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10 Things Successful People Never Do Again

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One of the habits of highly successful people: they avoid the things that can bring them down, whether it be their own mistakes or others’.

In this article:

  1. Return to What Didn’t Work
  2. Do Anything That Requires People to Be Someone They Are Not
  3. Try to Change Another Person
  4. Believe They Can Please Everyone
  5. Choose Short-Term Comfort Over Long-Term Benefit
  6. Trust Someone or Something That Appears Flawless
  7. Take Their Eyes off the Big Picture
  8. Neglect to Do Due Diligence
  9. Fail to Ask Why They Are Where They Find Themselves
  10. Forget Their Inner Life Determines Their Outer Success

10 Things Successful People Stay Away From As Much As Possible


Learning from the Masters

It seems there’s a flurry of information on the X number of things successful people do as a morning routine or whatever period you choose to insert. One of my books, in fact, tackled success of commercial real estate professionals.

No doubt, if we study success, we are more likely to implement lessons to increase our likelihood of becoming a successful person.

For example, I ordered my copy of Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss, a best-selling author. I also had Tony Robbins’s new book called Unshakable.

I also subscribe to Success Magazine and read their blog. One of their re-posted blogs from 2014 caught my attention: 10 Things Successful People Never Do Again by Henry Cloud.

I thought I would review these ten items from the perspective of the commercial real estate broker.

1. Return to What Didn’t Work

A lot of people think because the strategy works for most, they will achieve the same result. It doesn’t happen all the time.

One of the traits successful people have is that they don’t dwell on what didn’t work. Whether it is prospecting, personal presence, or presentation process, if it didn’t generate business for you, why should you continue to use the same approach and expect different results?

It’s the same with clients and prospects. Some of them are not worth losing a night’s sleep. If they are an emotional drain of your personal resources, don’t expect them to change.

2. Do Anything That Requires People to Be Someone They Are Not

Let’s face it: we all have found ourselves in specific situations where we had to do something we didn’t want to in the first place. We also learned how bad it was for us. It could have been the most awful feeling in the world.

In earlier blogs, I dug deep into natural behaviors. I also stress why you should avoid doing anything that’s not consistent with your natural behaviors.

It will only lead to higher stress, lesser production, and certainly less happiness. But why is it essential you’re happy with what you’re doing, anyway?

For one, a person spends an average of 90,000 hours of their lives working. Can you afford being unhappy at least 10% of that time?

That’s 9,000 hours of your life feeling miserable!

If you’re a broker, you are also likely to have real estate agents working with you. Being unhappy can then become a double whammy for the business.

People rely on you for motivation, inspiration, and learning. In other words, if you are not happy with what you’re doing, you’re also creating more unsuccessful people.

Don’t force an issue that ultimately puts you and the others in a position to fail.

3. Try to Change Another Person

business meeting | Things Successful People Never Do Again

How many of you want to change your broker, manager, associate, or team member? OK, the answer is probably most of you.

I do understand where the need is coming from. As they say, to become one of the successful entrepreneurs, you need to have the people who have the same work ethics, goals, and good habits as you.

The problem, though, is you cannot change other people. Refer to my second point

Everyone is different, and that’s not a bad thing. In fact, that’s the beauty of working with people.

Imagine if your associates or agents think the same way as you do.

You will never have the opportunity to generate more ideas for the business. There’s no one who can help you figure out how to become more efficient and productive in the job.

What you need to do is to seek common ground. Don’t attempt to repair what only you think is not doing well.

4. Believe They Can Please Everyone

First, not all clients, prospects, or even team members are equal. Back to points 2 and 3.

Be yourself. Most of all, understand not everyone is going to love you. Some of them may not even like you.

If you’re working with associates or agents, you’ll find some of them will despise you. They won’t appreciate all your rules.

Do you want to know why? It’s because everybody has flaws! You do have them, and you should recognize these. Ultimately, though, you need to be true to yourself.

5. Choose Short-Term Comfort Over Long-Term Benefit

Skills are not the biggest issue with the commercial brokerage community. It’s the need to satisfy their present wants over long-term gains.

It’s why the average professional only makes a little over $50,000 net income per year.

As soon as a commission comes in, they spend their money on a new car or a set of golf clubs. Others take a few days off the business to travel to an exotic island with their friends and family.

Let me be clear: there’s nothing wrong with getting these things. After all, you have to reward yourself for all the hard work.

Still, learn from one of the habits of successful people. They take a proactive decision to invest in the future. It may be putting more money into their business or growing their skills and knowledge.

RELATED: How To Build Wealth Beyond Your Commissions

6. Trust Someone or Something That Appears Flawless

business people shaking hands | Things Successful People Never Do Again

Back to point number 4: we all have flaws. As Henry Cloud stated in his blog:

No one and no thing is without flaw, and if they appear that way, hit pause.

In other words, if something looks too good to be true, it probably is.

7. Take Their Eyes off the Big Picture

Do you remember the goals you set for yourself, your company, or your family in 2018? How about the ones you made two, three, or five years ago?

There is a reason we get up every day and go to work. There’s a reason we focus on finding, winning, and fulfilling business.

It’s not only about the money. It’s the opportunities to be a success story.

It’s the chance to have an increased net worth and a happy life that drive successful people every day.

8. Neglect to Do Due Diligence

You had a new prospect, and it made you excited. Hell, you were already counting your commission dollars.

Unfortunately, your prospect did not qualify. Your expectations might also not be realistic compared to market conditions.

You proceeded anyway. You ignored any qualification issues and put your head down.

Months later, you found out you wasted scores of hours and all the emotional energy you could muster.

You learned you never had a chance at closing, to begin with.

Commercial real estate is competitive, so we do everything we can to get ahead. It may include taking some shortcuts such as skipping due diligence.

This is a big risk that can be costly for you and your business, however.

RELATED: 12 Proven Strategies For Generating More CRE Leads

9. Fail to Ask Why They Are Where They Find Themselves

business person looking up | Things Successful People Never Do Again

When something goes wrong, people tend to blame the external factors. It may be their position, current status, or situation.

Successful people don’t do that. Instead, they always ask themselves: what part am I playing in this situation?

Only you can control you. This is especially true in commercial real estate where most are independent contractors.

Reflect on where you are today. If you are not happy, then how are you going to move forward?

You got yourself in this position, and you will more than likely need assistance in getting to a new position.

10. Forget Their Inner Life Determines Their Outer Success

For this final point, I will rely on the original author, Henry Cloud:

The good life sometimes has little to do with outside circumstances. We are happy and fulfilled mostly by who we are on the inside. Research validates that. And our internal lives largely contribute to producing many of our external circumstances.

The reverse is also true. People who are still trying to find success in various areas of life can almost always point to one or more of these patterns as a reason they are repeating the same mistakes.

Everyone makes mistakes. It is true even for the most successful people out there.

What achievers do better than others is to recognize the patterns causing those mistakes. Then they never repeat them.

In short, they learn from pain—their own and that of others.

A good thing to remember is this: pain is unavoidable. Repeating the same pain twice when we could choose to learn and do something different is avoidable.

I like to say we don’t need new ways to fail. The old ones are working just fine!

Our task, in business and in life, is to observe what they are and never go back to doing them again.


In the end, if you want to win in everything you do, it’s not enough you know how successful people think. It’s equally important to learn the things they avoid to make it big.

Do you have trouble finding and dedicating time to prospect? In this free webinar session, Massimo Group COO Bo Barron will share with you the 4 tactics used by Top Producers to find and protect time for prospecting! You can watch it by clicking here.

Up Next: How To Set Yourself Up For Success


Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on September 11, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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