A commenter on a recent article accused me of too often having the "narrow perspective of someone who has arrived." I found that statement curious as I was preparing my year-end taxes, gazing at the bottom line which was a tribute to the true awe-inspiring enormity of my success. I almost paid the bills.

Mostly, though, it reminded me of those first years in business. Even in a good market, building a real estate career from the ground up is like scaling Mt. Everest wearing swim fins. It is a painfully slow process, and it is a lot of hard work. And it is a lot like childbirth — you never really forget the labor.

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