business

Business lessons from Pigpen and the rest of the Peanuts cast

March 18, 2014
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pigpen Business lessons from Pigpen and the rest of the Peanuts cast

What Is Pigpen Syndrome?

I’m no psychologist, but I’ve noticed a syndrome of sorts that attacks entrepreneurs and real estate professionals alike. I’ve titled it Pigpen Syndrome, after the adorable Peanuts character whose dirt and dust was always swirling around him. Wherever Pigpen goes, the air is dirty.

All sorts of folks – especially people who run their own show – have ups and downs in their lives, good days and bad. But some people leave their problems at home and “put on a happy face”; you’d never know if things are good are bad or whether they had the dust of countless ages swarming around them. Those folks have positive energy and that energy sends an uplifting messages to prospective clients and customers.

bar Business lessons from Pigpen and the rest of the Peanuts cast
There’s another group—the Pigpens—who may be physically clean, but they pollute the air with their dirty energy. You know who they are: they complain about everything, they resist change, and they always harken back to the days of yore saying that those were better, richer days.



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To be as successful as you can in anything that you do, there’s no question that you need to stay away from that “dirty energy” which is commonly associated with Pigpen.

Business Lessons from Charlie Brown

Since we are talking about the old Peanuts cartoons, I’d be remiss if we didn’t look at the character traits of some of the other characters and how they serve to teach us important business and life lessons.

  1. Charlie Brown  If nothing else, Charlie Brown is resilient; he never gives up. Whether he has lost his millionth game of checkers or whether he is standing waiting for that simple Valentine to finally be delivered to his mailbox, he just doesn’t give up. Not only that but he is also extremely loyal to his friends and patient with his sister—all great qualities in real estate professionals.
  2. Lucy While she may be prone to a few fits, Lucy is most well known for the 5-cent advice and her political awareness. You too need to be aware of the world around you, including politics, and how any economic or technological changes might impact your ability to succeed.
  3. Linus  This guy is the voice of reason for his peers. He spoke softly and carried a blanket (in contrast with the ideology of President Theodore Roosevelt). He ignores the mockery of disbelievers when he believes in the Great Pumpkin, and is resolute as he continues to focus on his personal beliefs. When attempting to meet your goals, this unwavering attitude is a huge plus.
  4. Peppermint Patty  An athlete and a leader, Peppermint Patty is up for any challenge. However, she struggles with academics. For Peppermint Patty, life is hard, but athletics is easy. Not everything comes easily to everyone, and that gentle reminder and the message that the best things are worth fighting for is shown to us through Patty.
  5. Snoopy  This Beagle is creative and confident. He writes the great American novel, he plots revenge, and he travels to the moon. He’s a lesson that we can be anything that we want to be; we just have to put our mind to it and get moving to achieve our results. After all, if a dog can write a book, think what you can achieve.

Business lessons abound in everything we do. The first step to success is to keep that dirty energy at the door—to not be like Pigpen. When you can get rid of that negativity either in yourself of in those around you, it will be easier to achieve success and meet your goals. Like Lucy, that’s just my 5 cents.

Melissa Zavala is the Broker/Owner of Broadpoint Properties and Head Honcho of Short Sale Expeditor®, and Chief Executive Officer of Transaction 911. Before landing in real estate, she had careers in education and publishing. Most recently, she has been able to use her teaching and organizational skills while traveling the world over—dispelling myths about the distressed property market, engaging and motivating real estate agents, and sharing her passion for real estate. When she isn’t speaking or writing, Melissa enjoys practicing yoga, walking the dog, and vacationing at beach resorts.