“I love how you focus on relationships instead of sales. That’s what makes you so successful.”
A childhood friend posted this on my Facebook page the other day as I mentioned a recent experience with clients who purchased a home through us. I loved that. I loved it because if you knew the two of us in junior high school, I don’t know that anyone would have seen this potential in either awkward teenager.
I tended to be shy and introverted, seemingly content to read several books and comic books at a time, spend hours drawing, and…well, daydreaming. Between regular school and Chinese school, I didn’t have time for much else. No after-school sports or activities. I’d usually find one friend I’d hang out with during recess and kept that going till graduation. I envied the kids with bands of friends who, if they didn’t grow up with them, seemed to find it easy to mix in and be instantly accepted. I was very self-conscious, and to a degree that’s never left me.
HOWEVER, I eventually understood who it was that I wanted to be, and I practiced at becoming that person. People I admired I strived to be like, until I adopted even a tiny portion of their habits and ability. It’s no wonder my favorite books to this day are biographies.
When you realize your shyness is so debilitating that you can’t look people in their eyes, you do something bold like take a singing class, where at the end of the program you have to get up in front of 200 strangers at a recital and sing. Up the ante…go sing at weddings. Speak in front of large crowds. Shyness, gone.
Learning to develop yourself, your personality, while maintaining honesty in who you really are is key. Serving up a false or shallow image leads to nowhere good.
My former late-great business coach encouraged me to be me. “You’re in sales, why are you hiding? Let people know who you are, what you value, that you’re successful, that you know what you’re doing. Those who are like-minded will gravitate toward you; those who aren’t, won’t. Focus on the ones who will.” My Facebook in 2009 exploded, haha. But even before that, I instinctively knew that I couldn’t be all things to all people. If I wanted relationships built on trust, integrity, empathy and compassion, with some fun and wacky humor thrown in, I’d have to present that uninhibitedly to everyone I met.
I couldn’t list every home sale I’ve made in any given year, but I can tell you about the clients and their families I’ve met. If my focus has been on establishing relationships that a once very quiet, unconfident nerd never dreamed being capable of, I guess I must be doing something right after all.
Till next month, stay healthy and happy,
Derek, Natalie, Mo & Arwin