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What Role Do You Play in Your Business Life?


As a lifelong student of commercial real estate and investment advising I spend much of my time working on growing my business through reading business books, a favorite of which is Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller.

In the book (which I would highly recommend to any businessperson), Miller identifies four different character types appearing in movies and books: the hero, the villain, the victim and the guide. Think about some of the most epic movies in our lifetime – Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, etc. It’s easy to identify which character fills the roles in the story. Now think of your work life as a movie: Which role do you play?

In my opinion, I believe the ideal character to play in your own business movie is the guide. What type of role does Yoda play in Star Wars? How about Mr. Miyagi in Karate Kid? They serve as guides, leading the hero – the main character - to success.

In my commercial real estate business, I literally describe my role as “leading buyers, sellers and investors to real estate wins.” Sure, it might be nice to play the hero every once in a while, but in my movie, my clients are the heroes – searching for something that’s difficult to come by, and needing a guide to show them the path to success.

Throughout my career I’ve encountered my fair share of victims and villains but have worked hard to stay the course and continue to play my role as a guide. During a deal I submitted what was viewed as a “low offer” on a property, and the client was mad at both their broker and at me. Instead of playing the guide, their broker came to me as a victim, insinuating that I had done them wrong by submitting this offer. I sprung into guide mode and explained to the other broker how I arrived at that offer – detailing my pricing, spreadsheet and necessary investment to make the purchase work.

I’ve found great success by staying true to the guide role in my commercial real estate career. Don’t lead your sales life as a hero, lead it as a guide. A great broker should focus on how they can fulfill the needs of their clients, not on selling themselves.

Justin Langlois, CCIM is a Commercial Real Estate Advisor with Stirling Investment Properties servicing Baton Rouge, Louisiana and surrounding markets. Please reach out to Justin to discuss your real estate investment strategies.

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Stirling Properties

8550 United Plaza Blvd. | Suite 101

Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Licensed in the State of Louisiana

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