Find Your Passion in What You Do (transcript)

field of spring grass and sunset

(Note–this is a transcript from a podcast I recorded earlier this year)

I want to talk about the popular and prevailing belief nowadays which is to find your passion, find out what gives you bliss and then make a living doing your passion.  There are tons of books, podcasts and coaching programs based on this philosophy.  I have read many of these books and listened to a number of these podcasts.  I feel they make interesting points but it is all very seductive and alluring.  You too can quit your job.  Write a blog daily in your pajamas which has 100,000 views monthly.  Become a life coach with a hundred clients.  Host a very popular podcast with thousands of downloads every day.  You can run an online business out of your house and be rich.

Well, I am here to tell you this is all wrong.  I strongly feel the so called experts espousing this belief that you must find your passion first and then work your passion are doing a huge disservice to you and me.  The experts say buy my book.  Buy my training course.  Follow me.  Look at me.  Have a good attitude.  Believe in yourself.  Then you too can be like me.  My point here is that a lot of these “experts” (and I have quotations around experts) are selling a fantasy.  They are selling a lifestyle which only a small minority of innately and truly gifted people can live.  The idealized life the experts sell sounds so good.  It is within our grasp as long we believe it is possible.  Each person can attain the passion led life and if you can’t do it then it’s your problem because I am doing it.

This is all wrong.  This is not how we live.  We are being sold a bill of goods.  I strongly believe this is the truth.  “Find Your Passion in what you are already doing.”  Our life and what we have is a gift.  This is the reality.

For example if I were to follow my passion then I would be sitting on a beach all day and watching the ocean.  I love watching the waves roll in one after the other, I love the smell of the salty air and the salt water, I love hearing the waves crash into the beach, I love watching the birds, I love searching the water for whales and dolphins.  I can’t make a living being a beach bum.

Currently I live in Colorado.  I am a Realtor.  Being a Realtor is a local job.  You can’t telecommute and be successful on a long term basis.  My wife has a good job.  Our two daughters are in middle and elementary school.  There is no way I can make a living or uproot my family to go live on a beach somewhere.  Well, some of you might say you can open a scuba diving business and take people on trips to exotic dive locations like Belize and the Caribbean islands.  But at my stage of life this is not practical nor a good idea to completely change careers so drastically.

For me living a passion led life like this doesn’t work.  I am already living my passion but I just have to be reminded of what I already have.  We all need a wake up call for our life and what we already have.

As I write this I am in India.  Our trip is two weeks long.  I miss my life.   I miss my job. I can’t believe I am writing this but I miss my routine.  The grass is not always greener.  I’m like George Bailey.  “Clarence, I want to live again. I want to live again.”  Once you lose what you have it makes you realize what a great life you had.  Life in India is hard.  I can’t do anything here like I can at home.  I am not living my true life.  A lot of people complain about their job.  Same thing in real estate.  I’ve heard it all and lived it for 12 years.  Buyers are liars.  Sellers never listen.  Lenders are always killing my deals.  And then the usual ups and downs of deals and contracts.  But I miss it all now since I am gone.  I do enjoy my work.  I get satisfaction from helping my clients.  You’ve heard me say many times before say how meaningful and fulfilling this career is being a Realtor.  My passion is what I do.  My work and life that I have is my passion.  I have already found it.  Maybe some of you have as well.

Why is my neighbor’s grass greener than mine?  Those people look so happy, they have everything, I want to be like them.  I want to be someone else.  I am not happy with who I am.  We all have to be honest and admit we all have had similar thoughts.

Why are we always searching for something better?  When what we already have is amazing.  Find joy and bliss in your life.  Enjoy whatever it is you are doing now.  Live in the moment.  Fully live your life.  Don’t complain about what you have.  Give thanks and appreciate your life.  You will be energized by the positive spirit of living your life rather than wanting something other people are selling to you.  Sometimes I feel it’s better to live our lives now without social media.  The noise of people selling to us through the virtual world is not real.  It’s not our life.  Why are we so addicted to these programs?  Be true to yourself.  Find out what is important to you, no one else.  Don’t be influenced by the experts trying to sell you their life.  Live your life.  Be strong.  Look within yourself and you will find strength.

