Don’t be fooled by the “Overnight Success”
I remember this conversation clearly: I was watching the 2004 Grammy Awards and Outkast won Best Rap Album for their 2003 release of Speakerboxxx/The Love Below – and also delivered the shortest acceptance speech ever with a simple, “Thank you,” throwing up a peace sign, and leaving the stage.
“They really came out of nowhere!” says my friend.
Now, being a longtime fan of the group, I was shocked to hear them say this. In my world, Outkast had been cranking out fantastic music since 1992 and was FINALLY getting some major recognition over a decade later. But my pal, having different musical tastes and experiences, was new to the wonder that is Outkast and felt as though they were some fast-tracked overnight success.
This isn’t something exclusive to the music industry, seeming overnight successes are everywhere. The excruciatingly long time it takes to find your niche, build a trusted brand, create and fine-tune your processes and systems, and find and develop relationships with customers and clients is not something that’s done in the spotlight, and probably for good reason. It’s done late at night and on weekends after you work your primary job. It’s failure and struggles and mistakes…who wants to put those on Instagram? And then, once you firm up your foundation and can stand confidently upon it to build, it’s at that time folks start to take notice, blissfully unaware of the years it took you to sort that foundation out.
If you’re beginning your real estate journey I’m sure you’re going to read this and think, “Kris, I don’t HAVE years and years…I need to make this work NOW.” And with that, you’re absolutely right, you’ve made the leap and you don’t need to make it work, you HAVE to make it work for a lot of really important reasons. That’s why it’s so important for you to meet yourself where you’re at instead of making assumptions about what others are up to.
Comparison is a natural human trait. Even as young children we look for likenesses and differences in one another so that we can classify where other people fit into our lives. But comparison (that thief of joy!) is not your friend when you are building a real estate business. Whether you are a single agent or a budding team or brokerage, looking at what someone else is doing can create some negative feelings if framed incorrectly.
Of course, look to others for inspiration and ideas that you can implement in your own business, but intentionally fight the urge to think that you’re doing something wrong because you aren’t seeing the same action they are.
You are on the right track, you just began at different times. Every single step you take, and every potential client you speak to is leading you toward your goal. You’re gaining experience, learning what works and, more importantly, what does not work, and you are getting farther down the path to success with each and every day that you put in the effort. If you get farther down the path, decide to turn right or left, and even if it turns out to be in the wrong direction you are still miles ahead of where you were when you started.
If you are going to find success in real estate, in your relationships, or in any arena of your life, you have to keep going despite the obstacles and what you see others doing.
Here are some tips on how to keep going when the going gets tough:
- Make the best decisions with the information you have, and trust your future self to handle any challenges that come your way. You have made it through all of your worst days, you can handle those unknowns too!
- Accept the fact that it is going to take some time to build momentum and don’t be resistant to it. You’re going to make it!
- Fall in love with the process and do the items every day that move the needle forward. Whenever the market shifts everyone does this big push to “Get back to basics!” What would happen if you never stopped doing the basics?
- Actively work on finding and celebrating wins, even if they are small. In real estate, the highs are really high and brief and the lows can be really low and long. Finding things to celebrate everyday will keep you running longer.
- Know, to the core of your being, even if you’ve had a bad day or week, that this is working, you are a successful agent, and you’re headed in the right direction.
Now that we’ve had our worldview lens cleaned, let’s get up and go take action, and keep going – continuity is the secret to success.