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Life's struggles lead Killen Mayor to advise: Follow your dreams

Posted at 2:00 PM, Sep 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-17 16:46:06-04

KILLEEN, TX — As he left the Army, people told Jose Segarra to remain careful about Killeen and it's crime. But the future mayor of Killeen calls the town "tame" compared to his south side chi-town upbringing.

After getting out of the Army after operation Desert Storm. Jose Segarra, a mechanic at the time, left Fort Hood to find he barely made enough to make ends meet.

"I was a construction mechanic working on bulldozers, graders stuff like that and the best I could do around here was a job for about six bucks an hour.," said Segarra.

Many folks pointed to school but Segarra needed more.

"So I tried school a couple of times I've gone to college but never finished a degree," you might say he ended up with a graduate degree in the "school of hard knocks".

He wanted to make money the best way possible so he settled on investing in real estate.

"I tried to buy houses and at that time because I didn't have that longevity but throughout the process, I started learning a little about real estate," said Segarra.

He eventually set his mind on selling real estate and got his license but he got off to a slow start.

"I didn't have that personality I still have that personality that you need to be a great salesman you're outgoing and stuff. I'm always more laid-back but one of the strongest traits that I have is patience. I know I'm gonna get there if I keep at it and keep at it and keep at it," he explained.

At least it kept him in the game, while he fended off advice to go back to mechanic work, from well-meaning relatives.

"My first year I was terrible at it I only sold one house the whole year and It was only because my uncle lived here he felt so sorry for me he said "Ill let you sell my house," he said.

Segarra stuck with real estate and eventually learned the ropes enough to sell more and make more.

He says many times your biggest hurdles come, not from your enemies but from people who offer advice on a safer path in life. One that causes us to leave our dreams in the rearview mirror as life takes us another, perhaps safer, direction.

He says well-meaning relatives will say things like, "'you need to get back and do what you were doing' 'this is not for you' 'you got to take care your family' and it all makes sense but you just gotta follow your dreams I tell people you know just follow your dreams," he said.

But he warns, it's not always an easy path, "way I look at life is we either we e follow a course because it's pleasurable or painful. I would say that we probably do it more because it's painful,"

Segarra says the "painful path" he followed, eventually led him to success in managing a money-making real estate firm and eventually made him the elected leader of the biggest city in Central Texas.

Yes, he had plenty of hard knocks getting there, but he calls the view from the top, "wonderful".