Learning life lessons from baseball’s greats…

January 22, 2013

I usually like to use quotes from Yogi Berra, if I’m using a baseball quote in a blog post; but today I saw one from another baseball great that struck a chord with me – “Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.” – Babe Ruth

Babe Ruth was the best home run hitter of his era, and most other eras for that matter; however, he was also the strike out king of his time, too. Ruth was always swinging for the fences. He once commented that he probably could have been a .600 hitter had he been willing to settle for “boring little singles.”

Now baseball purists might argue that those boring little singles, when strung together in the right ways, are what really wins most ball games – and they would be right. We can’t all hit home runs every time and sometimes you have to be happy with the little singles that are paying the monthly bills, if you can string them together.  At the same time, it’s important to take Ruth’s advice about not letting the fear of striking out keep you for swinging for the home runs.

Another Ruth quote also applies to life and real estate sales – “You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.” I have found that to be true in life and in real estate. Persistence is one of the necessary traits for success in real estate and in life. Many times hanging in there with a difficult client or persisting after you’ve lost the listing first round pays off.

Finally, when we do get those rare home runs, we cannot rest on our laurels. Each day in real estate sale is like a new baseball game; and as Ruth also said – “Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.” It is all too easy and unfortunately all too common for sales people to have a letdown after a big win or, maybe better put, a slowdown that is really just basking in the prolonged afterglow of a big success. Like any other distraction that takes your eye off the ball and your daily routine, this pause to enjoy will come back to haunt you.

So the Babe’s advice might be summed up as – never give up and never stop trying out of fear of failure and always be ready to do the whole thing over again today.

Now, I just can’t end without adding this piece of wisdom from the Yogi-mister about how to stay honest with your clients – “If you ask me anything I don’t know, I’m not going to answer.” If all Realtors® just followed that advice from Yogi Berra, instead of trying to appear to be knowledgeable by blowing smoke at their clients, we would all be the better for it.


Come alive and march down Main Street in Milford

January 21, 2013

From the Jack’s Winning Words Blog as we celebrate Martin Luther King Day – “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs.  Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that.”  (Howard Thurman)  It is not widely known that MLK, Jr. was influenced in his thinking by his father’s friend, Howard Thurman.  Thurman, in turn, was influenced by a personal meeting with Gandhi who spoke of the power of non-violence.

Who or what makes you come alive? There are certainly lots of very worthy causes vying for our attention these days. Which ones get yours? When you look at the people who are toiling away for causes – raising funds or doing volunteer work or just trying to improve awareness – you often find people who have in some way been personally touched by the cause for which they now devote time and energy. If it’s for a disease or illness; they might have been a victim or had a family member or close friend who was stricken by the illness/disease. If it was some other misfortune; like a fire burning out a family or a family whose bread-winner unexpectedly passed away, often neighbors in the community will rally around them to provide support. There is a collective feeling of, “There but by the grace of God go I.”

As we pause today at noon to celebrate MLK Day in Milford with a parade down Main St. it MLK image over DOwntown MIlfordis interesting that the celebration and parade are being organized largely by students and younger people in the area who are too young to actually remember Dr. King. I was alive during the events associated with Dr. King and vividly recall watching most of them unfold on broadcast TV. For many of the youth involved in today’s parade, this is about the ideas and the commitment to change and diversity that Dr. King and his movement championed.

Most of these young people who will be involved in the celebration and parade today in Milford have no personal basis for understanding how far Dr. King had to move the country in order to remove some of the inequities that existed at the time. They have grown up in an environment that was significantly changed by Dr. Kings efforts and movement.  We are fortunate that this is what made him come alive and that he did go do it. Join us at the Kroger store at 11:30 this morning and join the March Down Main St.

UPDATE – (Brrrr – It was Cold!!)

OK, so I had the time wrong – the line-0up didn’t start until 12:15 this morning. No matter; the march when on at 1 PM as planned. It was very, very cold; but, a good crownd turned out. See the pictures below –

MLK Day 2013 - At Prospect Hill parking lot - 1

MLK Day 2013 - Crowd and tent

MLK Day 2013 - one of the signs

MLK Day 2013 listening to speakers befoer parade

MLK Day 2013 - starting the march

MLK Day 2013 - end of parade entering Central Park

Did I mention that it was cold?

