Why Being Single-Minded is the Most Costly Mistake You Can Make

Why Being Single-Minded is the Most Costly Mistake You Can Make photo
Share this
Reading Time: 5 mins, 9 secs

There’s a classic scene in the movie Annie Hall where the main character overhears a stranger loudly mischaracterizing a belief held by philosopher Marshall McLuhan.

When confronted, the man argues that as a college professor, he believes his opinion holds a great deal of validity.

At that point, Woody Allen’s character pulls out the actual Marshall McLuhan to set the professor straight.

McLuhan says to the loudmouth: “I heard what you were saying. You know nothing of my work. You mean my whole fallacy is wrong. How you ever got to teach a course in anything is totally amazing.”

Woody Allen’s character sums up this satisfying act of retribution by saying, “Boy, if life were only like this…”


I dare say I have a “real life” similar situation to share with you today. But on a much more personal level.

And it has serious repercussions for your business as well.

There’s No Wrong Way to Generate a Lead

Before I get to my little Marshall McLuhan moment, let me explain the origins of my approach to coaching.

When I started this company in 2004, I did so with the belief that too many real estate trainers and coaches operated solely from one strict approach to building a business.

They’d found one thing that works (sometimes) and then they’d hammer it into the ground as if it’s the be-all, end-all solution for every agent. They taught people – and still to this day continue to teach people – to put “all their eggs in one basket.”

My approach couldn’t be more different. I’ve always believed “There’s no wrong way to generate a lead.”

And to add to that, I’ve long taught the importance of having multiple pillars of lead generation and how to expand them in order to build a strong business.

It just makes sense, right? The wider you cast your net, the more fish you’re going to catch.

Seeking the Expert’s Opinion

So, with all that said, I recently asked marketing genius and one of my mentors, Jay Abraham, what he thinks when he looks around the real estate landscape.

After all, it was Jay’s famous 93 Referral Systems that inspired the many “by referral only” programs that started popping up throughout the real estate industry nearly 30 years ago.

But let’s make this very clear: Those programs weren’t created because that’s what Jay taught, or what he wanted.

It’s because someone took one of his ideas and ran with it… rather haphazardly, come to find out.

So I asked Jay about this recently, and here’s what he told me. I want you to read this and really process what he’s saying:

“I gave birth to the concept of referral strategies for Realtors back in the early ‘90s. The people teaching their version of my strategies in real estate today only grasp a fraction of its intention. It was NEVER-EVER intended to be the ONLY strategy an agent utilized. Check my expensive seminars and extensive body of work. Referral strategies are intended to be merely one pillar in a six-to-nine pillar geometric business growth system that ‘compound fuels’ off of each other. Referral generation IS powerful. But so too is power partnering. So too is the strategy of preeminence.  So too are my rules for relevancy. The same goes for the three ways to grow a business system, and the advanced three-way system. Or maven marketing. Or the sticking point solutions. Or my nine drivers of exponential growth. Or leverage marketing. Or activators of absolute advantage. I could go on.

“But my point is that those ‘one-trick-pony’ advocates of building a purely referral-based real estate business failed totally to grasp the meaning and magnitude of real exponential growth. My power Parthenon exists so businesspeople can put the full power of geometry to work in and for their business. One approach alone puts you severely at risk and at best you operate in the incremental zone rather than the exponential zone I’m so famous for creating. Bottom line: You need to harness and combine multiple approaches to optimize your success and continually multiply your performance!”

This Isn’t About Gloating. It’s About Helping You Build A Better Business.

Now, my point with all of this isn’t to take some sort of victory lap.

It’s to set the record straight.

To provide you with realistic expectations for your business. (Like I’ve been doing for 16 years, even if I do say so myself.)

And most importantly, to get YOU thinking about your own business.

I want you to be asking yourself if you have enough lead-gen pillars… both now and into an unknown future.

How Many is Enough?

We did some research and found that agents who rely on between one to three pillars of lead generation often aren’t very successful in real estate. When you step it up to four to six methods in place, you can build a nice, predictable business. With seven to nine, you can really start rolling and building tons of momentum. With 10+ tactics in your marketing mix, you can cast a huge net and truly excel.

Which begs one completely obvious – and extremely important – question: How many lead sources do you have?

Plus several critical follow-up questions…

Is that enough?

Which ones are you missing out on?

How do you choose which pillar to add next to your lead gen strategy?

How do you implement a new approach?

What Now?

I strongly encourage you to ask yourself these questions and seek out the answers. I’ve linked to a couple helpful articles above that can help you get started. Even this old #TomFerryShow episode is still relevant and helpful to find the answers you need.

I’ll also be covering lots of this at Success Summit, including an entire session on The Top 11 Listing Sources of Super Successful Agents. The event begins in less than three weeks on August 13… Join us in person or catch the LiveCast to ensure your business isn’t a one-trick-pony!

Tom Ferry - Success Summit



Would You Like to Generate and Convert More Leads in Less Time?     Schedule a Free Coaching Consultation