Thousands of new real estate agents open up their businesses every year, and they have high expectations for income from helping people to buy and sell
As a mature person who learned a lot from life, what is the most valuable advice that you can give to me?
Some advice from an old failure:
1) Your attitude is going to be the biggest thing that determines the success of your life. You can be rich and still be a failure if your attitude is poor. You must work on your attitude every single day so that it is always positive. Having a good attitude is a “force multiplier” when it comes to living. It makes life much easier and more pleasant in the long run. The only answer to the question, “How are you?” is “I’ve never been better!” said like you mean it, with a smile. Say enough and it will come true. There is no better advice I could ever give anyone.
2) Do everything you can when you are young and able. The word “failure” has no meaning when you are in your 20s. Start a business and fail (or succeed). Go to school and flunk out (or succeed). But do everything you can.
3) Be unfailingly patient and always kind to everyone. Kindness is not weakness and it doesn’t mean you can’t be firm or resolute. It just means you seek win-win, not win-lose or lose-win or lose-lose scenarios.
4) Learn to control your temper. “Men are like steel. When they lose their temper they lose their value.”
5) You are not owed anything, especially respect. You have to earn it. You earn it by saying what you’re going to do and doing what you said you would do. Under-promise and over-deliver.
6) Drink more water and less soda; stand up straight (practice it always!); look everyone in the eye when you talk to them (not stare, just look!); keep a smile on your face all the time, even when you are angry. Do these things and people will look to you as a leader.
7) Never lie; never exaggerate. Understate everything. People will believe you more when you do. “I never tell a lie, ever, because someday I might really need to lie and when I do I will want everyone to believe me.”
8) Be bold and take outrageous risks. The more you ask for, the more people will give you. This goes for jobs, salaries and love. In love remember that “No” only means “No” today, at this moment. People change with their moods and with circumstances. “No” today could mean “Yes” another time.
9) Self confidence wins hearts and the loyalty of men and it wins wars. Self confidence is nothing more than believing in yourself, even when you’re wrong, even when you make a mistake, even when no one else believes in you. Never, ever, for a second, lose confidence in yourself.
10) Be humble. You are no better than anyone else, not the homeless guy on the corner, not the mentally retarded man in a special needs class and not the janitor at work. Don’t brag. Don’t humble-brag. Let your works speak for you. At the same time remember that no one is better than you either, not the President of the Company, not some smart doctor, not that great looking person you wish you looked like. No one is better than you. You are better than no one.
11) Do not put yourself or anyone else on a pedestal. When they fall off, they will break and you will be disappointed. There is no “perfect” person out there for you to love. Everyone is damaged. There are no perfect people or situations. It is unfair to anyone else for you to believe they are “perfect” for you or the “One” because they cannot hold up the facade and you will resent them when you accept the truth and that is not their fault. It’s yours. Accept people as they are, not as how you wish they would be. There is no “One” person out there for you. There are countless.
12) Forget about rejection or embarrassment. Embarrassment lasts maybe five minutes. Do not ever fail to do something or talk to the pretty girl or say what you want because you might be embarrassed or rejected. You ARE going to be embarrassed and rejected, usually more often than not. Forget it and keep moving. Those things are elements of fear and fear is an illusion that keeps you from achieving your goals. “Keep your eye on the goal, not the goalie”.
13) It is always better to be a failure doing something you love than a success doing something you hate. If you chase money you will get it but money won’t make you happy – it will just make your misery more comfortable. Do the thing you love and you will never have to work a day in your life. Do not ever live your life for someone else, even your parents. You have this one and only life so make the most of it. If you don’t, the only one who loses is you. No one else really cares.
14) Always stand up for yourself and for the weak. That’s what being a “Man” means. Don’t tolerate ridicule or abuse of yourself or others. This is what “Honor” means and people will recognize it and rally around it. It makes you a leader. In the Army they call top leaders people who keep the “Mission first, soldiers always” as their priority.
15) Develop goals and then put time frames on them. Make them challenging goals. Break them into sub-goals and then get people to help you meet them. When you achieve them, make new goals. If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you to oblivion. But if you do know where you are going the whole world will step aside to let you pass. “Nothing good happens by itself. You have to make it happen.”
