The Art of Reinvention – Dottie Herman

The Art of Reinvention

The Art of Reinvention

Last month, I had an epiphany.

You see, for the past few years, I’ve wanted to do more with my life. However, while I was the CEO of Douglas Elliman, I never felt like I could pursue anything outside of the company because it would distract me from my day to day obligations. I spent 30 years, fostering so many incredibly talented agents. I loved my role in their lives, and enjoyed watching the impact I was making on them to help each achieve their dreams.

As I watched our company grow, I yearned to grow too.

Real estate has always been my passion, but for some time, it was no longer filling my emotional bucket.

So, I sat back and asked myself a lot of big questions.

What did I want to do in the next chapter of my life?

How could I be of service to others?

Who do I need to become to accomplish those goals?

I knew I had another act in me, that I certainly wasn’t finished. I just needed to figure it out.

I had to dig deep. And the further down I searched, the less I was coming up with answers.

You see, sometimes we go looking for something in life, expecting it to be right there waiting for us. Yeah, that doesn’t really happen, does it?

I have often found there’s great value in sitting back and letting the universe unfold its plan for us rather us trying to control it.

When I first started out in real estate, I had no idea what I was doing. But I was a hard worker and was willing to learn everything I could that would take me to the next level in business. At the time, there weren’t a lot of women at the highest levels of corporations. So not only did we need to work hard, we also had to work smart.

Not much has changed today. I think a lot of women still feel ignored or irrelevant. Especially women of a certain age who want to step back into a work life or who have decided to change their direction altogether.

All around me, I ran into women who shared they had led happy, full lives but suddenly they were starting to feel invisible. The idea of going from feeling on top of the world to feeling like you no longer have something to offer—as if you somehow reached your expiration date, seemed nuts to me. And yet, so many of us feel that way. So I started doing some research. Where could I go online to get inspired? What was out there to help me navigate all the uncertainty I found myself questioning?

What I discovered, was there wasn’t a lot out there.

And that’s when it occurred to me.

I could do that. I could help women find these elusive answers by creating resources and a community that supported one another through those uncharted waters. I didn’t want to be a rudderless boat. I wanted to be the lead ship, escorting others on a fantastic journey we could all take. And so, I started taking stock of how to do that.

I will keep you informed as I get further down this path. Because, we aren’t alone in this world. We are stronger together. I’d love to hear your thoughts too. Feel free to write to me on and share where you’re at.

Jon Kabat Zin once said, “You can’t change the tide, but you can learn to surf.” Boy, does he have that right. Kowabunga!

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