I first picked up a dumbbell in a high school weight lifting class for girls. At that point, my exercise had consisted entirely of ballet lessons four days a week, so doing something like lifting weights was a bit of a foreign concept to me. But, I had to take a P.E. class to graduate, so I chose weight lifting.
I loved it. We paired up with a workout partner, tracked how much we could lift every week, learned new exercises, and set personal records for ourselves. I really felt powerful in that class.
After high school, I didn’t set foot in the weight room until well after college. And when I did, something had changed. The weights were still the same, the equipment was still the same, the exercises I knew were still the same. But now, there were no women in the weight room. They mostly stuck to the cardio equipment. And I began to feel small.
I tried to stay out of everyone’s way as I performed my weight lifting exercises. I’d make room for a guy if he wanted to use the bench next to me. I’d choose other equipment if a guy was on the machine I wanted to use next. I played small.
Eventually I got to a place where I was lifting a respectable weight and I had more confidence in myself at the gym. I no longer felt compelled to play small. Instead, I started taking up space. I had every right to take up as much room as I needed to do my exercises. I belonged there just as much as any guy in that weight room. I no longer played small.
I know that some of you right now are playing small. You think your thoughts or ideas don’t matter, so you don’t say anything at the team meeting. Meanwhile everyone else at the table shares freely.
Some of you think you can’t tell your lead agent that you know for sure she is making mistakes that are costing them money because you think, “She must know what she’s doing. She’s my boss after all.”
You are a thoughtful human being and the person who hired you thinks you have the ability to do great things in their business. Why wouldn’t you share your opinions, your thoughts, your hopes and dreams?
If you are new to real estate and you think you don’t know enough to contribute, I say B.S. You’ve worked in other companies and you’ve worked with other people. Contribute something to the discussion based on that.
If you are still not ready to contribute, then ask questions. People love to share their knowledge and prove how smart they are. Give them that opportunity and everyone will think you’re amazing and smart!
And please, take up space. Speak your mind. Engage others in meaningful conversation. Contribute to the world. Because it matters that you do.