Find your passion, be like me, blah, blah, blah.  Your passion is you.  Realize who you are and enjoy what you have already.  Yes, we can get better and we can always want more but do it on your own terms.  The passion and bliss of your life is doing and living your life.  This is such a meaningful and more fulfilling way of living your life.  Most of us are already working in a career or job which suits our talents, our skills and our desires.   Build on that.  Get better.  Improve your skills.  Fill your mind with quality rather than bs marketing.  Review who you are letting into your mind.  Be vigilant about who you are letting influence your life.

We need to produce results.  We need to add value in the marketplace.  We are paid for the results and value we bring to our company or our customers.

What about you?  How would you feel if you lost your current job?  Let’s say you were in a foreign land and you lost your routine of life.  It is a very interesting experience to have.  What I experienced was so surprising to me.  I thought I would be so happy getting away from my job and routine and yet it was the exact opposite.  I think visiting India and being so far away from my home and routine was life changing.  Going on a beach vacation for two weeks would not have had the same impact.  You have to completely lose who you are, what you have, and your life as you know it to experience how much you really love your life and what you do.  I think all of us fall into the trap of complaining. I hate this. I hate that.  My job sucks.  I hate my boss.  Blah, blah, blah.  Same as it ever was.  Don’t fall into this trap.  Remember who you are.  Appreciate your life.  Your family.  Your job. You chose it for a reason.  I know a lot of you who listen to this podcast are transitioning into real estate.  My advice to you is to make it happen sooner rather than later.  It is a great career and I will be here to help you along the way.  My best to you and I am so happy to bring my thoughts and feelings to you in this podcast.

In closing here I want you to seriously review and evaluate who you are letting influence you—your family, your friends, your co-workers.  The virtual world with all of the social media programs.  Let it go.  Read a book instead.  There are many great books of literature which I am sure you have not read yet.  Read a good book rather than spending an hour on Facebook.  I urge you to do this.  Go back and listen or re-listen to my podcast episode—“We Become What We Think About”—we become what we let into our mind.   Be strong and don’t let other people tell you how to live YOUR life.

Now I am back home.  We got back last week.  I see my life in a different way now.  I do appreciate all of the little things now.  I don’t complain now.  What I used to complain about before now I enjoy.  I lost it all when I was in India.  It sounds dramatic but it’s true.  I am very happy with who I am and I am blessed to live the life I have.  I wish the same for you.  Thank you.

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What I Learned After Podcasting for One Year

Podcast Microphone

 

Last week I finished up my last podcast for the month of May.  I completed my first year podcasting and it was a big success.  Thanks for all your help and support.  I recorded 56 episodes this past year and by the end I was finally getting the hang of it. I thought it would be helpful to share with you some of the big takeaways I learned after podcasting for one year.

  1. The Magic of Doing.  The more you do, the better you get but you have to start first.
  2. Don’t quit.  Even when it looks grim you have to stick with it because positive results only happen when you stay at it.  Persistence is such an underrated value nowadays.
  3. People Will Surprise You.  In an amazing way, so many people are willing to help and share their story, their secrets and help other people.
  4. Sound quality and excellent editing are the key ingredients of a successful podcast.
  5. When doing interviews it’s best to listen to your guests and ask questions based on the conversation rather than reading prepared questions.
  6. There is no one way to be successful.  Many paths to success.
  7. What do top Real Estate Agents have in common?  What can we learn from them?  Top Agents develop early on a competitive advantage and set themselves apart from the competition based on their previous work experience and/or life experience.
  8. What kind of Agent are you?  Hustle Agent?  Sphere Agent?  Internet Agent?  Farming Agent?
  9. What is the best way for individual Realtors to increase their annual gross commissions?  Figure out a way to increase their average sales price.
  10. Buy vs. Rent on the web?  Do you own your presence on the web?  Or are you renting through Facebook?  LinkedIn?  Twitter?  Buying Leads from a 3rd party?    Advertising on other websites?
  11. Are you building your own email list of potential customers?  Do you own your community?
  12. Proper Training and Mentoring for New Agents is the biggest value a Managing Broker and Trainer can provide to new Agents.
  13. I created a Top 20 List Guaranteed for Success for new Realtors.  Click for Podcast.
  14. My Passion is what I do.  I am not searching for it.  Look within, not without.
  15. Podcasting is a great way to build your brand—a great low cost marketing tool.
  16. Give me feedback on my podcast here:  The Honest Real Estate Agent Podcast Survey.

