The Grind vs. Grinding It Out

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

Aspire to Grind It Out occasionally vs. Living in The Grind.


There seem to be a fascination almost a "hero worship" in America regarding working long hours and then bragging about your grind - as if that makes them more successful or committed than the "work/life balanced" people.


The "hypnotized" believe that there's some sort of badge of honor; when in fact there's more likely strained relationships at home and neglected sleep / health. Yes, you must hustle and work hard when you first start a job or open a business, but at some point you need to set boundaries and live your life along with having this career or owning your business and recharge your batteries to remain healthy in mind and body and competitive at work. 




Now, before you come at me with stories of having to work 2 jobs just to support yourself, etc., know this: from 1982 - 2018, I worked two steady jobs and occasionally three when I picked up some temp work. I've never had only one job or business since I was a paperboy at at 11. For the last 41 years, I've had multiple simultaneous careers and or jobs.


But, I have a healthy marriage and home life, good relationships with my friends and I'm usually home for dinner ever night between 6PM-7PM. I have not worked a Sunday as a REALTOR* in about 13 years officially, closer to 15 years but admittedly I snuck-in some gigs in on a few Sundays as a DJ back then. Yep, for 30 years I was a Night Club & Mobile DJ and that 30 years overlapped the first 17 years of my real estate career. 

Days off: pick your day or pick a couple half days, there's no ture right or wrong, but stick to it and use the time to decompress and recharge. Yes, you'll miss out on some work opportunities occasionally. There's a cost to the good life. But, you'll catch up with many, many life-opportunities and that will be a greater opportunity.


I know what it's like to work long hours, to have no days off and to come home sweaty, dirty, cut, bruised and exhausted. But, I aspired to leave that behind as soon as possible. 


Too long in The Grind created burn out and sadness for me. My early work life from my late 20's through my mid 30's  took my first marriage, ruined my health and alienated my friends. They used to say "you can't have a conversation unless it involves work." and would get sick of talking to me.

This is why I share this concept with you. Work hard yes, but work smart as you work hard. Working smart means you have boundaries so you can take care of your health, properly rest & recharge, spend quality time with your family and hobbies, enjoy friends socially and be more involved in your community and faith.


Grind It Out occasionally but do not reside in The Grind

I don't live in a bubble; yes there may me days still or even weeks here and there at work due to a special client or project, where you must grind it out to get it done - but let them be the exception not the rule. The Grind is not always by choice, I get it. But, this advice is for when it is a choice and you choose to fool yourself into thinking it's necessary when what really is needed is down time. Your cell phone needs to recharge it's batteries or it ...dies. Imagine if your pilot thought about stopping to re-fuel the way you feel about rest & recharging i.e. a day off or closing by a certain time each night?


My last share on this topic is this:

"When you are at work, work like a dog.

When you are at play, play like a puppy". ~ Unknown



Which means FOCUS! I truly think people work longer hours because they screw around at work and extend their days. They are letting calls, emails, pop-ups, social media and office time bandits sneak into their hours and rob them of their focus.

You can go home guilt-free at a reasonable hour if you put in the work when you're at work and get it done. And then, for goodness-sakes, when you're off, be off. No work calls, texts or emails, no work distractions from your family-focus, your fun-focus and your "finally I get 6-8 hours of sleep"-focus.


You'll never wished you worked more hours when you lay dying, but you may regret the time you didn't spend on your life, with your family and endulging your passions. One life my friend, don't blow it.



Posted by

Thomas J. Nelson
REALTOR®, CRS, RCS-D, CDPE, e-Pro, Certified Military Home Specialist, Luxury Home Specialist, Author, Keynote Speaker and  Podcast Host 

Serving Coastal San Diego from Carlsbad to Coronado, Downtown, Balboa Park Area,
La Jolla/UCSD & Mission Bay Park Areas
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& Active Duty

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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.

Comments (29)

Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Good Wednesday morning.

Take care, be safe and have a great day.

Mar 17, 2021 04:33 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Yes, I totally agree. You can work hard, but balance is so important. Schedule vacations and then take them. Schedule a day off each week. Etc. Things happen, but in general, we need to take care of ourselves and our families.

