Stop Dabbling….Be an Expert

When I was a top producing real estate agent, one of the biggest hurdles I battled when building my business is that I knew NO ONE in my market, and had to develop a new database, starting with leads that came in cold from my website.

I learned that whenever someone meets me for the first time, they are already labeling me as something based on their past experiences. If they had a great Realtor, they gave me the benefit of the doubt. If they or someone they knew had a bad Realtor, they just assumed I was like the rest until I proved myself otherwise.

This was an EXHAUSTING way to do business.

I learned very early on that the overall public perception of Real Estate agents was not good. I heard things like “How do you know when a Realtor is lying?? – Answer: When their mouths are moving.

Nice huh?

As a coach and trainer, I have made it my MISSION to show Realtors and other independent professionals that there is a better way!

Ok…so as a professional, I could get angry about this public perception, and debate people until the cows come home that Realtors aren’t all selfish pigs who only care about the commission. That takes a lot of energy, and I AM willing to engage in that debate, as I’m sure you are about whatever profession you’ve chosen. But let me ask you a question…

What does your sphere of influence think about what YOU do for a living?

I’m not just talking about what they SAY to you…I’m asking what do they REALLY think???

Who cares??? You’d better care. Because how they perceive you will have a strong correlation to how they treat you, and how, or if they REFER you!!

The only way I found to build a solid reputation, especially among those who didn’t know me was to lead by example, give great service (DUH!!!), and position myself as a real estate EXPERT. Not just a real estate AGENT.

When I coach people in my training courses, I make the following distinctions that I learned when my business was really exploding:

An AGENT gets paid a commission for brokering a DEAL.

An EXPERT gets paid a fee, for professional services rendered.

An AGENT “does real estate”, and EXPERT “lives real estate”

Which are YOU in your business or field?

Which do your contacts think you are?

How do you do a better job of positioning yourself in this way?

Well, that’s another topic for another blog. For now, I want you to just think about your business, and your mindset.

Be the EXPERT. Stop dabbling in whatever you do. You will be glad you made that decision.

How to Become an Overnight Success


Ok, so I got your attention.

Why is our society obsessed with people who seemingly become overnight successes? You'll see their stories in magazines, on TV newscasts, or business documentaries. Almost always, there is some headline about how they became an "instant hit"

Sorry to burst your bubble folks, but this is complete B.S.

There is no such thing as an overnight success.

Let's take a look at a few examples. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook burst onto the scene a few years back when his idea spread to millions from it's humble beginnings in a Harvard dorm room.

The media covers this man as if he is some kind of sensation. 

Yes, he is a brilliant entrepreneur, and yes he created something that exploded in a relatively short period of time.

What the media spends LESS time covering are the all nighters he likely pulled while programming the site, the countless bugs, glitches, problems, (and yes, lawsuits) that stood in his way before becoming an overnight success.

There were months, and years of work, experimentation, and even failures before his invention hit the tipping point and became part of main stream culture. That is a far less sexy story than covering his rise to stardom in a 60 minute documentary or in a 2 hour feature film.

Let's take another example from the literary world. Ever heard of Harry Potter? Of course you have. The author, J.K. Rowling appeared seemingly out of nowhere in 1998 when the first book in this series started winning critical acclaim and selling millions of copies worldwide.

What is often NOT reported is that just 5 years earlier, Rowling was diagnosed with clinical depression. Her marriage had just ended and she considered herself to be "The biggest failure I knew" in her own words. 

Later, Rowling would admit that some of her ideas for her books came from this dark period in her life when she was struggling against her own demons.

In 1995, when she finished the manuscript for the first Harry Potter book, she was rejected by 12 publishing houses before finally getting her "huge break" and a whopping 1500 pound advance. That's it. 1500 pounds. The equivalent of about $3000 in 1995. Not exactly life changing money.

The publisher advised Rowling that she should probably get a "day job" because she was unlikely to make much money selling books.

Finally, in 1998, the book took off in popularity. 

