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'Million Dollar Listing' star Ryan Serhant on hard work and success - Business Insider
(GREAT interview)

But yeah, so I was very, very socially awkward and very, very weird, but I was forced because my back was up against a wall. I was forced to develop a thicker skin and to come out of my shell and really try to create a personality that was OK with talking to strangers, which totally freaked me out when I first moved to New York. And I think that that kind of ability of mine to just go up to anybody on the street and ask them their name and how they're doing, without feeling any shame whatsoever, has really helped me in my sales business.

Serhant: I was broke. It's very important for all people who are commission-based, who are incentive-based that way to really figure out what their wall is, right? I call it the four W's: your work, your win, your why, and your wall. And that wall is really important.

And I just ran out of money. I ran out of money.

I didn't want to get a quote-unquote survival job, meaning that I didn't want to wait tables or bartend, because then I'd be stuck doing that. I knew a lot of actors in the city who were 50 years old and still on their survival job, right, which then isn't a survival job — I mean, that's now your job job, and now you're trying to act as a hobby, because you get used to paying your bills. And I didn't want to do that, so I literally pushed myself to the point where I just ran out of money and had my debit card declined at Food Emporium on 59th Street trying to buy a pack of tofu, and then cried on the subway. And that was my wall, right? That was, like, that moment for the rest of my life that I wanted to run away from as hard as possible, and I had to be shameless about it.

So I got my real-estate license because a friend told me to, and my first day in the business was September 15, 2008. So that was the day Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.

Serhant: So all these brokers were getting out of the business, and I was, like, by myself. And I had nothing to lose, so I went into the Starbucks on 49th and Madison and talked to people. I would go up to pregnant women and I would ask them if they needed more space. Like, I would go up to people coming out of Saks Fifth Avenue, because our office was right there, and if they had more than two shopping bags I'd go up to them and ask them if they wanted to invest in real estate, just because I had nothing to lose. And if I completely failed in New York City, it meant I had to move home to Colorado and paint fences for the rest of my life, and that was hell to me.


And I stepped out onto the fire escape and I called my older brother one day — I think this was in like 2009 — and I was like, "You know what, this sucks. I want to quit. I shouldn't be a real-estate broker. I'm not from New York." I just gave him every single excuse possible, and what I really remember from that phone call was him saying to me, "Stop being such a little b----. If he can do it, you can do it. Stop wasting my time. Go out and work harder." And I was like, "Wait, what? Can you make me feel better for, like, one second here? That's why I called you." And he did not make me feel better whatsoever.


Feloni: At what point did you realize that, hey, this might actually be something more than just a side gig?

Serhant: Yesterday. I mean, I could tell you about every deal I've ever done, but it took years of doing them over and over before I really figure out, you know what, maybe this thing is going to work. Like, even after "Million Dollar Listing" started. Like, I got cast on "Million Dollar Listing" in 2010. We filmed the whole first season in 2011. I almost died because I was so stressed out the whole time. And then it came out in 2012. And even then the market was so terrible. It was so hard. I still didn't know, like, was I going to do this the rest of my life? Was this really going to be my thing?

Feloni: Even when you were on TV doing it?

Serhant: Yeah, because the show hadn't come out yet, and I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do. Maybe I went back and got my master's, I don't know. I came to New York to do theater, and I hand-modeled a little bit — now all of a sudden I'm selling real estate on TV. Like, this was not the plan.

But it kind of was the plan in a weird, backwards way. Like, there is no path, right? That's why I try to say yes to as much as possible, and you figure out the path along the way. When people ask me, like, what kind of mindset I had going into this business, I really think back to when I was a little kid, and I made the decision when I was a little kid to be successful, and hopefully it would be through acting because I think I could be the next Brad Pitt. Clearly didn't work out. And it ended up being as a real-estate agent, and a real-estate agent who's on reality TV.

But I chose success first and let the career come second. A lot of people have problems, and they get depressed, and they move out of a city, or they call their parents every day crying because they chose a career first and success second. And when that one career doesn't happen or doesn't happen the way you think it is, then it's not a speed bump — people treat it like a brick wall. But speed bumps are there for a reason. And maybe you go down a different road. Maybe you figure something else out. And everyone can be a great salesperson if they really think back to, like, everything they learned when they were in fourth grade.


Feloni: At that point, were you even, like — did you feel qualified to be on the show as, like, a—

Serhant: No.

Feloni: Yeah.

