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President Howe: Overcoming Obstacles to Set Yourself Up for Success

September 3, 2020 in Guest Columns

Last month, I presented the
first installment
of a five-part series based on my keynote address,
Lessons from The Other Side. In case, you missed it, my mom was a top producing
REALTOR® in our community, who chose to take her life seven and a half years
ago. These points are lessons that I learned by growing up in this industry and
seeing the toll that the stress, emotions and ups and downs of this industry
took on my mother mentally and physically.

Lesson #4: You are a business owner. Act like one.

The number of leads you are currently generating is directly
proportional to whether your business is currently growing, staying steady or
in decline. No leads means your business is on its last breath. Too often, I
have agents tell me: “But you don’t understand, I’m not a lead generator.
That’s not who I am.” Sorry to tell you this, but if you want to not only
survive but succeed in this industry, you HAVE to generate leads. Every
business does. That’s how they keep their doors open (or they are forced to
close them). This doesn’t mean you have to cold call expired listings or door
knock on FSBOs. However, you have to actively take steps to generate leads to
keep your business open. Don’t wait for your phone to ring – make it happen
through your actions. Bobbi’s
Book Bit bonus
: Read Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki to see why you
WANT to be a business owner versus being self-employed. Hint – it’s where you
find wealth.

Lastly, please for the sake of all that’s good and holy, have a budget and use
a profit and loss statement. Too many agents in this industry just fly by the
seat of their pants and do not know the numbers of this business. Every
successful business owner not only has these things, but they know their
numbers backwards and forwards. Have you ever seen a new product introduced and
thought to yourself, “But it will pay for itself in one transaction!” If so,
you need a budget! Too many agents will “one transaction” themselves to death
in this business. If it’s not in your budget, it stays on the shelf.

Lesson #5: Face Your Fears.

Fear can either stand for Forget Everything and Run or Face Everything and
Rise. Which do you choose? Too often when faced with a choice of pain versus
pleasure, we will choose the thing that takes us away from pain versus choosing
the things that might bring us pleasure (because there might be pain along the
way). We will make mistakes in life. It’s a certainty. However, when we make
mistakes, we learn from those mistakes and fail forward until the next mistake.
If we never face our fears because we are afraid of mistakes or missteps along
the way, we will never grow into the person we were meant to become. Don’t just
make mistakes but face them head on and welcome them into your life for the
lessons they will teach you along with way.

One of my favorite quotes is: “Worry is interest paid on a
debt that may never come due.” How often do we spend time worrying about things
and making ourselves sick over worst case scenarios that never end up
happening? We spend so much energy avoiding things that likely won’t happen or
if they do, it’s not nearly as bad as we would imagine it to be. Stop it. Stop
it right now. Go live life. Face your fears. Make mistakes and learn from them.

Lesson #6: Take time for those who matter the most.

This is your family and friends and heck even cats, if that’s your thing. And
most importantly, you. When was the last time you booked time in your calendar
for your family or yourself? It was probably too long ago. Pull out your
calendar, and schedule time for those who are most important to you right now –
before you even finish this article. It will be here waiting for you when you
get back. The purpose of business is to fund your perfect life. What is the
point of funding your perfect life if you don’t take the time to actually live

When someone asks for an appointment time that conflicts with family/friend
time, simply say, “Sorry, I’m booked. Would this or that time work better?”
Don’t offer up reasons why – you are booked and that’s all they need to know.
When you offer up reason (i.e. my son’s soccer game) that opens up the door for
negotiations and for them to guilt you into doing what they want. And once you
do that one time, they forever have you on the hook for whatever they want.
You’ve just reinforced to them that THEY are more important than your son.
While that’s obviously not the truth, that’s their perception, which then
becomes their reality. You never have to justify yourself or what you are doing
to a client, yet we’ve come to tell ourselves that they will understand if they
know. That’s rarely the case – as a society, we want what we want when we want
it. The more excuses and explanations you offer up, the more likely it is that they
will use that against you. Block time for your family, friends and yourself –
and then let NOTHING get in the way.

I hope this spoke to you in some way. Next month, I’ll have three
more tips for you. (Spoiler alert: they are three of my favorite life lessons.)
Until then, take care of you. If I can ever help in any way, please don’t hesitate
to reach out.

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