Never Compromise Your Core Values

Mortgage and Lending with Directors Mortgage 200308132

I wanted to write today about something that is related to the real estate business but more importantly, the life business.

What I mean is, the values you carry into business more than likely are carried over from your personal life.  What you stand for and who you are should be the cornerstone of your mission statement, your business practices and the person people see.

I had a rather eye-opening experience today that I want to share with you.

Now, I won't get into details but the basic story is, today after a very important meeting, I realized that I had compromised who I was for a bit and it all came down on me all at once.

When times are tough, we tend to hit the survival mode and start to cut the fat (sort of speak) and we begin to cut a little too much here and not enough there.  We start to reshape our thinking.  We begin to ask and even doubt our true abilities, so, we compromise.

I am sure we all do this once in awhile.  Whether it's cutting our commission, putting buyers into our car whom we'd rather not, talk to people like they're paychecks rather than true clients, we have all done it.

Well, today, I realized that I did it to myself.  I justified doing something because in my mind, it was the only thing to do in order to feed the family.  I rationalized all the pros and not enough cons as to why I should take something on in order to make ends meet.  No don't get me wrong, I'm not above hard work and putting in long hours, but when I begin to cringe at the site of myself when each morning I am woken by the sound of the alarm rather than the sound of the birds, I know I have compromised myself a bit too much.  When each morning, I begin to "not enjoy" going to work.  When I begin to find excuses not to work is when you know in your heart, it's time to pack up and go.

I always picture myself going up on stage and talking to individuals in the business (any business for that matter) and telling them my story.  And when I get to the part where I start to tell them about how I made the wrong decisions and compromised myself for money, how I traded time for money, I will happy to also tell them the other part, the second part, where I made a stand.  I drew a line in the sand and said, "NO MORE OF THIS! I CHOOSE DIFFERENTLY!"  I am proud to tell them the part where it's okay to work hard but just work hard for yourself.  Be proud of what you do.  Be honest in your dealings.  Be truthful with yourself.

Some people may read this and say, "heck you gotta do what you gotta do." While others will ask if I did something dishonest in any of my transactions.  The answer is simply NO.  I did not.  I did however, lied to myself about who I was for the sake of a paycheck. 

The truth is, you can make money anytime, anywhere, but you can't make character and integrity.  You must live it.

Welcome back Phuong! WELCOME BACK!

Jayne Williamson, REALTOR, Broker, GRI
Keller Williams Realty Mountain Partners, Hendersonville, NC - Hendersonville, NC

Congratulations on the feature!  I don't think there is a day that goes by that most people don't have to assess and reassess their own situation and wonder if what you did today was the right thing. If at the end of the day, you have mostly positive answers, then you know you did!

If you are true to who you are and what you stand for, then the day was good. The Golden Rule is always a good measure.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!



Nov 25, 2009 01:58 AM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

In the 1980's when Oklahoma had completely cratered sort of like Detroit now, I lost my retail business, and just about everything else. I was literally down to $20 when I got my first real estate commission in January 1990. I can't tell you how happy I was, and remain today. After I lost what I thought was everything, friends stepped in with encouragement and suggestions about how to go farther. Money is important for security, but I saw clearly that it can be gone, but you realize, they can't eat me. I haven't looked back since, and success is a much richer definition now.


Nov 25, 2009 02:21 AM
Linda McCaffrey
McCaffrey Professionals of Coldwell Banker Residential - Danbury, CT


Thank you for sharing.  It demonstrates the needs to be interspective and examine if our goals are in line with our values. 

Nov 25, 2009 02:31 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Very good points and reminders.  As they say the Road to Hell is paved with Good Intentions.  We rarely start out to do wrong, but we rationalize and lie to ourselves.  Anyone who is honest with themselves know they have been there at some point.

Nov 25, 2009 02:50 AM
Kirsten Lindquist
Pacific Union International - Sonoma, CA
Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country

Phoung:  Thank you for this thoughtful and soulful post.  I've been there, done that, and asked myself "why?," too.  Once you ask the "why" question....and answer it don't want to go back there again.  Core values are what keep you healthy and whole.

