Have you ever wondered if success in life is ultimately determined by our response to hardship and failure?
How is that some people release their survival mentality and embrace the opportunity to use hardships to heal, grow, and help out while others do the opposite? In this article, I intend to deliver three ways to move from survival to thriving.
At its core, all businesses are just people carrying out an idea, solving a problem for a profit. It’s never the other way around; for instance, there is no idea so big that it doesn’t need people to make it succeed. Investors know this, hence the saying “Bet on the jockey, not the horse.” A great jockey is a great role model.
The tale of two real estate agents… in one of our nearby communities, a real estate agent is suing the local municipality over the shelter in place restrictions. The mayor posted – naming the agent – that at this time, he is having to redirect his energy and resources to the lawsuit rather than be entirely devoted to the crisis. The community is “virtually running the agent out of town” while slamming him all over social media that he cares more about selling homes than the city.
I’m not judging here, as citizens it is our right to use the legal system… it’s not about right or wrong. Who knows, maybe the agent will win the battle, yet you and I know he has already lost the war. I would not model my business after this agent.
Contrast this to James Sharp, one of our JPAR top producers based in Plano, Texas. James and his team have adapted quickly to virtual showings, virtual listings and becoming resourceful in advising buyers and sellers on what they can do in this market like:
- Continue to work virtually on mortgage pre-approval
- Virtually consult with him and other professionals
- Continue to research and stay informed
- View listings online
- Giving back – serving the community where there is a need
A perfect model to thrive in today’s market. What makes me proud of our JPAR associates is I could name 100 others – like James – that have emailed, texted, or shared via zoom how they are serving their communities at this time while still virtually serving the needs of existing clients.
Those of you who know me personally, know that one of my favorite quotes is:
“Once You Choose Hope, Anything Is Possible.”
In his book “The Hope Quotient,” Ray Johnston reveals a revolutionary new method for measuring and dramatically increasing your level of hope.
Hope is more than a feeling; it’s the by-product of seven key factors. When these factors are present in your business, they cause hope to thrive.
Factor 1: Recharge Your Batteries.
Nobody does well running on empty.
Factor 2: Raise Your Expectations.
You don’t get what you deserve; you get what you expect.
Factor 3: Refocus on the Future.
It’s time to throw away your rearview mirror. No one goes forward well when they have an unhealthy obsession with looking back.
Factor 4: Play to Your Strengths.
Be yourself; everyone else is taken.
Factor 5: Refuse to Go It Alone.
Never underestimate the power of support. Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto.
Factor 6: Replace Burnout with Balance.
Burning the candle at both ends isn’t as bright as you think.
Factor 7: Play Great Defense.
Avoid the five toxic hope killers that can threaten your future.
What are those 5 Hope Killers?
- Bitterness and resentment
- Worry and anxiety
- An unhealthy obsession of looking back and comparing
- Past failures
What practical steps can you take to improve your defense?
- Never make big decisions when you’re down.
- Respond to bad news in resourceful ways.
- Shake it off and step up.
Johnston explains how building these seven factors of hope into your life will increase your hope level dramatically and will free you and fuel you to catch a fresh vision for your future. And when that happens, anything is possible.
Now fair warning if you go to buy the book, Johnston is a devout Christian. I believe in our constitution and the freedom of religion – it’s one of many things that makes America great. Now I’d like to share I have friends and associates from every faith and of no faith. I respect their freedom, and they respect mine.
“More than education, more than experience, more than training, a person’s level of resilience will determine who succeeds and who fails. That’s true in the cancer ward, it’s true in the Olympics, and it’s true in the boardroom.” ~ Diane Coutu
According to Coutu, resilient people possess three characteristics:
- A staunch acceptance of reality;
- A deep belief and associated values, that life is meaningful;
- An uncanny ability to improvise.
She states, you can bounce back from hardship with just one or two of these qualities, but you will only be truly resilient with all three. These three characteristics hold true for resilient organizations as well.
Coutu goes on to say, resilience is a reflex, a way of facing and understanding the world that is deeply etched into a person’s mind and soul.
Resilient people and companies face reality with staunchness, make meaning of hardship instead of crying out in despair, and improvise solutions from thin air. Others do not. This is the nature of resilience!
