A few months ago when I was taking that BOLD sales/prospecting class, I remember how the head coach kept telling us to keep up the momentum. He told this story about a famous pilot, Chuck Yeager, who broke the sound barrier. Did I re-tell this story already? Anyway, as Chuck Yeager approached the sound barrier, all the instrumentation and shit inside his cockpit started rattling and cracking and breaking. In his communications with the control center, he was convinced he was not going to survive. A few seconds later, he lost contact and everyone in the control center got all sullen, thinking he had died. But just a few seconds after that, he came back on, thrilled to report that he had broken through the barrier.
Obviously, what I’m doing is nothing pioneering or life-threatening, but this story totally captures the moments (so many already) on this whole real estate ride where I really thought I could not go any farther. So many times, I came up on barriers that I felt were insurmountable… that’s it, I would tell myself: that’s the end of this road for me. My mind and psyche were flooded with all those negative thoughts: this was a mistake. I’m not the right personality for this work. I don’t have the constitution for this; I don’t have the charisma; I’m not a salesperson; I’m not compelling; I don’t have the street smarts; I don’t have the emotional intelligence. Who will ever hire me.
I know, all these statements may sound overly dramatic, but when you go for months without a lead, you really start to believe these things. I still say to Bubbey every damn week: “This is my last chance at success.” I mean, for fucks sake, I’m getting too old to be changing careers and turning new tricks.
Yet somehow when I hit these new lows, I always find some way to come back up. To be honest, I think about all the people around the world who struggle and who persist and who inspire. This is not some raw deal or raw hand I got in life. Hardly the case. These are choices I made to do things differently, and I need to hunker down and make this shit happen!
For the longest time, I felt like my parents were always disappointed in me bc I never settled down with my career. I kept changing, I kept switching. While I kept starting over, my peers were building legit careers: they were honing their knowledge and skills, becoming experts and specialists: becoming VPs or partners or directors or chief surgeons or whatever. Meanwhile, I was perpetually in low-mid level positions. They never wanted to tell their friends what I was up to, bc it was nothing impressive. They wanted me to put my head down, work hard, and move up that ladder in ONE place.
Oddly, their ideas and thoughts about jobs seem very different now. I don’t know if it’s bc they have lived a whole other lifetime in the last few years or what… dad now always says you’ll never build wealth from a job (like from a salary). The path to wealth is through assets and passive income. I mean, it’s not so much the money part of his comment that resonates with me (though I totally agree); rather, it’s this subtle acquiescence that suggests: loyalty and hard work to other people don’t really get you jack. I mean, that’s an oversimplification of course. You get stability and security and health insurance. But I think too about how quickly tech is replacing jobs (even skilled jobs) and how much automation will make so many things obsolete eventually… maybe dad has a different perspective on my flexibility and adaptability, seeing as I can do a variety of things, from contracts to project management to web work to making signs… Ha!
I dunno. I still get down and frustrated, but generally, I feel mentally stronger. And more than ever, I feel more in control of my time and my energies. With real estate, I am enjoying the diversity that the business entails and I do feel like ultimately, this is something that is mine that I can grow. It’s not something where after a few years, I’ll feel constrained or limited or pigeonholed. There’s a path to growth. And with it being a business, I get to choose my tools and programs and how I want to run things. It’s pretty dang cool.
So I’m feeling a resurgence. Last month, I vowed to fill all my weekends in June with open houses. I’ve done that 3/3 weekends now. This weekend, I scored my best open house yet: a single-family home in a very hot neighborhood in Sunnyvale. I got more people at my open house today than probably all my past open house combined. It was nonstop. And all Asians!!! I was extra diligent about gathering info and following up. Yup, contacted people within HOURS of my open house wrapping up. Tomorrow, I go back for Day 2.
Before my open house today, I also hit up two busy parks in Sunnyvale. Yup, did my whole “approaching strangers with kids” tactic and passed out my open house postcards. J went with me to the park; we split up; and then I texted him when I was done. He couldn’t stop remarking about how hardworking I was. It’s kinda funny though: In my regular circle of friends, no one works in sales. So when I tell people about all this prospecting shit, they are kinda in awe that I somehow find the energy to do these awkward activities. But then when I talk to my colleagues or people who work in sales, they’re like, yeah you gotta do MORE. More people. More conversations. More calls. MORE. What you’re doing is not enough. Sigh. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll kick it up another notch.