By Jamie Gorski

Why do winners win? How do you become a self-made winner?

Winners work hard at learning from other winners. It is up to you to learn from these examples and become a self-made winner. Here’s what I’ve learned from other winners.

1.    Persistence

“Keep on going and the chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you least expect it.  I have never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down.”  – Charles F. Kettering, Vice President of General Motors

Winners refuse to see obstacles as one solid barrier, but as a combination of small hurdles.  This positive outlook allows them to develop higher levels of persistence and to tap their inner strength leading to greater degrees of success.

Who in this industry typifies this persistence?  Tami Siewruk who created her own opportunities and launched a marketing company that literally changed our industry.

2.    Attitude

“Nothing can stop the person with the right mental attitude from achieving his/her goal:  nothing can help the person with the wrong mental attitude.”  – Thomas Jefferson

Positive spirit precedes positive results.  Winners assume the mental attitude that it is impossible to fail.   Losers often judge their efforts with pessimistic reasoning instead of reinforcing their efforts with optimistic hope.

Who in our business typifies this positive outlook?  Anne Sadovsky, whose positive spirit enabled her to find solutions to challenges and allowed her to tear down barriers to emerge as a major player in our industry.

3.    Effort

“The kind of people I look for to fill top management spots are eager beavers, the mavericks.  These are the people who try to do more than they’re expected to do – they always reach.”  – Lee Iacocca, Chrysler Chairman

Winners know that without extra effort it is impossible to win.  Extra effort does not always mean you have to work harder than anyone else.  Extra effort can come from working smarter, not harder.

Who exemplifies this better than Bill Norwell, Senior Vice President of Draper & Kramer?  Bill not only works harder than anyone else, he works smarter, holding on to his vision and creating unheard of opportunities.

4.    Courage

“To be courageous requires no exceptional qualifications, no magic formula, no special combination of time, place, and circumstance.  It is an opportunity that sooner or later is presented to us all.”  – John F. Kennedy

The famous football coach Vince Lombardi once told his team courage equals mental toughness.  Martin Luther King saw courage as “… an inner resolution to go forward in spite of obstacles and frightening situations.”

Who in our industry demonstrates courage?  Mindy Williams, President of Let’s Party, a resident retention company, had the courage to be creative and to bring her big idea to life.

5.    Competition

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”  – Theodore Roosevelt

Winners realize competition is the only way to get better, to get tougher, and to taste the sweetness of success.  Avoiding competition means you will never find out how good you truly are.

Jennifer Nevitt, President & founder of Bravo Strategic Marketing, knows that you cannot prove you are the best unless you have competition.  Jennifer Nevitt is motivated by competition allowing her to reach challenging goals and to accomplish the impossible.

6.    Adversity

“Success grows out of struggles to overcome difficulties.  If there were no difficulties, there would be no success.”  – Samuel Smiles, Author

B.   F. Skinner, the noted psychologist once suggested the way to look at failure:  “A failure is not always a mistake; it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances.  The real mistake is to stop trying.”

Adversity is nothing more than a wake-up call for creativity.  Several individuals in our industry have overcome difficulties leading them to succeed.  Toni Blake, President of Blake Productions, Anne Sadovsky of Anne Sadovsky & Company, and Dana Fox Lynde, Idea Broker, to name a few.

7.    Gratitude

“There is as much greatness of mind in acknowledging a good turn as in doing it.”  – Seneca

Cicero stated “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but he parent of all the other.”

My first entry into this business began on a small community, located in a difficult neighborhood in Baltimore.  My husband and I, expecting our first child, had recently moved form Ohio to Maryland for his new job.  Unfortunately, the company my husband worked for dissolved shortly after our move.  We were in the frightening position of no jobs or income.  As we began our search for employment, I informed all the employers of my pregnancy.  None were willing to take a chance on hiring me because of this – until I interviewed with a small management company.  I was given a job as a groundsperson in a garden apartment community.  I continued my career in property management through positions as leasing consultant, assistant manager, manager, director of marketing, marketing analyst, and vice president.

I do truly realize that without the assistance and guidance of others I would not be in my present position today.  I am grateful to those of you mentioned in this article, and to Jeff and Ashley Gorski, Nancy Brown, Chris Cole, Kim and Sue Haggerty, John Kurtz, Jim and Beth Montrella, Scott Sterling, Mara Tripp, Lisa Trosien, Alex Welker, Nancy Whitney, and Debbie Whitt.

The lessons on why winners win are easy to understand.  They are hard to put into practice – but not impossible.  Among the many, many rewards are higher success.  Reach for it!

Jamie Gorski is Senior Vice President, Corporate Marketing for The Bozzuto Group where she provides strategic marketing direction for the entire company, overseeing all advertising, marketing and public relations efforts for each of Bozzuto’s six integrated companies – Acquisitions, Construction, Development, Homebuilding, Land Development and Property Management. Jamie brings more than 25 years of multifamily marketing experience to Bozzuto, including five years as chief marketing officer for Kettler.  Prior to Kettler, she served as vice president of marketing for Archstone-Smith and for Charles E. Smith Residential. Jamie’s expertise includes strategic planning, brand development, standards implementation, Internet marketing and statistical market analysis.  She has extensive experience overseeing major initiatives such as redeveloping corporate web sites and re-imaging campaigns and is an expert in advancing advertising and collateral and in improving corporate and site-specific visual identities. Jamie has won numerous marketing awards, including 30 Pillars of the Industry Awards from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).  She received a B.S. in mathematics from Ohio State University, where she was captain of the swim team, a Big Ten Champion and an NCAA National finalist.  Jamie and her family reside in Annapolis, Maryland.