Archive for the ‘Positive Thoughts for Tough Times’ Category

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As we often do, after a particularly insightful :-) SWS/Simple teleseminar we survey the audience to get feedback on what they felt were the most meaningful, helpful or motivating tips or strategies from the program.

Last week’s show was called Resetting Your Mindset where  Blake Farley and I shared more than a dozen tips & strategies for cultivating and maintaining a more positive outlook on life, thus creating a more positive reality in life! It was a fabulous show, if I do say so myself!

And… here are your Favorit-est Tips!

Favorit-est Tip #1: The unbelievable power of your words – the words you use in speaking, writing and thinking. Speak/write/think negatively… and you’ll get more negativity in your life to speak about. Speak/write/think positively and watch wonderful things unfold!

Favorit-est Tip #2: “Silver Lining Thinking” – when challenged, always take a moment to look for the bright spots (silver lining) and/or what valuable lesson this problem/situation/challenge taught you.

Favorit-est Tip #3: The power of the personal mantra. When faced with a problem, instead of freaking out and assuming the worst, say to yourself: “I will figure this out; I always do,” or “I will get it all done; I always do,” or “I will find the money, I always do.”

Favorit-est Tip #4: When in a stressful situation (especially when others are involved), “change the scenary” – step away and return to the issue later.

Favorit-est Tip #5: Stop sighing and smile!

Other tips from the show included:

  • Set and quietly enforce boundaries
  • Don’t vent (NO! Venting is NOT good for the soul!)
  • BASK in your successes

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I want you to take moment… next time you have a free one… and think about something that’s bothering you. Something that’s worrying you, that’s keeping you awake at night, that’s always on your mind and bringing you down.

I’m guessing it’s pretty easy to do, huh? Not too many of us suffer from a LACK of things to worry about, right!?

Okay, now… voice your worry. Say it out loud.

For example: “I’m worried because I don’t have any prospects in the pipeline and don’t know where my next closing is going to come from.

Or… how about: “I’m so busy right now I can’t keep up. I don’t know how I’m going to get everything done and I’m scared something is going to fall through the cracks.”

Or (from my doggie rescue world): “The shelter is so full and the dogs just keep coming. There’s no way we can save them all – some days it feels hopeless.”

Next step… take that worry statement and turn it into a believable positive. For example:

I don’t have any clients right now, but that’ll change soon enough. It always does – it always works out even when it seems it won’t! I’m not worried.”

Or… “I have a lot to do, but somehow it all gets done. I don’t know how I do it, but I always come through!”

Or (my favorite rescue mantra): “We make miracles happen every day! I don’t know how we do it, but we’ll just keeping doing what we’re doing!”

Did you notice how different you felt when speaking the worry statement out loud versus thebelievable positive one? Did your body relax? Did your mind clear? Did you maybe stand up a little straighter and even smile to yourself?

I know I do… when I find myself worrying about something, I try to remember to turn it into a believable positive statement and when I do… the whole world seems brighter. And I feel a sense of power over my troubles that gives me the edge I need to make my believable positive statement a reality! 

Give it a try…

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Every once in awhile I hear or read something along the lines that those of us who worked in the real estate industry during boom years (or even stable ones) were simply “order-takers” who showed up to work most days and cashed juicy commission checks. That all we had to do was put a sign in a yard and voila! Perfect offers from well-qualified buyers poured in, we sorted thru them at our leisure, selected the most perfect one and scheduled the closing. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am and we were off to our next sign-in-a-yard installation and another easy payday.

Um. Well.

I don’t know about you, but that’s not how I remember it. I worked damn hard in the 1990’s and early-to-mid 2000’s to earn my paydays, while agents all around me were dropping out like flies – perhaps not in the numbers they’re dropping out today, but certainly in the 80% and higher range. I had my share of difficult sellers and demanding buyers and remember, the flip side of a strong seller’s market is the challenge of trying to even GET to a new listing to show it before it’s under contract.

Was it “easier” to make a living in real estate back then than it is today? Yes, it was, absolutely it was. But it was never easy and the abysmal drop-out rates from the time attest to that.

What’s my point? I dunno, really. Maybe to ask those within our own industry to stop publicly disparaging and disrespecting what we do. Maybe to assure those who were successful in years past that it wasn’t just luck and good looks. Maybe to alert the agents who have entered the field during these tough years that when things improve, this business will continue to require hard work, creativity and a willingness and ability to deal with frustration and disappointment.

