Being your own boss is dreamy, but there’s an undeniable downside. A great boss offers accountability, a sounding board and mentorship. When you work for yourself, you have to fill that gap. You don’t have to worry about finding a mentor because you mentor yourself. Let’s explore that.
When I had a boss, I could watch her in action and ask for help. I see now that her mentorship filled five essential roles: partner, coach, advisor, cheerleader, and advocate. When I went out on my own, I had to find some way to do all of that.
Remember: you are in charge and you are resourceful. Let’s look into bridging your own mentoring gap in ways that don’t involve spending a lot of precious time or hard earned cash. Want to learn how to create your own mentoring program and be the creator of your destiny? Here’s how.
Partner: Find someone to mimic
Eventually you’ll encounter a situation that is just a wee bit out of your realm of expertise. In my early days of real estate, I deferred to (or relied on) brainstorm solutions with my boss.
When I was an agent, but still a bit green, I would bring in a senior agent when I was pitching a listing that was out of my immediate comfort zone. That person filled the gap of a short-term real estate mentor. I gained the benefit of their unique experience and perspective. By bringing a more seasoned agent, even if I lost the sale, I gained enough insight in one showing that may have taken all my agent years to attain.
Coach: Push yourself to prepare as much as possible
A really good coach isn’t a tutor. A good coach is someone who gives you faith in yourself, not just by telling you that you’re good and smart enough, but by guiding you toward the path most likely to lead to success.
So the question is, when you don’t have the luxury of another person to coach you, how can you lay out this path for yourself? How can you set yourself up in the best way possible?
The answer is to prepare. More than you think you need. In fact, when it comes to showing real estate, you really can’t over-prepare. Arm yourself with as much information about the property as you can so that whatever you may lack in terms of time and experience, you make up for with data to give yourself a boost of confidence.
See the property alone if you can, investigate the neighborhood, know the comparables, observe the people, etc. Do whatever you need to be comfortable with the space you’re showing. You’re sure to make yourself proud.
Advisor: Make a daily habit of learning.
Read up on everything and everyone in your field. Follow the social media and blogs of other real estate agents (hint, hint), listen to podcasts and subscribe to industry magazines.
Schedule time to read and learn. Make it a regular part of your routine each day to become more knowledgeable about the work and how successful real estate brokers became successful.
There isn’t a scenario in which you have no resource to find the answer. Especially today.
Your expertise is a huge part of the value you bring to your client. They’ll have questions for you, and you, as an independent agent, won’t have a boss you can go to with your questions. You have to make yourself into the advisor you need.
Cheerleader: Build in your own positive reinforcement.
Without a boss to tell you that you’ve done a job well done, you have to pat yourself on the back for your legitimate accomplishments. Set daily goals for yourself. Whether it is daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly, or some mix of that, create regular goals that you can track and measure. Reward yourself by playing to your own strengths, but also acknowledge the times where you stepped outside of your comfort zone or took on a challenge you would have rather avoided. Create celebration rituals as a way to incentivize yourself to push further.
How fun is this? No more meaningless corporate gift cards. What is your favorite thing? Sushi, new shoes, a new bag, anything. Make it the thing you give yourself when you sell a property. Create tiers, like something you get every day when you make your lead gen calls. Have some fun. Make the challenge worth it.
Advocate: Challenge yourself to speak up.
This is probably one of the more difficult ones to achieve. So often we look to a boss to stick up for us, and it can be so hard to stick up for ourselves. But you’ve got to be your own pit bull now. A nice pit bull, of course.
If this is an extra sticky task for you, do yourself a favor by reading up on how to assert your needs and ask for what you want. I recommend Tracy Tutor’s book Fear Is Just a Four-Letter Word.
As you grow as a broker, you’ll also grow as a mentor for yourself. It’s a cycle of growth that will have you excited to see how much you can change in a year and make you look forward to how far you can push yourself over your career.
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