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Two Paths

One of my favorite poems while growing up was the often quoted, ‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost.  My grandfather, a congregationalist minister, had a deep, measured, slow delivery and I loved when he read Robert Frost.  ‘The Road Not Taken’ used to be a favorite of the family – possibly because of the powerful way my grandfather finished the final line, ‘…and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.’

The Plan

As a real estate agent, there are inherent risks in our business.  It can easily become an expensive proposition if one doesn’t have a plan and clear systems in place.  So I’ve always adhered closely to the idea of having a plan.  I’ve written many business plans and coached others on creating systems and plans that can help to mitigate some of that risk.

However, I may be in the midst of a lesson about planning that I didn’t bargain for or intend.  A few weeks ago, my husband was handed his walking papers along with 70% of his office.  Not in ‘The Plan’.

For years, Michael has wanted to begin his own company.  He has many years of experience, wonderful connections in his industry, and already there is solid business on the horizon, but I’ve never felt good about passing up that every-2-week paycheck.  The paycheck is part of ‘The Plan’.

There’s no question that he now has an incredible opportunity, the time, and the severance to give it a go.  A shot – and on someone else’s dime for several months.  In many ways, this just may be a gift.

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Dreaming Versus Pragmatism

I’ve described my relationship with Michael on AG before.  He’s the dreamer.  I’m the pragmatist.  I found the perfect metaphor the other day to describe it:  if he was to drive to New York from our home in California, he’d pack us all in the car and head east.   I, on the other hand would want to know what roads we’d be traveling, where we would be stopping, what’s the budget for hotels and food, and when would we get there – exactly.

While we butt heads a bit and I’m driving him, and myself, wild with the details, part of me is wondering if I’ve limited my own business.  Have I worked so hard at planning, that I fail to take the risks that are required for the biggest rewards?  Have I looked for the safest route, rather than the best?  What have I cost us by being so focused on ‘The Plan’?

The Amazing ‘What If”

It might be time to let go of the limits a bit and think of what might be possible if you weren’t so focused on ‘how’ and instead just thought about the amazing – ‘what if’.

This may be a bit more revealing than I intended for a blog post but I think it’s an interesting question to ask oneself.  I think there is a middle ground here.  Michael and I love being around each other for a reason.  Together we seem to find that middle place.

Michael has gone with ‘The Plan’ for a while – a long while.  Maybe it’s my turn to stretch out of what is comfortable for me.  We are about to venture down the road less taken.  I’ll let you know where it leads.

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Written By

Linsey Planeta is the Broker Owner of Belterra Fine Homes in Orange County, California. Linsey rants regularly on her blog, OC Real Estate Voice. She also provides sellers with tips on how to get their home sold on Why Didn't My Home Sell? She has been an active Real Estate Coach and Instructor and loves working with agents so that they may look at their business with fresh eyes, renewed purpose, and defined systems. Linsey can be found in her office or you can also find her on Twitter@Linsey.



  1. Bob

    February 24, 2009 at 10:47 am

    While we butt heads a bit and I’m driving him, and myself, wild with the details, part of me is wondering if I’ve limited my own business.

    That would depend in part on the goals you set and whether or not they have been met.

    Have I worked so hard at planning, that I fail to take the risks that are required for the biggest rewards? Have I looked for the safest route, rather than the best?

    There are two sides to this coin. Greater risk is not a guarantee of greater reward. There are many who took risks and made bank and now wish they had opted for more safety. It’s important that we don’t confuse ‘best’ with ‘more’.

    What have I cost us by being so focused on ‘The Plan’?

    That depends on whether or not you have accomplished the goals of “The Plan”.

    Some people can’t operate without a net. They cant take risks unless they know that the possible failure won’t cost them everything. Others can’t perform with a net, as it’s the all or nothing element of the risk that empowers them and heightens their senses.

    Good luck with your new venture.

  2. Linsey Planeta

    February 24, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Bob – thank you for your thoughtful response.

    I do agree that while ‘greater risk is not a guarantee of greater reward’ I do think that great ventures, great rewards do carry significant risk.

    I’ve definitely been one to operate knowing that there is a significant ‘net’ underlying my plan. I think that we all have a different threshold for the risk we are comfortable with, it just may be time for me to let go just a bit and see where it leads.

    There is a new Plan. We’ll see.

  3. Ken Brand

    February 25, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Thoughtful stuff. I think the important thing is awareness. As you’ve described, you’re not trapped in a rut, you don’t have blinders on…you’re open minded and thoughtful. That’s the pathway and it sounds like you’re on it.

    Have fun.

  4. Linsey Planeta

    February 25, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Thanks Ken. 🙂

  5. Kim Wood

    February 25, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Ooooh change. Awesome and scary at the same time. I look forward to hearing how it all comes out – change is growth – good luck!

  6. Lisa Sanderson

    February 26, 2009 at 6:08 am

    Dream big and the universe will make it happen…sometimes by following *your* plan, and sometimes not. Roll with it, keep a positive outlook and be amazed & grateful for the gifts you will receive! (note to self :))

  7. Missy Caulk

    February 28, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    Sounds like a new adventure and a good time to try something that has been in Michaels heart for awhile.

    Best of success, keep us posted.

  8. jmac

    March 5, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    so, i am always conflicted between the narrow little bridge and the rocks that offer faster passage over the creek…i want to use the bridge..but the rocks always seem to win………i fly by the seat of my pants unless i forgot to put my pants on……….tempering the trip may calm down the journey…….we all get where we are capable of going….it is the outsiders that paint the fantasy of what might have been……….

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