William's Places: I AM Surviving My Serengeti, Because I Have What It Takes...

I AM Surviving My Serengeti, Because I Have What It Takes...


I AM Surviving My Serengeti, Because I Have What It Takes….


            I have never looked at my life through the lenses of nature. Being a deeply spiritual man, I have always viewed the various facets of my life as nothing more than a series of events designed, if you will, to draw me closer to God, to drive out of my character those traits that were not conducive to living a wholesome life, and to instill in me the traits that would allow me to be a blessing to others.

Surviving Your Serengeti            I have always been aware, however, that many lessons of life could be drawn from nature. Ants are industrious, flowers do no work and yet they thrive and grow, just to name a few. So I began reading the first two chapters of Stefan Swanepoel’s Surviving Your Serengeti with a knowledge that there would definitely be insights into my life that I had not previously considered, or even encountered, in reading anything else, including the Bible.

            As I look back over the landscape of my business life – going on four years as a real estate agent, having entered the market right when the real estate landscape was shifting into almost desert-like conditions, I realize that there are a few good reasons why I should have failed and dropped out of the business - not many closings within the last three years, paying all expenses out of pocket – and yet, here I am still moving forward, and working toward making my own success this year, thanks in no small part to my broker and fellow agents, who have encouraged and supported me, given me sound advice and taught me a few things along the way. Coupled with the landscape of my personal life – working a full time job as a teacher, dealing with a chronically ill grandparent and her issues, finishing grad school and coping with being separated from my wife and children, all while she is still dealing with a health crisis of her own, while dealing with my own health issues, and facing foreclosure and a seriously busted house to boot, and it is a wonder to myself that I am still sane and functional, let alone managing to hold on to my business as a real estate agent. Yet again, I am actually doing well, given the circumstances. To be able to work and live through all of these changes and challenges takes strength of will and purpose that defies all logic and comprehension.

            The unwavering tenacity that has served me so well in these past few years has, in retrospect, always been there. When I look back over my life, I can clearly see the cyclical nature of the storms of life that have transpired in the short 37 years that I have been living on this earth. Seeing my father abuse my mother, living through the necessary divorce, being raised by one parent, being on welfare, being in multiple car accidents, not having a father figure in my life, yet excelling in school, not getting caught out in typical juvenile behavior under such circumstances, graduating college and moving back home penniless, with no job prospects, yet moving forward and attaining my teaching certification and landing a job as a teacher – all that and more than time or space will permit me to express – and the metaphor of the Serengeti that Swanepoel describes in the first two chapters of Surviving Your Serengeti was one to which I could easily relate. I read the two chapters, fascinated with how apt the observations of Zachariah were, not only for the natural habitat which he had been studying for the major portion of his life, but also for the lives of Sean, Ashley, and my own.

Now that I had finally downloaded the preview and What Animal Are You?read the chapters, the only thing left was for me to take the quiz and see what type of animal I am. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I wasn’t surprised to learn that I am a wildebeest. Most fitting, I think, considering that I have stubbornly endured, both in my personal and business life, many challenges to my very survival. I definitely have what it takes to succeed in this business…I have survived, and will continue to survive my Serengeti, both professionally and personally, because I do have what it takes…



Greater Waterbury CT Real Estate FaceBook William James Walton, Sr. on LinkedIn William James Walton, Sr. on Twitter William  James Walton's videos on YouTube 




Courtesy of William James Walton, Sr. , Realtor, WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group

Serving northern New Haven and southeastern Litchfield Counties (Waterbury, Wolcott, Prospect, Naugatuck, Middlebury, Southbury, Watertown, Thomaston and Plymouth)


Call William James Walton, Sr. Real Estate Agent with WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group (203) 558-7463 for help with your real estate needs -buying or selling -  in Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott, Middlebury, Southbury, Prospect, Naugatuck, Plymouth and Thomaston

Buyers - Search for Greater Waterbury, CT Area Homes For Sale

Sellers - Request a Free Home Evaluation, Look at Recent Home Sales

Comment balloon 35 commentsWilliam James Walton Sr. • February 25 2011 11:14PM


I took the quiz today and I am a crocidile......I need to get that book and read it!! I have seen quite a few realtors talk about it today.

Posted by Stacey Smith, Your Orange County Beach Cities Realtor (Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago

William, nice summary for the 2 chapters. I keep hearing about this challenge, but not sure where to take it. Have a blessed weekend!