There’s so much more to enjoying a successful real estate practice than simply being able to find clients to serve. And a heck of a lot more than just putting a sign in a yard. Don’t insult yourself and your colleagues by implying anything else!

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mojoI have writer’s block. Oh, I can bang out a blog or two without much angst, but anything more labor-intensive seems beyond my capacity right now.

Unfortunately, I’m working on a brand new book and I’ve set some aggressive goals for myself (2,000-3,000 words a day which will have the book finished up in two months if I stick to it), so this disinterest in writing has me a bit concerned. And frustrated. Even a little scared. I’m sure you can relate.

So, I’m taking a mental break, quietly trying to remember what inspired me to write Sell with Soul in the first place. How was I feeling when I began the project? I mean, writing an 80,000-word book is a big undertaking! What on earth made me want to take that on back in 2003?

Well, let’s see. In 2003, I was a full-time real estate agent, making plenty of money. I was newly divorced with extra time on my hands. A friend of mine, who had just gotten her real estate license, casually mentioned to me that I should write a book about how to be a good real estate agent, since she hadn’t gotten any such instruction in real estate school, or in her Big Name company training.

So, I figured, what the heck? I’ll write a book about how to be a good real estate agent! And Sell with Soul was born.

I didn’t write Sell with Soul to make money. I didn’t need to make money writing – I had plenty from my real estate business. I didn’t write Sell with Soul to get famous. I didn’t write Sell with Soul to inspire a revolution or even to change anyone’s mind. I had no real goals or expectations at all, other than to HELP NEW AGENTS SUCCEED SELLING REAL ESTATE.

Fast forward to today. I no longer sell real estate and I’m a full-time writer. It’s my job. It’s how I make my living. To eat, I need to write. I now have goals, I now have expectations, heck, I wouldn’t even mind starting a little soulful revolution.

In short, it’s different now. I look at writing as a means to an end – that is – a financial end. As I write, I wonder how “sellable” the message is, not how “helpful” my words might be to those who need to hear them. I’ve shifted from wanting to create something useful to needing to create something marketable.

Thus… my writer’s block.

Old Fogies (those of you who sold real estate during happier times), do you remember the feeling of looking at your prospects and clients as people you could help, rather than deals that would (fingers crossed) pay your mortgage? Remember when making that mortgage payment wasn’t dependent on your buyer buying or your listing closing? When you could truly put the needs of your clients FIRST because, frankly, your life wouldn’t change significantly if this or that deal didn’t close?

Selling real estate was a joy back then and for our beloved rookies – I hope you get to experience that joy of HELPING your clients reach their goals, without fussing too much over whether or not you get a juicy paycheck for your efforts. It’s a beautiful way to make a (good) living.

Because selling real estate well is a lot of fun and can be extremely satisfying. But when you’re desperate for a paycheck, your focus shifts and your attitude changes.

Can we recapture the servant’s attitude we had in days gone by? Can you? Can I?

Here’s MY plan. Every morning I’m going to sit quietly and clear my head of all the noise that’s accumulated there over the last 24 hours. I’m going to think about how my words might inspire, motivate or otherwise rev up a REAL person who needs my help. I’ll ask for guidance, direction and most importantly, a servant’s attitude.

If I do this, I think the rest will fall into place. Do you think this could work for you?

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Readers of Sell with Soul may recall that I always had a Guardian Angel* who protected me throughout my real estate career… in ways that didn’t always feel like protection.

Thankfully, my Guardian Angel is alive and well and still looking after me.

The Law of Attraction teaches that when you’re doing something RIGHT, it feels easy. It’s like swimming DOWNstream. Everything just seems to fall into place. It’s called Inspired Action. (Here’s a great blog on LOA by James Holmes)

However, when you find that everything is a struggle, when you’re not having any fun, when you’re running into brick walls at every turn… as if you’re swimming UPstream… then you need to back off, be still and wait. You’re heading down the wrong path for you and your Guardian Angel is trying to warn you.

In real estate, the Guardian Angel protects your listings from selling when a sale would be detrimental to you or to your seller. At the time, of course, everyone is frustrated and upset and pointing fingers of blame. But later… after all the dust has settled… it makes sense. You know, those moments where you fall to your knees and thank God that the house didn’t sell… or the buyer walked away from the deal… or that your loan fell through at the last minute? Yeah, that’s your Guardian Angel.

