Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Goal setting has always been a problem for me. In trying to overcome this problem, I have read and reread books such as Psycho Cybernetics, Think and Grow Rich, The Magic of Thinking Big, Awaken the Giant Within and many more. I have listened to coaches and trainers guide me through goal setting sessions but the strategies have never actually stuck. Don’t get me wrong, I have accomplished many things in my life and in my business, but not one of my accomplishments will I attribute to the kind of goal setting that I have read and learned about.
My problem with traditional goal setting is that after a few days the enthusiasm fades and the goal sheet ends up in a bedside table. I realize that I lose focus and I forget what I want and how badly I want it. I will set a goal for a new car and then I will get distracted and stop working towards earning more money. This being the end of the year I have an instinct that I must set goals and move towards accomplishing them. I do not want to repeat what I have done in previous years and read my goals for a couple of weeks and then put them away and forget about them. I want to set goals and follow through the entire year so I can look back at the end of the year and be proud of myself. I have learned a principle that I think will help.
1. Dissatisfaction is my greatest ally and will get me into action.
Today I want to talk about how I plan on setting my goals. One night about a week ago I was laying in bed thinking about goal setting. It occurred to me that dissatisfaction is caused by comparing ourselves to the ideal. In other words, I feel bad when I think of the best basketball player or chess player or Realtor because I know that I am capable but I am not making my best effort to achieve those end results. Dissatisfaction grows when we compare to the ideal; the Ideal Realtor or the Ideal Father, etc. An interesting thing happens in our brain when we are uncomfortable. We either look at the thing that is making us uncomfortable and attack it to eliminate the discomfort or we look away. What determines which response we have? We take action when we feel that we can control and eliminate the discomfort. We avoid and ignore dealing with the subject when we do not have faith in our ability to overcome the obstacle. For too long I have been avoiding doing the things that will make me happy because of some perceived pain or lack of control. This is generally referred to as a “victim mentality.” It is an unspoken belief that forces such as the weather, traffic circumstances or other external factors are acting on me. I then realized that I already have the ideal picture in my head of who I am and what an Ideal Realtor looks like. As I came to grips with this concept of understanding the Ideal I decided to focus on it and quantify it.
The Ideal Realtor:
Presentation Practice Habit
Systems for marketing
Client Care Systems
Lead Generation systems
Lead Follow up systems
SOI Growing systems
I noticed that as I focused on the ideal the words came out almost too fast to write down. We already have the ideal image in our head of who we can become. We already know the components that make up this Ideal person. But we have created a scotoma that helps us avoid looking at our Ideal. There are many other characteristics and habits that can be added to quantify the Ideal Realtor. And every one of the systems has more detail that can be added.
One of the things I have learned from all of my reading and studying is that clarity is power. The more clarity I have about a specific system or process the easier it is for me to implement and to remember. A collateral benefit to adding clarity to the ideal is that it intensifies my dissatisfaction with my current state. Intense dissatisfaction is what makes me take action.
It then occurred to me that I could have intense dissatisfaction about many different situations. What does my ideal kitchen look like? What does my ideal healthy state include? How about an ideal relationship? Is it possible that I could create an ideal state of cleanliness that forces me to take action and finally clean out the garage?
My goal setting, therefore, is to verbalize and quantify the ideal pictures that I already have in my head adding detail and clarity so that I am motivated every time I read them to take immediate action.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Businesses have been surveyed and the results were that successful businesses had high sales and unsuccessful business had low sales. Therefore it can be assumed that sales are important to business success. Individuals are responsible for sales and successful sales people are people that are willing to risk rejection and ask for business. People that are willing to risk rejection and ask for business are typically people that have high self confidence and self esteem. So my conclusion is that in order to have a successful business and have a high amount of sales you must have individuals that have high self esteem and self confidence. I was having this discussion with Greg and he asked, "Well how do you create high self esteem?" I thought he was joking and then realized that there are probably quite a few people that do not know the answer to this question. An individual can raise their level of self esteem and self confidence by keeping promises. But not just any promises. Promises to themselves. Those insignificant promises like, I will make the bed every morning or I will get up at 5:00 am every morning and workout. Even as you read this you understand at a visceral level that it is true. You know that if you were to keep promises to yourself you would feel better about yourself and your ability to keep your commitments. If you felt better about your ability to keep your commitments you would make larger commitments and bigger promises. If you made bigger promises and kept them you would feel better about yourself regardless of the outcome and you would have improved self esteem. I am making some promises TODAY!!