There are obviously more than three-ways to survive and thrive, yet a good start is to find great role models, create more hope, and build your resilience. Let’s get started today!
Mental Toughness is the choice – the attitude – of staying in inspired action despite the circumstances surrounding you.
JPAR agents our productive! Working out of our 49 locations across the US, including our Texas brokerage operations where we have 26 locations with 105 private offices and shared community workspaces. I thought it timely and important to write about our “new normal” of working from home during this time of social distancing.
While there are many disruptions during the coronavirus outbreak, it’s essential to manage our attitude and mental state. In my view, mental toughness is the choice – the attitude – of staying in inspired action despite the circumstances surrounding you.
As a real estate professional, you are all used to working from a home office, so this blog could be a great reminder for you. For others, as businesses and organizations respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us will be working even more from home. There can be a great deal of additional stress that accompanies the transition to working from home.
Here are a few tips that can help ease the transition or increase the likelihood that you’re able to balance productivity with your other responsibilities:
First, set precise working times
To the extent possible, try to maintain your typical working schedule. If you typically work from 9 am-5 pm when you’re in the office, then try to keep that same schedule when you’re working from home. Now many of my readers are self-employed entrepreneurs… yes, this applies to you. Our number 1 coaching request is dealing with BURN-OUT. Work expands to the time you give it… set your boundaries. Remember the last time you went on vacation and how much you accomplish the day prior? Take that approach to work daily!
Second, maintain boundaries
Maintain clear work-home boundaries. While all in the same space, be intentional about keeping work, home, or school boundaries. Consider this, use time blocks – have a clear off time where you’re done working for the day. As much as possible, don’t let your work spill over to your time away from work. Even in real estate, this is possible…does your lawyer, CPA and other professionals who handle critical matters work 24/7? No… they don’t and neither should you unless you are committed to burn-out.
Third, maintain a virtual connection with others?
Working from home can be an isolating experience. Maintain contact with others by scheduling virtual lunch breaks or coffee chats. Find ways to connect and keep in communication with your others to avoid feelings of loneliness. What about a virtual mastermind group? You can continue your weekly small group meetings video conference or FaceTime.
Fourth, stay hydrated, proper nutrition, and take breaks
This point seems like a no-brainer, but the reality is it can be easy to lose track of time and to forget to engage in daily self-care (like drinking enough water, eating regular meals, and getting enough exercise). Set break times and stick with them. Get up and walk around, stretch, and consider taking 5-minute mindfulness breaks every few hours. Your mobile device probably has built-in reminders or popular apps that are available for your mobile device… there is an app for that! Search your device or your favorite app store.
Fifth, maintain a daily to-do list
For some, working from home can feel overwhelming. Focus on what needs to be done each day by making a daily to-do list. Focus on prioritizing each task each day. I’ve found real estate professionals work best with a “daily action checklist.” A powerful list of all the must-dos for that day, week, or month. Don’t forget some type of daily cardio. Consider these seven actions
- FaceTime or call someone you haven’t talked to for a while.
- Pray or meditate more.
- Write a gratitude list, thank you notes, or thinking of you notes.
- Walk or hike more; visit a new park.
- If able, give, or volunteer more. If not, encourage someone who can.
- Read, write, create something.
- Play a new game or an old favorite in your off time.
Sixth, make your home office space work for you
If you have a home office space, use it! If not, consider ways that you can create a workspace that will support your work from home situation. Separate work from your bedroom or spaces where you typically relax. If you have to work in your bedroom, at least make some space outside of your actual bed to do work. From a wellness perspective, mental health professionals, so it’s often important as much as possible to have a clear distinction between working spaces and spaces that are intended for relaxation.
- Set Your Space Up for Productivity.
- Reduce, Remove or Eliminate Your Distractions.
- Get Comfortable.
- Invest in Light Exercise Equipment.
- Declutter Ruthlessly and Often.
- Take Eye Breaks.
- Work with Purpose.
Seventh, reduce distractions
Consider how to remove distractions from your home office environment. That means having a clear boundary for your professional work and your personal work with the associated time blocks. For many readings this, that could mean turning off the TV, your news, and Facebook notifications. For others, having some background noise like classical music or ambient soundtracks can be helpful. It is also important to consider how you’ll maintain your distraction-free work environment if you have a spouse, roommate, partner, children, or pets who will be in your space during your work hours. Talk with all your housemates about work boundaries and how to ensure distraction-free areas so that you’re able to focus on your work. You can also use these tips for working from home with children around. Have a family meeting to discuss the new schedule and boundaries that will help the family during this time.
