A Stand Up Guy

Dated: August 19 2019

Views: 290

I’m in the middle  of reading a biography of Elon Musk by Ashlee Varge, (2015 Harper Collins). I had to put my Kindle down this morning  to pen my weekly email. Generally, I write about something that is top of mind from the previous week, a lesson I’ve learned, an idea that gelled, or an experience I want to  share. Right now, I’m learning more about this fascinating man and why so many people admire him. And as I tend to do, I am relating these things to my business and life.    Elon is what my friends and I would call a “stand up guy”.   Elon Musk, however,  has added a depth to this expression that really adds a new dimension to the label. Elon Musk is a stand up guy with a vision that  surpasses most  mortals.  

Before I get to Musk and his vision, let’s talk a bit about promises and commitment.  Promises are a great deal easier to make than commitments. A commitment is an action taken in support of a promise,  a vision, or a goal.  People who are not “stand up” make promises that fall when resisted by predictable obstacles;  obstacles like work, too much effort, or third-party influences like faulty alarm clocks. True commitments, however,  over-ride short term obstacles and stand tall over time.

People that prove, over the long term, that they keep promises and make commitments build integrity and a reputation of reliability. You and I both know who those people are in our lives. These are the people that we count on. “If he says he will be there, he will be there,” might be heard about those people.  People like this are important to me and I respect them.  I seek them out in my real estate business and am drawn to them.

I’m also drawn to people with a vison, people like Elon Musk and indeed the founder of EXP Realty like Glenn Sanford.  If I understand the vision of someone, I can better understand their ability to commit to a task at hand. These people will be guided by an overriding sense of the steps that are needed  to achieve their goal.  Goal driven people tend  build principles by which they will use to make decisions in their life and business.  If I understand their principals, I understand what I can ask them to commit to and I will have a pretty good idea if they will perform.

I can’t ask someone to promise to do something unless I know their vision, or I know they understand and support mine.

Now back to Elon Musk’s vision.  According to Ashlee Vange,  “Musk wants to….well… save the human race from self-imposed or accidental annihilation”.   


In order to accomplish this Musk has committed to accomplishing what others believe is the impossible:  Colonize Mars, Tunnel under the earth, Make an all elective car. When you understand the depth of his vision and his commitments to achieving his vision you better understand the man’s drive and what he might appreciate in others.  He has great respect for people that stand up under adversity for what  they believe in.

Once you understand Musk’s vision, you will also understand what he is a “stand up guy” for. Likewise if you understand the vision of someone you will understand what they can and cannot commit to, unless you and can be certain they understand, and will support, your vison.

Glenn Sanford’s vision for  EXP Realty may be less ambitious but understanding his vision is just as helpful when making decisions about the future of the real estate brokerage business in his world.  If a proposed plan does not support the vision, its success is not likely. Sanford also ignored the naysayers about a virtual reality, cloud-based business just as the naysayers told Musk an all electric car was an impossibility.  Now other visionaries are applying Sanford’s virtual concepts path to the insurance industry, education, and other international businesses that can benefit from the infinite scalability of virtual growth and  collaboration. They are turning promises into commitments without the confines of bricks and mortar walls.

Integrity is built, not declared.    Integrity is built not by promises, but by promises turned into commitments, and, over time, prove integrity.

Be a stand up guy(girl).


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Gregg Fous

Real estate has been my passion since I took my first Al Lowery class on real estate investing in the 1970’s. I vowed during that class that I would buy one property a year. Over the next five ....

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