Nov 25, 2009 03:07 AM
Karen Sanchez

You know when you treat people with honesty and integrity, it confuses them.  I've had challenges that cost my family money, I could have compromised and made a couple more bucks.  The money would be gone by now, but I would still be trying to regain my reputation. At the end of the day, I have to live with me and I want to be able to look at me in the mirror and be proud of myself.

Thanks for the post.

Nov 25, 2009 03:17 AM
Marika Realtor | Seattle + Eastside
Our victories are measured by how many temptations we overcome, not by how many prizes we bring back. Congratulations Phuong! You won. Great reminder for all of us. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Nov 25, 2009 03:32 AM
Christa Ross
RE/MAX Select Realty - REALTOR and Green Homes Specialist - Pittsburgh, PA
Helping you buy and sell Pittsburgh's Best Homes

Jobs will come and go, you will have to live with yourself and the choice you make, make sure they are good choices.

Nov 25, 2009 04:44 AM
Carol Hamilton
Prudential Ambassador - Omaha, NE
Prudential, Real Estate, Omaha, NE

Great job Phuong.  It can be hard to take a step back and reevaluate but sometimes it is so necessary. 

Nov 25, 2009 04:59 AM
Steve Andrascik
Lake Mead Area Realty - Boulder City, NV

Thanks for the words of wisdom, Phuong.

Boulder City Steve

Nov 25, 2009 05:44 AM
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Phoung,  Sounds like you have had some challenges in your journey through life !  Keep on being true to yourself !

Nov 25, 2009 06:47 AM
Craig Comeau
Century 21 Assurance Kelowna - Kelowna, BC
Your Kelowna Real Estate Connection

Thanks Phuong! You are correct we all must uphold our integrity and morals before anything else. I recently attended our mandatory Ethics course put on by the board and took away a very valuable tip to remember. "Do everything like you know it's going to be posted on the front page of the newspaper". By following that advice it would be difficult to be led a stray.

Nov 25, 2009 06:49 AM
Joey Arce
NUllennium Realty/NUllennium Lending - Huntington Beach, CA

A self analysis. Good post. Thanks for putting yourself out therefor us all to benefit from. Good reminder of compromise. Your completely correct about earning a check vs. living your life! Thanks!

Nov 25, 2009 08:18 AM
Ty Lacroix
Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc - London, ON


Well written and being true to yourself (honest) is a virtue. I try to check my inner score card everyday


Nov 25, 2009 08:30 AM
Amy O'Laughlin
Broken Arrow, OK

Phuong, Your blog on this is admirable.  I'm glad you've 'remembered' yourself! 

When I wonder if I'm going about something the wrong way, or pushing myself too hard, or taking on too many obligations, I try to remind myself of a quote that I love: "Do all of the good you can, in all of the ways you can, as long as you ever can." If something doesn't fit in those guidelines (too much to handle effectively, negativity, etc.), I set it aside and move on.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Nov 25, 2009 09:19 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

You had to know when you wrote this that everyone would be curious - what happened? What did you do to change it?

I expect you don't want to share that. But regardless, good for you for taking care of the problem before the "problem took care of you." Having respect for yourself is one of life's most important tasks.

You said "to feed the family" so I assume you have chiildren. I hope you tell them what happened, because kids need to learn those life lessons from people who love them.

Nov 25, 2009 07:22 PM
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc - Gulf Breeze, FL
Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl.

Great post and thanks for sharing your story with us. We all at sometime have this dilemma and it is what we choose to do that will define us.

Nov 26, 2009 12:03 PM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

Great post about inner conflict and compromising your core values.

Nov 27, 2009 02:30 AM
Jirius Isaac
Isaac Real Estate &TriStar Mortgage - Kenmore, WA
Real Estate & loans in Kenmore, WA

Phuong, Thank you so much for this reminder.  It is so important to be honest with who we really are.  I just today decided to him my seller a few thousand dollars off my commission.  I hardly ever do this, but sometimes it is just necessary to uphold my own principles.  (Most of the time it is necessary to refuse because of my own principles) 

Nov 27, 2009 10:11 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I would never judge anyone. Sometimes you got to do what you got to do. We all were in those shoes.

At least, you know what you are and what are your values.

“Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.” – Sigmund Freud

Mar 15, 2015 07:25 PM