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There Is No Tree

Blog by Rebecca Permack | September 22nd, 2014


In mountain biking, there’s a term called ‘target acquisition’. It’s that interesting phenomenon that happens when instead of looking where you want to go, you look at that tree (rock, log, root, cliff) you want to avoid…and then you hit it. Hard. Which is the exact opposite of the actual target you were hoping to acquire.

When new riders are learning how to navigate trails, the mantra is always “there is no tree.” Riders constantly remind themselves “look where you want to go, not where you don’t want to go – where you look, your wheels will follow. “ I learned this the hard way, when I ‘looked at’ a log head first at full speed and shattered my collarbone three months after getting my Real Estate license, and ‘acquired’ a titanium plate and eight screws. Again, the exact opposite of the actual target I was hoping to acquire. But that’s a blog post for another day.

Not looking at the obstacles is a constant battle in mountain biking, just as it is in Real Estate. It is not a natural thing. “Ignore the tree? But it’s a giant TREE, and it’s RIGHT in my way!” “This seller just listed with someone else! I need to be more like Realtor X! Why does she get all the business?” I will let you in on a secret: the tree isn’t in your way, and Realtor X doesn’t get all the business. Move on. We can get so fixated on the obstacles in front of us that we forget about the real target, 10 feet (six months, five years) down the trail.  As long as you keep focused on your goals, you will keep moving towards them, weaving effortlessly through the trees, rolling over the rocks, and sailing right past that giant root that’s poised to jump up and bite your tire.

I read something the other day that has stuck with me all week. It said, “It’s not who you are that stops you from reaching your goals, it’s who you think you’re not”. This rings so true for me. As a Realtor, I come into contact with so many different people in my day-to-day business. Some are amazing, and some…aren’t. (Surprise! Not every person interested in Real Estate is a nice person). I used to kill myself trying to please everyone, and would be crushed when it inevitably didn’t work out. I would feel bad that I wasn’t who they wanted me to be. These clients were just like the trees on the path to my goals; taking my focus away from my goals and my more awesome clients, and in the end, only ending up causing me pain.  Being able to recognize who the ‘trees’ are in my life and my business is a skill I am constantly working on, and I’m getting better at it every day. Practice makes perfect.

I have big goals, I’m building a successful business, and I have amazing clients. There is no tree.