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Once homeless Sevierville woman now owns one of the fastest-growing small businesses in the nation

Karen Coffey relied on friends for a place for her and her 13-year-old son to sleep before she turned her life around and now helps other women find success
Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 2:39 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - An East Tennessee woman went from a homeless, single mother to a successful real estate agent who now helps other women do the same.

A real estate agent in Sevierville, Karen Coffey lost it all in 2008. Her cars had been repossessed, her home foreclosed, and she and her husband divorced.

“No longer was I a wife, a daughter. I had no identity at all and I, you know, wasn’t a top producer I wasn’t anything. And so that was the dark night of the soul as so many people say, and there was nowhere to go but on my knees, quite honestly, and I didn’t know what to do,” Coffey said.

Coffey relied on friends for a place for her and her 13-year-old son to sleep for more than a year before she turned her life around.

“I call it my spirit-led journey to millions, really, where I just got on my knees and I said, ‘You’ve got to show me a way.’ You know, and I felt as though I had heard direction, and all of a sudden, I pulled out this suit that smelled like mothballs out of a box I put it on I walked into this brokerage like I owned it and I said, this is what I’m going to do,” said Coffey.

She had gone back to being an agent, she hired a team of seven women and got to work.

“I brought in all these leads all these women started following up on these leads all of a sudden I’m looking at the board we have 16 transactions in a matter of like 90 days, and they closed and we, that’s where the $100,000 came in 100 days,” she said.

She started Karen Coffey Coaching about five years ago to help women who are struggling across the country find success in real estate, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. She said her company is recognized on the Inc. 500 list as one of the fastest-growing small businesses in the country. She built a team of ten coaches helping more than 1,500 women nationwide build their careers.

“It’s just like the same woman that showed up in the moldy suit and nails for heels you know it’s just like, I have a choice here. Am I going to just lay back and let the world, tell me what we’re going to do, or am I going to take the bull by the horns and do what needs to be done for my family, for my legacy. I have to put food on the table. I can’t let a pandemic, change my world,” Coffey said.

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