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Saturday, November 28, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Saying one thing and doing another is incongruent behavior. This morning I got on my scale in order to create tension between current reality and my goal. I noticed the scale jumped to 220 lbs. My goal is 200 and fit. Good - tension created. I then realized that I had gotten on the scale yesterday and the result was pretty much the same. However, instead of working out and eating better I ate a piece of cake before I went to bed. That is what you call an obvious incongruency.
This morning I was on the phone making phone calls to For Sale By Owners and another agent verbalized a thought that I was already thinking. FSBO's are mean nasty and rude. My next call the person that answered was not mean nasty or rude but I was already out of rapport with my goal of setting an appointment so I let the seller convince me that I could not help her. Incongruence is a demonstration of our lack of belief. We say we want something but then do not marshal our personal power and act congruently to achieve our goals. We do not believe that we can achieve what we set out to do. What actions, attitudes and beliefs are necessary to take congruent action consistently? I wish I had an answer. We want to be one person but then act in direct contradiction to our stated purpose.
I said that I wanted to prospect consistently and on a schedule but for the last week I have not made it into the office on time and arrived at my prospecting station after 9:00 am. A stated purpose or goal and incongruent actions that lead to opposite results. Joe Stumph, who I consider to be an incredible trainer and coach, tells us that we must make our goal more important and more real than our current reality. I believe that we must eliminate options. What ideas do you have to help me make on time prospecting with a purpose a must and not a should or optional?
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Am I taking personal responsibility for everything in my life? For most people this is a tough question to read much less answer. Everything? What about that driver on the way into the office or the economy or the mortgage companies? I had a tough time sleeping last night, I was concerned about a real estate transaction and I ate 7-11 hotdogs for dinner. It was not my fault.
The problem with not taking personal responsibility for EVERYTHING in our lives is that then we must admit that we are being acted upon. We must admit that we are victims! We do not have control over our circumstances and if we do not have control in one situation what evidence do we have that we have control in any situation. If we continue to view our circumstances with the attitude "I didn't create this, it's not my fault," in effect, we are saying, "I'm not in control of my life." As soon as you say, "I create it all, the good, the bad, and the ugly," you take control of your life!
If you are ready the two simple steps to TAKING CONTROL of your life are:
1. Take 100% responsibility for your current reality, regardless how blissful or how dismal.
2. Become 100% responsible for changing your current reality: "If it's going to be, it's up to me." Examine these 2 steps. Neither of them require any physical work on your part; there is no "doing." They are simply paradigm shifts; they both simply require a change in attitude, a new set of mental rules, a new internal program. When you combine the two steps, you now have the ability to truly create your own destiny.
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Try this experiment, stick your fingers in a rubber band and then hold your fingers open and hold it as long as possible. You are now exercising Willpower. Eventually you will release the rubber band. Willpower fails every time.
Imagine getting on a scale and seeing that you weigh 30 lbs more than you think you are supposed to weigh. Immediately there is discomfort. This is cognitive dissonance. There is a tension between reality and how we see ourselves that creates discomfort. So we decide to stop eating dessert and start working out. Then the next morning if you are still holding the rubber band open you will get up early, get dressed and go walking or stick an exercise dvd in and do your best to keep up. Unfortunately what happens then is that the next morning we are sore and can no longer hold the rubber band open or we forget altogether about the rubber band and commit to never getting on the scale again. This is the way we tend to deal with cognitive dissonance. Generally we snap back to our default state. Think of a jetliner on autopilot to Miami, sure you can grab the stick and guide it to South Dakota but as soon as you release the controls the autopilot will correct course to Miami. Our subconscious is our autopilot.
We must decide EXACTLY what we want with specificity and repeat and remind ourselves constantly in order to reprogram the autopilot in our brains. We must get on the scale as often as possible to ensure that we are constantly creating cognitive dissonance and tension. We must become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Even now you are feeling uncomfortable as you think about setting specific goals. What will you do? Will you avoid the scale or will you decide that today you will begin reprogramming your autopilot?
Monday, November 16, 2009
A coach that I listened to said that if you want to be truly great you must either change the people around you OR change the people around you. I read Talent is Overrated this weekend and the author says that the truly great achievers took advantage of performance multipliers. Most great achievers started as reluctant performers that were coerced to take lessons and practice and initially experienced skills growth and were promoted to better teachers, coaches or classes. This continued until the future superstar realized that if they were going to be able to keep performing at the level of their class they would have to practice more and become better at their sport or instrument. A good piano player in a small town moves to a college with several good piano players and must step up his skills just to keep up. Eventually the piano player becomes truly great. The number one performance multiplier is the people with whom you surround yourself. Anthony Robbins tells us that our lives are a direct reflection of the expectations of our peer group. Who you spend time with is who you become.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I love Real Estate. I love my business.
