Agent Academy: Stop Trying To Be PERFECT And Instead Focus On PROGRESS!
One of the most important lessons I ever learned came from a 5-minute conversation that I had with the great big wave surfer and arguably one of the greatest athletes of all time, Laird Hamilton.
I had been invited to attend the premiere of the film “Riding Giants” (which by the way if you have not watched is an amazing movie about human beings pushing the limits of life). I didn’t want to go but my friend who was the head of marketing for a little company called Vans told me that we may get to meet Laird. So, honestly, begrudgingly I attended.
Sure enough, as we walked into the Hard Rock Restaurant in Fashion Island (which is now long gone), there he was, sitting at the bar with a group of people around him. My friend said, “Let’s go meet him.” Me, “No we don’t want to bother him and besides look at the crowd around him.” Sure enough, as if someone heard what I said, the entire crowd, almost at once, up and left. She looked at me, smiled and said, “You’re a professional speaker, so get your ass over there” and proceeded to push me in the middle of my back.
As I walked up, totally star struck, I was rehearsing in my head exactly what to say so as not to make an idiot of myself (scripts matter baby). I leaned up on the bar to ask for a drink, and sure enough he turned and said, “Hey how’s it going?” I think I stared at him for what felt like a week before I answered, “Uhmmm…. Great” and blurted out, “I just want you to know what a big fan I am of yours; from what you’ve done with windsurfing, tow in surfing, and now paddleboarding…wow!”
He smiled and said, “What’s your name?” I answered, “Bill Pipes”.
“What do you do Bill?”
“I coach and lead seminars for salespeople on how to increase their businesses in real estate,” Doing my best to stay calm while thinking, “Holy Shit, I’m actually having a one-on-one conversation with THE Laird Hamilton.”
He looked again at me and said, “That sounds exciting.” I remember thinking, “Dude you ride 80-foot waves…seminars are fun but not like what you do.”
My drink came, I took a sip, and said to him, “Laird, I talk to thousands of people every year about overcoming fear and accomplishing success in their businesses and lives. If there was one bit of advice I could bring to them from you, what would that be?”
He paused, looked away, turned back, and said, “Most people start a new challenge, and they expect to be excellent at it in 2-3 weeks or a month. When I start something, I realize that this is a long-term commitment that may take me 2-3 years to get to where I want. Big Goals simply take more time than anyone expects, and most stop too soon.”
I let it sink in for a second and asked, “Got it brother…Thank you” and continued, “So, how do you keep yourself going when you want to possibly quit?”
Then he said something that I will remember for the rest of my life and has become one of the cornerstones for what I teach and how I approach success.
I saw his state change, he got very intense, looked me right in the eyes and said, “I simply say to myself that success is about Progress not Perfection and if I can get a little bit better every single day then I am succeeding. Tell the people who come to your seminars that!”
I could barely say anything because it was so profound to me. I shook his hand said, “Thank you” and turned around to return to my friends, letting what he said play over and over again in my head.
So many times, in our lives we don’t take the time to acknowledge the small wins, the milestones to our goals, the progress that we are actually making. We beat ourselves up, compare our success to others, and defeat ourselves gradually day by day by having our focus on that we are “not at our goal” instead of being “one step closer to our goal.”
Think about all the ways you have grown in your business and your life this year; you are not the same, you are better, more improved, more insightful, stronger; and if you aren’t, then you can change that immediately and get on the path and create a plan to progressively improve. It’s all up to you.
Remember…It’ all about PROGRESS over PERFECTION. Do that and you’ll be riding your own 80-foot wave of success my friends