WHY I FELL IN LOVE WITH REAL ESTATE… AGAIN.
Why I fell in love with real estate… again.
When I got into real estate, much like meeting a future wife or husband, I had no idea what I was getting myself into by making a few casual decisions which seemed absolutely harmless at the time. Real estate was easy to fall in love with, especially coming out of my last relationship with the United States Marine Corps.
I appreciated the reciprocal relationship and recognition which came with real estate. If I worked hard, I was compensated. The more I was compensated the more I got recognized. Without knowing it, I became a raccoon gathering sugar cubes and taking them down to the river to wash my food and everything evaporated before my eyes.
When a person gets married there is youthful misconception that they stop improving, stop seeking, and stop evolving as a person. I heard some friends of mine talking about continuing to evolve and change and fall in love with one another throughout the course of their marriage. It was inspiring; freedom coming with love. They both are grateful for the changes. They have embraced flow in their relationship. I stopped embracing flow with real estate. I started taking relationship advice from everyone else.
Your relationship with real estate, just like your relationship with your significant other, or even your relationship with you, is yours! It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else. I fell out of love with real estate because I started becoming discontented with her. I started comparing her to others, and even listened to others compare their careers to mine in order to make me feel shame. Everything became an unhealthy competition. Everything became rankings and numbers and I lost my passion for real estate.
There is a saying “if you love something, let it go.” I think this has more to do with surrender than anything else. There is a lot of wisdom in this. I never stopped loving real estate. I had become connected to an ideal of what real estate should be for me and what it should do for me. I stopped falling in love with changes and people. I stopped living in flow. I started rebelling against my environment. I could not find peace because I had no inner peace. I looked to real estate, as many people look to spouses, to make me whole.
Inevitably real estate, like a person, would not be able to fill the void within my soul. I had avoided healing and had been living in pain for a long time. When I fell in love with me, I fell in love with everything. Suddenly real estate was no longer a burden, but an opportunity for exponential growth and improvement. By improving myself, I could improve my business. By improving my business, I could improve my own corner of the world.
These improvements are being seen in every facet of my life, all because I made a decision to live in truth and in love with myself. I no longer see the things I hate about real estate as an excuse for leaving, but an opportunity to improve me so I can, in turn, improve my industry. Real change starts internally, despite how many countries you have backpacked through with some change in your pocket.
When you love you, your career falls into alignment. You cannot hate yourself into success. This sort of success is not sustaining. It appears beneficial, but the moment you place it in the water; it is gone before your eyes.
1. The money.
We get paid well for our time to do what we do. My time is worth more in real estate than in every other career I looked into.
2. The control.
There is no other opportunity which puts you so quickly at the head of your own business. You are in the driver’s seat, building your name and reputation, from day one.
3. The end game.
A relationship in real estate has a clear mission. This requires little small-talk, strong product knowledge, and professionalism. Traits introverts tend to possess naturally.
4. The time.
I get time with my family I will never get back. No one is tracking my hours, my steps, or my bathroom breaks. I have a great deal of control over my schedule.
5. No ceiling.
No one can tell me to “stop practicing real estate”. Just like playing the guitar; you can practice until your fingers bleed and the results are self-evident when you perform.
6. I get to serve.
I get to help people buy their first homes and later sell them to buy their second homes. My clients are grateful for my service and dedication. I’m grateful I get to serve them.
7. I determine My destiny.
There are very few careers which give you this freedom. I can pick my brokerage, my team, my affiliates, and even my clients. I don’t enjoy everyone, not everyone enjoys me.
8. Alone Time.
I enjoy my alone time searching the MLS, reading and writing books, listening to podcasts, and listening to music. Spending time alone empowers my interactions with clients.
9. I’m good at it.
I’m good at helping people buy and sell real estate. I used to think it was easy for everyone. This could not be further from the case. Which brings me to my next reason.
10. I Get to teach.
I love “hacking the algorithms of life” as I used to say in my old podcast. I love teaching classes, being interviewed, and writing books. I love to see the moment when it clicks.
11. Real estate allows me to be a radical.
Many careers come with a muzzle. Real estate comes with a stage. Live passionately, be principled, be proud of the way you live your life, and the money will follow.
I spent some time volunteering with non-profits, flirted with starting my own, grew out my hair and beard, started a band, volunteered in schools, coached, became politically active again, read books, wrote books, watched a bunch of YouTube, attended one-on-one therapy as well as a week-long post-traumatic-growth intensive, I realized I am on the autism spectrum, doubled down on my advocacy efforts, spent a lot of time with my kids, and dedicated myself to healing, and self-improvement.
I thought, at some point, by getting into real estate meant I had to stop living. I had to stop being politically active, cussing, or playing in a band. I had an image of what everyone expected me to be and I tried my best to be it for as long as possible. They wanted Captain America selling real estate but I’m not Steve Rogers. I’m no desperate Alpha. I am a Sigma Male and I need a secret layer to experiment in, I’m not one to be placed on the table. I’m Tony Stark, Bruce Wayne, or Bruce Banner. Layered and complex… like 7-layer nachos or a California Burrito.
Real estate is just a profession. I am a man. I am larger than the career used to define me upon meeting new people. We are all human beings in all of our beautiful complexities and were not created to fit safely into a box. We remove our humanity by placing unrealistic expectations on others, and on ourselves, by constantly being worried about the bottom line. Life is not the bottom line. Life is lived in every experience, of every line, of your profit and loss. It will never be encapsulated by the numbers on a paper.
I attended a funeral a few months ago for a woman who had lived a life which had led to her being well-loved and her funeral being well-attended. She had become sick quite suddenly and passed away much younger than expected. She was still youthful and beautiful, and a registered nurse with many years ahead of her. Her daughter quoted her in her eulogy in a sentiment which her mom had picked up from someone else who had passed away; “Your life consists of two dates and a dash. Your job is to make the most of the dash.”
Don’t spend another minute hating your career. Learn to love yourself. Work on bringing the outside world into your inner alignment. Your career is less important than the person living it. Take a deep breath, my Lab-Coated friends. Love is all around us. Don’t miss it looking for what’s next? Love what is in front of you first and the world will follow suit. Most importantly when you love you, everyone else’s love is much less necessary.