carla and lauraI was tickling the ivories from age four (that’s my sister, age 4, and me, age 6 at first recital). But, what in the world can a pianist teach you about getting higher performance? A lot, I think.  After all, in musical performance, you are always trying to break through those ‘ceilings of achievement’–just like in real estate.

Are you ready to move that ceiling of achievement you’ve been batting your head against? Without new skills, we just keeping working harder, not smarter. The really bad thing about continuing to beat your head against that ceiling, is that it hurts more and more. You spend more energy just trying to accomplish the same thing.

 Too Much Energy, Too Little Results

Worse yet, we bounce off that ceiling and hit a new low every thing we get up the energy to try to break through it. Not only that, the last few years have been discouraging for many in real estate. Don’t give up on yourself! You do have the talent, the skill, and the determination to succeed at a much higher level again.

All Performers Hit ‘Ceilings of Achievement’

 As a long-time performing pianist and flutist (I spent the first thirty years of my life playing and teaching music), I had to learn how to constantly change up my playing for the better. In these next few blogs, I’m going to share what I learned as a musician that will change your 2010 performance dramatically—for the better.

You Aren’t as Good as You Can Be—I Promise

I just did a talk for our area’s Women’s Council on how to have a much better year–how to smash through that ceiling of achievement. (Title: Everything I learned about Achievement I learned from Tickling’ the Ivories—also the title of my latest keynote).

As a four-year old, I climbed up on the piano bench and figured out, by ear, how to play “Sue City Sue”—with bass notes, chords, rhythm, melody—the whole shebang. I was acclaimed as a little kid. However, as I got a little older, I found that playing by ear just wasn’t getting me to be a better player. Here’s what I did to get to concert artistry level, and earn a bachelor’s in piano performance—and how you can translate these performance principles to your real estate business.

Get from ‘By Ear’ via your Talent to Conscious Systemization

 As a musician, I know that no one can play very well when they try learning only by hearing (playing ‘by ear’). To progress pass a ‘whiz-bang, aren’t you wonderful’ amateur level, musicians must learn to read music, get a great teacher, and learn to practice perfectly. Generally, their teacher/coach will teach them how to practice, and provide the best editions of music. They will teach them will a specific system. The better the system, the coach, the music, and the practice, the higher the performance—the sky is the limit.

The First Time You Do Something Isn’t As Good as it Gets!

What does that mean to a real estate professional? Most of us started selling or managing ‘by ear’. Some of us were talented, and that carried us pretty well for quite a while. But, then, we hit our ‘ceiling of achievement’, and found we were working 24/7 and expending way too much energy—and money. The way out:

  1. Grasp great systems
  2. Follow processes and checklists
  3. Get a great coach
  4. Practice as perfectly as you can

Practitioners—Watch Those Actions, Not Just the Words

 Unfortunately, we real estate professionals don’t realize that we are judged on our performance, not our knowledge. So, when you get all antsy because you think you need more classes, stop and think about your performance level, not your knowledge level. Spend more time evaluating your performance, and pay someone to coach to you get better (all performers, whether musicians or golfers, do this, by the way). Critique your systems, and keep refining them because they will subconsciously affect your performance levels.

If I had a piano, I’d demonstrate these points (I do use the piano in the keynote!).

What Do You Want to Work on This Year—from ‘By Ear’ to Systematic?

 Do you have some business plan goals for yourself this year to raise your ceiling of achievement? What do you believe is most valuable for you to work on?

Remember, if you’re a newer agent, you’ll be tempted to hang back, keep your fingers off the keys, and wait for something different–or better–to happen to you. Don’t get tempted! Put to work these performance principles and see your results improve dramatically.

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