As I write this article, I am inside a tent on a rest day at above 18,000′ altitude with the constant heavy blowing of wind and dust. This makes 9 days so far of a grueling 15-day journey to climb a single mountain to an altitude of 22,837′. I am quickly learning, even though I theoretically knew, that everything is harder when you are up this high, pushing to achieve an enormous goal—sleeping, breathing, using the bathroom (there is no real bathroom), eating, walking, even your mental ability to process and react to basic daily activity.
Because it is so difficult, mentally and physically, the hired guides plan out everything in advance. They know from their training and wealth of experience that by planning ahead of time, the hard effort, limited resources, changing environment, fatigue, and loss of mental acuity will not hamper the team’s success. The guides prepare detailed checklists of what to bring, an itinerary outlining the daily objectives and mission, what resources we need to make that day a success, a daily briefing at the start and end of each day, and more. Of critical importance, the guides enforce the slow “rest step” high altitude walking method, and the guides set the pace as the team moves higher and higher up the mountain to achieve the goal of a summit step by step, relentlessly, and at a pace to improve the odds of success. The guides are also constantly checking on us: How are you feeling? Are you drinking? Eating? Do you have a headache?
You might be wondering at this point, What does this have to do with me, and why is this an article relevant to the S.E.C. Observer? Great question! The simple answer is this: When you have a challenge in front of you, what have you done to increase your odds of success?
Perhaps there is an even more fundamental question to ask: Are you challenging yourself? Really challenging yourself? The real estate industry is rapidly changing, and the only certainty for the future is more change. I do not know what it will look like. I do know my team and I are ready to fight to be part of the challenge and opportunity ahead of us.
What great challenges can you tackle in our changing industry?
Are you pushing yourself?
What resources do you have or need to achieve your goals?
What can you do, right now, to prepare to succeed with a great challenge for yourself?
What guides (mentors, board members, advisors) can help you achieve success?
Once you have made the choice to pursue a difficult goal and you have prepared, the next move is easy: take the leap and begin methodically walking up to the top of your mountain. Higher and higher. One step after another, with relentless forward progress, continuing to push yourself and your team to achieve a goal few others will tackle like you. Speed does not matter; moving forward does (though I do believe time kills deals).
I am a firm believer that comfortable is a dangerous place to exist. Comfortable leaves you unprepared for the inevitable changes we will all face. If you get extremely comfortable being extraordinarily uncomfortable, you will rapidly separate yourself from your peers. That is worth the effort!
A direct example of getting comfortable being uncomfortable are the S.E.C. National Marketing Meetings. Have you written down your primary goals for the meeting? Did you come to the meeting as absolutely prepared as possible to increase your chances of getting your goals accomplished? Did you read the packages in advance? Do you know how to use the boards, and are you entering your deals on the boards? Are you throwing your number in during the meeting? Are you consistently following up? Have you counseled your client in advance of the meeting and know what deal you can make? Have you put together five-star back-up packages you can immediately send out when someone is interested in your deal?
Does the above sound like a lot of work? It is! It is your slow, methodical progress up the mountain. What are your thoughts when you hear someone else during the meeting that has done all of the above? Probably something like this: “Wow, she really has her act together and is going to do some deals.”
The words of President Coolidge are valuable to mention, and I hope you think deeply on the meaning behind this article: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
I hope you will set lofty goals, prepare to achieve those goals, find great guides to help you along your path, and with determination relentlessly push to the summit of your mountain . . . step after step.