Suzanne Reisler Litwin: Do what you love & love what you do — Part five

Welcome to PART FIVE of the Spring Series: Do What You Love and Love What You Do. This Spring Series is devoted to women who totally love the work they do. Each article features 3 women, from 3 different professions, describing what they do and why they love it. Each woman was interviewed using the same questions, notably some of the responses are similar and some are very different. Highlighted are interesting challenges, insights, and passions each women share. I hope you will enjoy our last article of this 2019 Spring Series. It has been a wonderful and fulfilling experience creating it for you.

Michelle Asterino

Not only is my friend Michelle a beautiful gal, she is also a tremendous real estate agent in Scottsdale Arizona! This stunning talented woman whacks a punch of selling power. I had the good fortune to meet up with her two months ago.

I asked Michelle what she loves about her job. She said, “I enjoy helping people find their dream home. Seeing what is on the market and finding them the best home in their price range. I love to see how happy my clients are when they find the one that fits their needs. They are so excited about the next stage of their life. They start dreaming of life in their new home.”

Michelle has been a real estate agent since 2004. What she enjoys the most about this job is, “I am my own boss. I love meeting new people and I love seeing beautiful homes.”

I asked Michelle, when you are working, does it feel like work. “It only feels like work when I have been working too many days in a row without a break. Because it is not a 9-5 job you tend to work whenever someone needs you. I can work 60 hours a week sometimes. It can get tiring but I keep going because they need me. I feel lucky when they choose me as there are 40,000 agents here! I specifically work at Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty, and specialize in Scottsdale, Cave Creek, The Biltmore and Paradise Valley.”

Michelle states that she is definitely passionate about her work. She is always looking to learn more, go to more classes as the market is constantly changing. Although it hasn’t always been an easy path, she mentions, “It took a long time to build up my business; that’s the biggest challenge in real estate. I always ask, where is the next client coming from?”

I asked Michelle, what would you suggest to those who don’t love their work. Her reply was very informative. “Start thinking about what you like to do, then find people who are doing it. Talk with them about the business and the challenges. I have found that nothing comes easy so you have to love your job; then it won’t feel like a job. Having a good brokerage that you can be proud of and having a broker who is supportive is so important. You will know when you have found the place to hang your license because it will feel like home. Also, encouraging the new realtors coming in is very important too. We all started out not knowing anything, so I try to encourage the new agents. No one helped me because it is a dog-eat-dog business, but I never thought of it that way. Honestly, there is enough business for everyone. I encourage and celebrate everyone’s success.”

If you would like to know more about Michelle Asterino’s work please visit her website: or call: 602-380-6420

Sharon Bishin

If you are in the business of looking for work, look for Sharon Bishin. Sharon is a Master of what she does. She has been working at Ometz for 10 years. I asked her what exactly is Ometz. She stated, “Ometz is a charitable organization offering employment, immigration, school and social services, reaching more than 13,000 people annually, providing intervention, prevention, support services and programs to enhance quality of life.”

Specifically, Sharon leads workshops for people who are looking for work, as well as co-ordinates other projects within the training department.

I asked Sharon if she loves her work. She said, “This work allows me to integrate creativity, education and performance which feels like an incredible, well-fitting gift for me. I get to express professional skills that I have honed over the years. I am provided the opportunity to help people who very much appreciate the help. And finally, I work in an extremely collaborative environment and do it part time so that I can balance work with the other pieces of my life.”

Sharon’s job sounds like a dream job. She mentions, “For me it is a dream job because I am using skills I love and am constantly refining them. I engage with new people every day and feel competent and appreciated; what more could I ask for? Of course, there are pieces of work, situations and people that are challenging. The work itself never gets old and I still feel energized by the tasks and the people. There is even a term out there – Glossophobia – that describes the many people who hate to speak in public….not me – I am a Leo!”

If Sharon is the best person to speak with if you are looking for work, who is better to answer this question, what would you suggest to those who don’t love their work? She suggests, “Put aside some ongoing time for self-reflection and self-improvement – books such as “What Color is Your Parachute?” by Richard Bolles might help. Ask yourself, when was I last doing work that really made me feel excited and competent? What comes naturally to me? What are my professional strengths? What do I enjoy? Finding a job coach or talking to an employment specialist like we have here at Ometz can be helpful. Take my job search workshops or other courses. Just focusing on the challenge of matching your skillsets and interests with careers can be illuminating. I would also mention that I have been working since 1975 and it took all of those jobs and experiences before this one, both positive and negative, to get to a place where the people, place and job content all converged comfortably. Don`t give up the dream! But do figure out how to answer the question: “If you could snap your fingers tomorrow and have your ideal job…what would that be?”

The work that Sharon does makes her feel engaged, useful, happy, and competent. It’s wonderful to feel that way when working.

If you would like more information about Ometz, please go to the website at:

Perri Young

To close the 2019 Spring Series – Do What You Love & Love What You Do – I introduce to you, Perri Elizabeth Young, M.D., P.A.

I am proud and honoured to say that Perri is my second cousin, although, it feels like we are truly first cousins. I kept Perri for the last spot of this series as her answers to my questions were so real, humorous and thought provoking. It’s even hard for me to create beyond the nature of what she wrote. So, I’m going to keep her answers in the purist form.

Dr. Perri Young is a physician certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

She has a hybrid practice, of concierge and insurance, in Coral Gables, Florida seeing patients between the ages of 18 and 90 for general well care and preventive health.

