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Methinks Thou Don’t Protest Enough

Posted on Thu, Apr 11, 2013 5:00 AM by Craig L Proctor

“When an individual is protesting society's refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him.” -- Bayard Rustin

“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.” -- Abraham Lincoln

Remember when “Wikipedia took its English-language content offline as part of a ‘day of darkness’ in protest at US anti-piracy laws that it says could ‘fatally damage the free and open internet’ and ‘severely limit people's access to online information’. As of 5 am on Wednesday, anyone trying to access the online encyclopedia will have been greeted with a blackened screen and a message exhorting them to ‘imagine a world without free knowledge’.” [The Guardian] “According to the site, 162 million web users saw its protest against the U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). ‘You said no,’ the company said on its thank you page. ‘You shut down Congress’s switchboards. You melted their servers. Your voice was loud and strong. Millions of people have spoken in defense of a free and open Internet.’” [National Post with files from Reuters] What a wonderful image Wikipedia has evoked here … ‘you melted their servers’. That’s the little guy fighting back against the big machine and triumphing. How many times in our lives do we get a chance to wage an epic battle of this nature where the simple act of saying ‘no’ -- of withdrawing our permission and exercising our rights – can result in the meltdown of the negative forces that are trying to keep us down. Can you think of a single blockbuster book or movie about the triumph of good over evil that isn’t about that very thing … from David and Goliath forward? Wait a minute. I think I might have just described a situation many of you are quietly living day in and day out in all your various marketplaces across the country. Think about it. You struck out courageously on your own. Instead of submitting to corporate slavery, you decided you’d start your own business, carry the responsibility for your own livelihood on your own back by getting out there, digging up the business and making it all work.

Now I had a thousand bosses controlling me!

Well that was the plan anyway. I know myself how exciting it was when I decided to be an entrepreneur … which is what you are as a real estate agent. I also remember the euphoria dying when I realized, after hitting my head against the door of failure so many times, that it wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought. While I was ready and raring to go, ready and able to help people buy or sell a home, that was only going to be a reality if I could find people who would hire me. That’s when it hit me that I’d inadvertently backed myself into a corner. In rejecting the idea of having a boss who controlled my destiny, I’d inadvertently subjected myself to the whim of hundreds of bosses who seemed to have full control over whether I got paid to work my butt off.

I wasn’t going to let that happen …

… so I effectively launched a formal protest to the process that was threatening to chew me up and spit me out. I may not have boarded up my office windows with protest signs, or walked the streets with an “on strike” placard, but my intent was exactly the same as if I had done those things … I essentially waged a protest to the status quo. Instead of resigning myself to the drudgery, uncertainty and humiliation of my chosen career, I decided I was tired and angry and I wasn’t going to take it anymore. Long story short, I stumbled (often blindly) through my own ‘day(s) of darkness’ by rejecting the traditional school of thought, trying new things, testing, tracking, reading, researching, going to seminars, etc., refusing to accept the old-school rules the industry had imposed upon me. And I emerged triumphant. It wasn’t an easy process, but the short term pain was definitely worth the long term gain for me. If Wikipedia melted the servers, I caused a meltdown in the premise that you have to cold call and beg and plead for business.

A Cold Call Meltdown

So I ask you, are you protesting enough against the things in your day to day job as a real estate agent that are enslaving you? Okay so you raised your hand and joined this program acknowledging your dissatisfaction … a great first step. But have you done anything more about it? Because taking a first step is great, but if you don’t follow that first step with action, all you’ve done is fated yourself to eventually falling backwards again. It would be like Wikipedia posting a message threatening “If you don’t listen to us, we’re going to take down our site” rather than actually DOING it … a lot of talk but no action.

A lot of talk … but no action

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