In this episode, Jennifer talks about the keys to having a fulfilling, long-term career in real estate and how to manage the naysayers when you’re just starting out.
Welcome to a new year and the potential of a new you. I love new years, because it brings us new opportunities to grow or start over and conquer new success. My 2019 word of the year was give. I believe wholeheartedly in giving. Not just in the traditional senses, but in the everyday sense. Giving people your time, attention, care, thought and help. I made it my mission in 2019 to give and give freely without any expectations of return and I feel really good about keeping true to my promise throughout the year.
Although I will continue to give in 2020, my new word for this year is transform. I am on a mission this year to help you transform your business and your life and I’m going to transform mine.
A lot of people have been asking me what I’m doing with my business, am I still selling real estate and why have I started this women rocking real estate thing? There’s rumours spreading around that my real estate career isn’t doing well and that’s why I’m pivoting my business and it’s simply not true. 2019 was actually my second best year ever in my entire real estate career, so I can put that rumour to rest. The truth of the matter is, if I’m being completely honest, I had a bit of mid-life crisis about a year and a half ago. At first I thought I was just burnt out, but after some serious soul searching, I realized I wasn’t being fulfilled anymore and I just wasn’t happy. If you’ve ever read the book The Big Leap, highly recommend it by the way, the author talks about this concept that all of our work activities occur in four main zones.
The first one is the zone of incompetence and it’s made up of all the actives we’re not good at. Others can do them way better than we can, but surprisingly many people, even successful ones, persist in wasting time and energy doing things for which they have no talent.
The next zone, is the zone of competence. In this zone you’re competent at the activities, but others can do them just as well. If you ever hear yourself saying ‘oh it’s just easier and quicker for me to do it myself than to teach it, delegate it and follow up on it….that’s your zone of competence. I personally get stuck here all the time. I’m a control freak and I find it really hard to delegate. Bookkeeping is a perfect example of this for me. I can do it, but I certainly don’t enjoy it and there’s others that can easily do it better instead.
Next up you’ve got your zone of excellence. These are the activities you do extremely well and you can make a really good living in your zone of excellence. For successful people, this zone is a seductive and even dangerous trap. The temptation is strong to remain in the zone of excellence – it’s safe, it’s secure and it’s often where your family wants you to stay, because you’re reliable there. The problem, is that a deep sacred part of you will wither and die if you stay inside your zone of excellence. There is only one place where you will ultimately thrive and feel satisfied and that’s the 4th zone, your zone of genius.
Your zone of genius is the set of activities you are uniquely suited to do. They draw upon your special gifts and strengths. Your zone of genius tends to beckon you with increasingly strong calls as you go through your life. Especially after age 40. Many of you have gotten into real estate because IT is your zone of genius. Maybe you’ve taken the big leap and left a stable career to get into real estate because you feel a calling to it or maybe you’ve been home with kids for awhile and you just can’t see yourself going back to your old career. Or maybe you’re still in a job that’s your zone of excellence but you are trying to make the leap and transition full time into real estate.
For me, the problem was that working in real estate is my zone of excellence, not my zone of genius. I’ve done really well and I can do it with my eyes closed, but it just wasn’t lighting me up anymore and I had this moment where I realized if I continued to just sell real estate, that I’d only be doing it for the money and as far as I’m concerned, that’s selling your soul for money and I’m just not willing to do that.
So I spent some time really digging around what my zone of genius is and I realized that helping people was one part of it and that’s why I did get a lot of fulfillment out of real estate for many years, but the other part of it was building the business. I love building businesses and I love the challenge, but what I really love is teaching other people how to build their business. I love strategy, I love branding, I love marketing, I love sales, I love mindset and I love success. That is the shit that lights me up and I’m so passionate about it, I want to inspire and teach and watch other people reach their goals.
So that’s what I’m doing, I’m living my truth. I’m taking the leap and re-inventing myself so that I can live and work in my zone of genius and live a happy and fulfilled life.
But man is it throwing people around me for a loop. I can’t tell you how many people have said to me, well you can always go back to real estate if it doesn’t work right?
So How often have people said that to you, about your real estate career? How many people have cast doubt on your venture? What you have to remember is that when you are making the big leap to work in your genius zone, you will trigger other people who are afraid to make that leap themselves. So they will react by telling you the things that they actually tell themselves. It will feel like they’re trying to talk you out of it, but it’s because they’re actually trying to talk themselves out of it. The vast majority of people are too terrified to take risks like this, so they never will, but when you do, it reminds them that they’re too scared, so it threatens them and they react negatively.
