When I first starting coming to Denver to spend time with Jon he was a semi-new broker in a semi-new city. He was learning the ins and outs of Denver on a daily basis and he had a special tool that helped him do so. It was a little hand held recording device that he would use to verbally record things/properties he saw while driving. I had never seen someone do this before. I found it hilarious at first and loved torturing him by pushing play on it while in the car with him. Maybe I liked to hear his serious business voice that he never used with me. Maybe I just liked to hear his voice. After some time I would record my own little messages on it for him to find later in his office. More years than I’d like to admit have passed since those early days. I haven’t seen Jon use that recording device in a long time. In fact I haven’t even seen it in his car at all. In the last few years he’s started to know his business and this city like the back of his hand. I wouldn’t be surprised if he simply just knows every commercial property in Denver. He might not, however, had it not been for those early stumbling days and that funny little tool.
I am in no way contributing all of Jon’s knowledge and success to a recording device, but I was thinking about this for a few reasons last night.
The first and most obvious is that even though I made fun of him for how dorky I thought it was, I now wish I had one! There are so many times I’m walking somewhere, driving somewhere, sitting somewhere and an idea for this blog pops into my head. It’s usually several specific sentences rather than an overall topic so I have a much harder time remembering. It’s time consuming and awkward to write down several sentences, or sometimes even a paragraph while walking somewhere and downright dangerous to do while driving. I can’t tell you how many topics I’ve wanted to talk about that simply fade into nothing because by the time I get home I can’t recall the specific sentences. Instead of just thinking about it, I’m going to ask him where he bought his silly little recording device and SOLVE my problem rather than just tell you about it. Look at me! Action! : )
The second reason I mention that story is that I’m trying to convince myself that it’s ok to not know everything right away. Jon didn’t move to Denver and automatically become successful. He had many years and a lot of little tools to get him where he is today. He literally hit the pavement every day and forced himself to learn this city the best he could for his job (he also had insane amounts of confidence, but that’s a different skill I lack and a whole different post) even if it meant using a funny little recording device. My point is, I need to realize that it’s ok to struggle a little in the beginning. It takes time to learn the specific way you’re going to be good at something and it might look different from the way somebody else does it. The tools someone else needs to help them thrive are probably completely different than mine. I am also learning that even if your ways might seem a little dorky/funny (cough self-indulgent cough) to somebody else, you have to keep doing what works for you to succeed.
The final reason I started thinking about that little device is because it occurred to me I might have been the only person in Jon’s life that even KNEW about it. Not that it’s something to be ashamed of obviously (even though I did my best to convince him it was…what an epic jerk) but I think I was. That’s probably because nobody had any reason to know let alone any reason to care. What I mean is, I’m sure he didn’t go around telling clients that the only reason he knew about their property is because he stumbled upon it while driving and used a hand held recorder to remember it’s appearance. He made it his job to know, and it doesn’t matter to his clients how. They don’t care if he struggled or how he learned or if he looked a little dorky while doing it. Just like you guys probably don’t care if I rewrite a post eleven times before publishing it, or if I talk to myself out loud while blogging, or if I have to look alternate words up in the thesaurus to avoid sounding repetitive. You don’t care what my tools are, you just care that I produce posts!
I have realized about myself that I don’t need to rely on anybody else to cut me down because I more often than not beat them to the punch. I have received so many compliments on my measly blog (see…there I did it again) mostly from people I had absolutely NO IDEA even knew about it! They recall specific posts, specific photo’s, an exact phrase. It’s kind of unbelievable. Yet each time somebody brings it up, I cringe. The first words out of my mouth last night when somebody said ‘I love your blog’ were, ‘ohhh thanks, it’s so humiliating that you read it’. WHAT!?! It’s like I can’t help it. The reality is I LOVE that people read it. I have to remember that they have no idea the somewhat silly tools I use to jerk myself out of sitting paralyzed in front of my computer. I have to stop telling everyone that the only reason they like my blog is because I was having a good day that day and most days all my ideas are horrible and lame. They don’t care to know that just like nobody cared about Jon’s recorder.
I was just about to type how nervous I am to post this because I feel like the story at the beginning is irrelevant and the comparisons don’t make any sense. I’m not going to do that this time. Instead I’m going to take a deep breath, hit publish and then immediately publish another post about Hawaii and hope this episode in anxiety gets lost in the shuffle of pretty pictures.
And then I’m going to get my dork on and buy a recorder.
Target – $30 +/-…..it’s on my desk ;)
I care! And this is so good! Do you know who Anne Lamott is? She’s one of my favorite writers and I actually just met her at the Tattered Cover last night. I found this quote from her best book about writing: “If you are a writer, or want to be a writer, this is how you spend your days–listening, observing, storing things away, making your isolation pay off. You take home all you’ve taken in, all that you’ve overheard, and you turn it into gold. (Or at least you try.)” Sounds like you need a recorder. :)
Jenny – Thank you! I just clicked the link to your blog and will be following regular here on out. I have read Anne Lamott. Can’t believe you met her! I need to be better about looking at The Tattered Cover website. Thank you for reading and thank you so so much for your comment!