Imran Poladi, vice president at NextHome Inc., owner of the NextHome and Realty World Northern California and Northern Nevada franchise networks, beat cancer with the help of friends.

He shared the lessons he learned during that struggle — and throughout his real estate career — during a presentation at Inman’s inaugural Select Live, a live-streamed real estate conference.

1. Don’t let people dictate your future.

Poladi asked doctors who treated him not to reveal his chances of survival. Perhaps if he learned he only had a 30 percent chance of beating cancer, he might have lost hope.

Today, he’s careful not to transfer his negativity to anyone else.

He hates door-knocking “more than anything in the world,” but he would never tell that to an agent he’s mentoring because that might discourage the agent from door knocking, even though the agent might be “the best door knocker in history.”

2. Surround yourself with people who fit the following profiles:

  • Someone who’s older and more successful that you can learn from.
  • Someone who’s at the same point in their career as you who can give you “honest and direct feedback.”
  • Someone you can mentor, which “keeps you on top of your game” and accountable.

3. Try to be positive.

One analysis found that 39 percent of English words have a negative connotation, while only 17 percent had a positive connotation.

That means you have to “think twice as hard to be positive … simply because it’s in our language.”

4. Don’t surround yourself with negative people.

One crab can escape a bucket. Two cannot. Steer clear of anyone who’s like the crab that drags down the other crab, and while you’re at it, make sure you’re not that unsavory crab yourself.

5. Be aware that you always have an audience.

Just because you’re not on a stage doesn’t mean no one can hear you.

Always be kind to people, and remember that real estate agents are “no longer a private figure, even in the elevator.”

6. Read until it hurts.

Poladi’s favorite books include “The Purpose Driven Life,” “The Art of Racing in the Rain” and “David and Goliath.”

7. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you.

And if you’re the smartest person in the room, leave the room.

8. Respect other people’s privacy.

Although it’s good to project transparency to the public, Poladi said he’s learned it’s important not to put people in his personal life out in the spotlight without their permission.

9. Don’t waste good advice.

Don’t travel to a conference, listen to an inspiring speech and then never apply those words of wisdom to your own life.

Become a Select member and catch the rest of Inman’s exclusive live conference.

Email Teke Wiggin.

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