Answering a message in a bottle

When lost at sea, the seaman looks for any signs of land. A beacon, a floating twig, birds… anything that can, at the very least, instill hope.

When shipwrecked, seamen discover themselves. And what they’re really made of.

Being shipwrecked happens. No one controls the sea. Or the climate. Just as no one can control market trends or economies. What we can control however, is how we ride the wave.

Today, real estate’s seamen and women have been cast from the big ocean liner that once cut through the currents like a knife through melted butter. Many are now raft-bound. Others shipwrecked.

I can tell you that this is OK. You are not alone. But sitting on a raft waiting for a headwind, waiting for a current in a dead calm, or building a huge sand SOS on the beach, is not going to change your predicament. You will remain lost.

Last Friday, a message in a bottle arrived via email from one of real estate’s castaways. An agent whose ship once sailed mighty. Today’s she’s stranded on the shores of despair. Lost.

So I called her. We spoke about the market. About silence. About no leads, no phone calls … nothing. About not knowing what to do next.
It was not my place to tell her what to do. She needed to figure that out on her own.

And through the dialog, that began to happen. It began through her humility. Through her realization that some things, crucial things, had passed her by. She admitted that when things were going great, she avoided furthering her education. And that now, furthering her education is the only thing that matters.

She wants to row. She wants to learn. She wants, more than anything, to part ways with what she was. It doesn’t work for her.

She wants a build a new boat.

Rename it.

And sail a new sea.

During that call, I realized I was her twig. 

I’m not a raft builder. I’m not a programmer. I’m certainly not a magician. I can’t make a bad market turn great. I can’t make a disinterested buyer lust after a home. But maybe, with a single puff, I could blow a little wind into her new sail and point her in a truer direction.

So I blew. It was in the form of an email loaded with links to her peers who might have once been in her shoes. What they’re doing inspires me. But more importantly, they’re inspiring new business and attracting customers despite the market.
They serve up my own personal belief that life is what you make of it and opportunity is only a moment away.

Her down time has served her well. It repositioned her way of thinking. Going forward is going to take some hard work but she’s game. The end result is worth it.

I can’t build her raft, only she can.

She’s shown she has the skills.
And the desire.
All she needs is inspiration.

…. to be continued.