That Uncomfortable Feeling


While I was sitting here contemplating my fantasy football line up on Thanksgiving morning I realized that it really didn't matter who I started, my 3-9 team was not going to win this week either. Given that, I was sitting here with my laptop and my coffee, no one else in the house was up, why not try to do something more productive? That's when I started to read some recent blog posts from some of our friends, The Notorious R.O.B, Real Estate Relativity of Better Homes and Gardens. As I was reading them I kept hearing Rob Hahn, our VP of marketing, in the back of my head saying "our blog needs writers. Get in there and write something, anything!" You see, I have been what you would call a blogging voyeur. I have been reading blogs, taking in all of the opinions and enjoying other peoples writing for some time. This is however, my very first blog post ever! Not just here at the OnBlog, but anywhere. I have never even commented on a blog post.

Why is that even relevant you might ask? It is relevant in the fact that anyone who has been in a meeting with me or been at a conference or out to dinner with me would not classify me as quiet and un-opinionated. Blogging, however, was and is intimidating to me. I see and read blogs from others and they are well written, well thought out positions on topics that are thought provoking and in most cases eloquently written. I believe I do my best work when I am face-to-face and I am able to react or comment on topics at hand, not when I have to make up the topic and just write about it for the world to see.

But as I was sitting here this morning it hit me. That uncomfortable feeling of getting out there and doing something new, something you have never done is what makes life exciting. Sure you get that feeling in your stomach that you are going to fail, sure you worry about getting it right, but in the end the worst thing that happens is that you have learned something new or at least tried.

I have had the pleasure and opportunity through my career to work in several different facets of the real estate industry. Each time I moved to a new stage in my career I spent months feeling frustrated and nervous that I was never going to fully understand what I was doing or that I would be successful. Anybody else ever feel that way? I was scared and unsure, but looking back, I learned things, I failed, I even made an idiot out of myself at times, but all of those things led to knowledge and experience that can be applied in new ways and with confidence.

I have been with Onboard Informatics for almost 60 whole days now. What I know about our products, data sources, and the technology behind all of it wouldn't fill a thimble. So after 20 plus years in the real estate business I am right back in the thick of that uncomfortable feeling again, but that is what makes this exciting. There are millions of people out there who are uncomfortable for a multitude of reasons and rightfully so, our industry is going through an incredibly difficult time right now. But no one ever got better, no one ever learned, and no one ever succeeded by sitting on the sidelines just hoping for that feeling to pass. We all must apply the knowledge we have with the willingness to try, and possibly fail, if we are going to ultimately win at the game of life.

My personality is one of winning at whatever I do. Having a 3-9 fantasy football team ticks me off. I have zero chance of winning the division or even making the playoffs. Yet here I sit, every week, manipulating my roster just so I can win that week. Until just now I had never made any kind of blog post, but I can't say that anymore. It won't be until others read it if I know whether I have done it well or not. Frankly, it doesn't matter, the only thing that matters is that I did it and will continue to going forward, all the while learning and improving.

As you enjoy your holiday weekend and you give thanks to family and friends, enjoy great food and a lot of football, think about all of the uncertainty in the economy and in real estate in particular and the uncomfortable feeling you get in your stomach. That is the feeling of opportunity! Don't be an industry voyeur, don't sit on the sidelines hoping it will pass, or even wait for your VP of marketing to push you into it (thanks Rob), confront it head on.  It's exciting, it's invigorating and it's the only way to win.

Image Credit: Liz West on