Get beyond the basics

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart Realty West CalBRE #01458572

I was visiting with a Client today when we got into a discussion about life.

Something she said really made a lot of sense, that life is like cooking. You have to learn the basics — chopping, stir frying, boiling — but until you get beyond that to add ingredients, and to even experiment with ingredients, amounts, cooking times, etc., you won't gain much.

The same thing could be said for our businesses. There are the basics to any business — income, expenses, taxes — but until we get beyond the basics and add some ingredients — customer service, unique marketing, things that our competitors aren't doing — are we any better off than when we worked for someone else in an 8-5 job where they added the ingredients, experimented with cooking times and amounts, and left us to simply be the waitperson, food server, or table cleaner?

Get beyond the basics by adding some ingredients and experimenting. If it doesn't turn out, you can serve it to the family and I'm sure they'll compliment you on it. After all, isn't that what family is for, to give you unconditional love and support?


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Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Perry Wellington Realty, Adam Conrad, Broker - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

My chocolate lab gives me unconditional love :)

Oh, I just have to tell you this...THe first meal I cooked for my husband (then boyfriend) was eggplant parmesan. Now this dish takes a lot of work, but I just love it and of course, thought he would too.  I didn't find out until after we were married that he doesn't like eggplant.  He had one serving and now I know why!  But, he was sweet not to say "I don't like eggplant".

Love the beautiful red flowers!

Apr 26, 2010 01:56 PM #1
Stephanie Reynolds
Integrity First Financial Group, Inc. - Santee, CA
East County San Diego Homes 619-838-4408

I am always up to adding a little spice to my life, my business AND my cooking! Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't! But at least I give it a shot!

Apr 26, 2010 02:02 PM #2
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Good advice for life and work. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

 April at Longwood Gardens

Apr 26, 2010 02:14 PM #3
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
PK Real Estate Utah South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Russel, My grandfather always said, "If there is one thing in life you should enjoy, it's eating good food... so you better learn to cook!" Great advice, I'd say!

Apr 26, 2010 02:16 PM #4
Larry Bettag
Larry Bettag - Cherry Creek Mortgage - Saint Charles, IL
Regional Vice-President

The basics are the most important.  The foundation is set because of living off of the basics.

Apr 26, 2010 03:19 PM #5
Maria Morton
Chartwell Kansas City Realty - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

I love to spice up my life, business and food!  Thanks for another unique perspective, Russell.

Apr 26, 2010 04:15 PM #6
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Realty ONE Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale

Hello Russel and there are some foods I really crave and I have been craving them in South East Asia. I am headed home right now and guess what old Bangkok Bob is going to do when he gets home?

"Eat some American Food"

Apr 26, 2010 04:25 PM #7
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

Hi Russel, When it comes to cooking, Jon does most of that in our house.  I used to love to cook, but so does he, so I decided to let him do it.  As for spicing up our business, I ignore people who try to get me to conform, and spice up my business with a lot of little extras.  At first, others say it's silly, won't work, etc.  Then when it does work, they want to know how to do what I do.  Sometimes I share, but others .....  Let's just say it's hard to be different if everyone is doing everything you are doing!

Apr 26, 2010 05:13 PM #8
Tony & Darcy Cannon
Aubrey and Associates Realty - Layton, UT
The C Team

Russel, outstanding post!  Thank you!  This is a great analogy and readily adaptable to our businesses. I really liked this post!

Apr 26, 2010 05:30 PM #9
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce - Short Sale

  We believe in "spicing it up"...adding some sugar to sweeten the experience....using different methods so that everyone as much as possible and as often as possible has a satisfying experience and not one that "went sour."

Apr 26, 2010 11:09 PM #10
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Russel,

As always great advice for work and life in general. I like the perspective you are coming from!

Apr 27, 2010 12:09 AM #11
Sidney Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula
Realty Works Temecula - Temecula, CA
Realty Works Temecula

Russel:  I think this goes for anything.....even walking....I was just watching a baby walk, or I should say, try not to fall down and I was thinking how hard it is for them at first, how hard it was for all of us just to learn to walk!

Apr 27, 2010 01:20 AM #12
Gerry Michaels
Glasswork Media Arts - Gettysburg, PA
GettysburgGerry Social Meida

Russel, eccellent point, being one who loves to cook, I understand the process of becoming a good cook. It takes time, experimentation, and experience. Whatever the case, we get out of it what we put into it.

Apr 27, 2010 02:12 AM #13
Russel Ray, San Diego Business & Marketing Consultant & Photographer
Russel Ray - San Diego State University, CA

Hey, Folks!

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Since I'm rather late getting back to my own blog post to read all the comments, I'll forego responding to each and every comment and just let everyone know that I'll be by to read your blog and leave a few comments here and there, if I haven't been already. Be sure to have lots of good stuff for me to read! If any specific comments have questions that need answers, or any other needed response, I'll make those below this comment.

Meanwhile, hope everyone has a great June, and best wishes for health, happiness, peace, and prosperity.

Jun 01, 2010 04:50 PM #14
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