Posted by Don Wixom, "Looking out for your next move..."tm (RE/MAX Executives Nampa, ID) over 9 years ago

Nicely written William, enjoyed the post.

We are all challenged in different ways in the environment we live in .



Posted by Nor Yeretsian, Envoy Capitol Realty Inc., Brokerage Toronto (Envoy Capitol Realty Inc.) over 9 years ago

I really enjoyed the first chapters as well and am looking forward to finishing.  I am a cheetah.

Posted by Steve Scheer, Highlands Ranch Real Estate - Denver Real Estate (Realty Oasis - Metro Brokers) over 9 years ago

Great post. You seem to be just like wildebeest - relentless in moving forward, never giving up. Great traits to have. You are the second wildebeest I've met today. The rest of Realtors seem to be crocs. I'm a giraffe. See you again soon.

Posted by Elizabeth Byrne, Arlington Virginia Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago

William, it was a great book and a fun test, with an intereseting insight into our personalities, wasn't it?

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 9 years ago

Andrea - Indeed it was. I am actually looking forward to reading the rest of the book...

Elizabeth - I recognized myself as a wildebeest before I even took the test, from reding the second chapter. I've noted that many of our colleagues here seem to be crocs as well. I'd like to see what that actually means...

Steve - So am I. Cheetah, huh? I'll have to see what that means as well...

Nor - The challenges that our environments provide to us are sometimes stand-alone events or circumstances. What I recognized in the Serengeti was the constant nature of those challenges, that keep repeating for what seems to be an eternity. That's why it takes tenacity to survive those challenges, because they never stop coming...

Don - I hope that you figured it out, and soon. It was a great contest to participate in!

Stacy - good! I think all of us who have participated are going to have another book to add to our collection...

Posted by William James Walton Sr., Greater Waterbury Real Estate (WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group) over 9 years ago

William, life is never abut the challenge, it's how we go about overcoming the situation that defines our character.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 9 years ago

Ed - My point exactly. I've been overcoming, and will continue to overcome....

Posted by William James Walton Sr., Greater Waterbury Real Estate (WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group) over 9 years ago

YES YOU DO "have what it takes." It is clear that you are a strong and enduring wildebeest. Thanks for the review, I enjoyed reading about your journey!

Stefan Swanepoel
Author : Surviving Your Serengeti

Posted by Stefan Swanepoel (New York Times Bestselling Author & International Speaker) over 9 years ago

Congratulations! You are a winner..Stefan's Top Eight Serengeti Posts! Congratulations !


Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) over 9 years ago

William, Congratulations! It is ironic to connect with you here this way given I grew up in Connecticut. It is amazing how "reading and writing" about a book brings us on another page. I admire your honesty, your inspiring story and all you do to make a difference here. ~ an enterprising "crocodile" at the end of the Santa Fe trail.

Posted by Emily Medvec, Realtor | Serving Santa Fe & Northern NM (eXp Realty LLC) over 9 years ago

William, congratulations on becoming one of the "Serengeti" winners. Your story is truly inspiring.

Posted by Elizabeth Byrne, Arlington Virginia Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago

William, Congratulations on a well-deserved top honor.  Yours is quite a story, makes me a little ashamed when I think of some of the things in my life that I get upset about....overall, I have had it pretty darn good.  Your take on Stefan's book is incredibly insightful.

May your life only get better from here!

Bridget "Maryland Mortgage Mama" McGee

Posted by Bridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee, Maryland Mortgage Mama NMLS#196068 (SWBC Mortgage 410-960-2061) over 9 years ago

Beautiful post!  IT has not been an easy road these last 4 years.  That is about how long I have been in this business.  Turns out, I am a crocodile and after reading the qualities, they were dead on.

Best of luck to you as you forge your way through your many challenges ahead!

Posted by Jayne Williamson, Keller Williams, Hendersonville NC over 9 years ago

Well written about who you are and how you have survived.  I enjoyed reading this, well worth the consideration given.

Posted by Navona Hart, Selling the Best Properties in Central Virginia (Real Living Cornerstone) over 9 years ago

William--congratulations on being a winner and such a great post--from one wildebeest to another!

Posted by Janet Jones, Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii (Just Your Style Interiors, LLC) over 9 years ago

What a great tale of your Serengeti William ~ I too congratulate you as one of Stefan's winners.  It's easy to see why he picked YOUR post, it really does encompass the book! 

