Like many PLACE Partners, Ben Kinney has nearly 20 years as a leader in the real estate industry under his belt. He overcame his humble beginnings and became a lifelong learner by adopting a growth mindset. From landing a job as the local cable guy to becoming a mega real estate agent, an entrepreneur, and a co-founder of PLACE, his hard-earned advice has helped over 100,000 agents overcome challenges to advance their business and personal goals.
To help you navigate adversity in the market and your real estate business, we rounded up Ben’s top 10 rules for improving your mindset.
10 Rules to Improve a Growth Mindset
1. Simplify complex tasks and stop justifying inaction
We all experience moments where we feel overwhelmed by a task in front of us, becoming frozen in place and unable to move forward due to the perceived complexity of the job at hand. In these stressful situations, try breaking down the task into smaller digestible chunks and tackle each individually. When you get into this powerful habit, you can more easily overcome the fear of failure, and each small step forward creates momentum to increase your chances of success in getting the job done.
2. Focus on what you can control, not what you want to control
Remember that winners focus only on what they can control and don’t let themselves get distracted by things that others can take care of for them. In your professional life, this means assigning more value to your daily habits and blocks of time. Get good at saying “no” to tasks or non-income-generating activities that don’t require your oversight, so you can regain valuable time back.
3. Listen first, speak last
With many of our social interactions, we tend to think that we need to have the last word in any discussion. That attitude can lead to an unwillingness to hear out other people and stop us from considering their needs or points of view. When we choose to become better communicators through actively listening rather than talking, two things happen.
First, it gives you insights into your current thinking and reactions, which, in the end, has a significant impact on your actual performance and career path. Second, when you listen, you gather information that other agents won’t have access to, which means you’ll ask more in-depth, supportive questions, and help your clients at a higher level. When speaking with real estate clients, a powerful habit to put into practice is taking notes to help you focus and process the information being presented.
4. Ask yourself if you’re responsible for the problem
When your real estate business starts to suffer, an agent quits, a listing grows stale, deals fall through, or production slows down, it can be hard to objectively evaluate what went wrong. It’s easy to reject the blame and continue on a losing path, but that damaging approach doesn’t help you improve your situation or address the real issue, which could be you.
Successful people who adopt a growth mindset make it a habit to ask themselves if they are the problem. No matter how much success we have, there are always opportunities to grow and improve. The best approach is to accept ownership and take steps to change. The upside of being the problem is that you are entirely in control of changing your personal and professional growth.
5. View failure as a gift
Failure is an unavoidable part of life. We all experience it at some point, and how we respond to it can determine our success or failure in the future. That’s why it’s essential to reject a victim mindset. We are not our mistakes, and those blunders have a silver lining — valuable learning experiences. By celebrating our defeats and using them to inform and enhance our next performance, we position ourselves to learn and grow on our path to success. This helps us become better individuals and real estate entrepreneurs.
6. Remain humble
Your position, status, net worth, income, or ranking in life does not define you. You are the only one who can decide who you are and how much value you place on yourself and others. You are not deserving of your dream life just because you want it, and bragging about it doesn’t do anyone any good. Everyone is equal regardless of their financial situation or career status. You don’t have to be wealthy to be successful; a mindset for success comes from internal determination and hard work. Make it a goal to be a positive influence, embrace an abundant mindset, and be humble, kind, and considerate.
7. Forgive everyone, even when they aren’t sorry
It is easy to become stuck in the cycle of waiting for an apology or forgiveness from someone. We often think our closure and ability to move on from a situation depends on someone else’s response. But the truth is, we don’t need anyone’s apology or forgiveness to close the door on a challenging experience and free ourselves from its grip. When you make this small switch in your belief system, you’ll find that forgiveness has a direct effect on your energy levels and path to success.
8. Be generous with strangers, antagonists, and competitors
Generosity can be a powerful force in our lives. When we give to others, it not only makes us feel good, but it also strengthens relationships and builds deeper trust. It’s important to remember that true generosity isn’t just about money or material things — it’s about showing kindness and consideration to everyone. It often appears through charitable donations, and in the real estate industry, it can even be inviting the new agent to your appointments and open houses so you can help them on their learning journey.
9. Don’t rely on anyone to save you from your work
Life is a learning process. One of the most important things you can learn from work is that nobody is coming to save you. Only you can make it happen. You have the power to create your success and happiness, so rely on yourself for the things no one else can do for you and responsibly delegate the rest. Taking charge of life makes you responsible for its outcomes, both positive and negative.
10. Do something about it
Each day, remind yourself that you can control your thoughts and actions. Make it a daily practice to tell yourself, “I will work on solving my problems,” to encourage positive thinking and be a springboard for growth. Start by thinking about what challenges you face in health, relationships, or business. Once you identify the areas where improvements can be made, create an action plan. This could take the shape of reading a personal development book, attending a leadership skills course, or hiring a business coach to help you uncover hidden potential.
How can a PLACE Partnership connect you with growth-minded individuals?
At PLACE, we tackle challenges together. We understand that the success of our business and ourselves is determined by our ability to maintain our GROWTH. Each letter in this word represents one of our core values: G – Grit, R – Results, O – Only Leaders, W – Wealth, T – Teamwork, and H- Humility. If you want to prosper personally and financially, tell us more about you and your real estate business by filling out this form.