Elephants rarely bite.

Real Estate Agent with DeLex Realty

If elephants rarely bit and mosquitos always bite, why do we always worry about the elephant in the room?

It is our nature to worry about the big thing and ignore the small things but everything in life compounds. The average cup of coffee in the United States costs $2.62 at a store. If you made it at home you could have the same cup of coffee for around 27 cents. While the $2.35 does not seem like much however if you invested that $2.35 over a 30 year period you would have about $70,000. 

Everything in life compounds

It is not just money that compounds, everything does. We all tend to worry about the large disaster or look forward to the big reward but what really matters is the small ones. Almost everyone dreams of winning the lottery but so many do not that it would actually take over 9 years to give everyone who did not win in a single drawing 30 seconds of TV airtime to get threw them. 

It is rarely the big things that get you but rather a collection of small things that cause the problem. It is paying you cell phone bill late and getting a $10 late charge or not counting on traffic, having an extra drink or eating a bag of chips. By themselves are all innocent enough but when repeated over and over they add up and become huge.  

Would you take $3,000,000 today or a penny that will double each day for 30 days?

If you took the penny, you chose wisely as it will be worth over $10,000,000 at the end of 30 days. Good choices, repeated every day will beat a serious of bad choices, followed by one lucky day, every time. Your actions led you to where you are today and will continue to lead you where you are tomorrow, only you can change them. 


Posted by

James (Jim) Lord




Comments (26)

Rick Frissell
HomeXpress Realty - Valrico, FL
aka "The Red Baron of Real Estate"

Great analogies and word pictures.  Mostly sound advice.  I am writing this comment over a homemade cup of coffee.  Cha Ching ... just saved $1.95!  Now if I have two cups of coffee tomorrow and double that every day, that would be ... forget it.  I don't think that will work. :-)

Oct 08, 2017 04:53 AM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Good Morning Jim Lord 

There is one big thing that takes place each day for most...and that's waking up for another day so we can attend to attending to the small stuff, i.e. putting all our ducks in a row.

Oct 08, 2017 04:57 AM
Chris Lima
Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise - Port St Lucie, FL
Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you.

Great post and I love the title Jim Lord. I am so thankful that Kathy Streib featured it in her weekly round up.


Oct 08, 2017 05:29 AM
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

Great post!  Little things also extend to little acts of kindness!

Oct 08, 2017 06:55 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Jim -- it's the details and the small things that can make the biggest difference.  Food for thought indeed.  

Oct 08, 2017 07:30 AM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

I can see why Kathy chose your post to highlight this week...well done!

Oct 08, 2017 07:46 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I have used the coffee and a cigarette analogy with people who are stuck on price. Few understand often it blows up in my face Jim Lord 

Oct 08, 2017 08:21 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I'm so glad Kathy shared this....what great advice! The penny for 30 days thing is mind boggling!

Oct 08, 2017 08:44 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Jim

What a sensible, and powerful analogy. While they say to not sweat the small stuff sometimes the details, and the small things, are waht can really make a difference!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Oct 08, 2017 08:46 AM
Corey Martin
Martin Presence Group - Ruston, LA
Real Estate and Management Solutions

Exactly! The persistence of good habits and choices every day can mean the difference between success and failure. Thanks for sharing!

Oct 08, 2017 08:49 AM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Everything in life does compound; however, an elephant can squish you to death if it sat on you -- whereas a mosquito cannot.

Oct 08, 2017 09:06 AM
Jim Lord

Well, 500 people per year are killed by elephants while 1,000,000 people per year are killed by mosquiteos. While I would not argue that an elephant could kill you, the odds are it will be the small things that get you everytime. 


Oct 09, 2017 11:11 PM
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

That penny thing is an eye opener. Not sure I would have guessed right.

Oct 08, 2017 09:27 AM
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

The penny analogy really hit home! We all think it's useless (and probably is) but when multiplied, becomes something we all covet.

Oct 08, 2017 10:28 AM
Jim Lord

I will admit that the first time I heard it, I took the 3 million, except then I remembered it was in a book about compounding so I changed my mind... :) 

Oct 09, 2017 11:12 PM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

I love this blog Jim, especially the analogy of the elephant in the room.

Oct 08, 2017 10:48 AM
Jim Lord

If you really liked it, there is a book by Darren Hardy called the compound effect. He gave me the penny insight and talks about elephants, however he says they never bite. If you look on google, they actually do and it is scary. Don't make an elephant mad!

Oct 09, 2017 11:14 PM
Wayne Zuhl
Remax First Realty II - Cranford, NJ
The Last Name You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Found this from Kathy's post and I'm so glad that I did. Great advice. Always trying to learn not to sweat the small stuff.

Oct 08, 2017 10:49 AM
Jim Lord

Most of this comes from books I read, most recently Darren Hardy "the compound effect". I plan to write about this later but I recently had to close an electrical business and in looking back it was 100000% the small stuff that did it in. 

Oct 09, 2017 11:15 PM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

By the way Jim Lord, congrats on being in Kathy's "what I learned this week..."!

Oct 08, 2017 10:49 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

I am glad that Kathy featured you in her "What I learned this week" since I had missed your original post. 

Oct 08, 2017 02:37 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Jim Lord,

So glad I caught this on Kathy Streib 's Sunday "Ah-Ha" moments for the week! Great advice and loved the analogy.

Oct 08, 2017 07:19 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Well, I don't worry about spending too much on coffee "out," because that only happens if we have to go out of town for something and stop for breakfast or lunch. I sure wouldn't drive somewhere for a cup of coffee when my own tastes better!

But yes, small things do matter, and they do add up. Even something like giving a smile - or not - adds up.

Oct 08, 2017 07:25 PM
Vickie Teel
RE/MAX PALM REALTY - Port Charlotte, FL
Sharing Florida sunshine one homeowner at a time!

Thanks Kathy Streib for including this post in your weekly what I learned post.  Jim Lord this was a great post.  You are so right.  All things, whether good or bad, compounded daily, over time add up to something good or something bad.

Oct 08, 2017 07:44 PM

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?