What personal qualities have contributed most to your success? Practice,
preparation, and hard work—and then not worrying too much about how things will
turn out. There is a lot that we can control, and then there is a lot that we can’t. You
don’t need to worry too much about those things.
Being part of a power couple where both you and your wife have high-profile
careers, how do you support one another Gabby and I have always supported each
other in our careers as public servants. When I was a NASA astronaut, Gabby was
always my biggest supporter. And when she was in the Arizona state senate, and then
in Congress, I was always right there behind her. We both have always put a lot into our
careers and worked hard. But we have always tried to remind each other that it’s the
family and friends who are most important.
Many real estate pros have reinvented their business over the last five years.
How were you able to reinvent yourself throughout your career—first in the Navy,
then with NASA, and today as a speaker and author? I’ve been fortunate to take
on different opportunities and challenges throughout my career in the Navy, at NASA,
and even after leaving the government. For me, drive and persistence have always
been the key to success. When I was in flight school, I really struggled at first. But never
giving up, no matter how bad things seemed to be, is the only thing that worked for
me. I suspect many REALTORS® struggle as they try to build a small business. They
need to know that there is no substitute for your own internal drive and determination.
Persistence can overcome anything.
What do you and your wife love most about your house? Did you use a REALTOR®
to buy it? The house we found here in Tucson was just perfect for Gabby. Everything fit,
including her old Vespa scooter with the sidecar that now sits in the living room—yes, in
the living room. I like the location near the University of Arizona. [The REALTOR®] was
superb at her job. She knew what was right for us, and we didn’t even know her that well.
You spent a total of 54 days in space during four space shuttle missions,
including serving as commander of Endeavour’s last flight. What was your most
memorable moment in space. Several events stick out: Laying on my back on the
launch pad the second before those solid rocket boosters ignite is a feeling you don’t
forget. The next second, as 7 million pounds of thrust smacks you in the back, is high
on the list, too. The first time I saw the Earth from space was at about Mach 15 going
uphill. I peeked over my right shoulder for just a second to see this big blue marble just
floating in the blackness. Then there is seeing the International Space Station up close
for the first time. It’s unforgettable! I also won’t ever forget every time I suited up my
crew members and sent them out the hatch into the blackness of space. You really
hope that you didn’t leave out any steps in the checklist, because the vacuum of space
is a very unforgiving environment. And then there’s coming home to Gabby and my
kids. That is the best.
Saturday, Nov. 8, at 4 p.m.
Mark Kelly is the keynote speaker
at the General Session. 2 0 1 4
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