I loved the Active Rain blog post Rich Real Estate Agent, Poor Real Estate Agent and accompanying report. It has a lot of great examples of the differences in marketing activities of both groups and the resultant earnings.
Their research also found that rich real estate agents (those earning at least $100,000 a year) tend to be male, while the poor real estate agents (earning under $35,000/year) tended to be female.
I'm sure many readers would automatically think, "that's because more of them work part-time, they have kids to take care of, etc." You know, the usual "reasons" we trot out for the relative under-earning power of women in almost any field.
My theory is it also has a ton to do with mindset and the way women sabotage themselves with negative self-talk.
I speak with hundreds of female home stagers and real estate agents during business coaching calls and I'm always struck by how much negative self-talk is going on.
In a single 30-minute conversation, I'll hear someone say "I'm so stupid when it comes to xyz" 4 or 5 times. Imagine how many times they're saying it to themselves when no one is there to hear it?!
I'm guilty of negative self talk too, we all are!
Most of the time I know I'm not consciously aware of that voice inside my head that can suck all the joy out of a situation. For example, I'll take a break from working to walk the dog around the block. It can be a beautiful sunny day, one of the few we have left before winter rolls in. Ten minutes into it, I'll suddenly realize that I haven't stopped to enjoy the sun on my face or the fact that I don't need a warm coat, because I've been too busy fighting with someone inside my head, or berating myself for not working hard enough.
Last week I was listening to an interview with Rev. Karen Russo, author of The Money Keys: Unlocking Peace, Freedom and Real Financial Power,and she made a suggestion that really helped me around this whole issue of negative self-talk in terms of realizing how debilitating it can be.
If you're a mother like I am, you'll probably really relate to this. Imagine saying to a 9 year old girl:
"You'll never amount to anything if you don't work harder. Too bad, if you weren't so stupid about xyz you might be able to make money in your business, but given who you are, it will never work. If only you were smarter/prettier/skinnier your life would be perfect, but you're not, etc."
Doesn't that make you want to cry?! Would you expect that 9 year old to have confidence and be inspired and go out and do big things in the world? We'd never talk to a child that way because we know the long-term damage that would cause to her self-esteem and ultimately her chances of living a happy and successful life.
So why are we so verbally abusive to ourselves?
Rev. Russo said something that really hit home with me. I'm paraphrasing here, but it was something like, "Speaking to yourself with a voice of compassion doesn't make you weak and you're ambition won't dry up because you're nice to yourself."
In that moment I realized that I have been operating from a belief that if I don't keep pushing myself to conquer ever more challenging business situations, my business will stop growing and I'll stop accomplishing anything.
Does this resonate with you? What negative messages have you been listening to that are killing your home staging or real estate business and more importantly, your spirit and happiness? Please share your thoughts by commenting below. I know this discussion can lead to insights and inspiration for others.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Inc.
Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould is President of Six Elements Inc. and creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program. An entrepreneur for almost 25 years and author of several guides, Debra has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate and uses her expertise to train others worldwide.