It depends upon what you want and are you willing to stick to the steps necessary to become it or achieve it. It’s an internal thing about desire. Step 1 — be honest with yourself. That’s what it’s all about. Tell yourself the truth. Face up to what’s real.

Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Founder of Re/MAX Results and Author of The Award of Knowing, John Collopy.

John is an author, speaker, and one of the most successful real estate brokers in America. He founded RE/MAX Results, the number one RE/MAX franchise in the country, over thirty years ago, with the idea that the sales executive is the customer. He has helped countless home buyers and sellers in Minnesota and Wisconsin find their dream homes. RE/MAX Results is the number one RE/MAX franchise in the country with approximately 250 employees and approaching 1,200 sales executives. In his book, The Reward of Knowing, John walks you through his journey from addiction to sobriety and success. Whether it is his difficult childhood, his drinking, his arrests, or how he managed to get back on track, nothing is off-limits. His second book, The Reward of Doing, is currently in progress.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?

I grew up in an urban environment, went to catholic schools, high school in downtown Minneapolis, small amount of college in downtown Minneapolis. Had some personal difficulties, achieved sobriety at age 23, liked it. Got my first real job and started real estate when I was 25. Been doing it for 44 years. I still get up in the morning and when I drive to work I’m excited to go to work because I like real estate.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

I worked for a large corporation, one of the first national real estate companies. I became dissatisfied with their top down management style. I spoke with the person who at the time was my boss and asked him if he was interested in doing something else. He was. We did. And we started ReMax Results 35 years ago. He passed some time ago, but is still on my mind quite often because he was my partner, Bill Saunders.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

That’s an easy question. What makes our company stand out is the people that work here. My top people CFO, CEO have been with the company 22 and 20 years, respectively.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?

My late business partner, Bill Saunders.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

I don’t think it’s that simple. You either face up to what’s going on and deal with it or you don’t. Resilience is more of a tag line as opposed to just simply sticking to what you want and taking the steps to do what needs to be done.

Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?

I think we’re being over analytical, it all depends upon what you want and whether you’re willing to do what it takes to get it. That implies both sticking to it and in the case of courage doing things that make you uncomfortable. You’ve got to want it.

Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?

I don’t know about anybody specifically but when I was a homeless bum the implication was certainly that I was not going anywhere from a number of people who maintained I was going to stay a loser. And then I sobered up.

I didn’t overcome anything. I made a choice. The choice was to try out sobriety. I broke one of the primary rules of AA which is you live your life a day at a time, and I do go by that but when I quit drinking and doing drugs I told myself I’ll do this for five years and if I don’t like it, I’ll go to California and get high. That was a weird way to look at it, but I liked it, and it worked for me.

Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?

Incarceration. Treatment Center. And a new life.

There are two things in AA that do work — the serenity prayer and the basic idea to live life one day at a time. These have nothing to do with being chemically dependent. It’s the idea if you use these simple guidelines, you’ll have a better life. I fell into it, I believe it, and that’s how I live.

How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?

A clear understanding that if you want anything you’re going to have to go get it. The structure that I grew up in wasn’t going to give you anything.

Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient?

It depends upon what you want and are you willing to stick to the steps necessary to become it or achieve it. It’s an internal thing about desire. Step 1 — be honest with yourself. That’s what it’s all about. Tell yourself the truth. Face up to what’s real.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Support each other in achieving our dreams.

We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂

I would have liked to have met George Bush senior. I got the idea of regularly sending out thank you notecards from him. Alive? Warren Buffet. For his amazing accomplishments and consistency.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.