Of Selling Loans And Selling Dreams

As human beings, work is very important to us. We place a great amount of emphasis on what we do for a living. Now, the cynic would chalk this truth up to modern-day Capitalism. We’re so focused on work, because we’re a materialistic, status-driven culture. But that’s simply not true. The importance of work is deeply embedded in human nature.

People have been identified by their professions for as far back as we have written records. In the Bible, we are told that “Abel was a keeper of the sheep” and that “Cain was a tiller of the ground.” We know little else about them, but we do know that Abel was a shepherd and that Cain was a farmer. In the Middle Ages, Geoffrey Chaucer’s classic text The Canterbury Tales, was written as a collection of stories based around what people do for a living, containing sections such as “The Miller’s Tale,” “The Cook’s Tale,” and “The Physician’s Tale.” Think about any famous person in history and, chances are, one of the first things that will come to mind is what they did for a living. Michelangelo was an artist. Dickens was a writer. Edison was an inventor. We know people by their work.

Today, when you meet someone new, what is the first thing you ask about them. You’ll probably want to know the person’s name, but then what? If you’re like me, you’ll most likely want to know what they do for a living. It seems naturally for us to introduce ourselves in this way. “My name is Dave, and I am a consultant.” We spend nearly half of our waking hours working, most of the people we encounter in life will be encountered through our work, and — after we’re gone — most people will likely remember us in the context of what we did professionally. I think I’ve made my case — work matters.

People of all professions today approach their work with varying perspectives. Some people are ashamed of what they do, and others are proud of it. If you ask one attorney what he does for a living, he may mutter quietly under his breath that he is a lawyer — so as not to draw attention. Ask another attorney the same question, and he may loudly and confidently proclaim that he helps his clients get justice when they have nowhere else to turn. The same is true for all industries. And it is especially true in the mortgage business.

Are you proud of what you do, or are you ashamed of it? Like any profession, some people have negative associations with lenders. Some people can view the profession as exploitative — that mortgage lenders prey on the financially insecure. But, you could say the same for lawyers — that they prey on legal victims, or doctors — that they prey on the sick. You could say that about any profession — because all professions are based on people who lack something they need. As a mortgage lender, you could see yourself as an exploiter of peoples’ needs. Or, you could see yourself as giver of opportunities.

When you’re selling mortgages, you aren’t just selling loans; you’re selling dreams. You’re providing people an opportunity they would not otherwise have for owning a home. Families and entire communities are built around homes. Making home ownership possible is something worth taking pride in. There is no question that work is important to us as human beings. But, how important is your work to you. Is it just a paycheck? Or, do you see it as something greater? When you look at yourself in the mirror, are you proud of what you do? You should be. Because you truly are making the world a better place.

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