Unlocking Success: A Snapshot from Bob Thompson’s Interview
In this interview, we delve into the insightful world of Bob Thompson, a seasoned mentor and real estate expert, who shares his invaluable wisdom on overcoming personal and professional obstacles. Bob emphasizes the importance of stepping out of one’s comfort zone, building genuine connections, and persistently pursuing one’s goals. Through engaging anecdotes, he illustrates how he guided a young real estate agent, Justin, in overcoming mindset barriers and achieving success. Bob’s approach revolves around accountability, aligning personal, professional, and financial priorities, and reminding us that authentic progress often occurs quietly, away from the spotlight. He dispels common misconceptions and offers practical tips for those aspiring to transform their lives and careers.
[Q] Who do you help and how?
I primarily assist young people by providing mentoring, coaching, and guidance. Many of them struggle to step out of their comfort zones or feel trapped in their circumstances. For instance, I once attended the Miami Web Fest, overseeing volunteers and assisting with various tasks. We had interns from the Miami Web community who had the opportunity to connect with influential figures in the film and TV industry. Surprisingly, a group of interns spent the evening engrossed in their phones or chatting with each other despite the chance to network. I emphasized the importance of seizing such opportunities and trying to make connections, even if they don’t lead to immediate results.
Another key aspect of my work is promoting persistent progress. I encourage setting and pursuing even small goals, as long as they represent forward movement. Personally, I faced significant setbacks in 2018 due to health issues, including two heart attacks and a quadruple bypass. I lost nearly everything but gradually recovered in 2019, especially in the real estate field, where I consistently ranked among the top 1% to 3% of solo agents in Hampton Roads.
During that tough period, I experienced financial losses, including my bank account, credit cards, and even my car repossession. Despite these challenges, I want to inspire people to believe that recovery is possible after setbacks.
In general, I work with individuals navigating career changes or life transitions. Young people often face peer pressure when they strive for personal growth, and I emphasize the importance of remaining true to oneself. In my real estate work, honesty is a core value, and I provide transparent assessments, even if the information is unfavorable. For instance, I communicate a home’s true value, regardless of whether it’s well-received.
Currently, I engage in keynote speaking, such as the one at Regent University in Norfolk, VA. For this particular talk at a Christian school, my focus is on honesty in business. I aim to inspire both men and women to maintain authenticity in the real world, where external influences can challenge one’s values. Remaining true to oneself is crucial, regardless of the consequences.
[Q] What are the main obstacles you help them overcome?
One of the major obstacles I often encounter with young people is their reluctance to engage with others in person. In today’s world, networking and building relationships are essential, but many youngsters are glued to their phones. I emphasize the importance of putting down the screens, engaging in face-to-face conversations, and being polite. You never know who you might meet at an event, and the person you connect with could be more like-minded than you think. Making a positive impression is crucial because that person might become a valuable collaborator or supporter in the future.
Additionally, I focus on the vast opportunities the internet provides, which I didn’t have when I was young. Nowadays, you can find your community online, whether you aspire to be a screenwriter or pursue any other creative field. There are countless platforms to connect with peers, share your work, and receive feedback. This is a tremendous advantage for today’s youth. Building confidence is essential too; it’s okay to fail. Most successful individuals started from humble beginnings and faced numerous challenges along the way. It’s important to understand that success is a gradual process that often remains hidden from the public eye.
I often talk about the concept of “working in the dark,” where you don’t need to broadcast every step of your journey. Instead, focus on your work quietly. Not everyone will support your endeavors, and some may offer negative opinions. Allowing these opinions to influence you can hinder your progress. In fields like real estate investment, many individuals talk a good game but lack tangible results. I stress the importance of transitioning from pretense to action. Sometimes, it’s wiser to keep your plans private until you’re ready to unveil them.
This is a common challenge I come across. Many people can talk a big game but lack the substance to back it up. Just like in poker, some players may put on a show but ultimately lose money. In business, some individuals may appear successful but fail to achieve genuine results. On the other hand, there are those who may not boast much but have the experience and know-how to get things done. It’s a matter of choosing between being the person who talks a lot but achieves little or the one with real expertise who quietly delivers results.
Ultimately, it’s crucial to decide which path to follow.
[Q] Can you share an example of helping a young person early in their career overcome a specific mindset obstacle, your approach, and the outcome?
Sure, I can walk you through that. Let me tell you about Justin, a real estate agent I worked with a few years back. This experience was instrumental in my journey of mentoring young agents. I was brought in by a major brokerage to serve as a mentor, agent, and coach for newer agents like Justin. He was struggling to convert potential buyers into actual deals, a challenge he had been facing for about six to eight months.
