know that in some places, if you're a teacher, you actually have to drive in from out of town to do your job, because especially in some of the communities where there isn't affordable housing, it makes it impossible for you to actually build a life where you're working. So what you're describing is incredibly important. 

 

Emily McConnell:

I think that's especially true in Maine's coastal communities where real estate prices, you know, have benefited from the bump that we've seen over the last few years and are maybe not affordable to people who live and work in a community like that. So making, taking advantage of the programs that are in place to finance development of housing, that employer workforce is a critical part of that.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

So as part of affordable housing, are you also working with the possibility that you might be bringing new Mainers into Portland and giving them a place to live?

 

Emily McConnell: 

So the new height group does not have any affordable housing projects right now. We are working with a non-profit housing developer community, Housing of Maine, on those aspects. So I think that they probably work with those populations, but it's not something I have expertise in.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

Well, I mean, it, just because affordable housing, isn't something that is being worked on. It doesn't mean that new miners of some sort might not come to live in the places that you're, you're putting out there. Sure. Really just the idea that you're welcoming people of, of all sorts to this place that you're developing for them.

 

Emily McConnell: 

We really want to make sure that Portland has a range of housing choices. So for sale and for rent at all points in the market, it's all needed. It's all necessary. It has to be built.  and so even if we're not doing the affordable portion of it, it's part of the conversation and part of the overall plan for the mercy hospital site.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

So when you went from working at main media to doing the work you're doing now, that was actually a pretty big decision for you because you essentially became an independent contractor.

 

Emily McConnell: 

It's true. It was a leap to go from having a regular paycheck and health insurance to not having either of those things.  but I had some great support.  The new height group immediately hired me for about 50% of my time, which gave me enough of a safety net that I felt like I could make the leap and leave the magazines. And I, you know, have a great partner who told me that no matter what we would figure out the financial part of it. So that gave me the confidence to take the step.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Was there something that kind of prompted you to say, you know what, I think I've, I've reached this place where I wanna take that leap. I wanna make this big change in my life. And I have the faith that this is going to move in a direction that is gonna work for me.

 

Emily McConnell:

I don't know that there was a singular event that made that happen, but I, you know, I worked at the main media collective for about seven years. And so I just sort of reached the point where I felt like I had learned it and I wanted to learn something new and completely different.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

So for people who are kind of making this decision and going from a place of somewhat comfort and somewhat, you know, you, you're describing a level of knowledge, a, a level of kind of confidence to a place of the unknown. I mean, are there people that talk to you about doing this sort of thing for themselves? And do you give them advice that kind of helps carry you through?

 

Emily McConnell: 

 no but, if someone were to ask me that, I think what I would say is be open to different possibilities. You may have a plan for what you'd like to do and what you want to do, but that plan may not be exactly where you land. So be flexible and open and come from a place of, yes.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

Give me an example of one of those possibilities that kind of emerged for you. That was unexpected.

 

Emily McConnell:

When I left my media collective, I expected that I would be spending at least half of my time doing bookkeeping for small businesses.  but it turns out that that was great as sort of a way to bridge the gap but not long term what I wanted to be doing.  so I had this idea that my career would be split between real estate and sort of administrative consulting. And instead it just became all consumed with real estate, which is much more fun.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

But that's really interesting cuz you still in your mind said, okay, well I'm gonna, I'm gonna hang onto this thing that I know how to do. And it is sort of a place of safety to do that for about 50% of the time, but it didn't take long to kind of push past that place and, and realizing that you really need to fully commit yourself to that next phase.

 

Emily McConnell: 

And that the work that I was doing in real estate development was more engaging for me, more fun.  It felt like what I should be doing.  whereas on the other side, you know, I would do my administrative bookkeeping work and be like, man, I would rather be doing anything else. So that's really what, like, it was the feeling that I had while doing both things that led me to say, I really would like to spend most of my time doing this and not as much time doing that.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

So I find that fascinating because you wouldn't necessarily have known that you didn't have that feeling until you started doing something that gave you a different feeling.

 

Emily McConnell:

Exactly.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

And I think a lot of people just get on a path and they keep doing the same thing and they keep having the same feeling, but they wouldn't know any different because there isn't another opportunity to, to have a different experience, but you made it possible to have that yourself. Did you have a sense at some point like, Hmm, I know what this feels like over here, but maybe there's something else.

 

Emily McConnell: 

 I don't know if it was ever clear in my head that way, but I think that when I started doing real estate development work, it really clicked for me. And I felt like I was using the skills that I really enjoyed and that I, the things that maybe I was good at, but didn't get as much joy from were being less used. And so it felt like a good fit for my personality and the sort of life that I wanted to lead.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

So what are those skills.