In my world, lately, I’ve been a basket-case of frustration. Things aren’t happening on my schedule, people aren’t showing up as promised, everything is taking way longer than it should.

And now… I understand why. And I’m on my knees thanking my Guardian Angel for his protection.

The sense of peace is amazing!

 * in the interest of political correctness (ugh) I refrain from introducing any religious viewpoint into this blog. Please feel free to do so on your own if you like!

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Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock since August of 2007, you know that the real estate market in most areas of the country has sustained a massive blow to its ego. Not that things were booming before August, no, we were all a little nervous about and frustrated with our slow-moving inventory, but we figured we’d snap out of our doldrums soon enough.

BAM!

Along comes the mortgage crisis and, just like that, a good chunk of the home-buying public is suddenly un-mortgage-worthy. Crap.

So here we are.

As I write this, it’s late 2007. Sellers are slashing prices, buyers are making ridiculous offers and closings are crycanceled without warning when the lender closes its doors two hours before. Sheesh.

Not fun.

So, what’s a nice real estate agent to do?

1. Cry
2. Quit
3. Adjust

I’m going to assume that anyone reading this has decided to Adjust. And you know what? If you make it through this crisis, you’ll never look at the career of real estate sales the same way again.

Because, in order to survive, you’re going to have to Get Good. Really, really good. Forget about prospecting, forget about networking, forget about lead generating. You need to focus on Selling Houses.

Yeah, Selling Houses. You know, that activity for which you are licensed?

Trouble is, Selling Houses in a Sucky Market is a lot of work. You’re going to have to do things you’ve never had to do before. You’re going to have to solve problems that, at first glance, seem unsolvable. You’re going to have to communicate difficult concepts to people who don’t want to hear them.

In short, you’re going to EARN your commissions. And you’ll be a much better agent because of it.

And… when the good times return (and they will), you’ll have set a higher standard for yourself … and for your business … and you will be an exceptional real estate agent. Not just good… Exceptional.

Go, you!

www.sellwithsoul.com

 

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I like to think of myself as an Outside the Box creative thinker. I love to look at a situation and come up with a different angle or solution to what traditional thought has come up with in the past.

But I’m finding, much to my frustration, that most people don’t seem to frustratedapprove of this approach.

Quite often when I share my latest idea or epiphany with other real estate agents, they immediately tell me all the reasons it won’t work. This drives me crazy.

First, show me some respect that I’ve thought this through for more than 30 seconds (the length of time THEY’VE considered it before they criticize). Yeah, I already thought of THAT and I probably have an answer.

Second, open your mind to the possibilities of breaking tradition and trying something new. Maybe I’m onto something, maybe I’m not, but at least give it a chance to percolate in your mind before dismissing it. Might be life-changing!

Third, many in our industry are failing, yet they seem to be the ones most resistant to new ideas. I love it when someone who hasn’t sold a house in six months tells me why my idea won’t work…

Okay, rant over. Thanks for listening!

 p.s. after thinking this over some more (post rant-mood), I realize that what annoys me is the IMMEDIATE dismissal of a new idea. If someone were to stew over my idea overnight and then come back to me with some constructive criticism, I’d be flattered and impressed. But the immediate negative reaction drives me up a wall…

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Last week, Janie Coffey hosted a teleconference for the participants of my Savvy Prospector program about the magic of niche marketing. I was spellbound by the material and it really made me think about how this business works…run

Back to Janie in a sec.

We’re all looking for a magic bullet, myself included. While I know I’ll have a mortgage payment due NEXT October, I’m far more concerned with the one due in 25 days, the one due in 55 days and the one due in 85 days. 

But you know what? Next October will be here before you know it, and THIS October will be a distant memory. Where do you want to be next October? Do you intend to still be selling real estate? Or do you reckon you’ll be doing something else by then?

Of course, we all figure we’ll still be real estate gods and goddesses and we’re all optimistic that things will have turned around by then. Those of us who have stuck it out through these difficult times will be talking for years about how we survived the 2007-2008 real estate season and are now better agents for it.

So, if that’s the case – if you really wanna be selling some real estate in a year… in two years… and for many years after that, perhaps now would be a good time to start planning to do just that.

