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Commentary by Cliff Baird

RISMEDIA, May 6, 2008-Many years ago, in my clinical practice, I uncovered a characteristic about most people who were facing a personal crisis. It is a sad commentary, actually, and I am sure there are those who might even accuse me of being cynical. Nevertheless, it has formed my opinion and it continues to be accurate in many situations, including the overwhelming and totally unnecessary mediocrity and failure in real estate.

It was revealed in these three stages:

-Most people who came to me for help already knew what the problem was.
-Not only did they understand the problem but they knew what the solution was.
-Tragically, however, the real reason they came to me for help was that they wanted me to tell them they didn’t have to do the thing they knew they should do.

If I am accurate, this is truly a sad commentary on the human condition. Ironically, tension, despair and stress are seldom present in the lives of those who are truly unaware of any potential solutions to the circumstance they face. They simply acquiesce to it. However, most of us really do know how to solve our crisis. Most of us do not need the facts laid out before us. We know!

But our current mediocrity demands that we attempt to drown out these solutions by overloading the scale with an abundance of seemingly justifiable reasons to explain the crisis. But they don’t.

For example, if the current mortgage crisis is your “excuse du jour,” it probably works on most-if not all-of your family and non-real estate friends. But it is not working for you because your crisis began long before the mortgage catastrophe.

During the “high-flying” years, you were doing well-but not because you had developed character-building, business-development habits. It was success by happenstance for the most part. You were in the right place at the right time.

Happenstance creates very bad habits. Happenstance lulls us into thinking we are really doing something. But we didn’t. We just showed up.

I know some will see this commentary as harsh. But I want you to see it as the most encouraging article you have ever read. Why? Because good people see the problem, but great people figure it out.

Let me share with you the following five essential life concepts:

1. You have the potential for greatness. Do not settle for good.
2. The good is the enemy of the best. It is good to get organized and set goals. But it is best to make phone calls, knock on doors, call FSBOs, expireds, etc.
3. Do not allow people you don’t even know to dictate who you will become.
4. If you want something you never had, you have to start doing something you have never done.
5. Don’t allow an excuse to keep you from greatness.
Your success is impossible when you find enough excuses.

Some of our fear of prospecting is a self-inflicted wound that is compounded by some destructive opinions. For example, if you are on the “Do Not Call” list, get off it. No wonder you are intimidated to call people. Just consider what that has formed in your mind and your attitude. If you are “bothered and annoyed” by the telemarketer calling at dinnertime, then consider the implications for your own life.

Let me challenge you. The next time a telemarketer calls you, appreciate the fact that he/she is just trying to make a living. So instead of being upset, answer the phone, and thank them for their diligence. Don’t buy the product, but wish them success. If you want to change from your fear then begin by giving encouragement to others who are truly struggling. More importantly, it will change you.

Don’t ruin another great day with idle excuses. You know that an excuse is just a camouflaged lie.

Cliff Baird, MBA, PhD, has spent over 25 years coaching agents and managers to focus on business systems that lead to abundant success. He is the developer of The RealSTAR Online Recruiting System, which helps managers handle the recruiting process.

For more information, please contact Baird at or