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When the going gets tough, the tough get going. This past year has certainly put this saying to the test. The real estate industry is certainly feeling it — low inventory, bidding wars, high cost of building materials and more. Real estate professionals must buckle down, hone their skills, learn new ways of navigating the business landscape and get going.
Building a real estate business is tough (as thousands of people who have gone before us have experienced). As you start to gain traction and new levels of success, your problems just intensify. They never go away. And would you want them to? The challenges and problem-solving are half the fun.
To my point, a couple of weeks ago, a good friend and well-respected fellow business owner in a different industry emailed me and asked, “What are your go-tos when times get really challenging for you and you feel the doubt, negativity, and lack of confidence? What tools do you use to push through strong?”
I’ll share with you all what I shared with him. Here are my top five tips for pushing through when times get tough.
Exercise is an integral part of my daily routine; however, it’s so easy to want to skip a workout when you’ve got people wanting your time, and there seem to be a million fires to put out.
Do not sacrifice your standards. During these challenging times, exercise becomes even more critical for clarity and focus — and let’s be honest, to blow off some steam.
Whatever you do, whether it’s CrossFit, running, spinning or yoga, just move. Sometimes I even like to hike solo. It gives me time to think. Focus on moving your body, and I guarantee you’ll feel better, and you’ll have some of your best ideas and breakthroughs.
I use my twice-daily meditation practice to expand my mind and create a better mind, body and soul integration, which enables me to be a better leader.
Sometimes, just stopping to meditate is the meditation. It takes extreme dedication and the ability to avoid letting external demands dictate how you will live just to stop and take the time. But it is worth it!
Set aside time to sit quietly with your thoughts, breathe, meditate and get centered. A clear mind equals clear decision-making rather than reactive leadership, which is incredibly important when uncertainty looms, external pressures are high, and you need to make tough decisions.
For me, journaling is another daily practice. (Do you see a pattern here?) Journaling clears my mind, connects me to my family (because I have a journal for each of my family members), helps me reflect on what I have accomplished, and reignites my vision and passion for everything I still want to do.
Journaling connects me with my internal self every day. For me, journaling is also rooted in gratitude — the good, the bad, the ugly — I write it all down, and I’m purposeful in my expression of gratitude for all the experiences I have. It’s impossible to be grateful and be afraid or stressed at the same time. Journaling enables me to be centered and grateful even in the toughest of times.
I always caution my employees, clients and friends to be careful about where they get advice. Ensure you are listening to and emulating people who are actually living (not just talking about) the life you want.
You can find some of the best mentors in books. I always have one or two personal development or leadership books going. The ones that tell a story about how difficult building a business is are some of my favorites, including:
- Shoe Dog
- Steve Jobs
- Built from Scratch
- Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
- The Surrender Experiment
- The Hard Things About Hard Things
Or I’ll listen to podcast interviews with entrepreneurs and business leaders who have succeeded and failed and continued to push through. All of those books and conversations remind us that it’s tough to go out and do something big. But that is what life is all about.
5. Take action
Most importantly, when I am feeling stuck, I make a decision and execute. You might not be able to see the entire path ahead of you or the exact steps you need to take, but you will be able to see the first step.
Take that one step, and then you’ll be able to see the next. And from there, the next. Keep moving. If it’s wrong, you make another decision and pivot — just don’t sit idly. That’s the danger zone.
Inaction for too long can lead to paralysis, and before you know it, that challenging moment has turned into a tough year (or more). If you’re going through hell, keep going. Recalculate. Make a new decision. Keep pushing forward, and take another step.
These tips are not just things I do when times are tough. I have built up these daily habits and routines over years of practice to be emotionally fit to handle any challenge, lawsuit or emergency that comes my way.
My mind, body and soul are all conditioned to respond at peak performance.
If you haven’t started a daily emotional fitness practice, I encourage you to start today. It doesn’t have to be perfect — start small. Just incorporating daily exercise or journaling can start you on the path to a more centered existence. Build a foundation now for daily strength and continued growth, and when the tough times hit, you’ll be ready.
And as I reminded my friend, what we are going through someone else has already experienced and become stronger as a result. Just remember that life is happening for us, not to us.
You already have the tools and strength inside you to push through. Now, it’s time to get purposeful about bringing them to the surface and living in that strength every day.
Adam Hergenrother is the founder and CEO of Adam Hergenrother Companies