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The Mental Impact of a Commission-based Career

Where to start when you’re trying to prioritize wellness in your daily routine.

May 1, 2021

Key takeaways:

  • A 100% commission-based job, like that of a real estate professional, comes with particular stressors.
  • Incorporate healthy habits and practices into your routine, even if you don’t feel stressed or anxious.
  • Affirmations and a wind-down routine at the end of the day can help you create and store positive energy.

The real estate market can be frenzied or dead, depending on what’s driving it—economic or political forces, movement in interest rates, or demographic changes, for example. It’s easy to see why stress and anxiety are high in an industry where your ability to make an income largely relies on the stability of others. With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s time to establish healthier practices in your daily routine.

No career comes without stressors, but there are particular challenges when working a 100% commission-based job. The lack of a consistent paycheck could send some spiraling into anxiety. Add to that the pressures of being a small-business owner. You are the lead generator, the marketer, the salesperson, the planner, the event coordinator, and so on and so forth. But while we’re all too familiar with the ebbs and flows of building a real estate business, the real question is: How do we manage the stress that comes with it?

When you’re working throughout the week, there are things you can do to focus on your mental health. Even if you don’t feel stressed or anxious at the moment, being proactive and incorporating healthy practices will only benefit you when the more stressful times come. Here are some things to consider during your day.

  • Have you had a proper meal today? Enough water?
  • Have you taken a 20-minute break to focus on something unrelated to work?
  • Have you gotten up and walked away from the computer in the last hour?
  • Are you giving yourself enough time to respond to clients, or are you frequently frantically trying to catch up?
  • Are you asking for help from others when you need it, or are you trying to do everything yourself?

“Integrating daily affirmations to inspire creativity and a ‘glass-half-full’ mindset will prepare your mind for more clear and creative thinking,” says Sherri S. Wick, owner of Chicago-based Holistically Divine Counseling. Along with affirmations, establish a wind-down routine, giving yourself an hour to relax before you go to sleep. Your wind-down routine may include limiting screen time before bed, writing out your thoughts, and meditating. These techniques, practiced five to six times per week, will help reduce and manage daily stressors.

  1. Focus on sleep/exercise/nutrition. Establishing a routine that includes exercise and proper nutrition will support your energy and focus during the day. This can also help promote a healthy sleep schedule, which is crucial to proper functioning in our everyday lives.
  2. Practice mindfulness/meditation. Focus on some quiet time to refresh your mind. Add soft music to help slow down your thoughts if needed. Try the affirmations technique to give yourself more clarity throughout the week.
  3. Seek support. When the going gets tough and you feel overwhelmed, lean on your support system. If you ever need extra support or could use better coping techniques, try out therapy.

While these certainly aren’t all the ways you can minimize your stress, they are a starting point. Focusing on your mental health while building and maintaining your business will increase your longevity in the real estate industry—and even in your life.

Brittany Wrenn
Broker / Dream Town Realty

Brittany Wrenn is a broker with Dream Town Realty in Chicago. She is also the founder of Beyond the Sale, a wellness and real estate company that provides industry resources for mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing.

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