The standards in running a consistent business never change. Dad's experiences, going back to the 1940's, along with a quote from my grandfather at about the same time, are just as relevant today as they will be ten years from now!
When I was a kid, and you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, the answer was always the same. I only wanted one thing, to be a Dad. I worked hard to be one of the best, and nothing changes the joy of watching my kids grow up. They did fulfill my dream of being a Dad.
So, to all of you Dads out there...Happy Father's Day. It's the perfect day to give somebody an eleven-second hug and remind them how important a role they play in your life. And, to my own Pop - I miss ya, but nobody can take way all those great memories from days gone by and the significant role you played in my life!
As Much As Things Change, Some Things NEVER Change
I have been happily retired for many years, and unemployed for almost twenty. I am not a plagiarist, but I must quote my father who spent the last months of his life writing advice to his children:
“Conduct your business in an upright manner and remember, the most important thing in one’s life is to be honest with one’s self. Maintain the high standard and dignity that your business requires. Do not go into deals hastily and be visible in your business as much of the time as is possible. If you take time to play, do it away from your business, because your livelihood needs all the attention you can give to it.”
Early on, I concluded that the best testimonials came from my many friendly competitors. We didn’t really compete with each other, in the true sense. True, we were in the same field of endeavor, but we all knew we were there to help each other. Happily, the “tough competition” fell by the wayside.
I remember giving Skip driving lessons and I told him, “Watch the left front fender…..the rest will take care of itself!” I’ve found this is really true of everything in life.
An old axiom says, “If you tell the truth, you never have to remember what you said.” That is all part of reputation-building. I found that, sadly, in the field of real estate, truth is hard to come by for many. In our case, it was a major building block in the reputation which we enjoyed, and helped us to thwart the competition.
Goodwill is all of the above, plus a lot of caring for your clients as well as your competitors. If life is a give-and-take situation, giving is the more important of the two. The taking will come with time and be far more appreciative. Just remember – you heard it here!
Ralph Cohen, Founder and 1/2 the Creators of Skip Cohen!