teddy-roosevelt A friend of mine (a mortgage bank owner) sent me a great Teddy Roosevelt (TR) quote that he sent to his sales team as motivation during what are clearly tough times in the mortgage industry as a whole.

I will of course share the quote, but I want to mention a few of the things that made TR so amazing.


He overcame childhood illness by becoming a physical fitness fanatic, long before doing so became commonplace.

He dropped out of Columbia law school to successfully run for the New York State Assembly when he was only 23.

He lost his wife and mother on the same day in 1884 and left New York entirely to spend two years as a rancher and cowboy in North Dakota, despite having no experience doing either.

He returned from his exile to become a Civil Service Commissioner, NYC Police Commissioner, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Governor of New York, Vice President, and President of the United States.

Despite having no military experience, he took time out from his government service to volunteer to fight in the Spanish American War where he led his famous charge up San Juan Hill.

While doing all of that, he also found time to write 35 well-researched and well-regarded books.

He was also the youngest U.S. President ever, at age 42.

As President, he was even more accomplished, pushing through major trust-busting legislation (breaking up huge monopolies), initiating the completion of the Panama Canal, rebuilding the U.S. Navy, and setting aside millions of acres of public lands for national parks, among other things.

He also negotiated the end of the Russo-Japanese War in 1906 and won the Nobel Peace Prize as a result.

And finally, as another interesting aside, he was an animal lover and enthusiast. He kept an entire menagerie at the White House, including eight horses, numerous dogs, several cats, five guinea pigs, a one-legged rooster, a lizard, two kangaroo rats, a flying squirrel, a large Macaw, two parrots, a barn owl, a badger, five bears, a lion, a hyena, a wildcat, a coyote, a zebra, a lizard, a pig and a raccoon.

TR was one of the most motivated and accomplished men who has ever lived, and I highly recommend reading one of the many excellent TR biographies. This is one I enjoyed in particular: Mornings on Horseback


Lastly, here is the famous TR quote my friend shared: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

I love this quote b/c it embodies TR so much, as he never waited for all of his ducks to be in a row before taking action.

This is fantastic advice for all of us in sales of course. When slowdowns hit, many salespeople look for new competitive edges before taking action, or worse – they just sit on the sidelines and wait for market conditions to improve.

No matter how high rates are or how low inventory is, the key is to never stop reaching out to your database, never stop attending events, never stop volunteering, and to never stop trying.

This is advice we are all aware of but hopefully with TR as our inspiration, we will all follow it a little more.

Image courtsey of: Mashable.

Jay Voorhees
Founder/Broker | JVM Lending
(925) 855-4491 | DRE# 01524255, NMLS# 335646

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