Inspiring Conversations with Lori Corken of Corken + Company/The Power of a Voice
Today we’d like to introduce you to Lori Corken.
Hi Lori, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I have worked in the real estate business for over 20 years and am the owner of Corken + Company. I am also a mom and like to say I am a self-proclaimed badass. I think family, fun, smiles, and laughter are really what makes a home, and that’s what drives me. At Corken + Company, we have worked hard to stay in the top 1% of realtors in the Denver Metro area in both sales and leasing volume. I used to think that success meant charging ahead at any cost until one day I couldn’t do that anymore.
On October 11, 2019, I was talking to a client on the phone, and the next thing I know, I’m being driven to the hospital and unable to speak. I learned I had a stroke, and my entire world was flipped upside down. As I sat in the ER, I was watching the movie of my life. My children and my team were talking for me, but I couldn’t respond.
My mind was spinning, I kept thinking who would take care of my children? What would happen to the business? Why couldn’t I speak? I quickly learned that what I had sought to teach them every day, they were now teaching me. My team stepped in just where I left off and I was determined to fix myself. It wasn’t easy but the outpouring of support from my family, friends, and clients were overwhelming. I learned humility, trust, how to ask for help, courage, and most of all grace. Through grace and perseverance, I am stronger and better than ever. I firmly believe in business or life; it’s not how you fall down but rather how you get up. I chose to stand up. Through these life lessons, we have learned that our glass is not half full, it’s overflowing.
My journey has not been an easy one. My speech is still not perfect, but I am determined to get my story out there in the hopes that I can help one person. That’s really what led me to start my interview series, Power of a Voice. I am here to tell my story, share my experience, and try to help people along the way. Whether it be my story or my guest’s story, I think we all share parts of the human experience. We have all faced triumphs and challenges, both joy and pain, both gratitude and grief at some point in our lives. My mission with Power of a Voice is to focus on what brings us together and help people find power in vulnerability and help them find their voices.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
My stroke affected only my speech, not my body. I was diagnosed with Aphasia which is a language disorder caused by damage in a specific area of the brain that controls language expression and comprehension. It leaves a person unable to communicate effectively with others. Many people have aphasia as a result of a stroke, and I had to teach myself to speak again. I go to acupuncture, speech pathology, oxygen tanks, neuro optometrists, and chiropractors. I have tried many things.
I get tired easier now, at the end of my day I just can’t keep going like I used to. My brain knows what it wants to say but my speech cannot catch up. I have many techniques which slow me down but sometimes my body knows best, and it tells me to slow down. Before my stroke, I was always constantly going, and nothing slowed me down, but this was someone’s way of telling me to slow down. It has made me realize that life can be very fragile.
I am determined to show people that when something like this happens life is not over. Life is precious and when you get served something negative, you can make something positive out of it. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Corken + Company/ The Power of a Voice?
I have been working in the Denver real estate market for more than 20 years. I have the tenacity to achieve results for my clients. It has earned me a reputation of being a tough negotiator by my peers, an attentive listener to my clients, and an engaging leader in the community. I’ve received numerous accolades over the years including being an eight-time recipient of the coveted Five Star Professional for Real Estate Award.
My series Power of a Voice is where my passion is. I started this series last year in September. We have had 20 guests so far.
Although I have succeeded in my real estate business, my passion is helping others, and my series Power of a Voice is what I want readers to dive into. These stories that we speak about on Power of a Voice range from personal struggles and triumphs to business accolades and special projects. Ultimately, I am having open conversations and allowing both my guests and myself to be vulnerable while sharing touching stories. I say that if I can help one person with the series, then I have done my job.
Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
I was always outspoken and driven. I knew what I wanted and how to go and get it. I knew that my life was going to be impactful, and my dad was a large influence on me. He taught me how to work hard, how to be respectful, how to love those close to me, and how to overcome challenges. My Dad was not around to see me overcome my latest challenge when I had my stroke, but I know his spirit is always with me. Growing up my interest was always in real estate and connecting with people. From selling timeshares to selling multi-million-dollar homes, my interest was always how to best help my clients achieve their dreams. I have a passion for my clients and their families, seeing them with a big smile at the end of a transaction is what I continue to work for. This passion for creating joy for others was instilled in me from a young age as I jumped into my career. I have always given back to my community and continue to do so by going into local elementary schools and reading books to small classes. Even after the stroke impacted my speech, I have continued to do this and show the kids that you can power through. From reading to students and sharing my message, to speaking with my guests on Power of a Voice, I am dedicated to impacting those around me for the better.