A Good Work Ethic – Lessons from My Father by Teresa Evans-Johnson
I recall many years ago (and I’m not kidding when I say “many”), when I was a child, my dad would tell me to always go to your job. Whether you’re sick or just don’t feel like working — do it anyway. Being a child born in the 60’s, we were brought up to listen to our parents and not be combative with their “polite suggestions”.
My dad would be so proud to hear me chime in on his pearls of wisdom from back in the day. Growing up, we didn’t have much. We had all that we needed, but far from everything we wanted. We learned the difference early in life. My dad told us that he would take care of our needs and we are to take care of our wants. This is something that I have instilled in my own offspring. My head shakes involuntarily when I start talking and my dad’s words exit my lips. Hey Dad! Your wisdom stuck with me!
My parents struggled a good bit with a large family and a single income. Back in those days, the mother stayed home to raise the babies and the father was the breadwinner. I recall vividly a huge snowfall one winter day and my father suited up, started walking out the door and off he went. No, he didn’t get into his beat up red truck with holes in the side, he had snow boots on, snow up past his knees and he was WALKING the 4 or 5 miles to get to work. When he finally made it back home I asked him why he walked to work in the snow and then he told me when you have responsibilities, you honor them and you go to work to take care of your loved ones.
It was THEN, I truly realized what the value of a good work ethic is. Step 1 is simple — go to work.
He didn’t particularly care for the job he had because it was incredibly hot in the factory and he was a tradesman, who worked on kilns, or whatever needed maintenance. But because of his love of his family, he worked that job for close to 30 years before retiring quietly without fanfare. In fact, he told his colleagues that he was retiring at the end of June (when in actuality he retired in April — so his co-workers wouldn’t throw him a party). My dad was a man of few words, but his words so meaningful. It was just but a few years ago I conceded to my father that all those things he told me while I was growing up rang true — even though at the time he was delivering those gems, I was resistant to his advice. I had to give him credit and I owed it to him to let him know that after all those years — he was absolutely right.
Growing up, we had chores. There was no reprieve in getting your chores done. You did them, or you were punished in some fashion. There was no negotiating, when my father told you to do something, he meant it the first time he told you. So, without issue (most of the time) we would sometimes procrastinate to the last minute to get something done. My father, like clockwork would pull into the driveway at 3:37 p.m. every weekday, lay down his metal lunchbox, and go check to see if our chores were completed. Not just completed — but done right. Lord help you if he had to “remind” you to do them right. He didn’t care if it took you until darkness fell to get it done, you were to complete the task.
So people ask me where my drive comes from. Guess who? My father. He also told us that if we want something done right then we should do it ourselves and anything worth doing is worth doing well. Makes sense to me now. Not so much then, but hey, I get it now. Especially after getting married and having my own child did I truly had a firm grasp on what he was trying to do in his child rearing technique.
I place a great deal of value on those principles taught to me as a young child and I utilize those traits in my real estate career. I work hard, surely I do and don’t think there will be many folk willing to offer a contrasting opinion. We cannot let people just pass us by thinking that another customer will walk in the door as soon as someone else exits. We must work hard. We must be consistent. We must deliver on our promises.
At TD Realty Group – we strive for that and more. We want to provide the best customer service experience in real estate. We want to be the model for future companies who will end up scratching their heads wondering what we’re doing right. Real Estate 101: Rule #1: The Golden Rule. Simple. Treat others how you want to be treated. It’s not asking for the moon. It’s not asking you to donate a kidney. It’s treating people right and that’s the way we carry on with our business. What do we get in return? The satisfaction of a job well done, the praise from our customers and the admiration and wonderment of our colleagues. I cannot wrap my mind around doing business any other way. Do the best you can, when you can, and for everyone that you can.
That’s the way we roll. We’re a work of art in progress — all of us. We believe in continuous process improvement and we will instill in our team the same values that I was raised on. Surprising, such a simple process works!