There are very few who have not heard this famous quotation from Robert Louis Stevenson; “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you sow.” And as reasonable as these words may be, most folks still focus on the harvest, rather than the sowing.

Many writers have written countless thoughts throughout the ages and used the ‘seed’ as an analogy for growth, and rightfully so; from Seneca to Og Mandino, writers and philosophers have concluded that if one intends to reap a strong harvest, one must first sow. And Johann Wolfgang von Goethe observed that, “Sowing is not as difficult as reaping,” still, most people focus more on the reaping rather than the sowing. Perhaps it’s just our nature.

Seeds are powerful, and though they are small, any farmer would attest to the fact that a handful of seeds will reap bushels more than what was originally sown. Still, we humans, being as we are, we focus on the harvest but care minimally about the sowing, and as such, we shouldn’t be surprised that without sowing, our harvest is minimal, if at all.

In the business of real estate sales, networking is akin to sowing. Networking is the most important form of sowing that we do, especially early on in our career. Networking sows the seeds which allow our relationships to grow and be nurtured, then to figuratively bear fruit in the form of closed transactions, and most importantly referrals. We are first and foremost in the relationship business, so if our sowing is directed toward opening and developing quality relationships, we should expect to reap the benefits accordingly. One without a Buyer is one who has failed to sow; one who fails to network effectively and consistently must be satisfied with a small harvest, but he or she who networks consistently, then follows up efficiently and effectively, is rarely without a full pipeline of opportunities.

As 2015 begins, ask yourself, “What commitment have I made to networking, what commitment and action plan am I willing to implement that will open and nurture the relationships I need to reap a bountiful harvest?” If the commitment and the action-plan are nonexistent, such will be your results; nonexistent.

So as much as we don’t want to hear it, we will reap what we sow, therefore we may as well sow seeds representative of that which we intend to harvest. We inevitably run into a great many challenges in this business we have chosen, but being challenged in so far as not being able to establish and grow the relationships so essential to our success should never be an obstacle, because it is the simplest, and quite frankly, the most enjoyable and most rewarding part of our work; the people. Fittingly, the great Dr. Robert Brault observed, “When something wonderful or something tragic happens in our life; it usually has to do with SOMEONE,” not SOMETHING I might add. Without our relationships, we have no business.

Establish some solid networking goals, and do so today. Commit yourself to fulfilling those networking goals by implementing a consistent and measureable action plan. Then go to work. There are no guarantees bar this one; if you sow nothing, you will harvest nothing. But if you sow consistently, you may just be amazed by year end the harvest that you have reaped.

You will never be able to reap a harvest that you’re not willing to sow!

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