Does this sound like an overnight success to you? I think not.

I realize you probably know this intuitively, but it's easy to get misled by the media, and pop culture into thinking that if you just come up with the next big idea, you can get rich overnight and retire to some island some place. It ain't gonna happen.

Ask Mark Zuckerberg if his goal was to get rich and retire. He still shows up to work everyday and is working harder than ever because he loves his work. As for Rowling, she kept writing books long after she probably needed to.

So, how do you become an overnight success? Very simple.

Get off your a$$ and get to work, ONE DAY AT A TIME. 

Comments always welcome.. ;)


Use Your Personal Leadership Qualities!

The Many Faces of Motivation

Motivation quote

Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple said that passion, or love of what you do is an essential element if one wants to achieve success. He states that getting to the top of your field, or becoming truly great at anything is a long process, with many setbacks, and without passion, any "sane person" would give up on the journey towards success because it's not something that happens quickly or easily most of the time. 

Passion is indeed critical. On a day to day basis though, I find that my love for something needs to be fueled by WHY I love it. This "WHY" is what I call my motivation.

I believe that motivation has many faces, and I've read many articles recently which confirm this. Here are some of the most common faces:

Fear – If I don't take action, I will either lose something I already have, or not get something that I want

Prevention - I take action because I don't want to experience the pain of the consequences for not acting

Desire - I really want to achieve something or obtain something because it's tied to a high priority value in my life, so I become pulled towards the actions that will get me there.

Integrity - I take action on something, because I believe it's the right thing to do, no matter what the consequences

Purpose - I take action on something because I know in my heart it's working towards what I am called to do on this earth

There are clearly areas of crossover between these, and there are plenty of others not listed, but I am sure we can identify where each of these motivate us in some way at various points in our day or in our life. 

The key focus for me is that the first two, Fear and Prevention, whie very powerful motivators, are often short lived, and not the most productive. If I am acting out of fear or trying to prevent something from happening, there is a good chance I am making poor decisions and trying to control something that's outside of my control. Not always, but often.

The last three elements, desire, integrity, and purpose, are things which direct my thoughts and actions in a much more positive direction. I find when these are my motivations, I often far surpass whatever goal I have set, and I upset far fewer people along the way.

People often call me a motivational speaker. I understand the term, but I believe I can't create your motivation. I can simply tell a story or illustrate a point which triggers an emotional response, and ignites these factors and others which already live inside you.

Please comment below by clicking the small "COMMENTS" link. I welcome your dialogue.

Photo Credit: PhotoSteve101

Create Your Own Trend!

"Don't follow the crowd! You don't know where they're going, and neither do they!"

    -Brian Buffini

Crowd close-up

While my wife and I were on vacation driving from Fort Lauderdale to Miami, we encountered some stopped traffic on I-95, and saw that we were just 10 cars behind what appeared to be a terrible accident.

The police had shut down the southbound lanes entirely, and so we just put the car in park, and had a lovely conversation while waiting for the scene to be cleared. I might add, we also said a little prayer for the people involved in the accident, and were reflecting on how thankful we were for our health and safety at that moment.

During this 20 minute timeframe, we noticed something else that was interesting. Someone from the lane next to us got out of their car and stood up tall on the ledge of the door frame to see "what was going on". That same individual then got out of the car entirely, and started walking towards the scene of the accident.

Ok…no big deal right? Well, with each passing minute, there was another person, then another, then another. Before we knew it, there were literally a few dozen people standing outside of their cars and actually walking towards the wreck. I guess the view wasn't good enough from their car.

The most peculiar moment came a few minutes later, when a woman came strolling by our vehicle and at the top of her lungs yelled out "WHAT HAPPENED" to anyone who would listen. 

Then…almost suddenly, a few lanes of traffic were clear, and the police were signaling for cars to proceed, but there were dozens of cars with NO DRIVERS! So we sat for another minute or two as everyone returned to their cars and proceeded south. 