I love it because I can help people.
I love helping people see that they can have a house that they love.
I love helping people establish roots for their family.
I love knowing that I am helping better their future and changing their family tree.
I love to see the smiles on children’s faces when they run through the house and pick out their rooms.
I love driving a family to the nearest schools to show them where their children will attend.
I love to see the smile on the mother’s face when she is imagining serving meals in the dining room.
I love watching the father survey the yard and garage as he imagines all his projects and improvements.
I love to put the deal together and confidently tell the family that they will move into their home soon.
I love seeing homes.
I love helping move up buyers find their dream home.
I love seeing their eyes light up when they know that they are in their dream home.
I love the challenge of negotiating for a great deal.
I love working with agents.
I love working with professional great agents.
I love working with young new agents and contributing to them from my experience.
I love working with tough miserable agents because it helps me appreciate all the good agents.
I love knowing that the contract represents a win-win transaction.
I love seeing new problems and remembering that there are real people with real goals and dreams involved.
I love solving those problems from that perspective.
I love helping people learn to invest in real estate.
I love reviewing cash flow on a multi unit property.
I love seeing the potential in a property and explaining it to my buyers.
I love learning how to do new transactions.
I love learning and teaching.
I love finding great deals with cash flow or potential equity and helping good friends profit from it.
I love learning about all the ways deals can be done.
I love putting together a plan for profit that includes many steps and seeing that plan through.
I love helping people sell their home.
I love setting up showings for motivated sellers.
I love telling people the truth about their homes value.
I love helping people accept reality and moving forward with their lives.
I love telling people the truth about their homes condition and helping them understand that I want to help them.
I love meeting people at a closing table after a job well done.
I love reviewing a contract with a family and helping them come to an agreement that benefits them.
I love talking to potential buyers and helping them through the steps of prequalifying and identifying what is important to them.
I love learning how to help people identify what is truly important to them.
I love delivering a high level of service.
I love knowing that I am a great agent.
I love knowing that my clients are working with a true professional.
I love keeping my promise to keep people informed and helping them understand.
I love helping people and answering questions even if it does not always lead to a transaction.
I love helping a homeowner figure out how to keep his home.
I love solving problems.
I love being a professional and being a resource for my community. I love working with great escrow officers and helping buyers and sellers understand and sign their documents.
I love working with great loan officers and knowing that docs got to the title company early.
I love inspection issues and helping people understand them and resolve them.
I love seeing the commission amount on the HUD’s.
I love easily reviewing HUD’s with my sellers.
I love depositing my check.
I love knowing that I will be at another closing soon.
I love knowing that I will get another check soon.
I love knowing that I can easily live my dreams when I focus on what I love about my business.
I love knowing that I can be happy by truly loving my business.
I love knowing that all of my problems are tiny in comparison to my love for myself, my business and my clients.
I love my business.
June 16, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Here is the greatest value of discipline: self-worth, also known as self-esteem. Many people who are teaching self-esteem these days don't connect it to discipline. But once we sense the least lack of discipline within ourselves, it starts to erode our psyche. One of the greatest temptations is to just ease up a little bit. Instead of doing your best, you allow yourself to do just a little less than your best. Sure enough, you've started in the slightest way to decrease your sense of self-worth. I made a commitment to myself that I would get up everyday at 5:00 am. I did this for a couple of weeks and I felt great, I was able to workout and read and journal. Then I allowed myself to hit the snooze button just once and then I would get up. This went on for about a month. All the time I was justifying that no one else was getting up that early so if I was 9 minutes late it would not matter. Then for the past 2 weeks I have been hitting the snooze bar twice and sometimes three times in the morning. Sure I still was up early and doing my workout but I have felt a degradation in my sense of self worth. I spend more time justifying and convincing myself that I am still working hard.
There is a problem with even a little bit of neglect. Neglect starts an infection. If you don't take care of it, it becomes a disease. And one neglect leads to another. Worst of all, when neglect starts, it diminishes our self-worth.
