Fixin' To Get Cooked In The Squat

Published: February 28, 2009

I was inspired by Len  Harley’s recent post “Get Out Of Bed And Go To Work In The Morning, Even If It’s Just Down The Hall” . In it, Lenn gives us ten ways for Realtors to get back in touch with the basics of our business and how to weather the current housing market. But of the 10 excellent suggestions Lenn makes, they all fall apart if we don’t do the first one – get out of bed and go to work in the morning even if it’s just down the hall.

Real estate isn’t the right job for a lot of people, even though a lot of people seem to think it is. If you’re not a self-starter, if you can’t motivate yourself and monitor your own activity – then this might not be the business for you. Many of us got into the business because it affords us a certain degree of freedom and flexibility. We can set our own hours, if we need time off we take it, if we need more money we make it, if we prefer to wear Hawaiian shirts instead of suits (one of my top motivations) we can.

But all that comes with a price – discipline. If you lack it – you will fail, it’s just that simple. As Lenn notes in her post, be prepared to put in at least the same amount of time you would on a regular job – at least 10 hours a day including travel time. If you work 6 days a week, just look at it like overtime. If you work 7 days a week you’ll soon have more business than you know what to do with – even in this market. Or maybe especially in this market – since so many agents are just laying around the office pissing and moaning about how bad the market is. That’s why my office is so great – if there’s any talking going on it’s me talking to myself and, as they say out on the range – ‘never is heard a discouraging word.’

And I was reminded of a story I heard years ago from that old master motivator himself, Zig Ziglar. Zig would tell the story about growing up in Yazoo City, Mississippi. we lived next door to some rich folks. I know they were rich because they not only had a cook, but the cook had something to cook. In the 1930’s that was a sure sign of wealth. I was there for lunch one day, as I tried to be most every day. On this occasion, the cook brought out a pan of biscuits. Since they were no thicker than a silver dollar, I asked, “Maude, what happened to those biscuits?” She reared back, laughed, and said, “Well, those biscuits squatted to rise, but they just got cooked in the squat.”

If you’ve ever watched scratch biscuits cook, you know the first step is they kinda settle out a little – squat down as it were, before they rise up and get all golden brown delicious. But how many of us get cooked in the squat? How many of us are ‘fixin to’ rise up and do something, knock on some doors, call some past clients, do an open house, and never get past that ‘fixin to’ stage? Or we’re ‘fixin to’ do something when everything is just right. We’re ‘fixin to’ do an open house but it’s a little cloudy today, probably nobody will be out. We’re ‘fixin to’ call some past clients but it’s too early or too close to lunch time or Oprah’s on so the people are probably busy, or out, or or or. We squat down to rise but get cooked in the squat.

You’ve heard the term ‘analysis paralysis’. In my previous life in the corporate world we saw that a lot. People can get too much information these days and mistake the safety of gathering information for real action. We do need to know our local market cold, but we also need to get out and communicate that knowledge to other people. Just knowing it all ourselves doesn’t pay the rent. Knowing everything about our market but doing nothing is no more effective than knowing nothing.

Truth be told, even the guy who knows nothing will do better because at least he’s out there doing something. How mant times have you asked youself “Who on their right mind would do business with that guy”? Yeah, but they’re out there doing business aren’t they? Which is more than the guy sitting at the office computer all day who knows every house for sale in 3 states and has the caffeine buzz to prove it.

Success is not a destination, it’s a journey. It’s the direction in which you are traveling.
Zig Zlglar
Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.
Benjamin Disraeli
You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.
Somebody Smart

Well, at least that’s my $.02 worth. I could be wrong.

The opinions in this commentary are strictly Gene Wunderlich’s personal opinions. While any reasonable and/or rational indivdual should agree wholeheartedly,
the opinons reflected herein may not necessarily be those of the Southwest Riverside County AOR, or any local or state government or other mental institution.

Last modified: February 28, 2009 at 3:01 pm | Originally published: February 28, 2009 at 3:01 pm
Printed: September 29, 2020