Are you working for money, or is money working for you? In life, our next step is often to chase something bigger and better than what we currently have, and this is exacerbated in real estate. Here’s how to find what we’re all really looking for.

Whether you are a broker, an executive, a sales professional, an investor, a lender, an attorney or have your hands in some other part of the deal, a career in real estate is one of the most lucrative industries to be a part of.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars, and sometimes millions of dollars, change hands with each transaction.

Many people get into the real estate industry for the income potential, and it’s pretty big. That’s why I originally got into the business over 10 years ago.

There is no denying that the money in real estate has a certain allure. It’s definitely not as sexy to sell cable and internet packages, cars or candles. With the success of reality TV shows like Million Dollar Listing and Selling Sunset, real estate seems even more glamorous and luxurious, and it requires agents to keep up with a whole new set of Joneses.

Sure, those Joneses may add a few extra zeros to an agent’s bank account, but at what cost?

Like it or not, money makes the world go round. And like many others, I got into real estate for the money. But I stayed for much more. After all, money is only good for the good money can do.

Find your real motivation

Are you working for money, or is money working for you?

It’s really easy to get lost in chasing what’s next, what’s bigger, better and more exciting in this fast-paced, high-dollar business we work in. New clients, closed deals and big paychecks give us a huge thrill.

We’re riding high for days. The money comes in, and we’ve got to level up our life to keep up, right? More accurately, we have to keep the money flowing to keep that feeling of joy (false joy, I might add) flowing. And when does it stop?

We’ve got to buy the right car, the newer clothes, the most exclusive memberships, etc., just to keep up with the identity that we’ve created because without it, would we still feel that joy?

And that’s it, isn’t it? When we really break it down, it’s not about the money, the house, a relationship, the jewelry — it’s about the joy.

Stop chasing the ladder life

In real estate, it’s so easy to see, because we broker one of the most expensive material items a person will ever own. But it’s not about the external. What we’re searching for isn’t more money, more clients, better vacations — we’re simply looking for that joy and trying to figure out how to keep it.

Too often we think the “ladder life” (school, grad school, dog, marriage, dream job, house, kids, promotion, kitchen remodel, bigger house, travel) is the way to achieve happiness and joy. It’s not.

But you don’t need me to tell you that. You’ve probably already experienced this at some level before. Think about the income you’re making right now. For whatever reason (see the ladder life) you want more.

But let’s go back in time for a minute and imagine yourself at 25, 35 or 45 (you pick). I bet at 25 you could only dream of earning the income you do now.

At 25, if you had that income you would have been ecstatic, you would have been living your life to the fullest — no regrets. You’re there now. So what happened? What changed? The external world started whispering in your ear that you weren’t OK, that it wasn’t enough, that you needed to consume and accumulate more.

Find a better way

There is another way to live. First we have to stop. We have to stop buying into what the world tells us we need or who we should be and go inward.

We have to do a deep dive into our self and figure out what drives us (and more importantly what part of us is doing the driving), what’s important to us and who we want to be.

We have to find joy within by letting go and being present in each moment in front of us without any attachment to the outcome. We have to work on ourselves first before we go after anything in the external world.

This is a really difficult thing to do, especially for entrepreneurs. If entrepreneurs let go of their identity or specific behaviors that got them to where they are in their businesses and careers, then what would happen to everything they worked so hard for!? Would they lose it all if they let go? Nope.

Operating from this place of open heartedness, clarity and deep connection to those around you, actually gives you an incredible advantage and a competitive edge.

Now, I’m not saying to forget about real estate or European vacations or college funds for your kids. Those are all wonderful experiences, and yes, you need money to make those happen.

What I’m saying is: Approach those external things from a different part of you. From a part that would be OK, truly OK, if those things didn’t happen. If you really didn’t need those material items or external experiences to experience joy, then those would all just be icing on the cake.

When you come from this place of pure joy, you can serve your clients at the highest level, opportunities you didn’t even know you wanted start to appear, money flows to you, and you can handle the changing industry with ease.

It’s not easy. It takes a lot of patience, a lot of focus on personal growth (mindfulness and meditation are my go-tos), and intentionally practicing how to let go and surrender to the moment. Yes, it’s hard, but when you can achieve this state, you’re never out of the fight.

What do you want from real estate? I bet you want what everyone else wants — joy and happiness in your life. When you focus on you first and simply use real estate as a catalyst to express your joy and experience your life, the world will unfold for you.

How do you stay ahead in a changing market? Inman Connect Las Vegas — Featuring 250+ experts from across the industry sharing insight and tactics to navigate threat and seize opportunity in tomorrow’s real estate. Join over 4,000 top producers, brokers and industry leaders to network and discover what’s next, July 23-26 at the Aria Resort. Hurry! Tickets are going fast, register today!

Thinking of bringing your team? There are special onsite perks and discounts when you buy tickets together. Contact us to find out more.


Adam Hergenrother is the Founder and CEO of Adam Hergenrother Companies, which includes KW Vermont, Hergenrother Realty Group, BlackRock Construction, Adam Hergenrother Training, and Adam Hergenrother Foundation. Follow him on Instagram.

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