bird 2I’m going to throw a word at you and I want you to note your first reaction to it, okay? All right, here we go… change.

If you felt apprehension, nervousness or even fear at that word, you’re not alone. Change is something that most people are uncomfortable with and would do almost anything to avoid. Our psyche has been hammered with wisdom stating the negative aspect of change in the “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t” style. Not surprisingly then, a lot of people put up with things they don’t have to and continually sell themselves short rather than make changes that would have a positive effect on their lives.

If you’re one of those people who are afraid of change, I’m afraid I have some bad news for you. The world changes faster and faster every year. Most of these changes are driven by technology, which allows change to happen at a speed never before experienced. How fast are these changes happening?

Well, in three short years Facebook went from having 350 million users to over one billion. Three years ago 75 million people had a Twitter account – today that number is close to 900 million.

Here are some more change stats that will blow your mind: 100 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every single minute of every single day and its content ID system scans 250 years of videos every day. Two new users join Facebook every second. More than 82 billion apps will be downloaded this year and 200 trillion text messages are sent every day. It’s almost too much, too fast, too crazy, to wild to believe, but it is exactly what is happening. It’s time to stop fearing change and start to embrace it. It is not going away.

So what does that have to do with being a real estate agent? Everything.  I had a successful career in real estate as an agent and then as a broker. My firm was No. 1 and I was No. 1 in sales in all of Canada. Then I ran for public office and because of the demands that put on me, I put real estate aside for a while. Then I retired from that and decided to get back into the business that had been so good to me for so many years.

To go from elected official to broker/agent of my own solo firm was a huge change to make. Gone were the guaranteed salary, the insurance, travel and other perks. In their place was the uncertainty that every real estate agent is all too familiar with.

Was I scared? Oh yes. I was plenty scared until I realized a very real truth in all of this. You see, I had started fresh in real estate some 20 years before as a single mother on welfare with three children to take care of. Back then I didn’t have a clue what I was getting into and, thankfully, over the years I’d managed to scrape a few clues together about the best way to do real estate. I’d developed a series of systems that had made my life a lot easier. I’d already been through the learning curve.

That means I was doing something we’ve all probably said we would like to do at one time or another…I was starting over with knowledge. Who hasn’t said or thought, “If I could be that age again with what I know now….” Well, that’s kind of what I get to do with the reboot of my career.

Debbie Hanlon_crop - webYou can do the same thing. You can reboot your career. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing this. Right now is the perfect time to make some changes. Right now. Not tomorrow, not next week, but right now, this very minute. Do it. Write down a change you’re going to make and you will have begun to make that change. It could be getting up earlier, reconnecting with someone, sending an email you’ve been avoiding, anything. Make the change. In the minute it takes to write it down, 100 new hours of video will be uploaded to YouTube and you’ll have taken one giant step in a new direction.

Debbie Hanlon is the founder of Hanlon Realty and CEO of All Knight Inc. She is a three-time top 50 CEO winner and was named one of the top 100 female entrepreneurs in Canada. She is currently an elected city official in St. John’s, Nfld. and is available for motivational and training seminars. Email [email protected]

Debbie Hanlon is the owner broker and Realtor at Debbie Hanlon Real Estate, a new boutique brokerage in St. John’s, Nfld. She is also a motivational speaker, real estate coach, author, former city councillor and children’s entertainer. She lives in St. John’s with her husband, Oral Mews and her dog Fisher.


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