How can you regain your self-respect? Start with the smallest discipline that corresponds to your own philosophy. I created a morning ritual that has changed my life. I highly recommend it. Make the commitment. "I will discipline myself to achieve my goals so that in the years ahead I can celebrate my successes." Thank you Jim Rohn.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Us vs. Them is a great strategy.
I entered an informal contest in our office to see who could get 25 listings first. I am having a great time. As I was researching this subject I read several papers and blogs that fall on both sides of the competition argument. Many say that competition is bad and demoralizes the losers. This is a very Marxist approach to the idea. Others say that competition is good. I believe that capitalism and competition are good things and Adam Smith, the economist, knew what he was talking about. The problem I have with the ‘competition is good’ crowd is that they are all talking about a specific company or software product or specific industry. I was much more interested in learning about why I felt so good about the idea of competing against fellow Realtors and friends in a listing competition. I am really enjoying the competition and I have jumped out to an early lead. However, I am afraid if someone in my office does not step up it will be real easy to lose enthusiasm for this endeavor.
What that says to me is that competing is fun as long as the competitors are evenly matched. As I was thinking about this idea, that the competitors should be evenly matched, I then realized that we all feel better in an ‘us versus them’ environment. Creating an ‘us vs. them’ environment makes it easy to unite a group against another. A united group of competitors in a highly competitive environment is what all leaders are working towards. All participants benefit from being evenly matched and highly competitive.
After reading Tribal Leadership I learned that initially we are all in the ‘I am good and you are not’ mentality but that does not keep us motivated and growing. If we can find a way to move into the ‘we are good and you are not’ mentality we grow together as a united group and we compete at higher levels than we could have individually. Increased satisfaction, rewards and growth are the outcomes for evenly matched competitors. Find a way to create an ‘us vs. them’ environment, choose the competition wisely and watch your sales take off.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Great Story, I had to pass it on.
One day Solomon decided to humble Benaiah ben Yehoyada, his most trusted minister. He said to him, "Benaiah, there is a certain ring that I want you to bring to me. I wish to wear it for Sukkot which gives you six months to find it."
"If it exists anywhere on earth, your majesty," replied Benaiah, "I will find it and bring it to you, but what makes the ring so special?"
"It has magic powers," answered the king. "If a happy man looks at it, he becomes sad, and if a sad man looks at it, he becomes happy." Solomon knew that no such ring existed in the world, but he wished to give his minister a little taste of humility.
Spring passed and then summer, and still Benaiah had no idea where he could find the ring. On the night before Sukkot, he decided to take a walk in one of he poorest quarters of Jerusalem. He passed by a merchant who had begun to set out the day's wares on a shabby carpet. "Have you by any chance heard of a magic ring that makes the happy wearer forget his joy and the broken-hearted wearer forget his sorrows?" asked Benaiah.
He watched the grandfather take a plain gold ring from his carpet and engrave something on it. When Benaiah read the words on the ring, his face broke out in a wide smile.
That night the entire city welcomed in the holiday of Sukkot with great festivity. "Well, my friend," said Solomon, "have you found what I sent you after?" All the ministers laughed and Solomon himself smiled.
To everyone's surprise, Benaiah held up a small gold ring and declared, "Here it is, your majesty!" As soon as Solomon read the inscription, the smile vanished from his face. The jeweler had written three Hebrew letters on the gold band: _gimel, zayin, yud_, which began the words "_Gam zeh ya'avor_" -- "This too shall pass."
At that moment Solomon realized that all his wisdom and fabulous wealth and tremendous power were but fleeting things, for one day he would be nothing but dust.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
Killing a mammoth ensures that you have enough food for the family and that the kids will grow up strong. The problem with mammoth hunting is that you can not do it on your own. If we are going to kill a mammoth we must have help. It is important to make sure that we make friends with others that also like the taste of grilled mammoth. It probably would not do to hunt mammoth with friends that like sauteed rat or boiled greens. If we are going to risk our lives hunting food then we may as well hunt the best food. If we want to be successful then we probably should learn from the best and hang out with successful mammoth hunters. We will probably start wearing the same furs and using the same weapons as the best mammoth hunters. Next thing we should do is go on a few mammoth hunts. We may not get one every time but each time we will learn and get better. Soon, we will have a highly successful mammoth hunting team.
Setting huge goals and surrounding ourselves with others that have similar goals and are willing to help us, is huge. Stay away from those that do not have a taste for mammoth, they are likely to try to discourage you. Stay focused on how good the mammoth will taste.
My mammoth for 2009 is 100 closed real estate transactions. Anyone want to help me kill this mammoth?