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By Dan Harkey
Real Estate & Private Money Finance Consultant
m: 949 533-8315  | e: [email protected] 

Most people follow a strategy they perceive as prudent and well thought out until they discover it no longer works. What should they do? The results they have attempted to create may not be there; how long should they keep trying? Albert Einstein receives credit for stating, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly but expecting a different result.” There may come the point where all should acknowledge that it’s time to develop a new strategy.

End of the Line: Acknowledging the Need to Reinvent Yourself

One of my all-time favorite rock groups was Traveling Wilburys, their song, “End of The Line” has a verse with a great message:

“You can sit around and wait for the phone to ring (end of the line)
Waiting for someone to tell you everything (end of the line)
Sit around and wonder what tomorrow will bring (end of the line)
Maybe a diamond ring.”

The Traveling Wilburys were a British-American rock group full of superstars–a group of iconic genius singers congregated to deliver some of the most profound music. Bob Dylan, George Harrison of the Beatles era, Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, and Jim Keltner, the “leading session drummer in America.” Another of their classics was “Handle with Care.”

The message in “End of The Line” is simple yet powerful. The lyrics are about allowing outside forces to dictate life plans and actions, hoping these forces may bring unearned benefits. This simple verse defines most unsuccessful people: they frolic through life’s forest, believing they are important but having no plans or strategy, waiting for the phone to ring. Of course, they are hoping for the elusive “diamond ring.”

There may be a point when the strategy you or I have successfully used suddenly quits working. It may be due to external forces, such as an unexpected war, increase in interest rates, economic changes, regulatory intervention, or internal pressures. Internal tensions are included, such as those associated with relationships within your own life that may cause you or I to get off purpose and deviate from a past successful strategy. These forces could include severe self-induced cash-flow constraints, an unexpected illness, divorce, emotional problems, substance abuse, death of a loved one, partnership or staffing problems–the list is never-ending.

“You do not need to be a victim of worry. Reduced to its simplest form, what is worry? It is simply an unhealthy and destructive mental habit.”

― Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking

So You’ve Decided to Reinvent Yourself. What Next?

Once you have acknowledged that you need a reset or reinvention, the next decision is whether you decide to stay in your chosen field or select a new one. A great start is going online and downloading the book Acres of Diamonds by Russell H. Conwell, written in 1925. This classic is about pursuing success by what you already know in your chosen field instead of starting a new profession in a new area. This simple quote defines the message:

“You can journey to the ends of the earth in search of success, but if you’re lucky, you will discover happiness in your backyard.”

When reinventing my business enterprise, do I decide to use my body of knowledge and background of experience to go forward with a new strategy and create something new in a newly chosen field? Has my past determined area become obsolete, or has it become a victim of “Creative Destruction”? Are there new strategies?

Let’s propose that you or I decide to stay in our chosen field!

  1. List all the elements of your past strategy that have been successful. Also, list those that have failed or become obsolete.
  2. List all the actions you have engaged in the past that may have caused the limited results.
  3. Find a mentor or multiple successful friends with which you may have an honest discussion about whether your reasoning is valid. Many people fool themselves about why their strategy failed. Your mentor or genuine friends can serve as a “mental taser” if you rationalize or choose to deceive yourself. You may get zapped if you are not honest or lie to yourself about the truth. The “hard-core-truth” or “tough-love- truth” is that most people create their barriers to success. The reasons may include lack of motivation, inability to accept rejection, lack of a written action plan, inadequate allocation of time usage, ineffective focus on the most critical tasks, and lack of tenacity to carry out a plan. These are all self-induced characteristics that lead to failure. Rationalization leads to failure.
  4. Try to research the most successful top 10 people in your field, study the group and find the characteristics that result in their success. List the defining characteristics or attributes that led to their success. Emulate their actions. The list will become a blueprint to create new daily action habits that lead to success.
  5. 20% of the most successful people in any field are responsible for 80% of the results. That also applies to monetary gains. 80% of the people receive a meager distributive part of the remaining 20%. Write your plan of action on how you can elevate yourself to the top 20%.

With a properly written action plan, an implementation strategy, and “positive motivation,” you could be dropped off in Cheyenne, Wyoming, start a new business in the same field, and be successful within 24 months.

The Importance of Relationships in Reinventing Yourself

For both you and your business acquaintances, friends do business with friends! Most businesspeople know that their success corresponds to the number of 4 business friendships they have. All successful relationships are two-way streets. If you ask for and develop enough friendships, you will create an ongoing successful career.

I have some advice on some business relationships you may want to avoid: people that are very much into themselves are the ones where the world does not exist outside them. They may be parasitic, sycophantic, negative, defeatist, secretly hostile, or jealous about your success; the phone usually rings one way. Identify these folks and politely get rid of them. They bring nothing to the relationship other than wasted time.

10 Important Considerations for Reinventing Yourself

The terminology may change with different industries, but the concepts will be similar. Most of my examples relate to the real estate lending business during my 45 years. Also, because of our recent experience with the Covid-19 shutdown, the importance of systems designed to create active working portability has become paramount. Transferring one’s workstation and continuing daily activities to communicate with prospects and associates has taken on an entirely new meaning.

1. Review your Vendor Support Relationships

Vendor(s) with delegated responsibilities are always a reflection of your professionalism. Replace those who do not possess a master’s competence.

2. Have a Regulatory Compliance Expert

With the hundreds of thousands of pages of regulations and multiple government agencies, federal, state, and some overlapping, even redundant, you need an expert in your field and labor relations. You may be liable for the actions of your experts.

3. Have Accounting Support

This includes a top-rated CPA or Enrolled Agent Tax Expert, in-house accounting, trust accounting, outside auditors, retirement planners, etc.

