One of my mentors recently told me that often times goal achievement is the path of a zig zag rather than a straight line. This reminded me of my zig zag to become a trainer, it actually started in early 2008.
In that year, I was a struggling real estate agent. After selling over 200 houses I ran into a slow time in my real estate business. My listings were not selling – my sellers were upside down in their houses. I had to get creative to stay afloat.
Over the years, I had acquired a unique skill set in Internet lead generation. I had a knack for getting to the top of Google and I have always been passionate about teaching.
In the Spring of 2008 I looked to diversify my income by offering training on Internet lead generation. This was my goal.
I had a major obstacles to delivering the training. I was dead broke and I had already taken a 40-hour per week job at Wal-Mart. Not a great ego builder but I did get to work on the toy isle which my young kids thought was really awesome!
For anyone that knows me, you know that I am a workaholic and 70 hours is normal for me. I continued to press on with my real estate business and 6 remaining over-priced listings in my spare time.
I had also been attending Internet marketing conferences and was a subscriber to Internet marketing newsletters from Stompernet, Terry Dean, Joel Comm and a dozen other names that you probably would not even recognize. I read these newsletters and marketing magazines while I was in the break room at Wal-Mart for 15-minute breaks or lunches.
I came across an Internet marketer by the name of Jimmy Brown and he taught a unique delivery system of training. Rather than coaching calls or webinars, the delivery is one small assignment per week delivered by an email auto-responder. This allowed me to focus on providing the best content while still being the “Wal-Mart” Realtor.
Over the next couple months, I outlined a 52-week course and actually created my first 10 assignments. I got approval to sell it on ClickBank.com (one of the largest networks to sell a digital product). For the promotion of the new training, I circulated promotional videos all over the Internet.
In the fall of 2008, this video in particular brought me a lot of attention, including a phone call from Keller Williams headquarters.
KWRI offered me a salaried position to join their support team in Austin Texas. It is kind of ironic that the video that was supposed to launch my training program actually brought me a job that would end up delaying my big goals for over 927 days.
Money was still tight and I needed to move 3 hours away from my family for 9 months (my wife still had contract to fulfill as a teacher in Dallas). It was a sacrifice that we decided to make because it was a great opportunity to one day become a trainer. It was Austin or bust!
Reluctantly, I closed my Dallas based real estate business. We had to maintain 2 residences and afford a weekly gasoline expense for my weekend round trips between Dallas and Austin. I closed every website including my ingenious 52-week training class. I was eating tuna fish out of a can for lunch every day for over over 2 years.
At KWRI, I spent three years answering support tickets for real estate agents via email. The best part about that job is it allowed me to still listen to training videos, audio books, and mp3’s of my favorite real estate agents and Internet marketing gurus while I was working.
I am not exaggerating to tell you that I spent over 10,000 hours on the study of real estate and Internet marketing since taking the position in Austin. I was the quiet guy with earphones on my head every single day. I could not let go of my dream.
For a couple years, I felt like a plastic bag drifting through the wind. I had an insane level of lead generation knowledge but no way to apply it to my job. I was inactive on my real estate license. Could I get any further away from my goals?
In the fall of 2011, I started to hear about a new product line at Keller Williams that would simplify the lives of 70,000 agents. It would reduce duplicate entry of contacts, streamline electronic documents, and have a heavy does of Internet lead generation with a website.
In 2011, I was promoted to trainer of eEdge. My job was to create documentation in every form.. guides, videos, and even books. The other part of my job was to host daily webinars to teach the agents how to use the technology. The unofficial part of my job was to connect with real estate agents on the social media platforms and be a spokesperson for the brand.
I will never forget MegaCamp 2011. Remember, I am the quite guy with the headphones on for 3 years that patiently waited for an opportunity. Hosting a webinar everyday started to get me out of my shell. Writing a book for Keller Williams that was downloaded 17,000 times started to get my name out there. I walked into this 3-day event for 4,000 agents around the country and I do not think there was ever a minute where an agent was not talking to me or calling my name from across the auditorium.
Over the previous months.. my head shot was on the intro slide of every webinar, my name was on the book, I connected with agents on Facebook but I was never a big name or charismatic character. It was almost embarrassing that agents were surrounding me every where I went. I kept thinking, why are they not talking to the mega producers, executives, department heads at KWRI?
Participating in Toastmasters and some of the Train the Trainer events at Keller Williams helped me on my Zig Zag road to trainer, but nothing helped me more than speaking to groups of 200 to 600 people at the largest training event for the real estate industry called Keller Williams Family Reunion. By this time I had already reactivated my license and started a real estate team producing a high volume of leads. In my mind, this was my graduation from a 4-year college degree in goal completion.
I became a full time real estate agent and trainer just 90 days ago. Looking back on my zig zag journey, I know God had a purpose in it all:
- Going broke in 2007 helped me walk in the shoes of a struggling agent
- Sacrificing the 2007 training dream for a better one in the future taught me perseverance.
- Answering over 10,000 support tickets helped me understand needs of the agents
- Studying real estate and Internet marketing for 10,000 hours helped me reinvent myself for a new world of real estate.
- My 10,000 hours invested also gave me the ability to quickly create content for 2 books, a dozen manuals, 25 videos, and hundreds of webinars for a piece of technology that never existed before.
- My 4 years at Keller Williams International gave me a platform that launched my training career and real estate career for powering leads to agents all over Texas!
Climbing to the top of the peak of this mountain has shown me a new view on life. Now I can see addition mountains and peaks that I want to climb.
In the next 18 months I want to be the top Internet lead generator at Keller Williams Realty. God willing, I will achieve that goal. It is never a straight line and it is never on my time table.
Oh by the way, I found this on my 2008 computer. It is the first assignment of the 52-week program that I never completed. Today, I am the author of 10 books on the topic of Internet lead generation.
Funny to see this one assignment now. Maybe God looked at my big dream of 52-assignments and opened a different door for me because he had something bigger planned!