Unlocking Success: The Journey of Cheryl Wilkes from Part-time to Full-time Broker

In this episode, Len Lane, founder and president of Brokers for Life Inc., sits down with Cheryl Wilkes, a seasoned mortgage broker and one of the founding members of Brokers for Life. Cheryl shares her journey from working part-time to embracing full-time commitment in the mortgage industry. The conversation delves into Cheryl’s transition, highlighting pivotal moments, challenges faced, and the role of self-belief in making the leap.

Cheryl reflects on her corporate background, initially juggling mortgage brokering with a demanding role at PepsiCo Canada. She discusses the internal barriers she faced, including financial concerns and the fear of leaving a stable job for the unknown. Through personal insights, Cheryl reveals how she overcame these obstacles, leveraging her strengths in sales and client relations to thrive in the mortgage industry. The episode underscores the significance of strategic partnerships, emphasizing the value of collaboration within real estate offices and fostering meaningful connections with realtors.

About Cheryl Wilkes

Cheryl Wilkes is a distinguished mortgage broker with over a decade of experience in the industry. As one of the founding members of Brokers for Life, Cheryl has earned accolades for her exceptional performance, including recognition as Broker of the Year multiple times. With a background in sales and a passion for client advocacy, Cheryl brings a unique blend of expertise and enthusiasm to her role. Her commitment to excellence and dedication to client success have solidified her reputation as a trusted leader in the mortgage community.

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Len 00:02

Welcome. My name is Len Lane, and I am the founder and president of Brokers for Life Inc. and we are Dominion Lending Centres in Western Canada. The topic of our podcast will be about what we consider to be Real Life Mortgage Solutions.

Len 00:18

Today’s guest is the long-standing member of Brokers for Life, actually one of the founding members, she has been licensed since 2008. I’m going to read some of your accomplishments within just within deals even. You’re an elite Hall of Fame with Dominion Lending, you are top 200 For transactions lifetime, with DLC nationally, and already this year, you are 45th in the country. So, I just started your other numbers, you’re probably gonna surpass that by a long shot. You have been diamond level four times, you have been master level once in 2021, although that was given to you after they recalculated everything. You have been platinum level three times, the last time was 2019. Your volume in 2017, you were at 17 million and in 2018, you jumped up to 28 million and in 2021, you hit 48 million. So, obviously, that was a record year, record year for the team as the first one to ever surpass my 42 million. So, congratulations. Very proud of that.

Cheryl 01:29

Yeah, yeah. I was too.

Len 01:29

Ladies and gentlemen, Cheryl Wilkes, Brokers for Life, broker of the year several times, so yay. So, today, we kind of want to talk about a couple of things. The first one being, obviously you start to see those numbers chang in 2017. Is that the first year that you were full time or is that?

Cheryl 01:51

Yeah, it was the first year I really like charged into. 2016 was a bit of a like back and forth year that was when I took that trip for two months and left the country. I got back in 2016 and was like I better hit the ground running here and figure myself out. So, 2016 was sort of a little bit of corporate they had me kind of on call, mostly focusing on mortgage. 2017 was the big first like, yeah, full-time, full speed ahead. No more corporate no been nothing.

Len 02:21

Right. So, you didn’t say you were part-time to begin with. But you actually work for a major corporation.

Cheryl 02:26

Indeed, I did. I was I did all kinds of roles. But basically, for the majority of it, I was outside sales with PepsiCo Canada, which was also a great beverage and a few other brands through the mix. It’s always been the pop world basically. And I dabbled a little on some of the other sides of the company. But that was about a decade and a half probably with those guys. Good background for the sales piece. But I definitely was not the gung-ho corporate kid I knew that pretty quick.

Len 02:57

I fully understand that that’s why we are here. The worst jobs I ever had were for big corporations.

Cheryl 03:05

I’m lucky I had a great boss though for like a majority of it who just understood me and just kind of like let me go do my thing. So, probably how we stuck around so long.

Len 03:11

So, I know you used to say that your accountant said you had the best part-time job that he’d ever seen, as a mortgage broker, right you’re probably still doing at least 10 or 12 million just working part-time. So, what happened or what I guess was the biggest challenge of finally taking that step to go from part-time to full-time?

Cheryl 03:33

To be honest, my blocker was always myself to be very honest. It was the am I going to make enough money to pay my bills because when I was in the back and forth mode was when I was single living by myself and like all those other things right? So, it was the like, Okay, can I do this? I don’t know, maybe and then I’d have like a really good month where I was like what am I doing why am I still in corporate? And then you know you have a month like goes down we’re like I would not survive this month and I just didn’t understand yet how to deal with like the highs and lows. I think it took me probably a little longer because I was so used to corporate and I didn’t have that like second person we’ll call it, you know where it comes in handy that somebody else has an income coming in. And as you know of course like I met my spouse and well soon to be spouse I guess this year. You know everything just sort of aligned beautifully in terms of the fact that he was very encouraging like what are you doing? Why are you still doing both? You could do way better with mortgages, plus also just that mental space of knowing that if I had a down month it wasn’t the end of the world, we could figure it out. Right? So, it was a bit of a catch-22. I also hit a point in the corporate level where anybody might be watching this probably knows thi…