StrengthsSo, there are a million dumb clichés about getting outside some stupid metaphorical box and how growth only exists when you’re out of your comfort zone and blah, blah, blah.  Clichés are clichés because they are generally true, right?  But, with all of these business related clichés there has to be some underlying truths before you can do any of this.  You can’t just decide one day that you’re going to be a race car driver and go nail down a few million dollar sponsors, slap some stickers on your Altima, and roll into Daytona.

For the record, I would like to invent a time machine, go back, find the a-hole that came up with “outside the box”, cram him/her into a box, and ship them to Siberia, during winter, covered in whatever polar bears like to eat.

Now, I have no problem with stepping outside of your comfort zone.  I do have a problem with the idea that you aren’t “growing” or “developing” unless you’re outside your comfort zone.  I take issue with the thought that you have to be outside some damn box to become better.  The problem is that so much of real estate training that is out there tries to stick a round peg (you) into whatever hole makes the trainer or broker money the fastest.  What happens after that is anyone’s guess.

I can tell you this, without question, without reservation: if I had gone through most real estate training programs when I first started, I would almost certainly not be in real estate today.  I don’t for one second think that I am alone in that.  Here’s a little confession.  I suck on the phone.  I’m terrible.  If I had gone through one of the myriad new agent bootcamps that preach make a 100 calls a week or call expireds and FSBOs until your ear falls off, I would have failed.

Setting yourself up for failure by doing something new or that you suck at isn’t what I consider growth.

I’m a believer that success breeds success and that, especially when you are brand new or you are trying something brand new, you need a few small wins before you jump into it full force.  So, two things real quick on this.

Being Self-Aware is Key

First of all, to know what is inside the box and what is outside the box you have to know what you’re good at and what you aren’t good at.  For a lot of people, really doing a thorough self-examination is harder than it sounds.  It can be really tough to look inside and say, man, I am really terrible at (fill in the blank).  Unfortunately for those people, to really be able to take what you’re good at and make it the catalyst for your awesomeness you have to be very self-aware.  You have to know your strengths and be able to play to them.  Likewise, you have to know your weaknesses so you can marginalize them and focus your efforts on using your strengths to get those first few wins.

Play to Your Strengths

Once you’ve done that, you’ve taken that inventory of your strengths and weaknesses, then you can really look at how you’re going to use those strengths to build your business.  The reason that playing to your strengths is so important is that you will see what is working because you know what to look for, you’ll keep at it because you like doing what you’re doing, and you’re going to see those little wins happening.  As you see those little wins happening, they’re going to drive you towards that next little win.  Before you know it, those wins will snowball into something much larger.

Again, I’m not saying that you should never step out of your comfort zone.  At some point you will have to.  When you do, being self-aware about your strengths and weaknesses can help you formulate a plan that will lead to success.  That’s when real, actual progress happens.  You are not a round peg.  There is no silver bullet to success.  You have to formulate plans based on your strengths that work for you and then go execute.  Then, once that foundation is built, go outside the stupid box.


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