Mar 17, 2021 05:09 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

We live in a country that rewards hard work and the rest of the world admires our opportunities, but few would work that hard if it meant reducing their quality of life with their family and friends.

Mar 17, 2021 05:20 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Thomas - life "calls" us in different ways so, in my opinion, it's best to find what works best for YOU as an individual and your situation/circumstances because YOU are the one ultimately responsible.  

Mar 17, 2021 05:37 AM
Erik Hiss
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Worthington, OH
You can trust me for all your real estate needs!

This is so true and I am sorry you seemed to have learned it the hard way. That quote you put from Benjamin Franklin really cut to the bone as I know several people like that and are very 'successul' at work, but have no life otherwise. I strive to work hard when I need to, but live my life with priorities: Faith, Life, Work in that order. 

Mar 17, 2021 05:39 AM
Raymond Henson, eXp Realty
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

When I was building my paint contracting company and had many employees, my personality changed.  My wife had a serious talk with me and said I was not the person she married.  I started my day at 530 and ended it late at night.  I was short with people and way too demanding.  I decided to scale back and work more strategically.  It worked and, surprisingly, cleared as much as when I was working endless hours.  The grind is just too tough, unless it is for a good cup of coffee. 

Mar 17, 2021 05:41 AM
Joe Jackson
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Columbus, OH
Clintonville and Central Ohio Real Estate Expert

"Work hard yes, but work smart as you work hard." This is such a powerful statement. Thanks for sharing your story!

Mar 17, 2021 07:15 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

So glad this was featured. Such an important topic. One that resonates deeply within me. LIV2DAY!

Mar 17, 2021 08:01 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

The ones I feel sorry for are the ones who consider their jobs a grind at all no matter the play on words. Find something you love to do and it's never a grind. We do, however, need to be recharged no matter the kind of work. We're dealing with people and that can be draining, regardless of the occupation. 

Mar 17, 2021 08:08 AM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®

I totally agree with you.  My work has always been my lifestyle and that works for me. 

Mar 17, 2021 12:56 PM
M.C. Dwyer
Melody Russell Team at eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Felton, CA
MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Awesome post.       You've got a great attitude about work life balance; sounds like your wisdom was won at some cost.    I get it!    I'd never heard the dog/puppy quote and just love it. 

Mar 17, 2021 09:18 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

In the beginning of my RE career, it was most certainly a grind..working seven days a week for no paycheck!  Now I do work some every day but it's much more balanced.  Looking forward to getting back to travel for an even more balanced play and worklife!

Mar 17, 2021 10:22 AM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

This is a good post. So true.  

Mar 17, 2021 11:25 AM
Paddy Deighan MBA JD PhD - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

Fine thoughts on one of my favorite days...St Paddy's day...gee, I wonder why it is one of my favorite days!!!!

Mar 17, 2021 03:14 PM
Number Cruncher LLC - Overton, NV
Helping Taxpayers Resolve IRS problems

Very good advice, I agree totally.  I take Sundays off no matter how busy I am because my must have a break!

Mar 17, 2021 07:17 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Can I grind it out, I have a sense of pride that just isn't there if just just grinding in and o itself with no direction

Mar 17, 2021 08:31 PM
Ryne Lambert
Sell My House In Wisconsin - Green Bay, WI
Dedicated House Buyers in Green Bay, Wisconsin!

Great article. Thanks for this reminder. I needed to see this today :)

Mar 18, 2021 09:26 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Yes, balance. It's been my focus of 2021 and it's been to empowering to realize how important it is to honor mind, body, and spirit. 

Mar 20, 2021 07:06 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

This makes a lot of sense and I hope those continued successand momentum

Mar 29, 2021 10:23 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Thomas. Life improved when I lost interest working in the grind and occasionally grinding it out so I did not have to! Enjoy your day!

Apr 08, 2021 06:23 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

I agree completely.  I wanted to take off Monday - or at least take my husband out for lunch - My admin and I wrote 4 offers on Monday (none of which went anywhere! Ugh) but I wanted to take my husband out for lunch - He didn't feel like it and so we stayed home and I worked - not a happy outcome.  I need to not only schedule days off with myself - but get him to agree to be up for the time too!   (This sounds rather sad, doesn't it!) 

Apr 14, 2021 06:23 AM