If you regularly read my blog, or listen to my podcast, you’ll know that I spend a lot of time talking about how to make your business more efficient and more effective. Today, I want to talk about why.
These two principles are ultimately designed to make you more successful. My definition of ‘success’, however, might differ from most other people’s. I think money is a part of being successful, but there’s a lot more to it than that. For me, success means being able to do what you want with your life. It’s about having the ability, when you want to do something, to actually go and do it.
In my role as the Appraiser Coach, real estate appraisers come to me all the time with their problems, and many of them are on the verge of quitting the profession entirely. No, I am not exaggerating. In my dealings with them, I’ve found that similar stories emerge: the appraiser originally had a dream; a vision for how their working life would be. They enjoyed real estate appraisal to begin with, then things like HVCC and Dodd Frank happened and suddenly they found themselves working their tails off, with their personal life – and their happiness – left by the wayside.
I’ve met appraisers who work 50 or 60 hours each week. One appraiser I met worked 90 hours. He had no weekends, no evenings, and slept for about 2 or 3 hours per night. Was he making a lot of money? Sure, but I wouldn’t call that being successful.
What I’d ask you to do, right this moment, is to sit back and ask yourself a question: ‘Why did I become an appraiser in the first place?’ Then I want you to ask yourself, ‘Is that still the reason why I’m an appraiser?’ If not, why not? If the reason why you joined the profession in the first place was sound, why isn’t it still the reason today? I’m talking to you Bill.
We all have bad days, and even bad weeks or months. If you’ve been feeling miserable for months on end, though, it’s time to step back, look at your situation, and make some changes. My guess is that making yourself happier again isn’t a matter of quitting your job; it’s about approaching your job differently.
Maybe you need to make some structural changes, like hiring new staff. Maybe you need to finally embrace modern technology, like tablets and lasers. Maybe – and I can’t emphasize this strongly enough – you just need to start taking some time out for yourself.
Not a week goes by where I don’t take an afternoon off and do something completely unrelated to real estate appraisal. Personally, I love going to the cinema, so I’ll tell my staff that I’m heading out for a couple of hours and take in a movie. I can’t tell you how much better I feel when I get back to the office again.
Real estate appraisal is a very busy job, so maybe you don’t feel like you have time to do something like that. Well, let me give you some advice: if you don’t ‘have time’, make time. I guarantee it’ll be worth it. Do something that’s just for you. Take ten minutes to meditate; read a book for an hour; hit the golf course for a couple of hours. By taking this time out, I’m convinced that when you do get back to the office you’ll work much harder, and more effectively, than you would’ve if you’d just stayed there the whole time feeling miserable.
I meet people up and down the country who are frustrated with real estate appraisal. My plea is that you take something you love to do, and just go do it, regardless of how much time you ‘don’t have’. Do that, and pretty soon you’ll start to remember why you became an appraiser in the first place.
For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode 046 – What are you Doing with your Life?