 

Emily McConnell: 

Organization communication?  I think that I work directly with a lot of the buyers, the end owners of our condominium buildings or condominium units. And so that sort of customer service sort of people pleasing thing is a part of it as well.  I really, I like working with people who have high expectations and then meeting those expectations.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

So that's a very kind of front-facing, orient oriented, you know, com community oriented way of living as opposed to if you're doing bookkeeping, I'm assuming that's more of a back office. Yeah. Not necessarily interfacing quite as much with the public. And did you know that you enjoyed doing that other front facing piece when you first stepped into the development side?

 

Emily McConnell: 

 I think that I developed that skill while working at the main media collective. I have never considered myself as in sales or a salesperson, but one of the sort of philosophies of that organization was that everyone is in sales. And so the sales that I was doing were things like getting customers to pay their bills on time. And so it, it just changed the way that I looked at it, its sales doesn't have to be like buy this thing today. It can just be the way that you sort of engage people in what you're doing and bring them into believing that what you have to offer is valuable.  and so I just sort of took that in a different direction by moving over to real estate sales.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

So how does one develop those skills?

 

Emily McConnell: 

I have no idea

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

That you've been doing it. So,

Emily McConnell:  Yes, I think that it's hard to say how it's not like exercise where you're like, I do this exercise and I get stronger. It's sort of, it's less direct than that. So it, it, that's a tough question.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

Well, I know I can tell I'm tying you because that's okay. Cuz I've thought a lot about this myself and I know that in the work that I do, I have absolutely needed to step into a place of discomfort and uncertainty. You know, I, I think a lot of us in, in my case, I'll say, you know, I'm, I tend to be more introverted. I like to kind of hang out by myself and read my books and I get my energy that way. But I also do like people, so I've needed to just kind of keep stepping into that place of discomfort over and over and over again. And it is a little bit like exercise for me and that the more I practice it, the better I feel like I get. So I'm just wondering if you've had a similar experience or if you've been able to kind of dissect it in your mind.

 

Emily McConnell: 

I think that I've always been warm and personable. And so and so connecting with people in a conversational way is something that comes naturally to me. And that can be useful in developing those sorts of trusting relationships where you meet someone one day and show them a floor plan and say, this is what's going to be built. And then you work with them over the next 18 months while that plan becomes a reality.  and you build trust and build a relationship so that when you get to the point where you're walking through and on closing day, turning over the keys to their new condomini they, you know, they have faith and trust that you deliver the product that you said you would.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

So again, it does kind of come back to relationship building and, and I think that there is, it is interesting. You've pointed out that sales is something that I know is thought of as more transactional where it's okay, I'm gonna go in, I'm gonna buy a car and milk. I'm gonna leave 'em and have car milk, but we are describing a much higher level. And it's really the working with people to create value in their life that they are willing to exchange money for.

 

Emily McConnell: 

Right. And in, I mean, for most people buying a home is like the largest purchase they're going to make. So it shouldn't be transactional. You should purchase it from someone that you have confidence in and believe will do the work correctly and then will stand by it in the end. So I, I completely agree that when it comes to real estate, it should not be transactional. It should be a relationship.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

And at the same time, there's all these technical aspects. I mean, when you went back into this work, you actually had to go and get your license. I'm assuming, do all kinds of studying for it. So you actually, it's a both and kind of situation. You have to have a lot of different skills in a lot of different areas.

 

Emily McConnell: 

I spent the first few years doing what I'm doing without any sort of real estate license and just working on the development side of things.  and then it became clear that, you know, that was probably a good thing to sort of have in my back pocket. So I could take advantage of some of the other opportunities in the real estate world that come up.  it's, I mean, it's not a, it's not anything close to what you need to do to become a doctor or a lawyer or anything like that. It's a pretty simple class.  but it does involve learning a bunch of new material and taking a test.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

But, you know, I think you're, you're raising something that for me is really important. And that is in some ways becoming a doctor or a lawyer, the fact of the clear path makes the process easier. I mean, it's hard being, I mean, I'm not gonna discount that, but, but the fact that, okay, you know, that what you need to do at most steps along the way, if you do this, then this, then this, and at the end you get a degree and then you can go for a job. What you're describing is, okay. I know that there are some skills I need, but there's not a class to take those skills. Then I'm going along the path. And then I'm like, oh, well I need some technical information. I'm gonna go in that direction. So you really do have to be continually assessing what is necessary for you and what is necessary for the work that you wanna do.

 

Emily McConnell: 

Yeah. I think in this world, if you're waiting for someone to tell you what to do, it's not going to go according to plan.  I think that this is the sort of thing where you need to really say I would like to advance. So I'm gonna do an additional course on this or learn about this new piece of machinery or material in building.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

So in this world, it sounds like you don't need to, if you wait to have permission from someone you're probably gonna be waiting a long time.

