Walt Brown Jr. of Diversified Partners On Becoming Free From The Fear Of Failure
An Interview With Savio P. Clemente
Visualize and then write down your dreams. Write down what you want to do and why you want to do it. Make sure you are fully committed to it and that it can provide for your needs.
The Fear of Failure is one of the most common restraints that holds people back from pursuing great ideas. Imagine if we could become totally free from the fear of failure. Imagine what we could then manifest and create. In this interview series, we are talking to leaders who can share stories and insights from their experience about “Becoming Free From the Fear of Failure.” As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Walt Brown Jr.
Walt Brown, Jr., is the Founder, CEO and Designated Broker of Diversified Partners, LLC, a real estate brokerage and development company based in Scottsdale, Arizona. He began his career in commercial real estate in California in 1990 where he focused on learning and understanding the real estate business while creating valuable relationships through his positions at various companies. In 1996, he founded Diversified Partners as a full-service commercial real estate brokerage company. Over the years, Walt’s passion, transparency, executive oversight and “big picture” mentality have contributed to Diversified Partners evolving into one of the leading development and brokerage firms in Arizona. Walt’s significant experience in all aspects of the commercial real estate industry has led to a wide range of successes. He has leased, sold, and/or developed more than 5,000 commercial properties and more than 12 million square feet of retail properties throughout the country.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?
Ahhhh, back story…Well, I was born the youngest child of a family of loving, caring and passionate parents, where love may have been our best asset. We didn’t have a lot of money or items, or things, we just had each other and love. I remember going to a Goodwill store with my mom when I was twelve and asking for a small item that was around $3. My mother replied that we would have to wait a week until she got paid. That’s the day I woke up and said never again, I had a job by the end of the week, working part-time after school.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
For starters, I don’t feel like I have worked a day in my life. I firmly believe if you do what you love, you’re not working, and you’re not making any daily, weekly or lifetime sacrifices, you’re simply doing what you love. If you don’t love what you do, don’t do it. As an entrepreneur, you have to invest long hours, so it’s important you’re doing something you love and are passionate about.
With that being said, my decision to fund my own company was the best move I ever made. Although I didn’t have much money, I had the desire and passion to make it happen. My takeaway is sometimes you have to take risks and trust your gut. If you truly believe in your work, are passionate about it and have enough drive, you have the ability to succeed.
You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
- Desire and drive — A successful person with a strong sense of drive is able to work tirelessly, because they believe in their abilities and truly want to attain their goals.
- Willingness to learn and mentor others — Mentorship is very important to me, both finding a mentor and acting as a mentor.
- The ability to motivate and show your team that you value them — I always make sure those on my team know we can’t do it alone. I make time for each and every team member and provide special compensation and bonuses.
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the concept of becoming free from failure. Let’s zoom in a bit. From your experience, why exactly are people so afraid of failure? Why is failure so frightening to us?
I think people are so afraid of failure because of the fear of the unknown. Nobody enjoys failing and this fear can hold people back from achieving their goals.
Success comes from the commitment to work, learn and sacrifice. I believe when you work hard enough, you can’t fail. Having drive and knowing that this is a long journey, not a mission…..is where it starts.
What are the downsides of being afraid of failure? How can it limit people?
Being afraid of failure can hold you back, steal your potential right from your hands and kill success.
In contrast, can you help articulate a few ways how becoming free from the free of failure can help improve our lives?
If you focus on failure, you’re probably going to fail. Instead, visualize all the things that could go right, prepare, surround yourself with smart, hardworking people and execute with passion and commitment.
We would love to hear your story about your experience dealing with failure. Would you be able to share a story about that with us?
This is a story I think about almost every day.
I was cold calling publicly traded companies trying to get a position to expand their companies nationwide. When the person on the other line would answer, I would open with: “Hi there! I’m Walt Brown Jr., the hardest working real estate person in the world. How can I help you expand your company?” I was confident and wanted the people on the other line to know. But, after a series of rejections, I knew I had to change my approach.
How did you rebound and recover after that? What did you learn from this whole episode? What advice would you give to others based on that story?
Instead of giving up, I was resilient and began working on a new pitch. I started asking: “How can I help you get rid of unsuccessful stores that aren’t making money and help you create more profits?”….and it’s been 36 years and a long career later.
My advice is to not give up. Understand that struggle is temporary and what you learn from it lasts forever. Therein lies strength persistence, perseverance and grit.
Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that everyone can take to become free from the fear of failure”? Please share a story or an example for each.
- Visualize and then write down your dreams. Write down what you want to do and why you want to do it. Make sure you are fully committed to it and that it can provide for your needs.
- Prepare to make sacrifices. Don’t believe success just shows up and happens. All success comes with sacrifices, commitment, research and hard work.
- Focus. Don’t be everything to everybody. Find your niche, find what you love and find what you want to do for the balance of your life. I’m happy to say I love what I do and feel like I have never worked a day in my life because of it.
- Care for all of those around you that are also making sacrifices. When you show your appreciation to your team it’s reflected in everyone’s day-to-day work and productivity.
- Plan and look way ahead. Don’t hope it happens, think ahead, watch trends, read and seek help from others around.
The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “It is possible to fail in many ways…while to succeed is possible only in one way.” Based on your experience, have you found this quote to be true? What do you think Aristotle really meant?
It’s absolutely possible. Your success does not depend on others. Don’t make any excuses. Get yourself up, get to work and don’t just wait for it to come. Find your lane and your passion, prepare, work hard and execute with commitment.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
Patience and knowledge — the ability to slow down, think through details and analyze both sides of every execution item you come across before giving an answer.
We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them :-)
I have two of them. The first would be the Queen of England. I would want to eat a cheeseburger, drink a Diet Coke and get to ask her my long list of questions. I think that would be amazing. The second is a toss-up between Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. Both have incredible vision and the courage to knock it out of the park. I would also want to ask a long list of questions, and I promise by the end of that lunch, we would be making some deals.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
For more information about Diversified Partners and to view all projects in progress, readers can visit http://dpcre.com. You can also follow Diversified Partners on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @dpcre.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.