Working for your Why

This post is part of CBWomen series. We’ve been sharing the unique, uplifting and trailblazing stories of women leaders throughout the Coldwell Banker Network

This is a contributor post by Jane Harrison Fisher, COO of Coldwell Banker Caine.

When you know your “why”, it helps you navigate life with purpose – even when difficult questions and decisions arise. Knowing your “why” is being in tune with what is most important in your life. Ask yourself – at the end of the day what matters most to you in this life? What mark do you hope to leave on the world?

My “why” is to provide a positive experience for the people in my life, my family, coworkers, and community – with the hope of leaving a lasting impact. This truth grounds me and allows me to give my best to the people who matter most to me.
As the Chief Operating Officer at Coldwell Banker Caine, the career path that led me to my current position has been nothing short of a journey. As part of Coldwell Banker’s Women in Leadership Series, I hope my story is an encouragement to women who hope to blaze a trail in their careers and beyond.

In college I swam competitively and double majored in studio art and economics. My love for competition and my diversity of interests has driven me to take on many different types of jobs. From instructing ski lessons in Canada to a PR position at a lobbying firm in DC, my early career was characterized by learning and growing as much as possible.

I later transitioned to working in the alumni office at the University of Mississippi, helping to foster alumni relationships. My next move was to Greenville, South Carolina with my husband, who had recently graduated from law school. I took a position at a financial institution, assisting in advertising and planning. Though the experience I was gaining was significant, I struggled to find passion, in all of my previous positions, for the industry I was a part of. Something was missing. This is where Coldwell Banker Caine entered my life.

When I became the Director of Marketing and Communications at Coldwell Banker Caine in 2010, I felt I had found the missing piece. The real estate industry is one that helps others with one of the most important things in life – finding home. At Caine I was able to help our staff, agents, and brand provide the best service possible. It was the perfect fit.

Six years passed in the blink of an eye, and despite the love I had for my job and company, I’d reached a place where I realized something had to give. Though my competitive and adventurous spirit welcomed the challenge of balancing family, work, friends, and hobbies, I lost track of my “why”. I was newly pregnant with our second child, my husband was traveling often for work, I was passionately pursuing a career in our growing office at Caine, and I was trying to maintain relationships with friends. Though I was in love with so many aspects of my life – I wasn’t in love with my lifestyle. I needed to make a tough decision in order to give my very best to the people in my life.

Ultimately, that decision was to leave Coldwell Banker Caine and explore a new role at a local marketing and public relations agency in Greenville. I seized an opportunity that I felt was the best move for my life at the time. I believe that often you only realize what it means to spread your wings when you make the decisions you know is right, even when it’s scary. I grew in new skills and understanding, while focusing on creating a lifestyle that served my family, friends, and myself.

Fast forward a year and a half, I was continuing to raise two healthy girls, my husband’s new job allowed him to be at home more often, and I had grown in my career. Despite the career change, my love for the Caine family and brand remained. When I was presented with the opportunity to rejoin Caine as the Chief Operating Officer, it felt right.

Now, as I hold that title, I’m able to do what I love – connect with others and create positive experiences for our brand and those who interact with it. I look back on the decisions, the easy ones and the hard ones that led me to my current career, and I’m thankful for the journey. As a woman in a leadership position, keeping my “why” in focus has allowed me to find the best kind of success. Growth in my career and prioritization of the most important things in life have presented incredible opportunities along the way.

As my two daughters discover their interests and passions, I hope to continually set an example for them of what it looks like to boldly pursue all that life has in store while focusing in on their why. I encourage women who hope to grow in their careers to keep their hands open for opportunities while keeping a sharp focus on who they are. I’m grateful to work for a company that understands the fact that when you are focusing on what matters the most, your career and company will only benefit.

To find out more about how Coldwell Banker can be the place that supports you and your business, visit

Senior Manager, Public Relations & Giving for Coldwell Banker. Grew up in Sarasota and attended college at Western Carolina University. Athena wanted to wake up in that city that doesn’t sleep so headed to Madison Avenue to start her marketing career. She has been with this awesome brand for more than 15 years and can be found generating buzz about CB in every way possible. Athena helps to grow the brand’s position as the most storied real estate company within the industry and has led many high-profile endeavors; she was at the forefront of the brand’s pioneering smart home campaign, raised $6 million in two years to build 130 Habitat for Humanity homes, and led the Homes for Dogs program in partnership with that resulted in tens-of-thousands of dogs finding their furever home. She currently leads the CB Supports St. Jude program, which encourages the Coldwell Banker network’s 96,000+ real estate agents to make donations to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital for every real estate transaction they represent. In her spare time, you can find her either digging up a new area in her yard for another flower bed or planning her next travel adventure. She's the proud mom of three cats Jolene, Ziggy and Lucy.

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