“The best revenge is massive success.” –Frank Sinatra
CNBC’s co-host of The Deed, Sean Conlon, has a “typical” rags-to-riches story. The Irish immigrant worked a five dollar-an-hour janitorial job while breaking into the highly competitive Chicago real-estate market. Working one-hundred-hour weeks, developing a nasty ulcer because of his dogged attention to detail, and coming up with a new formula for developing and selling commercial real estate netted Conlon $55 million in sales four years after putting down his broom. But that’s not what is “atypical” about Sean Conlon.
The real-estate business is acutely cutthroat and getting the shaft on commissions is not uncommon. According to Conlon he’s been on the ethical underside of deals thousands of times. One particular time he showed a “for sale by owner” house to a client just because he thought the house might fit the client’s needs. Come to find out the house was owned by a real-estate broker. The client bought the house, and Conlon gets stiffed on the commission. Conlon let the slight go and adopted the philosophy of:
Don’t put all of your energy into trying to get them back. Keep winning. Get up and go back at it every day.
Professional malice does you no favors. The effort you spend seething only hurts you. In fact, it’s been said that failing to forgive is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
As for Conlon, six years later his company worked a deal with the broker who had not cut him a commission check years earlier. Conlon was looking over the deal’s paperwork, recognized the broker’s name, and shaved his commission accordingly for the six-year-old slight. Your own personal success is the best revenge you can ever exact.
Don’t Drink the Poison!: Accelerators
- Against whom do you hold a grudge or hard feelings that have proven difficult for you to overcome? What were the offenses that caused the grudge(s)?
- What success(es) would be the greatest, most constructive “revenge” you could have in those situations?
- Develop and implement a plan to make those successes a reality. Once you start working on the plan, make a decision to forgive and forget those past offenses.