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Want to Rake in Big Bucks in Your Business? Be Coachable!
I just finished a speaking engagement in Vancouver. During one of the breaks, two ladies approached me and asked my opinion about the current state of their business. They had taken several real estate courses, read a number of books, and attended four different “wealth building” seminars; yet they still hadn’t purchased their first property. In fact, they hadn’t even made their first offer. Sound familiar? It is a very common problem.
They took me up on my invitation to discuss their situation over a cup of coffee. For the first five or ten minutes they expressed their frustration about not getting started and about making a significant investment yet not seeing any return. They shared how their personal situation was getting in the way of their business dreams. In about ten minutes the cause of their problem became obvious:
They we’re trying to conjure up and solve every conceivable problem they might face ahead of time instead of taking their first step forward.
Now, I’m a believer in planning and problem avoidance techniques. Yet, may people get bogged down in the “what-ifs” and never get into the game. In just a few more minutes together we outlined a three step plan to get them “unstuck” and on their way to actual real estate investing.
Be Coachable. Think for a moment about everything you already do well. Maybe you’re an expert skier. Maybe you’re a gourmet chef. Imagine that you’re asked to teach a new skier and they struggle over to you, skies crossed, exhausted from the effort of trying something new.
Now imagine that instead of accepting your coaching, the student tells you about all the ski movies he’s seen, how his best friend took him down a double black diamond and how he’s really a great skier- just a little rusty.
The only person he’s kidding is himself.
So, be open to your coach’s observations and suggestions. Be willing to give them a good faith try.
Instead of saying……….
(a) I’ve always done it this way.
(b) That will never work for me.
(c) I’ve already heard everything you’re saying.
(a) I can see the possible benefit in your suggestion.
(b) I’ll try your suggestion and see what results I get.
(c) I’ve heard that before, now I’ll try to implement it.
When I speak live, I tell the true story of my friend Pat. Pat and I grew up in the same town, and went to high school together- that is, when we actually attended. While I was in law school, Pat started his own business and within five years or so, his business was thriving. He was in the enviable position of having at least five strong streams of income.
When Pat and I would get together, I’d warn him about the need for asset protection. He would dismiss it as “seminar stuff”. Unfortunately, in about his 7th year of business, disaster struck. Pat found himself involved in a lawsuit. And before long, he had lost everything. His home included.
Had he taken my advice and protected his assets, his losses would have been minor. Instead, because his decided to do things his own way, his losses were devastating. Pat thought he knew everything, and instead ended up with nothing. If he had just listened and allowed me to coach him on how to protect his assets, his business would still be thriving. We must remember that there are people out there that know more than we do about particular subjects, and that by listening to them we can grow more than we ever could alone.
About the Author: During my years of law school, I completed an internship with a New York Supreme Court Justice and second legal internship with a law firm and also began investing in real estate. Immediately upon graduating law school and passing the bar exam, I opened my own law practice. From 1988 to 2001, I practiced with my partner under the name Miles and Gillard, where I concentrated in the area of real estate and business law. Now my primary focus is on helping people save money on their taxes and protect themselves from the potential financial ruin of lawsuits.
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