The best solutions are not found in bright, shiny objects
Here’s how I heard the story.
Way back in a holler not too far from Nashville lived a man who provided firewood for people who lived in town.
The demand for his product was growing, so he hired a group of high school students to help him get more wood chopped over the summer.
He thought more hands on the job would be a good idea, however, it wasn't working out as planned.
To increase production, he decided to announce a contest. There would be a $1,000 cash bonus to the person who chops the most wood.
It was a huge incentive, more than two weeks extra pay.
Before the contest started, several of the high school students had declared themselves the winner.
One of them bought an ax head formed from a new alloy that made it easier to slice through the oak hardwood.
Another had an extra long handle made for his axe head that gave him more power with each swing.
Still another bought new boots that helped him stay on his feet longer by reducing fatigue.
And when the contest started, everyone grabbed their new tools and started swinging like there was no tomorrow.
Well, almost everyone.
Old man Adams had been working here for many years. And these young kids barely paid him any attention.
During the contest, they laughed as he took his first fifteen minute break.
And then they noticed every hour, on the hour, the old man would take another break.
Even more convinced that they would win, some of these young men started spending the $1,000 prize in their mind.
The next day was the big announcement.
“And the winner is…”
Old Man Adams.
Mr. Adams calmly walked over, picked up his prize and held it over his head for everyone to see.
The boys, who rarely gave him a second of their time, were now circling Mr. Adams and bombarding him with questions.
One of them asked, “How did you win, when you were taking a nap every hour.”
And then Old Man Adams looked up, smiled and said, “I wasn’t napping, I was sharpening my ax.”
In Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he talks about sharpening your mental saw by learning, reading and writing.
And that’s one of the reasons why I write to you almost every day.
It’s not the fancy tools that make you successful in real estate (and life for that matter).
What makes you successful is your knowledge of the market, the local area, and the problems you are trying to solve.
And what you will find is the best answers in real estate are usually the most obvious ones.