The Two Foot Rule revisited with 19 lessons learned!

Services for Real Estate Pros with John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. 13013

A few months ago I heard about the Two Foot Rule.  I wrote about it.  The title was:

The 2 ft. rule may change your life


This post has been the most popular one I have written since joining AR.  I have often wondered why.  The main message is this: if you are thinking about taking a leap into territory you have never been in before, if you are going to get kicked out of your safe zone, if you know you have to change gears to make things happen -- then simply start small and work up to the main objective.  Like cleaning a house, try dealing with just two feet of the problem at a time.  Take baby steps if you need to.  But move forward.  You can do it and you just need to get your mind prepared and actually take an initial step forward.

If you'd like to know some of the things learned/realized since posting this article -- that might be of assistance covering a variety of topics and keep you pondering --well here we go!

  1. If you post exclusively about yourself here or on other platforms, no one will care very much.
  2. If you post about how something may help others, you will be noticed.  This post has nothing to do with architecture per se...
  3. If you have a strong title to your blog, people will be curious to see what you have to say.  If it indicates a benefit, better still.
  4. If you advertise in the title, as in this blog, a fixed number of things that might be of value, people are even more curious and will read on.  But deliver on your promise.
  5. A shorter blog with a strong point is better than a long, rambling blog.  Sometimes brevity can be irritating though... or a wise-guy attitude.
  6. Personalize your blog.  Tell your story in a natural way.  Honesty works.
  7. A few images and change of graphics thrown in and a clear write up are like WD40. 
  8. Writing on AR shows up in search results and can direct people to you for years!
  9. The Two Foot Rule works.  
  10. You have to take action before you self-motivate.
  11. Motivation to take action is also worthwhile.  Just don't get stuck on that alone. 
  12. Preparing yourself to tackle the first two feet can be daunting.  It may take time. (see My Story below)
  13. To engage in something completely different from your routine or mindset may take a lot of self-convincing.  Even if you know it must be done.  A rut is difficult to overcome.
  14. Have you ever been to a basketball game where the cheerleading was awesome but the team obviously didn't take the game seriously?  Concentrate on the doing before patting yourself on the back.
  15. But taking the first step may entail an inch by inch strategy.
  16. You must overcome your fears and take action to make headway in any endeavor.
  17. The first two feet are the hardest.  Then you build self-confidence and are able to quickly cover more and do it more efficiently with better results.
  18. Read the comments at the end of every blog of interest.  The comments may contain additional words of wisdom.
  19. Learn, prepare, act, reload and improvise, finesse the act.



My Story....

I had a mental block over the last year or so about getting out of my box and doing something I instinctively knew was going to work.  But I had drunk the digital kool-aid for too long and tried every other trick in the book.  My website had tanked in clicks per view, etc. and had no idea what to do.  This had been my principal method of gaining business. I had a web design company pour my old content into an updated format.  Still sinking in views. I deleted many pages, I rectified dead links, etc.  Still sinking.  Now, in a panic, I designed 8-9 new webs but realized that although they were all up to date and looked great, opened on stamp-sized smartphones, etc. but without concentrated SEO and backlinks, etc. these would only deliver after months or years of work.  At the end of my wits, I separated my original URL from the old content and developed new abbreviated content with flashy graphics and easy to use menu, etc.  The old content was put on a new URL.  Still nothing.  

At the same time, I was culling email addresses from builders and realtors from 15 states.  I sent out thousands of messages.  Nothing.

I then decided to concentrate on Florida alone.  I sent out some very nice cards to builders and realtors.  Nothing.

In the end, the cards and emails DID keep me in the minds of my prospective clients.

The thing I needed to do LOCALLY (a market I had totally abandoned due to the success of my web in reaching outside of Florida and overseas - but now pulling in little to nothing) was to get in touch with the players in Naples, Orlando, Palm Beach, Miami, IN PERSON and make my case.

For 18 months I had been putting off the first two feet.  It took me that long to finally start knocking on doors!!  I was not comfortable doing that.  I was complacent sitting behind my computer screen and thinking I was doing the right things.  I had tried pushing content on FB, I spent thousands on Google Ads, I posted on LinkedIn and Twitter, etc.

The fear is now almost gone.  It is always stressful doing anything you do not do routinely.  But the stress slowly ebbs as you see positive results from your efforts!


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Barbara Todaro 09/27/2019 08:21 AM
  2. Lynn B. Friedman 09/30/2019 12:53 AM
ActiveRain Community
how the two foot rule can benefit you

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Mercy Stirling De Duenas

Thank you! I needed that. GET OUT THERE! That is where the business is!

Sep 26, 2019 08:08 PM #10
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

All good points, John. I especially agree with #4 - deliver on what you promise. So, so many today are sending emails that do NOT deliver. Instead, they offer to sell you something that would deliver. Ugh!

Also totally agree that the comments on posts can be just as interesting and informative as the post itself. I love it when the comments turn into a worthwhile discussion.