 

Emily McConnell: 

Or if you wait for someone to tell you, these are the exact steps you need to take to be successful, it's really a matter of figuring out what that is for you and your strengths and deciding to do it on your own.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

Yes, that's actually a great point too, because you have, if you, if you follow somebody else's steps, you may end up where somebody else ended up and that's not actually where you wanna be.

 

Emily McConnell: 

Right. I mean, everyone sort of has to forge their own path in this world.  in a world built on relationships, you know, everyone else has their relationships set up already and you can't poach them. So you need to figure out how to set up your own business and create your own strategy.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

Do you think that education and I love teachers? My mom is a teacher, you know, I work with a lot of teachers, so I'm not thinking about the educational system, but do you think that education allows enough for that idea of setting your own path and having the ability to kind of assess what you need in your own life?

 

Emily McConnell: 

I feel lucky that my education did.  I went to a great high school in Maine and I went to a liberal arts college. So really I thought, I think that my education was more about learning how to think critically and communicate well, and those are foundations that you can build any career on.  so I feel lucky that my education did provide that sort of foundation.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

Well, good. So I'm glad you, you weren't digging the teachers that I I'm glad you brought that back around so people who are listening are like, where is she going with this? Okay. Hmm. Well, I guess I, I just, I bring this up because I, I feel like sometimes what I have felt in my own education is that there is kind of this, this, you know, do this, then do this. This is what's important, you know, pass this test, study for the test. And sometimes I wonder if by kind of teaching to the test, we come out on the other side with, with such a structured way of thinking about things that maybe it doesn't allow for creativity, but you're suggesting the opposite in your case, it seems like you were able to come out on the other side and you, your thought process got you to where you are now. And

 

Emily McConnell:

I think that there are a lot of tools available now that aren't necessarily that you wouldn't maybe think of as education, but that can be educational.  I mean, even YouTube is such a great resource for learning how to do new things. So it doesn't need to be like a class and a test. It can be like, I wanna learn how to fix this thing. So I'm gonna watch a YouTube video about how to do it.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

Yes. That is a great point. I was like, I had it in my frame, the old fashioned way of getting an education and what you're describing is a more broad based approach to education. And, and that actually is really important because,

 

Emily McConnell:

And it's self-directed so if you feel like you wanna learn how to like, have difficult conversations or argue more effectively, there are YouTube videos that you can watch about how to do that. I mean, I'm not gonna say how effective they are, but I think that education can really be in your own hands and how much you want to learn is up to you.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

So maybe the idea is, okay, so we've provided this educational structure at kind of, you know, the earlier levels of your life, but then as time or even beginning, then, you know, you start augmenting bringing things in from the outside that actually makes sense to you and never fully relying solely on somebody else's way of approaching things. Just using that more as a kind of launching place.

 

Emily McConnell:

I remember there, the motto of my elementary school Belgrade central school was lifelong learning and I didn't really know what that was, but now I think back on it and it's like, oh, like it's always being willing to like, learn something new, no matter how old you are. So I hope to continue to do that forever.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Well, that's actually a really big motto for an elementary school. Yeah. Did you look at that thing, wow. Like I'm just, you know, I'm six, like, you know, what was lifelong mean at the time? I mean, it's

 

Emily McConnell:

Lifelong felt like 20 whole years at that point, but right.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

Exactly. And 30 was like, okay, well those things are almost over by them, but Yes, no, that's really interesting. The reason we brought you on, in addition to just knowing you for a very long time is that you actually do bring art into some of the work that you do as you're doing development, as you're working with people and kind of bring their homes to a new level. And, tell me about that. Has that been told to me about that connection with the Portland art gallery and the artwork that you've helped people to choose?

 

Emily McConnell:

so I, oh, you know, have recommended Portland art gallery to a number of condo buyers. Often people are either moving here from another place and the style of their old home doesn't match the style of their new home. So they need to completely start from scratch.  or maybe this is a second home and they need to buy some additional things to fill it out.  But regardless, I think that the way that we approach design is that we want our, we want the homes that we build to feel welcoming and inviting, and like you are inviting the outside in that there isn't any sort of this division between your living space and the outside world that those are connected to. So a lot of our projects feature large scale windows and lots of glass, which can be a challenge because then where do you hang your art?  so I've found that having a place to send people can be helpful in sort of filling those hard to hard to fill nooks. And grannys where you want to really display something that elevates your decor. But it may not be like a standard, you know, painting.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

Do you think that working with the main media collective, which involved the magazine main home design, gave you and kind of expanded your sense of the importance of the visual when it came to home building, creating, selling, developing?

