Also beneficial was an implausible upshot of the Great Recession: “It leveled the playing field,” Coleman said. “We all started from the ground up.”

What happens when you get out of your comfort zone?

The lessons of those early days continue to guide his career, he suggested. “It was a lot of learning and humbling,” he said. “I’ve never been told ‘no’ or ignored as much in my life.” For example, he would email real estate agents constantly only to have his missives ignored, he said. He finally received a response from one after more than a year’s worth of emails from him: “One responded to me after 15 months of emailing her to tell me to stop emailing her. ‘Come meet with me,’ she said. I still work with her to this day.”

Another thing he had to learn was to overcome his fears while stepping outside of his comfort zone. “When I started in this industry, I had to ask the loan officer to leave the room when I made a call to a client because I was too scared to speak to a client in front of him,” he recalled. “Everyone says you’re born with sales ability, and I’m the perfect example that is not the case.”

He credits that early loan officer with providing him with life lessons, he said. “He would take me out of my comfort zone in order to grow by sending me to luncheons, dinner events. I hated every minute of it. But after time, you become amenable to them. I still do them, and feel so much better once they’re completed. The anxiety leading up to them is sometimes challenging, but those are really the challenges I deal with day to day, even now, when I battle my inner demons with anxiety to get to become a bigger and better person in the back end.”

Now a family man with a six-month-old and four-year-old at home, Coleman is happily ensconced in the mortgage industry with no regrets at having left meteorology behind. “I’m very family-oriented,” he said. “When I’m not working, I like being with my family. And I like that about this job.”