A Little Duck

I’m sure everyone’s thankful over our not getting hit with the snow and wind that was predicted for this morning. When looking at our extended weather forecast, it appears we’re going to be back in the upper 30’s this weekend, and you can be sure I’ll be glad to have such pleasant days for my Saturday and Sunday open houses.

I checked the Shopper today, and relieved when seeing the Globe Gazette placed my Prairie Place on 1st open house ad where I wanted it, so hopefully the word will be getting out to all the more of our seniors in North Iowa who’re looking for better living arrangements during their “golden” years. Since there are only four units left, I’m hoping there’ll be more serious lookers on Sunday.

Nearly my entire morning was spent out of the office with appointments, and one of them being in Northwood. The meeting took longer than I’d anticipated, but better than expected. Before leaving their fair community, I took some time to drive around their town to see if there’d been any new businesses popping up since I was there last. For being as small as it is, my hat goes off to them for their efforts in keeping their Main Street bustling.

I’ve spoken to a number of people over these recent years who’ve mentioned how much they like their brewery, as well as their old-fashioned movie theatre. I’ve not been to either one of them, but the reviews I’ve heard, have all been good. If only there’d be more grass-root startups like theirs, taking place here in Mason City. It seems everyone wants to jump in head-first with their new career paths, but I think it would be less of a financial burden if they’d keep their regular jobs while making a go at their new ventures, and if they find them growing enough, then would be the time to make their choices regarding their ideas of going solo.

Whenever some wanna-be Realtors come to me asking for advice, I always tell them, “Do not quit your regular job until you know your sale volumes are sustainable.” Over these long years, I’ve seen too many make a full-time jump, and in less than a year or two, they’re bowing out because they couldn’t even make enough to pay their bills. It saddens me when seeing that happen because nobody wants to see others fail, and especially when they’d not been told that it’s a slow climb. Some offices just like to have a “head count” for show, but the real producers are much fewer and far between.

While driving back from Northwood, I noticed an ambulance heading towards me, and when I looked to the east, and without thinking anything of it, there stood that long train on the tracks. Well, when I got back to my office, I found out why that train was at a standstill, and that being some poor soul drove thru a country crossing and was hit by that train. When are people going to understand that even if a railroad crossing doesn’t have red lights and crossbars, you still have to yield for trains? I also think some believe trains can slam on their brakes like cars and trucks, but they can’t, because of the weight they’re pulling behind. The driver of that pickup was air-lifted to Rochester, and likely in critical condition. From the time I was very young, I’ve had a great fear/respect for moving trains.

As chance would have it, I did manage to get that sale put together I was working on yesterday, so I guess that’ll be one more sale bagged for the month of February. I’ll remain hopeful all will go smoothly with the loan which will make everyone involved happy. That particular sale was a long time coming because of how much time had lapsed from when the buyer looked at it, which isn’t the way it normally works.

While on the phone with a colleague today, we ended up on the subject of how “weak” some professionals are here in Mason City when comparing them to their counterparts in larger cities. We came to the conclusion that those people consider themselves “specialized” enough, to where they can do and say whatever they want because they know they’re as good as it gets. I couldn’t help bringing up the name of a certain one who concerns herself all the more with her private life, than she does her well-paying job, and it shows. But because of her position, she knows she’s solely specialized.

Every time I encounter such people, I remember hearing my dear grandmother sharing her thoughts about certain families she knew, and how they managed to manipulate the public into thinking they were markedly good in their professions, yet weren’t. She would always make me laugh when saying, “They’ve discovered that it’s better to be a big duck in a little pond, than to be a little duck in a big one.” When you think about it, she was 100% correct, and when you start comparing skills, you’ll also discover how true such a statement is.

We all know that when there’s little or no competition with those providing services, it’s human nature to start growing sloppy and lazy because competition is what incites people to work all the harder just so to keep up with their counterparts. When you have only one “go to” person, who’s “supposedly” the source of all knowledge, most take their words as gospel unless the the one asking, has been around the horn a few more times.

My meeting today was something like that, and even though I understood more of what was going on, I had to be careful not to say I knew more than he did, but rather simply suggest with a smile, a few alternatives. Before I left, he thanked me for the insight I’d given, while me being grateful he didn’t believe me someone who was there to question his professional acumen. Yes, we must always take care not to appear as challengers.

Tonight’s on-liner is: A great hallmark of mental wellness, is the ability to be in the present moment, fully and with no thoughts of being elsewhere.

Joe Chodur

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