Are You The Tortoise or The Hare?

Are You The Tortoise or The Hare?

As children, we unknowingly learn powerful and thought provoking concepts that help us become successful adults. One story that I have carried within my mind for decades now is Aesop’s classic tale about the tortoise and the hare. After several years of reflecting on the underlying message, I’ve been able to create and recreate a successful living during my career. If you don’t remember the story, here is a quick reminder:

There once was a speedy hare who bragged about how fast he could run. Tired of hearing him boast, Slow and Steady, the tortoise, challenged him to a race. All the animals in the forest gathered to watch.

Hare ran down the road for a while and then and paused to rest. He looked back at Slow and Steady and cried out, “How do you expect to win this race when you are walking along at your slow, slow pace?”

Hare stretched himself out alongside the road and fell asleep, thinking, “There is plenty of time to relax.”

Slow and Steady walked and walked. He never, ever stopped until he came to the finish line.

The animals who were watching cheered so loudly for Tortoise, they woke up Hare.

Hare stretched and yawned and began to run again, but it was too late. Tortoise was over the line.

After that, Hare always reminded himself, “Don’t brag about your lightning pace, for Slow and Steady won the race!”

Does this sound familiar? I’m not referring to the story itself, I’m talking about how it relates to how you run your Real Estate business.

Are You The Hare in Your Real Estate Career?

hareBeing a Real Estate Agent, have you noticed your business going up and down in random spurts? It seems like maybe 1 month you have 3 or 5 deals and then the other month you have a big fat zero. Maybe a few months out of the year, you have 5-10 deals and then the rest of the year you have nada. So sometimes you appear to be a top producer, but then when you take a look at your career each year as a whole, you do relatively the same amount of deals year after year. If this is you, are you beginning to see the similarities between you and the Hare?

The psychology behind this is actually quite simple and obvious.  Sure it has a lot to deal with ego and pride, but it also has a lot to do with discipline and complacency. Real Estate is one of the few industries where you can earn some fairly large commission checks in a short period of time. If a Realtor sells a few houses, it can equal $50,000+ in commissions. It doesn’t matter who you are, making $50,000 in a few months is amazing. The problem that immediately arises after a couple of fat checks is complacency.  Most people just don’t save their money and end up sending it right away. The problem isn’t only the part about blowing your money away onsuperfluous things, it’s that 30-40% of that money you made doesn’t even belong to you, it belongs to Uncle Sam!

How Do You Become the Tortoise?

the tortoise and the hareThe tortoise keeps on saying that “slow and steady wins the race!” What does that mean? It means that unlike all the other Realtors who are like the Hare quickly burn themselves out. They work hard for a short period of time, and then they play even harder. This cycle continues too many times and any success ends up canceling itself out. I’m not telling you that playing hard is a bad thing, I’m saying that you should limit the amount of time you spend playing hard now, so you can play harder that ever a little later in your career. Instead of working hard to do 5 deals a month, taking a break, then trying to do another 5 again the following month, focus on doing 3-4 deals each month. Not only should you take a look at the number of deals you do, you should also make the attempt to live below your means.

Most of the people who made a ton of money in the last Real Estate upswing have pretty much spent it on big houses and fancy cars.  Now, these are the types of people who are getting foreclosed on and are now forced to change their entire life style and struggle. People who made the decision to go slow and steady during the last Real Estate market upswing and still continuously work hard and save money, now have the opportunity to invest into houses and stocks at ridiculously low prices.

What You Should Do Right Now?

If you do almost everything I tell you to do, you will achieve the goals and dreams you desire. I’ve been in the business for over 30 years, so doesn’t it make sense for you to follow my advice?

  • On the days you feel like working, and the days you don’t, you need to work hard no matter what.
  • Start each day at zero
  • Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses.
  • Have a short term memory with the the bad things you do and have a long term memory with the good things you do. After all, everyone makes mistakes, no point in dwelling on the bad.
  • Become more teachable and coach-able and I promise you that this alone will allow you to change the way you do Real Estate.

As you begin to feel comfortable with my advice, take notice on your future, and dwell on your goals for a moment. It’s important for you to know that it’s okay to be told what to do in this industry. So simply allow yourself to let yourself do what I say and I promise you that you’ll almost instantly notice a difference. Leave a comment on what your thoughts are below.