It’s never been more important to stay connected and avoid being isolated. Besides your circle of influence, many groups our offering assistance on-line for those experience higher levels of stress or coping challenges. Reach out there is a world of help within reach.
And a bonus tip from my sister… after reviewing my draft she sent me “you should add this: dress for work rather than being too informal. You are more productive when you dress for work instead of dressing as if you’re lounging around for the weekend.”
Professional conferences are an unparalleled opportunity to build your network, get new ideas, deepen connections and get out of your routine and shake things up.
Yet so many of us fail to act… why?
Because you probably went home with loads of information to digest and a feeling of being overwhelmed. So plan a post-conference action plan that empowers you.
The key is taking?ACTION.
Here are 4 steps to maximize your conference investment:
1. Network post the event?– Don’t forget those connections you made. Close the loop, follow up and build relationships for referrals, accountability and more.
2. Leverage your social channels?– How can you communicate your time investment to show potential customers your commitment to excellence and serving them at the highest levels? Make your public posts about serving your customers and potential customers better.
3. Organize your notes into a checklist?for the items you are committed to act on and share them with an accountability partner, mentor or coach. Do you have a checklist? A checklist?not only helps you get more done, but your brain loves them. According to research summarized by best-selling author Maria Konnikova, here are some of the reasons why:
- Your mind seeks organization. Lists tap into our preferred way of receiving and organizing information at a subconscious level; from an information-processing standpoint, they often hit our attentional sweet spot.
- When we process information, we do so spatially. For instance, it’s hard to memorize through brute force the groceries we need to buy. It’s easier to remember everything if we write it down in bulleted or numbered points.
- Your mind wants to categorize. We can’t process information quickly when it’s clustered and undifferentiated (like in standard paragraphs). A list feels more intuitive.
- Your mind wants to know how long this will take. The more we know about something—including precisely how much time it will consume—the greater the chance we will commit to it.
- List completion is self-reinforcing. We recall with pleasure that we were able to check something off the list. This makes us want to go back to the list for another dopamine hit.
Do your brain a favor and break down what you learned and your action steps into a series of checklists.
4. Take action NOW! –?Don’t wait! Nothing good happens when you wait.
So there you have it, 4 steps to win the post-conference game.
“If you can’t get a miracle, become one.” ~ Nick?
Imagine getting through your busy day without hands or legs. Picture your life without the ability to walk, care for your basic needs, or even embrace those you love. Meet Nicholas Vujicic.
In 1982 Nick was born without arms and legs and given no medical explanation for his condition. Faced with countless challenges and obstacles, God has given Nick the strength to surmount what others might call impossible.
It was my honor to introduce Nick to our team recently, and here is a snapshot of five of the seven highlights from his message:
Everything starts with an attitude of gratitude?
What was that Abraham Lincoln quote? “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” So true, today, I am grateful for those of you that share with me how these blogs or video articles made a difference in your business.
Accept ourselves for who we are?
For Nick, the early days were difficult. Throughout his childhood, Nick not only dealt with the typical challenges of school and adolescence, but he also struggled with depression and loneliness. Nick always wondered why he was different than all the other kids. He questioned the purpose of life, or if he even had a purpose.
- Accept the reality
- Accept others for who they are
- Find your purpose
- Take action
Think like a winner… think big ACT bigger??
Nick’s dad used to say: “you weren’t given arms and legs, but you were given a brain. Hire employees so that they can be your arms and legs.” Despite his disability and being bullied at school, Vujicic threw himself into being an entrepreneur at a young age. His first job, in which he earned A$1 an hour was to vacuum the floor, a skill he managed using his shoulder and chin.
“Don’t give up. And know that there is always someone out there who believes in you and who loves you just the way that you are.” ~Nick?Vujicic
Motivation is temporary, inspiration and discipline has staying power?