During this time, I noticed that we had buyer meetings twice a week where we would reach out to leads, whether they were existing or new ones. It was a vital part of our process, and I couldn’t help but notice that Justin was consistently absent from these meetings. I approached him and asked, “Why aren’t you showing up to these meetings? You can observe me and other seasoned agents who know how to make effective phone calls.” Real estate, to a large extent, revolves around communication – making people feel comfortable and understanding their needs and preferences. I added, “Even though my track record suggests I don’t need to be here, I show up. Why don’t you?” This realization prompted him to start attending these meetings.
Once he became actively involved, I stressed the importance of persisting even when faced with a string of rejections. I explained that it doesn’t matter if you hear 40 or 50 “no’s” in a row because, sooner or later, with consistent effort, you will get a “yes.” When you do, you make it work.
Another key insight I shared with him was about not adhering too rigidly to a script, especially if it didn’t feel authentic to him. I emphasized that, at this stage, he didn’t need to mimic the person on the other end of the line; he needed to be himself. Many people tend to mirror others or say what they think the other person wants to hear, but I made it clear that this approach wouldn’t be effective. People can discern authenticity, whether in a phone conversation or face-to-face. Even if they don’t necessarily like you, they can appreciate genuineness. It’s okay not to succeed every single time; rejection is part of the journey.
I’m proud to say that Justin continued to excel in his real estate career even after I moved on from that brokerage, and he did too. He worked his way up, and we still maintain contact, usually when he seeks advice or has questions. So, this is one example that stands out. I have a couple more related to real estate where individuals faced challenges in navigating from point A to point B or seeing the bigger picture. It’s all part of the journey.
[Q] Are there any myths or misconceptions about what you do that you encounter?
Yes, there’s a prevalent misconception I come across. Some people expect a lot of hand-holding, but that’s not my approach. While I’ll assist you in getting started and work alongside you, ultimately, you must put in the effort. Honestly, if you’re not willing to do the work, why hire me? Paying for guidance that doesn’t drive progress is like throwing money down the drain. I’m not here to simply tell you everything is great when it’s not.
I place great importance on accountability. I want to uncover the real obstacles holding you back, especially if you’re transitioning into a new career. So, what’s the mental barrier? It could be family issues, past experiences, or the ever-present imposter syndrome, which I personally grapple with. I’ve experienced it throughout my career and still do to some extent.
Recently, a friend and I discussed real estate. We looked at each other, and he asked, “Did you ever think we’d have this conversation?” He remembered me as the guy who partied and drank heavily in our youth, not someone pursuing a successful career. Even for me, it’s sometimes hard to believe. Many young people face similar doubts, and I want them to know that I understand; I’ve been there. It’s a challenge that still affects me from time to time.
[Q] Can you share some tips or strategies, like mindset shifts or practical actions, that individuals can incorporate into their routine?
Absolutely, I’d recommend conducting a self-check across three key aspects of your life: personal, professional, and financial.
Firstly, on a personal level, take some time to reflect on where you want to be and what you want to achieve. If you’re aiming for a career transition, consider how you’re using your time and resources. For instance, if you’re spending a significant amount on weekend parties, think about how you can redirect those resources. Perhaps you can adjust your social schedule, like meeting friends later on Friday nights or leaving earlier, to avoid hefty bar bills that don’t align with your goals.
Secondly, from a professional standpoint, explore the opportunities within your current company. Many organizations offer volunteer programs or educational initiatives that can help you grow and progress in your career. Fully utilize these opportunities, as they can not only enhance your skills but also minimize workplace distractions and politics. Remember that most of your coworkers won’t necessarily become long-term friends if you decide to pursue a different job in the future.
Lastly, conduct a financial self-check. If you constantly find yourself financially drained on Monday mornings due to weekend spending habits, it’s time to reconsider your financial behavior. Achieving financial stability lays the foundation for more significant opportunities down the road and is a critical component of personal and professional success.
In essence, these self-checks help you realign your personal, professional, and financial priorities to effectively pursue your goals.
[Q] What’s the next step for those interested in your guidance? How can they get in touch?
We have a couple of exciting things in the pipeline. First, the “What Bob Thinks” website is currently under development. Additionally, we’re launching a new course called “Want More, Take More” that will be available soon. You can easily connect with me on Facebook by searching for Bob Thompson or Bob the Agent.
I’m a bit old-school, so you’re welcome to find my contact information and reach out via phone call, text message, or email. I’m accessible, and I make it a point to answer my phone. If I happen to miss your call, I’ll send a text, and we can continue the conversation from there. My direct phone number is 757-403-5401.
Moreover, you can connect with me on Facebook, or Linkedin, visit my website, or use any of the usual social channels. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions you might have. I have the time and willingness to help guide you in the right direction. It’s not always about promoting my course; sometimes, it’s about steering you toward the most suitable resources or individuals to overcome your specific obstacles.
Feel free to reach out, and I’m here to support you on your journey.
Jeremy Baker is an Author and contributor to Small Business Trendsetters and Business Innovators Magazine, covering Influencers, Innovators and Trendsetters in Business, Health, Finance and Personal Development.