While most people would agree that a college education is important to anyone in the real estate industry, a slew of college dropouts—from Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to Matt Mullenweg and Mark Zuckerberg—have shown us that success in the Information Age requires no college diploma. Can you succeed in business without a college degree?
Don’t assume that means, however, that success is any easier; it is just more accessible. You must still apply sound business fundamentals. Let’s take a look at some of them:
Know What You Seek
The 3 percent of college graduates who have written goals accomplish more than the 97 percent who don’t, a McCormack study revealed. These findings point to something you innately know: It is important to know what you want to accomplish, and the more specific you are, the more likely you are to achieve it. “Begin with the end in mind,” (Stephan Covey) is excellent advice. You don’t need a 50-page business plan, but you do need one.
Make Sure Your Business Team Can See the Big Picture
An old story tells about two men working with shovels. When asked what they are doing, one responded: “I’m digging a hole in the ground.” The other said he was helping to build a temple. Perspective means everything. When you and your team know not only the “what” of the day’s tasks but also the “why” then amazing things can happen. M. Scott Peck, author of “The Road Less Traveled,” took his unique style of community-building to the world of sales. He achieved phenomenal results by getting teams to move from “pseudo-community” to “true community.” When people feel a part of something bigger than themselves, they become unstoppable.
Get Right With Money
The tendency is to see wealth as the desired end, rather than as a means to continued growth and fulfillment. Money is a tool. It comes and it goes. Those who are best at money management remain detached from it; they are in business as much for the challenge as for the monetary rewards.
When you do need a cash infusion, be sure to look at all the options available to you. Resources include:
- Start with the Small Business Administration and its courses and information
- If you’re looking for a loan from a bank, Entrepreneur has a search tool that helps you find local banks and companies with a track record of lending out small business capital.
- Find your local Small Business Development Center for in-person counsel
- If you received periodic payments from an annuity or structured settlement, J.G. Wentworth may be able to buy your future payments for a lump sum of cash now
You know the market, you care about your team, and you want to do an excellent job for your customers, and you know how to sell. Those are necessary attributes. When you find yourself struggling, though, to keep moving ahead in strength, rather than fear, look to your basic business skills. Build on them. You don’t have to go to Harvard to succeed.