In May, I initiated a weekly inspirational quote post inspired by a list furnished to me by my managing broker during one of our weekly business development meetings, “The Top 501 Inspirational Quotes of All Time” by David Riklan. With it, I put a Realtor’s? spin on age old adages. This week’s, Carpe Diem or “seize the day”, also defined on Answers.com as “an admonition to seize the pleasures of the moment without concern for the future,” sums up much of a Realtor’s? life, both as the bane and lifelines of our careers. In seizing the day, we take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. We never know around which corner the next one lurks. Today, I took an up-call from a potential customer calling from out of town. While my schedule is such that I am not able to help him on the days he’s in Seattle to look at homes, I was able to refer this random, unexpected caller to a fellow agent and close friend who will be able to help him. By being proactive, answering the phone, assessing his needs and insuring they were handled professionally, both my colleague and I benefit. However, to rely solely on such fortune without an eye to the future or effort put into strategic development of my referral business, I’m likely to be sitting by an idle phone more often than not.
I’ve been watching the cable TV series, “Mad Men” on DVD. Set in Manhattan’s Madison Avenue world of advertising in 1960, it seems an accurate portrayal of the time, weaving the stories of several ad executives, their families, colleagues, the secretarial pool, in a scandalous tapestry of back-handedness, infidelity and dark lies. It recalls for me many familiar images from my own youth, watching my parents as they navigated their social lives in the sixties. Neither cigarette nor Scotch poured neat seems more than an arm’s length from anyone. As I look on today with the benefit of hindsight, I can only imagine how these highly stressed, driven individuals collapsed into their early graves, lungs blackened and livers disintegrated after years of toxic abuse. Indeed, they lived in the moment without care for their futures only to pay the price later. Therein lay the dark side of “Carpe Diem”.
Seizing the day means being proactive, but not necessarily frivolous or short-sighted, something your business certainly cannot afford. “To seize the pleasures of the moment without concern for the future” reeks of risky strategy when taken within the context of self-employment. So, find the balance between recognizing and jumping on opportunities as they present themselves and adopting a pragmatic, long-term approach to both your business and life in general.