Lessons From The Dirt

Real Estate Agent with Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 CA BRE# 01261476

Lessons From The Dirt


Most of the year, if you were to wander my garden, you’d see grape vines with big leaves and bunches of Zinfandel grapes, Hibiscus, Plumeria, Roses, Jade, Ficus Trees and other tropical beauties. Then, you’d come across my pot of dirt. You’d naturally assume something was about to be planted or recently died and needed replacing. Ah but you’d be fooled my friend, for beneath that soil, which I care for all year, lies a mostly dormant, annual visitor to my garden.



When we finally bought our home in San Diego, after renting initially when we relocated here in 2003, I was finally able to return to one of my passions- gardening. 


One day while visiting our world famous Carlsbad Flower Fields, I bought the seeds to those flowers and planted them, unbeknownst to her. See, they are my bride's favorite flower (and they are very pricey in florist shops), so I wanted to be able to give her up to a dozen per year without the fee. She used to ask me, why do you keep that pot of dirt out there? I told her it was where I kept all the worms for our garden. The following year, in July, and every year since, we get this explosion of pinks & fuchsias from these gorgeous summer visitors. They only come once per year and they bloom for maybe, up to 2 weeks if we’re lucky, then they’re gone for another year. They are The Stargazer Lily.


That may seem like a lot of fuss and waiting for such a short blooming season, but when we see the Stargazers in full bloom in our yard, outside our kitchen window, well-it even makes doing the dishes a pleasure. Raising Stargazers also served me as a reminder for my business:


Not everything we do in our day to day to work days to generate leads, serve our clients, work our escrow and practice our personal disciplines of success are sexy.  We have days of few results in fact. Yet, if we were to stop doing what it is we do to grow our businesses, close deals and create advocates, we’d go out of business. If I didn’t water, fertilize, pull weeds and fend off the garden pests that like to eat the flower stalks, I’d never be blessed with the blooms, eg. the reward.


It takes being faithful to the little, to be given a lot.


30 weeks per year I care for a pot of dirt. 15 weeks per year I care for green, leafy stalks. 5 weeks per year I care for green, leafy stalks with bulbs. 2 weeks per year, we get these beauties...

First bloom of 2016

stargazer lily

Previous Seasons:



Posted by

REALTOR®, CRS, RCS-D, CDPE, ePro, Certified:Military Home Specialist,

Certified: Luxury Home Specialist Podcast Host, Author & Keynote Speaker


Brokered by Big Block Realty

Do You Know The Market Says Your Home is Worth?

CA-BRE# 01261476, since 1999  (My Team)

 "Oh by the way, I'm never too busy to serve you and your referrals to good people like you."

 mobile: 858-232-8722 / e-fax: 650-240-0717   


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RCS-DivorceSouthern California Chapter of Certified Residential Specialists (CRS)

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Disclaimer:  Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, medical advice or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice, health or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.

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Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

I love the analogy in your post. Seeds. Patience. The reward. 

On another note ... what you did for your wife is so darn sweet!

Jul 11, 2016 12:38 AM #14
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

We got the strangest gift from littering. A water melon plant on the side walk. I even find a $10 bill on our tree.

Jul 11, 2016 03:53 AM #15
CA COASTAL ESTATES Lauren Selinsky Perez CRS
California Coastal Estates - Aliso Viejo, CA
"Your Real Estate Broker" #oclauren

Beautiful stargazers! Planting them because they are your wife's fave is touching. Then, the analogy to business>>  seed+patience = Reward.  

Jul 11, 2016 05:25 AM #16
Will Nesbitt
Nesbitt Realty at Condo Alexandria - Alexandria, VA
Nesbitt Realty is a family-run brokerage.

TJNRealtor@gmail.com Thomas J. Nelson, RealtorReal Estate Agent with Big Block Realty in La Jolla, CA.


Jul 11, 2016 05:35 AM #17
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


This is really a good analogy - seeds, patience, results... using your personal experience and penchant for growing star gazer lilies, a favorite of mine as well. A most enjoyable, and colorful read!


Jul 11, 2016 06:10 AM #18
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Awesome, they are my favorites. 

Jul 11, 2016 06:43 AM #19
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor - great analogy!!!

We must keep on doing what is right for our business - whether we see results on day one or not!

Jul 11, 2016 01:39 PM #20
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Beautiful Flowers and a great analology of patience and gaining the reward of the payoff from investing time.  Thanks for sharing! You have a blessed wife to have you and your devotion to growing your relationship.

Jul 11, 2016 02:35 PM #21
Jennifer Mackay
Counts Real Estate Group, Inc. - Panama City, FL
Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582

Thanks for sharing that unique perspective Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor and the importance of cultivating our own businesses and customers over time - well done!

Jul 12, 2016 12:16 AM #22
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Hi Thomas - I love your analogy, and it's so true. Perfect. Thanks. And--your stargazers are gorgeous.

Jul 12, 2016 12:18 AM #23
Anna Hatridge
Goodson Realty - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with Goodson Realty

You are a blooming genius!    I love the analogy as I too find the value in dirt.

Jul 12, 2016 01:17 AM #24
Anna Hatridge
Goodson Realty - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with Goodson Realty

Congratulations on the feature!  Well deserving post.

Jul 12, 2016 01:18 AM #25
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Great point.  Sometimes things we do years ago all of a sudden pay off, just by our being patient and helpful.

Jul 12, 2016 03:41 AM #26
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Your flowers are beautiful and so is your analogy. 

I'm jealous - I had lillies in my flower borders (not these, but pretty none the less) but underground critters came along and munched - so I don't have them any more. 

Jul 12, 2016 05:32 AM #27
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I love the post and the photos. Congratulations on  the featured post.

Jul 12, 2016 09:09 AM #28
Doug Perry
Strategic Real Estate Trainers - Chicago, IL

Hi Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor!  A good parable for Realtors.

Jul 13, 2016 07:12 AM #29
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Beautiful!  You are very lucky to have that talent.  Others don't invest the time or learn how.  In Arizona, our flowers are indoors this time of year!

Jul 13, 2016 09:43 AM #30
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Those are beautiful flowers!  Can't you plant them in the ground somewhere where they can really spread their wings and expand?

Jul 14, 2016 01:34 PM #31
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Realty ONE Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale

Hello Thomas

Great post, story, photos and your post has been featured to the group:


Jul 14, 2016 02:28 PM #32
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Sometimes the rewards we value the most are those rare beauties that we wait the longest for.

Nice surprise for your bride Thomas!

Jul 14, 2016 08:38 PM #33
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