Friday night reading – you know I love breakthrough stories.
I knew Louis Pasteur was the father of microbiology and known for his discoveries of the principles of vaccination, pasteurization, and the causes and prevention of diseases. I knew his discoveries have saved many lives. I didn’t know the sacrifice, the danger and the obstacles he had to overcome:
- To find the cure for rabies he had to endure working with mad dogs and overcome extreme doubt about the first test injection;
- He was mocked and ridiculed for suggesting hand washing to prevent infection and the spread of disease. It took 19 years before that practice was widely accepted;
- One of his colleagues died helping stop the spread of cholera in Egypt, he wrote “he died on the battlefield of science passing through this life with a higher thought to which he sacrificed all else.
I know most of us aren’t solving such complex problems, yet our obstacles have the same impact on whatever we are trying to accomplish.
What I learned from Louis is:
• Despite his doubts and fears, he continued to take action
• Despite the confusion, lack of clarity he kept moving forward
• He stepped backed to gain perspective vs becoming overwhelmed
• He became resourceful, seeking out the necessary help
• He distanced himself from any drama
• He stayed focused on his commitments despite his feelings
• He developed and refined a growth mindset
My biggest takeaway is: it is vital you take consistent action in spite of your fears and doubts.
Working with business owners just like you, there is one thing I’ve discerned: if you want to grow your real estate practice, you’ve got to learn to let go of any task that doesn’t set you apart from the competition.
What stops you from doing this?
FEAR is the problem!
And fear leads to being, a control freak. Fear – in the case I’m writing about – fear is really just “False Evidence Appearing Real!”
In the type of unhealthy fear, I’m talking about:
- Fear sees only the downside
- Fear doesn’t let you stop to think it through
- Fear tells us to avoid anything new or unknown
- Fear constricts rather than expands who we are
- Fear obscures your intuition
- Fear often keeps us from making any decision at all
Unhealthy fear holds you back. Unhealthy fear leads you to wanting extraordinary control over every process. So how do you release some fear, give up some control when this is something most of us typically resist? First let’s set up an example.
In our world one of the biggest fears is hiring your first assistant; or delegating your files to a transaction coordinator. The excuse? “Well Mark, they won’t do it like I do it. I need to CONTROL everything.”
Consider this… when you automate, delegate or eliminate you can focus on what sets you apart from the competition.
When you hire or outsource to someone, even if they do it 75% as good as you do… you’ve still increased your capacity by 75%. Hire and outsource with 2 resources and you’ve increased your capacity by 150%. Make sense?
So, the point being, so many of us hold back because we want to control everything, which leads to fear which leads to the fixed mindset thought that we must hire to perfection.
Perfection is not a standard, progress is.
A big friction point that keeps many of us in fear is cost. If you’re making $150,000 annually and hiring an assistant for $40,000 a year plus a bonuses, the natural questions is: “will I be able to support it?” A logical and valid question. Watch this.
The solution has some pain
In our real estate practices, when we focus on overcoming a challenge that is perceived as a threat, such as an unfavorable change in MLS rules, or unfair competition, that pain motivates us to eradicate the problem immediately.
Conversely, when we focus on overcoming a challenge that is perceived as an opportunity, we are less inclined to take action. If you apply this same concept to control, it makes sense why most agents, team leaders and broker owners struggle with relinquishing it.
Most of us typically think about the opportunity associated with giving up control:
- Increased free time
- Flexibility to engage in more meaningful activities
It sounds logical. It sounds desirable. Yet this isn’t enough to motivate anyone of us to give up control.
Because, on the flip side, there’s the pain or threat associated with giving up control:
- Increased errors
- Reduced quality and upset clients.
If people are wired to minimize pain, it makes sense why most agents, team leaders and broker owners are convinced they’re best served by doing everything themselves.
Learning To Let Go
So how can you address this dilemma?
One way is to rethink the situation: Don’t think of giving up control as having the opportunity for more free time. Reframe it to focus on the downside or threat of not giving up control. Answer these three questions when you’re considering the pros and cons of giving up control:
- What’s it costing you by not giving up control?
- What will you lose by not giving up control?
- What is the pain you’ll continue to endure if you don’t give up control?
These questions will help refocus your attention on where it needs to be to create action—on the pain associated with doing everything yourself.
