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Four Lessons in Twenty-Four Minutes with Brendan Hsu

"When you have a good relationship with money, it’s like talking about your dog,” says Brendan.

If you don’t know yet, Brendan Hsu, founder of “ACRE Partner”, helps real estate professionals & agencies close more deals—faster and better. You can find out more about him here. A month ago, I got on a call with Brendan to be considered as a copywriter for written blog posts. Within this 24 minute call, I received valuable lessons that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. Here, I’ll share them with you. If you’re looking to grow as an entrepreneur, freelancer, or a business owner, these four lessons will shift the way you think.

1.) Be Transparent About Money.

Money is something that should be talked about with no reservation. Brendan compares money to your pet, i.e. something you’re comfortable with. You can rant about it, love it, and take care of it. He says, “Who doesn’t love money? Everyone does. People who are shy when talking about money feel that way because they do not have a good relationship with it.” Well, he’s got a point. Talking about things you don’t like gives you the opportunity to reconstruct your relationship with it by helping you grasp and organize your thoughts meaningfully.

2.) Don’t Just Focus On Your Money Goals. Focus On Impact.

If you want to succeed in life, you should know that the money isn’t all that matters.The work itself matters more. Great work can change lives and positively influence relationships. Building sustainable relationships, networking with successful people, and changing lives for the better bring in more value than money ever will. As a professional copywriter, it would make sense for me to focus on the number of jobs I can land. Instead, what I now find to be more important is the number of eyes that read my words and the thoughts that I influence. Everyone wants to get paid more, but does everyone put in the effort? I learned from Brendan, the larger the impact, the greater the reward and thus pay. Are you putting in the effort to earn more pay?

3.) Use The Power Of Questions To Connect.

“People don’t care how much you know or what you can do, until they know how much you care.” When you start conversations by talking about yourself and what you do, it doesn’t show a sense of caring. Instead, show genuine interest in others by asking engaging questions. Asking great questions makes you appear as an expert, allows your prospect to share about themselves, and gives you the ability to steer the conversation meaningfully. Leading questions are effective and can result in consistent responses "yes" which means you’re off to a great start. These affirmations help bridge an opportunity. An even more powerful question is to ask “why.” Not just once, but a few times over. Inquisitive questions dig deeper, and when you patiently listen and take notes, will show you care and allow you to build a true connection that develops into a long-lasting relationship.

4.) Pay Is A Matter Of Perspective.

If you’re a freelancer, you should know what your rates are. You either get paid hourly or per project. Till now, I used to think getting paid hourly rates was exploitative as a freelancer. Brendan said, "What if I pay you $200 per hour? Would you turn down the offer?"

Unfortunately, despite the high rate being appealing, I still wouldn't go for it. I believe in charging per project because it is the work that counts, not necessarily the time invested. If you’re truly an expert at something, it is not about the time invested, but the final result and value you generate for your client. If I can write a better article in half the time, wouldn’t it be fair I charge per project, too?

Gaining a new perspective from other people's experiences can be rewarding, so make sure you keep an open mind. From Brendan, I am hoping to view money differently, ask more questions, and be open to new perspectives. And I hope, from reading my words, I have influenced you to do the same.

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