“We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.”
– Lloyd Alexander
When I started real estate in 1996, I didn’t know how to use a computer. I could turn it on, but I didn’t know Windows, let alone Microsoft Word. True story.
My first colleague in real estate had a Computer Science degree and was a rocket scientist. No, seriously, he was literally a rocket scientist. Real estate was his second career. (His favorite line during listing appointments was “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to sell a house, but I do happen to be one.”)
He tasked me with making my first listing flyer on the computer, and when he noticed me struggling, he said, "Just cut and paste." So I printed a bunch of graphics, grabbed some scissors, and started cutting and pasting (I’m not joking).
I’ve made some progress since then:
- Built my own website a year later
- Was one of the first people in the market to offer password-protected home search to the public (which nearly got me booted from the MLS)
- Was recruited by a dotcom in my late twenties
- And in the end, I founded a tech company.
All because I was curious.
I’m a lifelong learner and am always obsessively studying something, whether that’s cooking or wine or chess or writing or fitness. We should ALWAYS continue to try new things and learn things that are foreign to us–it builds new neuropathways in the brain and keeps us young.
Here are two key lessons (both really the same lesson) I’ve learned about learning, in all my years of study and in trying to teach people. Almost everything I’ve learned, I didn’t learn in school; and almost everything I’ve learned, and everything most kids have learned, we’ve all learned on our own.
“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”
– Albert Einstein
This is part of your work. Being a successful real estate artisan requires that you continue to evolve, learn, and grow so you can deepen relationships and provide ongoing value to your friends, family, and your portfolio.