I wrestle with this one. What are the limits; personal, professional, moral, emotional on action so bold? A couple of decades ago, when I worked in L.A.’s broadcast production industry, this was the mantra. Do whatever it takes to get the job done. If ever there was an opportunity to abuse a workforce of eager, underpaid, over-achieving young adults who would do anything to get ahead in the “business,” it was then. I worked eighty hour weeks for $200 per, drove my car and nerves into the ground. With the end of every gig came unemployment and an uncertain future. This employer ethic persists and not as the exclusive domain of the entertainment industry. Years later and as a senior producer with a major consumer software corporation, I became the man with a heavy stick, the person urging my team members to pull out all the stops so we could ship our product on time and on budget. I pissed off a lot of people in the process, winning fewer friends.
While I subscribe to the ideal in its pristine form, I urge caution when embracing it haphazardly. “Doing what it takes” may involve a severe opportunity cost if your understanding of it is myopic. “Whatever it takes” does not mean at any cost. Real estate is tough enough as it is. Lose your family and friend support base because you’re working long hours, chasing clients, taking short cuts to close the deal, alienating peers and customers in the process, then the cost is too great.
If, on the other hand, in pursuing a “whatever it takes” attitude, you are getting out of your own way, working and trusting your systems, setting firm personal boundaries and staying regimented in your business practice, then I say go for it. Adopting that all-important right-minded approach already separates you from the pack. The adage, “ten percent of agents do ninety percent of the business” is true.
Top agents don’t hesitate or equivocate about how to run their business, follow marketing plans or stick to a budget. Top agents act. Doing “whatever it takes” means getting your butt out of bed on a cold winter morning and getting to the gym when it would be so much easier to linger beneath the covers. It means going to the office and clocking in at your desk even as the sun shines and all your peers are taking the day off. It means answering that up-call when no-one else will. It means creating your business plan and sticking to it, hell or high water. Doing what it takes means owning the reality that, as an independent contractor, you’re in business for yourself. There’s nowhere else for the buck to stop other than right in front of your nameplate.
Doing “whatever it takes” requires simple ownership of the truth that your destiny is your own. Act accordingly; using those all important personal, professional and moral metrics as your guides.