As France continues to celebrate winning the World Cup in soccer, our son Jackson and thousands of other high school athletes have begun training for their upcoming fall sports seasons.  Jackson and I have been up at Wainwright Fields every Sunday night this summer overseeing a weekly pick-up game and we’ve been joined by Gabby, some girls and boys from SPHS teams along with a few recent graduates and old Dads, too. Spending time at Wainwright has brought back many memories of Gabby and Jackson playing soccer in South Portland.

Remember Soccer Magic? Our kids’ first exposure to organized soccer in So Portland. When Gabby was five and Jackson three, we’d go to Wainwright every Saturday and have a great morning doing soccer drills and playing. What a great program for our kids here. Then there was South Portland Rec Soccer. There were teams, goals and actual games! This was like the World Cup to us!

I noticed a bunch of boys in Jackson’s age group that were very good, so I made some calls and started a team with the SP Strikers. What a great year we had.  We brought together a bunch of rag tag kids and within a few weeks we had them playing really good soccer. It was so much fun to coach them and watch them grow as players and as a team.

After a great first year, a phenomenal year followed.  We had enough kids in Jackson’s age group to form 2 teams!  With 20 players, our practices started being a lot more formal. We incorporated team rules which we would go over during our warm ups and when we stretched; (1) Say thank you to your Mom or Dad, (2) Be on Time, (3) Respect the officials and other players, (4) Do your homework and work hard during practice, (5) Have Fun.

During Jackson’s 6 years as a Striker these rules followed our team. They were simple rules but very important to a team’s dynamic and in working with kids.  My last year as a Striker coach the board of directors for the Strikers would not allow us to have the rules as it wasn’t a Striker policy.  Even today I still scratch my head… we all need rules!

So here is the real estate twist… we have the same rules in business!  Every day I use the same rules! (1) We say thank you to our clients or to those that help us.  We send out personally written thank you notes and actually mail them! (2) If I don’t show up on time, I don’t get the job.  You have to be on time. (3) In working in real estate, you have to respect your other real estate agents and their clients. Even though they are trying get the best deal for “them” and you’re trying to get the best deal for your clients.  You have to have respect and work together. (4) You have to do your homework. Study the market and know everything about the market and be ready for it to change. You have to work hard in business. If I wait by the phone hoping you will call, you won’t.  I have to market our services, send out newsletters, do Facebook videos, calls to my past clients and sphere of influence, I have to keep working hard. (5) And let’s not forget you have to have fun. This business is very stressful but every day we have fun!  If you don’t have fun in what you do, find a way to have fun. For us, this could even mean chicken-sitting when your clients go away! We love chickens here, and I know I’ll have fun feeding and talking with them!


Say Thank You.  Be on Time. Respect people.  Do your homework and work hard.  Have fun. I love rules!