I'm with you can't wait to read the "rest of the story!"

A Graceful Giraffe in Raleigh

Posted by Lee & Pamela St. Peter, Making Connections to Success in Real Estate (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522) over 9 years ago

Hi William,

Very clearly you know how to endure.  Kudos for overcoming all the obstacles in your life.


Posted by The Scott Loper Team Bux-Mont Premier Properties (Keller Williams Real Estate - Montgomeryville) over 9 years ago

William--I have been following your posts for awhile and realized that your were dealing with some tough issues.  Thanks for sharing your very inspirational story here.  Keep going.  You have what it takes to be successful in all aspects of your life.

Posted by Mary Yonkers, Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor (Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate) over 9 years ago

With all that you have endured, and the fact that you keep going, it's no wonder you're a wildebeest.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) over 9 years ago

Congratulations William! Your life story is an excellent example of enduring and overcoming adversity! You are a role model for others similarly situated to follow. Thank you for sharing!

Posted by Clark Cook, Marketing Homes For Sale In Fayetteville NC Area (1st Choice Realty of Fayetteville, LLC) over 9 years ago

Congratulations on being one of the "Chosen" ones!

Posted by Steven Pahl, Real Estate Consultant Tampa, FL 813-319-6423 (Keller Williams Tampa Properties) over 9 years ago

William ~ wonderful post and connection you seem to have with the wildebeest.  And congrats on being one of the winners!

Posted by Dawn A Fabiszak, The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience! (Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado) over 9 years ago

"To be able to work and live through all of these changes and challenges takes strength of will and purpose that defies all logic and comprehension." It sure does William!!!  Congratulations to you on this great post!  I am a wildebeest too - not many of us!!!

Posted by DeeDee Riley, Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas (Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA) over 9 years ago

Great post William. This is such a great book. I am a croc who is looking forward to sharing this book with all my family, friends and coworkers. I so enjoyed hearing Stefan speak at  KW family Reunion. I think this book has great potential to helping groups to work together more efficiently.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

Posted by Karen Paris, Because Your Move Matters and Karen Cares (Keller Williams Capital Properties Fairfax) over 9 years ago

William, you are one stubborn wildebeest! My husband is one also, and he has those same enduring, tenacious, never give in qualities that make one successful in anything they choose in life. Your post blessed me and I am so happy you are in the Top 8!!

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) over 9 years ago

Yes, indeed, William--you DO have what it takes! Congratulations on yet another win. I loved reading your story. I do hope you will continue to update us on your career and your life. "Separated" from your family? I hope you mean separated by the long hours you work. I don't know what the health crises are, but I sure hope you and she both get through that Serengeti, too!

Posted by Liz Lockhart, GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate (Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO) over 9 years ago

Great post William, you inspire and give others hope when you share your story.  I know that the more you share, the more it will actually encourage and build up yourself.  As we give out to others, the funny thing is that it lifts our spirit man as well. 

Posted by Sherrill Gooch, Residential, Luxury Home Specialist (New Hope Realty Group, LLC) over 9 years ago

Congratulations William for being a winner (in more ways than one).

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Great post, Wildebeest! I am a giraffe! I loved the first 2 chapters and am excited to read the rest of the book!

Posted by Sylvie Stuart, Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta (Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765) over 9 years ago

My goodness William you have been through an awful lot (and I thought I had problems!)  I can relate to much of what you're going through right now.    I admire your perserverance, strength and faith - all things I find myself each day wishing I had more of.

You are an amazing source of inspiration to me and many others.  Thank you. If there's anything you need, please let me know .... REALLY - we're so close!

Posted by Karen Bernetti over 9 years ago

William -- What an inspiring post!  You are definitely an overcomer.  Thanks for sharing it.  

Posted by Janice Weathington (Century 21 Pro-Team) over 9 years ago

Well written!  Thank you for sharing a part of you...

Posted by Carol Tunis, Carol Tunis...a "HouseSold" name! (Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage) over 9 years ago

William, your post definitely shows that your tenacity has rewarded you throughout your life...and I think anyone should be proud and lucky to be a Wildebeest! Congrats on being one of Stefan's top 8 posts and winning this challenge! :)


Posted by Bob & Leilani Souza, Greater Sacramento Area Homes, Land & Investments (Souza Realty 916.408.5500) over 9 years ago