Going for the Goal
September 2021 Issue
by Michele Roldán-Shaw
Photography by Lindsay Gifford
Goals seem big when Allison first sets them. In fact, her idea of a worthy goal is one that others laugh at. But by the time they’ve been accomplished, those same goals suddenly seem small. It’s only in hindsight that she can appreciate her achievements.
“I was a very determined child,” said Allison, an agent with Keller Williams Realty in Beaufort. “Those were words out of my mother’s mouth, but looking back, I did dream big and put 100 percent toward my goals. I will say, though, I never dreamed of being a realtor.”
Allison was raised in Beaufort by self-employed parents, in a family full of hard-working entrepreneurs. She went to USC Columbia for pre-med biology, then began working at a startup that specialized in dual fuel technology. This led to a job with a locomotive company in Greenville,SC, and while working full-time in production, she decided she’d like to take a stab at sales.
“They basically laughed at me and said ‘you can do what you want as long as it’s not on our time,’” Allison recalled. She gave it a try in her off hours, and after getting a big grant from the government that promised to pay 80 percent of the cost for any client who reduced their emissions by a certain amount, Allison sold her first two locomotives.
“I was 23 at the time, in a male-dominated industry,” she said, “but I didn’t realize the accomplishment because I was too focused on what’s next. I think that’s a flaw that I have. I’m sure one day I’ll learn to revel in the glory of the moment, but right now it takes a little time to look back with clarity and say wow, that was pretty cool.”
Another example: When she first got into real estate, her goal was to be No. 1 in the Beaufort MLS for sales volume and units sold. She met that within two years and has held the title ever since. But, it no longer excites her. Now she’s focused on being a team leader of her own business within a business, The Greco Group, which currently has five agents and two full-time, salaried employees.
“It’s about creating and learning together so people can find out what their goals are and put systems in place to achieve them,” said this inexhaustible firecracker for whom 80-hour workweeks are the norm. “I want to inspire my agents to create really big businesses, which in turn, creates really big lives.”
Something she learned from Keller Williams was the model of “gross a million, net a million, give a million.” She hit the first milestone right away, is poised to crush the second one this year, and now looks toward the last goal of giving, which in her opinion is the best because Allison’s achievements aren’t just all about her—ask her three raccoons.
“I have a special connection with animals,” said Allison, who is apprenticing under a local wildlife rehab maven and dreams of opening her own facility. “If you learn to speak their language, they learn to speak yours, and it’s really calming. It’s also really satisfying to help something that can’t help itself.”
Although it haunts Allison a little that she hasn’t yet found the “why” to give meaning to all her accomplishments, this might actually be just around the corner.
“When my husband and I were dating,” she said, “I told him, ‘I’m gonna have an enchanted forest where you feed raccoons out of your hand, and when you call to the squirrels they come down out of the trees.’ Sixteen years later, we have that. What you focus on expands.”
Husband: Tony, co-owner of The Pool Company, and “the most patient and kind person ever!”
Pets: 3 English setters, 2 cats, and whatever raccoons and squirrels she’s currently fostering that haven’t been released yet. (Pictured above is Ellie her newest dog and left is Chewy, a raccoon she's raised from a bottle.)
How she spends her only free time: with family, especially around the dinner table
Favorite foods: Frogmore stew and her mother’s lasagna
Inspiring quote: “Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.” (From The Go-Giver, her favorite book)