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— by jim emilson

The Truth About Kaizen and The Relentless Pursuit of Excellence

We each have a choice in this business:  status quo OR KaizenWe all know what the status quo is in our market area.  It’s what everybody else is doing.  Kaizen, on the other hand, is a Japanese philosophy that promotes striving for continuous gradual improvement.  The truth is, Kaizen is all about the relentless pursuit of excellence. 

I now apply Kaizen to every area of my business, but that wasn’t always the case.  Early in my career, I was lulled into embracing the status quo, and I didn’t even realize it!  In this months article, I will make a confession:  My print marketing 18 months ago was literally on life-support! It would have been a kindness to all humanity to pull the plug and put it out of its misery.

If my print marketing sucked, what did that say about my business as a whole?  After all, a Realtor® is a negotiator AND a marketer.  We need both skills sets to flourish.  On the negotiation side I felt pretty strong, having spent many years in an earlier career negotiating multi-million dollar, multi-year contracts with the likes of Wal-Mart.  But my marketing needed a whole lot of Kaizen!  A little Kaizen never hurt anyone, and with time and patience, it can lead to huge business gains.

But here’s the thing:  The status quo is (terrifyingly) comfortable.  It’s like a sign I once heard about that was posted at a cemetery.  The sign said “We let you down so slowly, you won’t even know you’re dead.”  Sometimes we get lulled into inactivity, and before we even realize it, our business is dead!


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