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Cheri Merz from Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America.
This edition of the Motivation & Self Esteem for Success "Achiever's Interview" is with Cheri Merz from Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Cheri runs a very successful Real Estate business offline and has commenced an intriguing online business called "Never Too Late For Success".
Gary Simpson - Hi Cheri, it's wonderful to be able to interview you for the Achievers' Series. I always try to pick interesting people and you certainly fit that category.
Cheri Merz - Thank you Gary. I'm pleased to be here.
Gary Simpson - OK Cheri. The introductions are over (chuckling). Let's get down to business. What is the principal aim of your website and what do you hope to achieve with it?
Cheri Merz - When I started it, I hoped to encourage people my age to keep working toward their goals. Let me explain that. I encourage people not give up because of an artificial assumption that their age makes them less likely to succeed. I also want to promote a few products and services that have helped me to achieve some financial goals of my own.
Gary Simpson - That sounds very worthwhile. Anything else?
Cheri Merz - I'm hoping that a by-product of that will allow me to add a small stream of income to my primary income. The website has evolved into what promises to provide me with a really engaging super-hobby for the rest of my life. And I wouldnít object to it also allowing me to make some income in retirement, if I ever decide to retire.
Gary Simpson - They are excellent motives Cheri. What do you think is different about your website that makes it special?
Cheri Merz - The most obvious difference, and I say this with pride, is that my site was designed by Linda Caroll. She did a spectacular job of making it reflect my personality. I believe it looks very professional in comparison to most of what I have seen on the web. Apart from that Linda has also made it very easy for me to maintain and build onto it on my own. Additionally, the site was inspired by my grandfatherís life story so, of course, that makes it special to me.
Gary Simpson - Cheri, I can attest to Linda's skill. She also built my website and everything that you said about what she did for you is true for me too. Cheri, before we move on I'd like to ask you to expand a little on your grandfather. Why is his story so inspiring to you?
Cheri Merz - My grandfather took up two new careers after he officially retired. He also married for the second time at the age of 92. Thereís actually quite a bit more - you can find the rest of the story on my True Inspiration page, in the story titled ďThe Groom Was 92Ē.
Gary Simpson - Wow, he sounds like he was quite a remarkable guy.
Cheri Merz - He certainly was. I am very proud of him.
Gary Simpson - On a personal note, what do you consider to be your "crowning" achievement to date?
Cheri Merz - Learning to acknowledge and value my gifts.
Gary Simpson - Well that was a very short and swift answer. How long did it take you to achieve that goal?
Cheri Merz - Iím still working on achieving it Gary. However, I believe that I am now reaching it at higher and higher levels. Perhaps I could say that I began to like myself around the age of fifty-five.
Gary Simpson - I can relate to that. Maybe that realization comes to all of us sooner or later depending on the experiences that we have gone through or the personal trials that we have had to endure. Cheri, what is the greatest difficulty you have ever had to overcome along the way?
Cheri Merz - Oh Gary! Anyone who reaches my age and raises four kids has so many difficulties to choose from. I guess the most difficult, after learning to value myself, was something I had to come to terms with before I could move on. I'm talking about reconciling my feelings about my divorce.
Gary Simpson - Cheri, if that's a painful subject...
Cheri Merz - No. I don't mind talking about it. Well, not now anyway - more than 27 years after the event. You see, I was raised to believe that a failed marriage was the ultimate failure. For a long time I felt horrible guilt for taking my boys from their father. It was difficult to reconcile my later happiness with that.
Gary Simpson - I see. Thanks for having the courage to say those things Cheri. Let's move on. What are three personal attributes you possess that help you to win?
Cheri Merz - Iím smart, adaptable and incredibly competitive.
Gary Simpson - Hey Cheri! You didn't mention humble in that lot!
Cheri Merz (laughing) - Well, Gary, you're the one who told me to give myself more credit.
Gary Simpson - Heh - you're right. I was only joking - just having a little dig at the brutal honesty of your self-appraisal. Seriously, I do like people who have the confidence to tell the truth about themselves. Let's move on. Are you a reader and, if so, what books do you read?
