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Yeah, But … Shut Up

Tell a Friend

Look who’s back … back again … Dalton’s back … tell a friend …

And he even brought his self-conversation device back with him. (Which will teach people not to tell me that they enjoyed it … my business card reads “beating literary devices to death since 1988.”)


There was an article on RE/MAX’s Main Street a couple of days ago profiling an agent who sells $30-odd million of real estate annually without advertising, instead “wowing her clients” and living on referrals.

It took little time for the first naysayer to appear. I can’t find the exact quote but it was something along the lines of “yeah, but she works in Toronto and the market’s better there and the houses are more expensive and somebody stole my binky … waaaaaaaaaaaaah”

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How often have you listened to a speaker at your franchise’s convention or listened to a speaker or even gazed askew at one of your office’s top sellers and thought, “yeah, they’re doing well but … (insert excuse for their incredible success compared to yours here.)”

I’ve done it. And you know what? It was both pointless and silly.

Yeah, But..

So’s the photograph of Tobey, dude. Couldn’t you find a photo of someone with a pacifier.

Yeah, but … shut up.

Just stop. It’s often easier to tear down those more successful than we are than to try and figure out how to translate what they do into our business. It takes far more innovation to invent something new than to pick apart how it never will succeed. (And where’s the analysis when we’re proven wrong?)

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Oh No, I’m Not

When I’ve spoken in my offices past and present about websites and blogging, the inevitable reaction is “yeah, but you’re a tech guy.” Actually, I’m not. Yes, I tried with minimal success to write programs on my Texas Instruments computer in 1985 – you know the one, with the 16K memory and the external cassette drive and the voice modulator. Yeah, baby.

Yeah, I can take care of some basic stuff in my WordPress themes and on my website (a talent borne out of the desire not to have to pay someone else to do it for me.)

But a full-on tech guy? Not really …

Playing with Bionicles

Give it up, dude. You’re one step away from playing with Bionicles.

The point is, you don’t need to be a tech guy to build a web presence. If you can’t do it yourself, spend a little bit of money … but the key is to spend it wisely. In other words, don’t drop $30 a month on some templated website that’s identical to three dozen other sites in town. Find a niche and offer value to the person stopping by. That’s what creates stickiness and keeps them around.

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Jay Thompson, Candace Robinson and I were at the Arizona Regional MLS Tech Fair last week on an invite from the folks at Diverse Solutions. It was a never-ending train of “yeah, but …” every time we started to explain how the Internet can be leveraged.

Yippee, You Get It!

At least, until we ran into someone who got it. Who wasn’t a tech person, per se. Who had a rough idea of what they wanted from their site and was willing to invest 15 minutes to learn how they can leverage the available technologies to create a site that perfectly serves a certain niche.

All at a fairly minimal cost. All at a relatively low monetary investment, at least compared to what many agents spend in the fruitless pursuit of business.

What did this person do? They shut up before they got to yeah, but. And “yeah, but” became “oh yeah.”

Oh yeah as in “oh yeah, I can do this.”

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It’s Universal

It doesn’t need to be for technology only. It can be any aspect of your business.

Forget the reasons why you can’t do what others do to succeed. Find the ways in which you can take pieces of their success and make them work for you.

And no, the picture doesn’t have anything to do with the post. Just in case you were wondering.

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Written By

Jonathan Dalton is a Realtor with RE/MAX Desert Showcase in Peoria, Arizona and is the author of the All Phoenix Real Estate blog as well as a half-dozen neighborhood sites. His partner, Tobey, is a somewhat rotund beagle who sleeps 21 hours a day.



  1. Jayson

    August 28, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    Great post – I find myself making excuses sometimes only to remember the famous quote “Excuses are like a%^holes, everyone’s got one!

    You’re 100% right – shut up and figure out what’s going to work for you considering your skills, budget, motivation, expectations etc..

  2. Chris Shouse

    August 28, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    I feel some of these peoples pain at my age I am learning something new everyday and have built a small presence on the web. I ask questions I learn from articles, my friend feed and twitter. It is exhausting sometimes. When I can not do something or don’t have time I have paid someone to do it for me. Great post Jonathan

  3. ines

    August 28, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    Wooo Hoooo! I love this! Did you take your “go get them pill” this morning or what!! I totally agree, excuses are for loosers. Look around, you can do it – only if you put your mind and heart into it. I am the least techie person you will meet and I have busted my behind in the last 2 years to learn this blogging/social networking/web2.0 thing and you know what? now my hubbie thinks I am a geek and we are seeing results.

    It applies to everything in life – it’s easier to make an excuse than to actually try – whether it is to sop smoking, stop eating or having a web presence (far fetched I know but it’s true)

  4. Laura Cannon

    August 28, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Yeah, but this is hardly an original perspective or even a new twist on an established one.

  5. Russell Shaw

    August 28, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    It doesn’t have to be “original” to be wonderful. If a post like this were to show up about once a week (each time, of course, disguised as a “brand new post” it would be a *very* good thing. Just like this post was.

  6. Jim Duncan

    August 29, 2008 at 6:31 am

    Next time, a link to Bionicles would be helpful. 🙂

    It’s not them that impedes our progress, success or innovation, it’s us. This is a simple, yet poignant observation that is worth remembering time and again. Thanks.

  7. Laura Cannon

    August 29, 2008 at 7:19 am

    Russell -my point is this: if you’re going to ask others to strive for excellence and innovation, then you need to strive for excellence and innovation yourself. It is easier to accept a message that is critical of others when that message is itself inspiring. In other words, before you harangue others for their complacency, make sure you’re operating/writing/blogging/speaking at a level that is beyond complacency yourself.

    No offense was intended. And, I know that the comment sounds a little harsh.

  8. Kris Berg

    August 29, 2008 at 7:27 am

    JD, Ab-fab post, dude. The title alone in my feed reader told me it was yours. 🙂 Thank you for starting my morning off on the right track. Excellent message, too.

  9. Jonathan Dalton

    August 29, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Jayson – my tendency to make excuses was the reason for the post. Sometimes it seems easier to talk to others as I talk to myself in case they’re thinking the same thing.

    Chris – the exhaustion seems to be paying off as you’re doing quite well

    Ines – if it’s any comfort, I also think you’re a geek. (We’re now even for the Twitter threat)

    Laura – my apologies for not meeting your expectations (please see the customer assistance counter for a full refund of your investment in my advice) and thanks for reminding me why I left full-time journalism.

    Russell – when are you buying me lunch?

    Kris – my reputation apparently proceeds me. Now I’ll go read your blog to be reminded of how you’re a better writer than I am.

  10. ines

    August 29, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Jonathan…..just remember THE WAX (that’s all I have to say to that)

  11. Vance Shutes

    August 29, 2008 at 3:30 pm


    Yeah, but…those who say it cannot be done should get out of the way of those already getting it done..

    Thanks for the friendly reminder to watch the tone of our own replies.

  12. Missy Caulk

    August 31, 2008 at 7:51 am

    The “yea buts” I know haven’t tried. Blogging………..”Missy, you like to write, but I don’t…. ” blah, blah, blah. Many times, (not all) it is just an excuse. My mama told me, you never know if you will like green peas if you don’t try them. yuck, now I love them.

  13. Vicki Moore

    September 1, 2008 at 1:32 am

    I am a yeah butter. Every time I do I try to bite my tounge, but sometimes it slips out. Thanks for the reminder.

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