This past Labor Day I wrote a Facebook status that stated, “When you love what you do so much that your vocation becomes a vacation, you don’t feel like you are laboring that hard. Happy Labor Day everyone!”
I am a firm believer that you have to be passionate about what you do for a living to ever reach your full potential. While I believe this to my core, I also understand that it may sound easy for me to simply tell an audience to “love what they do for a living,” as this can be much more difficult for some.
Most of you reading this article are in the real estate industry, which means that you are in a profession that you chose to be in. But I highly doubt that many of you sat in your seat in 2nd grade on career day and listened to little Johnny describe his dream of being an astronaut some day while you fantasized about being a real estate professional.
Bottom line – for some reason or another you made a conscious decision to choose this industry.
For too many of you though, you chose this industry because of things you were passionate about, and now find yourself spending much of your time on tasks that are not connected to your passions in enough ways.
Here are three steps to follow that will get you closer to the goal of making your vocation a vacation:
1) The obvious – make sure you are passionate about your industry and have meaning behind what you do.
Before I was a full time speaker/trainer, I was a full time real estate professional and loved what homeownership stood for in the lives of my clients. I didn’t have to fake a good mood (most of the time) or dread night time or weekend appointments because I was passionate about what I was doing and believed in the role I played in my client’s lives.
2) Focus on Outcome – Not Process
Most of our happiness, or lack thereof, comes not from our ability to focus, but rather our ability to focus on the right things. When you find yourself focusing on tasks that you can’t stand, rather than the outcome of your labor, it is only natural that you are not going to be happy. If you told me I had to give blood, I can promise you that I would not be a happy camper. On the flipside, if you told me that my blood was going to be used to save a little boy or girl’s life, it changes everything. In both scenarios I am going to be getting a needle injected into my body, but when I know the outcome is positive, that needle doesn’t seem so bad anymore. In fact, I can’t wait to do it because a child’s life is depending on me. It is all about focus.
If you are finding yourself weighed down by the seemingly arduous tasks that you complete on a regular basis, be encouraged and take some time to focus on what the result of your labor will be. Maybe you have the ability to save someone from foreclosure through a short sale you are negotiating? Maybe a young couple you are working with end up getting the home of their dreams to raise their children in because of your quick response and hidden grunt work? Whatever it is, spend some time, figure it out and make a decision on what you will focus on going forward.
3) Look at Hard Work as an Opportunity
One of my favorite quotes comes from Thomas Edison and says, “Opportunity is missed by most peoaple because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” While it is true that there are not many scenarios that require a real estate professional to put on a pair of overalls, the principle is still true. Good luck is the intersection of hard work and opportunity. I have spent a lifetime relying on “good luck” while focusing on the one thing that I had control over. It is liberating when you realize that you can’t always open doors in your career but you can decide how hard you are going to work until a door opens for you.
Saying that your vocation can be like a vacation doesn’t mean that you won’t still go through trying times or days that you would like to forget. Even vacations are filled with these kinds of days – but everyone still looks forward to their next vacation and your next day of work should be no different if you put your focus in the right place.
Jared James is the CEO and Founder of Jared James Enterprises, an internationally sought-after speaker and trainer. James built one of the fastest-growing real estate teams in the country, was inducted into the International Hall of Fame for one of the world’s largest real estate companies and wrote a best-selling book—all before the age of 28. As an acclaimed speaker, James keynotes events for major real estate organizations and conducts regular webinars and training for nationally known organizations like NAR, CRS, Yahoo Real Estate,Trulia and Zillow Academy and blogs regularly for RISMedia.