This article was last updated on August 27, 2019.
In 2014, I was visiting lake real estate agents across Georgia and traveling on I-20 toward Atlanta when I saw a billboard that read,
“If You Could Improve Your Life, Would You?”
I don’t know what it was advertising but WOW! As I drove, and since, I’ve really given that question some deep thought.
Now, I bet most people would quickly say, “Of course I’d improve my life! What a stupid question.”
But I propose that most people are telling a lie. Not just to others, but to themselves.
In real estate, we see home buyers who have found a home that is as perfect as can be (since nothing is 100% perfect), but just can’t emotionally commit to buying.
We see sellers, with their lives on hold until they can sell a house, who won’t admit the emotional ties that lead them to make counter-offers they know will be rejected.
I run across real estate agents who blame the economy, the competitors, their broker, the buyers, and the sellers for their woes. Yet the same agents never seize opportunities to gain market share, find a better brokerage, or teach themselves new skills.
Not improving your life is easy. It feels comfortable and comfortable feels safe (even when it often is not).
I know people from all walks of life who claim they want something better, something new, some fresh opportunity. Some even tell me they pray for blessings and opportunities for themselves or their families.
But opportunities involve change and change is uncomfortable (even painful) to people. No matter how much they dream of a better life.
When presented with an opportunity, I believe some people actually wish or pray for the pain of change to go away more than they seek strength to overcome their self-created discomfort. For many, their answered prayers don’t bring progress, but rather the removal of fear by their rejection of opportunities.
I like to think I embrace opportunities instead of hiding from them, such as the opportunity of growing Lake Homes Realty as a business. It has required me to emotionally and professionally grow, to endure the pain of lessons learned, to fail in front of others, and to get up and do better.
It takes a steady, conscious effort. I find I must be diligent in seeking the right paths of opportunity to avoid the twin gutters of false security and blind entrepreneurialism.
So like the billboard asked, I ponder for myself, our team, and the real estate agents I meet each week:
If you could improve your life, would you really do it?
Or would you stay where you are, finding ways to believe and embrace your fears?
These are tough questions. We should ask them every day.
Glenn S. Phillips is the CEO of Lake Homes Realty