One day, a dear friend of mine, who is a successful sales-driven business man, saw I was having one of those frustrating mornings where not one, but three deals appeared to be going sideways.
Sensing my pending frustration, my buddy looked at me with confident yet humored eyes and said, “Come on Spyro, honey badger don’t care.”
It proved to be one of the best pieces of business advice I’ve received.
If you are not familiar with a honey badger, it’s a wild, four-legged animal that is a cross between the cartoon character Pepe Le Pew and a miniature version of Baloo from The Jungle Book.
His midget-sized legs and white skunk back make him look almost domesticated enough for the next family photo. However, don’t let the 20 pounds of black and white cuddliness fool you. The honey badger is one of the biggest bad-asses in the animal kingdom who fears almost nothing.
For instance, if the honey badger wants honey, in spite of 1,000 bee stings, he goes for the honey. Why? Because “honey badger don’t care.”
If the honey badger wants a snake? In spite of the venomous bites, he goes for the snake. Why? Because “honey badger don’t care.”
When it comes to the grit, focus and staying power required to survive the wild, the honey badger’s attitude to the challenges he faces is simply (you guessed it), “honey badger just don’t care.”
I share my newfound appreciation (and mantra) because I see real estate agents become paralyzed with fear in the face of adversity too often. They fear rejection, solicitation, success and the deal going sideways.
They fear not finding the next client, negotiations and contracts, the economy shifting and not being the best parent on the block because they are out fearfully chasing the next deal.
In my 30-plus years of real estate sales, one thing my honey badger mentality has taught me is that if we are going to succeed in the world of sales and commission, we need to find our inner honey badger and live by the motto.
4 steps to being fearless and finding your inner honey badger
- Identify your market: Developing your inner honey badger takes becoming aware of where you eat. Meaning to be successful at sales, we must eat, breathe and sleep our markets. This means knowing the nuances about every neighborhood, every street and every aspect of the lifestyle your market has to offer. The knowledge about every new listing, every pending sale, every closed sale and every pocket listing will add to your confidence to go after what you know.
- Be determined: When honey badger wants honey, he never lets a few thousand bees stop him. Therefore, when it comes to a saturated, agent-heavy market, never be afraid to take on larger than life challenges. Just because there are agents in your area who have been there for years, does not mean you can’t break into that market as well.
- Be outcome-driven: When it comes to sustainability, honey badger doesn’t let a little snake bite deter him either. If a honey badger has committed to something, it will, in spite of the temporary pain, keep focused on its job. As a sustainable agent, you too must not allow yourself to get side-tracked when the snake bites in life penetrate your morale. The sting is only temporary, and if you stay focused, you can reboot to success.
- Be a risk taker: One thing the honey badger does not do is back down. Be it from a little bee or a giant buffalo, the honey badger don’t care about size. Therefore, when it comes to buying or selling real estate, we too need to have that fearless attitude as well. It’s just as easy to sell a $10 million home as it is to sell a $500,000 home. Success is not found in the number of deals you close, but more so in the knowledge that your clients have a fearless agent.
So, the next time you feel frustrated with clients, deals or agents, find your inner honey badger, and press on because honey badgers just don’t care.