Courtesy of Tom Collins - Wine Country Master Potter -Napa Valley, CA

Have you ever contemplated becoming a master at marketing luxury real estate? This is what every market leader in every luxury marketplace has pondered before actualizing this attainment.   What is the standard for mastery? Is it consistently out-producing the closest competitor? Or, is it the consistent demonstration of artfully matching buyers and sellers and satisfying their express needs? However you measure the success of a master in your field, it ultimately comes down to the personal satisfaction of reaching your own self-defined standards.

Andre Agassi has won every major tennis tournament in the world. By all outward standards he is a true master of the game. Yet, he admits that he hates tennis because it was not his goal to become be a superstar.  Rather, he was pleasing others in his pursuit of becoming a champion.

When mastery is viewed as an inner game, one that involves the quest of your personal passion, it takes on an entirely different meaning.  From this perspective, success is measured only by your own standards of excellence regardless of the criticism or praise that is bestowed upon you by others.  The real reward of mastery is the self-satisfaction that comes from actualizing your own self-determined values.

Much can be gleaned about the process of mastery by observing masters at work and also by viewing their masterpieces.  We were privileged to study with the Wine Country master potter, Tom Collins, when we lived in the area.  It was one of the most gratifying experiences of our life.  We consider the ownership of some of Tom’s pieces to be among our most cherished possessions.  

Pottery is both an art form and utilitarian objects. When we serve pasta we usually serve it in a bowl that either Tom has crafted or we made under his tutelage. When not using these objects they are on display for us to enjoy as art.

Tom recently sent us this photo (above) of one of his latest works which we consider to be one of his masterpieces.  We have seen dozens of his pieces. Yet, the glazing of this one in particular is, in our opinion, truly outstanding.  This piece is on display at the prestigious Beatrice Woods Center of the Arts in Ojai, California.

To play the inner game of marketing luxury real estate, find a niche within your marketplace that you can pursue with passion and set your own standards of excellence.  Derive satisfaction not from the praise of others, but from yourself as you incrementally become masterful at what you do.  When others shower you with accolades, accept them graciously.  But, consider them to be confirmations of what you already know about yourself.


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