My daughter was chosen to play for the U-8 All Star softball team in our town. Yes, I am a very proud father…thank you very much. But, because she’s a little too much like me at times, she puts a lot of pressure on herself to perform. Her mother and I think it’s our job to help alleviate that pressure and also give her the tools to succeed, all while keeping in mind that she’s eight years old.
After her first game, she was unhappy with her at-bats. She was tentative. It was her first game at this level, playing against girls from other towns that were on, or above, her level. We decided to get her a one-on-one hitting lesson at a local baseball/softball facility. When we arrived, the instructor asked what was going on and why we were there today.
I explained that her swing was a little tentative, maybe due to a lack of confidence, and that we simply wanted to get in a few reps to get my daughter more comfortable. I then walked away, trying not to be that hovering father, but also still listening.
The overriding message during the lesson was simple and one that can be carried over to every aspect of life:
Swing with purpose.
What doesn’t that apply to? That means every cold call should have purpose. Every meeting you go to needs to be approached with purpose. Every report, every lease review, every task throughout the day, every space showing, every blog entry…all approached with purpose.
My old boss, Chris Kinum, was known to joke around about cold calling saying that if you call someone and just ask, “Any real estate today?” the answer would always be, “No!”. That call has no purpose other than to get something. But if you call with a purpose that provides value to the person on the other end of the phone, the likelihood of getting a meeting, or even having a decent conversation, increases exponentially.
As I try to explain purpose to my eight year-old daughter as it relates to softball, I can only point to Derek Jeter. He always put forth his best effort, with purpose. You might say, he only had four or five at-bats in any given game and a handful of plays in the field, so it was easy to try hard since he didn’t have to do it often. But his purpose started when he arrived at the ballpark, when he took batting practice, when he worked out in the off-season…it was never ending.
If you can only make four or five calls during the day that truly have purpose, where you have done your research, where you have a great piece of information and where you are providing value to the person on the other end of the call, should you really make any more than that? Are you getting the results you want from the calls, or do you just make enough to fill out a report or to say that you made a certain amount of calls? On our team, we promote a rifle-shot approach rather than a machine gun approach.
On Monday, it was raining throughout my daughter’s game. Why they played through the downpour, I have no idea. But when she came up for her last at-bat, I was standing near the backstop and we made eye contact as she was walking to home plate. I reminded her to swing with purpose. She nodded at me and then proceeded to knock a line drive past the shortstop. I am a very proud father, but I am also very appreciative of the lesson we both learned during her hitting session.
Whatever you do, do it with purpose.