I asked Perri if she loves what she does. She responded with, “Yes, wholeheartedly. But to ponder this with some depth: Overall, I am so lucky to have this unique, rewarding practice in which I know my patients intimately. I know their children and parents and siblings. They can contact me by cell phone and email. I care deeply about their well-being, and I am empathetic to their concerns and worries. Do I LOVE what I do?? YES!!! I mean I am a doctor…I am a professional...This is my identity. But despite the self-esteem and fulfillment it brings me to know that I am providing excellent care, the privilege of being responsible for the emotional and physical health of others can sometimes be overwhelming and hard to compartmentalize- a bad diagnosis can be devastating...and I cannot always separate. So sometimes I have to seek levity.”

Perri graduated from the University of Miami Medical School in 1999 at the tender age of 26 and completed her internship and residency in 2002. Perri states, “My first job was with an endocrinologist, but I was lucky enough to go out on my own in 2004.”

I asked her, what is the best part about your work? Perri simply said, “From the simple things like a patient thanking me for calling them when they are worried about a loved one to getting a positive outcome when I correctly diagnose and manage a patient’s medical problem.”

My next question was, is this a dream job? She said, “Yes - to start, I share space with my husband who is a plastic surgeon. Our office is a very Zen space, in a stunning office surgery center built to my husband and my specifications. We have a divine staff whom we consider dear friends. I make my own hours and do not answer to anyone. Yet - that can also be the Achilles heel - I am 100% responsible for everything that happens within the practice - from patient satisfaction to medical liability.”

So…when you are working, does it feel like work? “Yes usually, I mean I am wearing a stethoscope and while I am married to a real life Dr. McDreamy - this is no Grey’s Anatomy episode!”

Perri provided me with a huge response to my next question. What challenges do you (or did you) have when doing your work? Perri let loose here, “Mostly and what is the obvious - work life balance. Where did the word balance come from? Because it is so hard to achieve. Why do we have to have balance anyway??? So let’s just start by saying at the beginning - in medical school I was 22. A baby. My friends were partying, and I was stuck in a gross anatomy lab. No wonder med students bond. All we did was study and smell like formaldehyde. I was lucky to have met Sean because I didn’t have to worry about my love life at a time when finding a life partner or at the very least, someone to date, is so important in one’s development, yet can be IMPOSSIBLE with the demands on the schedule.”

Perri continues, “Moving on to residency - in my time, a medicine resident worked 1 in 3 - meaning working from 7 am until you finished work the next day which was usually 7 pm (yes 36 hrs.) and then returning the next day at 7 am. For a surgeon that was 1 in 2! I only had friends that were doctors at that time. Why? Because everyone else had now started their real adult work life - which meant networking and going out at night and on weekends. I didn’t know a weekend or a holiday because I was at the hospital. Just when I thought I had the balance (or lack thereof) figured out, I went and got pregnant!"

Perri goes on, “My first job after my older daughter - I left my house at 6am (my mother came to babysit because my husband was still in residency) and then the nanny came from 9 until 4:30, then my mother came back and stayed until I got home at 8pm.

UGH! I thought the guilt would kill me when I missed milestones. I don’t have a baby book for either daughter. I learned how to be the paper plates mom one day when I was assigned to bring Star Fruit for TuBShvat (Jewish holiday for trees). Apparently that was the year there was a freeze in Miami and the star fruit trees died. I raced around town like a mad woman to find the perfect star fruit but couldn’t. I sadly trudged in with my 3 year old and informed her teacher I had failed. Of course she was unfazed. What nursery aged child eats a star fruit???? And that’s when I decided if they EVER assign me anything it will be paper plates and napkins because those I can bring right from my pantry! Now the girls are older, and I find the responsibility to them far greater. I have accepted that I don't have to have "balance" all the time. Instead, I have to be present for my girls when I am with them, even if I am calling in a prescription!”

There is so much passion in Perri’s line of work. I asked her if she is passionate about her work. She said, “Yes. At the very root of becoming a doctor is the ideal of helping others. That may sound naive or contrived, but it is the truth. So yes, after I have contended with getting my girls off to school (not so much passion about this) - I set forth to help others achieve better health because I am passionate about that!"

My last question was, what would you suggest to those who don’t love their work?

Perri was very straightforward in her response, “Get out! From my clinical experience, work abuse / boss abuse can lead to anxiety and depression. As the adage goes, 'Life is too short. Why wait? Find something that fulfills you and the rest will fall into place!”

Dr. Perri Young can be reached at:

Work Number: 305-663-0609


So…there we have it. Three talented, beautiful women who love what they do. From our powerhouse real estate agent Michelle, to our innovative job search and rescue professional Sharon, and closing our Spring Series with a very honest and frankly passionate extraordinaire Dr. Perri Young.

I hope you enjoyed our final Part Five of this series. I honestly loved bringing it to you!

In this Spring Series we learned about 15 different women who love what they do. We learned about their professional careers, passions, challenges, and insights. Personally, I learned that there is so much to learn about other people if you simply take the time to listen. Really listen and apply the valuable information you have received.

This concludes our 2019 Spring Series – Do What You Love & Love What You Do.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions about this series or any other potential series ideas, please share!

Stay tuned for more fun, quirky, informative, passionate and sometimes very silly summer articles. Oh ya, and smile ☺.

—Suzanne Reisler Litwin


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