Years ago, I played a lot of golf. I was pretty good. I got All-State honors in high school and we won Nationals in college. And although I don’t play much anymore, there are some valuable lessons I learned then that I still use now.
Mainly, the art of competition.
With golf, I learned to stop competing against the people in my foursome, and instead compete against the course. If I wanted a good round, the course was my competition. I couldn’t control what my competitors were doing, thinking or feeling, but I could control those things within me. So playing the course was much more effective because it was all up to me.
People who don’t play golf laugh when they hear that people are exhausted after playing. But it isn’t physical exhaustion, it’s mental exhaustion. When you stand on the tee, you study the hole. Is there water in the fairway? Can you out-drive it or need to play it short? Is there out-of-bounds on the left, but nothing on the right? If you land it in your chosen spot, are you setting yourself up well for the next shot?
I had a few other tricks, too. One was that I never watched anyone else’s swing. Some people have horrible swings, and I didn’t want my body to mimic theirs. Another, I had to talk positively to myself. If you say, “Don’t hit it left.” Guess where you hit it? So instead I would say, “Go right.” And third, if I hit a bad shot, I couldn’t let it snowball into more. I had to immediately shake it off, refocus and move forward.
So yes, after four+ hours of this, you are mentally exhausted. With every stroke requiring focus, visualization, and positive talk, it was tiring. But it taught me patience, self-motivation and grit.
Some people are motivated by competing directly with other people. I would imagine basketball and football players are this way. Because they are competing against the actual person in front of them, they probably get a lot of their inner motivation from external competitions like listing contests, etc.
This approach doesn’t seem like it would lead to long term success though. When the contest ends, what’s your motivation to continue? If you are competing against another agent in your market, how much control do you actually have in the situation? I have someone who is trying to compete with me right now. She’s gotten a few listings from people I had professional and personal relationships with. It feels like her goal is to take me down. Go for it. Because honestly? I don’t care.
I can’t worry about what she’s saying to people. I don’t think about where she’s at with her sales volume. I quit sizing myself up years ago. I’ve been at this long enough to know that chasing after someone else’s success is a precursor for short-term success.
I prefer the long game. If I set a goal, visualize the approach, and then stay the course to reach it, long-term success naturally happens. Winning the season is better than winning the round.
Amy Gilpin, Associate Broker, Manager, ABR, SRES.
Fifteen years of helping clients. Seven years of helping agents. All for this crazy thing we call real estate.
Production Realty 517-879-4141 Jackson, MI Amy@ProductionRealty.com