As I write, I am approximately 30,000 feet above the ground. My legs are cramped, the cabin is stuffy, the turbulence is only bearable, and the guy next to me does not smell too good (I really hope he does not see that). When I left this morning, my wife was supportive, but obviously a bit put out that I was leaving again. I was in Vegas three weeks ago and am on my way back again. Sounds like a great vacation, right?
With all of these hassles, why is it I continue to do this? The fact is, there is not just one reason. Seminars, conferences and continuing education are almost becoming an addiction for me. Here are the reasons and why I think you should get addicted too.
Obviously, the self-described purpose of continuing-ed is the knowledge gained. However for me, it is much more than what is gained through the advertised topic. Most of the education I get about appraisals, the industry, or other appraisers is gained in the hallways and dining tables between classes. Much knowledge can also be gained in the classroom itself, but for me it happens best when the conversation drifts away from the prepared PowerPoint. I have been known to be the shmuck who controls the rudder on many of those drifting trips.
This one is a no-brainer, but I continue to be surprised how few take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Don’t get me wrong, I have empathy. Let’s face it, appraisers spend 8-10 hours of a typical day either driving, inspecting, or staring at a computer screens. By nature, we are hermits. However, conferences are no place to stay in our shell. Some of my biggest business opportunities have appeared after I decided to smile and say, “Hey, you as bored as I am?”
Let’s face it, appraisers are appraisers….right? Wrong. Appraisers are no more ‘just appraisers’ than doctors are ‘just doctors.’ When you have a foot problem, you go to a podiatrist. When you have a manufactured home on 12 acres with an indoor arena problem, you go to a ManuAcreArenaPrasier. Okay, so I made that up, but you get the idea. In this increasingly difficult world of the AMC slaugherhouse, it would be wise to pick up a few skills that your peers may not have.
I have saved this one for last because, well, it is the most important for me. Indeed, it actually capitalizes on all the others. Never have I been to a conference, class, or seminar where I did not come home with a renewed desire to do and be better. As humans, we need those reminders and self-imposed ‘pep-talks’ on a frequent basis if we are to be successful.
Though there are more, these are the main reasons I continue to cause my wife stress, have leg cramp, and breath the fresh air of an airplane cabin. I have said it before and I will repeat it here; If the number of hours your state requires each year in continuing education matches the number of hours you get each year, you are doing yourself a HUGE disfavor. So, hop on the Internet. Find your next class and book that ticket.
See you in the friendly skies.
Now, go create some value!
Dustin Harris is a multi-business owner, but he made his fortune as a self-employed, residential real estate appraiser. He has been appraising for nearly two decades. He is the owner and President of Appraisal Precision and Consulting Group, Inc., and is a popular author, speaker and mentor. He owns and operates The Appraiser Coach (www.theappraisercoach.com) where he personally consults and mentors other appraisers helping them to also run successful appraisal companies and increase their net worth. He is also the Founder and President of Your Appraisal Office (www.yourappraisaloffice.com) which implements some of the systems he has developed to help lower costs and free up time for real estate business owners. He and his wife reside in Idaho with their four children. This article may be reproduced and distributed only in its entirety without permission from the author.