Seth Godin's 61 word post from 10 days ago is, in my view, the greatest economy of words on a deep throught I have read in quite a long while. You should really read it, print it, and tape it to your monitor or mirror. No blanket statement covers 100% of reality, but I concur with his observation; all worthwhile things have their price.
While we all expound and trade ideas on how to work our businesses smarter, more efficiently, and with ever greater return on effort and investment, there is one thing that gets oblique reference but is seldom discussed head-on:
The best planned military operations presuppose sacrifice on the part of the personnel.
The best play in football presupposes almost superhuman effort, incredible athleticism, and execution in the face of strong opposition.
Maps don't take into account rough topography, inclement weather, and random accidents and breakdowns, but you know they are a reality.
Doctors and lawyers labor through years of education, testing and training to earn their position in life.
And, just like getting through college or reaching the apex of any endeavor, nobody succeeds in real estate without hard work and the mundane, day by day grind of consistent effort. You have to work hard in this business if you want to make it. Some short term success can occur with events that look like luck or ease of effort, but long term success doesn't. Hard work and success are Siamese twins in this business.
Many of us work hard, but in an anecdotal sense. We'll take time away from our family on a Sunday night to show a listing, or stay late on the phone babysitting a client. Planned hard work is another matter. I'll give an example: since August, 2005, no home in Westchester County has ever expired off the market that has not gotten something in the mail from me. That's my niche. And either myself, Ann, or our admin have hand addressed our expired mailer virtually daily for 5 years and 9 months- it is our way of shoveling coal into the company engine. And as I approach my thousandth blogpost on this platform, I know that I have more than one shovel in the coal.
Are expired mailers mundane? Good God yes! Blogging isn't always easy, or nor is biting my lip with clients or the hours I log. And most championships are won in practice. As I was reminded of my old high school wrestling coach's words of 25 years ago, it isn't the will to win, it is the will to prepare to win.
Plan your work. Work that plan and work smart, by all means. But work hard, daily. Do the same thing for 365 days in a row religiously as if your children's food and clothing depend on excellence in that one, daily event, difficult as it may be. You won't recognize your business in a year.