Who We Are: Nakos keeps following her passion(s)
summit daily news
On a resume, Amy Nakos’ experience may seem a bit disjointed: pageant contestant, criminal defense attorney, real estate developer, broker, motivational speaker and personal development guide. Geographically speaking, she spent kindergarten through eighth grade in a two-room schoolhouse in rural Nebraska and ended up practicing law in Chicago. Now she owns two businesses in Frisco.
“I joke: This is a chronicle of the life of a schizophrenic,” Amy Nakos says, laughing.
But in truth, Nakos has simply been following her passions, as each emerged.
“We were put on this earth for a reason, and this is to fulfill our calling to connect with that part of us that brings us joy … to the extent that you’re not making that a priority in your life, you’re not living,” she said. “My sorted past is a journey on doing that – changing course along the way.”
Nakos grew up on a farm, where her family raised cattle and grew corn and soybeans. After earning a full scholarship to Buena Vista College in Storm Lake, Iowa, graduating with a degree in English and speech communications, she tackled her Juris Doctorate degree at the University of Iowa School of Law, graduating in the top 15 percent of her class. She meant to join the Navy Jag Corps, but after six months of meeting requirements to become a finalist, doctors medically disqualified her because of a curvature in her spine that slightly exceeded military limits.
Competing in teen pageants was just one of the things that taught her poise and perseverance; when the military door shut, she carved out a practice in criminal defense and commercial litigation for five years, until a personal growth seminar made her realize it was time for a change.
“Basically, it was just a grueling job,” Nakos said about being an attorney in Chicago.
In fact, it was time for a couple big changes; she was about to marry Darren Nakos.
After saying their vows in April 2002, the couple bought a condo at Copper Mountain, and then moved to the mountains permanently in December 2003.
“We love this place,” Nakos said about Summit County. “I was spiritually drawn to it.”
Nakos had begun “dabbling” in real estate in Chicago as a licensed agent, and when the couple moved to Colorado, they bought a building in foreclosure, as well as lots, on which they built townhomes.
In 2004, they started their own brokerage, Landmark Real Estate Group, in Frisco, which Nakos said sprouted out of their interest in building a real estate portfolio.
“When the boom hit, we were so busy, the brokerage grew by nature of what was happening,” she said.
When sales slowed due to the recession, she picked up a long-held passion for personal development.
“It’s been a life-long spiritual calling of figuring out who I am, how I fit,” she said.
She began studying a process of working with subconscious beliefs that her mother-in-law, Barbara Parsons, introduced to her. Nakos named it The Mind Redesign Process and began working with pageant winners to prepare them mentally for national competitions. Through a series of questions, she identifies what people want and what subconscious belief may be incongruent with their desires. Through a brain integration technique, she helps people remove limiting beliefs. She says it helps pageant contestants “feel confident, able and beautiful – from the inside out.” A few months ago, she added Theta Healing to her repertoire, to identify core beliefs around physical ailments.
As her personal development business continues to grow through word of mouth and referrals from the pageant network, she works as a broker, but she’s making a change in that arena as well.
Next week she’ll become the managing broker of Your Castle Summit Real Estate brokerage, which is affiliated with Your Castle Real estate in Denver – the fastest growing independent brokerage in the city.
“Your Castle offers extensive agent and consumer training, utilizes the latest real estate technology for marketing and for agents’ use, and provides in-depth market statistics to help consumers make informed choices,” she said, explaining that she will transfer all of Landmark’s residential business to Your Castle Summit, and Landmark Real Estate group will remain a commercial development and investment brokerage that her husband will operate.
In her “spare time,” Nakos joined Summit Toastmasters in the fall of 2009, to prepare for the Mrs. Colorado pageant, which she had competed in the previous three years. A couple months later, she decided she wouldn’t compete in the pageant, but she continued with the communication skill-building group.
“It turned into a passion for public speaking,” she said, talking about how she loves giving motivational speeches.
Through girl-Speak Enterprises, clients book her for topics such as: Life’s Puzzle – Finding the Pieces to Fulfill Your Life’s Purpose, and Honoring Your Inner Queen – Finding Joy From Within.
Through Summit Toastmaster, she won club, area and divisional level competitions for her motivational speech, and she was going to proceed onto the district level (which, if she won, would lead to the international competition) on May 21, but due to a family memorial service, she will be unable to attend.
Despite her full calendar and careers, she finds time to raise her 5- and 8-year-olds.
“When things are important to you, you find a way to make it work,” she said. “I’m not perfect, because there are times when I’m frazzled and when I feel spread thin, and that’s the time to get still and say, ‘What’s important, and what do I really need to focus on?’ And then things fall into place,” she said, joking that wine also helps. “I have always followed my heart when it’s time to make a change … I think that is what life is about.”
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