Okay, back to Janie. Janie has created a niche market for herself in South Florida as the Horse Realtor. She began her campaign to be the go-to agent for horsey people about a year and a half ago. Today she’s working with five developers across the country (the world actually) who want, heck NEED her expertise in horse properties. They’re coming after her!

But that didn’t happen overnight – nope, it took a year or so to build her reputation as someone who knows horse properties. A year ago, developers weren’t beating down her door, but I’ll bet if you ask her, she’ll say that these last 12 months have flown by and she’s thrilled with the long-term results of her efforts.

There are a gazillion things we can all be doing today to ensure a happy next year. And then be tickled with ourselves when next year rolls around and we’re enjoying the fruits of our labor.

Okay, Jennifer, Miss Smarty Pantz, what CAN we do today to ensure a Happy Next Year? 

  1. Nurture your personal relationships. Especially if you’ve approached the people you know as a salesperson first and a friend second or third or fourth, you may have some repair work to do. Starting today – drop the sales pitch and start reconnecting with your SOI as a real person… who cares about them… who also happens to sell real estate.
  2. Take a little extra time with not-yet-ready-to-buy-or-sell prospects. Treat them respectfully and stay in touch. Never shuttle a potential future client out the door because they aren’t leading you to a paycheck within 60 days. They could very well bring you a paycheck in 180 days.
  3. Become a Master of Your Market. The only way to really know and understand your local market is to be out in it. Take three hours a week to preview homes. Visit open houses two Sundays a month. Go to every Broker Open you’re invited to. Read the neighborhood newspapers.
  4. Make your current clients your top priority (yep, ahead of your prospecting efforts). Go above and beyond for your sellers and buyers. Believe me, they’ll notice and they’ll remember. And will reward you for your efforts for years to come.
  5. Blog. Blogging is a long-term prospecting strategy. If you want to become a specialist in your market or in certain property types or certain client types, get blogging about them TODAY. In a year, you’ll be glad you did.

It’s possible that NONE of the above activities will result in a sale in 30 days or even 60. But if you’re in this for the long haul, I guarantee that in a year, you’ll be thrilled with the results.

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In Sell with Soul, and in past blogs here on AR, I’ve spoken fondly of my Guardian Angel. I believe with all my heart that I have a Guardian Angel watching over me and my business, although very often, she disguises herself as an insurmountable challenge. Sometimes, it takes an enormous leap of faith to acknowledge and appreciate my Guardian Angel, especially when in the middle of one of her divine “protections.” Over the weekend, I experienced such a protection from my Angel and as of this morning, I am able to admit that yes, I am indeed grateful to her.

One of my own properties is on the market and has been getting tremendous activity – lots of showings and second showings and a few threats of offers. But nothing solid, which, frankly, surprises me a bit. It’s priced very well, shows great and obviously is intriguing to the marketplace.

Well, sometime between Saturday evening and Sunday at noon, the basement flooded. I showed up at the house at 1pm ready for my open house, and when I walked into the basement to turn the lights on was dismayed to find the just-finished basement bedroom soaked. Brand new carpet ruined. Freshly-painted walls soaked. Well, crap.

beforeafter

 

 

 

 

 Anyway, I’m still obviously in the throes of getting everything cleaned up and fixed, but here’s the good news. When the flood repair team pulled the paneling off the walls, they discovered a hole in the foundation that’s been there forever. It was obvious that water has been coming through that hole for years, but for some reason, doesn’t do it often, or at least, not that I’d ever noticed (maybe that’s why there wasn’t carpet in the basement when I bought it, hmmmm). But clearly, it needs to be fixed.

Okay, so I’m not thrilled about taking this on – I have to pull the house off the market, fix the problem and then re-carpet and re-drywall the room – but THANK GOD it happened to ME and not the buyer! Can you imagine the phone call a month from now when the new owner is all moved in and HER basement floods? Y’think she might come after me, perhaps with her lawyer along?

So, yeah, I’m reluctantly thanking my Angel this morning. Wish me luck as I meet with contractors this week to get this sucker fixed!

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My long-term readers may remember what they’re about to read from one of my very first SWS newsletters.

I wrote it during a time where, in retrospect, I realize was one of the most stressful periods of my life. And while my life is no longer one big stress-fest, I know that many of you are struggling to keep your mood up and your Mojo intact. It’s a tough business we’re in!