This type of human behavior always amuses me. I understand the need to "know what's happening" and the temptation to always need to get involved in someone else's story. I've been sucked in to watching reality TV shows sometimes, or needing to know what someone else was doing. I think we all have to some extent.

This event on the highway was a perfect example of how people often follow the behavior of others, because it seems to be a "trend". We are fascinated by what other people are doing much of the time, instead of looking at ourselves.

The idea of "He got out of his car…YEAH..that seems like a good idea. Now I will get out of my car" In this case, this behavior is not safe at all. Why did they do it? Curiosity? Sure…but I believe if that first person didn't get out of his car, no one else would have either.

My challenge to you today is to create your own trend. Create your own momentum. Following the crowd can often be dangerous because as one of my mentors eloquently put it "You don't know where they're going, and neither do they!"

Thanks for reading.

Please comment by clicking the small comments link below. I welcome your dialogue.

Photo Credit : jjelenbaas

Stretching Your Comfort Zone

“We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.”  
- Max DePree

Skydiving Oct 06, rainbow tandem ride

 It's been more than one month since many people have set their new years resolutions, and studies have shown most of them have already been broken. Why? It's not because those people didn'twant to change, or didn't try. It's because there always comes a time when the required action for making positive change getsdifficult and uncomfortable.

Here are three reasons to embrace this difficulty, and stretch your "Comfort Zone"

1. Increased Self Confidence

Have you ever completed a task, or accomplished a goal that you knew was going to be extremely difficult? Of course! How did that feel? Most people say that when they reach these milestones in life, they get a boost to their confidence that is unlike anything they've experienced before. It's a sense of accomplishment. 

In order to reach the milestone however, you most likely had to step out of your comfort zone and take a risk, or try something different in order to make it happen. It may not have felt great at the time, but wasn't the payoff worth it? Doesn't increased self confidence have a positive ripple effect on other areas of your life? You bet it does!

2. Mental "Muscle Growth"

One of my mentors used to say that any time we push our comfort zone, we are flexing that particular muscle. When you exercise a muscle, you actually are tearing microscopic fibers within the muscle, that then weave themselves to become stronger. The short term pain of lifting the weights leads to long term increases in strength.

Practically speaking, this means that if you had to make 5 cold calls today for the first time and were terrified to do it. That's ok. By making the first one, you've made yourself uncomfortable, but have now flexed that muscle thus making future calls easier. You have gained an experience you didn't have before. This makes you stronger! Imagine what this type of muscle growth can do for your income!

3. Fewer Regrets

How often have you NOT done something because it felt uncomfortable? Maybe it was trying a new type of fish, or something more significant like passing on a job opportunity because the fear of the unknown won out. 

Now I am not suggesting that you throw caution completely into the wind and don't do proper research and planning before any major changes. I am suggesting though that we never let fear be the reason we don't take action. Experience has taught me that every time I didn't act because of fear, I regretted the decision, and always asked "What if". 

On the flip side, every time I've pushed through the fear and taken action of some kind. I've always been able to accept the outcome in a positive way. Even if things don't go well, if I took positive actions, I find it much easier to not get angry with myself, and I don't need to ask "What If" 

What comfort zones in your life would you like to stretch today?

Please comment by clicking the link below this article! I welcome your insights!

Photo Credit: divemasterking2000

Happiness Leads to Success

"Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be"

 - Abraham Lincoln


I remember the first time I read that quote. I was not in a good place mentally, and thought to myself "How can I be happy when I have all of these things happening to ME?"

What I didn't realize then is that happiness is not something that I achieve when things in my life line up the way I think they should be. No, happiness I have come to learn is an "inside job"

Abe Lincoln articulated so beautifully the concept that took me years to understand.

I can choose to be happy!

The idea is to be grateful for what I have, and not upset over what I don't have. It's to celebrate the things in my life that bring joy, and looking at the setbacks as opportunities. Most importantly for me, it's learning to accept things I cannot change, and look for the opportunity to learn and grow in every challenge, instead of focusing on how terrible whatever is happening to me really is.

