New To The Business?  Startup Skills They Don't Teach In School

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with CloseMyDeal, LLC Virtual TC Services

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." – Walt Disney, Disney founder

Academic business programs across the country do a good job teaching business theory. But theory gets you only so far. You need many skills for success as an entrepreneur, and the only problem is that exactly NONE of those are taught in schools. Any schools. Anywhere. Zero.

Why? Because these are skills that entrepreneurs develop only through on-the-job experience.

Startup Leadership

Yes, you can learn what it takes to be a good leader in a classroom setting. But, learning what it takes and "being" a good leader are two very different things. Anyone can learn to lead, and being a leader does not require a "CEO," a "Director" title, or a distinct designation after your name. The only way you can truly master leadership is actually to lead. You are the leader! 

There's more. Even in settings where leadership is "taught," it is most often taught from the perspective of corporate leadership, which is hierarchical. This is not especially helpful to a new entrepreneur because the structure of a startup is quite different from that of a more established firm, and there is no hierarchy to rely on. 

As a new real estate agent, you will wind up wearing multiple hats and having a much greater responsibility than you'll ever find in an established business. The startup environment is much more fluid and dynamic, and it is an entirely different environment.

Networking

You've heard it before: "It's not what you know; it's who you know." That is an oversimplification, and that's not something you can put a hard value on. But the fact remains that a big part of the success of any business venture you undertake will partly depend on the power of your social and professional network. 

Contacts aren't everything in business, but they play an undeniably significant role. Networking is a skill we all need to build and nurture throughout our professional careers.

True Grit

There's a practical reason why grit isn't taught in school, and it would be virtually impossible to do. Nonetheless, this characteristic separates the true entrepreneurs from the wannabes. 

Let's face it, as an entrepreneur, you're going to fail. You will suffer setbacks. Projects and ideas that seem great at first blush will implode. Connections you were relying on will fail at the worst times. You're going to spend a lot of time feeling defeated. 

How you respond to those setbacks will be critical. Will you give up? Throw up your hands in frustration and complain that it's too hard? The entrepreneurs with staying power are the ones who decide to get up, dust themselves off and get back in the game.

You're probably not going to see the level of success you like on your first try and probably not on your second or third either. And that's okay. 

"You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over." – Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder

Failure is a prerequisite to greatness. You learn a lot when you fail, and how you respond to failure matters.

The Long Game

There is plenty of uncertainty. When will it be the right time to expand or scale back? What will the decision be based on? Should you rely solely on the spreadsheets with fancy graphs and flowcharts, or your gut feeling and the relationships you have built with your clients over the years?

No doubt, there is value to solid business education. But, the reality is that some of our most successful entrepreneurs have been dropouts. Why? The skills that are the most pivotal to entrepreneurial success aren't taught in the classroom.

"Don't be afraid to assert yourself, have confidence in your abilities, and don't let the bastards get you down."--Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg L.P.

Comments (55)

Beth and Richard Witt
Long Island Cash Home Buyer - Center Moriches, NY
Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940

I trained and coached agents for over 40 years and listen to YODA "Don't try... DO"

The entrepreneurs with staying power are the ones who decide to get up, dust themselves off and get back in the game.

Apr 06, 2022 09:32 AM
Aura Alex
CloseMyDeal, LLC - Seattle, WA
Need A TC? Virtual TC Services Nationwide

Ditto your thought, Paddy Deighan MBA JD PhD. Thank you for sharing!

Apr 06, 2022 10:12 AM
Aura Alex
CloseMyDeal, LLC - Seattle, WA
Need A TC? Virtual TC Services Nationwide

Kris Collis, Associate Broker, it's time to put those texts into real action! For me, it's a work-in-progress; it's part of my belief system; yes, I think I can, yes, I can, I'm doing it now! Thank you, Kris, for sharing your thought.

Apr 06, 2022 10:20 AM
Aura Alex
CloseMyDeal, LLC - Seattle, WA
Need A TC? Virtual TC Services Nationwide

Dorie Dillard Austin TX 

"Get ready to get ready!" I like that phrase. The longer you wait the more excuses you'll find! Sitting on the sidelines tends to do that! 

Apr 06, 2022 10:23 AM
Aura Alex
CloseMyDeal, LLC - Seattle, WA
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Ed Silva, I had several mentors in my personal and professional life. I value their help to (sometimes) "push" me in the right direction. Never underestimate the value of mentorship! It 's priceless!!!

Apr 06, 2022 10:28 AM
Aura Alex
CloseMyDeal, LLC - Seattle, WA
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Beth and Richard Witt 

It sounds like you are a great mentor and leader. Congratulations! 

