Your thoughts become your reality, so what are you thinking about? Whatever you want to be, you have to think it. If you want to be an entrepreneur, you have to think like one! I went from a school teacher to being a top 1% realtor in the country to owning my own coaching business because I thought like an entrepreneur!
I want to clear up a huge misunderstanding that many businesses or professionals have who are in the services industry.
Even if you work for a larger company, in most cases, you are not an employee. You’re a business owner. You usually need to develop your own clients. You are an entrepreneur. And because you’re an entrepreneur, you need to stand out from the pack, not just do what folks around you are doing.
For example, many new loan officers try to “fit in” and follow in the footsteps of mortgage professionals around them. They act as if they’ve been given a job description with certain duties: go-to real estate networking events, cold-call real estate firms, work with anyone who walks through the door, work weekends and nights, and answer their cell phone 24/7.
To be successful, they assume they can’t choose what hours to work.
The “job” drives their schedule. They don’t think they can choose what clients to have or what their business looks like. With just a few variations, service professionals in other industries could tell the exact same story. They’ve been given outdated, inaccurate notions about what it really takes to be successful.
I get it.
When I started in real estate, I did all the things I saw others doing. Broke and newly single, I even knocked on doors looking for leads, which took hours and hours away from my two little girls. But I was extremely motivated (to be more accurate, I was desperate!). I didn’t know it at the time, but the Universe (call it God, a higher power, whatever) had something bigger in store for me.
When I left my teaching career abruptly to dive into a new career, it felt very daring and scary.
The crazy part about this story is that if I hadn’t taken that leap of faith, if I had let my fear of change get in my way, I would be in an incredibly different place today. Looking back, I’m so glad that when I had the inclination to change careers and dive in, I did it! Remember, my goal was to be a “stay at home mom” but my plans quickly changed when my husband left.
Because of my success today, people seem to think that it’s all been smooth sailing. It hasn’t.
And, I didn’t get to where I am just because I’m bubbly and smart—honestly, I’ve heard people say that! The reason I’ve been in the Top 1% in real estate and the reason I’ve had such great success already in my coaching and training business is that I have an incredible work ethic, drive for excellence, strong appetite for educating myself, and I’m different.
I’ve always approached this career as a serious business owner, even in the beginning when I was frightened and insecure. I always put people before things and love serving those who trust me to help them.
You’ve got to start thinking like an entrepreneur, a business owner.
It’s true that you don’t have quite as many choices when you’re first starting. When I began in real estate, I focused on buyers and did a lot of the traditional things like open houses to get leads. But even back then, I was thinking like an entrepreneur, not an employee. I tried to do things a little differently than people in my office. I analyzed what was working and what wasn’t. I knew that I was the one who had to create the kind of business and success I wanted. I constantly took classes to learn.
I tried different things and failed, then failed again.
Don’t get me wrong. My results were outstanding in my first year. But I wasn’t as innovative then as I am now. I worked like crazy, but I was timid about standing out and making myself known. I wish I had understood the awesome power of being bold and innovative. You don’t have to make that same mistake. Whatever your business or profession, jump into your business boldly. Make a difference and be different. Create your unique business and do the things your colleagues and competitors are not doing. Be an entrepreneur. Hire a coach.
This may seem crazy to you, but as successful as I am, I continue to have a coach. You may need mentoring, constant pushing and help at implementing all you need to do to be the best, to stand out, and to make it happen! Don’t be a lemming. Don’t just follow the leader.
Be the leader!!
My goal was always to be #1 in the market. At the beginning in real estate, I’d study the super successful brokers and figure out what I could do to be as successful as they were. I kept the techniques or approaches that fit me and discarded the rest. I started studying other businesses outside of the real estate to see what made them successful. Then, I took what I learned and applied it to my business.
For example, early on, I realized that I wanted more control over my time, which meant dealing with sellers rather than buyers. So, I turned my attention toward making that happen. The point is that I didn’t just drift along “doing real estate” and you don’t just want to drift along “doing landscape designs” or “doing yoga classes.”
Create your vision—which might change from time to time—of the type of business you really want. Then focus on putting that business together. Your goal may not be to become #1 in your industry. You may just want more revenue stability or to work with a different type of client. You may want a business that secures your financial freedom, or one that lets you control your time more.
Whatever it is, the principles I’m sharing will help you get there. But you need to start with your unique vision of what kind of business you want, then design your brand around that. Whatever your business or profession, jump into your business boldly. Make a difference and be different!
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