I am currently reading a rather large book, Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. It is certainly interesting reading, and if you haven't read it I certainly recommend it. My thought is that our industry is almost completely commission driven. We are compensated for production. Many people have a need for the comfort level of the steady paycheck, regular work hours....the "normal" life (though I am still looking for Normal, I want to follow him around for a while to find out who Normal really is and what he does!). There is certianly nothing wrong with that and a lot to be said for it. But we in this industry have chosen a career that requires long and varied hours, weekends, evenings, stress, aggravation, and the occasional (or in some times quite frequent) headache. For that we are compensated IF the customer writes a contract and if it closes (of course if you use me for the mortgage there is no doubt that it will :-).
The book is basically about personal achievement and rewarding it. And what happens when that is not the case and when a system of everyone working to the maximum (or lack of) their ability but being paid according to need is put in place. To most of us that doesn't make sense at all, and of course it doesn't work either. It is also about what happens when the highest achievers, who hold the world up, stop doing so.
Many people got into this industry when things were going very well. It was "easy" to sell houses and do mortgages because there were so many borrowers and so many loan programs that nearly everyone who could breathe could purchase a home or refinance their existing one and pull cash out. Those that found it easy are, of course, the first ones to leave when it gets tough. That's o.k. Every industry, and ours is no exception, needs a "cleansing" from time to time. Those of us who are still here, are, for the most part, the ones who were here before and the ones who got into this business seriously with realistic excpectations to start with.
My point is that I am very proud to be a part of a community and industry where the people who have chosen to be in it are high achievers! People who work hard, work tirelessly, knowing that the compensation is going to based on their ability and the fruits of their labor. Even in these tough times we are all the type of people who help hold the world up. We realize that we are going to paid according to our production. What we do matters. How we do it, and how well we do it, matters.
So when you get a little discouraged, a little down about the way things are, just remember not to shrug! Remember that you are in an industry that is a major part of the greatest economic system and the greatest country in the history of this world!