20 seconds of courage


By Tami Bonnell, CEO, EXIT Realty Corp. International

When was the last time you summoned up 20 seconds of courage and took action? Was it asking for the order? Was it having a difficult conversation with a family member? When I was younger and I felt fear in a professional situation, I would do my homework on a prospect because they say that one minute of preparation saves 1,000 minutes of grief. Then I would jump into the courage. I believed that if I could show them what I knew, they’d stick with me.

I heard a great story about rock star, Jon Bon Jovi. In the early days he wanted badly to be a singer/songwriter and create his own kind of music, so he sent out 1,000 demo cassettes to various radio stations but heard nothing back. Consider, for a moment, the parallel with working your real estate farm. Determined to shake things up, Bon Jovi targeted a specific station that played the kind of music he wanted to create and listened relentlessly. He latched on to a certain disc jockey who mentioned a special kind of pizza from a local restaurant he enjoyed. Bon Jovi considered this might be his way in, but he drove around for two months wrestling with his fear.

Finally, one day he seized a mere 20 seconds of courage and took the leap. He bought the announcer’s favorite pizza and took it to the station. During a break on the air, Bon Jovi and the announcer shared lunch, and then magic happened. The announcer asked if the hopeful young rocker had a demo. We all know what happened to Bon Jovi after that, but what if he hadn’t summoned his courage to act?

I always recommend surrounding yourself with positive people who bring out the best in you to help overcome your fear. EXIT’s Founder and Chairman, Steve Morris, cares enough to have the tough conversations that push me out of my comfort zone. He challenged me to become a better public speaker and he has nudged me when I’ve had to have a crucial conversation with someone. It’s a positive push, but still a push nonetheless. People who care about you and keep you grounded know you feel the best about yourself when you do something you didn’t know you could. And once you’ve tried it, you feel like a million bucks and that makes you a little more comfortable to take another risk. People take risks when they’re in an environment where they feel safe.

Another way to summon the courage is to take control of your day from the start. Establish and stick to a positive morning routine like Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning™ SAVERS (comprising time spent on silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading and scribing/journaling). Following this routine helps you stay more in the present tense so you’re less likely to experience anxiety about what’s coming down the pike. You’re not as stressed by unfinished business. Visualizing your positive leap of faith will help to make it so.

There are a lot of people with great ideas who let fear stand in their way. You’ve got to be able to act. Put together an action plan to connect the dots to rise to that level of courage. What if Steve Morris hadn’t acted when he was struck by the brilliant idea that is EXIT? I’ve seen many people – especially new agents – who are “fixin’ to get ready” to start but never actually start. Maybe it’s enquiring about opening a franchise because that’s your dream, but you don’t because it’s safe where you are right now.

Before taking a leap of faith to purchase a dilapidated zoo in order to save the animals, Benjamin Mee, author of the best seller-turned-movie, We Bought a Zoo, was a decorator, bricklayer and journalist. Upon reflection, he said, “You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. Just literally 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”

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