Sarasota Realtor Sue Wolverton follows through on her goals in business and in life. While crossing items off her “bucket list,” she has ridden an elephant, piloted a plane, gone scuba-diving, been a mascot at a University of Oklahoma football game and learned to fly an aerial ballet at the Sarasota Circus.
SARASOTA, Fla. – Her bucket list is 100 items long, but about half of the items are already crossed off: That’s because Sue Wolverton, senior vice president, Southwest region, of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate LLC in Sarasota, says if she can dream it, she can do it.
She rode an elephant in Thailand, met a world leader or two, owned a red convertible and even slept in a haunted house. But the thing that Wolverton was most proud to cross off her bucket list? Being a mascot at the University of Oklahoma vs. Florida State football game in 2010.
“My daughter and husband went to school at the University of Oklahoma. I was one of the horse mascots (Boomer) at that football game – it took me 22 years to get that off my original bucket list,” laughs Wolverton.
And, in a strange twist, “Now my granddaughter is married to the guy who was the original mascot at Oklahoma,” she says.
What started as a fun team-building activity for her real estate team years ago has turned into life goals for Wolverton.
She says, “I was managing an office in Atlanta in the late 1980s. Every year we had a retreat, and I would have my agents list their office goals. At the last session during one of those meetings, I told them to set 10 lifetime goals that have nothing to do with business.”
Wolverton joined them. She then took it a step further and had a caricature artist draw each agent and that picture was hung with the list of 10 goals in each agent’s office.
“It was fun to track and many of them got competitive with it,” she says. “My original list of 10 is now 100.” Wolverton has one goal left from her original list: To catch a marlin, which she says she will do soon. However, “When I cross something off my list, I have to add another.”
For Wolverton, the bucket list did more than help build her team; it helped build her life. “I’m very passionate about my business, but you have to have some levity and outside interests to keep balance in your life. It makes it fun,” she says.
Wolverton’s list includes everything from “have grandchildren” and “see Pompeii in Italy” to “get a lesson from Dolly at the Sarasota Circus and fly an aerial ballet,” which is one of the last items she checked off her list.
“I went zip-lining upside down in Costa Rica when I was 50 years old,” she says. “I was in the pit of a NASCAR race, and I’ve gone to the Olympics and a Super Bowl.” Had she not had her bucket list to motivate her, she may not have done all these things.
Wolverton adds, “You’d be surprised at the number of people who will help you accomplish these goals. It’s a quirky thing. You tell someone your bucket list goal, and he or she knows someone who can help you reach it.
She became a pilot, learned to scuba dive when she wasn’t even able to swim and went parasailing. “Keeping a list keeps you on task for the things you tend to put aside,” she says, like vacations and activities. “My favorite, other than being a mascot, was to get my kids through college.”
As for those Atlanta sales associates – Wolverton still keeps in touch with them. “I still talk to them about establishing long-term goals, especially at our home office.”
Wolverton sums it up best, “ To be good in business, you must be good in life, and this requires you to focus on something other than work.”