Apr 06, 2022 10:31 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Aura such  a powerful post, I concur. Having spent time at the United States Military Academy.... they teach leadership... never the less part of their philosophy was to put the cadets into real situations... they sent them to different military bases to be 3rd Lt's for two months... on the job training.... I was lucky to go to Germany to a Transportation Battalion in Mannheim learned a lot and loved it...Endre

Apr 06, 2022 11:26 PM
Aura Alex
CloseMyDeal, LLC - Seattle, WA
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Endre Barath, Jr., I worked with many vets in the corporate world and was not surprised to see many in leadership positions. They stood out in the cloud! 

Apr 07, 2022 06:30 AM
Sharon Miller
RE/MAX Platinum - Crane Hill, AL

Aura,

Thanks for writing this post! It's exactly the type of information that every agent, new or experienced, needs to study with regularity. The previously accepted paradigms of professional conduct, for the most part, have been altered, some allowed to incrementally deteriorate and/or, "thrown out the window". Because one recently experienced a setback but "did everything right"..... maybe it's time  an "update" in thinking is in order? With the past couple of years,  in particular, I've had to modify my thinking or evaluate my "emotional response" on many an occasion, because the lay of the land has changed significantly. Expecting tomorrow's variables to be an extension of what transpired this past month, is not a recipe for success. Communicating with individuals who "contribute" towards the process, goes along ways in keeping abreast of the incremental change which takes place within our industry. It wasn't too long ago, a potential buyer and the realtor, actually rode in the same vehicle when looking at listed properties on the market.

Since I first became involved with the sale of real estate, I have always believed I need to continuously educate and prepare myself, to a point, where I possess adequate skills to deal with typical situations which arise. That being said, I also understand enabling one's self to react when something you haven't faced previously, requires on occasion, the expenditure/demonstration of a little "blood, sweat and guts to achieve the objective. 

The most successful among us make the time, with regularity, to evaluate our methodology, study changes and perceptions among our customers/clients while accepting the fact, that change is inevitable. 

                 "If it is worth playing, it is worth paying the price to win." 

                                      Coach Paul W. "Bear" Bryant     

Apr 07, 2022 09:08 AM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Great post.  Not just for the beginner, but for the seasoned agent as well.  We should never stop networking or learning or putting our best foot forward. Congratulations on the Feature!

Apr 07, 2022 12:34 PM
Aura Alex
CloseMyDeal, LLC - Seattle, WA
Need A TC? Virtual TC Services Nationwide

"It wasn't too long ago; a potential buyer and the realtor actually rode in the same vehicle when looking at listed properties."

Sharon Miller, yes, I remember when I took the buyer and drove around to show properties. I learned a few years ago when my daughter and her husband bought their first home and told me how they went about finding the home bought. All done online and through her social media. They never visited any open houses and never talked to the agent before making the decision. 

Technology has changed, and the younger generation is changing our way of doing business, namely, real estate. We can't go back and hang on to the "successful method" we thought worked for us for decades. We must seize the new opportunity by its throat and be willing to learn to lead!

What a thoughtful comment you wrote. Thank you so very much!

Apr 07, 2022 06:12 PM
Aura Alex
CloseMyDeal, LLC - Seattle, WA
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Diana Dahlberg 

What a pleasant surprise to see you! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. And for being here. 😃

Apr 07, 2022 06:16 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

And those are just a few of the things they don't teach in real estate classes. When a person becomes licensed, their real education begins.

Apr 07, 2022 08:24 PM
Aura Alex
CloseMyDeal, LLC - Seattle, WA
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I agreed wholeheartedly with your comment, Marte Cliff. The "real" education begins after the license! And it's ongoing.

Apr 07, 2022 08:44 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Aura Alex - you lost me at Disney ... but found me again at Bloomberg ... and don't let the bastards get you down!  

There is nothing like working and learning in the trenches. 

Apr 08, 2022 08:21 AM
Aura Alex
CloseMyDeal, LLC - Seattle, WA
Need A TC? Virtual TC Services Nationwide

Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist 

Aha..Glad I found you again. Perhaps I should have used Disney's." It's kind of fun to do the impossible." I liked Disney's passion for doing something different, and he didn't just talk about it, he did it! Thank you for your thought. 😉

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Apr 08, 2022 10:09 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Aura Alex I have been MIA for a week.  I'm just getting back in the saddle today. 

I do not support what Disney Corporation is doing today!  We will leave it at that! 

Apr 08, 2022 10:37 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

ANother thing they should teach in real estate school is the benefit of having an LLC for your company.

Apr 08, 2022 01:07 PM
Aura Alex
CloseMyDeal, LLC - Seattle, WA
Need A TC? Virtual TC Services Nationwide

That is an excellent suggestion, Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR, I agree, an LLC is great for small businesses, especially for a solo entrepreneur. 

Apr 08, 2022 05:08 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Yeah, nothing can replace human interaction and dealing with personalities and so forth and so on. There’s no school for that,at least not always

Jun 10, 2022 10:42 PM