Posted on Mon, Jan 26, 2015 7:18 PM by Craig Proctor
In life, we tend to mimic those around us. When a friend smiles at you, you smile back. When a spouse gets motivated to adopt a new fitness routine, you feel invigorated too. When a fellow agent skips his daughter’s piano recital to show another house…you start to think that trading dollars for hours is the only way to succeed.
This is where mimicking goes south.
The Problem with Mimicking
In the beginning of my real estate career, I watched and mimicked my colleagues, big time. I looked around to what others in my office were doing — especially the agents I thought were making the big bucks — and I copied what they did.
The paradigm I’d learned from my coworkers was that I had to trade time for money. If I wanted to earn more, I had to give up more of my time to get it — it was a zero-sum game. And that’s exactly what I did. I put in gruelingly long hours and sacrificed my personal life for the sake of the job. Did I like the money? Oh yeah. But I had no free time to enjoy it in. I was stuck in the same place of burnout that most agents find themselves in at one time or another. Maybe you’re in that same place right at this moment.
Once I found myself in that rut, I knew I couldn’t keep going at the same pace. I didn’t want my income to decrease, but I also didn’t have any more time to give. I thought about quitting altogether, but I saw the potential in the industry and I simply didn’t want to give up on it. I just knew there had to be another solution.
So I did something kind of unique — I started mimicking an entirely new crowd of people. Instead of copying what my burnt-out, unhappy coworkers did, I started copying experts in other industries. I endlessly studied marketing geniuses who were living the kind of life I wanted, making the kind of money I wanted, and seeming to enjoy it every step of the way. I studied business theory, compelling USPs, and the potential of leveraging from the industry gurus. I mimicked every successful strategy and tested, tested, and tested some more in the real world of my own real estate business.
I learned a ton during my years of intensive study, but the most important thing I learned was that I didn’t have to trade my time for money. It simply wasn’t necessary. There are systems and steps and tools that allowed me to focus my limited time on the highest-paying aspects of my job…and repeat them over and over and over again. Those systems led to me working fewer hours, making way more money than I ever had before, and absolutely loving my career at the same time. I knew I was on to something.
How to Start Mimicking Successful Systems
I hope by now you are starting to see that the “Time is Money” paradigm you learned by mimicking your colleagues simply isn’t serving you. The next thing you need to do is become comfortable with the idea of trying a new system.
It’s going to feel strange at first. Just like walking felt strange when you were used to crawling. And riding a bike felt strange when you were used to walking. And then driving a car felt strange when you were used to riding a bike. But don’t let that discomfort stop you.
I can say this with confidence now because I can look back and see that it wasn’t until I embraced a completely new way of thinking and entirely different systems that my business changed fundamentally. You’ve got to ask yourself, “what’s worse, trying something new, or giving up my life in order to have a career?” You can have both, and the willingness to embrace a new system is the first step to get there.