This was the 8th annual MLK Day March on Main Street and was once again MC’ed by Dave Armstrong. former Milford resident, who now lives in downtown Detroit. Coffee was provided by Starbucks and the folks from Coratti’s on Main provided hot chocolate as the marchers went by.


Dance with her while you can…

January 18, 2013

I posted the announcement that I was sent by the Community Ed & Recreation folks abouth the Daddy-Daughter dance and the Mommy-Son dance that is taking place at the same time (see below) on my Move To Milford Web site calendar of Upcoming Community Events.

One can’t post something like that without pausing to allow memories of our children to sweep over us. I don’t recall having the opportunity to take my daughter to a Daddy-Daughter dance when she was little. I do recall the Father of the bride dance with her at her wedding. Sadly that is sometimes the only time that many fathers get (or take) to dance with their daughters; and by then your thoughts are turning to “Where did the time go?” and “When did she grow up?” and maybe “Where was I while all of that was happening.”

So my advice, for what it’s worth, is that you dance with your daughter(s) while you can. Worry about making an extra buck tomorrow and take the opportunities like this one to take your little princess to a dance. Before too long she’ll find her Prince Charming and you’ll be waiting for your last dance with her, at the wedding.

Feb 16 – Daddy-Daughter Dance and Mother-Son Dance – 7 – 9 pm – sponsored by Huron    Valley Recreation & Community Education. The Daddy-Daughter dance will be at Milford    High School and the Mother-Son Dance at Heritage Elementary School. $25 per couple    for residents, $35 per couple for non residents. $10 for each additional daughter.    Click here to see the registration form for both dance


Put a little skip back into your life…

January 15, 2013

From the blog Jack’s Winning Words comes this bit of advice. “How to keep a healthy level of sanity:  As often as possible, skip, rather than walk.”  (Gary Barnes)  For many of us, as we grow older and discover that we can no longer skip; we begin asking – “What has happened to my childhood when skipping came so easy and was so much fun?”  What other skills have we lost in the aging process?  …making up games?  …daring to do things?  …being excited about tomorrow?  …the wonder of discovering something new?

I posted a blog about a month ago about being silly enough to make a funny face in the mirror every now and then. I think that is just one of the things that many may retain from childhood, even if they lose the ability to skip. After all, childhood is as much a state of mind is it about age or physical things. As we grow older too many of us take ourselves and life all too seriously. Cynicism replaces wonder and joy. Worrying about rules replaces making up games. Caution replaces adventure and daring to do things and concerns about tomorrow replace the excitement of getting there.

I celebrate waking up each morning with my dog Sadie. She always seems so happy to wake up to a new day and there’s walk the dognothing like a waging tail and a few dog kisses to start a day off on the right foot. Of course it could be that she’s just excited that we are about to go for our “morning mile” walk – the first a many that day; but I prefer to think that she too is happy to have made it to another day. We may not skip our way around Milford as we start our day; but, we’re happy and maybe a little more healthy and sane for having gotten out and around the Village before first light, even on these cold winter mornings.

You may not have a Sadie to take a walk with; but, I’ll bet, that if you get up and get out for a walk (or run) before you’ve started being an adult for that day, perhaps a little skip will come back into your step.


Don’t get stuck in Turboparalysis

January 14, 2013

This post on the Jack’s Winning Word Blog was so good I had to re-blog the whole thing.

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“Sometimes it’s just easier to sit around spinning your wheels…but you never get anywhere.”  (Susan Gale)  I came across a new word recently…Turboparalysis!  It’s defined as furious motion, without movement in any direction.  It has happened with my car in a snowdrift.  It can happen with us, too.  We keep doing the same thing over and over with no result.  Maybe we need a shove to begin moving forward.    😉  Jack

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I particularly like Jack’s comments on Turboparalysis. That so accurately describes the state that I get into every now and then. There are just so many things to do in real estate, each of them vying for one’s time, that it is easy to busyfall into the Turboparalysis trap. That tends to happen when I try to multitask and find that I’m flailing away, doing bits of many things at once and really accomplishing very little. I’m spinning my wheels. Does that ever happen to you?

