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No One Wants To Live A Small Life: Here’s How To Build A Legendary One Instead


You know who wakes up in the morning and thinks, “Man, I don’t want anything big and meaningful from my life at all?”

No one.

Literally, no one wakes up that way. We all roll out of bed and hit the floor every day hoping and praying to do more with our lives than we did the day before.

No one wants to live a small life.

The longer I’ve lived, the more I’ve realized the destination is the journey, right? It’s the games we get to play. It’s the American dream—the pursuit of happiness. It’s actually not about getting anywhere, and I know that can sound very easy to say, but the reality is, as human beings, we are driven to challenge ourselves.

Someone who’s taught me a lot about doing just that is Pat Hiban, real estate rockstar and New York Times, bestselling author. He spoke with me on my podcast about his second career as a podcaster, author, and educator, and why he always goes “three questions deep” when it comes to grabbing life big.

1. Embrace change: reinvent yourself, start fresh, go where your audience is even if that’s not where they were before.

After decades in the real estate business in his hometown of Maryland, Pat decided to reinvent himself.

He and his wife moved away to a new town, new state, new part of the country, and started fresh. For Pat, that meant starting a whole new career path as a podcaster and author—although he kept the real estate angle. It was, after all, his niche.

And Pat’s still a firm believer in horizontal income. “A rental property that’s paying you $500 a month is horizontally paying you, so you don’t have to work,” he says. “You’re just collecting a check.”

Pat says he noticed the business world was being disrupted by the distribution of free information. Where to buy homes or real estate, how to do it, how to turn it into an investment—all of this formerly guarded industry info was now available to listeners everywhere.  

“I know Gary Vaynerchuk is big on, ‘The future’s in audio,’” says Pat. “Being able to talk to your phone is faster than texting. So it’s all about speed. Being able to listen is faster than having to watch a video.”

Although Gary V isn’t my favorite person, Pat’s got a point.

2. Stick with your expertise and find a way to create your own niche in that world.

When Pat started Real Estate Rockstar Radio, there weren’t many real estate podcasts on the market.

Now there are hundreds. But Pat was among the first. He saw people were looking to learn about home buying and jumped in feet first, helping listeners with his decades of expertise and providing much-needed resources to a very specific niche.

If you’re going to grab life big, you have to do like Pat. Striking out on your own is one of the biggest moves you can make—especially if you’re the first in your industry to take steps down a new path. But remember: your difference gives you exponential power. Competing with what’s already been done only builds you incrementally.

And the most compelling part? Creating new territory for yourself lets you bring something of meaning and power to the world. Just like Pat did for his listeners.

3. Always go 3 questions deep, no matter the topic.

Pat told me about how a mentor friend, Howard Brinton, used to tell him, “You always go 3 deep, no matter what, when you ask a question.” That means asking questions that cover the how, the who, and the what.

Pat says he thinks of Howard Stern, a radio host known for slowing down salacious storytellers with “Wait a minute, slow it down, let me get the whole story.”

“I’ll do that with agents,” says Pat of having guests on his podcast. His fellow realtors will begin explaining how they made money or sold a property, but without the details. It’s Pat’s job to slow them down and get a 3-deep explanation.

“I’ll ask how many houses did you sell? How much did you spend on it? How are you involved in the project? What lessons have you learned?” says Pat. “You know what I mean? Stop right there. Let’s dig deep into it. And people love that.” This is especially beneficial for listeners, who can then write down each step so they can try things for themselves.

And that’s what people are looking for when they listen to a podcast, read a blog post, or watch a YouTube video. When they come to you for advice or information, they want to know you’re going to deliver in a way they can follow. If you’ve already grabbed life big, and it’s in your heart to share with others how you did it, you have to make sure you’re going beyond your introductory sentence.

Give people the play-by-play—what have you got to lose?  

Co-Author of “Niche Down” and “Play Bigger” | Podcast “Christopher Lochhead | Follow Your Different” Advisor & Investor to over 50 Silicon Valley startups, entrepreneur, former three-time public company CMO. Mediocre surfer & skier.

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