Saturday, May 12, 2007

Rooting for the Underdog

When I'm not working, I like to watch movies - a lot of movies. There are certain themes that can be found in a lot of movies which seem to work well with larger audiences. One of those themes is rooting for the underdog. We've all heard of the movie "Rocky." He fights, he loses, he fights again....But, in the end he wins. Why? He never gives up.

A lot of people ask, "What makes someone successful?" When I tell them the answer, people are baffled. They think success is measured by brain power and how book smart someone can be. In a way, it does involve brain power. But, what makes someone truly successful is persistance and belief in what they do.

Though I may not have as many years of experience in the mobile home biz as some of my competitors, for some reason the people in my network including the park managers, dealers, other investors, etc. all want to see my succeed. There's just something about the "underdog" we all like naturally. They want to see me working deals and continue to send stuff my way.

Why? I think part of it has to deal with the "people" aspect in this business. People want to work with people they know, like and trust. Since I keep in contact with my network on a consistent basis, they remember me. Not only do they remember me, but they like me as well because I go the extra effort to learn more about them and what else is going on with their lives.

To be honest, most investors are not very "people oriented." So, they do not take the extra efforts that I have made to get to know other people. Yes, they can be successful finding deals and closing on them. But, if they are only interested in those deals and not the people who help them it can only last so long.

I have met many other investors who just do not take the time to incorprate the "people aspect" in their business. This is why some of them can no longer find deals anymore. People always say, "I can't find any deals. Where are they?" They are there. It just requires skill and effort to learn how to incorporate the "people aspect" into their business.

This is why I have taken the time to improve my communication skills. I have studied the areas of sales and marketing and public speaking very closely for almost a decade. I have read many books. Listened to a lot of CDs. Been on many teleseminar calls. Attended many conferences. At time, it can be repetitive. But, sometimes I learn something new.

A friend of mine recently said to me, "Why do you continue to study communication and public speaking? You're already good at it. You don't need it."

I told my friend, "There is always room for improvement. Those who are successful are always learning, no matter how successful they are."

Constant learning is the mark of a truly successful person. That is why we like to root for the underdog. Yes, we will make mistakes in our conquests. But, we will get up and learn from them. Be wary of those who have stopped learning and think they know it all. These are the ones that dominate conversations and like to give advice out to others. In the end, there is always room to learn and improve - no matter how successful one may be.

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