This is such a fascinating topic for me because I believe I have real perspective on how a successful realtor© thinks. Some of the greatest entrepreneurs in the world didn’t necessarily start out with a grand vision. They started with an idea and an action. Bezos didn’t set out to build Amazon, he started by selling books online. Zuckerberg didn’t set out at 18 to build Facebook. He built a tool for his college that later became the thing. It was idea + action. Constant processing and execution on the ideas. It was reacting to the market and tripling down on their own success. Their vision really came after. So for me, I always knew I was going to be successful. At 6 years old, selling newspapers and at 18 selling advertising and at 20 selling encyclopedias door to door. I knew I had something special. When I was 14 or 15, I realized I was never going to be the center for the Montreal Canadiens. Instead I was going to buy them, and so that was my vision. That was my big north star.
So look, whether you’re an entrepreneur or an artist or someone who wants to be a number 2 or number 27 or number 47, I think the reality is exposed. For me, at a macro, it’s been one long game of self-awareness. The more I understand myself, the more I try to put myself in a position to succeed. Coming out of school, being 21 years old, I thought of myself as a great salesman. I didn’t necessarily have the vision of starting a real estate team or owning a large brokerage or a coaching company. I just knew I could sell and I was going to be successful at it.
I didn’t really think about emotional intelligence. That word had never come out of my mouth. I didn’t think about “operations.” I didn’t think about “leadership.” I didn’t think about “content creation.” I thought I could sell. Right? So over the last 26 years I’ve gotten to know myself better and one thing that happens is success compounds on itself, and as you gain more confidence, you continually gain more momentum. “Doing” was always my best strategy. I built my vision through taking action. One day at a time. The hard work, the hustle and the grind.
So if there’s anything I can instill through this article it’s not that vision is somehow bad or irrelevant but that it’s actually OKAY if you aren’t starting from that place. You can always execute and figure things out later. I think so many of you are crippled by “I don’t have the right idea” or “I don’t know where I want to end up” but the truth is, it doesn’t really matter. Vision always builds by taking action. One of my favorite examples I like to use is Sam Walton, who started Walmart at 44. It just goes to show you can literally suck shit, do nothing for the next 15 years.. NOTHING and then build the thing that puts you on the map. It’s really that simple. So the truth is, my vision was to buy the Canadiens and my strategy out of school was, “I’m going to work my ass off. I’m going to constantly be in motion.” I am going to constantly do. Which became, great, I’m going to build a real estate team. I’m going to sell more real estate. I’m going to be right about trends. I’m going to buy a real estate brokerage. I’m going to create a coaching company for agents and brokers. I didn’t know which of these would ultimately work or where it would necessarily lead, but I knew the building blocks of what I was going to try to do. And now, when I look at it, it seems comical to me, because obviously I am working harder than ever. My days are literally scheduled by the minute. I have two executive assistants who help me with everything.
All of my strategy came directly from opportunity. It came from action. Do work. Do work. Do work. That led me to my vision now which was like, oh my gosh… I can build something special, that I can use for the rest of my life. Now, over the last three, four, five years it’s been very clear to me I’m trying to build this thing, which is the entire macro strategy, but it came from all the actions. It came through the obsession with continuing to sell and help others. Winning more relationships, building a brand, creating obnoxious amounts of content, and watching it all grow. The funny thing is you can’t really decide. You can’t lay out your epic strategy until you are actually in the place to execute. So that’s where I see the two align. Through action comes vision and through vision comes action. It all just builds.
Most great agents, subtly have some greater vision (which for me was to buy the Canadiens) but I also knew it wasn’t going to be a straight line. Every 21 year old wants me to tell them exactly what to do, how it’s exactly going to happen, and what they should do. That’s just not life. It’s just not the way it works. You have to do, then react, then revise, then win. What I knew was, I had a vision to buy the Canadiens, but I realized it was going to zig and zag and there was going to be 857 things that were going to help me get there. I was always okay and comfortable in the unknown, which has allowed me to navigate towards success. It’s the obsession of the unknown and the acceptance of the unknown that allows me to navigate within it.
So the last thing I’ll say is I think strategy is still grossly underrated. Everyone reading this is so worried about their years, while continuing to waste their days. It’s all execution. You have to do. You have to move fast and be patient. I think the key is to know that. You can’t put yourself in a position where you have golden handcuffs. Where you limit yourself to what you can actually do and then you begin to believe it’s the only thing you can actually do. But the key is to understand things always change, and if you don’t recognize that, you are going to miss what’s next. My execution today is to run a brokerage and coaching business… In many way that’s my micro strategy… My macro vision is to buy the Canadiens. Vision means nothing if you don’t take action. But always let your action inform your vision.
Strength and courage,