Sharpen Your Vision

Title Insurance with First American Title

I'm one of the few crazies who wake up at 5am to run the tree covered, dark morning trails of beautiful Kingwood TX.  With a full work schedule and a family of 7 it's the only time I have if I want to run.  My goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon this January. 

A few weeks ago I discovered a new 11 mile loop and was excited to show it to my wife on our regular Saturday morning run together.  This particular loop includes several turns and if you're not careful, you can easily shorten or significantly lengthen the run.  During our Saturday run with plenty of light we missed virtually every turn. 

On Monday I went back out and ran my 11 mile loop at 5:30am in the dark.  I did so with great ease, not missing a turn.  During the run I realized that the difficulty of running with no light had sharpened my vision and significantly increased my awareness.  Street lights from a distance and back patio lights to homes along the trails were my signals of junctions where I should make turns.  Even the way the stars shone through as the dark trail opened up from the canopy of trees at turn locations gave me direction.  I then realized the ease of running the trail in full light had made me lazy. 

In life the most difficult of situations give me opportuntiy to focus on the trail I'm running.  When all my attention is focused on a difficult goal my vision is sharpened and I am able to accomplish my goals.  The errors I make are when things come too easily to me.

The 4th quarter of every year proves difficult for many of us in Real Estate.  We have the holidays to contend with, kids are in school, elections around the corner, and most significantly, the self-fulfilling prophesy that Real Estate sales will slow.  I urge those with a will to fight to sharpen your vision today.  Make this 4th quarter the best quarter of the year.  When others are giving up work harder, spend more dollars on marketing efforts, increase phone calls to our sphere, knock doors in our farming areas, improve our Open House showings, implement new marketing programs, and ultimately increase our share of the pie.

The path to success is often dark and lonely.  The finish line however is a thrill to cross and often lined with friends and family.

Posted by



 Max VanNatter


Comments (30)

John F Muscarella
Broker/Owner, Venice, FL, Florida's Suncoast

Interesting comparison and I liked it.  Keep up the running and the focus.

Oct 02, 2012 05:33 AM
Shane Barker
Amerifirst Financial, INC. - Salt Lake City, UT

Very inspirational and uplifting.  Great thoughts, loved the article!

Oct 02, 2012 06:30 AM
Jonathan Hall
William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty - Danbury, CT
Realtor - Danbury,CT Area Real Estate~203-417-0523

I usually run after work, around 6 PM. Can't do the mornings.

Oct 02, 2012 07:12 AM
Max VanNatter
First American Title - Kingwood, TX

It's great to see I have a lot of fellow runners out there in the Real Estate world.  No doubt it provides me time for reflection and prep for a new day.

Oct 02, 2012 07:32 AM
Tanya Van Blake-Coleman
Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/ - St Thomas, VI
Improving the Quality of Your Life

Inspirational. Love the metaphors!

Oct 02, 2012 07:34 AM
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

Max: I'm totally with you, Being aware that the 4th quarter is actually much less in work hours (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's) I tend to dig in and get much more done every day. Once I sit back, it's over and knowing this about myself, I won't let that happen.

Oct 02, 2012 09:20 AM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

You are an inspiration to us all,  I have a hard time rolling out of the bed that early,...Does Age play a part in this???

Oct 02, 2012 11:22 AM
Debbie Cook
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc - Silver Spring, MD
Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate

You are right - liked the analogy of your eyes getting used to the dark. 

Oct 02, 2012 11:22 AM
Lorraine or Loretta Kratz
Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions. - San Marcos, CA
Certified Negotiation Consultants

Living in San Diego I have the luxury of great weather year round, and I am up and out of the door by no later then 4AM, I love walking fast,  listening to a good story, or expanding my vocabulary or motivation (inspirational) information, on my early walk I see so many indigents that are down on their luck, one in particular who needs to get his battery charged for his wheel chair sits at a local gas station waiting for someone to come along and plug him into the electrical outlet, he is to handicapped to plug it in himself. I always remember to count my blessings.

Oct 02, 2012 12:32 PM
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Max, it takes extra effort to make the 4th Quarter the best of the year. Marketing and reaching out to our sphere is key to making a greand end to 2012 and a profitable begining to 2012!


Oct 02, 2012 01:00 PM
Paige Walker
Paige Walker - Pineville, LA
Real Estate Guru - Alexandria Pineville LA

Max.... Love the analogy! I am not an early morning person....nor am I a runner, however, I do understand the importance of focusing on our goals.... Thanks for the great post!

Oct 02, 2012 01:17 PM
Digital Digital
Alachua, FL
full service

Hi Max,

You’re an inspiration, running at 5:30am shows deep commitment.

I agree with you that this fourth quarter can be an amazing one, if we sharpen ourselves and keep being our best. All the best for the rest of 2012!


Oct 02, 2012 02:28 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

The path to success is dark and lonely.  I like that thought.  And, I'm working to ramp up for the rest of the fourth quarter.

Oct 02, 2012 04:05 PM
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Best of luck making it to the Boston marathon. The last quarter of the year in real estate does seem like I'm racing to finish with positive results. It is dark and lonely at times. 

Oct 02, 2012 06:05 PM
Rhonda Duffy
Duffy Realty of Atlanta & Rainmaker Realty - Milton, GA
#1 Retail Listing Agent in the U.S.

This is a great story-- and so true. Thank you for sharing.

Oct 02, 2012 09:10 PM
Pippa Mac
Chevaux Group Realtor, The Woodlands and Spring - The Woodlands, TX
The Woodlands TX Real Estate

Max, that is an awesome analogy! 

Oct 02, 2012 10:37 PM
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Max, I love your outlook. So well put, and am glad this got featured. I have never been one to "run with the pack" regarding ideas that others take on without questioning. No--I don't believe in a "season" of selling/buying. I have told my sellers that, even though my niche is in a vacation/resort community. It doesn't matter. I don't adhere to that and I certainly don't allow it to enter and close up the endless opportunities that await if you are open to them!

Oct 03, 2012 01:10 AM
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Max-good luck qualifying for Boston, I've run 4 marathons and I know the dedication it takes. Have a great 4th quarter. Best. 

Oct 03, 2012 03:30 AM
Max VanNatter
First American Title - Kingwood, TX

Great to see that so many are taking a strong marketing approach to the 4th quarter.  Congrats on having a great mindset and willingness to do the hard things

Oct 03, 2012 11:11 AM
Dana Basiliere
Rossi & Riina Real Estate - Williston, VT
Making deals "Happen"


Bless your knees and take care of them.

Dec 11, 2012 05:58 AM