16) As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Never accept a ‘no’ from someone who doesn’t have the power to say ‘yes’”. There are going to be plenty of people who want to block your way for any or no reason. Even people who love you will try to hold you back sometimes so they aren’t lonely in their own misery. Don’t let them. Keep moving. Never mistake motion for action but sometimes motion is necessary just to build momentum.
17) Be smart. If you can’t be smart, be strong. If you can’t be strong, be fast. If you can’t be smart, strong or fast, then get used to receiving a sound beating.
18) Help others to achieve their goals. When you help others you help yourself. It also helps you build friendships and contacts and you never know when those things are going to come back to help you – and they will.
19) Travel. Travel. Travel. Don’t care how you do it but go somewhere, see something, do something, talk to people and you will enrich your life more than you can possibly imagine.
20) In every encounter, with a mate, with a boss, with a friend, strive to listen 80 percent of the time and talk 20 percent of the time. The more you talk the less people will listen. The more you listen the higher you will rise in the esteem of others. “Do you listen… or just wait to talk?” And when you do talk, be discreet. No one likes a gossip and remember – two people can keep a secret, if one of them is dead. Be careful with your words. While they are unsaid, you are their master. Once you say them, they are YOUR master.
21) Never. Stop. Learning. Get hobbies, take tours, read interesting things, go to seminars, stop watching television and playing video games. Having wide interests makes it possible for you to talk to anyone and making friends, finding lovers and developing contacts is what life is all about.
22) Remember that luck occurs when preparation and opportunity meet. If you want to be lucky then be prepared. Be “there”, not in front of the television; keep moving, keep striving. “Sweat more during peace; bleed less during war.” And if you get the opportunity to do something, then do it – you might never get the chance again. Find a way to say “Yes” to everything even when you mean no. Use the “ABC” method to argue with people – Affirm the goal of their argument; create a Bridge to your way of thinking; Convince them that there are other ways.
23) Don’t believe everything you believe. Conviction, no matter how fervently held, does not create truth. Keep an open mind. Consider that you MIGHT be wrong. Think of the opposite argument. If you are right, other arguments will fall apart, not just be discarded out of hand. If you are wrong, be strong enough to change your position. So few people are.
24) Take responsibility for your actions. When you are wrong, apologize. When you have hurt someone, apologize, acknowledge what you have done, work to make amends, and then strive to avoid that mistake in the future. Forget about self-recrimination after you truly apologize. Everyone screws up.
25) Never dwell on failures or mistakes of the past. Move beyond them. Forget the past. No one ever got successful in the past. Instead of ever saying “If only I had…” say, “Next time I will….” and that way you are training yourself to be successful.
26) Never give up. Persistence separates the men from the boys. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. “Tough times come and go. Tough people don’t.” Muhammed Ali once said about failure, “Getting thrown to the mat means nothing because sooner or later everyone gets thrown to the mat. To be a champion all you have to do is get back up and fight one more round. Just one more round.”
27) You are going to get hurt. It’s ok. Your feelings, no matter what they are, are always valid. You can never be judged for your feelings, no matter what they are, but you CAN and WILL be judged on your behavior. Act accordingly. “If there must be an absence of pain for joy to exist then the individual is doomed. We must find a way to experience joy despite our pain. Remember: everybody you meet is fighting a secret battle you don’t know anything about. Everybody hurts. Everybody. That is why it is so important to be kind to everyone you meet. The line between victory and defeat is razor thin. Sometimes we are standing right on that line and don’t even know it. A kind word or gesture could be the thing that pushes us over to victory while a mean word or spiteful gesture could be the thing that pushes us backwards into defeat. Be the Man who helps other achieve their personal victory and you will have a hand in achieving your own.”
28) Don’t waste your time comparing yourself to others. “Forget about trying to be better than the other guy. You only have to strive to be better than who you were yesterday.”
29) Forget about blame. The search for blame is always successful and accomplishes nothing. Focus on finding solutions, not blaming others – or yourself. Learn to forgive. It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself. Resentment and suppressed anger is just letting someone you can’t stand live rent-free in your head. Forget about making excuses. There’s always a good excuse for failure but it’s just an excuse and any time you have to make an excuse it’s already too late. Let your actions be your explanation and that way you don’t have to explain or justify anything and you don’t need excuses. “Never explain. Never complain.”
