Mortgage Moms: The Pressure to Succeed


By Jessica Rocho Nagatani

I remember how I got to this place in my life like it was yesterday. And when I say, “this place in my life” I am referring to the fast pace of keeping up with a beautiful little girl, a very successful husband still working on expanding his responsibilities to grow his career, and me doing the same.

Spending most of my originating career single was great for my bank account and my goals, but didn’t do much for my personal growth. I forgot birthdays, never made time for friends, and you can forget about having a committed relationship.  I averaged 147 hours of work every two weeks, and, in reality, I am sure I was working harder not smarter. Needless to say, when friends set me up with a single, successful man striving for the same things in life, I saw this as my out.

I could fall in love with the man of my dreams, reprioritize, and perhaps start a family as I knew he would be the perfect father. However, like every hyper competitive, type-A successful business person, slowing down and reprioritizing is not easy. You develop a standard, perhaps even an addiction to the pace, and you virtually have to retrain your body and your mind. This is easier said than done.

In the process, I found I was so conditioned to certain originating behaviors that staying away from my phone or email too long caused angst and anxiety. I just couldn’t shut it off. I wasn’t able to re-prioritize, re-calibrate, and slow down. I wasn’t able to do this when I got married, nor did I feel pressured to do so. You can imagine the rude awakening when a year and a half later we were blessed with our beautiful little girl, Timber.

Most would assume this would force anyone to slow down, put family first, and stop worrying about the money, the business, and the funding numbers. No, not me. It motivated me even more to prove to everyone I could do it all. I had Timber one day and went right back to work the next. My highest funding month that year was the month she was born. I don’t know what it is. Is it the need to be the best? Was it my attachment to making money or the lifestyle I was accustomed to living? Did I need to be needed by clients and referral partners or did I not want anyone taking my book of business I worked so hard to grow?

What is it that keeps us coming back for more day in and day out to this business, and, in some cases, sacrificing our families, our health, and weIlbeing to help the next customer? Is this business that rewarding or is it an addiction? As mom’s, do we feel we need to prove we can do it all Raise a family, make the money, and take care of ourselves? Are we still breaking the glass ceiling as mortgage moms in the business? Do dads feel the same amount of pressure and need?


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Jessica Nagatani

Jessica Rocho Nagatani is the Chief Production Officer for Honolulu Home Loans and a mother of two. Jessica can be reached at



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