Obstacle Course

Sooner or later, it happens to all of us. The best of us, the worst of us, and every one of us in between. It’s unavoidable. It’s inevitable. It’s unescapable. It’s coming for us, and there’s really nothing we can do about it. Eventually, we’ll all hit the wall in our jobs.

hitting the wall in our home inspection business

No matter how hard we work, no matter how dedicated we are, no matter how much we love what we do for a living, we’ll all be faced, one day, with a letdown. It may be something we’re responsible for; maybe a mistake we made or an oversight on our part. It could be something totally out of our control; maybe we end up with a piece of shit house or a client (or agent or home seller) that’s mad at the world and looking to take it out on us. Or it may just be a random event, the universe reminding us that, hey, don’t forget, you’re not the one in charge here!

Whatever the situation may be, one day we’re going to wake up and realize that this day, this particular house, or this specific personal interaction is not shaping up like we thought it would.

One day, life is gonna crap in our cornflakes.

Disappointment is simply a part of life, and our career is certainly included in our life. We are going to experience frustration over the course of our career. There’s really no way around it. Unless, of course, we really don’t try to do anything.

To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.

Elbert Hubbard

None of us every really knows what the future holds in store for us. We can plan, we can scheme, we can hope, and we can pray, but without a crystal ball, we can never be 100% certain about our fate. The only thing that we know for sure about the future is that sooner or later we’re going to get dumped on.

Armed with this knowledge about our future, the guarantee that something bad is bound to happen, the question then becomes, what are we going to do about it? We know that, sooner or later, we’re going to be faced with a difficult situation. How are we going to react to this stress? Do we simply wait for the unpleasantries to begin before we counter? Do we start forming a game plan now, or simply wait until we’re staring down our demons?

Right about now you may be asking, how the hell am I supposed to respond to a theoretical future problem when I don’t even know what the problem is going to be? While that’s certainly an important point, the fact is that while setbacks come in all shapes and sizes, there is certainly a common theme that runs through all our difficult situations. Every time we deal with a P.O.S. house, a home buyer with a personality disorder, a seller trying to cover up their last 15 years of homeownership without spending a dollar on home maintenance, or an agent that’s looking to fatten her bank account no matter the collateral damage, we know that we’re going to be stressed out.

No one likes to be in these situations, riddled with anxiety as we try our best to make things go right. But the reality is that these situations are simply part of the job; the cost of doing business it’s often called. No matter how good we are, how carefully we curate our list of agents, or how exclusive we try to keep our clientele, sometimes there’s going to be a turd in the punchbowl.

The manner in which we deal with these obstacles determines where we’re going to end up in our career.

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.

Henry Ford

As a professional home inspector, we’re expected to deal with a lot of different situations. The condition of the property, the maturity of the home buyer, the honesty of the home seller, and the experience level of the real estate agent all play a part in how our job is going to go. Sometimes things work in our favor, but other times they don’t. Unfortunately, we don’t always get to choose who we’re working with. We hope that we’re always working with the best, but sometimes we’re stuck with the worst.

Regardless of the situation we find ourselves in, we’ve got to remember one thing: we’ve got to be true to the house. Do our inspection, write what we see, and explain what we write. If we find that we’re stuck with a crappy house or dealing with a person we wish would’ve gotten locked in their bathroom that morning instead of making it to the inspection, we’ve still got a job to do. Whatever we find ourselves faced with, it’s simply another obstacle that we’ve got to work around.

home inspectors conquering an obstacle in their career

Being prepared for the variety of situations that we’re going to encounter as a professional inspector is a tall task, but it does get easier the longer we’re in the game. And that can certainly help out when we find ourselves faced with one of those obstacles.

And if everything and everyone turns out to be peachy, then that’s just a bonus, isn’t it?

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Thanks, Joe

pic of me, Joseph Cook Jr, home inspector