 

Emily McConnell: 

Absolutely.  I think that I sort of think of a real estate listing in a more editorial way than some other realtors do.  I like the photographs to feel like you're looking through a magazine and not looking at a real estate listing.  so I work with some photographers that also do magazine editorial work because they have that eye that works well.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

And this piece that we have behind us is a delin Vander, SC, and clearly there it's very abstract in nature. Do you, do you have a sense that people, when they're looking at art in the buildings that you are creating homes with them, do you have a sense that they are more of an abstract or does it kind of depend upon the person that you're working with? Yes,

 

Emily McConnell: 

Totally depends on the person. And I also think it depends on whether they're full-time residents or not.  I think some folks that spend time away and enjoy Maine for part of the year, like to have that more main landscape feeling in their art.  but it really is such a personal decision depending on, you know, the owner.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

And how about in your own life? I mean, you, you've done this huge professional kind of transformation of, of self over the last, I guess, five to six years or so.  have you made any other transformations in your own life because you were saying, you know, part of why you did this, is it kind of was more in sync with the life you want to lead. Are you, are you now living that life and what does that look like for you?

 

Emily McConnell: 

 I love my life.  I'm very, I feel very lucky every day.  I have been able to sort of take some of the some of what I loved about working at Maine home and design and some of what I love about the design and development work and make improvements to my own home, which has been really nice. It's I think that I, I like the idea of my home always being a work in progress.  I grew up in a house that my parents, you know, built when I was five and we had plywood subfloors for the first, like seven years. We lived there because it was a work in progress all the time. And to this day, there are little projects around the house.  so I have always felt like you can live in a place that is a project.  and it is so satisfying to complete a task. We put down hardwood floors this year, and that was, you know, rolling up and getting our hands dirty and doing that.  and then at the end you just have this magnificent sense of accomplishment that you just did something to make your home better.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

And it sounds like you've been kind of doing the same thing with yourself over the past five to seven years. You're, you're just, you've been like pulling up all the rugs and you've been looking at the things that underneath and you're sanding it down and, and it feels like you're just, you are kind of you're, you've emerged into this whole new person, this whole new being,

Emily McConnell: 

It's still me but, I do, I mean, I've gone through a lot of change in the past year.  I've figured out diet and exercise for maybe the first time in my life.  so I feel better about myself.  and I Yes, I'm more excited now than ever for what the years ahead bring. I just, I feel like I'm in a good spot.

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Well, I really, I really love that because it is incredibly difficult to actually get to that place and then to actually live in that place kind of, oh, figuring it out. I'm, I'm kind, I'm walking around on the sub floor for all this amount of time and are we gonna come out to the other side with a nice product? And I think that requires quite a lot of, not only a kind of faith, but also hard work. I mean, you just have to, every day you show up and you're like, all right, I'm gonna keep hammering on the nail. I'm gonna keep, you know, paint, painting the spot that needs to get painted. And, and, and that's a lot, some people give up easily and it doesn't, you are not one of those people,

Emily McConnell: 

Not now, but I, you know, have plenty of time before.  I just feel like at this point in my life, like, I'm not, I don't have much more time to waste. Like I just wanna dig in and get to the good stuff immediately. So Yes, I, I have, it's interesting because, you know, I, I agree that I've changed a lot and become in a lot of ways, like a different version of myself, but to me it just still feels like me.

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

Well, that's good, right?

Emily McConnell: 

Yes. I think that's critical.

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

I mean, I think that that's the, that is the interesting kind of the interesting piece. At least it has been for me. And I don't wanna speak for you is that really, as you're doing all these kind of revisions and you're and time kind of understanding what it is that you want outta your life, that what you're doing is you're, you're actually also peeling back layers and you're just returning more to the kind of central core of yourself. and, and this idea that you're, you, you're eventually kind of getting back to that place where you're standing in front of your elementary school side, looking at the lifelong learning idea. Hmm. That, that you're not really any different than who you ever were. You're just more of that.

 

Emily McConnell: 

Hmm. I like that. Yeah. More Emily,

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle:

More Emily. Well, I like that too. And it's really been a pleasure to talk to you today. Thanks Lisa. So you too, if there are people who want to reach out who are thinking, oh, I'd really like to work with Emily on a new home or a new project, then how can they find you?

 

Emily McConnell: 

 so Emily new hike group.com is my email.  and we have a website and you can also find me at vitals real estate group in Portland.

 

Dr. Lisa Belisle: 

Very good. Well, I encourage you to reach out to Emily McConnell, who is a partner at new Hyde group, and really kind of experienced some of the brilliance that is Emily, because clearly she has pulled together a lot of really interesting elements to bring this newest version of herself to the world. And I appreciate the time talking with you today. 

 

Emily McConnell: 

Thank You, Lisa.