In the beginning of 2013 I had the pleasure of featuring Tom Ferry as a guest on my Chatting With Champions Podcast. During our call together, Tom was kind enough to share his story, including how he built one of the largest real estate coaching companies in the marketplace today, some of the concepts from his bestselling book Life! By Design, as well as his general philosophy towards success in business.
But it wasn’t until I attended his company’s annual Success Summit seminar in Anaheim, California that I actually met him in person. Myself and approximately 3,000 real estate professionals from all over North America had the opportunity to learn from Tom for 3 full days. And although this event was held exclusively for real estate agents, I’m confident that the 7 principles I’m going to share in this article are relevant to succeeding in virtually any business or industry. Here they are:
1. Change your thinking, change your life
All of our results begin with our thinking. Our thoughts lead to actions, and our actions lead to results. Is your mind aligned with your goals? Are your thoughts an asset or a liability? Successful people make a habit of monitoring their thoughts. They turn their mind into their ally by cultivating positive thoughts consistently. They know that positive thoughts lead to positive behaviors which create positive results, and negative thoughts lead to negative behaviors which create negative results.
2. Become the authority in a localized marketplace
Most of the top agents in real estate are ones who have chosen to specialize in certain types of real estate or in certain geographic areas. By continuously focusing on a specific segment of the market, over time they become the dominant agent in that marketplace. This principle holds true for almost all industries. If your intention is to provide products or services to the marketplace, it is wise to focus on a specific segment of the market, also called a niche, and begin positioning yourself as the expert/authority for that market. Become the “go to” person or company for that market. Be a specialist, not a generalist. Specialists make more money.
3. Become a “Level 10” in every area of your life
People who are truly successful are not successful in just one area of their life. They don’t work hard on their business but neglect every other area of their life. They know that every area of their life deserves their hard work – their business, their health, their relationships, etc. Becoming a “Level 10” means you swing for the fences in every area of your life. You don’t strive for greatness in one area, while simultaneously accepting mediocrity in another. You maintain high standards in all areas.
4. Embrace the differences of the people on your team
The most effective leaders are able to work with different types of people. It is wise to surround yourself with people who are strong in areas where you are weak, and build a team that consists of many different skillsets and personality types. Your ability to lead a team made up of many individuals, each with a unique skillset and personality type, will multiply your results. Resist the temptation to “do it all yourself” – there is no leverage with this approach, and it often leads to frustration and burnout. Learn to utilize others. “If two people on a team are the same, one of them isn’t necessary.”
5. Breakdowns create breakthroughs
Regardless of which business you’re in, the road to success is not an easy one. Expect challenges, setbacks, and plenty of adversity as you pursue your goals. Remember that is in often in moments of adversity that the biggest breakthroughs occur. But breakthroughs can only happen if you’re committed. If you’re not committed to making it work, your mind won’t bother generating ideas and solutions for you. It will simply give up. This leads us to the next principle:
6. There is a difference between interest and commitment
The difference between interest and commitment is a big one. When you’re interested in something, you’ll do what it takes to get it as long as it isn’t too inconvenient. When you’re committed to something, you do whatever it takes to get it, and you expect it to be inconvenient. Interested people never taste success. Instead, they acquire a long list of things they want but never obtain because they avoid the work that is necessary.
Committed people accept no excuses – only results. You must be willing to commit to achieving certain results even when you have no idea how you’re going to achieve them. The “how” is irrelevant. It’s the commitment that counts. Once you’ve made a commitment, the ideas, people, and resources that can help you achieve it will begin appearing.
7. Serve the consumer in a way that causes them to say WOW
Now more than ever before, consumers expect to receive a great experience in exchange for the money they spend on products/services. If you do not provide that great experience, they will likely go to your competitor next time. And you can bet that if you give them a bad experience, they will tell everyone they know to stay clear of you.
Consumer don’t just expect a great experience, they deserve one. You can give them that by setting up the right expectations. Understand that a satisfied consumer is simply one who’s expectations have been met. But you don’t want to meet their expectations, you want to exceed them. You don’t want them to be satisfied, you want them to say WOW. To get that reaction, you should under-promise in the beginning, and then over-deliver incredibly. Give them so much more than they expected from you, and they become your fan and promoter for life.