I guess the solution is to slow down, take a deep breath and prioritize what needs to be done and what is reasonable to get done and then set out at the tasks at hand – one task at a time. Maybe the “shove” that Jack refers to that we all need could come from a coach or other person that you can feel obligated to report to and to be honest with.That’s the basis for the whole “life coach” business, giving people those littel shoves to get them going.

No matter how you do it, just do it. Don’t sit there spinning your wheels.


Stay in the moment and focus upon today…

January 11, 2013

From the Jack’s Winning Words blog comes this piece of advice – “I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the year’s.” (Henry Moore). Jack went on to write – This week I came across a SMART way (by Kelly Olin) to make and keep resolutions. S=Be Specific. M=Be Motivated. A=Make it Action-oriented. R=Be Realistic. T= Make it Timely.

Olin’s advice is surely applicable to real estate sales or any other job. While it is always good to have long term goals and plans, it can sometimes be depressing to focus upon how few of those plans might have been achieved thus far in the year, especially in January. Since almost all good plans are based upon being able to see the year-long goals as an aggregation of monthly, weekly and even daily goals; it is much better to focus on the work needed to achieve today’s goals than to worry about the overall goals.

businessman looking at watchIf your plan is based upon understanding the numbers involved in achieving success, like real estate sales; then you’ll have some daily numbers somewhere in that plan that you can focus upon today – the number of prospecting calls that you must make in order to get the number of appointments that you need in order to get the number of new listings that are required to give you the opportunity of making the number of sales that will support the amount of money that you want to make.

The fact is that the number of whatever it is that is required today to meet your overall goal is the only thing that you can commit to work on today. So you can take Olin’s list and start with those tasks as the Specific things that you are committing to do. Then give yourself that little Motivational pep talk about getting started. Lay out your Action plan for accomplishing the tasks at hand and be Realistic about the time and effort it will take. Finally get to it – make it Timely, like now.

If you can think and act in those terms each day’s work will seem less daunting, but over time each day’s work will add to the achievement of the year’s goals.


It just takes gumption…

January 9, 2013

“Only two things you ignore: things that aren’t important and things you wish weren’t important, and wishing never works.” (David Shore) – from the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

This saying is particularly applicable in life if you substitute the words “put off” for the word ignore. It seems somehow falsely comforting to put off things that we really don’t want to do or face. There are meetings we really don’t want to have with people that we really don’t want to see to discuss topics that we really don’t want to talk business meetingabout. So we put them off. We wish that they would go away, but they never do.

The real irony is that those meetings never turn out to be as bad as we imagined them to be when we were putting them off. That person whom you were sure would get upset and mad at what you had to say might just as easily say, “Oh, OK.” And let it go at that. Then you will have wasted a lot of energy and time worrying about a non-event. That tend to happen to me from time to time. I think it is the result of an over-active imagination that dreams up all sorts of scenarios that are really improbable, but which capture my thought process and consume lots of wasted energy. Does that ever happen to you?

I suspect that another saying from Jack’s Winning Words also applies to this issue –

 “Everyone who has gumption knows what it is, and anyone who hasn’t can never know what it is, so there’s no need of defining it.” (L.M. Montgomery)

Well, I did look up the meaning, according to Webster’s dictionary –

GUMPTION –

Pronunciation: (gump’shun)

—n. Informal.

1. initiative; aggressiveness; resourcefulness: With his gumption he’ll make a success of himself.

2. courage; spunk; guts: It takes gumption to quit a high-paying job.

3. common sense; shrewdness.

We don’t use that word very often. Maybe it’s because so few of us really have gumption. I think if there were more gumption around there would be less putting off of things, especially things we’d rather not face.  It certainly appears that our legislative leaders in Washington lack gumption when dealing with almost anything, especially fiscal issues these days.

I don’t think there are any gumption self-help books or gumption coaches around to help us find or get gumption; so most of us seem destined to go through life with little to no apparent gumption. Maybe, however, that if we focus upon the third definition from the list above (at least the “common sense” part) we’ll find that we have enough gumption to get by in life. So, show your gumption today and tackle those things that you’ve been putting off.