Motivation alone is unreliable. It is momentary, unpredictable, and can depart as quickly as it enters. Think about it:
When you listen to a motivational speech, there is an emotional response that is created by an understanding. However, the emotional response wears off, and we fail to revisit the agreement, which incited the emotional response and all the good things that came with it. Thus, we become “unmotivated” until we are reminded again. Sound familiar?
Do you know how to get out of it? Just do the work. It doesn’t matter how you feel at the time; just do it. Don’t wait until you feel motivated. You will build momentum, and eventually, you will get inspired. Ignore inspiration — if it’s there, great. Use it. If it’s not, act anyway.
Don’t feel like going to the gym? Just go.
If you have writer’s block, then write.
Just don’t wait.
Don’t wait for the right moment.
Don’t depend on luck.
Fear is just a challenge to overcome?
There is healthy fear… don’t touch that hot stove! And there is limiting fear… in the case I’m writing about today – limiting fear is just “False?Evidence?Appearing?Real!”
In the type of limiting fear, I’m talking about:
- Fear sees only the downside
- Fear doesn’t let you stop to think it through
- Fear tells us to avoid anything new or unknown
- Fear constricts rather than expands who we are
- Fear obscures your intuition
- Fear often keeps us from making any decision at all
I’m so grateful for Nick and his message; I’ll leave you with this exercise Nick had our team complete on the spot. Do it now, don’t wait!
A quick exercise:
- What is your goal? Financially, spiritually, physically, relationally?
- Define it specifically. X by Y date by doing these Z daily activities.
– Win the day, win the week, win the month
– Define a plan to overcome your obstacles
– Take action NOW
Fundamentals matter… let me share a story.?
It was July of 1961, and the 38 members of the Green Bay Packers football team were gathered together for the first day of training camp. The previous season had ended with a heartbreaking defeat when the Packers squandered a lead late in the 4th quarter and lost the NFL Championship to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Green Bay players had been thinking about this brutal loss for the entire off-season, and now, finally, training camp had arrived, and it was time to get to work. The players were eager to advance their game to the next level and start working on the details that would help them win a championship.
Their coach, Vince Lombardi, had a different idea.
Lombardi took nothing for granted. He began a tradition of starting from scratch, assuming that the players were blank slates who carried over no knowledge from the year before… He began with the most elemental statement of all:
Gentlemen, this is a football!
Lombardi was coaching a group of three dozen professional athletes who, just months prior, had come within minutes of winning the biggest prize their sport could offer. And yet, he started from the very beginning.
Lombardi’s systematic coverage of the fundamentals continued throughout the training camp. Each player reviewed how to block and tackle. They opened up the playbook and started on page one. His team would become the best in the league at the tasks everyone else took for granted.
Six months later, the Green Bay Packers beat the New York Giants 37-0 to win the NFL Championship.
Is this your season to get back to basics?
Fundamental One: Pick Up Your Phone
Schedule time this month to contact your database and check-in. Find out what’s new and remind them that you are never too busy for them. Be ready to with some current market facts, how things are going in your area, any new community events or initiatives. A great source of content is available at www.jparinsights.com.?
Fundamental Two: Throw a Party
The post-holiday party let down is real! There’s always a reason to get your past clients, prospects, and friends together to show them appreciation. You could host a charity event, valentine’s day event, or even a March madness party. It does not need to be complicated, just fun.
Consistency is a sales strategy… a hope and a wish are not! Are you leaving too much to chance, or are you committed to getting back to proven winning fundamentals? The football season is over, yet you can have a winning season by executing consistently on the fundamentals.?
Fundamental Three: Write a Note
A lost art is writing a personal note! Writing a note establishes a more personal level of connection. Even if you just write something as easy as “Happy February!” A handwritten note will go a long way in keeping you top of mind.?
Fundamental Four: Stop by With a Gift
Face-to-face is powerful with clients at any time of the year. I once worked with an agent that always had boy and girl gift baskets in the car that he dropped off anywhere he saw the “stork!” Get creative and stop by with anything of value, and you will not only build a relationship yet also stay top of mind.?
A hope and a wish are NOT sales strategies… consistency is. Are you leaving too much to chance or getting consistent on the fundamentals??
The football season may be over yet that does not mean you can’t have a winning season by focusing on the fundamentals.?
