I’m Reopening a Chapter I Thought was Closed Forever
For more than thirty years, I worked alongside my mother, Florence Littauer. Together, we taught seminars that offered training in speaking and writing known as the CLASSeminar. We also presented a three-day program specifically on The Personalities through which we certified men and women to teach our materials. Over the years, thousands of people participated. As my mother got older, I took on an increasingly larger role in the teaching and oversaw the management. Additionally, I traversed the country fulfilling my own speaking engagements for both church and business groups. For several years, I lead one of the most effective Christian writers’ conferences in the country.
In 2006 my nineteenth book, Wired That Way, was published. It was my biggest project to date. The full package included not only the book, but a workbook, a ten lesson video series, and the companion Personality Profile as well.
The Wired That Way collection was expected to launch me as the voice for concepts my mother developed nearly forty years earlier. At the time my book came out, she’d been speaking for decades throughout the US and around the world. She was widely recognized as the grande dame of what became known as “The Personalities.” Her best-selling book, Personality Plus, sold millions of copies and was translated into more than 25 languages.
The planned ascension never came to fruition. Just months after my book was released (days before Christmas) my now-ex-husband gave me an ultimatum. In short, I had to choose between my marriage and my business—my life’s work. Myriad problems were obvious, but I loved my husband. I believed marriage was forever. And, being a speaker who addressed relationships—how good was I if I couldn’t keep my own marriage together?
Transitioning out of CLASS
It took several months, but on Labor Day weekend, I transitioned out of CLASServices Inc. and became the Executive Director for a nonprofit organization that advocated for energy and the energy industry: CARE (Citizens Alliance for Responsible Energy). Later I incorporated a 501(c)4: Energy Makes America Great into my energy efforts. For ten years, my speaking and writing skills were utilized in that role. I addressed TEA Party groups, political organizations, and conferences for the oil, gas, and coal industries. I also wrote a weekly news-based column that was published in many newspapers and numerous websites. Based on the topic of my weekly column, I was a frequent guest on radio programs throughout the county. I was involved in legislation that helped keep energy abundant, available, and affordable—the result of several trips to Washington DC. My twentieth book, Energy Freedom, was born from that work.
Despite my best efforts, my first marriage ended in 2012. I met Chuck Tedder at an oil and gas conference in Santa Fe, NM, in 2013. We got married and I moved to Lubbock, TX, in 2014.
In 2016, oil prices had dropped to such a level that fundraising became nearly impossible. Plus, we had an election. If Donald Trump won, we’d have the best energy advocate in the White House. If Hillary Clinton won, the fight for fossil fuels would have been doomed and I didn’t have the strength or support for such a battle. Either way, I was done.
Triumph Properties Lubbock
In August of 2016, my husband and I discussed my professional life. We agreed that, despite a lack of funding, I would continue with the energy work through the election. After that, I’d start flipping houses—which wasn’t such a giant leap as it might appear since I majored in interior design in college. We bought the first flip-house in December 2016. I did five houses—three my husband and I owned, and two where I managed the project for the owners. I also designed and remodeled both the kitchen and master bathroom for a Realtor friend.
Florence Littauer arrives in Lubbock
My mother—who was 90 years old at the time and in ill health—moved in with us in June of 2018. Her care was such that I couldn’t be gone from the house from 8-6 every day. So, basically, I retired and picked up the hobby of painting—something I’d never had time for before (facebook.com/maritashappyspiritart). After almost a year of living with us in Lubbock, my mother’s health had improved enough that she didn’t require my constant attention.
I was happy painting pictures and caring for my mother, but then, in April 2019, out of the blue, I got a call from someone asking if I’d consider remodeling his master bathroom. My Realtor friend had sold the couple the house and they had been unsuccessful in finding a company they liked to do the remodel. They reached out to the Realtor and she gave them my name.
Remodeling Houses for Others
They liked what I did with their bathroom and referred me to another couple. For them, my team and I redid the Jack and Jill bathroom, the laundry room, the master bathroom, the master bedroom, and the kitchen. They referred us to another couple for whom we did three bathrooms, created a laundry room and remodeled the kitchen. In between we’ve done a few smaller projects and we start on a new kitchen in early July. My house flipping experience and my interior design education come together in Triumph Properties Lubbock (facebook.com/victorioushomes).
Back into The Personalities
Other than writing an article or two a month for our neighborhood magazine, my speaking and writing was behind me—though I’ve continued to handle a small online store that sold the books my mother and I had written, and the popular Personality Profile my father originally developed when I was 9 years old. The Personality Profile is our biggest seller and for many years it sold approximately 200,000 copies a year.
Two things changed. First, a friend in Lubbock asked if I would consider leading the staff program on The Personalities for an orthodontic conference in January 2020. I accepted the invitation. Additionally, another friend, asked if I’d address The Personalities for her nurse educators’ group. In preparation for both, in September 2019, I did a presentation for my friends and the volunteer staff at a Christian ministry that helps Lubbock’s working poor. Now, I’ve agreed to do a staff retreat for my dentist.
Second, the web host that housed our little online store, merged with another. In the transition, the store no longer worked as I needed it to. I had to make a change. Additionally, customers and our Certified Personality Trainers were requesting an online version of the Personality Profile. My COVID-19 project became developing a new online store and the online profile. That project took on its own life and, ThePersonalities.com, became an entire re-launch of The Personalities brand under the Wired That Way banner.
I am continuing to remodel houses—and plan to for the foreseeable future. However, now that I am resettled and happily married, opportunities to reengage in The Personalities, along with the new website, seem to be presenting themselves. I had thought that chapter was closed forever, but it is, apparently, being reopened—and I am looking forward fleshing out the story.
The Personalities is practically in my DNA. I guess I am hard-Wired That Way.