There’s always something to howl about

The unchained epiphany: Working in the Web 2.0 world is not mastery of technology but the celebration of your own independence

Kicking this back to the top from April 8, 2008. — GSS

In comments to Sean Purcell’s “NAR Challenge”, Scott Rogers wonders why the NAR could not teach hi-tech real estate as well as or better than BloodhoundBlog.

The short answer is that we’re not teaching hi-tech real estate, not even close, and what we are teaching is anathema to the NAR.

In her own comment to Barry Cunningham’s post on the typewriter being state-of-the-art NAR technology, Newport Beach Realtor Stacey Harmon offers this serendipitous explication:

WOW. This video really highlights for me the opportunity that exists for Realtors who really embrace not only technology, but Web 2.0. What I see in this video is the application of technology to improve the “traditional” way of selling real estate. I think there is a whole emerging group of Realtors out there who are looking to utilize technology (in particular Web 2.0 technologies) to TRANSFORM how real estate is sold. I agree with Dave that this video speaks to 75% of Realtors – I work in one of the most lucrative markets in the US (Newport Beach, CA) and I’d say that this video accurately represents how most Realtors (that do any business in my market) view and utilize technology. I see this as a huge opportunity for anyone who is savvy enough to have even found this blog. Thanks for a very interesting post!

That’s an epiphany in text form. I don’t know Stacey, and I don’t want to characterize her thoughts, but that kind of epiphany is what BloodhoundBlog is all about.

We don’t teach technology, even though we talk about it all the time.

We don’t teach marketing, new-wave or old-school, even though marketing is constant obsession around here.

We don’t teach Web 2.0, even though many of the brightest lights in the wired world of real estate write, read and reflect here.

What we teach is independence, the recognition that you alone are the source and the sink, the alpha and the omega of your knowledge, of your business and of your success or failure.

I am a rude, crude and vulgar man, so it falls to me to say that being unchained means never again having to take shit from morons. Surely there are more dainty ways of expressing the same idea. But this is the essential BloodhoundBlog idea — not simply to have been set free but to have broken the chains that bind you.

These are not new ideas. They only seem new by technological accident. What Web 2.0 brings back to humanity is the Agora of Ancient Athens — only on a global scale, with equal freedom to participate for anyone with a web browser and a net connection.

Demosthenes stood on the beach with a mouth full of pebbles, his face to the wind and to the roar of the waves, declaiming one after another the great speeches of his day. Why? He was training himself to be the greatest orator in antiquity. We are doing much the same thing today in our blogging, our podcasting, our linking and connecting — each one of us alone, interacting one-on-one.

This is most emphatically not what the NAR is all about, but that doesn’t even matter. The NAR doesn’t matter. It’s just there, that’s all. But the recognition in the minds of individual practitioners that the NAR doesn’t matter — that matters a great deal.

Your broker does not matter.

None of the many-tentacled arms of the NAR matter.

The loser at the next desk constantly spewing poison does not matter.

The only thing that matters is you — your work, your way. Your mind and what you are doing to improve it.

The Attic Greeks understood this implicitly. Would-be hegemons have conspired since then to keep it a secret. The unchained epiphany happens when the scales fall from your eyes and you realize that you not only can control your entire business, you already do control it entirely — and you have all along.

This is not about whether or not you work with other people. It is all about how you work. Are you waiting for someone to tell you what to do? Do you plan to learn something new as soon as someone gives you training? Is there a meter in your mind to tell you when you’ve done enough, thought enough, learned enough, grown enough? Do you long for some giant brute to slay dragons for you, so you can have roast dragon for dinner? You are well and truly chained, and you probably don’t even know it. But guess what? You won’t matter, either, going forward — not unless you wake up and get busy.

On the other hand, do you look at all the chained people around you and realize that breaking your own chains creates incredible opportunities for you? The Greeks weren’t entrepreneurs, but they had the entrepreneurial mind. During the industrial revolution, that attitude was again on the ascendancy, until the would-be hegemons — some of whom founded the NAR — managed to shout it down. Nothing can shout it down now, and, because of this, the future belongs to the unchained. Not feral, but not tame by any means — and nobody’s property to order around.

It’s raining soup, and there is no shortage of room for media outlets other than BloodhoundBlog to transmit this message. It could be we understand these ideas better than most, but the world is large, and we have touched but a tiny slice of it. But the NAR cannot induce its members to be unchained — not without self-destructing. Even so, it doesn’t matter. The NAR is already a dead letter, and whatever thrashing fits it goes through in its death throes, it does not matter.

All that matters is that unchained epiphany and what you choose to do about it.

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