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14 Responses to “Are You The Tortoise or The Hare?”

  1. Debbie 03. Aug, 2009 at 10:01 PM #

    LOVE IT!

    [Reply]

  2. Keahi Pelayo 06. Aug, 2009 at 7:46 PM #

    I am a tiger shark:)! Very good advice and if I were in CA, I would be working for you.
    Aloha,
    Keahi

    [Reply]

  3. MYNOR MARTINEZ 12. Aug, 2009 at 10:02 PM #

    You are so right!! Great e mail.. love it..

    [Reply]

  4. Ree Lo 19. Aug, 2009 at 10:28 AM #

    Neil,
    You are, as always, such an inspiration.
    Thanks so much.

    [Reply]

  5. TheBentley 20. Aug, 2009 at 4:53 PM #

    A tortoise, of course. A best of all, a real Teddy Bear.

    [Reply]

  6. lydiasantacruz 21. Aug, 2009 at 3:49 AM #

    That's so great! Sounds like our chat yesterday, huh?

    I just emailed you my schedule…so I think I'm on the Tortoise Trail. Thanks Neil 😀

    [Reply]

  7. Lydia Santa Cruz 21. Aug, 2009 at 8:49 AM #

    That's so great! Sounds like our chat yesterday, huh?

    I just emailed you my schedule…so I think I'm on the Tortoise Trail. Thanks Neil 😀

    [Reply]

  8. Nellie Martin 15. Nov, 2010 at 8:09 PM #

    Hi Neil,
    Thank you so much for the wisdom and encouragement. I am currently working a full time JOB for the county. I plan to retire 03/01/2010 and devote my hard work to my real estate career. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

    [Reply]

    Nellie Martin Reply:

    oops meant 3/01/2011. 104 days away and yes I am counting!!!

    [Reply]

    Neil Schwartz Reply:

    Clocks ticking 😉

    [Reply]

    Neil Schwartz Reply:

    That’s fantastic! Let me know if you need any advice from me.

    [Reply]

  9. karen perez 15. Nov, 2010 at 10:58 PM #

    Great information as always!!!

    [Reply]

    Neil Schwartz Reply:

    Thanks Karen!

    [Reply]

  10. Steve McCurdy 30. Sep, 2011 at 8:27 PM #

    Neil,

    I have been implementing your coaching techniques for about 2 weeks now. I started door knocking and lo and behold business has come my way. If only I had discovered your techniques and ‘basics’ 4 years ago, who knows where I would be. I wasn’t much of a dialogue student, but after hearing you emphsize, ‘know what to say, and how to say it’, has given me a great confidence boost. And when I am prospecting and it is hot out, and I feel like after 1.5hours is enough, I say what would coach do? Answer? Keep knocking, and guess what it works. I was at a listing appt at a ‘door knocked’ house, I had left my card at the neighbors house the day before, they came out and over, they may need to sell and want me to list it if the owner transfers. But if I had been doing the SAME routine of sitting in the office or at home, I would have never got either lead. I have worked out my own scripts, have become proficient with them, and still need practice, but I say the SAME over and OVER and it works quite often, But if you hadn’t inspried me, I would still be floundering. I like your “have a goal, a plan to get there, and FOCUS on it’, and these phrases are not some silly euphenisms, but when I walk, and drive, I concentrate on them, and reason what they mean, and I contemplate HOW I will get my plan done to achieve my skills.

    When you said, ‘You have to do what other agents are NOT willing to do’, that hit me like a ton of bricks, I was ‘average’ and didn’t realize it. I made excuses, was negative, and after listening to hours of your vids, I do NOT consider myself ‘average’ anymore, but as you say, ‘Calling me average is an ‘INSULT’…I work in one of the BEST real estate markets in the US, and there are tons of agents here, i ask as I’m door knocking, ‘Has any agents been walking door to door since you lived here?’ You can guess the answer, ‘we get mailings, but your the ONLY agent who has been door knocking’…And I have thousands of more doors to knock on and no one is doing it…Thanks, Neil…

    Maybe I will get to shake your hand one day for saving me in this business..

    [Reply]

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