BONUS CHAPTER: Surviving and Thriving as an Entrepreneur

Robert Reffkin

Lesson time 15:13 min

Robert reveals his strategies for building a strong team, keeping meetings focused, and learning from failure.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: No One Succeeds Alone · Maximize Your Strengths · Seek Inspiration · Focus on Focus · Failure Is a Good Teacher


[MUSIC PLAYING] - I believe that entrepreneurship is the greatest force for progress our world has ever known. Entrepreneurs drive our economy and our society forward. Each and every one of you is an entrepreneur. Real estate agents are all entrepreneurs. And their clients are doing the most entrepreneurial effort in their lives of buying a home, of moving, moving is progress. Creating a new dream. If I look at how my success has changed over time, the more I was my authentic self, the more I was successful. In the beginning, I was always acting like, you know, when I was younger, like what I thought I supposed to be. Like what are you supposed to be when you go to consulting or Wall Street when you're in your early 20s? What is, what are you supposed to dress like? What you supposed to talk like? And I think one of the reasons why I've been so successful at Compass, is for the first time, I'm just like exactly the way I am. The good, the bad, the ugly there's all parts of that in there. My energy isn't going to, what are these people going to think of me. My energy is going to, let me be who I am and if I'm not good at something, let someone else do it. One of the best pieces of advice I received was from Henry Cornell. He was the head of private equity at Goldman Sachs. It was after my review when I was in the private equity group and he said, Robert, you know, started looking at the paper, you're not good at the numbers. And he was leaning on the chair kind of to the side, you're not good the numbers. I said, Henry, you know, I'm going to work extra hard and I was definitively working seven days a week, I'm going to work extra hard and I'm going to get better the numbers. It was like, Robert, don't try to make your weaknesses strengths. He said the goal should be to minimize your weaknesses and maximize your strengths. Most people go to sleep at night every day and say, I really wasn't good at this thing, how do I make it better. I would urge people to go to sleep at night and say, I was really good at this thing, wasn't as good at that, was really good at this, so how do I do that even more. And that's, that's your authentic self. Your authentic self is doing what you're great at and doing it more, not focusing on what you're not good at and trying to be someone else when you're not. I think it comes from school, if I were a betting man, where people, know you, have these report cards and they're like oh, well here you got a C. You got to get that C to B, we got to get better at that, as opposed to saying wow, you got an A on that. Like just focus more on the A. I think maybe that's where it comes from. But I believe we should all be maximizing our strengths. And that's core to entrepreneurship. No one's been a great entrepreneur by obsessing about their weaknesses. Either all maximizing their strengths, and you think about some of the greatest entrepreneurs out there, they're almost known for the mix of t...

About the Instructor

As the CEO and founder of Compass, Robert Reffkin has used modern technology to revolutionize the real estate industry in the U.S. Now he’s demystifying the ins and outs of the American home-buying process and sharing tools that will help you buy or sell a home with confidence. Learn how to approach your search, choose an agent, make an offer, and more. Your future home is waiting—let Robert help you find it.

Featured MasterClass Instructor

Robert Reffkin

Robert Reffkin, the founder and CEO of Compass, helps you get closer to finding your dream home by simplifying and demystifying real estate.

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