Cheri Merz - Iíve read thousands of works of fiction since my grandparents gave me "Little Women" when I was in fourth grade. Up until two years ago, what I read was virtually all fiction - classics, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, some more modern literary works and even a bit of horror. Then I began to read books particularly about real estate, wealth building and success.
Gary Simpson - Gee, it sounds like we have rather similar tastes in that regard - minus "Little Women," that is. This next question is one of my favorites. Do you have a favorite quote or saying and what is it?
Cheri Merz - I do. It's from Nido Qubein. He said something that perfectly captures the spirit of my website. So, of all the quotes Iíve collected and love, itís probably my favorite right now. Here it is: "Wherever you are, whatever your circumstances may be, whatever misfortune you may have suffered, the music of your life has not gone. It's inside you Ė if you listen to it, you can play it."
Gary Simpson - Yep. I have to admit - that is a very good saying. I can definitely relate to it myself. We've been talking a lot about positive influences. For a bit of balance, let's briefly move over to the other side. What, if any, is one thing about the internet that annoys you the most?
Cheri Merz - I suppose the vast, disorganized volume of information, misinformation and dis-information that abounds. What I am talking about here is the information deliberately designed to mislead. I like to be able to classify and find information easily. Because of the "noise" of the garbage, the really good stuff is becoming harder to find. I think weíve all become attention-deficient because of it.
Gary Simpson - You can say that again. I'm appalled by the amount of trash on the internet - as you well know! If we could remove all the rubbish and the pornography then we could free up about two-thirds of the bandwidth. Anyway, from a positive slant - what, in your opinion, is the most advantageous feature of the internet?
Cheri Merz - The ability to meet and interact with people I would never have met without it. My life would be much less rich without you and Linda in particular. The likelihood of our meeting without the internet, given that we live in three different countries, would be nil. Add a few others on a couple more continents whose friendship I value and itís all simply amazing.
Gary Simpson - I agree with that answer wholeheartedly. What project or projects are you currently working on?
Cheri Merz - Iíve just formed a partnership to change the focus of and expand my real estate company. Iím very busy setting up a new business, working on recruiting agents and planning a marketing project that will put my newfound internet marketing skills to work to help expand our reach beyond our regional market.
Gary Simpson - Anything else?
Cheri Merz - Yes. Iím also working on adding a brokerís license from a neighboring state to my current one. Iím supposed to be writing a couple of e-books, but they keep getting put off because the other projects are higher on my list of priorities. On top of all that, my garden calls me in the evenings - Iím building a brick border around one of my flowerbeds. Oh - and Iím helping my daughter plan her wedding. Did I forget anything?
Gary Simpson - That sounds like a lot to me. But you know what they say? "If you want something done - ask a busy person. Lazy people never have the time." Finally, Cheri, is there anything else you would like to say or add to the interview?
Cheri Merz - Yes, thank you! I want to speak to the baby boomers among our readers and ask them if they are coasting into their retirement years. I say that because most of my old friends are, and I donít understand it! We are way too young to settle into our rocking chairs for the duration. I referred earlier to my Grandfather. But my mother has a similar story.
At 83, mom volunteers daily at the public library in her town. After she turned seventy she learned to use a computer to work on her genealogy hobby. Naturally, I am very proud of mom too. Maybe itís just in my genes but at fifty-seven, Iíve got several decades to accomplish a lot more. Donít you?
Gary Simpson - Indeed I do Cheri. I heard somebody say once that they wanted to wear out, not rust out. I thought that was pretty clever, so I remembered it. It sort of encapsulates a lot of what we have been talking about here.
Cheri, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today. It's been a distinct pleasure and I'm sure that all our readers, especially the "baby boomers" will want to visit your website. I wish you all the very best with it.
Cheri Merz - Thanks Gary. I appreciate the opportunity.
Gary Simpson - Readers can learn more about Cheri Merz by visiting her excellent website at: Never2Late4Success).
This interview was conducted by Gary Simpson of Motivation & Self Esteem For Success.
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