Comedian George Carlin had a colorful career, winning five Grammy Awards.  He was known for tackling taboo topics and sharing his thoughts on politics, the English language, psychology, religion and various other thought provoking subjects.  One of his famous quotes was:  “Some people think of the glass as half full. Some people think of the glass as half empty.  I think of the glass as too big.”  

Many of us facing challenges and changes in our business often like to use the first part of the quote -- is the glass half full or half empty -- as a driver to analyze the situation and develop our strategy for the future. 

For some of us that can’t adjust and adapt, the glass is half empty.  They perceive the changing environment as a threat.  Others who adjust and adapt, often thrive and prosper as they view the challenges and changes as an Opportunity.  For them the glass is half full. 

Part of developing a strategic plan is to assess the Opportunities and Threats.  These are part of your SWOTS – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  Whether you are the CEO of a mortgage company, branch manager or a loan officer, analyzing the Opportunities and Threats is an important aspect in developing your plan and being successful. 

In the last 12-18 months our industry has been turned upside down.  There’s been a liquidity crisis, a transfer of ownership of the GSEs to the government, an increase in loan amounts for FHA, a tightening of credit standards, an increase in regulatory scrutiny and many more changes.  It seems monthly, if not weekly, something new is announced that impacts the industry. 

As a mortgage industry participant, what critical game changing Threats are facing you this year.  What new Opportunities can you exploit as a result of all the changes?  How do you propose to adjust, adapt and thrive this coming year? 

George Carlin may be right.  Maybe the glass is too big and the glass is neither or half full or half empty. I believe there are always new Opportunities and the glass is always half full.