Realty Executives of Sudbury Ltd.

Steve Caswell

Steve Caswell


Realty Executives of Sudbury Ltd.


Doing The Bare Minimum Never Gets Lucky

(Published on - 3/6/2023 11:54:44 PM)

I remember back from my bartending days where one of the “regulars” used to consistently throw out a pretty funny line - “no one has more fun than people!” 

And we all know plenty of people that really work hard at having fun – making sure they attend every event (whether invited or not), they stock up on extra supplies so they don’t run out of “party”, never a minute late for the fun stuff and they work extra hard to cater to everyone making sure everyone is happy and enjoying the fun times.  They’re passionate about having fun!

Then there are those that simply “go with the flow” during the party times – they don’t organize anything, they stick to the basics that they know, don’t do any hosting, never venture too far out of their comfort zone and they make sure they have fun the easy way.

And when it comes to work, there is no difference with how people are.  We all know people that do just enough to get by - they get things done in a mediocre fashion, wouldn’t even think of working one minute past clock out time and give in their “C-grade work” a day or two after the deadline as they left it to the last minute and rushed it to completion.

Then there are the workhorses who grind it hard to make it that extra mile, always looking at ways to better themselves, trying new things to advance their position, always reaching up the ladder for that next promotion or taking big risks on the next business venture.

I would hazard a guess that the majority of people are a hybrid of these two models.  They either play hard and work the bare minimum, sometimes even allowing daily domestic responsibilities to also slip, or they work hard and keep the fun to the basics or they're just half effort on both fronts. 

But I also find there are quite a few of those that fit into both “basics” categories.  Shut off their computer at 4:27pm at the end of the workday, skipping out on the last three minutes of duty, and then off to the bar for one or two to meet the colleagues and then grab some takeout for home to lay on the couch watching Netflix.  The next morning, showing up a minute or two late after skipping breakfast and hitting the repeat button for the day again.  Sure, it’s a simple life, but this group often wonders why everyone else is successful.

Then there are the very limited few that can do it all and do all of it well.  They can orchestrate the fun times while still navigating the workload with complete thoroughness and precision.  They stay at the bar for an extra couple after work, engaged in stimulating conversation.  They get home and make a good dinner while finalizing any outstanding work commitments, complete the household tasks and prepare for tomorrow before hitting the bed.  They wake up and get the majority of the multitude of tedious day-to-day tasks, that being an adult brings our way, before the sun even rises and then put in the hours it takes, however many that may be, to make today a success.  They work hard and play hard.  They work to succeed, and rarely do they ever think “I’ve done enough”.  Seldom is anything they do good enough for this breed of animal while they strive to accomplish bigger and greater things.

A great visual would be to think of juggling.  If there was someone standing in front of you throwing one ball in the air and catching it with the same hand, holding a second ball in the other hand and had third ball in their pocket, how impressed would you be?  Would you consider them as someone who has really worked hard at excelling at their craft?

Now, if another juggler was on a unicycle on a sheet of ice with a ring a fire around them and juggling three chainsaws running at full speed, would that catch your attention a little more?  Might that be a little more exceptional if you were looking for a pro?

Ironically, when you think about it, both of those examples started the exact same way – throwing one ball in the air and then trying to introduce a second.  One just worked way harder to get to that extraordinary level, while the other one wonders why they aren't as successful.

Being self-employed Realtors® forces us into being in that extraordinary category.  We have no choice, or we don’t make it.  Sure, like all industries, there are some that will do the bare minimum, but they’ll struggle as their own boss and, at career’s end, ultimately look back knowing they could’ve done way better.  Having to be the entire company under one hat – from CEO to janitor, CFO to bookkeeper, Director of Sales to admin– requires us to always have our foot on the gas.  On top of that, we also have to be the face of our own company outside the walls - marketing division, community outreach and lobbyist for new clients. 

We don’t do one job – we wear all the titles.  We can’t sit idle and wait for others to take care of things, we have to grind it hard to it get done ourselves.  We can’t sleep in and hope the phone will ring, we’ve got to get up early and start making the calls.  We can’t show up unprepared and hope the other Realtor® doesn’t beat us for that new listing.  We can’t do the bare minimum and expect success.

What you see in the field from a Realtor® is only a small portion of what it takes to be successful.  Showing houses, dealing with offers and navigating through the buy and sell process is a fraction of what has to be done.  There are “great agents” out there who seem to sell a lot, but the backend operations are sometimes a house of cards.  If the winds of change blow through the market, things can go south in hurry for those that don't take care of the nest. 

We always have to be working hard to attract more business, we’re always attentive to our past/current/future clients’ needs and we have to maintain the entire backend of the business.  All the while, still ensuring the typical daily domestic responsibilities are taken care of – kids’ lunches, maintaining the home, Dr/vet appointments, family budgeting, getting the cars fixed, etc.  And we have to do it all on nothing remotely close to a fixed schedule.

But the most important thing we can’t do is make excuses.  As a self-employed individual, there is only one boss you have to answer to every morning and it’s the one in the mirror.  Doing the bare minimum and making excuses only to have to stare at yourself in the face is a recipe for failure for any self-employed person.  Fooling yourself into thinking you’re working hard only leaves behind one fool. 

Every day, we have maintain good habits, stick to a well-prepared game plan, stay flexible for the surprises and still go the extra mile to make that boss in the mirror proud of our achievements.  Resting on yesterday’s achievements is not an option.

We all thought we could’ve been a pro-athlete, a world-renowned scientist or lead the symphony.  And some fulfilled those dreams while others came up short.  Why did it happen for them?  Were they just luckier?  No.  They were never satisfied with the bare minimum and worked as hard as they could to make their dreams come true. 

When I coached hockey at Lo-Ellen Park S.S., I used to always tell the boys, “the harder you work, the luckier you get.”  Or there’s another great saying, “hard work puts you where luck can find you.”  No one has ever said, “do as little as possible and just hope you get lucky”…..

Without a doubt, I wanted to be a pro-athlete as a kid and teenager.  And plenty of my friends made it.  I used to say to myself, “I’m just as good as them, if not better”.  But I was only comparing my game time performance against theirs.  I was a good player, but I was completely missing the work ethic required outside of game time to stay a step ahead of the field.  I was nowhere near the level of commitment behind the scenes that they were putting in and the outcome is easy to see now.  While I was impressing everyone with my party skills, they were surpassing me by working harder and grinding out that extra mile to make it. 

When I decided to become a Realtor®, I looked back on “what could’ve been” from my visions of my pro-athlete lifestyle hopes and quickly realized that my bare minimum, "only show up for game time" approach, would never let me achieve my greatest success.

It’s always more fun to say, “that was worth it” or “I couldn’t possibly have done more” than it is to say, “if only I had worked a little harder yesterday”.

Doing the bare minimum rarely gets lucky, but hard work and good habits always seem to find good luck.

Our team works hard and never relies on luck to get things done.  If you'd rather have your major real estate investments handled through hard work and dedication instead of leaving the results up to lucky or not, we're here to help today be a success for you!  Never hesitate to reach out to us at to see how we can help.  You can also check out all our other great blog topics here and browse are website for tons of great info on buying or selling in Greater Sudbury and surrounding areas.

Contributed by:

Steve Caswell

Cell - 705.561.8767


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries.  For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact us immediately at


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