***Smile

Here is a simple trick I discovered that does some serious stress mitigation, takes almost no effort… and doesn’t include red wine or little white pills. Thought I’d share it with you in case you might need some help in that area right about now.   

Instead of sighing… I smile.  

Huh?  

When I’m under stress, I find that I sigh a lot. When I get out of bed in the morning, I sigh. As I brew my coffee, I sigh.  As I fire up my computer, I sigh. Y’know… a long, drawn out, woe is me — sigh.  As if the entire world is on my shoulders. Poor, poor, Jennifer.  

But lately, I’ve been trying something different. Instead of sighing, I smile! I probably look like an idiot, but it really doesn’t matter. I smile happily at my coffee pot. I do a little dance on the way to my desk. If I wake up in the middle of the night, unable to go back to sleep, I get out of bed, put on a happy face and watch TV for awhile.  

Okay, so there’s nothing revolutionary about Turning That Frown Upside Down – we all know how important a positive attitude is to our happiness and success.  But yowsa! The power of smiling to myself has really caught me off-guard with the power it gives me over my mood. I just can’t help but feel better when there’s a smile on my face!   Give it a try.

The next time you find yourself getting ready to sigh… smile instead. And let me know if it has the same magic for you!

***

Happy Friday my friends!

 

 

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Queen

We read about Great leaders who have overcome tremendous obstacles to achieve… well… Great things. We hear stories of tippy-top producers who found themselves at some point living in their cars… but today make gazillions of dollars. Closer to (my) home, there are stories like Jack Canfield’s where he had to peddle his idea for the Chicken Soup for the Soul book to dozens of publishers before one bit… and it became one of the best-selling books of all time.

Stories like these are supposed to be inspiring. But can I be brutally honest for a moment? I find them more intimidating than inspiring. Call me humble (ha!), but I’m just not sure I have what it takes to reach such Greatness and prosperity. Besides that, I’ve never lived in my car, which seems to be a pre-requisite for Greatness, although I have run out of gas a few times. Does that count?

I find far more inspiration in mediocrity. When I need to rev myself up to work on a chapter in my next book or prepare for an upcoming speaking gig, I seem to magically stumble upon someone in my industry who does their craft poorly, or at least, without Greatness. Many of whom are quite successful, I might add! Just the other day I was reading a fairly popular book about entrepreneurship (which is the topic of my next book) and was stunned at how superficial and obvious, not to mention poorly edited the material was. I mean, DUH. This stuff comes straight from Old School Self-Promotion 101 — and the book was touted as revolutionary!

Anyway, after reading about half the book, I couldn’t wait to get back to working on mine which I’d backburnered earlier this year. Heck, if this guy’s stuff can be considered “revolutionary,” to what heights might MY stuff climb?!

This approach could easily apply in a real estate career. Sure, there are a handful of real estate practitioners who are Great but the vast majority is, by definition, average. Many, of course, are less-than-average, but darnit, if they don’t do okay!? Frustrating, isn’t it?

Well, take that frustration and be inspired by it. Visit open houses on Sundays and observe how poorly many agents handle them – their signage, their (lack of) knowledge of the home and neighborhood, and their often-uncomfortable rapport-building skills. Eavesdrop on the other agents in your office and hear how unprofessional some of them sound while talking to prospects and clients. Preview listings in your area and notice how poorly they are priced and marketed.  Read through several MLS listings and see how many fields are incomplete and the descriptions dull. As you work your own deals, note how long it takes for other agents to return your calls, and how unfriendly or unprofessional their outgoing voicemail messages are.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.

If you, like me, are intimidated by the Great, look to the mediocre for inspiration. You can do better, significantly so, and in today’s world of increasing mediocrity, you might find yourself among the Great!

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Bad Mood

Two Saturdays ago, we finished up the Winter of Soul (a 12-session teleseminar program about topics of interest to the Sell with Soul crowd) with a show about Getting UNStuck – that is – how to regain your mojo when this business threatens to take you down. My favorite segment of the show was when we talked about how if you’re in a Bad Mood… you’re pretty much toast until you can snap out of it.

What do I mean by that? Well, if you’re feeling down in the dumps about your business, have you noticed that it only seems to get worse? You and your bad mood seem to attract more to be in a bad mood about. It’s an ugly, frustrating, discouraging death spiral. BAH!

