Reflecting on the New Year
Mark Schnurman Dec. 30, 2013, 7 a.m.
Each December I endeavor to review the previous year and set goals for the next. This introspection, informed ideas I hold dear, centers and recalibrates me both personally and professionally for the year ahead. This year is no different. Here are ideas I hold dear as I look back on 2013 and ahead to 2014.
Move forward. You either get better or worse but never stay the same. Every day I look thoughtfully at what I did, what went well, what did not and what I can do better. Constant, never ending improvement is an important principle. So even if you are hired for a listing or close a deal it is important to assess what you can do better. A series of compounding, minor iterations can have a profound impact.
Stretch yourself. Robert Browning said “If man’s reach should not exceed his grasp what is heaven for?” Isn’t this what life is about? Each year I think of ways of growing, expanding my skills, repertoire and becoming a more accomplished me. What can you do to get out of your comfort zone and exceed your previous self? Some ideas include doing larger deals or more deals, learning new asset classes or neighborhoods or running a marathon.
Live fully. Embrace life. Think in concrete terms. This is not a test drive; this is your life. Take it seriously but not too seriously. Follow your dreams, your hopes. Tread your own trail, laugh and be your own person, but do so within the confines of society.
Life is finite. You will not live forever. Therefore, every day is a gift. Live life on your terms. Every year, month, week, day, hour and minute are sacred. Choose to live, not survive; choose to thrive. Today, and today alone, is life. The past is lived, the future a dream. So live for and in the day.
Build Relationships. Hard work is the price of entry. All brokers works long hours. To differentiate yourself, work smart and build relationships. You can lever technology to support relationships but relationships are built and cultivated face to face.
Calibrate for yourself the advice of others. Honest advice is not necessarily good advice. Everyone has a different personality, goals and comfort zones. In other words, what is good for someone else may not be good for you. Take the advice, but adjust it to who you are. Make it applicable to you.
Accept your limitations. You cannot be great at everything. Identify your talents and play to them. Do not extrapolate your talents beyond where they lie or extrapolate your limitations beyond where they are.
Don’t listen to the doubters. They will tell you that you are not smart enough, not professional enough and not good enough. Never give anyone permission to put you down. Surround yourself with those who believe in you. Believe in yourself. When I look back on my career at midlife, I am amazed at what I accomplished and excited to see what I will accomplish. Happy New Year and may 2014 be your most prosperous year ever!