We had the good fortune of connecting with Ali Romero and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ali, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk is HUGE and has become a main component in my life over the past four years. If I didn’t welcome or choose risk, I would not be where I am today. In my mind, risk has two outcomes. Win or lose. Succeed or fail. It’s a red light or a green light. It’s stop or it’s go. Every single one of those outcomes is a part of my journey and has gotten me to the next step. When something didn’t work, I reset and tried again. Some of those outcomes have cost me time, money, stress, even embarrassment. But without ever taking those risks, I would still be stuck, unhappy, and the same person I was five years ago. That, to me, would be the ultimate failure.
I have learned to make risk a part of my life. I enjoy it and it helps to keep me learning and excited for an everchanging way of living and growing. There are three specific situations in the past four years where I took a major risk that changed the trajectory of my mind, perspective, career, and life. To say risk played a role in my career and life is an understatement. Risk is the reason I wear the shoes I have on today. We must take risk. When risk is absent, so is growth and progression.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m an escrow sales rep. It’s that simple to explain and no different than any other escrow sales rep out there. We all want and need to do the same things to get business and flourish in this position. What sets me apart is me. I’m not here to dress the best, sell the best or even think I have the best product. I’m here as me, a good human, a motivator, I’m someone in your corner. I’ll show up time and time again. I’ll give you my all. I like to have a lot of fun and bring new excitement into our lives. Whatever you need, I’m trying to find ways to get you that. I’m game for it all. As competitive as I am, it’s not all about competing with others in my industry because I want us all to win. I stand for making others feel, and live in their very best. If we can all work this way, we’d have a solid, hardworking and ethical community. We should depend on each other for that.
I am most proud of the business I have currently. The position I held the three and a half years prior allowed me to work and befriend a lot of amazing, driven real estate professionals. I worked hard for them in a different capacity and watched them learn and grow along the way. I heard their failures and success stories, and was even able to witness it alongside some of them. I believe they saw the same in me. Because of that time together, when I made the switch into escrow, they were ready to give, work, and trust in me. It was one of the most profound, humble, feel good moments of my life when I saw it happening. These wonderful people, these real estate professionals, they know who they are, because they work with me now. They all put a roof over my head and food on my table. I am able to breath finally because of them.
It wasn’t always easy getting to where I am today. I have a lot of low, lows and periods where I truly couldn’t afford life and dealt with some pretty tough situations. But in those times, I made sacrifices and buckled down on priorities. When I couldn’t afford health insurance, I didn’t go snowboarding. I went without painted nails, new clothes and nights out. Instead, I paid rent, stayed in the gym and afforded my necessities. Through it all, the lows and highs, I always kept a vision and a number. That vision was in San Diego, in my own place, in my own ride, with my own everything. That vision is real today. All of its mine and I feel great. That number was a number I needed to be at to stay here. I am performing above that number today.
I don’t know if I call it a lesson, but the biggest thing I was able to hone in on and grasp over the past three years, is how to start living in “my 100”. There were so many days I sat around waiting for life to happen. But that is so beyond backwards. You have to go make life happen. And I am really good at that now! Everything in your life is your responsibility. Get a pen and paper and write down what living in your best day looks like. What time would you wake up? Do you go to the gym? Go for a run? Who do you call? What do you eat? What do you do that excites you this day? Did you learn something? Read? Did you ask questions about anything? Meet anyone new? – Whatever this day looks like, you have to wake up and actively commit to mocking it every single day. This is your 100. The biggest thing I want people to know about, they already know. What I’d rather them do is believe it. Know and believe that it’s never too late. It’s just not. Start now. LET’S GO!
My brand, my story, my journey is all about finding and unlocking what has always been inside you and finding out how to use that innate power and talent. There’s a whole new way of living out there when you find and can do this.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh, we’d definitely go for some outdoor adventure mixed in with views and good eats! I’d take them to this cliff off a little trail on La Jolla Farms Road. I think it’s hands down the place to give you small adventure and see one of the most epic views in San Diego while being immersed in mother nature. It’s unreal at sunset.
One day might start at my gym, Renegade, for some good old heart pumping, weight banging and feel good accomplishment to start the day. Breakfast would be at my house to fuel up with some good nutrients. I see George’s at the Cove for lunch. They’ve got a great patio up top in open air I love. We’d cruise over to Mission Beach and paddle board in the bay making our way over to Barefoot Bar & Grill for a cocktail and live music. We’d head back and maybe hit Miss Bee’s Coconut Club for another tasty beverage. After paddling, we’ve earned it. From Mission Beach we’d head over to Ocean Beach and go to Wonderland for their epic sunset views and the infamous Sunset Toast put on by the bartenders. It’s a really cool atmosphere and moment to stop, cheers each other, and be grateful for the day.
