Knowing how you think and where your mental and emotional strengths lie can revolutionize the way you do business. Fiscal fitness experts Amy Chorew and Maeda Palius help you think about how you think so that you can plan better and accomplish more.

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Where do you fall in the entrepreneurial reality scale? Do you love numbers, or does a spreadsheet make you dizzy? Do you love to do business planning, or would you rather go to the dentist?

If you are on the love, love, love the numbers side of the ledger, you are likely a left-brain entrepreneur. But, if the thought of reading a spreadsheet, much less creating one, leaves you with sweaty palms, consider yourself a right-brain entrepreneur.

This month, we’ll discuss the characteristics of left-brain and right-brain entrepreneurs so you can self-identify. Regardless, of your preference, we will illustrate some useful tools to achieve the entrepreneurial success you want.

Why mindset is important

Why does it matter? Understanding the difference is crucial to your financial success, especially if you are the typical independent contractor real estate agent.

Your mindset toward entrepreneurship, reflected by your established attitudes, is a foundational tenet of fiscal fitness.

A real estate agent navigates the world as a sole proprietor, who keeps track of their business income and expenses and then makes effective business decisions to achieve financial sustainability.

We call this the entrepreneurial reality.

You own your own business and have a lot of flexibility. However, with flexibility comes responsibilities to yourself and your family. We will discuss those responsibilities in future columns, right now we would like to discuss the differences between left and right-brain entrepreneurs and how to leverage your unique talents to earn the wealth you deserve.

Scientific perspective

From a scientific perspective, the two hemispheres of the cerebrum serve different purposes. For example, logic, language and speech are mostly the jobs of the left side, while creativity, intuition, spatial attention and association are the jobs of the right side.

Both sides work together, and stronger skills result from the two hemispheres working well together.

Emotional decision-making

It is said that emotions drive 80 percent of the choices Americans make, while practicality and objectivity only represent about 20 percent of decision-making. Unfortunately, many times, emotional decisions are short-term and are not holistic.

According to Moshe Ratson, emotions play a significant role in decision-making and, when used properly, can enhance the decision-making process. Emotions provide you valuable insights, and we all think we make better decisions when we pay attention to our “guts.” However combining emotional insights with rational thinking can make more effective and well-rounded decisions.

Bridging the gap between science and practice

How can we translate this into being a successful entrepreneurial Realtor? Enter Claudia Rucker, president of Beyond Ordinary Business.

Full disclosure, Rucker was one of my clients when I had my tax practice.

Rucker’s mindset is very right-brain. She once told me that I taught her to dream in financials; that is the right-brain for you. I asked her to sit down and explain how this works. Here’s what she said:

When we first began our tax strategy sessions, I wasn’t leveraging the profit and loss statement to shape a long-term financial strategy that aligned with daily operations.

Our annual meetings evolved into what I fondly term “Dreaming Through Financials.” Dreaming through financials was a co-creative process. I brought my understanding of my business, and you guided the development of a financial blueprint that mirrored my aspirations.

We visualized my company’s P&L in five years, reverse-engineering a yearly cash flow plan. This plan was anchored by a sales forecast and a conscious spending strategy, offering my team and me a month-by-month financial roadmap that didn’t compromise our company values.

I call emotional decision-making band-aid strategies. Deciding on gut instinct is usually not the best decision.  Because I am so right-brained, I would quickly decide based on my feelings. 

As I developed my emotional intelligence, I started to visualize emotions as traffic signs in colors Green — good to go; Yellow – exercise some caution, get more facts and numbers, support from professionals; and Red – STOP – danger, go back to the drawing board.

3 tools an entrepreneur can use that utilize emotional intelligence and holistic decision-making

Now, when considering the top tools an entrepreneur can harness for emotional intelligence and holistic decision-making, here’s how I see it:

  • Business plan as a compass: The plan I am speaking about is not the conventional, extensive 20-page document but a more concise version that keeps both the leader and the team in sync and focused. This concise blueprint translates the entrepreneur’s long-term objectives into actionable three-year and one-year targets.
  • Decision-evaluation tools: Following the business plan, instrumental financial tools are designed to keep your financial data organized and updated in a way that supports you in understanding the data.

In summary, self-identifying, as a right-brain or left-brain entrepreneur is the first step to effectively leveraging emotional intelligence. Once you take this step, the use of emotional intelligence is a potent tool that both left-brain and right-brain real estate agents can use to enhance the decision-making process and achieve the success desired.

Amy Chorew is an active Realtor involved in investment properties and listing well-staged homes in Connecticut. Since 2008, Amy has been on the national speaking circuit teaching industry professionals about technology and sales strategies to help improve their business. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Instagram.

Maeda Palius has been a practicing CPA for 40 years. Her CPA firm focused on helping small and medium enterprises become more profitable and help the owners grow personal wealth. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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