Ever been frozen by fear?
This past week, I made a change. I moved brokers for the first time in my career and to be honest about the situation, I was scared to death as I considered the possibility. Change brings with it a lot of fear and uncertainty and probably ten times as much when you’re a new agent. Some of the more experienced agents have probably moved multiple times and are experts at it now, but when you’ve only know life under one broker, the prospect of the move can literally bring things to a crashing halt.
I spent some time thinking about my broker, my career, and my direction over the past few weeks (@LaniAR can attest to that) and it was rough on me. Hints of self-doubt and questioning “am I doing the right thing” were common place, but I knew something was missing from my current position. I wasn’t comfortable. I didn’t feel right. I was uneasy and therefore not as productive as I could be. I like my broker and learned a ton from him. I liked my fellow agents. I liked the office staff. I was getting good support, but I was lacking the key ingredient that I felt was necessary.
Self-motivation. I was motivated to succeed and to give the best to my clients, don’t get me wrong, I just seemed to lack the magic something that pushes a person to exceed. I didn’t know it at the time, but that was what was missing. I knew I had to do some thinking on the subject, but when I bumped into soon-to-be new broker at a meeting, I immediately knew I had to get serious about the thought. Having spent my entire career under one broker, the thought sent chills down my spine. What would I do? Could I do it? Should I do it? How is it done?
Shaking like a leaf.
A few days after we met, my soon-to-be new broker scheduled an appointment with me to sit down and chat. I was nervous, my mouth was dry, and my hands were sweating. I worried that I wouldn’t be good enough for them or they wouldn’t be good enough for me. I worried if the shirt I was wearing had any wrinkles in it. I was sure I was going to spill coffee all over myself and have to excuse myself from the meeting. Doubt. Fear. Uncertainty. Ridiculous thoughts. They were all a part of the day.
The meeting was great and I did relax eventually. What amazed me was that Sheila Moran (my now-new broker) had a certain spark to her. We discussed fear and the prospect of change. She spoke from her own experience. She understood my need to be pushed in just the right way in order to make me more successful. And she was willing to take on that challenge. I didn’t sign up right there and then, as I wanted to discuss it with my wife, but I called the next morning and said “I’m in.”
I’m still settling into my new office and getting used to all the little difference between it and my last one. I’m still nervous at times, but that has been overrun for the most part by an extreme determination to far surpass my goals and the knowledge that I have the tools and support system to do it. I am getting comfortable again and am already seeing the results of change on my mindset. Although I feared it, I knew in the back of my mind that it was the only way.
Stop and think.
Real estate agents always talk about “getting out of your comfort zone” by doing activities that force you into a slightly uncomfortable position, but will pay off in the end and boost your confidence in those activities. When you’re a new agent, there’s plenty to be uncomfortable with – everything that surrounds you is new and different. Out of that discomfort, you are forced to find your way and as you do, you find that it really wasn’t anything to be afraid of in the first place.
Switching brokers is no different. It’s a hard step to take, but sometimes you need to make the switch in order to seek out what you value as an agent. I value knowledgeable agents/broker, a love of technology, an encouraging atmosphere, and a broker who’s not afraid to crack the whip when it needs cracked. I don’t need to be patted on the back every five seconds, but I do need someone to recognize the value of what I do right and is willing to correct what needs improvement.
As agents, we are all taught how we are “independent contractors,” but in many ways, we need to be able to rely on the people around us. Yes, I’m independent, but I am part of a bigger whole as well. And if that “whole” is not providing me what I need, I must question it and change or face certain failure. I didn’t come here to fail. When was the last time you looked around yourself and thought you couldn’t bear one more minute of your situation, but when the fear and uncertainty crept up on you, you settled for what you had instead of reaching for what you want. I don’t know about you, but I’m willing to be afraid in order to succeed.