commitment

Slowing Down

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
— Ferris Bueller
ferrisbuellersdayoff-07.jpg

Even in 1986 when Ferris Bueller was teaching the rest of us how to play hooky, we had a general idea of how fast life moved, but the truth is - even though we know, we rarely slow down long enough to look around. I've written before about slowing down enough to maintain your health and take care of yourself, but this is probably a concept that can use the extra attention. Why? Because rarely is life all about you.

April is a pretty stacked month for me. I'm traveling almost three of the four weeks of this month with little time to slow down. I've been telling myself that this is simply what it takes to grow the business and that these are all passion projects. Both things are true by the way. But just as I was unpacking my bag from my last trip so that I could pack for my next trip - I slowed down enough to look around. I realized that the ones that loved me most - my family - needed me to stay. 

So often, we lean on those around us to fill in the gaps while we're out chasing our dreams, but sometimes we've got to slow down enough to lift them up the way they always uplift us. 

Stay In Your Lane

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the effect competition, or more accurately - perceived competition. As any good business owner knows, you have to be aware of your competition, but there is a fine line between awareness and obsession. When I work with clients, we focus heavily on the things we can control and really there is only one thing in our lives that we have complete control over and that is ourselves. Not only can we not control the actions of our competition but it has an extremely negative impact on our performance when it pushes us to be reactive instead of proactive. It can shift our plans even causing our actions to misalign with our vision. And what if you're being reactive to something you merely perceive as competition and it isn't actually a blip on the radar? An obsession with your perceived competition is not only completely counterproductive, it is downright harmful to your business. When we're constantly looking at others, how can we impact ourselves?

download.jpeg

Going down the rabbit hole of comparing ourselves to the accomplishments of others is a losing battle. Not because we are not accomplished, but because eventually - the likelihood of you finding someone, somewhere that is more accomplished than you is pretty high. And here's the thing...there is nothing wrong with that. Further, where do you stop comparing yourself to others? Do you only compare career success or do you also begin to look at personal achievements? See? Rabbit hole. The problem with focusing on others isn't only that it is a losing battle, it is that it causes you to focus less on yourself and what differentiates you. That is your competitive superpower - focus on what differentiates you from the competition.

It is proven that high performers outpace their competition by focusing inward on refining their own skill set, developing their value, and implementing their plans to deliver that value to consumers. In a world of a lot of the same, I think we'd all be better served to spend a lot less time worrying about what we perceive as competition and more about our own goals. 

Love Yourself

When we talk about love, most of the time we immediately think of others. How can we show others that we love them? That we care? But, what about loving yourself? Why don't we talk about that as much? 

27788621_10106177150318137_2760280429815653925_o.jpg

Most of you know that I am an avid (okay...maybe more like obsessive), Peloton rider. In early 2017, I made the commitment that so many of us do as we ring in the New Year to shed some unwanted weight. I know I'm supposed to say that it was about my health, which it was, but it was also about my appearance. I felt bad because my health was in bad shape, I looked bad because I was overweight, and I felt worse because I wasn't doing a damn thing about it. Something had to change. Well, most of you who have known me for some time now know that the Peloton was my solution. Each day, I'd ride, I'd recommit, and I'd love myself enough to carve out an hour for me. On Tuesday, I celebrated my one year #Peloversary. It was a year of over 3,000 miles; 269 rides (I know, but my legs wouldn't let me get that 270th ride in); countless hours of sore muscles; pounds shed; and friends made from all over the country. But really, it was a year of falling in love with myself all over again. A year of carving out time to commit to better myself so I could be better for others. To loving who I am - flaws and all, because well, if I don't love myself - how can I hope others will?

27867989_10156278143274455_6746106916565444861_n.jpg

This isn't about me though, it is about you. In business, we often put ourselves last. We fill our days with clients and to-do lists and fill our nights with activities for/with our children, friends, and significant others. We give our whole selves to everything around us, but put ourselves and our health and well-being last. Here is the problem with that though: what happens when you've got nothing left to give? My good friend Jim Wahlberg reached out to congratulate me on my Peloversary this week and I admitted to him that part of what got me through the last year was something I once heard him say..."you have to make time for your health now, or you have to make time to be sick later." Everytime I felt like quitting, Jim's words rang through my head. 

So, for you, what can you do to show yourself a little love? How can you carve out some time to pour into yourself so that you can be capable of pouring into others? 

Love Is A Verb

Well, just like that, February is here. The month of love. Love is something we're pretty familiar with in real estate. Homes are often bought and sold during moments of falling in and out of love. And of course, there is the ever-popular sentiment of "I LOVE my clients."

tumblr_mv4knqHBFy1qh39uzo1_500.jpg

Now, I'm not saying that you don't love or appreciate your clients. I actually believe that you genuinely do. All I'm asking is: do you make a an effort show that to your clients on a regular basis? This thought took me back to the John Mayer song, Love Is A Verb. You see, the act of love requires effort, presence, patience, and action. My guess is that you likely showed your appreciation through a lovely closing gift, but what are you consistently doing now to continue to show your clients you appreciate them? The transaction has finished, but have you fallen out of love? Closing gifts are great, but when you have a stack of branded swag in your office that you grab on your way to closing, it comes off as a generic token of obligation.  I mean, I can't recall the last time someone sold a house because of a knife set their agent gifted them at closing. Worse yet, what if things didn't go smoothly? Still thinking a knife set is a great idea? Instead, why not jump at the opportunity to leave someone with a smile? Take the time to come up with something personalized that show you value who they are and the opportunity to work with them. Sure, it will take more time and more thought, but haven't they earned that from you?

