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TOM PANOS: My top 10 most valuable business and life lessons

By Tom Panos
03 December 2013 | 1 minute read

My top 10 most valuable business and life lessons

Blogger: Tom Panos, GM of News Corp – real estate sales, and a real estate trainer and coach

With Christmas approaching it’s a great time to press the pause button, sit back, do an audit, reflect on what were your biggest learning’s this year.

To get you going, below I have outlined my 10 most valuable business and life lessons. I wish I knew these back then when I was first starting out. 

  1. Process driven vs. energy driven: The reason why McDonald’s is successful is not because the burgers taste great but it’s the system that’s great. It’s why 13 year old kids serve thousands of customers every day. Turn your real estate business into a process driven business not an energy driven business based on spur of the moment behaviour. You have to understand that some days when you wake for whatever reason it is, you just won’t be pumped and have high levels of energy. This is where the system comes in. The stuff gets done any way. It’s non-negotiable. It’s a process. It’s a system. It’s “that’s the way we do things around here.”
  2. Success is an inside job: Yes the things you do matter, Yes the scripts and dialogues count. Yes real estate rewards the right behaviours. However what I’ve learnt is what you’re thinking about while you’re doing it will highly dictate how good you do it and how long you will persevere. It’s what you’re saying to yourself when you’re doing it in real estate that separates the 6 figure writers to the 7 figure writers. 7 figure agents have their audio matching their video and when you consider that buyers and sellers will forget what you say but never forget the feeling you leave them with, you will understand that success is an inside job. Things get better when you get better. 
  3. Temporary incompetence is good: Training and strategy is empty without courage and action. Action because this is what real estate rewards, not intentions. Courage because this is the quality that’s needed to take you from the known of your comfort zone to the potential of your best life. Behind the door of fear is your destiny. Feeling discomfort and temporarily incompetent is a natural state when you’re trying new things in real estate. When you’re changing your listing presentation, when you’re asking for twice as much VPA as you were previously or when your simply waking up an hour earlier to join the 5am club, accept that it will feel slightly uncomfortable but this is where growth comes. Always remember what got you here won’t get you there. 
  4. No bad days – just data days: Simply changing your perception of a situation can take that experience from making you feel like you’re having a shocking day to simply be a day where you’re given data to change the course and direction you are taking. A lot of people emotionally get attached to a set back and drop out for days, weeks or months. Others simply see things from a position of curiosity and ask themselves “what’s the learning here?” This new mindset alone can get you shifting from awefulising an event and using it as providing data to help you make a better decision next time.
  5. Eliminating mental and physical toxins: Your attitude will highly influence your altitude in real estate. Your physical energy will help you play big in real estate and overcome the 24 hour heights of exhilaration – depths of depression roller-coaster ride that real estate provides. Mental toxins can be simply negative talk back radio or watching – reading bad news. (that’s one of the reasons I’m doing 2 great real estate podcasts, one with John McGrath – Million Dollar Agent and the other my 7 figure attraction agent interviews. You can get both on iTunes or listen to them via my site www.tompanos.com.au.) Physical toxins include excess alcohol, bad food, and obviously illegal substances like cocaine, marijuana and ecstasy. One thing that I’ve learnt is that the fastest way to change how you feel is to change your physiology and by that I mean daily exercise. Apart from getting you fitter, it will make you feel happier and get you from stuck to un-stuck in an hour. 
  6. Habit creation: First you make your habits, then your habits make you. People get inspired after a conference or a training session then revert back to baseline habitual behaviour after the motivation injection they get on the day. Rewiring your body to change some of your current self-limiting habits to positive empowerment rituals is the key to long term sustainability. Two of the greatest that you should consider for 2014 are the 5am club and making 10 calls before 10am every day. 
  7. Risks are scarier in your head than in real life: I’ve learnt that I wish I took more risks in my life. I’ve learnt that risks are less scarier once you take them. Too many people play safe and don’t push themselves to the next level. Any multi-millionaire you will see took calculated risks. In fact in interviews with people dying in the final days of their lives, indicate they have 2 major regrets in life. They wish they spent more time with friends and family and wish they took more risks in life. 
  8. Accept setbacks are inevitable: but failure is optional. When you accept that it is normal to have challenges rock up into your life, you don’t get attached to the high-low feeling. Buddhism teaches detachment to just accept things like things. The market is the market. A tree is a tree. Things happen in life and where there is the low the high will come. Conversely where there is the high the low will come. So don’t get attached. Life cycles happen. 
  9. Live independent of other people’s opinions: Too many agents have an addiction to be liked. Too many agents have a need for approval. I wish I knew earlier that the secret in getting people’s approval is to not need it in the first place. Unless it’s your family or clients who pay you, what other people think of you is not of your business, it’s their business. What you think of you is your business. 
  10. Ego: Leave your ego at the front door. When you walk into a listing presentation it’s not about you. It’s about the vendor and the vendor’s property. Learn to become an interested introvert not an interesting extrovert. The ego is about letting go of having to try and impress everyone all the time. It’s about dropping the fake self and bringing the real self. This is authenticity and in a world that’s always trying to change you, authenticity is about you being the best you and stop acting like who you think you should be. 
TOM PANOS: My top 10 most valuable business and life lessons
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Tom Panos is the general manager of sales at News Corp as well as a real estate coach. His weekly blog goes out to 14,000 agents, and focuses on being an attraction agent. He regularly interviews Australia’s highest-producing real estate people. For more information, visit www.tompanos.com.au

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