In today’s episode of Confessions of a Top-Producing Real Estate Agent, my bookclub co-host, and Agent Grad School graduate, Amy Wease, and I talk about the Entrepreneurial Real Estate Agent Book Club’s monthly book choice “So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love” by Cal Newport.
The concept for this book came to the author, Cal Newport, as he was watching a Charlie Rose interview where he asks Steve Martin what advice he’d give other actors to become successful and Steve says, “it’s not what the want to hear. What they want to hear is how to get an agent, how to get a TV show, but what they need to be successful is to be so good they can’t ignore you.”
Those few words not only launched an entire book, but also is the topic of today’s podcast. How can we be so good we can’t be ignored AND how can we avoid passion burnout?
At first glance, it might seem like a stretch to say being a successful real estate agent is similar to being a successful actor in Hollywood, but hear me out!
Similar to how comedic actors are funny, real estate agents become get into the business because they have a passion for things like helping people, design, creating homes, etc.
But, as we all know, being a wildly successful comedian in Hollywood takes a lot more than just being funny. It takes skill and honing that skill every day. Getting better and being willing to keep going when the passion for being funny fades.
Same for real estate agents.
Let’s dissect the title for a moment.Being undeniable passionate about something doesn’t not necessarily make you successful. Being undeniably good at your craft makes you successful and taking the craftsman approach is the path to success.
We all have things that we just love, no matter what they are. But this passion, if we use it as our only reason to dive into a career in real estate, is not sustainable.
So, how do we continue to march towards long-term, sustainable success when our passion dies, as it inevitably will?
There are four essential rules in the book that Cal Newport has discovered for how people who truly love what they’re doing got to where they are.
Rule Number One: Don’t follow your passion. We’ve been told to “Follow your dreams!” or “Follow your passion and the money will come!” By telling our friends or even ourselves “do what you love,” we’ve ended up with miserable, unhappy, unfulfilled people. What’s worse – they don’t understand why they feel this way and it’s because they’ve only chased the concept of “do what you love and the money and everything else will follow.”
Instead, take a craftsman’s approach. Focus on honing your skill and being better at your craft. That will sustain you far longer than passion.
Rule Number Two: What You Do is Less Important Than How You Do It
Read that again. You must create rare and valuable skills to create work that you love. Essentially answering hat question I keep hammering you guys with—why should someone choose you among all other real estate agents? What rare and valuable skill do you offer in your real estate business?
Rule Number Three: Create Control in Your Business. More than anything else, I want new or struggling real estate agents to know, you 100% have control over the destiny of your business. You decide what it looks like, what it feels like, what you bring into your business and how you make it unique.
Knowing your rare and valuable skills (rule number 2 above) gives you more control in your business because it allows you to attract clients you want to work with and be choosy about who you work with, how much you work, when you work, and is the path to being able to work less, have client that respect your time and understand the value you and only you can add to their lives, and sees how you are different than every other real estate agent out there.
Rule Number Four: Think Small, Act Big. Thinking small is putting emphasis on our daily processes. Many of our daily processes might be small, like sending a letter or following up on a phone call. Taking these baby steps of what you need to do right now to help your clients leads to big things. Acting big is realizing you’re not there only to sell your clients a house; but rather to help them make a decision. This informs how you do the small things.
Creating work you love that will sustain you well after your passion has subsided (which it inevitably will)?
First, you listen to this podcast episode! Then, you’ll be so good they can’t ignore you by taking a craftsman approaching, honing your skills, which create rare and valuable skills, allowing you to have more control over your business. And, do this each and every day.
Show Links and Resources
So Good They Can’t Ignore You
Steve Martin on Charlie Rose for his memoir “Born Standing Up”
Agent Grad School is the best online business school for modern real estate agents. We teach a proven system to have a successful real estate career using smart, unconventional strategies and modern marketing methods to attract clients.
about your instructor
Hi, I'm Jennifer! I'm a real estate agent, founder of Agent Grad School and host of the podcast Confessions of A Top Producing Real Estate Agent. I teach real estate agents the exact steps I used to go from no sales my first few years in real estate to becoming one of the top 1% of agents in the US. Become a student, binge on the podcast or take a free class and let me show you how you can have the real estate career you've always wanted!