When I was growing up in Oceanside, Calif. as an only child to a single mother - both of us staying afloat on love and food stamps - something good happened to me. |
My grandfather introduced me to the Boy Scouts of America. It was the lifeline I needed. Troop 750 taught me many of the life lessons I use every day - to this very day.
In fact, I regularly share those same lessons with groups when I speak publicly. And today, I'd like to share them with you.
Let's start with the scout law. It reads: "A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent."
I'd say you could do a lot worse if you substituted "scout" with "Realtor" in that sentence. Not much to argue with there. But again, this is just the start. Here are six more key values all real estate agents can tap to be better at their jobs.
1. Seek advancement - The Boy Scouts are experts at helping kids improve themselves. You've likely heard about all the merit badges they can earn. These badges help scouts develop physical skills, social skills and self-reliance - and in so doing, the kids get a healthy dose of self-confidence. So, let me ask you this: If you're not taking continuing education courses, why not?
2. Help your community - It's the image seared in our brains: the devout scout helping the old lady across the street. Community service is an essential part of the scouts, and it should be for you, too. You make your living from your community, so it's only natural that you give back to it. Please take time to assess if you're giving enough time and money back to yours. If not, get busy.
3. Be adventuresome - Scouts explore new ideas and embark on innovative adventures that let them face their fears of the unknown and then conquer those fears. How many of these kids had experience rock climbing, rappelling or whitewater rafting before the scouts? Few if any. But that didn't stop them from jumping in feet first. What a great lesson for Realtors. If you're afraid of doing something, get over it. Be bold. Be strong. Do it.
4. Be prepared - That's the motto we've all heard many times. But be prepared for what? For scouts, it's about getting prepared for adulthood and life. And in real estate, it's about being prepared for the ebbs and flows and for what's coming around the corner. Be prepared and always have a business plan.
5. Know it's always about the group - One of the first lessons I learned when I joined the scouts at age 7 was that my actions were a direct reflection of the entire group. When someone got booted from the Boy Scouts, it wasn't the organization that kicked him out; it was his peers in his troop. Realize you're part of a team with loan officers, builders, attorneys, home inspectors - the list goes on and on - so always do your best.
6. Get outdoors - It's probably the first picture that comes to mind when you think of a scout - outside building a fire, camping and hiking. I like to compare this to agents because it's a fine reminder for you to get out of your office to get some new business. It's not coming to you, you go to it. So get to it!
Let me hear from you. What can you learn from the Boy Scouts? Do you need to work on advancement? What Realtor designation have you been putting off? What about community service? Is there a local nonprofit that's a good fit for you and your interests? Bubba Mills is executive vice president of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems for residential REALTOR, mortgage brokers and real estate companies.
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