While we’ll never know why Mona Lisa was smiling in her portrait, perhaps it was because she didn’t believe that the painting would ever be finished.
That’s because it was quite common for Leonardo Da Vinci to start a project but not complete it.
Today, Da Vinci is regarded as one of the world’s most enquiring minds, even though he is mostly remembered for his painting.
However, he excelled at distraction – perhaps due to the multitude of inventions floating around inside his brain – which often meant many of his projects became half-finished ideas at best.
So, some five centuries on from his death, what can Da Vinci teach us about real estate?
Plenty, it seems.
Most people don’t realise that Da Vinci mastered anatomy, architecture, astronomy, cartography, engineering, geology, literature, mathematics and, of course, the two fields he was more famous for, painting and sculpture.
Of course, successful agents must also master a number of skills to make it to the top of their fields, too.
Da Vinci also devised early designs for parachutes and tanks which, when built and put to the test hundreds of years later, worked perfectly.
He was clearly ahead of his time!
However, Da Vinci simultaneously carried a reputation for a less than desirable characteristic.
One of his greatest strengths as a genius, due in great part to his curiosity, was an equally hindering character trait – an inability to finish projects mainly due to a severe lack of self-discipline.
In other words, Da Vinci didn’t always take actions to competently execute his skills appropriately for the situation or he simply failed to exert or influence control over his own behaviours.
The same can be true for many modern-day real estate agents.
Ironically, impatience to race and get ahead, or to break with convention as Leonardo hastened to do, might prove to be the same Achilles heel for top-performing agents.
You’re not the best of the best when skills or competencies required haven’t been anchored with a proven track record of consistency – or when you fall short on your word.
That’s why it’s vital to be curious and masterful yet know the limits of your own capabilities.
Generally speaking, the top agents only become so because their backs are covered, or their efforts are doubled, by the equally skilled extended team that surrounds them.
Da Vinci ended up having the guidance of a professor who was skilled in the organisation and patience that he didn’t have, which preserved many of inventions that otherwise would have been lost to the passages of time.
Therefore, to become the best agent you can be you must be supported, or propped up, by an exceptional team.
You must also always be wary of slipping into less desirable character traits such as over-inflated egos or arrogance.
A successful agent is someone who knows their value and their strengths as well as their own competencies when it comes to what they can deliver and what they can’t.
They also know how to appropriately influence and acknowledge the support of their extended team and network.
There are many inspiring ideas to adopt in order to cultivate confidence but there is much to learn from being humble while also being courageous and bold in character.
Self-confidence is key
So, how can agents today give themselves the best chance of success?
The first character trait is self-confidence, which is a powerful seed ingredient in top-level performers of every ilk.
If you can’t believe in yourself, why would others believe in you?
Fundamentally, if someone lacks self-confidence it hinders their ability to grow into the best version of themselves.
The challenge in more recent years is people confuse flamboyance or even arrogance as confidence, when they’re far from the same thing.
The question therefore is: How do you build healthy self-confidence on your path to becoming the best of the best?
Essentially, we can divide self-confidence into a couple of essential ingredients to be cultivated:
A belief in one’s own capabilities, a belief to succeed, to then exert control over one’s motivation, behaviour and actions and to competently execute skills using courses of action appropriate for situations.
To feel fulfilled and happy within oneself, to recognise one’s own strengths and worth, to then appreciate your own inherent value and use it as a driving force for greatness.
So, there’s much to answer the question on what can Da Vinci teach us about real estate.
And, here’s a final take away – one you can implement immediately, and that is to master his skill of curiosity whilst treading carefully on your own Achilles heel.
You can master the ability of forward and retrospective thinking by asking yourself two questions with repetitious regularity.
The first is to provoke your own curiosity and blue-sky thinking by asking yourself, “What if….?”
The answer may birth innovation across those numerous skills required to elevate your mastery in your field.
The second provokes ponderance in two ways.
The first lens is the filter of rewinding 10 years ago within the real estate industry.
By reviewing what’s gone before as well as looking at the now, you’ll be amazed at the insights that were actually obvious.
The second lens, which is perhaps more important, requires removing the ego of rose-coloured filters and prodding yourself more objectively by asking yourself this simple question, “What’s clearly obvious now that requires change?”