We had the good fortune of connecting with Nikki Shaw and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nikki, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born and raised in a small town in Wyoming. Lived there 22 years. Moved to Colorado in 2004. In 2002 my world changed. I was 2 years out of high school, in online school for architecture and in June of 2002 the biggest life changing experience happened. I had competed in the Miss Wyoming pageant beginning of June. By the 3rd week in June I was in my 1st hospital and they did not know what was wrong. The 1st hospital thought I had MS, the 2nd thought I had Spiral Meningitis. I have little to no memory from being in the 1st or 2nd hospital until my 3rd hospital in Aug. The 3rd hospital was Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. I had lost part of my memory, eyesight, and hearing. My brain had swelled, and I had spots of grey matter on my brain. I had the brain comprehension of an 8-year-old at 20. All of this seemed to happen overnight for me. Mayo Clinic put a catheter in my neck to do the treatments they thought would help, called pheresis treatments. While putting the catheter in my neck they accidently punctured my lung. So, they put a tube in my side to reinflate it. After I finished my time at Mayo Clinic I returned to Wyoming. It was a long road ahead. I had to relearn how to run, drive, some of my speaking skills and learn how to cope with my syndrome. I was in physical therapy and occupational therapy. In my mind I was never really sick. The first time it hit me was when I quickly returned to college. I picked up a book for English Comp and looked at the words on the page and really could not comprehend what they were saying. I did not let that stop me though. At the time I was going to school for architecture. I lost all my math skills and had to decide what I want to pursue now. Sign Language was always something beautiful to me. I grew up with 2 deaf friends and was quite fluent in sign language early on. After getting out of the hospital I still remembered sign language. I decided that I was going to be a sign language interpreter. There was a program in Denver and Colorado Springs. My mother did not want me moving to Denver so I decided I would move to Colorado Springs and go to an interpreter prep program. I enrolled but school was still a little difficult for me. The 2-year program took me 3 years. But that was okay. After graduating I immediately wanted to go back for a bachelor’s degree too. Knowing that soon the Interpreter jobs and certifications would require it. I enrolled in a BA program thinking that it was going to be a BA in interpreting. Once at the university I realized that it was not a true education interpreting program or a true community interpreting program. So, I quickly switched to a Criminology BA degree. I had also had a love for that. At that time interpreting was just going to require you to have a BA in something. So, I decided to keep learning other things. After I graduated with my BA in Criminology I quickly figured out that you really could not get a job in a criminology field. Most of those went to retired police officers or military. Colorado Springs is a big military town. I then decided to get a paralegal certificate. This was in hopes to maybe help me get legal interpreter certified one day. All this time I was working and substitute interpreting at the college. I am also coping with still recovery for Susac Syndrome. Figuring out what I could and could not do. The brain is a remarkably interesting part of the body. I soon discovered that interpreting was extremely hard on my brain. I can sign and have a conversation, but interpreting is a completely different area. I did not want to fail a client or feel like I failed myself. So I quickly made the decision to stop interpreting and just enjoy that I know a beautiful language. Fast forward to 2016, I had always thought real estate was interesting. A friend convinced me that I would make a great real estate agent and own my own business. I decided to move forward with the new career. I went through the classes and took extra time to write down the things they told me that I needed to know. School took me a bit longer, but I finally passed both the State and National Real Estate exams. First try for the National and 2nd try for the State. The best advice that was given to me by another friend who had been doing real estate for years said, “If you are not a great test taker that is okay. Each test gives you 2 hours to complete. Make sure that you know one of the tests well and pass it the first try. I went into the tests making sure I understood and knew enough to pass at least one of them. And that is just what happened. I passed the National. I then took 2 weeks and retook the State. I passed that one on the 2nd try. I also created a binder with the items the instructors told me that would be on the test. It definitely helped me pass. I have since been able to pass that along to other agents getting ready to take the test. Many have said it was a life saver. I have been running my own real estate business for 4 years now and love it. I love that I can help others achieve a dream of homeownership. Every day is different! Every situation over the years has made me to be the businessperson I am today. Learning and growing never stops. Through everything, my family was there for me. They helped me with the challenges and celebrate the wins. Never let anything hold you back. Never stop learning.

What should our readers know about your business?
I do not work a typical Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm job. I work a career that when I am needed I am there. My real estate business is all about building relationships, being there for the client/customer before, during and after a transaction. People put their trust in me and trust is something that you can not take lightly. I got where I am in my business because others trusted me to help them through the process of buying or selling their home.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would eat at, drink at and visit all the local craft breweries in Colorado Springs. The Colorado Springs craft brewery scene is amazing. Supporting small businesses and having fun

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My Family and Friends they know who they are 🙂

Website: nikkishawhomes.com
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/nikki-stroppel-shaw-42250b2a
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nikkishawhomes
Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/nikki-shaw-mackenzie-jackson-real-estate-colorado-springs

Image Credits
Myself, Lauren McKenzie with REN Creativ

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDenver is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.