About six years ago, I was at a three-day conference where Darren Hardy, the publisher of Success Magazine, spoke as the keynote speaker. Everything he said stuck with me, but the biggest thing that resonated with me on all levels was when he asked: “Who do you have to become to get what you want?”

  • Think about who you have to become to get what you want, and apply that change to every aspect of your life.
  • When you start focusing on giving rather than receiving, you'll notice more opportunities coming your way.

About six years ago, I attended a three-day conference where publisher of Success Magazine Darren Hardy delivered an unforgettable keynote address. Everything he said resonated with me, but what stuck out most was when he asked: “Who do you have to become to get what you want?”

Personal development guru Les Brown put it differently when he said, “To achieve something you have never achieved before, you must become someone you have never been.”

These two phrases are meant to encourage people to let go of unproductive routines, create new ones and stick with them to see new results.

Inspired by those words, I spent the last six years trying and failing and trying again, and I can confidently say that the advice below has lifted my life, my relationships, my business, my finances and my inner happiness to a new level.

Based on my experience in real estate, I believe you can increase your business income tenfold in less than 18 months by immediately adopting the following ideas and habits:

1. Invest at least 10 percent of your commission in yourself, and spend 80 percent of your free time learning

If you aren’t investing in yourself, you will eventually fall short of providing good quality work.

I’m not saying to buy out the self-help aisle at the book store, but investing in self-improvement will bring 100 times more return with regard to education, skills, relationships, confidence and the ability to change with the times and earn more income.

2. Don’t work for money, work to learn

Prioritize learning, self improvement and rest — and then work.

“Wealthy and happy people work to learn. Unsuccessful and unhappy people work primarily for money,” Benjamin P. Hardy wrote.

You will find that business comes faster, you become better at time management and distractions go away when you are always sharpening your saw and becoming a better thinker and communicator.

You will find that you can get more done in just a few hours than most people can in days or weeks.

3. Don’t learn for entertainment; learn to create more value in your life

I don’t read stacks of books just so I can say I read one book a week; I read them to learn things I can apply to my business, my relationships or my mind.

Information comes our way at the speed of light, each new source promising fabulous results. The goal is to take information, learn at least one thing from it and apply it.

After a period of time, assess whether the results are positive. If not, discard; if so, continue with it.

4. Invest at least 10 percent of your income into residual money-making opportunities

Most people match their lifestyle with their income. Very few people make money to invest.

What if you adopted the mindset that all the money made from your business is only half of your income, and the other half needs to come from investment returns?

This mindset — especially as a real estate agent — will encourage you to stop consuming and start investing in order to earn compound interest.

5. Shift your motivation from getting to giving

Genuinely (or anonymously) giving to others with no expectations on my part has made a world of difference in my business and in my life.

You begin looking at people and circumstances differently, and you start wondering how you can thank people, contribute more or improve someone else’s life.

You will notice an increase in opportunities available to you, and you will gain deeper relationships with people. Your work will be motivated by a higher cause, and you will become more inspired and inspire others.

6. Openly acknowledge how dependent you are on other people

The truth is that we need other people — teams, groups, brokerages, families, partners, etc. — to be successful. Needing people is not a weakness; realizing this need is, in fact, a strength.

Express your appreciation regularly to the people in your life whom you depend on, and watch what happens.

7. Set 10x goals and 100x goals

By Grant Cardone

You’ve heard of the book, The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure, right? About four years ago, a woman I admire very much randomly mailed this book to me with a thank you note.

She does not know it, but I have read this book at least five times. Each time, I realized that my goals were still so small.

Write down your goals and then multiply them by 10 or 100? What are they?

If you do this and think your goals are impossible, you’ve picked the right goal; your goals should scare you.

8. Improve your marketing skills

Marketing is merely applied psychology, connecting with people, persuading them, helping them find you better, faster and more easily.

Buyers and sellers aren’t going to magically appear for your listings. Prospects aren’t going to magically call you out of thin air. You have to market yourself and your business properly and effectively.

If you are fearful of marketing and you are not paying someone to do it for you, you will fail in real estate.

9. Don’t focus on time and effort — focus on results

This one is a key difference between entrepreneurs and employees. People who work for someone want constant praise for the time and effort they put into something.

Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, want to reduce the time and effort spent and maximize the results because better results bring higher income.

10. Define wealth and success for yourself

Success is subjective. It is so important to define what success and wealth mean to you.

Money, love, appreciation, gratefulness, material items, giving back, family, happiness, personal growth, etc.

Write your definition down on paper, including every area of your life, and live by that definition regardless of what other people are doing.

I challenge you all to write down what success means to you, and post it on your refrigerator for all the family to see.

11. Have a firm stand that becomes your personal brand

What do you believe in? What is your “why?

One thing I remember most from my Weichert Realtor days is hearing Jim Weichert say over and over during training, “people buy people before product or service.”

This is truer than I ever realized at that point.

When you have a clear brand, you stand out. You are no longer generic. You believe in something, you are specific and you have a niche.

People will either love you or hate you, and it’s OK because you want that. Once you take a stand for what you believe in, the marketing becomes easy, and you will resonate with people.

Cheryl Spangler is the principal broker and co-owner of FORBZ Real Estate Group. You can follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Email Cheryl Spangler

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