Another day we might wake up and get a good hike in. I love hiking. El Cajon Mountain for the brave and fit! Or something more fun like Lawson Peak where we climb boulders and a rope into a cave, then pop out at the top for some really beautiful views. It makes you feel like a kid and gives you a rush because it almost feels dangerous! It’s exhilarating for anyone who doesn’t do this kind of stuff. I’m always looking for good sushi spots, so we’d find a new one together. Mr. A’s for a real treat! This view is of all on downtown San Diego and you can see the planes flying in. It’s pretty amazing and another good way to watch the sun fall. Mr. Mottos if we’re feeling pizza! If UFC is on, we’re going to Home and Away. It’s a super fun spot with great staff, people, TV’s and outdoor games. Food isn’t too shabby either! Ride bikes in Coronado, walk or ride Bird’s to great food and drink places in Little Italy. There’s so much I haven’t seen, and am all about doing something new with someone to share that experience with. I think one of my last view spots would be the Ritz Carlton in Laguna. They’ve got this first come first serve patio called 180Blu and I enjoy it so much! It’s about 45 minutes away but we’d take the Coast all the way up to see all of the San Diego towns along the water. Cruise in, have a bite and a beer, maybe walk to property a bit, and head back. I rented a motorcycle and did this with a friend once and it was one of the best days ever!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’ve had some incredible mentors along the way that have all helped shaped me in ways they probably have no idea about! Here they are.
Gary Gamble, you are the foundation of it all. At such a young age you matured me with the skills, technique, and lessons you gave on and off the field. You taught me how to win and lose. You were always there. Always. You gave me opportunity I didn’t imagine being able to have. You shaped the mind I have today along with the endurance for life I was born with. I left too soon but without a doubt you got me there, right where I needed to be. Thank you.
Mark Weiermann, you were always a light in some of my darkest days. Things were messy in my 6 years alongside you. I was young. You gave me encouragement always. You listened to me. You gave me a wonderful job and a place to live. You made me feel loved and safe. Thank you.
Tony Palafox, you always showed up for me. Always in my corner, pushing me, believing in me. You were a coach and a father, supportive and consistent. You built me with confidence and lit fires in me that will never go out. You taught me how to defend myself and to show people who the hell I am. Thank you.
Sam Khorramian, where do I start? Writing this one gets me emotional. I’ve had the biggest changes alongside you. You’ve seen a lot of my downs and are part of the reason for my huge ups. You’ve never judged me. You only heard me out and helped me up and out. The opportunities you’ve given me and the doors you’ve helped open are invaluable. I will never regret walking into your office. You have been a boss, a friend, a brother and a father all when I needed each the most. Your guidance, support and perspectives have all made me want and reach for more. It’s also given me the certainty that I can have more of anything I want. You’ve helped make me the biggest go getter I’ve ever been. We’re still together and making moves! I am excited for our new and next chapters together. Thank you.
Jesse Itzler, you gave me an outlook and perspective that is key to my life. You put a risk out there in the form of an endurance event that I took, that unlocked a power inside of me I always had but never knew how to use. I am FOREVER grateful for this. I have not been the same person since August 25th 2018. Thank you.
To my Renegade Family, Jamie, Jimmy, Derek, Ashley. You built the only place I step into and the world is left behind. It doesn’t exist when I’m inside. I don’t have bills, I don’t have issues, I don’t worry, I don’t hurt, I don’t think. It’s me, it’s you, it’s the blue lights. It’s where I plug in and fuel up. It’s where I build the machine. I am forever grateful for this place. For your time, dedication and efforts so gladly given and put in to each day, each week, each month. I can take on more and my world outside is brighter, easier and more enjoyable because of this place and each of you. Thank you.
Mom, I love you. You are my constant. You never quit, you kept going. You never stopped. You did what you had to and it was always, always enough. I had a really great childhood with some amazing opportunities because of you. You always knew and still know how to make things work. You have always supported me and always showed up when I needed it most. I’ve never been without because of you. You also allowed me to be me, find me and grow into me. While I didn’t always walk a clear path, that helped me on my own journey to become who ever and whatever I wanted to be. You are my motivation to always come out on top and live like that is the only option. There aren’t enough ways to thank you. THANK YOU.