Purpose Before Profit – Crafting a Legend is about more than just survival

Back in 2003 I became a licensed real estate agent. Just 1 year out of college. Still living in the basement of my parents home, living on the little money I made from my bunk 9–5… Little did I know in 4 short years the market was going to crash and everyone would go into survival mode.

Some agents choose to work with the banks, listing foreclosures. Others, like me, choose to help friends battle the banks negotiating short sales. Finally, you had the survivors who refused to do either. Scratching and clawing their way through the market just like all of us… With sheer grit and determination. Each and every one of us doing everything we could to survive.

Like a starving child. Walking down the streets in a third world country. I was desperate to find my way in the real estate world. Desperate to grow my business and become the entrepreneur I knew I could be. It was in that desperations I lost focus on my purpose. I was starving… Hungry.

As I made more and more money I realized the hunger inside me was not being quenched. When I dabbled in marketing gimmicks, cold calling, 10 days of pain lead generation and follow up I realized they all made me feel sick to my stomach. So sick, I couldn’t do it. But, that’s what the “Big Guys” were doing. Why am I any different…

Deep into the real estate bust in 2010–2011 I was grinding on 20–30 short sale files a month. Day after day, Month after month, Year after year. I will never forget one of the longest short sales I ever worked lasted 18 months. Countless negotiations and hoops. Tirelessly battling the bank to get approval and reduce my client’s financial burden. Because I knew what it meant to have a foreclosure on your record. I knew what it meant to have a huge dept to pay off. The pressure was relentless.

12 months into the negotiation I will never forget Beth contacting me, “Tim I can’t do this anymore. They will never give in. They will never let me out of this. I’m done. I quit.”

My response, “No, you can’t quit. I won’t let you.” I said with all my heart and soul. “Tim, I feel terrible. You are making nothing on this. You are spending countless hours, for what. It’s hopeless.” She said with a tone in her voice that brings chills to me as I write this. I knew the dark place she was in. I knew her feelings of hopelessness. Because in her mind she never dreamed of being in such a place.

It was in that moment I realized I couldn’t let her down. Quitting. Was not an option. That’s when I said, “Beth, I don’t quit. Not now. Not ever. I couldn’t live with myself. I am in this until they send us an acceptance letter or a denial letter. Until then it is up to you.”

You know what I learned after grinding out that file… after the blood, sweat and sharing in the tears with my client. It felt so damn good when we got the bank to accept our terms. My friend Beth was so thankful. Because she knew it wasn’t about the commission I made from her $51,500 sale. Beth knew I did it for her.

It was during those years of hustling and grinding on short sale files that taught me more about myself than at any time in my life. I realized I was driven by purpose not profit.

Isn’t the world a better place when you are giving instead of taking…


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