You won’t go to a conference or seminar in real estate today without hearing a trainer, consultant or coach talk about the importance of knowing your ‘Why’. You might already know what it is for you, but is your ‘Why’ really big enough? Is it based on doing whatever it takes to succeed at the expense of the things you care most about?

In this episode of Real Estate Pros, we explore a very simple formula for why we are inspired by some people, leaders, messages and organisations over others – and how you can create a more powerful ‘Why’ that will make you unstoppable in real estate.

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Simon Sinek’s TED talk titled How Great Leaders Inspire Action has been watched tens of millions of times online and probably equal that amount offline at workshops, seminars and business meetings the world over.

Filmed in 2009, Sinek’s presentation is the third most watched video on TED.com and his book on the same subject – titled Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action – has topped best-seller lists across the globe.

Sinek explains that there is a very simple formula for why we are inspired by some people, leaders, messages and organisations over others. Sinek calls it “The Golden Circle” of human motivation.

Josh Cobb: How to Create A More Powerful ‘Why’ That Will Make You Unstoppable

To summarize for those of you who haven’t seen the presentation or read the book, imagine three concentric circles inside each other on a page. Write the word ‘what’ in the biggest circle, the word ‘how’ in the middle circle and the word ‘why’ in the smallest circle.

Sinek argues that most businesses – the overwhelming majority – communicate from the outside in of the “Golden Circle”. They use features and benefits to sell their products and services. They start with the ‘What’.

Using the example of tech giant Apple, Sinek demonstrates that the most powerful businesses and inspiring leaders are the complete opposite and they communicate from the inside of the”Golden Circle” out.

Companies like Apple start with their ‘Why’ – why they do what they do – which cuts to the core of what they truly believe in. It’s what inspires people to want to work for Apple and it’s what inspires people to want to buy their products and services.

Sinek explains this in his video by giving an example of how Apple would pitch their products if they were like everyone else. It goes like this:

We make great computers. They’re beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly. Want to buy one?

That’s how most of us communicate in business today. It’s how most sales and marketing is done and it’s how most of us communicate personally. We say what we do, we say how we’re different and we ask for the business or throw in a call to action at the end.

As Sinek says in his presentation, this is how Apple actually communicates.

Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo – we believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly. We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?

Apple has reversed the order of the information and as Sinek argues, it proves that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it, which leads me on to how this connects to you as a real estate professional.

You won’t go to a conference or seminar in real estate today without hearing a trainer, consultant or coach talk about the importance of knowing your ‘Why’.

I recently saw a presentation by a well-respected industry trainer who was discussing this very topic with a group of individual agents and he told a story about an agent who had 20 cents in his bank account and couldn’t afford to put fuel in his car. The agent said to his coach that he remembers all too well what it was like to be on the verge of going broke and his ‘Why’, was that he never wanted to go back to that place.

There’s a great quote by Albert Einstein that goes like this:

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”

Every time I hear a real estate agent use a painful memory as to ‘Why’ they strive to earn more money or sell more houses, I think about this quote by Einstein.

If you’re driven never to have 30 cents in your bank account ever again, what happens to your family when you’re working 6am to 11pm to “never go back to that place”? When will you ever see your family or your kids?

Here’s the thing. When you’re thinking about your ‘Why’, remember that it has to be a well-structured ‘Why’ with strong roots.

Not something like, “I want to have more money” or “I never want to have 30 cents in my bank account again.”

Think about what the money will give you in your life. Go as deep as you can, and then you can discover your real ‘Why’.

Next time you hear someone tell you about the importance of knowing your ‘Why’, I want you to remember this podcast and think to yourself – am I going deep enough? Is my ‘Why’ based on doing whatever it takes to succeed at the expense of the things I care most about? Is it grounded in some sort of previous pain that I never want to go back to or is it built on something more positive to strive for.

Go deeper. And when you think you have your ‘Why’ figured out, go deeper again.

Good luck.

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