Time to Start Something

Alacrity. It means brisk and cheerful readiness. It’s not a word typically associated with commercial appraisers, but it should be. Do you laugh at all during the workday? Do you pensively look at the clock as your day drags on? Do you feel like Bill Murray from the Groundhog Day movie, a cynical TV weatherman reliving the same day over and over? It would be sad if you had to (metaphorically) listen to Sonny and Cher’s I Got You Babe every morning for the rest of your life.

If that’s the case, alacrity can be your friend. It’s a way of re-packaging your career. If you find yourself being cynical, odds are you’re stuck in a banal time loop. It’s crushingly boring and breathtakingly empty. So how do you make your career interesting again? How do you get back your office mojo and care about your craft? The answer lies in Roy T. Bennett’s quote, “Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.

So the next logical question is, create what? In order to answer that question, you first need to start with your motivations. It’s like exercise, if your hearts not in it, don’t bother starting a workout program. The trick is to be specific. Why do what you do (or don’t do)? Could your business benefit from more networking, improving your product, better customer service, documented internal processes and an investment in technology? Second, you might want to consider how much do you care about your appraisal product?

You don’t have to train on your business like it’s the Olympics, but you do have to start somewhere. I suggest you take an inventory of your profession, do a deep dive as to the metrics of your business. If you were your own customer, would you be satisfied? Walk your product through all of its stages from initial bid, engagement, internal processes with your appraisers and support staff and interaction with the client (and their representatives) during and post-assignment. Did you provide an excellent appraisal product AND excellent customer service? Would you hire you?

Being stuck in a time loop like the movie can add to your frustrations, report mistakes and overall dissatisfaction with your work. If you live every day as Groundhog Day, you’ll likely experience unpleasant, unchanging and repetitive situations. If you find the motivation to change, determine that you care about your appraisal product and have the energy to break past habits, success can be yours but it requires a decision.

Some people, with more time on their hands than I, believe that the Groundhog Day movie is an expression of spiritual transcendence. As such, it has become popular with Buddhists who see themes of selflessness and rebirth, an allegory of self-improvement. If you improve your attitude with increased engagement, the result will likely be alacrity. This state of “cheerful readiness” will facilitate the goal of self-improvement, which in turn, results in happiness. It’s time to create. Make something. It’s time to start.