The Extra Mile!
LOOK BEYOND THE HORIZON, AND DELIVER EXTRA VALUE
CHALLENGES in life, in career, in relationships and every other walk of life can be looked at in 2 directly opposite ways:
Some meek personalities shudder at the very thought of a challenge while the strong-willed ones can be seen rearing to go, with all their might and meet the challenge head-on.
What is the driving force or lack thereof that creates these diabolically opposite personality traits and how we can overcome the same to our advantage?
‘Sages on their respective Stages’ keep propounding their self-serving theories. Most of them push these ideas like a magic potion that will help anyone in any situation.
Majority of them want the followers to attend their high-priced seminars, workshops, and training programs regularly. It is not my intention here to discredit the genuine, intuitive coaches that always strive to deliver more than 100% value.
Many personal experiences in life have given me enough opportunities to overcome challenges, one after the other. Perhaps, I could write a thesis on ways, means, tricks and techniques to outlast and outclass the competition. However, suffice it to say in this forum that some fundamental changes in our approach could turn the tide in our favor nine times out of ten, GUARANTEED!
First and foremost, we need to have an uncompromising principle; mine is: ‘Always Go the Extra Mile.’ This unique aspect of my approach forces me to think beyond the point where my competitors' goals end. It helps induce the touch of extra effort in my motto: “Guide by Your Side; Not a Sage on the Stage©.”
Develop the habit of generating extra energy, extra resources and an underlying desire to excel at whatever your assignment is at any given time. Build a resource bank of 'Patience' (they say patience is a virtue, right?), 'Resilience' to face adversities and bounce back, 'Concerted efforts' and a 'Winning Attitude.'
Here is a true-to-life example, a chapter from the book of my own life, as it happened:
In one of the many businesses that I founded, nurtured, and grew to astronomical heights, a particular one involved Real Estate: the actual buying and selling of residential properties with my own hard-earned money.
From a very humble beginning, I got to the level where I could buy my first investment property with a sumptuous down payment. It happened in India, in the early 90's. The population boom and a perennial shortage of housing created tremendous demand.
Property speculation was the norm those days as one could pay anywhere from 10 to 15% of the negotiated price of a property as a security deposit. The buyer got anywhere from 1 to 3 months to arrange the financing and complete the transaction.
The word “MORTGAGE” did not exist in the dictionary in India back then. To buy a house, one had to have 100% of the purchase price readily available. In the event of a failure to complete the transaction within the stipulated time-frame, you lost your deposit with no recourse to refund.
Most investors took advantage of the situation by flipping such property within the prearranged time-frame and pocketing the profits.
Interestingly enough, in modern times, and in developed countries, the Chinese investors/speculators have been rampantly doing the same thing in Vancouver, British Columbia, in Seattle, WA, and also in Australia over the last few years, thus setting the prices of residential properties on fire. However, the difference and a major one at that lies in the easy availability of mortgage from banks and private lenders that we did not have in India at that time.
Some of the above instances of speculative purchases held the element of loss attached in the event the speculator failed to complete the transaction for non-availability of a ready buyer. Of course, the anticipated profit failed to materialize as time will start to run out by the time the so-called ‘investor’ found a buyer deep-pocketed enough to complete the deal within the remaining period.
Please allow me to use the “$” figure here instead of INR (Indian National Rupee) for easy reference.
Let us say, some shrewd speculator, without instant cash, tendered a deposit of $30,000.00 on a $200,000.00 house by negotiating the purchase price at $185,000.00. He settled on a 3-month term to complete the transaction.
In the event he failed to find a buyer, willing to pay $200,000.00 or more, the deposit money shall stand forfeited. He must flip the deal within 60 days as minimum 30 days would be needed by the actual buyer to put together all his resources, right?
I would be looking for such precarious transactions to make a profit on short-term investments. I would come in and buy their at-risk deal at a cut-rate price knowing well in advance that I have only 30 days to complete this transaction.
It allowed me to gain a double advantage as I would pay this guy half his deposit. He feels obliged because of a safe return of 15,000 against a definite loss of 30,000.
For all practical purposes, my cost for this particular transaction comes down to $170,000.00. Once I have made the final payment, it is my sweet will when to sell the property and at what price. The buffer I built due to a bargain deal with the speculator gave me an edge.
I never outstretched my investment capability by taking on too many risky deals and secondly, I re-negotiated an already bare-bones agreement that the previous ‘investor’ had purchased. Here is a short list of what worked in my favor:
I went the Extra Mile in:
1. Analytical Decision-making: Studying the market trends to know the difference between a good purchase and an excellent one
2. Exercising restraint by leaving emotions out: Exercising control, not to over-stretch my investing capability
3. Market Intelligence: Keeping a close watch on my competition and its predatory practices to better watch my interests
4. Crisis Preparedness: Preparing myself for a sudden requirement of funds by making prior arrangement for short-term financing at favorable rates, if and when needed
5. Trends-based Inventory Management: Gathering necessary intelligence on other ‘Investors/Speculators,’ their inventory of immediately available houses in a given price range and their tight spots. Always remember: 'Trend is your friend!'
6. Always Asking for Referrals: You don't ask; you never get! Maintaining close relations with already satisfied clients to garner referral business (the most effective, no cost advertising that bears immediate fruit), and last, but not the least
7. Proactive Customer Service: Providing Unparalleled Customer Service At All Times without giving unnecessary attention to personal profits! I always considered 'Profit' as an off-shoot of sincere efforts and not as the ultimate goal.
You can apply these seven principles to any industry and see the difference for yourself. Even if you adopted half of these seven steps, your Balance Sheet would show a marked improvement, Guaranteed!
TRY IT; WHO KNOWS, YOU MIGHT LIKE IT A LOT!