Sep 26, 2019 08:45 PM #11
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

John there are so many that will argue #5 and I agree with you, but I have seen X rainers... no names mentioned that will swear that you need a 1000 words or more...Endre

Sep 26, 2019 11:22 PM #12
Dale Taylor
Re/Max 10 New Lenox Illinois - Frankfort, IL
Realtor = Chicago Illinois Homes Townhomes Condos

Jammed packed with quality basic rules we can apply to every aspect of life. Good stuff baby!

Thanks for voting for me at
So I can do more for the less fortunate. Thanks

Sep 27, 2019 05:13 AM #13
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Thank you for explaining the two foot rule and how the results worked for you.   I especially enjoyed the first graphic - one step at a time!

Sep 27, 2019 09:00 AM #14
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Inspiring post!  In a similar vein -- I tell sellers who need to declutter and get the house ready for the market--just focus on one area, one room, one closet first--then move on . You get a sense of accomplishment!

Sep 27, 2019 10:30 AM #15
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

Some or rather a lot of sage words of wisdom.  Thanks so much for sharing John Henry  and congrats on the feature.

Sep 27, 2019 11:02 AM #16
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Good for you for forcing yourself to get out there and starting to actually be comfortable with it. I've been wanting to do that for ages but really want a door knocking partner for safety.

Sep 27, 2019 01:09 PM #17
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ

Great lessons John Henry .  Hanging out hoping digital tracks somehow carries one business to success. Not so much.  Person to person locally works best for me and always has. Years ago I used to staff life success seminars. My favorie saying ( that Gary and I say to this day ) is CHOOSE and!! Once people figure that out............magic happens in so many ways we don't even think of.  Sure is true for me! Choose and Move!!

Sep 27, 2019 02:14 PM #18
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ

I had to come back and share a commercial or comedy skit that was popular and pretty funny a few years back. Remember the two folks on an escalator and nobody was around. They kept yelling out Help - Help we can't get off. Seems like it went on for a number of hours sped up in the skit.  Finally showed us they were on an escaltor!!! There ya go....choose and move. Take those steps one at a time!

Sep 27, 2019 02:18 PM #19
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I had forgotten about your role here and thanks for helping me with revisiting the concept! :)

Sep 27, 2019 09:39 PM #20
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Good insight as always from Anna! Sometimes we have to keep it that simple. :) Anna Banana Kruchten - Phoenix Homes Sales

Sep 27, 2019 09:40 PM #21
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Love this post, well done on the feature, I remember your previous post it was very good as well. Loved the titles of both. I am currently reliving through my blog a very personal walk of 532 miles I took last year. It transformed my life, I had thought about it for several years but last year I decided to go. When I got there, and took the first steps I realized just how far it was going to be. Each day it seemed like the distancve didn't really get any shorter. But slowly, the miles got eaten up, I got stronger, my feet overcame the problems, I overcame the problems, and overall it was a life changing experience. Now, I agree those posts are very personal, but I hope they inspire someone to put into practice the 2 foot rule and make a start. Thank you.

Sep 28, 2019 08:39 AM #22
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

So glad I found this in Carol Williams Second Chance list today. I'm not sure how I missed it. What a great post, and as an introvert myself, this is a great reminder to get the hell out of my home office. Thank you. 

Sep 28, 2019 09:16 AM #23
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I love reading your posts. They are so "real."  

No one cares when we write about ourselves, but if we can actually relate to/with people, that's what is important. Making connections. Offering value. Being "real."

Go out and look people in the eye. Talk to them. Then we have a shot of doing business with them. Otherwise? Nah, not so much.


Sep 28, 2019 06:42 PM #24
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

John Henry - Congratulations on the FEATURE!

"The 2 ft. rule," is a good blueprint to follow for success or to write and improve daily! I agree, "a rut is difficult to overcome." Unfortunately, this is the starting point for many people who unexpectedly had to make a change, i.e.,  job loss, divorce, death, or something else that was so embarrassing change was the only way out. In my opinion, we always need to be prepared for change, not just when we hear something as drastic as "the sky is falling," i.e., hurricane forces, recession, the boogieman is coming, etc. 

Sep 29, 2019 03:38 AM #25
Robin Wells
RAW Chimney Sweep and Inspections - Penetanguishene, ON
Giving Peace Of Mind One Chimney At A Time

Thanks for post.  Actually the title attracted me to read more.. and the 2 ft rule is so important.  The first 2 feet!!.. the hardest!!  So true.  Great post an thanks.

Sep 29, 2019 05:01 AM #26
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi John:

Congratulations on a well-deserved feature...there's a powerful message here and some important advice! Just getting started can be tough but once you do so often the rest is less intimidating that you first thought.


Sep 29, 2019 08:27 AM #27
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

You got me with the title!  Love the 2 ft rule. Well deserved FEATURE.  There is no skipping steps to success.

Oct 01, 2019 06:04 PM #28
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

We all get stuck in the mud at times and have trouble taking that first big step.  Congrats on getting out of the computer room and out into the real world... and congrats on another well deserved feature.

Oct 26, 2019 02:51 PM #29
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