4. Find Reliable Tech Support

It would help if you had the hardware, desktops, monitors, multiple servers, backup systems, Wi-Fi connections, phone, and phone/computer interface connected to the outside world by high-speed cabling. You will need a 3rd party vendor to connect to the outside world. You need this person to be an on-call diagnostic expert who can remotely connect to your system or portable computer upon request and fix problems.

5. Have a Form of Software Support

A customer relationship software package (CRM) is a must. Many are available, either as a software package installed into your system or an online one. You also need a support system like Microsoft 365, which has outlook, a word processor, and a spreadsheet. Many practitioners use loan processing, trust accounting, servicing, and accounting programs. You may enhance your efficiency by installing multiple monitors, perhaps 3, to use your software packages to maximum efficiency. If someone sends you an email, you may want to transfer the data into a CRM or the loan processing system. It would help if you also had a commercial quality server and workstation security software package to protect against outside intrusions. Also, remote desktop connection software is now almost a necessity. Go to My PC, Team Viewer, and Log My In are examples. Lastly, you need a cloud-based backup system for your servers and desktops.

Connections with others for meetings and presentations have now become more accessible with software such as Zoom and GoTo Meeting. We can expect this segment of creative software design to improve over the next 24 months.

6. Strategize Your Marketing and Support Systems

Marketing is a complex subject that needs a ton of elaboration. I will only mention limited aspects. You need a product or service to personally develop a master’s competence level, a list of ever-growing prospects, a direct mail or email marketing system, and a high-quality interactive website. You should create a consistent contact management system (CRM) to communicate with your prospects, which will, in turn, develop into business relationships and friendships. Friends do business with friends. Your CRM is one of the primary engines that will drive your business forward.

7. Avoid Relying Too Much on Social Media

I want to express an opinion about relying too much on social media. Social media giants like Facebook, GETTR, Instagram, LinkedIn, Parlor, Telegram, Tik ToK, Twitter, YouTube, and many others are corporations that rely on advertising to make a profit. The more you are bombarded with advertising and buy things, the more profits they make. Many of the platforms are also ideologically driven. They are part of the censorship and cancel culture. If you post something contrary to their opinions, zap, you are censored.

You must realize that your data and correspondence are not private. But instead, the data is used to determine how they can monetize your connection to their platform algorithmically. Computer programming can determine where your interest lies and what you may be willing to purchase. Profit for them is always the motive.

The term “social media is, in most cases, a misnomer. A more appropriate name would be “social disinformation media.” Social media news bias, political polarization, geopolitical preferences, and cancel-culture actions boil down to how they can manipulate you to make a profit for them. In most cases, these platforms are interested in controlling your narratives about everything. They want to sway your opinion. They also want you to develop more reliance and spend time on their platform. Too much of their attempt to provide natural information is biased propaganda designed to sway public opinion.

In almost all cases, success in any form is relationship-driven. I shared this earlier in this article. The more relationships become friendships, the more business a person will develop. Always be skeptical of the online connections that call themselves your friend(s) when you know little about each other. A single or ten-thousand additional links is a great thing.

8. Consider Your Ideal Organizational Size

Do you want to build a company with brick-and-mortar square footage and a substantial fixed cost base every month, including rent or ownership expenses, hiring, equipment, insurance, liability for others, and the stress of dealing with staff? Calculating variable costs that will expand and contract as needed is difficult. Trying to judge the elasticity of demand for your product or service may be difficult. For example, loan volume production volume in the real estate lending business can expand and contract overnight. The government can raise interest rates, pick winners and losers, shut down all private enterprise businesses, and create fear and anxiety. Some major news stories may cause people to get skittish. Buyers and borrowers may need time to readjust or just exit from any decisions altogether. Elasticity refers to the business adapting to quick up and down fluctuations in business volume.

9. Understand Your Scalability

You also must be concerned with the scalability of your operation, meaning the ability to adjust to taking on much higher volumes when needed. Flexible scalability requires that your infrastructure be large enough to quickly increase staff, equipment, and support systems that all move in tandem.

10. Consider Outsourcing

The third option is to outsource all or part of your support systems necessary to drive your business forward. There are excellent small companies whose sole function is to provide services on an independent contractor basis. Examples in real estate lending are transactional coordinators, loan processors, loan servicing, escrow officers, and legal documentation providers.

Outside services contractors generally give you less stress, ensuring they are highly competent and professional. They are hard to find and keep busy. Also, elasticity and scalability become problematic when you try to be the do-all, catch-all for your company.

The best approach requires a lot of inquiry and discussion with your mentor group.

Final Thoughts About Reinventing Yourself

We all have our ups and downs. Many external and internal pressures, such as family and personal problems, can get us off track. Other things can get us off track, such as media influence, media attempts to create friction and hysteria, age bias, gender bias, and good vs. marginal health. Getting back up can sometimes be challenging. The willingness to always get back up is a learned talent. Repeated attempts will reward you with the ability never to give up, snap back into a prosperous new energy plan, and charge forward to success.


This article is intended for educational purposes only and is not a solicitation.

© Dan Harkey. This material’s unauthorized use or duplication without express and written permission from this author or owner is strictly prohibited. The article may be used in marketing efforts, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dan Harkey. The credit displayed when you forward any article must include Dan Harkey, Business & Finance consultant. You are not authorized to modify the articles title or the content.

This article is an overview for a general educational purpose only.  The information presented should not be relied upon without the advice of counsel.

Dan Harkey is a contributing author to Weekly Real Estate News and is a Business & Financial Consultant. He can be contacted at 949-533-8315 or [email protected].

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