5 minute read

When I first announced to the world that I was going to become a REALTOR®, it surprisingly came with a lot of opposition. 

There were a lot of naysayers along the way and it wasn’t (and still isn’t) uncommon for me to receive speculative questions such as:

  • Aren’t you a Speech Pathologist?  How can you do both?
  • Are you sure you can survive the ups-and-downs of real estate?
  • You have 2 Master’s Degrees.  You’re just going to throw that all away?
  • How will you survive in a commission-based world?

I’m pretty sure that most of the critics weren’t deliberately trying to be mean. 

Instead, I think it’s easy for our brains to classify people into a special little box — a box that’s comfortable and doesn’t change. 

For example, when we browse through our social media feeds and observe people that we know, our brain subconsciously categorizes what we’re looking at: 

  • There’s Jessica: she’s the 5th grade teacher.
  • It’s Brandon: he’s the investment banker.
  • There’s Ashley: she’s the stay-at-home-mom.

The problem is that our prejudicial suppositions cause us to paint people with a broad brush.  As a result, we miss out on the finer parts of their personality and gifting. 

The truth is, people are much more complex than we give them credit for. 

When I finally decided to ignore my naysayers, I actually learned a lot while pursuing my side hustle.  And it wasn’t just how to be a good real estate agent.  I actually learned that there are several positive benefits to pursuing your passions outside of your day job.

You Gain More Valuable Skills

Moving towards my passions provided me with new skills that I would not have otherwise gained in my current career. Working as a speech pathologist in the hospital, most of my skills were related to the medical field. This included skills like bedside manner, clinical skills, and interdisciplinary communication.

Our careers don’t always move in a linear upward progression. Instead, they’re often marked with several plateaus and opportunities to grow, learn new skills, and breakthrough our current workplace scenario.

I like what Robert Greene has to say on the matter:

“You must see your career or vocational path more as a journey with twists and turns rather than a straight line. You begin by choosing a field or position that roughly corresponds to your inclinations. This initial position offers you room to maneuver and important skills to learn. You don’t want to start with something too lofty, too ambitious— you need to make a living and establish some confidence. Once on this path you discover certain side routes that attract you, while other aspects of this field leave you cold. You adjust and perhaps move to a related field, continuing to learn more about yourself, but always expanding off your skill base.”

Moving into real estate taught me an entirely new skillset I had yet to develop. This included skills in negotiation, sales, marketing, social media, and video production. Gaining these new abilities not only allowed me to further my skillset, but also helped me to learn more about myself.

You Learn More About Yourself

Gaining new skills is indeed valuable, but possessing skills without knowing yourself can be quite underwhelming. Jumping into real estate forced me to confront “scary” parts of my personality and develop a better understanding of my habits, traits, and behavioral patterns.

I also learned that if you’re not willing to examine your own personality and behavioral traits, you’ll never be able to realize your full potential.

To grow yourself, you must know yourself.

-John Maxwell

Our normal behavioral patterns and personality traits can only take us so far. But if we want to achieve success, we need to learn about those parts of ourselves that keep us from realizing our full potential. Usually, exploring those areas of ourselves can be uncomfortable, and even painful at times.

Oftentimes, in order to succeed at a high level, we need to take a sober look at those parts of ourselves that we fear looking into. Sometimes, we need to confront past wounds or past trauma. But, it’s important that we don’t run away from that pain or anxiety, but instead lean into that pain so that we can confront those “not-so-appealing” parts about ourselves that keep us from realizing our full potential.

Just a few things that I learned about myself while entering into real estate were:

  1. It’s okay if I fail often and fail fast. I should probably do it more often.
  2. I should focus on progress over perfection.
  3. My self-worth is not correlated to my work.

If I hadn’t chosen to pursue my real estate passion and had chosen to stay “comfortable” at my 9-5, I probably would have never discovered those things about myself. As a result, I now have more confidence in what I can accomplish.

You Rekindle Your Passion For Work

There’s an old adage that marriage counselors give to couples who are in a relationship that’s lost it’s fire: “Get back to dating.”

The same is true with work. If you’ve lost your passion or desire in what you’re doing, sometimes going back to the beginning can help the zest you once had.

When you first began your career, it was probably filled with a lot of excitement. You were constantly learning, pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, and were intellectually stimulated every day.

But after a while, that passion can begin to rust. When you’re punching the clock at your 9-5, it’s easy to get stuck in a daily routine that doesn’t actually push you to grow.

Venturing into a new side-hustle or career outside of your normal job can be intimidating, but can also prove to reignite your passion for your work (and your life). When I first started making progress and enjoying some success in my real estate career, I was actually having fun! And this fun spread to other areas of my life—my day job, my marriage, my family, and even my spiritual life.

Tony Robbins says it best: “Progress equals happiness.” If you’re making progress in some area of your life, you’re going to be happier.

Wrapping It Up

Pursuing a new passion or side-hustle outside of your W2 job can definitely bring financial benefits, such as helping to pay off debt sooner. But more than those financial benefits are the unexpected advantages of leveling up your skillset, learning more about yourself, and re-igniting the fire in your belly to be something better!

What non-financial benefits have you gained from pursuing your side hustle?