Overcoming Fear One Task At A Time – Hurricane Kellie
I spent almost 20 years in the real estate industry. When I first started out, I was an appraiser, it was the late 90’s and you could still go out and solicit your own business. Prior to going into this industry, I was an employee, my schedule and my work were handed to me. I never knew what it was to have to generate business and a paycheck that wasn’t stable until I decided to go into real estate full time. Even the transition job I had of being a personal trainer didn’t really require me to drum up my own business. All I had to do was stand around the gym where I was fed potential customers.
Real estate changed all of that. No one was standing around waiting to hand me potential customers or money. In fact, at the time I entered the industry, appraisers were rarely found at networking events. I started driving around in my car (this was pre-facebook and other social networks) knocking on doors. Now, for me, this was extremely scary. I was one of those people who had respect for the word no. I thought no meant no and if you said it, I would disappear and never bother you again. I never considered that it was not right now or I just don’t want to hear your pitch but I do need your services.
If I went to the office of a potential client and they told me no, the fear of everyone else saying no would send me home. I would lie to myself and say I tried but really, I had not. At the time of the start of my career, I had two kids at home, my oldest was 9. When I would hear the words “Mommy, I’m hungry” I would feel like a abject failure because they should never have to declare their need for food, there should simply be a good supply for them to indulge on and more often than not, our cupboard were pretty bare.
It was those two pair of big brown eyes that helped me overcome my fear. It was not easy but what I decided was, I would not overwhelm myself, I would do one thing that made me uncomfortable each day. I still incorporate this method 20 years later. When I would go into the office of a potential client, I would offer my services and if they said no, I would politely ask why they were unwilling to hire me. Once I started getting hired, I would then ask for referrals and if they were not willing to refer me, I would once again, ask why? This helped me to refine what I offered if it was something I was not currently offering.
When I finally added a sales license to my real estate offerings, I chased other agents. This was NOT something most agents did, but it made me uncomfortable and it helped me to not only grow my business but helped grow the businesses of other agents as well. Once they realized I was not trying to step on their toes, we were able to really help one another. Putting together a pitch to make your peers your customers was scary and the first few transactions were eyed with concern but we all overcame our suspicions and generated new business.
I am not writing a how to on building a real estate business but I am saying that no matter what business you are in, you will not earn if you are always afraid to try something new. It does not have to be huge. Implement one new thing, do it for a month. What you feel about it on day one will be vastly different than what you feel about it on day 30. Fear is a dirty, four letter F word and the only way for any of us to become better people is to acknowledge it and then step on its neck. The stepping out does not have to be a huge deal, my first step was one simple question. Why?
Figure out what will improve your life, your business and your family, implement one new thing to help you accomplish the goal and overcome that fear.