You are very necessary now

After a day of A-Basin Colorado snow skiing last week, which for someone from Florida can be challenging, I went to dinner. The topic of future career came up with my 20-year-old niece. My wife asked her a simple, yet incredibly challenging question, “What’s your passion?” I think it’s an excellent question to ask yourself today, even if you’ve been a commercial appraiser for many years.

One definition of passion applied to business is enthusiasm. Saying you have a passion for appraising seems a bit over-the-top. A typical response might be, “yeah I like it.” In today’s changing market, that response isn’t good enough for your clients and your business happiness. If your enthusiasm on a scale of 1-10 doesn’t exceed 7, you might pause and reflect.

“My wife asked me once if I weren’t a comedian what I would do. I couldn’t answer the question. I never imagined doing anything else.” That statement by comedian Dave Chapelle applies, change the word “comedian” to “appraiser.” Can you imagine doing something else? Or a larger question, can you imagine doing what you’re doing but only a lot better?

Mr. Chapelle said after winning the 2019 Mark Twain award at the Kennedy Center, “Reveal people to themselves by exposing yourself with your art.” This might involve you being a real estate expert speaker or sharing your knowledge with new employees. The Twain award is presented to individuals who have “had an impact on American society in ways similar to” (Twain). Are you investing time and energy into your art? Do you have the tools (processes, technology and office culture) to facilitate having an impact (on your employees and clients)?

I think comedy is one of the highest intellectual art forms, specifically stand-up. It’s honest, often raw, but underlying truth in the message. The risk of failure on stage is very high. Being fearless is a requirement. Dave’s take is, “The world can’t tell you who you are. You’ve just got to figure out who you are and be there, for better or worse.” And “The hardest thing to do is to be true to yourself, especially when everybody is watching.” Dave’s peers claim that, “Critical thinking is his art.”

Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Mr. Chappelle’s only formal education, has as their tradition statement: commitment, responsibility, empowerment, excellence and dignity. They talk about moving and shaping the 21st century and re-creating the narrative for artists. As a commercial appraiser, are you an artist? Are you passionate? Are you sharing your talent? You’re very necessary now.