By focusing on the cost of not changing it, you’re more likely to take action.
To reframe your view from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset:
- Write down all the costs associated with not giving up control
- Be creative yet be brutally honest.
Keep those pains up and visual in your world, so you see them every day. Talk with others who have gone before you and discuss how you can minimize the risks associated with delegating work to others.
Bottom line: At JPAR we have a powerful template used to calculate the value of your time… because we know you’re capable of doing the tasks that make $100, $200, even thousands per hour. Meanwhile you’re stuck doing the $20 per hour tasks. Automate the those tasks first, delegate others by outsourcing or hiring the next tier of tasks.
Only when the perceived pain associated with not giving up control is greater than the pain associated with giving up control will you be able to make a shift.
Ever wonder why so many of us have to hit rock bottom before we find a breakthrough?
Let me explain… from working with others I’ve discovered a pattern. Typically after a huge disappointment, fear of failure disappears. When fear of failure disappears taking a positive action becomes easier, yes!?
Once a major low is hit, the realization that any action that is taken must lead to something better. Think about that for a moment… “any positive action taken leads to something better!” Make sense?
Waiting for a major breakdown to get to a breakthrough.
- Maybe you’re satisfied with mediocrity?
- Maybe you believe you will fail and subject to the opinion of others?
- Maybe you are addicted to worry; the past or to drama?
- Maybe you let overwhelm and distractions get in the way instead of taking the next right action.
- Maybe you succumb too often to those 5 words that kill more dreams than any other: “I don’t feel like it!”
For the vast majority of folks I’ve worked with, the answer to the question, “why don’t you do what you have to do to get what you want?” Can be summarized in 5 dream killing words:
I don’t feel like it!
And that feeling stops you from taking positive action, keeps you from being consistent. It’s the one reason you’re not getting what you want. Your feelings overpower your commitment. Your feelings overpower your ability to take positive action.
Act opposite your feelings.
The story of Mario Lemieux:
There are many athletes who have played through or returned from life-threatening illnesses. Others have come back from debilitating injuries that would have forced mere mortals to give the game up.
And then there is Mario Lemieux, who not only suffered from Hodgkin’s lymphoma but also endured chronic back pain throughout his career.
With his puck-handling dexterity, long reach and accurate shot, Lemieux won three Most Valuable Player awards in the NHL and six times was its leading scorer.
Lemieux is the only player to average more than two points a game (2.01). His goal-scoring percentage of .823 (613 goals in 745 games) is the best for players with 150 games.
I know there where many times Mario “didn’t feel like it” yet his commitment was greater than his feelings.
When your commitments overpower your feelings that’s when breakthroughs begin.
When you take action despite your feelings that’s when breakthroughs begin.
So whose in charge YOU or your feelings?
Who doesn’t want to be a better agent, better team leader, a better entrepreneur?
If there is one concept that can lead to more powerful performance with immediate impact… this is it:
It’s difficult to control our thoughts and feelings, yet we have total control of our actions.
Here’s what we know:
- Actions change attitudes
- Motions change emotions
- Movement changes moods
Think about… it is much easier to act yourself into a certain way of feeling than to feel your way into a certain way of acting. This may sound counter-intuitive research over and over as proven the shortest, most reliable way to change how you’re feeling is to change what you’re doing. When you feel bad, don’t wait to feel good to do what you love. Start doing what you love.
My friend and business coach, Tom Ferry and life coach Tony Robbins both have a beautiful way of describing the steps to mastery in just about anything:
- MINDSET, MODELS & MARKETING. Model something or someone who’s already achieved what you want. You can literally compress years into days by having the right model. I call it the 3 M’s of success: mindset, models and marketing.
- TOTAL IMMERSION. You have to totally immerse yourself into the thing you are trying to master.
- SPACED REPETITION. You need repetition. It is only by repetition that you can condition yourself properly and one day become a master at something. This is like our real estate playbook – designed to create 4 new transactions – inside your 5-week course and our annual September March To Greatness campaign.
My acquaintance Dr. Rob Gilbert says it another way. “If you really want to be a champion, then the work is no problem. When your commitment is greater than your feelings, you’ll master whatever you desire.”
Who is in charge, you or your feelings?
If you really want to learn about mastery, I recommend George Leonard’s book called: Mastery.