Success 101: Effort and Attitude

accountability attitude success skills Jun 20, 2024

Written by Mary Pallin

Some folks struggle to succeed while for others, it comes easily. 

It’s true in childhood with regard to reading, math, or sports. It’s true in high school and college as we make new friends (or not), get invited to parties (or not), and experience the dating scene (or just stand on the sidelines).

So now we are in real estate, and we discover the same forces at work. For some, it seems easy and for others, it is difficult.

What finally brings success to those who struggle at first? 

What is missing when, despite the effort, some still fail and ultimately quit real estate?


I have more than 15 years of coaching experience and have come to believe that anyone can succeed in real estate. And anyone can fail.

Let’s examine “the right attitude” as the foundation of thinking our way to success.

Nurturing and then maintaining the right attitude requires constant vigilance.  Negative forces surround us – from the media and the agents in our office to our own feelings of discouragement and angst.  Each of us needs a shield that prevents the external negatives from entering our minds.  We need to create an awareness within, too, so we recognize when our own thoughts become defeatist. Then we can use strategies to stop the negative and regain our positivity.

Years ago, Floyd Wickman encouraged me to read the books that shaped his thinking.  I have since read each many times over. They were “Think And Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, “Psychocybernetics” by Maxwell Maltz, “As A Man Thinketh” by James Allen, and “The Magic Of Thinking Big” by David Schwartz. 

These books and others shaped my thinking in ways that are hard to explain.  But if you know me, you know I am vigilant about the way I speak and think – stamping out the negative and replacing it with positive.  I am extremely careful about what I let into my thoughts because I know that “right thinking” is an essential ingredient of success.

Let’s imagine you, too, have developed the habit of guarding your thoughts to maintain your positive attitude.  The other strength you must develop is that of sustained effort.  The word sustained means “maintained at length without interruption.” 

How would you describe your prospecting effort? 


Would the word “sustained” be accurate, or would you say “inconsistent” describes it better? 

Of course, it’s difficult to sustain an activity that isn’t working!  When we prospect with no results, or land appointments but don’t get the listing – we have a tendency to become discouraged, and here comes that attitude issue again! 

So, maybe the real question is how to overcome a lack of results long enough to finally get the results.  This is the critical spot that I’ve watched so many coaching students get to, but then use it as the “quitting spot”.  They worked for weeks or months with no results, and ultimately give up.

It’s said that success is a beguiling mistress.  She teases and flirts.  And when you think you’ve finally gotten close to her, she dances away again.  I clearly recall beating back discouragement again and again to renew my commitment to succeed.  You can do that too. 

One of my dear clients said, “There is no Plan B. This is it.”

When failure is not an option, you have no choice but to continue the pursuit of success with action. 

You prospect, even though you don’t feel like it. That’s sustained effort. 

Believe you will succeed and guard your thoughts. That’s sustained effort with the right attitude. Do that until you reach success.

Don’t quit. 

If anyone can succeed, you can.

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