I enjoy podcasting.  My first year has been a huge success.  I have connected with many amazing people who have been guests on my show.  I have received a lot of great feedback from the listeners and I have created many new relationships with listeners who have emailed me.

Thanks for all your support.  I appreciate it.  Make sure to spread the word to other people in the real estate industry about my podcast—post a rating and review on iTunes as well.  I feel it’s the best podcast out there for new and aspiring Realtors.  “Yeah, well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”  (Movie?)

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Your Path to Success as a New Realtor

I have been studying intensely why some Real Estate Agents fail and others succeed.  I am here to help you succeed in your career.

This is the path for your success as a Realtor.

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  1. Six months savings in the bank to cover you at a minimum.  Twelve months would be ideal.
  2. Choose the right office to work for—most important criteria is make sure they have a good training and mentoring program for new Agents.  This is absolutely critical and one of the most important requirements for your success in your first two years.
  3. Be Honest.  This is so simple yet so hard for some people.  Be Honest with your customers.  Be Honest with your colleagues.  Be Honest with your manager.  Be Honest with your friends.  Be Honest with your family.  But most importantly, be Honest with yourself.
  4. Care about your customers.  Help your customer get what they want and need and in return you will get what you want and need.  Again, very simple but so hard for some people.  When you truly care about your customers they will know it.  They will value it.   They will share their story of how you helped them.  Be different and make a difference in the lives of your customers in a positive way.
  5. Start working right away.  Don’t be afraid.  Conquer your fear.  Call reluctance has killed many careers.  Don’t keep making excuses for not calling or getting in touch with your sphere, working floor or hosting Open Houses.  Just start doing it.  Make the calls.  Do the sales activities to get you in front of potential customers.  Don’t procrastinate.  Every minute that goes by in the beginning of your career when you’re not doing anything makes it so much harder for you to succeed.
  6. Preview–Preview–Preview:  Learn your inventory.  Local market expertise is a learned skill.
  7. Role play with your Managing Broker, Trainer or Colleagues to practice.  The only way you’re going to build confidence is by practicing.  You can learn from your mistakes with your colleagues so you’re ready once you’re face to face with new Clients.
  8. Identify your Competitive Advantage as a Realtor.  What sets you apart from the competition.
  9. Start hosting Open Houses right away.
  10. Commit to your career as a Realtor.  You are a professional.
  11. Put in the work!  This is a job based on showing up everyday at the office when you’re new.  Go to work at your office–don’t work from home!  Only a small percentage of new Agents do well working from home in their first year.  Dress professionally at the office, look the part.
  12. Start building your internet presence immediately with your blog/website.  Content marketing is a powerful tool to connect with new customers.
  13. Handwrite personal cards to friends and family letting them know about your new job as a Realtor.  Include at least five business cards in each note you send.
  14. Always remember to listen more than you talk when you meet new clients.  The art of listening will help you immensely.  Don’t be the stereotypical Real Estate Agent who is always talking, always pushing and so annoying.  Just shut up and listen.  You will be amazed how this will help you develop strong and lasting relationships with your customers.
  15. Start building your database right away–Direct Mail List of your sphere and farm.  Email list (Mail Chimp free when you have less than 2,000 contacts).  Database of your key contacts and champions with phone numbers so you can call.
  16. For your personal life make sure you prepare your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, close family that succeeding in real estate is going to take time.  It’s going to take you one to two years to build up your business–set the expectation up front before you start.  One of the biggest stresses for a new Agent could be dealing with those closest to you and if they are not supportive or patient this could end your career before it starts.
  17. In your first year start farming a neighborhood or geographic area.
  18. In your first year start building your content marketing engine on your website/blog.
  19. Have fun!  Enjoy your life.  Enjoy your job.  Your enthusiasm will shine through.  Don’t be somebody else.  Be yourself, enjoy helping your clients.  Create a positive and memorable experience so when think of you they have good thoughts.
  20. Don’t Give Up!!  Never give up!  Day always follows night.  The sun always comes up.  Business always turns as long as you stick with it.

