If You Ain’t There, You Won’t Be Making Any Money

When I was a real estate agent, I was as young and green and full of plans as they come. I read Danny Kennedy and anyone else claiming to know how to be the best agent ever; I determined to work day and night introducing myself to folks; I focused my head off; I made a plan, and worked it like anything.

In part this was because of my mentor, the Realtor who managed our office. He was a wise man who knew how crazy the turnover is in real estate and wasn’t afraid to tell us—if we weren’t afraid to hear it.

“Most people sell a few houses for their friends and family, come in fifteen or twenty hours a week, wonder why their business isn’t taking off after such a promising start, and give up in six months,” he told me. “If you don’t come in you won’t make any money. I tell you this now because I don’t like to bring people in who don’t want a full-time job. Okay?”

I was far from friends or family, so I had no chance of that jump start from my personal market. I had energy, and I had cocky faith in myself. I had one more thing—an astounding desire to avoid looking like a fool to my mentor. I’d be the hardest working marketer he’d ever seen, so he wouldn’t be sorry he hired this young blonde chick.

I’ll keep you in suspense no longer. I’d never give the brilliant Wendi Kelly a run for her money in r.e. sales. One house in six months of fifty and sixty hour weeks. I was horrified, but not mortified. I worked it and worked it, but so many years later, I ask myself, would I have bought a house (or listed one) with that very young lady? Perhaps not. So I’ll give me the benefit of the doubt and say that I looked as young and green as I was, and it worked against me. I went on to things I loved a lot more, but every lesson I learned in that time has come in handy in the years since—and you may have guessed that my mentor was not a bit sorry that he brought me in, either. He was a great fan of mine, even as I moved on.

Fast forward.

There’s an office I know of that’s teetering on the edge of going out of business. I know because they tell me (and others) so. Things are rough, they can’t drum up new business, etc. “It’s the economy, stupid,” one principal was heard to say.

I don’t hear from them near as often as I might, because of the eight folks in the office, only a few are ever there, and plenty of days, not a single light ever goes on.

People ask me if they’re out of business (even their clients have asked!). I shrug, then a couple of days later, they show up again. Work for a few days. Complain about how slow things are. (Well, what kind of Customer Experience are you providing?) Talk about how great the golf was on Tuesday… had the course all to themselves, apparently.

Yes. Everyone else was working.

Whether you’re drumming up business for your store, your office, or your home business, it’s well worth keeping those long-ago words in mind:

If you don’t come in you won’t make any money.”

You get out of it what you put into it. Darn, that s**ks. No matter what you may have heard, there’s no such thing as easy money. That, folks, is why they call it work.

Beware of any scheme that plays on that deep desire of ours, to make money while working less. Remember before “passive income,” when “passive” was a sickly, ugly little word? For the most part—gee I hate to burst the bubble—it still is.

I’d rather see you buy lottery tickets and have honest fantasies.

Are you putting into your business, all that you hope to get out of it?


Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson