Elite AgentOPINION

Why it’s never too late (or too early) to go out on your own

When it comes to starting your own business, most people tend to believe there’s only a small window of time within which to make it work. 

You can’t be too young – you need to get some runs on the board first. But you can’t be too old either. 

If that’s the way you think, it might be time to try a new perspective.  

For starters, what actually is age?

One way of looking at it is to ask yourself how many times you have survived 365 days past your ‘womb escape day’ anniversary.

I’ll let you digest that for a second.

Technically, a calendar is a man-made system that isn’t really accurate anyway, so why focus on it? Why put so much importance on your biological age? 

Also, consider some that have gone before you, that haven’t let age – on either side of the spectrum – stop them. 

Mark Zuckerberg must be on the top of this list.

Facebook speaks for all the success this man has achieved, after launching the business when he was only 19 years old. Then there’s Blake Ross. You might not know him by name, but you’ll surely know him by his work – Mozilla Firefox. He too started his business at just 19. 

Then there are the late bloomers. 

At 62, Colonel Sanders created the famous Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant chain, now known as KFC.

Let’s not forget Ray Kroc, who launched the world-famous McDonald’s when he was 52.

I opened my first real estate business when I was living at home and didn’t have a car. I was 24 years old.

It’s a cliché, but really, age is just a number.

Far more important than your age is how much drive you have.

Whether you’re 21 or 61, someone with drive will always outperform a 30 to 40-year-old without it.

Your age and the date on a calendar are unimportant numbers, the important numbers are how many listings you get a month and what percentage of commission you keep on every sale – these are important numbers.

I was speaking to an agent recently, who is doing good numbers and he said to me, “I just want to get more market share before I start my own business”.

I responded by asking him what actions he would take to achieve this.

He said X,Y, and Z.

I then asked him how long it would take for these things to take effect, to gain the market share he thought he needed to give him the confidence to start his own business? He said about six to 12 months.

My suggestion? Why not do X, Y, and Z, but do it under your own brand – why wait?

It’s going to take six to 12 months regardless, so why not spend the time building up your business now, rather than building your current employer’s brand?

All you are doing is delaying the inevitable, wasting time, and building a stronger handcuff for yourself in your current place of work.

Waiting until you are ready is like chasing a rainbow; you are never ready, the only real preparation comes from doing.

Think about your first listing presentation, chances are you weren’t 100 per cent ready for that either, but you did it.

And now, listing presentations have no doubt become second nature through repetition.

The same goes for starting your own business.

You don’t need to be ready, you just need to be ready enough. What is ready enough?

The most important part of the business is a steady stream of clients to do business with.

If you are self-generating two or more listings a month, you are more than ready to start your own business, especially when you now get to keep 100 per cent of the commission. In other words, from a financial perspective, two listings as a business owner have a similar impact to four listings at your current place of work.

So, are you going to let your age prevent you from starting your own business?

Remember, you aren’t getting younger.

I think the great Mark Twain puts it best – “age is an issue of mind over matter, if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

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Michael Choi

Michael Choi is the Founder of Area Specialist, a real estate platform that helps top performing agents open up their own business without the cost, time or risk.