I had the pleasure of attending Tory Johnson’s Spark and Hustle when it was in New York City last Tuesday. Among the amazingly, inspiringly informative presenters was real estate mogul and Shark Tank star, Barbara Corcoran. Her topic: “How I Turned $1000 Into a Billion Dollar Business and The 10 Lessons I Learned Along The Way.” I thought I’d spend some time reflecting on each of the lessons that she shared, over the next few posts in this series.
Lesson #2: Perception Creates Reality
For most of us, this is not new information. However it never hurts to hear how other people have taken this tried and true piece of advice and turned it into gold.
In Barbara Corcoran’s case, in the early stages of her real estate career, she found herself needing to find a way to promote her company, so that clients seeking to buy, rent or lease properties, would come to her, rather than her trying to knock on every door in Manhattan. This is not an unusual circumstance for those of us who sell a product or a service in order to make a living. Barbara decided to write a few paragraphs on a sheet of paper regarding the one thing she knew something about: the New York City real estate market. She typed it up and called it The Corcoran Report. She sent a copy in the mail to everyone she knew – including the Real Estate desk at the New York Times. (This was long before the days of email, and even faxes machines.) After a week, nothing happened, so she forgot about it. After about another week, she was reading an article in the NYTimes. The article spoke about the current state of the market in the City, and quoted – of all sources – The Corcoran Report! That bit of good publicity got her office phones ringing like nothing she had ever tried before!
Had she been known as an “industry expert” up to that point? Heck no! However, because she created the illusion that she was an expert, by documenting her thoughts in an “official” looking and sounding vehicle, the Times writers accepted their own perception of this newsletter author (someone selling real estate in the NY market) as a veritable expert, and felt comfortable enough to quote her in the “Paper of Record.”
Where and how can YOU take what you know, understand, learn, or practice and use it to create the perception of your authority in that area? Is there a group, website, newsletter, association or network where you can share this perception, such that your colleagues, customers and clients can see you differently – i.e., more powerfully and knowledgeable – than they NOW see you?
I have NO DOUBT that we each … YOU … have something unique and special to offer the world. What is it that others come to you in search of? What is it that you do – that while doing it, you virtually “lose time,” ‘waking’ long hours after you’ve been doing it, only to be startled at how much time has gone by? Take THAT thing, and offer it with confidence – creating a new perception – and ultimately a new reality for yourself. That bit of activity helped to turn Barbara Corcoran’s real estate company into a billion dollar enterprise. What might it do for you?
© 2012, Shakira Abdul-Ali. All rights reserved.