As I was scrolling my Instagram feed this week, I came across The Amy Curtis Group's post about their Vision Board Party. I instantly thought to myself, what a genuinely engaging way to show your appreciation for your clients and friends! And what better way to connect, I mean really connect with people than to explore their hopes and dreams together. The entire idea really got me thinking how lucky we are as agents to help people navigate, achieve, and live so many of those dreams. It is pretty powerful. Isn't it the least we can do to show them, love?

Showing appreciation is a constant process. And with any process, it requires mindfulness in order to continue to deliver. But, mindfulness is hard. Much like love, it requires time, patience, and effort. But it isn't impossible. This month, I challenge you to find little ways of letting your clients - past and present; your friends; and yes, even your loved ones know that they matter and you appreciate them. Maybe it is a quick text with something that made you think of them or maybe it is an email to reach out and check-in. Maybe it is even giving the gift of your time and enjoying their company. Regardless of how you choose to show your love, make sure you remember what John Mayer says....

Love ain’t a crutch. It ain’t an excuse. No, you can’t get through love with just a pile of I-O-Us.”
— John Mayer, Love Is A Verb

Honor The Struggle

f6a8e76911e5598ed4dbb0c014e54b64.jpg

We have established the importance of incremental growth; however, what we didn't dive into is the struggle associated with that growth. Trust us when we tell you, we get it.  The struggle is real. But, the struggle is also necessary to achieve great things. When we are growing, building, and advancing - the natural desire is for an easier way. We're in a time of life hacks and shortcuts, but as a coach, I assure you - there is no hack to success. There is a struggle, but instead of fearing the struggle, we must learn to honor the struggle as part of the larger process. 

As I coach, I am particularly attuned to what differentiates high performers from low performers, and while habits are the main differentiator, more recently I have been intrigued by specifically what habits make a difference. In Brendon Burchard's book, High Performance Habitshe explores this idea of honoring the struggle in depth. 

He makes the point that our society has glorified avoidance of the struggle versus honoring the struggle, which is a big mistake. This concept of an easy way out is particularly prevalent in the training and coaching industry. People want you to simplify the content, find an easier process, or even a shortcut; but my question remains - if we are always telling people to do what is easy, why would they ever embrace the things that are hard? Well, they wouldn't. Are you looking for the easy way out? Hopefully not, and here's why...

High performers don't just honor the struggle, they welcome the struggle. They shift their mindset to prepare for the struggle, then welcome the struggle, and eventually even build off their struggle to grow their character into who they need to become rather than leaning on who they are. What if you adopted that mindset? What if you were willing to meet your challenges head-on instead of trying to avoid them? Would your life look drastically different? I bet it would. 

Setting big goals requires big work. Big work requires big belief. And, well, big belief requires big faith. Faith not just that you are already capable of achieving great things (which you probably are), but that to achieve things beyond your wildest dreams - you will do what it takes to get there - struggle or not. You're committed to refine your skills, learn new skills, and build a big, badass life. So go on...what are you waiting for?

Committing To Yourself

Most of us began the new year with a list of resolutions or goals for the upcoming year. We're all going to end 2017 in the best shape of our lives, with limitless income, and parent of the year badges. Or at least, that's how we start the year...

But if you look back to your 2016, many of you will find that you had the same setbacks, challenges, and bad habits that you had in 2015 or even 2014! You are keeping your problems year after year despite setting out with the best of intentions. Herein lies the one of the fundamental problems that we have with achieving our goals. Many of us make goals - even writing them down, but don't make the changes necessary to achieve those goals - so, we end up in the same place we started. We speak powerful words, but we don't commit to powerful action. Why is that? Author Lisa Jacobs puts it very simply, "If you wanted to travel from Pittsburgh to New York, you can't sit down on a park bench in Pittsburgh and wonder why you're not getting to New York." Yes, while many of us laugh at this sentiment and think "of course you can't!" that same group is found wondering why they haven't achieved their goals year after year. Why, you ask? Because you're sitting on the park bench! Because you are being a spectator in your own life instead of getting on the field! 

This weekend, my 5 year old (5 1/2 year old if you were to ask him) went to basketball practice. This is a new activity for him that he has only been doing for about two months. He's still learning, but when his coach told the kids that they should practice making 200 shots per day, this 5 year old didn't take it lightly. After being at practice on Saturday, he couldn't wait to tell me how he was going to make his 200 shots every day because he wants to get "really good." But then something truly wonderful happened. He got off the park bench! Ryland spent nothing short of 3-4 hours outside sinking shots. He missed more than he made at first, but as the time went on, he started sinking more than he made. He was determined to get to his 200. Shortly after 6:00pm. I stood in the darkness shooting with him and he made his 200th shot! I caught the aftermath on video! 

What is remarkable about this wasn't the 200 shots on Saturday afternoon, although that was undeniably remarkable. Already proud of his commitment to his goals, I gushed with pride as he woke up Sunday morning ready to shoot his 200 baskets. Not because I reminded him, but because he made a commitment to himself. This is what active progress toward your goals looks like. This is what commitment is. I don't tell you this story to brag (although, it is certainly a brag worthy step-parenting moment). I tell you this story because this commitment displayed by a 5 year old is more than what many adults commit to. Kids are constantly learning, growing, and most importantly - doing. As adults, we could learn a thing or two from them. I know that I have. 

If you want to break those bad habits - finally lose those 5 lbs, grow your business, be a happier version of yourself, or even become a better basketball player - you have to get off the park bench. You have to commit to your 200 shots with action, not just words. And when you feel like you have an excuse as for why you can't, watch the video of the 5 year old who is making 200 shots every day and tell me why you can't accomplish your goals, too.

So, what's your plan today? 

Copy