Light Bulb Moment!!  As I go through this list I see all of these action items are within your control.  You can do it!  It’s not the market!  It’s not your manager!  It’s not your colleague down the hall!  It’s not your competition!  It’s not the weather!  It’s you!  Your success is all based on you and what you do with the opportunity you are given.  Don’t waste it by playing the blame game!  Look within yourself and be the best Realtor you can be.  You will thank me afterwards.   OK, let’s do it together!

 

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What is the Most Important Sales Skill?

field of spring grass and sunset

field of spring grass and sunset

OK, let’s talk about the art of listening when it comes to sales or just the skill of listening in general .  I say it’s a skill because it can be learned and improved upon in time.  I feel a lot of Real Estate Agents who don’t do well can be tied to poor listening skills.  One of my strengths in sales my entire career is my ability to listen well and connect on a genuine basis with my prospective customers.  I want to help you listen better because you will see a huge improvement in your customer relations and your sales numbers will go up.

The Negatives of Not Listening

  • Dating—have you ever had a bad date?  Had a friend who went on a bad date?  What do they say?  That guy just talked about himself all night long, his job, his car, his trips—he was so boring.
  • Have you ever been to a party and you end up talking to someone who just talks and talks and never let you say a word?  Pretty frustrating.
  • Bought anything recently?  Car?  Jewelry?  Service?  Some salespeople just talk on and on and it’s annoying.
  • Have you seen the old Woody Allen movie, Take the Money and Run—great scene when Virgil (Woody Allen’s character) is in jail.  He’s in jail quite a bit in the movie.  Rather than being put in solitary confinement for punishment they put Virgil in a room with an insurance salesman.
  • It’s human nature, we want to talk and express ourselves.  Especially when buying or selling a home.  Biggest financial transaction for most people.  My wife and I just bought a car recently.  The salesperson helping us was a professional.  He let my wife talk about what she wanted in a new car.  What was important to her.

 

Benefits of listening—

  • In general people want to be around people who are good listeners.  The art of conversation.  It’s a two way street.  Think about the last time you had lunch or coffee with someone who you enjoyed talking with.  It was a give and take.  You talked about subjects which were interesting to both of you and you were able to share your ideas and express yourself.  We all want to express ourselves.  This is one of the biggest benefits of listening, letting the other people share and be energized during the conversation.
  • In sales, good listening skills gets your customer talking about their situation—you learn what is important to them.
  • Build the relationship—people love to talk and express themselves rather than being “sold.”
  • By letting your customer talk they will tell you everything you need to know rather than you guessing or telling them.  Think of yourself like you’re a lawyer—you’re building the case for why they need to buy or sell their home.
  • It doesn’t matter what you think or feel, it’s up to them.  You can advise them but never make decisions for your clients.  Never do this!!!

 

How to Listen Better—Some Tips

  • Make good eye contact.  Focus on who is talking.  Don’t play on your phone.  Don’t fidget.
  • Don’t interrupt when they’re talking to ask questions or make a point.
  • If you’re at a table then take notes.  Ask permission first.
  • Don’t sell when you see an opening, remain quiet and let them keep talking.
  • Read Body Language
  • If you don’t understand a point they’re making then ask them to clarify.
  • Ask good questions.  Open ended questions to keep the conversation going.
  • Concentrate.  Keep your mind on the conversation.  Don’t daydream.
  • Let Silence be your friend.  If there’s silence don’t feel compelled to fill it.
  • When you do talk, keep it to a minimum.  Don’t blab on and on.  Short and simple.   Don’t put people to sleep while you’re talking.  
  • OK, here’s a big point.  When you’re talking don’t try to show how smart you are.  Some people get too caught up in being right about issues and showing how smart they are.  This is not important when you’re helping your customers.  Help them with the information they need.  Don’t lecture them.
  • Be calm.

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