By Jared James
I am a firm believer that you can only do so many things great. I guess you could say that I fall in line with the phrase, “jack of all trades, master of none.” Now, I do believe that some people can excel at more things than other people, but as a general rule you can only be great at so many things.
I bring this up because I fear that we are becoming a people who are being told we have to be good at everything.
A day doesn’t go by where I don’t get questions from people on Facebook, Twitter, and in e-mails asking me about how to use Pinterest, what are the best database, how they should use social media for business, what’s the best online lead generator, what apps I recommend, what’s the best way to work in the “cloud,” and on and on…
At some point I have to just say, ENOUGH ALREADY!!
Please do not get me wrong, every question I listed above is a good one, and they are questions that we, as professionals, should know the answer to. But I worry that we are becoming a people who are so obsessed with mastering everything that in the end we will end up mastering nothing. You see, I would rather be great at working my database or leveraging Facebook page than be good at everything there is to know about creating or managing a business. Being good doesn’t separate you, and separation is what it takes to stand out and actually see a real return on investment (ROI).
I can’t tell you how often I hear about people who are using social media and get no return on it. At the same time, I know of many people making a living off of it. So which opinion is right? The one that thinks social media is a waste of time? Or the one that thinks it is amazing?
One thing that I have learned as a speaker/trainer is that most of the time it is not the tool or strategy that is the problem in people’s lives — the problem is the implementation of the tool. And when you are a master of none, it is difficult to get the results that you see someone else getting without giving their same level of dedication.
I could argue that playing the guitar is a terrible waste of time as a career goal, but it seems to have worked out just fine for Eric Clapton and so many others… Same tool, different result. I guess I don’t need to waste my time railing against the guitar as an effective income generator just because it never worked for me.
I learned this about three years ago when I made the decision to leave full-time real estate and focus on my speaking and consulting company. When my speaking career was taking off, I noticed that my real estate team was stagnant, and even worse, my commitment-level to my family was below par for what I expected of myself. I had to make a decision on what my purpose was and what I was going to commit my time to, so I could still see the results I demanded of myself.
Much of our society is so busy learning that they don’t have time to actually create any new business. I am not saying that you shouldn’t learn about new tools. But I am saying that if you are not implementing the last one tool or skill that you invested time into learning about, then maybe you shouldn’t be learning about something new just yet.
Many people are surprised to hear that I only started getting active on Twitter about one year ago because that is what all people who stand in front of crowds are supposed to do. Join Twitter and create a huge following so that you can show how incredibly “followed” you are. I refused to follow the status quo, though. I refused to learn about yet another tool until I had mastered the ones that I was currently using. When you think about it, what good is it to be paying for a lead generation system, a database, lists of expired listings, coaching, and whatever else you invest in if you aren’t fully leveraging any of them? When you add in the amount of time you invest into social media, blogging, and learning about new apps, where does it end?
As I am writing this, I decided to look at my phone and noticed that I don’t use 90 percent of the apps I have downloaded. I think you know what I am now going to do with those apps… If I can’t leverage them in some way to save myself time, make more money, or add to my life in some way, then they are gone. I refuse to be swallowed up into this “learn me, read me, buy me, use me” society that we find ourselves in. Too many times it brings us to a place where we look back and wonder what we did with the last year.
If you want to be productive, then pick something and master it. If you master it and you still don’t get results, then cut bait and move on. I have found tremendous value in social media, managing my database, following good training, and using great apps, but I have only got the results I desired because I didn’t try to do everything at once, and I haven’t felt the need to master the endless amount of new tools that seem to come out every day. If you don’t find yourself in a place where you are still making time to create and cultivate relationships, then what good is our technology anyway?
Jared James is the CEO and founder of Jared James Enterprises (JJE) and travels around North America speaking to and coaching REALTORS®. Connect with Jared at www.jaredjamestoday.com, on facebook.com/jaredjamestoday, or follow him on Twitter @jaredjamestoday.