How to Change Your Mindset and Increase Your Wealth Potential
Jacqueline Kyo Thomas
What’s the secret to a successful real estate career? Two words: Growth mindset.
If you’re not familiar with the concept of the growth mindset, keep on reading. In this guide, we share what the growth mindset is, how it relates to your career in real estate, and how to develop it.
First coined by Stanford University psychology professor Carol Dweck, the term “growth mindset” means that you believe your talents and abilities can be continually developed, even after adulthood. Just because you reach a certain age on the calendar, it doesn’t mean that you’ve stopped growing.
With the growth mindset, you approach life differently. Instead of seeing obstacles, you see problems that need to be solved. French philosopher Voltaire once famously said, “No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.” This is a key component to the growth mindset. The growth mindset is built on the idea that every problem has a solution, even if it’s unconventional. It sees obstacles as opportunities instead of roadblocks.
The growth mindset requires patience and strategic thinking.
Over the span of 30 years, Dr. Dweck has studied human motivation and found that what one believes about themselves makes a huge impact in their ability to find success, instead of failure.
People who have the growth mindset believe that through their hard work and determination, they can reach their goals. It’s not about luck. It’s about persistence and never giving up.
Albert Einstein once said, “It’s not that I’m so smart. It’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
Those with the growth mindset believe that one’s destiny isn’t fixed, but that one can direct their own destiny by embracing challenges and learning from failures (theirs and others).
The opposite of the growth mindset is the fixed mindset. Those with a fixed mindset believe that intellect, abilities, and talents are unchangeable parts of who they are. They don’t believe there’s any way to change these elements of self. They believe you’re either born with “it” or you’re not.
And for this reason, people with a fixed mindset avoid challenging themselves. They also give up quickly if they’re unable to solve a problem right away. Sometimes, they don’t even see the point of trying. But they’re often envious or jealous of others, feeling like they’ve been dealt a bad hand in life.
People with a fixed mindset stick with what they know and rarely venture out to try something new.
By comparison, those with the growth mindset always ask themselves, “What can I learn from this mistake? What am I missing here? How have others tackled this same challenge?
They also ask others for feedback. They’re open to constructive criticism because they know that this leads them towards greater self-discovery, which will positively impact their future.
As a real estate agent, you will face obstacle after obstacle. It's an unwritten part of the job description. Your ability to succeed will depend on how you view these obstacles. You could say, “I'm just no good at real estate,” and then decide to walk away and instead pursue a different career path. That's the fixed mindset in practice. It believes that when you fail at something, you've reached the end of your abilities. And it's a good idea to just give up.
Giving up can also mean not putting any energy into solving a problem that your real estate client has. If it sells, then great, but if it doesn't sell, then you've done all you can do.
However, that's not the right attitude to have as a real estate agent. Your success ultimately depends on your ability to solve problems, to never stop learning about your local market, and to come up with creative solutions that help your clients meet their goals, whether that's through pricing, marketing, or negotiating.
Your mindset, whether growth or fixed, will decide if you’re a successful real estate agent or not.
The growth mindset sounds great, right? Here’s what you need to do to develop this mindset as a real estate agent:
Take a look at your current strengths and weaknesses. What can you do to improve upon your natural talents? What do you need to learn to be a better real estate agent? Do you need to get better at networking or following up with prospective clients? Do you need to learn a technical skill like email marketing or social media scheduling?
Now’s the time to get real with yourself and do what you’ve been putting off. Growing requires that you access what you have and figure out what you need to have to meet your self-improvement goals.
Also consider your top failures and what you can learn from them. It may hurt to relive those failures. But, by analyzing what you could’ve done better, you can prevent yourself from making similar mistakes in the future.
Commit to learning something new every day. Reading this guide is a step in the right direction. Consuming an article here and a report there will over time build you into a real estate expert. And don’t worry. You don’t need to invest a lot of time each day in the pursuit of knowledge. Even scheduling as little as 30 minutes each day for continuing real estate education will help you grow.
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When you embrace the growth mindset, you’ll look at failure as an opportunity to improve instead of as a mark against you. Remember that no one gets it right 100% of the time. In fact, most people fail, especially when they’re starting out. But, it’s not the failure but rather how you respond to that failure that ultimately decides your success. You can either let failure define you or you can learn from it, and use failure as an example of what not to do.
Dr. Dweck loves the phrase “not yet.” Instead of saying, “Never,” you’d say, “Not yet.” It’s a motivational hack that can increase your optimism and can-do spirit.
Improve your chances at real estate success by setting SMART goals for your business. By setting specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-oriented goals, you can focus your time and efforts into the right tasks to meet your goals.
Your real estate career goals can change frequently as you fulfill and progress. Some common real estate career goals are to build an automated marketing strategy that attracts new clients or to create a series of neighborhood guides that position you as an area expert.
Do hard things.
Challenges will happen in real estate, but that doesn't mean that you’re not up for the task. When you encounter a roadblock, look at it as a way to think creatively, instead of as a stop sign. Your persistence will unlock innovation and new ways to handle common real estate obstacles, such as unrealistic buyers, a less-than-favorable local market, and a dwindling supply of time.
No one loves constructive criticism because it implies that you're doing something wrong. But if you're going the wrong way down a busy road, wouldn't you want to be informed before it was too late and an accident happened?
Instead of avoiding criticism, accept it as a part of your growth process. You won’t ever know everything, and by accepting that fact, you will learn more than you could otherwise.
Don't take feedback as a statement against your personal self worth. Look at feedback as a reminder to re-evaluate your actions.
And also remember that not all feedback is valid or valuable. Follow this idiom: Chew the meat and spit out the bones.
Refuse to be negative because pessimism is the natural enemy of the growth mindset. With a little patience and a lot of persistence, you can do it!