Tucson AZ Home Loan Info


Three Questions For Entrepreneurs (OK, Four...)

When you entered the business of real estate, you may not have thought of yourself as an entrepreneur.  Perhaps you thought just the opposite, surrounded as you were by your broker's systems, your membership in the Brian Buffini organization, and (if you were fortunate) the guiding hand of a mentor.

If you're still in the business today, you're an entrepreneur.  This post is for you.  Bookmark it.  Mull it over and come back to it.  Consider the implications for success in your particular real estate or lending market.

I found a gem of an article by the Harvard Business Review's Scott Anthony this morning on Bloomberg.  Anthony asks three questions of entrepreneurs, (and I'm paraphrasing here for REALTORS and lenders):

  1. What's your survival timeline?  At the rate you're spending money, how many days until you have to quit what you're doing and go get a job? 
  2. Why are you doing this?  Are you committed, heart & soul, to what you're doing? Is your brand evident to others in your daily accomplishments?  Is your "WHY" part and parcel of your daily activities?
  3. What two critical things are you working on right now?  "...a good entrepreneur can step back," says Anthony, "and highlight the two things they are really hoping to learn during a set time period. These aren't always the fires burning brightest. Ideally, they relate to the biggest unknowns..."  Do the two things that come to mind drive your business forward?

mike in tucson brandI'll add a fourth question.  Is your brand so very clear that EVERYONE can spot you a mile away?  I was hiking on open range last week in the foothills of the Coronado National Forest, and saw this little guy at a great distance.  He's unforgettable.  I want my brand to be just like that!

Scott Anthony isn't a blogger.  If he were, though, (at least for today,) Scott Anthony would be my favorite blogger.


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I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson Mortgage Lender.

NMLS #223495

SUNSTREET MORTGAGE llc ~ Mortgage Bankers, Not Brokers!
Offices in Scottsdale, Tucson, and Nogales, AZ, and Albuquerque, NM.

Reach me any time on my Blackberry (520) 349-9090

photos copyright Mike in Tucson


Comment balloon 40 commentsMike Jones • April 28 2010 07:50AM


hi Mike,

Good message...

Judging from your beautiful picture, this looks like a wonderful place to hike.


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 10 years ago


It certainly is!  You've got to come visit Tucson one of these days.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago


I learn something every day!

I never even dreamed of branding clients!

I like it! I like it allot!

A "brand so very clear that EVERYONE can spot you a mile away"!

Now where to place it?

On the rump? It would get some clients where they think, others might be very interesting to view. But, alas all would be hard to see.

On the cheek? Visable, but we'd probably face resistance.

I've got it at least for some!

Just above the tramp stamp!

They're always being shown, highly visible and attention getting.

And concentric arm bans for men.

We'll add stripes for refies!

Who could object? Everyone says they were burned by their lender now, we'd make it true.


Posted by William J. Archambault, Jr. (The Real Estate Investment Institute ) over 10 years ago

Mike - this month has been WONDERFUL - I'm concerned about next month, and the fall - so I'm trying offline to create and shore up my visibility in all segments.  We decided in January that every inbound call was a "money" call - so it was just a matter of figuring out what products we needed... Did we need to sell additional services?  We'll see... interesting questions.

Posted by Eleanor Thorne, Equity Resources 919-649-5058 (Equity Resources) over 10 years ago

I like this.  Indeed, an awareness of your business and how you are moving forward is essential.


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 10 years ago

I like this too! You have to figure out if you love what you are doing and how to set yourself apart from the pack!

Posted by Betsy Schuman Dodek, SearchPotomacHomes.com (Washington Fine Properties - Washington DC Area Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Gotta be in it to WIN!  Have a Great Week!

Posted by John Howard, GRI, Mountain Home, Arkansas 870-404-3614 (Century 21 LeMac Realty) over 10 years ago

Those are great questions to be taken very seriously, but  I have to admit that I love Bill's comment! I think branding your clients is an interesting idea!  LOL!  Congrats on the Feature!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) over 10 years ago

Mike. I an definitely an entrepreneur. My business is constantly evolving. Recently I have also been exploring ways to make money online to help supplement my real estate income.

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 10 years ago

I agree!!

Posted by Stephanie Arnett, SRS, IMSD, Broker Associate, REALTOR (ERA Town & Campus Realty) over 10 years ago

Mike - that is a great post and something that all agents need to read! So many entered real estate 5 or 6 years ago and so many are no longer doing this anymore -

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 10 years ago

I have always been a believer in sending cards.  Thanks for the tip on Sendoutcards.

Posted by Mike Wilbur (Guild Mortgage Company and Oregon Homes For Heroes) over 10 years ago

There is on-going conflict between creating an unmistakable brand and constantly re-inventing your self to meet changing market conditions. Certainly relevant and worth pondering for a Realtor in today's market.

Posted by Leslie Ebersole, I help brokers build businesses they love. (Swanepoel T3 Group) over 10 years ago

I've had a rough long survival timeline lately.  Great post.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 10 years ago

Like the post !!  A tool that would help keep the focus is always a good thing.



Posted by Joye Hollis Ridgeway, - Homes, Land, Investment, Commercial (AgentOwned Realty, Charleston SC) over 10 years ago

I totally ageed with you Mike.. you have to know th WHYs so that you always have a GOAL in mind....Thanks for sharing

Posted by Donna Paul, Long Island Home Specialist,All About Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty Gold Coast) over 10 years ago

Funny thing you mentioned it, AR is what I am working on right now (#3)...Thanks for the good read.


