141. Who knew a thick skin could be worth so much?

A few years ago I read a story of a realtor in Southern California who achieved a companywide milestone

This was not his first ground-breaking event as five years earlier he had become the first realtor in the history of his company to learn $1 million in a year.

Two years later he raised the bar a second time when you earned $1 million in the first six months of the year and the story I read was about him doing what had been deemed undoable – selling single family residential homes at an average price of $200,000 he had earned $1 million in a single month.

Stories of accomplishments like that always intrigue me and I was eager to read the entire article and learn the many tips I was sure he would be offering that contributed to his enormous success.

Instead, when asked to what he attributed his spectacular sales performance, he simply replied that while he certainly was not the best salesperson in his company he was, unquestionably, the hardest working and most importantly the number one contributor to his enviable record was “My skin is considerably thicker than anyone else in my office. No matter what is said to me, regardless of how I am insulted, berated and even rejected I made myself a promise when I got into this business that every single day I would knock on 100 doors and ask a simple question “Would you possibly be interested in selling your house if I could get you a great price?”

He went on to say that in his first year in the business he knocked on 732 doors before he even had his first conversation with a potential customer and then knocked on a further 212 doors before he obtained his first listing.

He did mention that his daily count of 100 doors included only those doors that were opened and that never once did he call it a day before knocking on the 100th door..

He continued by saying that he knew in his heart that if enough people rejected him, swore at him, or informed him of things about his heritage that he did not know, he would eventually prevail and enjoy great success.

He spent very little time in the office as he discovered quite early in his career, that the vast majority of his colleagues spent too much of their time telling each other how tough things were out there and he saw many budding realtors come and go principally because they chose to allow the constant rejection they experienced to overcome them, rob them of their early enthusiasm and leaves them soul-destroyed.

He did initially try to help those colleagues overcome their fear of rejection and the personal pain they felt and he quickly found his efforts to be wasted.

What he noticed was that so many people lost sight of why they had become realtors in the first place and, rather than immunize themselves against the daily rejection, they gave in to feelings of self-pity and scurried back to where they came from.

He said that he learned a great deal from each of these folks as observing them placing their tales between the legs and running away from the pain of rejection helped strengthen his resolve and further toughened his already thick skin.

He understood intuitively that the pain of rejection was short-term and the pleasure of earning $1 million a month lasted a very long time.

We can learn a great deal from this man. The Habit of Developing Thick Skin is one that can only enrich our lives for it is the acquisition of this habit that allows us to focus on what’s really important and perhaps, most importantly, to not focus and allow our lives to be governed by how others think or feel about us.

The Habit of Developing Thick Skin is a gift that does not desensitize us to the thoughts and feelings of others but rather allows us to be objective when surrounded by subjectivity. We can’t, and don’t, make good decisions when our feelings are hurt and we generally make very good decisions when our commitment to succeed takes precedence over our desire to run away and hide.

And The Habit of Developing Thick Skin makes this very possible.

Just like good insulation which keeps us warm in winter and cool in summer, The Habit of Developing Thick Skin ensures we are always comfortable on the inside regardless of what’s happening on the outside.

And who wouldn’t want that?

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

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