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Your Goal of Making ‘X’ Amount of Money Could Be Self Destructive

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Dave Robinson

Dave Robison

By Dave Robison

When the Focus is On Getting More Money:

Recently, I talked to an agent who, unfortunately, didn’t quite know where their focus should be. It can be really tough to know. If more agents did, they would be selling a lot more homes.

If you can learn these secrets, though, you could be consistently successful.  As John Wooden would say it, “Skill may take you to the top, but it takes character to stay there.”

The agent who didn’t quite know their focus had many outside influences affecting them:  They were doing a loan modification; their time was limited due to a new baby; and they stacked up a lot monthly bills creating a “higher lifestyle” for themselves in previous years. All of these things added stress, taking time and focus away from work, on top of less pay than previous years and too many bills.

But this particular agent figured the  split with their broker was the cause of stress. They thought that if they got more money for what they were already doing, it would help.

So this agent went to the other agents in their office to see how they felt about getting a higher split.  “A higher split?” some of the other agents asked. “Of course. But is that possible?”  The agent wanting more money said, “Of course its possible. I mean, look at the broker and all the vacations they are going on. We are the ones struggling with a loan mod and the broker is in Cancun, we deserve more money and the broker can afford it.”

When your focus is on getting more money, it’s as if you’re running and chasing money that’s floating up in the sky.  Your eyes are affixed on the money blowing in the wind; you are running and running trying to catch it and than all the sudden you ran off a cliff and didn’t even know it. When you are determined to get more money and that is your focus, you will end up making poor decisions.

Patrick McCarthy of the Nordstrom Way learned this when he was almost fired. Patrick was Nordstrom’s top salesman for 10 years, producing over 1 million in revenue each year.  In the beginning of his career he found it tough working in sales.  He would work with a customer and then all the sudden another store clerk would get the sale. It was frustrating. He needed money bad, but other clerks kept taking the sales he was working on. One of the top directors told Patrick’s manager to fire him. Patrick’s manager came to him and said, “Patrick, here’s the deal. I’m not going to fire you, but you need to do a couple things: First, stop complaining and arguing if it was your customer. Second, if another clerk says it is their customer, you ring it up for them and do it with a smile.”  He changed his attitude and the money just came after that.

Where to Focus:

The agent I talked to who was distraught about their split was focused on the money. This is a self destructive path that leads to bad decisions.

Patrick focused on the money until he almost got fired. Recently, I was able to attend Entrepreneur Organizations Masters Program at MIT. It included over 60 business owners around the world who had up to one-half billion in revenue in their companies. Here’s where they learned to focus their attention (not on money but on this):

A.    Have a Mission Statement
B.    Have Core Values

Patrick’s core value became helping others with no thought of reward.  He learned to help others by smiling and letting them take the credit. He learned to not complain. He learned to not be worried about the money. That attitude turned into character. His character is why he attracted more business.

If you feel down and stressed about money, it can be very hard to do something that seems like it won’t help you make money today. It’s hard because sometimes you need give up immediate gain in order to achieve your mission of long-term.

The Good News Is This:

The average agent with the right goals and focus will outperform an agent who is talented or has skill. Not everyone may have the skill, but anyone can have the right focus.  What is your focus?  What are your core values?

Dave Robison, known as “Utah Dave,” is a broker of Robison & Company Real Estate.

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