As my car rounded the corner, I saw him on the road. He was sitting on his hind legs and chomping an acorn in the middle of the road just a few hundred yards away. When he first saw me, he dropped to all four legs with an apparent understanding that he needed to get out of the road.

  • Make a decision, and move toward it -- don't doubt yourself.
  • Don't make wholesale changes until you have investigated whether an adjustment would do the trick.
  • To see results, keep pushing and trust the process.

As my car rounded the corner, I saw him on the road. He was sitting on his hind legs and chomping an acorn in the middle of the road just a few hundred yards away. When he first saw me, he dropped to all four legs with an apparent understanding that he needed to get out of the road.

He sat frozen by indecision. As I got closer, he darted right, then left and then right again. His panic grew as my car got closer, and he moved back and forth with even more urgency.

He darted right again and left the road just before I got to him, and I let out a thankful breath. Then, for no apparent reason, he darted left again at the last moment. Then splat. R.I.P. Mr. Squirrel.

What was he thinking? Why did he put himself in this position?

Then it hit me: this squirrel’s story was a perfect analogy of how I had run my real estate business during the times I struggled.

5 lessons we can all learn from that squirrel

1. Do something.

Where you are right now is dangerous. The real estate business is constantly changing, and if you stay where you are, you will get run over.

The squirrel would have been safe whether he went to the right or to the left. He just needed to go in one direction to gain momentum.

Are you sitting in the road when it comes to your real estate business? Darting from one shiny prospecting idea to the next? Make a decision, and move toward it.

2. Act now.

You must develop a sense of urgency for your business. Your actions today will take time to yield results. The squirrel was frozen by indecision when he first saw my car.

He waited until the last minute, and it was too late. Don’t wait until your pipeline is empty to take action.

The best analogy for real estate is farming. The farmer doesn’t plant a crop and reap his harvest the next day. He has to plant the seeds, guard against weeds, nurture the growth and pray for rain.

You must nurture your business to reap an abundant harvest. The best time to plant seeds and take action is right now.

3. Maximize where you are before you change.

The squirrel had no business on the road. Whether he came from the right or left side of the pavement, there were plenty of acorns to choose from.

He might have needed to climb the tree to get them or to do something different, but there were still acorns where he left.

Are there still prospects where you have been searching? Could a few minor adjustments to your process yield better results?

Before you decide to make a wholesale change to your business, make sure a few adjustments won’t do the trick.

4. Don’t be afraid to take a chance.

At some point, you must take a risk to get a reward. The only way the squirrel could have known if the other side of the road was better is if he took the chance to find out.

If the availability of acorns had slowed where he was, the risk of staying and running dry might have been greater than the risk of crossing the street. Plus, nothing says he had to stay on the other side if it turned out to be barren.

Is your business slowing or showing signs of stagnation? Don’t be afraid to take a chance and try new things. If they don’t work out, you can try something else. Keep searching for better ways to do your business, and they will appear sooner rather than later.

5. Make a decision and see it through.

The most critical mistake the squirrel made was not making a definitive decision and seeing it through. Have you made a decision about how you will grow your business? Do you have a plan?

Do your research. Make a decision on how you will grow your business, and then work your plan. Do the work. Keep pushing forward when adversity arrives. Trust the process and see the results.

Don’t be like the squirrel in the street

Your future needs you to be decisive. It needs you to take action with urgency. Take calculated risks to improve. For your future to be better than your past, form a plan of action and consistently carry it out.

The street is unfortunately littered with indecisive squirrels. Likewise, the real estate business loses its own casualties to hesitation. The time to learn how to avoid the same fate for your business is now.

Jimmy Burgess is the founder of Real Estate Sales Machine. Follow him on Twitter.

Email Jimmy Burgess.

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