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What's The Worst Thing That Can Happen?


I recently purchased Col. Chris Hadfield's book, An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything.

As I read about Col. Hadfield's journey, I found myself intrigued on NASA's training program. When it comes to space travel, there are countless things an astronaut must learn. Where does one start?

Interestingly, it begins with a single question: What's the worst thing that can happen to you and your team while traveling to space?

The answer is simple — death.

By identifying that death is the worst thing that can happen in space, astronauts endure years of training to ensure they can complete their mission safely. Think about it. When you are in space and something goes wrong, you and your crew are responsible for fixing the problem. If something breaks, it's not like NASA can mail the crew a new part.

When it comes to selling real estate, I posed the question to myself: What's the worst thing that can happen during a real estate transaction?

I think losing a deal and getting fired by a client would be pretty bad. Why? First, I failed to meet my client's needs. That is, if I got fired, that means I over promised and I under delivered.

Second, when one gets fired, the client will probably tell his family and friends. Since the majority of my business is based on referrals, having one bad review can really hurt me and my company's reputation.

Third, when a transaction falls out of escrow, no one is happy. Buying and selling a home can be an emotional roller coaster. All parties invest a lot of time and resources into the process.

Knowing this, I'm constantly thinking how I can better meet the needs of my clients. I speak with my broker, I have meetings with our coach, I have round table discussions with our team, and I bounce ideas off of my mentors. In other words, I'm running a bunch of simulations to learn new things or to re-learn an important concept. I hate "winging it."

I know this type or thinking may sound pessimistic. The irony is, I'm a big fan of positive talk. However, the reality is, life is rarely smooth. I'm sure you would agree. When it comes to the things you can control, like your health, your happiness, and your financial investments, why not take the time to prep for a possible bump in the road. It doesn't take much effort.

Regardless if you are an astronaut or a real estate agent, it's important to sweat the small the stuff. Although dreaming is important, focusing on the details gives you a better chance of achieving your goals.

-RO


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Ryan Oda (RB-23073) is a Real Estate Advisor with Forward Realty (RB-19423) in Honolulu, HI.