As the owner of the largest and most productive RE/MAX franchise in the country, you might think the entrepreneurial spirit left me long ago. But you’d be wrong. I worked my way up from humble beginnings, and I’ve based RE/MAX Results on the guiding principles of entrepreneurship.
When I was first starting out in my career, I developed an entrepreneurial spirit out of pure necessity. I didn’t go to college, and I wasn’t surrounded by positive mentors to guide me toward success. I learned very early on that I was the only person responsible for my own success or failure, and I developed the critical thinking skills and passion for my work that was necessary to move forward. It was up to me to create change in my life rather than waiting for it to happen.
You don’t have to be a startup founder to benefit from these principles. You could work for a Fortune 500 company or, yes, a successful real estate agency. Whatever your field, maintaining an entrepreneurial spirit is the best way to ensure that you continually grow and evolve in your career. Here are a few ways to adopt that mindset.
- Don’t wait for success to come to you. I once worked with a sales executive who was making decent money, but she wanted to increase her volume. She asked me how to adjust her business plan to make it happen, and she was surprised when I told her that her business plan wasn’t the problem. She knew exactly what to do to make more money — the problem was, she’d never done it 50 weeks in a row. For whatever reason, she wasn’t consistent, and she wasn’t doing what needed to be done to succeed. Nobody succeeds by sitting by the phone, waiting for it to ring. You’ve got to pick it up and be proactive.
- Think big. Entrepreneurship starts with an original idea that often grows into something bigger. Entrepreneurs can’t help but think about how they can make ordinary things better — how they can innovate and take things to the next level. They’re not content to accept mediocrity — but many people are. I’ve seen many people in sales settle for a small database. The truth is, you can’t catch many fish if you’re fishing in a small pond. You must expand your reach if you want to grow.
- Put in the time. Early on in my career, when I was flipping houses and working two jobs, and then later starting out in the real estate business, there were weeks when I would work 60 or 70 hours. I did it because I knew I needed to in order to get ahead, but I also did it because I loved it. I realize those hours aren’t sustainable. But there will be times throughout your career, even when you reach senior levels when you’ll benefit by putting in some extra time and effort. When you start to avoid working, when you turn your nose up at the occasional late night at the office, you’ve lost the drive necessary to grow.
- Never stop innovating. No matter where you are in your career, do what you have to do to keep that entrepreneurial spirit alive. Take calculated risks. Hone in on your passions. Never stop thinking about how you can improve. With the right attitude, you’ll continue growing and thriving in your professional life.
If you want to read more about my personal entrepreneurial spirit, my philosophy, and my story, check out my book, The Reward of Knowing.