Serhant: No. But, like, I went into the audition on that fear side of the seesaw really hard — like, scared sh--less that, like, what am I doing, how am I going to do this — until I saw all these people. And then I said: You know what, I've been in front of cameras before. I've done some TV before. I was Dr. Evan Walsh IV on "As The World Turns." I can do reality TV


Feloni: So you played the role of being one of the best agents in the city.

Serhant: Yeah.

Feloni: And then just kind of led to it.

Serhant: Yeah. I mean, I think they asked me, like, "Who's the best real-estate agent?" And I think my answer literally was, "You're looking at him." Not necessarily true, but also not untrue. Like, I can believe that I'm the best, and no one — who's going to tell me something else? It's really going to come down to kind of the way I portray myself, right? It's like that classic PR story that advertising is now dead and PR rules the world of promotion. And so if I scream my own success from a mountaintop, people will hear it, and that's how you'll build your persona, your personality, your career that way.


What I mean is that I was shy and overweight, and I really liked watching movies in my apartment by myself, and I didn't want to go out and talk to people, because people made me nervous. But because I had to, because my back was up against a wall, and I needed to make money, and real estate was now the thing that I was going to do because a friend told me to do it, I had to improvise. I had to be OK with going outside and talking to people on the street and in Starbucks and meeting strangers and showing them apartments I had never seen before. And I had to figure it out, and you do that by saying yes. You do that by kind of putting on a protective shield a little bit and not going out there as the Ryan who just wanted to Netflix and chill, but the Ryan who is going to be an awesome salesperson today, who can Netflix and chill a little bit later.


And so as long as I was putting business out there, working harder than everyone who works for me so that I could lead by example and practice the golden rule, my team just slowly, naturally started to build.


There's nothing that drives me crazier than someone who comes to me, says, "Yo, I'm an entrepreneur. This is what I do. This is what I sell. I sell this. I do this. I'm building this company." I'm like, "OK, what did you do last week?" They're like, "Well, I was in the Hamptons last week, played golf on Sunday, but, like, Monday through Friday." No, no, no. Like, if you want to build your own business, you do it seven days a week. I did not take a single day off for three years. And it's easy for me to say now: It's really, really hard to do, and it's really hard for a lot of people to do as well. So you have to figure out what you really, really want and stick to it.
ryan-serhant  success  sales  career  work  motivation  inspirational-story  client-acquisition  what-to-do-with-my-life  leadership 
2 days ago by lwhlihu
21 Sales Stars | 2012-09-11 | SUCCESS Magazine | Your Personal Development Resource
I don’t have a secret, per se. Everyone knows that if you go to the gym three times every day, you’ll end up with a muscular body. But not everyone will commit to doing that. The fact is that I enjoy my job, and that helps because I work long hours, seven days a week. I haven’t taken the nice trips that BMW has offered me or a weekend off in 13 years. It takes discipline, because I compromise a lot of things for my job. Being dedicated is the first thing. It’s also important to stay in touch—I still have my very first customer, even though he lives 40 miles away. I go out of my way to do a lot of things that people don’t expect, such as informing them of special offers and deals. When people ask me if I have the cheapest cars, I say maybe, maybe not, but it’s the total transaction that’s important, more than just the lowest price. I’m totally honest. If a customer asks me if they should buy an M3 for their 16-year-old son, I say, “No, it’s like giving him a loaded gun.” I’m willing to lose that sale. Once people think that all you’re doing is trying to sell them a car, then the relationship is broken.
sales  success  career  work 
2 days ago by lwhlihu
Sales Velocity Equation | The 4 Levers of Sales Velocity | Altify
There are only four factors that impact how much you sell. I use a term called the Sales Velocity Equation and it’s pretty simple. It goes like this:

Your Sales Velocity is a function of (A) the number of sales opportunities you work, (B) the average deal value, (C) your win rate and (D) the length of the sales cycle.
sales  analytics  BI 
2 days ago by andrewedunn
Get Started - Feedsauce
Start by picking a recipe that tickles your tastebuds and matches your social media style. We'll create custom images for your product based on your theme.
marketing  images  product  sales  photography 
2 days ago by m2gavin
Why You Need to Keep Your Customers Close
Subscription models can bring a steady revenue stream for companies that understand the customer life cycle.
customerexperience  subscription  analytics  sales 
3 days ago by jorgebarba
Do you want to know the  reason you'll miss your sales targets?
salesperformance  sales  from twitter
3 days ago by WeRank
Boost your funnel by implementing advanced schema
SEO  sales  from twitter
3 days ago by jhill5

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