Friday, December 8, 2023 | The Latest Buzz for the Appraisal Industry

Dig Your Well While You Are Thirsty

Steve Jobs, Blaine Feyen, Warren Buffet, and Ernie Ramos walk into a bar… What are these four doing together? Well, they certainly didn’t go to the bar because they were thirsty. Maybe they just met up to chat, because each of these people have learned to live by an important principle: dig your well before you’re thirsty. Blaine Feyen talks about this axiom on his own podcast, and the other three are great examples of this. Although Steve Jobs was a bit of a different human being, he was a visionary. He could see what people wanted before they could see what they wanted. When he created the iPod, people thought he was crazy since it wasn’t a market need. So, he prepared the market and then produced the need and the product. Warren Buffett has learned how to read the market so well that he knows where it is going before it actually goes there.





Most of us have heard the axiom, “Dig your well before you’re thirsty.” In other words, be pro-active, not re-active. Prepare for the lean times while it is still busy. Some of the most successful people in the world are people who are good at this. Ultimately, digging your well before you’re thirsty denotes a proactive outlook on life; that before you have a need, you have a way to fill it. You are preparing for the future by acting today. This can be a difficult mindset to achieve since so many of us live in the land of being reactive to opportunities and to life. If you are living reactively, then the point you decide to do something is after something else happens. This is the way a lot of the world works, and every single one of us inevitably fits in this box more often than we would like. Even those who are truly successful aren’t proactive 100% of the time, but with the major things, on a high level, those who are proactive about making decisions before they happen tend to be the more successful bunch.

The appraisal volume has slowed down. I know, shocker! Maybe you think you are too late, that you missed the boat. You look at Warren Buffett’s story and say, “Well, I should have prepared my business and built up my clientele when I could have.” Maybe you feel like you have to miss out on an opportunity because you heard the phrase, ‘dig your well before you’re thirsty,’ and you were thirsty a long time ago, and by now you’re more than parched. Hang tight—in a recent interview with Ernie Ramos, he said that it’s not just about digging your well before you’re thirsty; you can dig your well WHILE you are thirsty. If you are still standing and you have enough energy to do something, do it. If you want things to change, don’t you dare sit back and say the days of digging your well are over. They are not. You can start today.

Many of us get stuck thinking that if we didn’t dig our well before we needed it, it’s too late now. There are too many other appraisers knocking at the door. It is not too late! It is never too late. If you haven’t started marketing yet; if you haven’t gone out and hired some extra help; if you’ve found yourself floundering with too much work (or not enough); go out and do what needs to be done to fix it. In this endeavor, you might need to reframe your vision and set some new goals. You will need to take action, invest, sacrifice, and work hard. It’s important to understand what the market can and can’t do, but it’s more important to position yourself now and act as if it will come back. The market might be slow right now, but a downward sweep will eventually climb back up. And when it does, you will be prepared because you have been digging your well. Those individuals who prepare in advance are realistically much more likely to be successful than those on the other side of the table, and you will be walking in with that advantage.

There was a man in one of the Dream Team Mastermind groups that I run who came to the meeting with some lofty goals last autumn. Honestly, I was skeptical. I didn’t know if it would actually happen. But you know what? He left that meeting and worked his fingers to the bone (60+ hours a week) to make his goals a reality. He spent his extra time working toward his goals. When he came back three months later, he had taken serious action on private appraisal work – and produced results. We were all dumbfounded. He didn’t give up, even when he thought that he perhaps hadn’t acted early enough. He went out anyway, and made things happen.

So, when are you digging your well? To those of you who dug it long before you needed it, my hat goes off to you. That is an important and sometimes difficult thing to learn. To those of you who think you probably should have started digging a year ago, remember: it’s never too late. You can still dig a well while you’re thirsty. Now, go create some value!

Mark Buhler

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