But the good news is that the opposite is also true. If you can somehow resuscitate your mood so that you’re feeling chipper again, you and your good mood will attract even more to be in a good mood about!

And more good news, in our business at least, is that it really doesn’t take all that much to turn our day, our week or even our month around. One or two sweet referrals. A great open house. A call from a buyer who found you from your blog. And BAM! You’re feeling sexy, sassy and smart again. 

So what’s my point here?  

My point is that a lot of us (myself included) get all hysterical when things are going wrong and think we have to make a Big Change in order to turn things around. And that Big Change is, well, Big! And maybe scary. Maybe expensive. So, we either do nothing (and sink further into despair) or we make some not-too-well-thought-out Big Change that may be unnecessary and probably won’t work anyway.

Slow down. Don’t make any Big Change decisions out of fear, frustration or desperation. Don’t make any Big Change decisions until you’re … yes… in a good mood.

Does this sound ridiculously simple? Yeah, I know, it is. But think about it – how was your mood the last time you made a crummy decision? I don’t know about you, but I can name a dozen really dumb moves I’ve made in the last few years, all of which were decided upon when I was under stress. Conversely, my best decisions were made when I was feeling sassy, sexy and smart!

So, how do you go about finding your good mood? What will it take to get YOU feeling sassy, sexy and smart?

I dunno.

It’s different for everyone. I know what works for ME and if I can remember to do it when I’m feeling low, I can almost always turn my mood around. And once I’m feeling better, everything else seems to fall into place, which of course improves my mood even more!

Now, I’m not talking about some monumental shift in attitude. Just enough of a shift so that you can smile, laugh and be pleasant to those around you.

Just think about it. What TRULY cheers you up? Think outside the box – go beyond the obvious things like working out or eating chocolate. What REALLY works for you?

Share?

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Last weekend, we had a free teleseminar show in the SWS Virtual Studio called “Getting UNStuck.” It was co-hosted by me and my good friend Borino, and was about, among other things, regaining your mood and your mojo when this business threatens to get you down. Fun stuff (actually, it was).

During the show, Borino asked for a volunteer from the audience to help him demonstrate a little exercise to help you reset your mood when it’s not what it needs to be. Basically, he put our lovely volunteer (thank you Camille!) into a funk by asking her to recall a recent event that got her down.

He then snapped her out of her funk by abruptly changing the subject and then asking her to recall a recent event that made her happy. She was instructed to take herself back to that moment when she was feeling the happiness – how it felt, sounded, smelled, looked, etc. When she was “there” he asked her to express her happiness in some physical way – for example… the soccer player’s arms-in-the-air dance, Tiger Woods’ fist pump – anything physical that felt natural to her.

Camille confirmed (and we in the audience could hear it in her voice) that her mood improved dramatically and immediately.

Borino explained that the point of the exercise was to help find a physical “anchor” that you can call upon when you’re feeling down. As I understand it (and please correct me if I’m not getting this quite right), DOING that natural physical expression of happiness when you aren’t happy and energized can actually reset your mood so that you ARE happy and energized again.

I, quite cleverly, referred to this physical expression of happiness as your Happy Dance.

Anyway, we in the audience were instructed to do the Happy Dance exercise along with Camille. I, being a co-host and all, declined to participate since obviously I have it all together and don’t need such (as Borino calls it) “airy-fairy” techniques ;-]

FADE OUT

Well, Sunday morning I was feelin’ kinda down. My stomach hurt, my fun plans for the day were threatened and I was behind on a project I really needed to have finished already. BLAH. So, while in the shower deciding whether or not to shave my legs (I didn’t), I decided to give this airy-fairy stuff a try. I did my own little Happy Dance right there in the shower.

Wow. Wow. Holy Moly.

I got a rush of energy I didn’t imagine I had in me. Got out of the shower, turned up the stereo full blast, continued dancing around the house getting ready for my wonderful, fabulous and productive day, scribbled down some ideas for articles and blogs, hugged the dogs, noticed my stomach didn’t hurt anymore and headed out the door to begin my wonderful, fabulous and productive day.

And a wonderful, fabulous, productive day it was.

Do you have a Happy Dance? Okay… 1, 2, 3, GO!

How do you feel now?

 

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I have a new mantra. Assume the Best.Happy

This actually comes from my personal life where it’s been sorely needed for, oh, about 43 years now, but I recently started intentionally applying it to my business life (is there really a clear division between the two anyway?)

