Whether it’s in a boardroom or on the ice, everyone can benefit from guidance and mentoring
The jump from professional hockey to commercial real estate may seem drastic, even extreme. But the similarities, hectic travel schedules and blockbuster deals notwithstanding, run far deeper than one may think.
Whatever your pursuit, vocation or goal, some principles remain universal. To apply a sports metaphor: you’re only as good as your last game. Or your last deal, for that matter. In real estate, and especially in professional hockey, there is no shortage of competition; that incentive should help keep you at the top of your game, according to Joe Rullier.
Discipline First, Coaching Second
Before seeking the counsel of a coach, thought leader or mentor, make sure you’re not wasting their time and yours. Are you ready to describe your life’s mission to this person, and is your plan worthy of their wisdom?
“Before embarking on any big project, the key is learning how to control your emotions and stay focused on the game,” Joe explained. “There will always be ups and downs, so it’s important to have a plan — a long-term vision that will see you through the tough times while enjoying and learning from the process. I make the effort and love what I do because I enjoy the process.”
In real estate, like in athletics, the top performers must, as Joe often reminds his team, “wake up earlier, run faster and work harder” than everyone else.
“I’m at the gym for 5 a.m., every day, without exception. And if someone starts running next to me on the treadmill, then I have to run faster. That’s just who I am — that’s just how I’m wired. But that’s how you have to be to succeed in this business. I read at least one book a week; I enroll in online courses, the latest being an online course at Harvard called Negotiation Mastery. The point is, you have to want to always be better, which translates into success.”
And much like a professional athlete, it’s about knowing what it takes to win, and being wise enough to know when it’s time to seek guidance.
Next Level Leaders Need Coaches
No one has it all figured out. Part of success is knowing you don’t have all the answers, and that we need sage advice to grow. Call them what you like: mentor, coach, life coach, teacher… But to be the best, one must first accept that others have been better and you can learn from them.
The first step, of course, is to trust your coach. We all think we know better, but this is the time to check your ego at the door. Of course, no one is telling you to compromise or go against your instincts. Which is why it’s so important to find a coach that is the right fit for you who shares your passion.
“You’re not 100% in if you’re just one foot in the door,” Joe said. “It’s very important that you find a coach you trust. I remember my first trainer, Paul Gagné; I trusted him so much, and I loved him like a father figure or big brother. And I still value his opinion to this day.”
Whenever you hit a wall, a good coach has an honest answer — either because they’ve been through it already, or can offer a new perspective you hadn’t previously considered. It always pays to listen.
“Michael Jordan had a strength coach, Tiger Woods has a bunch of coaches in his corner… we can all benefit from this kind of help. I’m 10 years in the real estate brokerage business and mentorship has proven more important than ever. I see it as a huge advantage, and spending money to do it, you’re still adding value to yourself.”