30) Remember that trust is earned, not granted. If you grant trust too early you will most likely be hurt. “Trust everyone – but always cut the cards.” Observe the behaviors of others. How they treat people, especially people who are below them socially or who can do nothing for them, is how they will treat you when they become comfortable. Be trustworthy yourself.
31) Save money for your future. In any investment scheme, most of the money is made in the early years. The earlier you start, the more it pays off. Forget get-rich-quick schemes and anyone who cannot explain their plan in a way a five year old can understand it. Accountants, brokers, planners who use lots of big terms you can’t understand are ALWAYS conning you, period. Open a Vanguard SP 500 Index fund with 5000 dollars and use dollar cost averaging to put the same amount in every single month whether the market goes up or down. You will make out in the long run. You CANNOT time the market. You are NOT smarter than the makers and you have no scheme they haven’t thought of first. Remember: Money talks. It says, “Goodbye”. Put as much as possible in your retirement scheme, whether it’s a Roth or 401K or whatever. Buy real estate when you can. Stocks can and do go to zero but land always maintains some value.
32) Learn to feel and express gratitude everyday. No matter how bad you think things are, they can always be worse. Be grateful for whatever you have, no matter how small, and strive to be better. Never, ever give up.
33) Fidelity is the greatest thing you can bring to any relationship. There are countless damn good reasons to cheat on your partner but only one fundamental reason to remain faithful: your word of honor, given either explicitly or implicitly through an understanding. If you value your word, then you will remain faithful. If you must “have” that attractive other person then leave the one you’re with first. No wound hurts worse than discovering that the person you trust most is cheating on you. Even leaving them hurts less. “The worst thing about betrayal is that it never comes from the people we expect but from the people we trust the most to have our backs.”
34) The time is going to come when someone asks you to lend them money. Only you can decide if you want to do this but if you do, make absolutely certain that you can afford to lose that money. It doesn’t matter whom you lend it to, whether it’s a friend, lover or family member, there is still a better than even chance you will never see it again. And no matter what, make them sign a contract to pay you back.
35) In any situation you always have three choices on how to respond: to accept it, change it or leave it. Whether it is a friend, lover, job, house, car or whatever situation, ask yourself if you are better off with it (or them) or without it and then decide your course of action. If you cannot accept it, then you have to change it. If you can’t change it, then you have to leave it. If you have to make a decision, them make it. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that doing nothing isn’t a decision: it is. If you make the wrong decision, it will come back and slap you in the face and then you can make the right decision but sitting dead in the water is a recipe for disaster.
36) Never, ever accept physical abuse, even one time, from a significant other. There is only one strike in this “game”. Anyone who hits once will most certainly hit again in the future. No matter how hard it is, leave that situation immediately. There is rarely, if ever, a reason to forgive a beater, even one time. You are taking your life in your hands, not to mention your self esteem and self respect every single time it happens. Don’t ever let anyone devalue you in this fashion.
37) One of the best things about being an adult is that you don’t need a reason to do or not do anything. “I don’t want to” or “I want to” is all the reason you need. Anyone who tries to pressure you into doing something you don’t want to do by pressuring, belittling, challenging or anything else is almost always doing it for their benefit – not yours.
38) Being young you may not have encountered death yet. Be aware that anyone can be taken from you anytime. Make sure you appreciate the people in your life while they are here. Once they are gone it will be too late to say whatever it is that is on your mind – or your heart.
39) Love is one of the biggest areas of human endeavor where greater effort does not necessarily translate into better results. While it is true that nothing good happens by itself, you cannot “make” love happen – you have to let it happen. You do that by getting out there and doing things you love. You are never more attractive than when you are doing something you love. Clothes, make-up, expensive accessories are just masks that cover up who you really are and make it harder for the people who might love you to see the real you but you cannot hide your inner beauty when you’re doing something you love and they catch you at it. You never look better when you act like you’re good looking and truly like yourself.
40) Nothing good happens by itself. You have to make it happen. Get out there and make it happen. And remember – no one gives you power. You have to TAKE it. Get out there and take it. And remember: perception is reality or believed to be so in many, many cases. When you start out, consider what you’re trying to accomplish. You never want to have to make the best of a bad situation. You want to avoid a bad situation altogether by making good choices.