This week I had the opportunity to speak with several real estate agents about their upcoming 2020 New Years’ resolutions. Research has shown that about half of all adults make New Year’s resolutions. However, fewer than 10% manage to keep them for more than a few months. Like me, does this statistic make you wonder why? What’s the solution? Consider this:
What would happen if starting today, you never tolerated inaction in yourself? Think about that for a moment again, what would happen if starting today you never tolerated inaction in yourself?
From the book, Atomic Habits, there is a common mistake that often happens to too many of us. The error has to do with the difference between?being in motion and taking action. They sound similar, but they’re not the same.
When you’re in motion, you’re planning and strategizing and learning. Those are all good things, but they?don’t produce a result. Action, on the other hand, is the type of behavior that will?deliver an outcome.
Here’s a couple of practical examples:
- If I outline 20 ideas for articles I want to write, that’s motion.
- If I write and publish an article, that’s action.
- If I email 10 new leads for my business and start conversations with them, that’s motion.
- When I set an appointment, that’s action.
- If I search for a better diet plan and read a few books on the topic, that’s motion.
- If I eat a healthy meal, that’s action.
Sometimes motion is useful, yet it will never produce an outcome by itself. It doesn’t matter how many times you talk to the personal trainer, that motion will never get you in shape. Only the action of working out will get the result you’re looking to achieve.
If the motion doesn’t lead to results, why do we do it?
Sometimes we do it because we need to plan or learn more. But more often than not, we do it?because motion allows us to feel like we’re making progress?without running the risk of failure. Most of us are experts at avoiding criticism. It doesn’t feel right to fail or to be judged publicly, so we tend to avoid situations where that might happen. And that’s the biggest reason why you slip into motion rather than taking action:?you want to delay failure.
It’s easy to be in motion and convince yourself that you’re still making progress. You think,?“I’ve got conversations going with four potential clients right now. This is good. We’re moving in the right direction.”?Motion makes you feel like you’re getting things done. But really, you’re just preparing to get something done. When preparation becomes a form of procrastination, you need to change something. You don’t want to be planning merely. You want to be practicing.
Some ideas to get out of motion and into action:
- Work expands to the time you give it:?Set a specific time for each task.
- Set a schedule for your actions:?Basic time blocking.
- Pick a date to shift you from motion to action:?set hard deadlines.
- Ignore, switch your feelings:?“I don’t feel like it” to “Let’s get this done!”
For some goals, setting a daily or weekly schedule doesn’t work as well. This is the case if you’re doing something that is only going to happen once: studying for your broker exam or getting your GRI. These things require some planning upfront (motion). They also need plenty of action to complete them. For example, you could set a schedule each week to study. In a situation like this, research shows it’s best to pick a date. Put something on the calendar – like the test date. Make it public. This is when X is happening. In other words, set a HARD DEADLINE.
Research shows that people who make a specific plan for when and where they will perform a new habit are more likely to follow through. Too many people try to change their habits without these basic details figured out. We tell ourselves, “I’m going to eat healthier” or “I’m going to write more,” but we never say when and where these habits are going to happen. We leave it up to chance and hope that we will “just remember to do it” or feel motivated at the right time.
Hope is not a strategy!
An implementation intention sweeps away foggy notions like “I want to work out more” or “I want to be more productive” or “I should vote” and transforms them into a concrete plan of action.
Many people think they lack motivation when what they lack is clarity.
A straightforward way to apply this strategy to your habits is to fill out this sentence:
I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION]
- I will follow up with 4 leads a day for 30 minutes at 9 a.m. in my office.
- I will complete part 1 of my project, investing twenty minutes at 10 a.m. in my office.
- I will exercise for one hour at 5 p.m. at my gym.
- I will make my wife a cup of tea at 7 a.m. each morning in the kitchen.
Give your habits time and space. The goal is to make the time and location so apparent that, with enough repetition, you get an urge to do the right thing at the right time, even if you can’t say why.
To put it: planning out when and where you will perform a specific behavior turns your environment into a trigger for action. The time and place trigger your behavior, not your level of motivation.
Motivation is short-lived and doesn’t lead to consistent action. If you want to?achieve your goals, then you need a plan for exactly?when?and?how?you’re going to execute on them regardless of how you feel.
There are some lessons that only?#failure?can teach. Failure is not the problem… inaction is… procrastination is.
Let’s commit this week to move from motion to action.