When someone does something that doesn’t make sense to you – something that irritates, inconveniences, hurts or offends you – do you automatically assume it was intentionally done to irritate, inconvenience, hurt or offend? Do you naturally filter through all the possibilities of why they did “it” and latch onto the one that makes them a bad guy or gal… and conveniently places you in the self-righteous role of victim?

I do, sometimes. Not always, but I can admit, it’s often the first line of defense when I’m confused by someone else’s words or actions. Since I was 13 years old I’ve known the power of the pout, the sulk and the whine to put the other person on the defensive (maybe that’s a female thing!) and although I’d love to say I’ve grown out of it… well… that would be a lie. Unfortunately, variations of pouting, sulking and whining still work in the hands of a master ;-]

But we’re all grown up now and operating in the real world with other imperfect human beings. And maybe it’s time to give those flawed human beings in our lives the benefit of the doubt. Not just because it’s the nice thing to do, but because in most cases, they deserve that benefit!

You know what? The world is not a hostile, dangerous place populated by human beings who wish to harm you. Trust in that reality and I think you’ll find it to be your reality… in life, love AND business!

Assume the Best, baby, Assume the Best…

posted by on Positive Thoughts for Tough Times

Like any self-respecting author, I do a little consulting here and there on my expertises-of-choice. Not a ton, and it’s not how I make my living, but I do enjoy it and my clients seem to be happy enough.

But one service I don’t offer is accountability. As in, helping an agent create a game plan and then hounding him every week to stick to it. Oh, I considered adding some accountability monitoring to my offerings, but just couldn’t get excited about it, even though I’ve probably lost potential clients because I refuse to “hold them accountable.”

Wanna know why I refuse?

Let me explain with a little anecdote from my past.

weigh inWhen I was in college, my roommate and I joined Weight Watchers. I hated the weekly meetings, but went anyway and paid my $10. And, lo and behold, lost some weight. Why did I lose weight? Because every week I had to weigh in, and by golly, I was determined to hold up my end of the bargain and drop a pound or two. They held me accountable and it worked. I did what I didn’t want to do (that is, stick to a diet) in order to please my Weight Watchers leader.

Uh, Jennifer, aren’t you making an argument for the other side? No.  Read on.

Today, my weight stays steady, right where I want it. Because I learned willpower 20+ years ago at Weight Watchers? Uh, no. In fact, after I quit WW, I gained back the weight I’d lost and then some. No, I stay relatively thin because I’ve found a way of eating my body likes and is satisfied with. “Dieting” isn’t something I’ve done in years because I’ve discovered the RIGHT way to eat for ME. And I do it naturally, without much thought.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Thoughts? I’ll share more of mine next time…

posted by on Positive Thoughts for Tough Times

“The more fun you have selling real estate, the more real estate you will sell!”fun

I believe this with all my heart. When I’m having fun and feeling good, my business explodes. Have you ever noticed that one great phone call begets another … and another? When you’re rolling in MoJo and you know you’re hot stuff… the whole world seems to think so, too.  And that phone RINGS!

So, how to keep the MoJo Risin’? By ramping up your cold-calling and door-knocking efforts? By committing to yet another expensive monthly postcard campaign?

Uh, no. Not for me at least.

If I were to force myself to make phone calls to strangers on a regular basis, I’d be a mess. Because that’s not ME and it’s not FUN.  And I can guarantee you it would be incredibly UNproductive time for me, in more ways than one. Not only would I be utterly wasting my time during my stranger-pestering activities, but I’d also be one depressed, MoJo-les real estate agent. Which is bad for my mood… and therefore my business.

So, what’s FUN for you? Do that. Often. Okay, well, if the only fun things you can think of are sleeping and reading, those might not work, but otherwise… what makes you smile? What would you do more of “if you only had the time?

Chances are, most of the things you enjoy doing involve being out in the world where other people happen to be. And if you’re out there too, being yourself, having fun, you’ll be magnetic. And it’s REAL EASY to let people know you’re a kick-a$$ real estate agent (assuming you believe that yourself) when you’re in a good mood and feeling foxy.

Don’t tell me you don’t have time to have fun. Puh-leeeeaze! Life’s WAY TOO SHORT for that attitude, doncha’ think? Sooooooo…. it’s the first weekend of summer – GO HAVE SOME FUN!