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I was speaking at a conference recently where I heard a fellow speaker, Jim Marks, make an interesting comment from the stage. He said you don’t make money on your sphere of influence. At first I was caught off guard and wondered what kind of blasphemy he was spreading. I thought about how I was going to have to go up after him and reverse this ridiculous notion in the minds of the attendees.

I started to think about how I had delivered literally hundreds of keynotes in the last two years using stats such as, “In 2011, 39 percent of real estate transactions came from personal referrals, and 22 percent came from buyers and sellers using the same agent they previously worked with the last time they were involved in real estate transaction.”

Just those two stats alone accounted for 61 percent of all the transactions completed in all of last year. How could this guy be saying such nonsense?

And then it clicked.

You didn’t make money off of your sphere of influence – you made and continue to make money off of the things that you did to grow your sphere of influence. Think about it. When was the last time you saw a baby born and then just handed a “sphere of influence?” It doesn’t happen that way. We’ve had to build our sphere.

But that is where the problem begins. This is why many sales agents make $50,000 their first year, $85,000 their second year, $125,000 their third year, $125,000 their fourth year, $125,000 their fifth year…You get the point?

At some point you bought into the notion that your sphere of influence makes you money, so once you had one, you got comfortable and relied on that precious gold mine that would magically grow your business year after year, and yet, for some reason it hasn’t happened—and it won’t happen.

If you want to make more money next year than you did this year, it’s pretty simple. Yes, you have to focus on your sphere and stay in touch with them, but simple systems can do that. If you want to make more money next year, it won’t come from your sphere of influence – it will happen when you continue to do the things that created your sphere of influence in the first 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.

To stay in touch with Jared James, visit and or visit his website at