“All readers are not leaders, but all leaders are readers.” Harry S. Truman
“Five years from now you’ll be the same person you are today except for the books you read and the people you meet.” Charlie “Tremedous” Jones
I’ll admit, I have never been a heavy reader. I am not the person that can take a new book and dissect it in one reading. I could blame this on ADD or just be honest and tell you that it just never interest me. Thinking back, I cannot remember a book that I read prior to graduating from MSU that was not required by a teacher. However, over the past few years the two quotes above have helped me change my mind. I was reminded of that this morning when I checked my Facebook page and saw this on a friend’s status.
Everyone knows that in today’s society it is extremely easy to loose focus. Most of us have smart phones and laptops that hold the whole world of knowledge at our figure tips. But, if you like me, you choose to check Twitter and Facebook updates instead. Furthermore, when you get home you have an HDTV that has been recording your favorite TV shows on dvr so you can spend countless hours watching Everyone Loves Raymond reruns.
I can be the world worst at this. However, recently I have been trying to make a change in this habit. This year I have made a goal to read a dozen books on top of the few handfuls that are required with school. I chose a twelve simply because it is an easy pace. One a month, not a big deal huh? Well, it is the end of February and I am starting my third book. Hopefully I can keep up the pace. Although this is blog is dedicated to real estate, I will try to pass on a good word on anything I read that I find extremely useful to this site.
One of my all-time favorite books on business (and life in general) is “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi (www.keithferrazzi.com ). When I say I like this book, I mean I REALLY like this book. My copy has been read cover-to-cover more than twice and is currently filled with highlights, notes, and tagged pages. Additionally, the audio version is currently on my iphone. If I have a have an hour in the car I may choose to listen to a chapter here and there.
In his book Keith teaches how to build a lifelong community of contacts, friends, and mentors. He is not in the real estate, recruitment, or sales business. He doesn’t teach how get a referral just to make a quick sale. Instead, he shows how by building a true network of friends and colleagues things like referrals will simply come naturally.
Real estate is all about relationships and reputations. You want to be strong in both! Looking back, most of my best deals came from “Someone that knew someone that I knew.” You just don’t know where your next deal will come from. Take the advice from Keith and go out there and meet folks. And for Pete’s sake, when you meet these people, don’t spend the whole conversation talking about the weather. Seriously, unless there is two feet of ice or fire falling from the sky, who really cares? Make sure when you leave the conversation they know what interest you have and you know the same about them. I understand you saying that some of the people you meet are simply dull. Believe me, I agree! However, do it anyways. You never know, that “looser” might just enjoy the conversation and mention you to their rich uncle that has been looking to invest in a project just like yours!
Personally, I like the quote by one of my favorites, Zig Ziglar, when he said “Rich people have small TVs and big libraries and poor people have small libraries and big TVs.” Unfortunately I believe I first read that quote soon after we purchased that big HDTV I was talking about earlier. Hopefully I can look back over the next five years and say that my library has gotten much bigger, and I have still not watched an episode of Jersey Shore.
P.S. I currently have two books in my bag that I am reading. First, “The Monk and the Merchant.” This book is old (as in ancient Rome old!) However, the story is still good for today. Second is “If By Whiskey” by Quentin Whitwell (www.ifbywhiskeynovel.com ). This is not my typical book. I am not a big reader of novels, fiction, or Ole Miss for that matter. However, I am interested in pursuing my real estate career in Jackson Mississippi. Mr. Whitwell happens to be on the Jackson City Council. Although the book is not directly about him, it’s clear to see some of his ideas. I’m starting to think everyone I work with should write a novel.
What do you think?