Six Guns, Real Estate and Tortilla Soup

on January 24, 2011
So, last night I was having dinner with my wife and our two children at Chuy’s in Coolsprings (best tortilla soup I’ve ever had, by the way). We are half way through our meal when I look at the table next to us and there is a guy dressed like an extra from the set of Tombstone. He had on a giant weathered cowboy hat (think Texas Rangers circa 1836 not Kenny Chesney), a leather vest, bandana, boots and a massive walrus mustache that made Wilford Brimley look like Justin Beiber.

I pointed him out to my 3 year old little girl who couldn’t help but stare. I couldn’t either, so I got out of my chair and walked over to him. “Excuse me, sir. My daughter is pretty amazed by your mustache…would you mind looking over there and waiving? She’d love it.”

He lit up. “SURE! I’d love to. Hey, you want a picture?!” To which he reached in his shirt pocket and had a business card in my hand within a second. His card would explain his outfit, right?… A wild west actor? Rodeo promoter? He does birthday parties?

Nope.

Ron G. Creative Title and Escrow.
“We shoot straight and aim to please!”

There was a large photo of him in front of a log cabin in full cowboy regalia brandishing two un-holstered six-guns. Turns out he wasn’t in costume. That’s what he wore everyday without a hint of irony. Ah-mazing. Over the next hour we watched as six other people approached him and every one walked away with one of his cards.

I’ve thought about Ron a lot over the last 12 hours. I was sure there is a pretty good lesson to be learned from him. Here’s what I think…

You know what Ron’s outfit had to do with Real Estate? Not a thing. What it did do, however, was distinguish him from the Title and Escrow pack. In a one hour period he gave out six business cards. In the course of a day, who knows how many times he is approached. Now, I know as well as you that dressing like you’re from Lonesome Dove isn’t a credibility builder in the urban Title and Escrow market; but I’d bet dollars to donuts that a lot of folks in rural Tennessee find someone like Ron G. endearing. I’d also bet he’s built a healthy business from all the cards he’s handed out to those people. Why? Because he believes his shtick 100% and he’s memorable. Sure, it’s corny, but I now know Ron G’s name and his card is sitting on my desk. If I were in his target demographic, guess who’d be doing my title and escrow work next time around?

The deeper point that I’m trying make is this: True greatness does not happen because of the status quo, it happens in spite of it. Great companies are established, movements are launched and markets are changed when people quit worrying about looking ridiculous, merge their passions and vision with their gifts and throw their entire being behind a good idea.The fact is, there has never been a success of any sort without someone distinguishing themselves from the herd. No, I’m not suggesting you need to dress like a cowboy or grow a fur boomerang over your top lip, but I am suggesting that a successful career or campaign involves risk; the kind of risk that pushes against the status quo in the right ways. I’m pretty confident Ron G. isn’t building the next real estate empire, but you have to tip your hat to him (10 gallon or not). He’s going for it and we can all learn a little something from his eccentricity.