Today I took my son Ryan over to a grassroots skateboard park near the Ohio State University campus here in Columbus. It’s unofficially named the “Campus Rampus” and it features ramps, half-pipes, various box-like structures and several rails at different heights. Picture three or four outdoor basketball courts that have been invaded by Skate Nation.
It Starts With a Big Push
Have you ever ridden on a skateboard?
It’s fun but it requires a few things; mainly it takes balance and guts.
Just standing on a skateboard isn’t the fun part, so if you want to actually move, the rider will need to move one leg off of the board and use it to push off the ground and create some forward momentum. The harder the push of the legs, the farther the skateboard will go.
Learning to Turn
There is no steering wheel on a skateboard. The rider can change direction or turn the board by shifting his bodyweight, leaning one way or another or pressing on different parts of the board. The last of these options is a bit riskier because it usually means one set of wheels on the board will be leaving the ground for a period of time, requiring a bit more focus and balance.
Most skaters aren’t interested in just rolling along on their skateboards. After they develop and perfect the basic skills it’s time to start doing some tricks and taking some chances. Performing jumps, grinds and spins add to the challenge and visiting local skate parks with ramps and half-pipes not only give skaters an environment to develop their skills but they also will usually encounter other skaters of all skill levels.
The Skater Society
It’s true that you don’t see a lot of skateboard enthusiasts wearing coat and ties. They prefer loose-fitting clothing, usually wear flat-soled sneakers and probably own more hooded sweatshirts than your average golfer. Skating has developed a culture (perhaps one could say “a stereotype”) in much the same way that people think of coffeehouse denizens or fanatics of Whole Foods. When you see them, you know who they are.
What Realtors Can Learn from Skateboarding
As you seek to continue the momentum the real estate market has built-in the first 11 months of the year, will you keep pushing ahead?
Are you keeping yourself balanced in your work and personal life? Are you maintaining a successful balance between business development activities and business support activities? Now is not the time to take the foot off the gas when it comes to building new relationships or maintaining and growing connections you have had with family, friends or those clients you’ve been able to assist in the past.
Do you feel that you can turn comfortably when any changes in the marketplace that 2013 may present themselves? Don’t get too comfortable in your ways that you fail to anticipate needed changes to your lead generation, client services, personal and property marketing and the way you approach your business behind the scenes.
Can you clearly see the obstacles in your way? Will you allow yourself to be slowed down or will you instead look to gain an edge and dazzle the spectators and other Realtors who might be watching. Overcoming obstacles will only help to increase your confidence the next time you might be in a similar situation.
Will you jump at chances?
Are you determined to grind it out and finish 2012 strong?
Now is not the time to see how far you can go alone. Take advantage of those “in your tribe” who will be there to support, coach and challenge you. If you see someone doing something amazing, ask them how they did it. If you see someone fall down, ride over and help them up. You have as much to say about the culture of your community as the others in it. What do you want those outside of your group to think of you?
Learning how to fall is a big piece of a skater gaining confidence and so it is too for a Realtor. Understanding when to walk away from a bad listing or unappreciative buyer might be one of the best things you can do that will increase your chances for success in 2013. Perservering when you hear the word “no” will give you the confidence needed to land that big move.
People who are afraid to fall will never be willing to conquer the steepest ramps or do the hardest tricks and Realtors who are afraid to fail will never list the best houses or close the toughest deals.
What are you waiting for?
It’s time to build relationships, solve problems and have fun.
Throw on a pair of sneakers, grab your board and start pushing.
Photo Credit: Derek Gavey via Creative Commons
Additional photos via Sean Carpenter, enhanced with Camera+