41) Praise in public, criticize in private. Never seek to humiliate people for not doing things the way you’d do them. Delegate and let them do the job and step aside. Just because it’s not your way doesn’t mean it’s not good or right. The best leaders are invisible, they rule with a light touch because the tighter you squeeze to keep control the more you lose control. “Authority destroys itself in proportion to its use.” Never tolerate disrespect from subordinates or even friends. When you work for someone, always talk about them with respect. No matter what you say, it will get back to them eventually. If you can’t take the heat, then quit or leave the situation, but until you do, you owe your boss loyalty and the respect of the position, if not the man. “You don’t follow your Captain’s orders because you like the way he parts his hair. You do it because he’s got the job or you’re no good.” There’s no third option. Focus on improving your skills. “In this world, you have three choices: be good, get good or get lost.”.
42) Courtesy, manners and politeness never go out of style. Say “Please”, “Thank you” and “You’re welcome”. When you are complimented, simply smile and say, “Thank you. You are very kind”. Keep your elbows off the table. Hold one utensil at a time. Open doors for others. Always ask someone who appears to need help if they need help. When you go to a party or someone’s home, always bring a small gift, either wine, flowers, candy or a shrimp ring. Good manners sets you apart from everyone else and they are nothing more than small courtesies that show you respect people. Remember: the best gift you will ever give is to show someone you love the gift they gave you; the best gift you will ever get is to see that someone truly loves the gift you gave them.
43) “Dress the way you want people to see you, not the way you are.” In all aspects of life, it is almost always better to dress better than your peers, especially at work. This doesn’t mean you are “better” than they are, it means you respect yourself and the situation you are in, especially at work. The clothes make the man. “If you want to make 20,000 dollars a year, dress like you make 20,000 dollars a year. If you want to make 100,000 dollars a year, then dress like you make 100,000 dollars a year.” Appearance drives reality and it always has.
44) Always stand up to bullies, even if you lose. Never let a bully get away with bullying you. You have to fight them in whatever way makes them know that there is a price for bullying you. Once they realize you will fight, they will look for easier targets. “Never start a fight; never run from a fight; never say never.” Never negotiate with “terrorists”. People who try to extort certain behaviors from you at your expense or they will “tell what they know” must be stopped at once. You do that by owning up to your behaviors and taking the punishment, which is almost always better than the terror and dread that accompanies submitting to extortion.
45) Never stop learning. Once you stop learning, you start dying. Have curiosity. Ask stupid questions. Be the tourist. Develop hobbies. Serve something bigger than yourself, whether it’s a god or a purpose or a goal or an organization. Strive always to improve. As time goes on you are only going to get worse through age. You have to fight that by constant training. “Learn it right and you will do it right for the rest of your life; learn it wrong and you will spend of the rest of your life trying to get it right.” Don’t forget, once you have an education, no one can take it away and the pain of achieving it will be forgotten. The achievement will never be for forgotten.
46) To have a friend, be a friend. Friends will enrich your life more than you can ever know, especially as you get older. “Friends are family you make for yourself.” The same goes for lovers and mates. Friends and lovers aren’t going to come knocking on your door: you have to go find them. Get an interest and hang out where those kinds of people hang out. Here’s a hint: that place is NOT a bar and drinking is not a hobby. Loyalty is a mark of love and integrity. “If put to a pinch, an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness.” But loyalty is not provided at any cost: when your values and morals come in conflict with your loyalty or someone asks for your loyalty in an unethical pursuit then you have to revert to the loyalty to yourself first. “Chose the hard right over easy wrong.” Sometimes the “hard right” has to be chosen over the hard wrong. “Choosing the lesser of two evils doesn’t make your choice less evil.”
47) To find happiness you must serve a purpose bigger than yourself. Whether it’s god, family, work, a hobby, politics or anything, once you find something you love to do and let it consume you, you will discover that in the process you have become happy. It’s not something you recognize on a second by second basis, it’s something you realize in the off moments when the world is quiet. If you don’t have a purpose or a goal or find meaning in something then you will always be unhappy. “Find the thing you love to do and let it kill you. You will die happy.”