Enjoy this recent Podcast with Kevin Turner where we spoke about the importance of self-belief. Mark has been a guest on Kevin’s REUNCUT show on a number of occasions and they are always a great learning experience for listeners. Kevin has been in the Real Estate industry for many years and is highly regarded in the industry.
Kevin: I sometimes think in sales that we do a little bit too much bragging. There has to be a fine balance between being good, bragging about it and having a great self-belief. That’s really what I want to focus on this weekend. It’s the subject of the conversation I’ve had with my business coach because he thinks I brag too much, I am too much of a big hit. Mark Creedon from Red Monkey Coaching is my business coach. He joins us now. Good day, Mark.
Mark: Good day, Kevin. How are you?
Kevin: Yeah, alright. It comes down to strengths and weaknesses. But, let’s talk about this self-belief versus self-esteem.
Mark: I think it’s a common factor people fall into. You see somebody who seems to be very extroverted and very outgoing, very positive and often that’s a little bit of a mask because they are focusing on their external capabilities. Often it’s actually masking an internal introversion where they actually feel quite uncertain of themselves. So, you’ve got to be very careful of that fine line between self-esteem and self-belief and a healthy mix of both of these is where you want to end up.
Kevin: Yeah, nothing more sobering than going through a strengths and weaknesses exercise, eh? The advance I’d give here, and I am sure you will endorse this, Mark, is to get some outside help, because I have found it quite difficult. I needed to get a hand to do this. Why was that?
Mark: Well, as you know, Kevin, it’s one of the things I ask my clients to do at the outset: to conduct a strengths and weaknesses assessment of themselves. But, we’re often not very honest about ourselves. We often sort of look at the gloom side and the gloss side or the negative sides or all the weaknesses, if you like. So, giving somebody whose judgment you value and somebody you trust permission to be completely honest with you is a great exercise. Don’t tell me what you think your strengths and weaknesses are because often people will say in some ways human beings are sort of hard-wired for survival. So, they will often skip past their weaknesses and just think about the good things they can do, what the strengths are that they have. So, get somebody outside to have a look and give you an honest and objective assessment.
Kevin: Getting rid of this scarcity mentality, what does that mean?
Mark: Kevin, I often see people in business, they hold back in what they are doing because they believe they don’t have the resources that they need. So, sometimes it’s skills, sometimes it’s people around them, sometimes it’s money. So, we have this sort of scarcity mentality. If we have a sense of self-belief and we have conducted our assessment of the project, then we start to look for how we can make things happen or what we have got, as opposed to what we don’t have or how things might go wrong. So, for example, if we are talking about money, understanding if we had this scarcity mentality, we will say we are not able to do something because we don’t have the funds, but in fact, the funds are probably out there and we can raise them by joint ventures or equity investments or borrowing or whatever it might be.
Kevin: How important is it in doing this to actually have a vision for where you are going and is that the same as the why?
Mark: Actually it is, absolutely. The ‘why’ is really an internal thing. You have to understand why you do something because if you don’t get a very clear picture of why you are doing something, how do you believe in it? You know, ‘why’ and ‘self-belief’ go hand-in-hand. Understanding why I am in the business, why am I actually doing this, why I get out of bed every day and get into the transition and do what I do. There has to be a why, a reason to it. And once you understand the why, then you can have that self-belief. Once you have the self-belief, you can then develop a vision.
Kevin: Is the ‘why’ an elevator pitch or is that different again?
Mark: No, look, I think it’s different. I think an elevator pitch is really designed to give somebody a clear understanding of what it is that you do. Whether it’s made of why is really an understanding for you and then for you to share with others as to why it is that you do it. What’s the driving force? What’s the motivation? What gets you out of bed in the morning? And that’s when you develop the vision. Once you’ve got the why, then you can set this vision up and the vision will help you to stay on track. It’s like the end picture, it’s the light at the end of the tunnel or the picture at the end of the road. And it also helps you to then bring people on board so that they can understand what they are getting involved in if they come and work for you or work with you or partner up with you.
Kevin: Having that clear vision has also got to be a great motivator, hasn’t it? And that, in the end, is going to help with your own self-belief.
Mark: It is. One of the things I often encourage my clients to do is to have their vision somewhere they can actually see it on their wall, on their screensaver, just somewhere where they can see it on a regular basis, so that they can look at it and go, “Okay, that’s why I am doing this”. Then, in the toughest moments in business, they will know that they are there, that’s the time when you need to look at that vision and go, “Okay, that’s where I am heading toward. That’s why I am going through these tough times.”
Kevin: The ‘why’, understanding why you are doing something and how motivating that’s going to be, pretty important then? Mark Creedon, who is our guest this week, is discussing this topic with me. When we actually develop a plan, what should that plan look like?
Mark: Yeah, good question, Kevin. So, once we have got the vision, remember the vision is the end picture, one of the self-analogies that I often use is it’s like a jigsaw puzzle. So, the vision is the picture on the front of the box. The plan is all the little pieces inside.
Kevin: Oh, I see.
Mark: So, the plan really needs to be a process as to how we are going to put this jigsaw puzzle together. It’s been many years since I have done a jigsaw puzzle, but if I remember correctly, we used to start with the borders…
Kevin: That’s right.
