A Penny for Your Thoughts

 "Little by little, a little becomes a lot." - Tanzanian proverb.

"Little by little, a little becomes a lot." - Tanzanian proverb.

No matter how you look at it, there are two sides to every coin. As I mentioned in my previous post, "Fortune Favours the Bold", the fear of success and the fear of failure are actually two ways of looking at the same problem. Both are self-sabotaging thoughts that can impede anyone who dreams of becoming an entrepreneur (or anyone wanting to make a change in their life), from even trying. But as Gary Keller writes in his book, "The Millionnaire Real Estate Agent", the first step in discovering your potential, is trying.

Trying requires effort, energy, and focus. For many of us, we will either be motivated to do something, or not, based on a complex calculation about how much it's going to personally cost us...either financially, and/or emotionally. 

If the risk of failure is assessed too high, we simply don't move forward. Likewise, if we overthink things, and wait for conditions to be absolutely perfect in order to somehow "ensure" our success, we don't progress either. And even if we were to move forward, that progress would likely tend to be slow. Think of it this way - how many of us have skipped out going to the gym, or fallen off a diet, because we didn't feel motivated enough to stick it through? Maybe we assessed that the effort was greater than the reward. Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words. Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.

The alternative picture is this. When you're pursuing something that you truly love to do, the work tends to be effortless (or maybe just a little less cumbersome). You're happy to pour your energy into your job because it gives you a sense of purpose. There is no hesitation about the choices you make, because you have a supreme confidence that you're doing what you're supposed to be doing, and doing so, brings you joy. You don't give one red cent about failing, because you are open to learning from failure. You're relentless in striving for success. The risk of inaction is seen as greater than the risk of action.

Many clients of mine have asked me why I became a real estate agent. Well, after more than 15 years of working in the non-profit sector, I became weary of the 9 to 5 grind, and the feeling of inertia, working in an outdated business model. I craved change, and felt my energy would be best used helping others in a very tangible way. My travels around the world, and my background in urban planning, also gave me a profound appreciation for architecture. I also desperately wanted to be in a more flexible work environment, where I could call the shots. Real estate beckoned to me.

For eight months, I toiled at my non-profit job during the day, and then ran straight to real estate classes at night. Those eight months of my life were gruelling, but I secretly loved it. Learning was a joy. I didn't even mind the optional 8:00am real estate classes on Saturday mornings, because I understood that my small sacrifices were in large part to achieve a greater goal. I felt I had to take control of my destiny instead of letting life happen to me. Becoming a real estate agent gave me a renewed sense of purpose and put the spring back into my step. I decided that my office job was not going to define the rest of my life. I was not going to go gently into the night.

Failing was not an option, because I knew I could never forgive myself if I didn't try. I acted like I had nothing to lose. 

Three years into the business, I've now reached a ceiling that I want to break through. I'm facing the other side of the coin, a fear of success. Managing your own business can be quite overwhelming because there's so much to do. You're the CEO, marketing specialist, accountant, project manager, social media coordinator, public relations specialist, life coach, and senior business development executive all in one. Managing priorities is an art, especially when we tend to gravitate more towards tasks that we like the most.

Gary Keller believes that one of the keys to succeeding is being able to lay the foundation for systems so that tasks can be accomplished logically, according to priorities. It's about getting grounded, so that when things get really busy, the system in place takes care of the business of things, while you tend to the cray cray. 

You know what? It makes sense. The Keller Williams model is different than other agencies because it puts the agent's business first. If you succeed, the whole company succeeds, and the corporate culture is all about personal development as the ultimate goal. This philosophy resonated with me when I joined three weeks ago.

I started to see the forest from the trees. I spent some time getting organized. And within two very short weeks, the website that I had parked for two years finally came together and was launched.  

It's early in 2016, and what this year will bring is still yet to be determined. But I no longer have a fear of success. All systems are go. Little by little, a little becomes a lot. 

Just my two cents.

What projects are you working on this year, and what's holding you back? What systems could be put in place so that you can start achieving what your heart desires? How are the next 10 months going to play out for you?

Next week, I will be wrapping up this month's series on entrepreneurship. On Thursday, I will be providing you with a real estate market analysis for the neighbourhoods featured on my website. Stay tuned! 

As always, I'm open to any comments or suggestions you may have for real estate topics to address in this blog. Just holler at me: gemma@kw.com.