It's Good to Stand Apart.

by David Stewart (other articles by David Stewart)

I am not a businessman. I am a dreamer. I do not exist for material gain. I don’t care about cars or watches or expensive suits. I found during early successes that money and material possessions are hollow and for the most part those things are chased in life merely to impress people you don’t know or don’t like.

It just doesn’t interest me.

I chase a very different type of rush. I stand on the outer of society and I challenge everything I know. I explore, analyse and pick apart every process and every procedure just to see if there is a better way.

I wish I wasn’t like this a lot of the time because it’s lonely. It’s hard to be told over and over again that your ideas will never work. It’s difficult to watch the very same people that post countless memes on social media espousing the benefits of entrepreneurship and free thinking are the very same that take every opportunity to shoot you down and belittle your efforts for change.

I’ve made peace with the reality of this a long time ago. I smile to myself when these "free thinkers" rip off each other’s ideas and pat each other on the back for all doing the same things. These people all run to the middle to be the same and stand back to back for protection. What they don't know is that there is no protection in being blinkered, especially in this day and age, just ask the company directors of Kodak or the taxi industry where that leads.

I don’t engage for the most part, I just shake my head and walk away.

I do this because I know one irrefutable truth. Life is fluid and nothing stays the same, ever. The only constant we can hold on to is change. I embrace the fear of change. I revel in it not knowing what will come next. In truth I am beginning to appreciate being underestimated and disparaged. It’s my new normal and I’m ok with it.

The ideas I bring to real estate only have to have one feature. They must be of benefit to our clients. They must aim to improve the overall transactional experience for the people that pay our fees.

We have a small but growing brand of people out there who really believe in what we are doing. They are not just people who are satisfied in their dealings with us but they are men and women who are vocal advocates for our business and our mission to bring better experiences to real estate. These people are our tribe.

Some are past clients, some are other real estate businesses, some are trainers, some are staff and one is my wife, Leesa. My staff, for instance, forgo bigger pay packets elsewhere to pursue an ideal, a dream and a vision. To those people who believe, who get in the trenches every day to fight, I say from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

To those who don’t believe, that’s ok. I accept that most will always follow the crowd. One day, if our ideas get enough traction maybe, just maybe, those who follow the crowd will be forced to follow us. That is the goal and it has nothing to do with money, it’s the belief that we can make long lasting and real change and for that one single outcome I will get up every day and take the sneers, laughter and jokes about what we do in my stride. I will continue to push every boundary and every envelope and I will never take a step backwards. It’s what I have grown to love and it’s what I will continue to do.

Innovation is now in my blood and I will never go back to my sheep clothes and blend in.

That’s a promise.

27th November, 2016

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