There’s always something to howl about

THE Epiphany – Solomon Was Right

I’ve had times in my career, the first one at 19, a whopping year of part time experience under my belt, when I was given a slightly unfocused glimpse at what was possible, in terms of that elusive concept, success. In a company filthy with studs and studdettes, (a word I just now made up) I somehow Gumped my way into finishing in second place in a 90 day in-house listing contest. I won an 11″ black ‘n white portable TV — a prize I’ve always been convinced my sainted step-mom was behind. The distance between me and the winner could only be measured in terms of light years. When basking in the shocked applause at the awards meeting, I thought I was a budding gift to real estate brokerage.

NASA still hasn’t developed the instrument capable of measuring how completely fulla crap I was back then. Lookin’ back, (I blush with shame whenever I do this) I would’ve had to climb up three rungs on the ‘Have a Clue’ ladder to have been Mr. Clueless.

Goals, plans, hard work, even talent, aren’t the most powerful weapon we have in life. Ask yourself, what precedes all of that? When we lump 1,000 highly successful real estate agents together, what’s the common denominator? Some had goals, some didn’t. There are massively successful people, for whom the next goal they set will be the first. The same goes for all the factors mentioned above. So, what’s the common denominator shared by virtually all of ’em?

They made a decision.

If ya see yourself here, raise your hand, but I’ll only speak for myself. Success in anything just ain’t that complicated, nor is the road leading to it labyrinthian. There are those who do, and those who can tell ya every way known to Man how something can’t be done — at least not by them.

We all realize the truth of profound principles of life at different speeds. I was a slow learner. You’d think as a PK I’d of understood the pure gold flowing from Solomon’s wisdom (paraphrased) — As a man thinks in his soul, so he is.

It’a a dreary, rainy, Saturday morning as I write this. For reasons unknown, it was suddenly important to identify the point at which it dawned on me how important a thought — a decision — can be. Like an unexpected mental FedEx delivery, a picture popped into my head, as clear as if it happened yesterday.

I’d been making decent money, better than average, but not nearly what I’d thought possible. As it happened, the wife and kids were visiting her parents for the weekend. I took advantage of that to roll up the freeway an hour to spend time with my Grandpa and Grandma. The picture? Sittin’ at their kitchen table with them, as Grandma served up a basket of steamin’, fresh from the oven, miniature raisin bran muffins — soft, easily spreadable butter at the ready. (Even as I write that, my mouth begins watering big time.)

Grandma asks, “What’s on your mind, Jeffrey Scott?” Grandpa just smiled in that knowing way, acknowledging my unsaid wonder at how she always seemed to know when something was up.

“Why can’t I be more successful?” There, I’d said it. Her initial response unnerved me slightly, as she merely smiled as if looking at a child with a skinned knee. I ignited one of Grandpa’s window shattering bellows of laughter as I wondered aloud if this was gonna hurt much. Seriously, I think his laughter at times made window panes vibrate.

Her answer, however, was GrandmaSerious.

She said that everything anyone does in life is always based upon a decision to make it so. Nothing more, nothing less. A simple decision. I was complicating things. Decide what I want to happen. Turn the page. Make it happen.

She continued, saying that any decision, seriously pondered, couldn’t be made without the underlying truth — that I believed the result I sought was within my reach — that it was not if I could do it, but when. The rest was merely a matter of chronology.

I was flummoxed. My expression must’ve mirrored that, as Grandpa again unleashed an ear shattering roar of laughter.

He then looked at me with those super focused, eagle eyes — told me to butter a muffin and eat it. What? OK. Done.

“You wanted to do it. You gave it thought. You decided you could make it happen. You did. Want me to paint you a picture?!” That’s not hilarious ’till you know he was a nationally renowned artist.

I got it. It was a chilling epiphany. Why? Think about it a second. If success is merely a result of a decision, we better damn sure be careful what we decide.

What thoughts preceded what decisions that got you where you are today? LIke I said, chilling.

Are you happy with the ‘you’ your thoughts and decisions have wrought? Happy with your career? If the answer is no, there’s just one word I have for you, cuz Solomon was right — as we think, so are we.



5 Comments so far

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeff Brown, Real Estate Feeds, Tom Hunter, cd, Real Estate Ninja and others. Real Estate Ninja said: THE Epiphany – Solomon Was Right […]

  2. Alex Cortez October 30th, 2010 4:16 pm

    Insightful post, Jeff. Entering real estate as a profession, I was guilty of this (asking why I couldn’t have the success that I thought I deserved, instead of making it happen). But well, in seeing what makes successful guys like you, Greg Swann, et al. alike, it becomes apparent that what separates the truly successful from the average is the ability to make things happen, regardless of what obstacles are ahead. And well, changing perspective from retroactive to proactive has changed my way of not just making money, but of looking at life. Mahalo.

    Now back to college football.

  3. Jeff Brown October 30th, 2010 5:48 pm

    You said just right, Alex.

  4. Jim Klein October 31st, 2010 8:14 am

    Thanks, Jeff; this is yet another classic IMO. You obviously carry on the family ability to make the simple seem…well, so simple. There was a huge ad campaign built around “Do it!” As you so aptly note, for conceptual beings this translates to, “Decide it!”

    Well done.

  5. Jeff Brown October 31st, 2010 8:18 am

    Thanks Jim — You touch on a painful point for many. It is simple, but like so many simple things in life, sometimes not so simple with which to follow through. We often make things faux complex/difficult as a defense against our unwillingness to make a decision to do one thing or another.

    Grandpa used to call it, Fort Excuse. 🙂