I recently read a great article titled Successful People Start Before They Feel Ready by motivational author and speaker, James Clear. I won’t spoil it for you by revealing the opening, but the gist of the whole thing is not to get too hung up on being ready to take on something new, whether it be a job, an entrepreneurial opportunity or a new relationship. Just get started.
In my real estate work, I’m under the Real Estate One company brokerage. Real Estate One is a great company for training and developing new real estate agents. The office that I work out of in Milford runs classes for people looking to get their real estate agent licenses several times a year and it always full. A harsh reality in the real estate business is that more than half (maybe as high as 60-70%) of the people who get through the course and get their license will not last a full year in the business. One reason is that they get into it with totally out of line expectations about how much and how fast they can earn and how much they will have to work. I know that the local manager counsels everyone who wants to join our office out of those classes about what they should realistically expect, but many chose to ignore that advice and are gone within their first year.
One of the biggest roadblocks to success for these ”newbie” agents is their feeling that they don’t know enough to handle customer situations. They quite correctly surmise that the training that was required to pass the real estate licensing test is pretty much useless for the day-to-day job of actually being a Realtor®. Real Estate One does provide them with additional training (marketing classes and in-office training on the details of the real estate process); however, they quickly see that there is a ton more to know and the fear of not knowing everything becomes a major roadblock to even trying. Some never overcome that fear and drop out because no business came to them and they were afraid to go after any new business. They feared looking like a fool in front of customers, instead of developing the ability to say, “I don’t know, but I’ll find out”, as they really learned the business.
Life in general is really like that, too. We’re never going to have enough time to know all that we think we need to know or to get as ready as we feel we need to be, whether it is going into the first day on a new job or going out on a first date. Most of us just don’t feel comfortable because we don’t understand the unknowns – we think that we’re not ready.
The advice that Clear give in his article is that successful people jump in anyway; ready or not. They jump in with those fears still in place, but they also jump in with a sense of adventure and the self confidence that they will be able to tackle any challenges that come along. If they fail, they fail; and they are OK with that because they will view it as a learning experience. The examples that Clear uses also show that they don’t let temporary setbacks stop them. They find a way to recover and move ahead. Some successful people have said later in life, “I was too dumb to know that it couldn’t be done, so I just did it.” They weren’t dumb; they just weren’t afraid to just get started.
Even in situations like asking for a date, feelings of not being ready can creep in and stop someone in their tracks. Maybe you feel like you don’t have enough money for a date or perhaps that you don’t have nice enough clothes. Maybe it’s concern that you don’t have someplace special planned to go or something special in mind to do. Maybe you lay there awake and night wandering what you would talk about in a date. What would you say about yourself? What would you say to him/her? You think that you’re not ready. Don’t live the rest of your live with a bad cases of the coulda, woulda, shoulda’s about that person that you missed your opportunity just with because you felt like you weren’t ready. Just get started.
Instead of focusing upon the things that you don’t know and the things you fear that someone may ask of you, focus instead of doing the best that you can, being as honest as you can and being unafraid of saying, ”I don’t know, but I know how to find out.” Just get started and take the rest as it comes. Successful people tend to be good problem solvers, but the problems that need to be solved, in order to reach success, will never occur, if you don’t get started.
I’ve posted here a few times about effective strategies and techniques for problem solving, so review a few of those posts. Expecting that problems will occur and being mentally ready to go into problem solving mode is perhaps the best way to get prepared. Many successful people might even tell you that the real adrenaline rushes that came with success came from meeting challenges and solving problems along the way.
I know that it’s Monday and you had a long weekend. You haven’t had time to get as prepared as you would like; but, be successful today, this week and this year. Get started.