Solution in a box.
If you’ve spent any amount of time here, you’ve probably seen the phrase “solution in a box” (probably more than once). I’ve read it a bunch of times, but it never quite sunk in 100%. Today, I had a phone conversation with Lani. We got to babbling as we do about what’s going on and she dropped the phrase in conversation. Later I couldn’t remember how it was phrased and had to send her a message on Twitter, because I knew that it had struck a chord that moment, but in my busy day, it slipped from my head (I know, I know…write things down).
Our conversation turned to what’s going on in my real estate life, as Lani and Benn have been looking after me since day one. I had some cool news for Lani and it all tied together for me once I had the help of the phrase in my head. So this is my story.
What’s a “solution in a box?”
Please pardon me Benn for paraphrasing, but basically a “solution in a box” is one of the millions of packages/CDs/seminars/workbooks/etc. available to the agent – all promising results and riches. For just $99.95 (few are that cheap), you too can have instant success and wealth, all you have to do is open the box and follow these steps. Within twelve days, expect to see the Brinks truck arriving with your piles of gold! In our desire to not do things the hard way, we line up and shell out our money in the hopes of success.
I’m not knocking these systems, they must work for some and I’m sure there’s a few out there that have taught you something you didn’t learn elsewhere. What I am knocking is our search for instant fame, fortune, and glory. It’s not just a real estate thing, but that’s a whole other topic.
My box, my wait, my change, my success.
I tried a “solution in a box.” Against many people’s private advice. The backers of the system won out and I gave it a shot. I gave it more than a shot. Up until recently, I was still working it. This system wasn’t as bad as some of the others I’ve read about and I never felt it was promising me instant success. It definitely seemed like it was about building for the long term. It taught a lot of common sense. Things you knew were right, but might not have put into practice. There was nothing truly genius about it and nothing I hadn’t read here before, but at the time I started it, I felt it was of value to me. It helped me get my feet wet.
As I worked the system and studied the manuals, CDs, and emails I received; I began to realize that I didn’t feel right with what I was learning. Although I still practice much of what I learned, I was learning that the system made me feel like a phony. Maybe people I met didn’t see that, but I felt it inside and that thought made me feel sort of sick. Months passed with little to no results. Of course, it made me wonder if I was just doing it wrong. Maybe I hadn’t studied it hard enough, so back to the manuals I went. If the system doesn’t work for you, you must not be dedicating yourself to it, right? (I’m amazed at how often I’ve heard phrases like this. Perhaps the system doesn’t work because it doesn’t work for me.)
Months gone, bank accounts smaller, no sales. I waited, I tried, I prayed a few times even. Anything to help me get on the right track. It wasn’t in the box. No matter how hard I tried, the box left me feeling empty. When the box was empty a new one arrived. I worked the system and emptied the box. I was still empty – in feeling and in cash.
Somewhere in that time I began to blog and use social media. I learned from so many different people everyday and I liked what I was learning. I enjoyed blogging. Not just a little, but a lot. I loved sitting in front of my MacBook Pro and thinking of my next post. Some posts were horrible, some were sheer genius. It was (and still is) an up and down ride. Some days the words flow, sometimes I have to force them a bit. I began to create relationships, not just databases. I got to know people. I didn’t just beg them for their number and address. Having grown up in the age of the personal computer, I understood what was happening around me, because I had experienced the same feelings of joy when I discovered my first modem (remember those?).
I’m not a social media/blogging guru, genius, maven, or god by any means. I have tons to learn and I’m still very much new to the “scene.” By studying some of the best and the ones that I found captivated me for one reason or another, I learned quickly though. But, like most new agents, I still wondered where the return was from time to time. I was still looking into the box (of blogging) and wondering why it was empty.
Recently, my blogs have started to get comments. Yesterday was a big moment for me. The phone rang. And my email dinged. The phone was a caller looking to list their property. I went on the appointment today and will find out tomorrow what their decision is (I feel pretty good about it). They found me on the internet. Read my blog, knew my history from my profiles, they saw me “everywhere” they said. The email was from someone requesting some information on some areas of town. They had been watching my market reports and wanted some more detailed info. People are finding me. Lani doesn’t even know this, but I got another call later today – someone who lives a bazillion miles from me owns a house here, they want to sell it. They found me…you guessed it, on the internet. My “solution in a box” provided me with little, but blogging and social media has given me work, hope, and a sense of belonging.
Blogging is not a “solution in a box.”
You don’t type a few words and sell a house. Its not like that. I’m glad it’s not. With a little hard work and dedication (probably the most important part of blogging), you just might find yourself getting business. Treat it like a “solution in a box” and you’ll be left empty. I saw a blogger on ActiveRain the other day who posted to the effect of “I’ve been here four weeks, where’s the money?” It doesn’t work like that and when/if it does, I may have to leave it behind. I don’t want to become an overnight sensation – I did that once before in my life. It was a blast, but it didn’t last all that long. I’m not here to make a buck and run. I’m here for the long haul.
photo courtesy of donger