Jen Wing

Posted by Jen Wing, Field Inspections Since 2007 (JPW Field Inspections) over 10 years ago

I love that Seth Godin calls being an entrepeneur as someone who creates art. I can't play the piano, and I never could hit a curve ball, but in this business I love to create art everyday, and that goes for all the branding I have been doing.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) over 10 years ago

Mike: These are truly important questions that I need to ask myself. And, if the brand is not clear enough, what things can one do to make the brand clearer and more obvious to the world? I think that is a great challenge felt by many business people.

Posted by Melissa Zavala, Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County (Broadpoint Properties) over 10 years ago

Because shifts in the market are constant, the landscape changes as well.  Having said that, a plan is always a work in progress.  How you treat business planning activities is how you will treat your business.  Write it, live it, modify and tweak it as necessary.  It will keep you focused on your goal and business.

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

If you don't look at yourself and see a business entity you won't be in business very long.

Posted by Duane Murphy, Broker- Owner-Real Estate - (Expert Real Estate Partners LLC) over 10 years ago

Love this, love this, love this....if only these questions were really answered before we jump into things.

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) over 10 years ago

I think my answers would make most folks shake their heads.  But I will say, I don't HAVE to work.  I could stay at home and eat bon bons, but I truly LOVE what I do.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 10 years ago

You have raised some very good questions for us all! Thanks for rattling our collective cages!

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC (Keller Williams Capital Properties) over 10 years ago

This is definitely worth bookmarking and revisiting to make sure that we are always considering these items as we work on our business.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 10 years ago


It's 8:30 at night, and I've just gotten home.  I took a four hour seminar today on email marketing, then tied up loose ends on two loans which will fund before the end of the month.  A quick bite to eat, and an evening seminar on Send Out Cards.  What a great productive day, but I haven't been near a computer until now, and my post got featured?! 

Go figure!  Thanks for all your comments; I'll see each of you on your respective blogs.

With great appreciation for each of you,
Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago
  1. What's your survival timeline? That's a good question. I'm not sure I the typical Entrepreneur if thee is such a thing. I have some rentals puling down Bling with creative financing. Nice three bedrooms updated do in for 10 year or like like come along.  
  2. Why are you doing this?   Very committed to it.Its evelent to some I know I tell people but what they take away from I if up in the air. What people think is baswd on their own life and rick level. Promote ME EVER YDAY
  3. What two critical things are you working on right now? Looking for the next now
Posted by Randy Dodd, ePro, GRI, TAHS (Rosanna's Realty) over 10 years ago

 Mike, I have always been a believer in branding. Everything I do is the same format.

Posted by Terry Chenier (Homelife Glenayre Realty) over 10 years ago

If you only take one step a day make sure it is in the direction of your goals. Too many quit too early in our world.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) over 10 years ago

Mike......It really helps when you love what you are doing too......

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 10 years ago

Hi Mike!  Well, let's see--

1.  at least 365--I doubled what my real estate instructor told me to have for a rainy day!

2.  because I LOVE it, and several things

3.  mainly my sphere plan which had needed some rehabbing for quite some time.  I'm working on streamlining all of my leads and doing better with those.  I'm also working on time blocking again--I was successful with it at one time but, let myself get out of the habit. Now that I'm IN the habit of working 24/7 and having no routine other than what others put on my calendar for me, I'm overworked and underpaid.  (I think I need to either get back to time-blocking or speak to my boss to see if I can cut back my hours!!)

4.  Not good enough but, I did notice when I clicked on your profile page to see what you have been writing, that your brand is really clean, crisp and well-stated.  I need to work on that--thanks for adding something else to my to-do list!!

Have a wonderful Wednesday...

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) over 10 years ago

I like how the first question states "how many days" days, not months but days. Shows how all businesses are pretty much destined to fail before they start

Posted by Bob Parsons over 10 years ago

Nice post!  Thanks!

Posted by Chelsea Bryant (Crye-Leike Realtors) over 10 years ago


i think everyone should have at least 6 months put away for a rainy day.

I love this buiness.  It's fun, it's changes, and it's always eciting!

It's a new day everyday!!

Posted by Michael Ford, Matching Families with Homes (Coldwell Banker Heritage Homes) over 10 years ago

I love this short and sweet, so much that I'm re-blogging! 

Posted by Cindy Bryant, "Houston Home Staging Pros" (Redesign Etc. Home Staging) over 10 years ago

Great post Mike, it's really making me think about the way I'm going about my business and what I can do to improve my "brand."

Posted by Gary Swanson (Century 21 Harris & Taylor) over 10 years ago

Branding isn't as easy as one would think it is. First to get the perfect name and domain. And today, the perfect domains are usually the most expensive ones and honestly, I didnt want to pay 1800 for one year of a domain.


Posted by Nancy Larson (I am a licensed referral agent in NJ) over 10 years ago

Hello Mike and I do apologize for coming around so late to comment, I have been very busy with travel etc. This is a great post and congrats on the feature and here's another feature at .....


"Let's try and keep it alive for  members that may have missed it"

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz over 10 years ago

Vegas Bob,

Thanks for your feature; I appreciate all you do for Active Rain.


Love the photo!


It's good to see you; thanks for commenting.


Thanks for reblogging!


Thanks for stopping by to make yourselves known and heard!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago

Hi Mike!  Thanks for your post.  It made me think about my business.  It's an interesting one for sure!  I liked the questions posed!  Have a nice weekend.

Posted by Olga Diaz, Potter, Mng Broker, CRS, ASP, ePRO, ABR (COLDWELL BANKER TOMLINSON) over 10 years ago

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