We’re all prone to having our moments of weakness, where things aren’t going our way or everything seems to be falling on us at the same time. Especially in a sales industry like real estate, with the financial ups and downs and the pressures that come with it, it can be draining emotionally.
Sometimes I need to retreat and spend time with family just to keep my sanity. Sometimes the pressure turns to anxiety and it’s tough to stay focused on the road ahead. But I know that’s precisely what I need to do to make things right and take care of my responsibilities.
This is one of the traits that I believe seperates those at the top of their game from the rest- the ability to focus under pressure. We’re all busy and we all have pressure, but it’s what we do with that pressure that makes the difference.
Do you fold under the pressure or do you focus?
Most people fold. They crumble and become less useful in every area of their lives. Most people have the inherent flaw of retreat during those times that they are most needing to perform. But in business this causes anxiety and stress and simply furthers the problem. Curling up into the fetal position and bawling like a baby will not help things get better, and while I can understand the natural tendency to do so, and can even relate to some degree- I keep a discernable barrier from the emotion of it all because I choose a different way of handling my pressure.
I see people throwing their hands in the air and giving up all the time in this business- sometimes for a day or a week and sometimes for good. People leave the business or go into hibernation because a deal went south on them or several deals fell apart at the same time. Or because they are going through a tough stretch with no business.
I have these same stretches where business seems to flow in rapidly and times when it seems like things are slowing down. When things aren’t coming in though, I go out and I get business. And I think others who are at the top of their game, and the best in their fields do the same. They get out there and they take the bull by the horns and get things done.
-If you find a man at the top of a mountain, he didn’t fall there-
I don’t know who first said it, but I like it. Here are some things that I personally do to push through pressure…
Stay flexible in my approach but focused on my result.
I decide what the result is that I want and become determined to make that result happen no matter what. It’s imperative to stay focused on the result I am looking for so I have direction and a way to clearly see whether or not I am moving toward that result.
My approach might change several times. Think of water finding it’s way down a canyon side. It’ll change direction a bunch of times but eventually it will find it’s way to the lowest ground- and that’s how I look at my approach and the way I reach my result. If something isn’t working I’ll change what I’m doing and then change again and again as long as I’m moving toward that result.
When things catch up to me and the pressure gets heavy I take time, maybe ten minutes, maybe two hours, to relax and clear my mind so I can return to the issues from a different perspective. Sometimes I’ll go to a movie in the middle of the day to forget about everything for a while and then when it’s over I’m calm and can look at things again more clearly. Sometimes I take ten minutes and sit at a park or at home in silence and just think about the stillness and how big the world is around me and remember how small these problems are to the rest of the world. Somehow putting things in perspective against time and history helps me look at them in a better frame of mind.
Utilize my energy.
The pressure and stress I feel is all energy and I can choose to take that energy and use it to make me move. Sometimes I take that energy and turn it into anger because anger is such a strong emotion. I wouldn’t suggest doing this unless you can compartmentalize well (as I do) so you don’t end up taking out stress on those around you, but I’ve been able to take my energy and use it to get me off my butt and out there working.
Swallow my pride.
Sometimes I don’t want to do the work because I don’t like it. I don’t like cold calling or knocking on doors anymore than the next guy, but when I need business I’ll go out in the rain and knock doors asking for business if I need to. I’ll call five hundred people in a day or hand out business cards to everyone I come across that day. There are usually more productive ways to spend my time, but I will exhaust every option and do whatever it takes to keep things going strong. This is the business I am in- sales. And in sales I am responsible for my own success- I have to go find it and that’s what i signed up for when I took the career I did.
I don’t suffer from low amibition. Sometimes I like to take a break and spend more time relaxing, but I keep my standards high and I maintain results that I can be proud of. Some people reach their goals well, but their goals are far too low for their ability and situation. Hey, if you need more- go out there and get it. Having high standards motivates me and keeps me from
being feeling average.
I can’t stand when people stand around whining about how unfair things are and expect their lot in life to improve without putting in the work. Don’t stand there and shout about it- get up and do something about it. I’ll raise my voice if I think it’s going to help my cause, but I’m not going to complain just to complain- I’ll have a solution or some opinion I think will help the discussion. Whining is for suckers and the people ot the top of their game don’t have time for it.
Keep my frame of mind.
It’s important for me to stay in the right frame of mind and sometimes that means to just toughen up and stay numb to some of the distractions. I try to remember my talents and why I believe in myself. Not affirmation- dedication. And this can make all the difference in the world for me.
There will always be people out there that does more business than I do and make more money and have more time and blah blah blah- so what? I work hard because it makes me feel good taking care of my family and having success. And I like my work. Big reward often comes with big risk, and being in a commission-only sales position is risky, but rewarding for those who get off their butts and take charge of their career.
No matter what area of your life you find challenging right now- decide to change it and go do the work. If you expect to reach the top, any “top”- your “top”, whatever that is for you, you can’t be a wimp getting there.