Don’t Do It For The Trophy

Last month marked the end of basketball season for my daughter’s 2nd grade team. League rules request we nominate Most Valuable and Most Inspirational Players, and those are the only two players who receive trophies. Many of the players, including Maddison, were disappointed at not receiving trophies and I can say I understood where they were coming from. Many moments in children’s lives include awards, praise, and ceremonies for rather ordinary milestones (kindergarten “graduation,” for example). My words to the disgruntled players were, “we don’t play basketball for a trophy. We play because we love the game.” I’m not sure if my words sunk deep with them but they did so with me the very next day. Ironically enough, I was in their exact shoes at a work luncheon and was reminded why we don’t do things to get trophies.

Every year, the Sacramento Association of REALTORS recognizes Masters Club members, agents who close more than $3.5 million in transaction volume in a calendar year. This is a distinction many agents wear proudly and I was honored to be a part of the 2013 Class. An awards luncheon at the Hyatt downtown sounded like a great date opportunity for my wife and me. We purchased two tickets and looked forward to receiving my plaque. We arrived on-time but the place was already packed with well over 500 people. We ran into many colleagues and friends but no open seats; it was impossible to find two spots together. Everyone sat down as the program commenced; Mary and I stood in the corner peering for chairs. It became clear to me that instead of getting a trophy today I was going to get standing-room only treatment.  After a few minutes of circling the perimeter of the room I looked at Mary and suggested, “Ella?”

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The Hyatt was a popular place that day!

We abandoned the luncheon just after the pledge of allegiance. We walked a couple of blocks and had an amazing lunch at Ella under the warm spring sun and spoke of some rather important life-changing decisions (more on that in a future post). It was an absolutely perfect day, a day that reminded me of what are the real fruits of my labor. I don’t love my career for the trophies and accolades, but rather working with people I care about, helping clients who value my service and the opportunity every now and then to have a date with Mary in the middle of the day.

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Enjoying a quiet, private lunch outside at Ella Dining Room!!!

I’m sure my Masters Club plaque is waiting for me at the association’s office, but I’m in no rush to go pick it up. After all, I didn’t do it for the trophy.  

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