Mark: … get the sides of the puzzle together to go down and to work in with. And so, a plan is really no different to that. It’s about making sure that we have a process of putting all of the various pieces that we have in our business together in such a way that we will end up with the picture on the front of the box, which again is the vision.
Kevin: Yeah, to take that one step further, if we do the two things that we have just talked about in the first couple of days and that is do the strengths and weaknesses and develop that vision, that why, we are going to make sure that we don’t do our jigsaw puzzle and find there’s a piece missing right at the end.
Mark: Yeah, that’s right. The other thing about that and again, something that I work on with people is to take those pieces because people will have different strengths. You might know, for example, that you are going to be very good at the minute detail, you are going to be very good at finding all those tons of little pieces, but understanding maybe how to setup the boundary is not a strength that you would have, and so you might delegate that to somebody else in your business or you might even outsource it. So, having that plan is very much around understanding where the pieces go, but it’s also understanding the ‘who’. So, who is going to be involved in putting those pieces together into the picture.
Kevin: Yes. At what point do you worry about the ‘who’?
Mark: I would do a very simple process. We think about the why first. So, why are we doing this? Then what are we going to do? Then how are we going to do it? And then we want to know who is going to get involved. The information that you have got from your strengths and weaknesses, the assessment that we’ve done at the very outset of this, will give you the core information that you need to be able to deal with the who question when you come to it.
Mark: Which is why, again, I always say let’s put the who to one side. We don’t need to worry about that for the moment because we kind of already know from our strengths and weaknesses. We might not know who is going to do certain jobs, we know that there are certain jobs that we won’t be doing.
Kevin: Hmm. This is going to obviously attract a lot more business too, isn’t it? I mean, if you’ve got the wide end, you are going to be attracting the right people and if you get that plan in place and understand what the puzzle looks like, the overall thing, that will actually help you attract more business.
Mark: That’s right. I think it does two things. It helps you attract more business and it also helps you to attract the right people around you in your team, if you are going to employ people. So, absolutely. And Kevin, it’s a digital age, but even in this digital age people still buy people. So, understanding that you have this very clear vision of where you are going, people want to come on board, they want to be a part of that.
Kevin: Yeah, moving to the next level, pretty important now that we have developed a vision, done the plan that we can now focus on our strengths, but what about our weaknesses? How do we accommodate those?
Mark: So, now we are moving on to the ‘who’. And how we deal with the weaknesses is to find somebody else who can take on those tasks for us. So, one of the mistakes that we often make in business, Kevin, is we employ people who are like us. In any interview when someone walks into our work life and we interview them, we think “I think I already like them, they think like me.” And so, we often employ people on that basis. Whereas what we want actually is to employ someone who can compensate for our weaknesses, who can actually fill those gaps for us. So, really when you are interviewing, the focus should be on looking for someone to fill those weaknesses that you have identified, and it may be that you end up with somebody who is actually quite different to you and, in fact, it’s more than likely that this will be the case.
Kevin: Yeah, I can see that an insecure person would be quite challenged by that, Mark.
Mark: Absolutely, because we like to have people that either think like us or acquiesce to our comments or concepts that we have, whereas really what you want here is someone to challenge you…
Kevin: Challenge, yeah.
Mark: … you want someone… yeah, absolutely.
Kevin: That’s the only way you are going to grow, isn’t it?
Mark: Yeah, it is. Understanding weaknesses obviously is the very first step in this process and if you have that down then you can start looking for those people. And again, we are talking in terms of employment, but it may not be employment, it may be outsourcing the task that you are not good at. One of the weaknesses that I personally have is I am not good at wrapping up a lot of the details. So, I don’t do that. I leave that to somebody else in my business to look after all the minute details for me and then I get to spend time with the people that I work with on the big picture stuff.
Kevin: The big danger of too much self-belief. Mark, what is that danger?
Mark: The thing about self-belief is it’s an essential ingredient in success. The difficulty with it is when it becomes all-encompassing or overwhelming so that we believe so much in what we can do that we fail to see the potential pitfalls, we fail to see the weaknesses are acknowledged, we become essentially the smartest person in the room. There’s that old saying, ‘If you are the smartest person in the room then you are in the wrong room’. One of the greatest strengths of the most successful people that I have seen and the most successful people that I have worked with has been the fact that they have recognized that there are people who are smarter than them or better than them at certain areas, and they have got them involved in their business and I think that’s a viable statement, a viable warning to be aware of. So, hopefully, it can be your greatest friend, but it can quickly cross that line and turn into your greatest enemy.
Kevin: Yeah, you touched on it yesterday too when we talked about people and not employing people to accommodate for your weaknesses because you may find it a little bit challenging, but that’s the only way you are going to grow. You are going to have to be open to those sorts of suggestions, aren’t you?
Mark: Yes, you do, otherwise you might as well simply… well, what will happen is you will have such belief in everything you do that you won’t listen to any other objective input and the end result of that is that you will fail to see some of the obstacles that are coming. So you’ll miss some of the blind spots.
Kevin: Great talking to you, Mark Creedon from Red Monkey Coaching. Thanks for your time.
Mark: Yeah, always good fun.