Last night I had work to do in the kitchen that occupied my hands and not my mind, so I dug out an old set of casette tapes and began listening to Napoleon Hill.
On the tape he talks about the man who started the Piggley Wiggley stores. He worked in a grocery store, mostly delivering groceries. And he had ideas - lots and lots of ideas. His boss got so sick of hearing them that he told the young man that the next time he came up with an idea he would be fired. The boss was tired of this employee "wasting his time" with nonsense.
Not long after the boss issued this ultimatum, the young man ran across a new concept: A cafeteria where people could get in line and choose the food they wanted rather than sit at a table and order.
He got so excited about how that could apply to the grocery business that he ran back to tell his boss.
When the boss said "You're fired" he replied "No, I'm not. I resigned before I started to speak."
The idea was for a grocery store where customers could come in and choose the items they wanted, then take them to the counter to pay for them. The boss said it would never work.
Later he told someone that he figured every word he spoke when he fired the young man had cost him about a million dollars.
Piggley Wiggley was a huge success and the young man was soon a multi-millionaire.
That got me thinking about my former broker, and the reason that I opened my own agency.
I read about real estate all the time and I kept getting ideas. Every time I'd open my mouth to tell my broker he'd groan and say "Oh boy, so what's THIS going to cost me?" He didn't yell at me for wasting his time, but he didn't grab the ideas and run, either.
So... I did. I got a brokers license and opened my own agency in order to have the freedom to try new ideas.
A few years later my landlord accused me of being the reason why my former broker and a couple of other agencies were no longer around. He said "You ran them out of business."
I said "No - they ran themselves out of business by being unwilling to move forward."
It was the difference in perception between an expense and an investment.
All my former broker could see was the cost. A new idea to him was a way to spend money, not a way to invest in the business in order to make more money.
And some of those ideas were SO simple. I was suggesting things like monthly activity reports, brochure boxes, and "just listed" cards. When I think of it now it's hard to imagine there was a time when those things were new, unusual, and too expensive to consider.
Are you following through with your own ideas?
Granted, not every idea is a good one. And it's probably not smart to spend too much money testing something new. But if we don't keep changing and moving ahead...
I think we're sunk.
Go for the gold... explore your ideas!
Image courtesy of Dreamstine