Acres of Diamonds
Russell Conwell, the founder of Temple University, once gave a speech titled Acres of Diamonds. The supposedly true story is about an African farmer who heard stories of fortune by other farmers. These farmers discovered diamonds on their land and became rich beyond their wildest imagination. The farmer became discontented with his own life and desperately desired the same fortune. He eventually sold his farm and left his family to begin a quest for land that would lead him to riches. He searched through many lands far and wide. Eventually as an old man he became depressed and despondent. He threw himself into a great tidal wave to his death, never to be seen again.
The successor of his land, another farmer, one day strolled along a creek that ran through the property. He noticed a blue flash from the creek bed, knelt down and sifted through the water until he pulled a crystal object from the mud of the creek. He wiped it off, took it home and left it on his mantel above the fireplace, where he quickly forgot about it.
Several weeks later, a visitor stopped by the farmer and noticing the crystal on the mantle picked it up. Instantly he became excited, he was holding a diamond in his hand. The farmer protested at first and the visitor reassured him that it was indeed a diamond. That farm eventually became one of the largest diamond-mines in the world. Had the first farmer in our story simply educated himself on how to identify and look for diamonds, he would have had the fortune he so desperately wanted.
We’re all standing among our own acres of diamonds. We need the skills and ability to recognize what a diamond looks like in its rough state. They say “challenges beget opportunities”. We need to see the challenges around us as diamonds ready to be cut and polished.
There is so much opportunity in our business, we just need to have our eyes open and teach our agents the same. It’s easy to look at our community and see the shortcomings: lack of access to leads, agents that won’t pick up the phone and dial or carriers who won’t issue coverage. It’s more difficult to look for diamonds in their rough state, recognize them as diamonds and turn them into something beautiful.
Look at the word responsibility—“response-ability”—the ability to choose your response. Highly proactive people recognize that responsibility. They do not blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on feeling.Stephen Covey
I believe we’re in an incredible time period to build agencies; to solve problems with creativity and technology and to really make things better – both for the client and for the agent. It has quite literally never been cheaper to build out infrastructure, access people through networking events and pull people together in a community.
Our most fun agencies to work with have started out as teams led by top producers who see themselves as business owners – founders that see a problem to tackle and have a singular mindset to take responsibility and do something about it.
They all share a common trait – they have their eyes open to opportunities right in their own backyard. If you’ve found your diamond, your challenge, your problem to solve – we’d love to work with you when you’re ready.