Easier said than done? DEFINITELY. But I am willing to admit that it's a work in progress for me. Every time I go through a struggle using this approach of choosing happiness, I find that not only do I feel better, but I am able to work through it with dignity and grace. I'm not perfect, and neither are you, but we can grow in small steps with this philosophy.

I'm not suggesting that we float through life pretending everything is OK when we are in a terrible circumstance, but we CAN approach each day as a fresh opportunity to change our perspective, one little piece at a time.

Over time, this approach to challenges becomes a habit, much like brushing your teeth. You all know people like this in your life that have overcome tremendous adversity, but never complain, never whine, or never look for sympathy. They just accept the situation, decide to be happy, and work through whatever challenge it is, because that's all they can control. I always want to be remembered as one of "those" people. That means I would be following my own advice (and reading my own blog) :)

If these benefits aren't enough, Success Magazine interviewed Harvard University faculty member Shawn Achor, who researched this topic and found that happiness leads to success, not the other way around. Biologically, these positive feelings trigger the release of dopamine into our system, which causes our brains to work at their peak performance.

Similar studies have also shown that staying in this state of mind for long periods of time actually strengthens the immune system, by reducing the stress induced levels of certain hormones in our body. So it is true that happier people are healthier people.

Thanks for reading!

 Photo Credit: Michael Francis McCarthy

The Power of Mighty “MO”

"The most important thing you can do to achieve your goals, is to make sure that as soon as you set them, you immediately begin to create momentum"
- Tony Robbins


Momentum often cannot be seen right away, but it sure can be felt! Have you ever been watching a sporting event, or a political debate, and just felt like the tide was shifting towards a team or a candidate? That's momentum! We can't put our finger on it, but we can observe when it changes very easily.

Momentum is powerful. It fuels itself. It can be positive (working for us), or negative (working against us). And we have the power to affect its direction!

Think about how a small positive outcome in your life has fueled further positive action. Maybe it was saving your first $100. Perhaps it was losing your first 3 pounds. How did that make you feel? Would having a positive experience like this make you more or less likely to work even more diligently to achieve your final goal? Exactly!

Here are three ways that you can create positive momentum in any area of your life, starting TODAY!

1. Focus on Your "WHY"

Write down the reasons why you want to achieve your goal. Is it to be debt free? Why? To lose 25 pounds? Why? To have your own business? Why? After you think about the 'why', spend just 3 minutes really feeling the emotion of already achieving your goal, and allow that energy to become a part of you. By re-connecting to our "why", it becomes a lot easier to go to step 2. For a more detailed look at finding your why, read the blog article by clicking here.

2. Get Started!

The great Zig Ziglar once said "You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great!" It's easy to be overwhelmed by the big goal at the end, but if you just take the first step towards that goal, followed by the next, combined with your focus on your "why", you will be amazed at how quickly the momentum shifts in your favor. If you want to be debt free, start by paying $10 extra dollars on your smallest credit card. Financial guru Dave Ramsey calls this the "debt snowball" It's a lot easier to think about paying $10 today, than paying off thousands of dollars.

3. Invest in Yourself

If you are connected to your why, and you've taken the first few steps towards your goal, what usually happens is that opportunities will present themselves to you. They may be in the form of people, books, business transactions, or even attending a personal growth seminar. When presented with one of these opportunities that feels right. You MUST act.

Activity creates productivity, and if you seize the opportunity to invest in yourself, whether it be time, energy or money, the payoffs are infinite. By not taking action, or by finding an excuse to be fearful or crippled by analysis, we can often lose the momentum that we've just created, and may be kicking ourselves when we see one of our competitors thriving because of an opportunity that could have been ours.

You will know when its the right opportunity. Trust your gut. But take the action and bet on yourself! To further explore this concept, here is a recent article.

To learn about coaching with Sean Carroll, CLICK HERE

Photo Credit: Burning Image