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Is It Time to “Pull the Tooth” In Your Real Estate Business?

by Ken Corsini on October 9, 2013 · 7 comments

Real Estate Business

Have you ever had a toothache that progressively got worse as you continued to ignore it? For some reason, many of us have learned to accept some level of pain as normal while allowing the condition to worsen. In the same way that the pain of a toothache can often go unaddressed for an uncomfortable amount of time, sometimes it’s also a person or situation in our business that we refuse to address as well.

Dr. Henry Cloud discusses the principle of “pulling the tooth” in his book “9 Things you Simply Must Do.” In short, Dr. Cloud discusses the tendency of most people to deal with pain rather than treat the root of the problem. He goes on to describe that successful people train themselves to deal with problem situations and people quickly, before they become a bigger problem.

Don’t Settle

In my business for example, I’ve had many relationships with vendors, contractors or even business partners over the years that were not optimum. Sometimes this involved a person that brought down the rest of the team by setting a negative tone. Sometimes it was an established business partner that simply wasn’t performing to the standard I had set for my business. Unfortunately, in most of these cases, I had subconsciously trained myself to deal with the pain and hassle of these shortcomings rather than addressing them head on.

For those people who tend to be loyal (to a fault) or non-confrontational, it can be hard to honestly assess people in your business that are causing some level of stress or pain. Sometimes we believe it’s less painful to live with the difficult person or situation rather than deal with the temporary pain of addressing the problem head on. Dr. Cloud would argue that successful people learn to eliminate the negative energy and influences around them on a regular basis … before they have an opportunity to do much damage.

Short Term Pain is Better than Long Term

While nobody likes the feeling of pulling a tooth, is the short term pain associated with this really worse than dealing with the negative effects of a long-term toothache? For many of us, it’s worth examining ourselves and our businesses to determine the negative influences and stressors that keep us from achieving our full potential.

Perhaps it’s time to confront that negative employee who is killing morale in your office. Or perhaps it’s time to part ways with the contractor who simply never brings a project in on time or on budget. Whatever your situation, I strongly urge you to examine these problem areas in your business and determine if and when it’s time to “pull the tooth.”

Photo: bryan

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon Vornholt October 9, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Ken –

What a great analogy. I have been guilty of this many times; the all consuming inclination to try to “fix someone” and make them fit into my business rather than admit they aren’t a fit, cut my losses and start again.

One thing you have to learn in business is when you go beyond the normal learning and adjustment periods with an employee (or even a vendor) there will come a time when you know deep down this relationship isn’t working. Rather than to continue to suffer you need to “man up” and make the hard decisions. That is so tough for some people. It was tough for me. But you are absolutely right. Choose the short term pain and move on. Great article!



Ken Corsini October 10, 2013 at 11:25 am

Thanks Sharon – I agree completely … after the normal adjustment period, sometimes you just know deep down a person isn’t a good fit for you business.


Kevin Yeats October 9, 2013 at 2:13 pm


This certainly would apply to the various freshman landlords (and landladies) who face their first eviction. BP has numerous posts on that topic.


Ken Corsini October 10, 2013 at 11:26 am

Kevin – good point. Sometimes pulling the tooth means evicting that tenant that never pays on time and always has an excuse for why the rent is late.


Roy N. October 9, 2013 at 8:51 pm


We just went through the uncomfortableness of severing the relationship with one of our longer term trades. I still do not know if his quality of work has slipped or if the pressure and pace we were operating under just wasn’t the right environment for him. I like the fellow, which didn’t make it any easier and, consequently, I let it go one probably one job longer than I should have.


Ken Corsini October 10, 2013 at 11:27 am

Roy – thanks for the post. I know how difficult it can be to part ways with a contractor you’ve used for a long time. However, your business will probably be better for it in the long run.


Shaun October 15, 2013 at 11:30 am

Great article.
I like that analogy. I think Kiyosaki used a similar one in a book. Not RDPD but one of the later ones.
It was like you get a tooth ache and you don’t feel good but it takes time and money to fix.
But it distracts you and you don’t do as well at work and miss time.
Eventually you lose your job.
Now you can’t pay your bills and lose your home.

Instead of taking care of it up front now you are unemployed, homeless AND your tooth still hurts.
(I’m sure I have some of the details from the book wrong)

Same idea of letting the little pain fester until it’s not small anymore.


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