Burn the House. Save The Nails

As a new home salesperson, you probably don’t pay much attention to construction nails today, unless one gets stuck in your tire. But they actually have a long history, dating back to Biblical times when the earliest nails were really spikes used to anchor whole logs, beams and timbers together.

Gradually, split wood became more prevalent in building and the size of nails became smaller.

Early pioneers who pushed through the wilderness to clear the way for a new nation used nails forged by blacksmiths, who were called “nailers,” to build their houses and to establish homesteads where they planted their crops and raised their families and livestock.

When the prospect for a brighter future motivated them to leave for new frontiers, however, they did something strange. Before leaving, they would burn their homes to the ground and sift through the ashes in search of nails that could be reused when they rebuilt. Why? Because these hand-made nails were too rare and valuable to leave behind.

Metaphorically speaking, this can apply to your business and life. As you move forward in new home sales, remember this lesson from our forefathers: Burn the house, but save the nails.

Are you ready to make a change?  Do you want to reinvent your career … your business … yourself? Or do you keep remodeling the past instead of building anew?

Like frontier houses, your past is nothing but a structure … a story … built from a sequence of events. It has no power over you. Therefore, when it’s time to take the next step toward a new destination, it may also be time to reduce your past to ashes.

Instead of trying to put a handle on emotional baggage, leave it alone. Rather than modifying old sales strategies, discard them and develop new ones.  Instead of backpacking your failures and keeping them within easy reach to rewind and rehash, dump them. Send it all up in smoke.

Then sift through the ashes to find the nails — the good parts that are too rare and valuable to leave behind.  Your cherished memories, principles, philosophies, work ethic, morals, beliefs, friendships, lessons learned, the best parts of “you” — these are the nails to keep and use over and over again in building a better life.

While you may not perceive yourself to be a Daniel Boone, the truth is that the profession you have chosen will take you into unchartered frontiers. It will force you out of stale comfort zones and into regions with undefined borders. You will cross cultural barriers and prospect within an unfamiliar and confusing media landscape.

Outdated sales strategies, negative mindsets and demoralizing defeats must be discarded as you navigate through daily market shifts, fresh demographics, and a fluctuating and expanding world view of new home sales.

Ahead of you are the footprints of today’s homebuyers. Much like the hunters and gatherers of frontier days, they are searching through and collecting information from a territory known as the Internet. Before you ever meet them, they already know nearly as much as you do about your company, community and construction.

If you don’t adapt to this changing and challenging frontier, your career will become as dead as a doornail.

But if you are ready to change your destiny and your destination, then burn your house, but save the nails. Deconstruct. Reconstruct. And hold tight to what has value.

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