One morning I just couldn’t get myself out of bed.
It wasn’t because I was sick or feeling ill.
It was just that my heart wasn’t in it any more.
I truly felt suffocated, kinda like something very heavy was pressing against my chest from all sides and no matter how hard I tried to suck air in, the pressure did not go away.
My shoulders sagged with tons of pressure, making it almost impossible for me to think straight in order to find a solution.
It was as if I carried the whole world’s problems on me.
Everything seemed to slow down, including my own thoughts.
All I could think of was how to escape from it all.
But unfortunately, there was no immediate release from my torment yet.
So I wished someone could simply become my boss and fire me on the spot, without me having to make that tough decision for myself.
You see, I had been a realtor for roughly about a year by 2009 and I was already making good money.
But after the initial thrill of earning big commissions wore off and the novelty of buying my 3 luxury watches and tailoring new designer wardrobe was gone, I was finding myself working harder and harder trying to please people I really hated.
(I had naively thought that making money and winning awards was enough for success in real estate. It was not!)
All they did was keep asking me to:
- do this,
- do that,
- go here,
- go there,
- solve this,
- ask him,
- talk to her
- blah blah blah
- etc. etc.
I had angry landlords breathing down my neck, not happy about this, dissatisfied with that, unhappy with them, disappointed in me etc.
Had I made myself their lifelong slave in exchange for a petty, one-time commission?
I also had clueless tenants who just couldn’t figure out how to solve their own bloody problems, expecting me to babysit them through their own shit.
It was frustrating trying to fight too many fires and not succeeding very well at it.
Some tenants even left their landlord’s place looking, feeling and stinking exactly like a disgusting pig sty! LOL! 🤣
Then there were buyers I personally disliked because they insulted my race and made fun of my accent for no logical reason except putting down a salesman in his place.
And there were sellers who were insensitive to my religious commitments, asking very stupid questions about my beard and why I was unshaven.
They called me ‘Beard Man’. 😩
To make matters worse, none of my 5 downlines were 100% reliable.
I couldn’t just dump some (let alone all) of the workload on them, expect them to deliver results and relieve some of my enormous pressure.
I could solve their lack of product knowledge or closing skills, but not their lazy attitudes or privileged, entitled mindsets.
All they wanted was free handouts.
Nothing I tried so far had worked.
Consequently, this made me truly question myself and led me to a downward spiral of low self-esteem.
I almost thought I was the crazy one.
I started questioning myself and second-guessing each move I made.
- Was it going to work?
- What if I became a laughing stock?
- What would my upline think of me?
- Was I really that stupid?
I wondered why was I working way too hard for too little results.
And that thought truly depressed me.
All this pressure was killing me.
And I was very unhappy.
So I started dreading having to deal with my difficult customers and avoid seeing my unmotivated downlines that morning.
I just did not want to be a property agent any more, despite the income I enjoyed.
So I cancelled all my appointments and sulked alone at home the entire week.
But I had to leave my shell sooner or later.
It just so happened that I had to go the bookshop to buy some stationery.
And got stopped in my tracks by a simple-looking blue book that stunned me.
Why Most Small Businesses Fail and What to Do About it?
It was the E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber.
I promptly paid $16 for it, took it home and read it within 3 hours flat.
That was the first non-fiction book I ever read that made me go “Aha!” at least once per chapter.
I must have had at least 20 Aha! moments that day!
And it was truly motivating to discover someone not only had all the answers to my questions, but also described a comprehensive plan to get there.
I realised my business was not my life.
It was supposed to SERVE my life.
And unfortunately, I had become a slave to my property agent business.
Gerber taught that I had to create a SYSTEM for myself and then define HOW I wanted to run it so that I had a business that I truly enjoyed working ON.
So I decided to apply his teachings into my real estate business that year.
He was to become the mentor my own upline never was.
At first it was tough going.
No one I knew had done this before in Singapore Real Estate.
Everyone was conducting real estate the exact same way it was being done for the past 100 years or more.
At times I struggled to come up with good ideas.
And seeing clients that I hated was emotionally draining.
But I had to toughen up for my own good and simply persevere.
So after I created a plan for how I wanted to run my business, I hired outside help to make that a reality.
And ended up making a return of more than $161,367 on the $16 I invested on the book.
But it wasn’t the money or time freedom from my business that made me truly happy.
It was the sense of confidence in my own abilities.
I had a skill and people were willing, even rushing, to pay me for the privilege to work with me.
I regained back my own self-respect.
I became a much more confident person.
I felt accepted and valued, because people were willing to listen to me and more importantly, OBEY my instructions.
The biggest mental breakthrough for me was:
Nothing could ever drive me out of sales!
I felt truly liberated in years.
By the end of my transformation, I woke up each day with 100% excitement, looking forward to enjoy doing business with more Singapore Home Buyers and Sellers.
I regained back my inner fire!
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Yasser Khan is a real estate coach, speaker, and trainer at YasserKhan.SG who teaches Singapore Realtors how to make more Money, have more Time and enjoy more Freedom.
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