You would be hard-pressed to find a top-performing athlete in any sport that decided as a kid he wanted a $6-million-a-year contract, so that’s why he learned to love baseball or hockey or basketball. Few, if any, were driven to excel by the money. They simply loved the game so much they worked harder than everybody else around them. The money came as a by-product of that hard work. Love of the game is key.
You don’t have to look far to see this play out all around us. People chasing dollar signs just don’t make it as far as those chasing excellence. There needs to be an internal drive to improve one’s skills; ultimately, a love of learning and the pursuit of mastery. NBA star Steve Nash holds the record for the highest foul shot percentage: just above 90%. It is said he wouldn’t leave practice until he had made 100 free throws in a row. If he made the first 99 and missed the last one, he’d start over. He didn’t shoot those additional 100 free throws for the money; he did it to become the best. He was dedicated to excellence. Dedicate yourself to doing the difficult.
I’m purposely avoiding the word passion here. Following your passion is often a dangerous thing. You don’t have to look any further than the tale of my first business to see how following your passion or hobby (performance cars, in my case) can lead to struggle and potential ruin. Turning your passion into a business rarely works over the long haul. (96% of businesses fail within the first ten years). A better indicator of future success than passion is skill. Cal Newport’s So Good They Can’t Ignore You does an excellent job of elaborating on this concept.
Passion matters, a passion for excellence at your chosen craft.
No matter the task at hand, strive for excellence and the rewards will find you. Treat every day in your life as a job interview; each person you interact with has a varying degree of power to raise you up or to pass you over. You never know which people have that power today, or might tomorrow. Thus, it is logical to be pleasant all of the time. Admittedly, this is easier said than done in certain circumstances.
Keep in mind that the more time you spend building up the people around you, the greater the heights that they, in turn, can assist you in reaching.
So, if not for money, why does one choose to become a Broker? The incredible earnings potential of a profession with an exceedingly low barrier to entry cannot be ignored.
I concede this point. In fact, I expect any Broker who reads and applies all of the skills from my Be The Better Broker book series to achieve a six-figure income—that should be a baseline. An income is important, of course. Given that we know the earnings potential is significant, let’s ensure money is neither your primary focal point, nor sole motivator.