Recognize it for what it is and don’t take it personally. Whatever you do, don’t let it derail you and don’t for a second allow it to invade your confidence or commitment to this career. The second you invest any mental energy around a back-up plan, you’ve told yourself you’re planning to fail. There is no back-up plan, you don’t need one because 2020 is going to be the year you’re going to transform your business.
But getting back to the 4 zones, What’s interesting about the concept of these 4 zones, is that even within real estate, there will be activities required to run your business, that will fall in different zones for you. One of the keys to a successful and fulfilling real estate career, is to spend as much time as possible doing activities that fall in your zone of genius. So start paying attention to all of the activities that you do in your day to day business and figure out which activities fall into which zones for you.
I’m a big believer in learning how to run your business from the ground up. In my opinion it’s really important to get at least somewhat capable in everything. At least understand and know enough about all areas of your business that you’re dangerous. What do I mean by that? When you can get to a place where you can afford to hire people to do the parts of your job that fall in your zone of incompetence or your zone of competence, you need to know enough about those areas of your business, to know whether someone is managing it for you properly or not. It’s also really important that you know how to do it yourself if you need to. A recession could hit or you have to fire someone, and you need to know how to keep things running status quo until you can find or afford to hire someone again. When you don’ know how to do things yourself, you can get into a dangerous spiral where you stop doing things that are driving leads to your business or where you stop doing things that are keeping you out of trouble with systems and processes.
So make sure you learn all of the basics. You may not be good at everything, but know how to do it should you need to. Learning everything will also give you exposure to activities that you might discover you love. As I mentioned in a previous podcast, my first corporate job was in graphic design. I didn’t have an iota of experience, but discovered I absolutely loved it as a creative outlet and I learned that I had a talent for it. I never would have known that unless I’d been forced to learn how to do it.
Now for some of you graphic design is actually going to fall into your zone of incompetence. Programs like Canva and PicMonkey have given realtors all over the world access to create all their own graphics and let’s be real – but just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should. We all have things that for whatever reason, our brains just don’t connect with. For me, languages, reading music and anything to do with photography are like greek to me. I am a super techie person, but give me a dslr camera and I cannot for the life of me figure out how they work. But that doesn’t mean I’ll ever give up trying.
So one of the first things I want you to do to set yourself up for success this year and for years to come, is to go through all the activities required in your day to day real estate career and put each of them into one of the 4 zones. Do they fall in your zone of incompetence, your zone of competence, your zone of excellence or your zone of genius.
To help you with this super important exercise, I’ve created a worksheet for you to use. It includes a bunch of activities we all need to do in our day to day jobs as realtors, but I want you to add your own as well. You can download this worksheet by clicking below:
As soon as you’ve learned how to do it yourself and you’re able to afford to do so, I want you outsourcing everything in your zone of incompetence first. After that, start outsourcing the activities in your zone of competence. If you want to have a long-term, fulfilling real estate career, the goal is to spend as much of your time as possible, on activities that are in your zone of genius. Success will come so much easier and naturally to you when you’re operating in your zone of genius.
Alright, Throughout 2020 I’m going to be providing lots of free real estate training – you can tune in weekly to this podcast and I’ll also be posting daily videos on quick topics to get you in the habit of making learning a part of your morning routine. You’ll be able to find these videos on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, so whatever platform you prefer, you’ll be able to find me there.
I will also be running my free online marketing masterclass a few times this year. In this 60 minute webinar you’ll learn my 5 step formula for generating consistent leads online without the crippling tech overwhelm or breaking the bank. I’ll show you what I personally did to build a multi-million real estate business and I’ll teach you what you need to do and why, so that you can run with it .
However If you need more support and help learning how to implement the program step by step, I will be opening the doors a few times to my Online Marketing Made Simple course. This course is specifically for Realtors and is the only implementation program of its kind, that not only shows you exactly how to implement the 5 step formula into your business, but how to do it properly and consistently.
This online course will seriously take you from zero to online marketing hero. We are just about to wrap up the beta launch and the feedback from my students has been amazing. So if you’re looking to grow your business this year and generate leads without door knocking and cold calling, online marketing is the way to go. Make sure you’re signed up to be notified the next time registration for the free masterclass opens.
So that brings us to the end of this week’s episode. I am so excited to see what 2020 brings for you and your business and I hope I can help you transform it.
Don’t forget to download this week’s worksheet from my website and Remember the more you learn the more you’ll earn.
Until next time.