How many of you know what success really is? I'm not talking about someone else's definition of success...I mean YOUR definition of success. If not, you're not alone.
Our industry is full of agents, new and old, who are working themselves into an early grave while trying to reach dream that will never be attained. It was not that many years ago that I was guilty of the same offense. I am so glad that I woke up in time to smell the roses before they were placed on my casket.
Too many agents have accepted as fact those perceptions that our industry perpetuates as acceptable, in fact desirable. Money, transactions, notoriety....whatever the drink of the day may be. And yet, even agents who are still experiencing substantial business activity don't seem to be happy. Could it be that our industry perpetuates the myth (or lie) that the more money you make and the more deals you close, the happier you'll be. If money or notoriety is the answer to happiness, why do so many rich and famous people have rooms reserved at rehab centers? Could it be that true success and perceived success are very different animals? I say yes.
Here was my first experience with real estate success. In my first of real estate sales with a national brokerage firm, I was teamed with a "successful" agent who was to mentor me. Successful by industry standards anyway. What I soon found out was that this agent closed lots of transactions, made lots of money and this agent's life was a mess. This agent worked 7 days a week and was grabbing all the floor time/phone duty available. Did it help? Sure it did, afterall this agent closing lots of business and was therefore a success. But consider the life of this successful agent and see if this is what you would hope for. This agent:
1. was on a second marriage which was becomeing a third failed marriage;
2. had two elementary school children who had been kicked out of several schools;
3. smoked like a chimney because it helped this agent handle the stress;
4. consistently spent more money than was coming in;
5. was miserable, though it was important to keep up the facade of success within the office setting.
Keep in mind this agent had a new car, lots of toys and was perceived by other agents in our office as being very successful. I realized quickly that my concept of success did not look at all like this agent.
So the question is this. What is your definition of success. I you don't have one, what is it you're working for? See, in my opinion most agents seem to spend more as they bring home more. They buy more expensive cars, buy a bigger house, buy more toys and take more expensive trips. But I've seen very few that have achieved even a moderate level of true inner peace and happiness. Why because the material things only bring these agents temporay happiness, short-term satisfaction. When the new smell wears off, they must have the next material thing to excite them, to please them, to give them comfort. But this cycle never stops.
Perhaps the slowing economy is just what some of us needed to re-evaluate our concept of success. Perhaps it will help us remember what should be important to us. And maybe we can look at our success and happiness from a whole new perspective.
I would love to hear what others think and if they feel like now is a great time to consider some changes in our businesses and our lives. I for one, say YES!