Struggling With Self-Management

ayn rand seated
“The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity.”
~Ayn Rand

 Liked this enough. I thought it was worth sharing.

Struggling With Self-Management

Struggling with Self ManagementBeing a business owner means more than owning the company. You’re also a business leader – whether you have a 50-person team, or you’re a solopreneur. Right now, by design or by accident, you’re setting the direction and tone of everything your company does. It takes a crisis for most business owners to start actively leading – getting out in front of this requires you to ask the question: Am I leading by design or by accident?

The answer – learning to lead by design – comes through self-management.

How Do You Know If You’re Leading By Accident?

Accidental leaders move with a constant sense of urgency, which looks effective and motivated from the outside. However, this frenetic pace is always fueled by the hamster-wheel of overwhelm.

You have big ideas, but feel like the ‘status quo treadmill’ keeps you from acting on them.

You think that good systems are ‘the answer.’

You view yourself as ‘part of the team’ instead of the ‘leader of the team.’

These can look like practical realities for an owner, but without meaningful leadership they’re actually energy spent moving towards more of the same. And each has a place if you lead first – starting with the Strategy 30.

Creating this space for yourself at the beginning of each day sets the foundation for everything that follows.

The Strategy 30

Spend the first 30-60 minutes of your day doing zero work ‘in your business’. Ben Ostergaard, EMyth’s CEO, calls this the ‘strategy hour’, and it’s the minimum amount of time most leaders need to ‘level up’ before moving on with their day.

Creating this space for yourself at the beginning of each day sets the foundation for everything that follows.

Here’s what you don’t do:

Production/delivery of your product or service

Here’s what you do:

Choose one action step that only you can get done to move your highest priority business development project forward – this could be anything from ‘create an outline for your 2014 marketing plan’ to ‘review last quarter financials to prepare for budget meeting.’ Don’t start working on it yet.

Build and prioritize today’s task list, with the item from the above action step at position #1. Scour your list for projects or tasks that aren’t ‘only you’ work – find what you can delegate or defer, and take those off your list.

Start with this free headspace, move into your day. Allot generous time for your most important project, and move quickly when you’re focused on ‘lower value’ work such as email.

Thanks for allowing me to rant…Or “Emyth”

All you have to do is look straight and see the road, and when you see it, don’t sit looking at it – walk. “People create their own questions because they are afraid to look straight. All you have to do is look straight and see the road, and when you see it, don’t sit looking at it – walk.
~Ayn Rand

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You, a Strange Creature of Habit

will rogers seated“If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing.”
~Will Rogers

You, a Strange Creature of Habit

(I know I am)

Yes, you are a creature (me too) – a creature of habit.

I really am. We all are. We think and do a LOT of the same things every day, almost without thinking.

Of the 60,000 thoughts you and I have each day. “95 percent of them are the same thoughts you had yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that,” according to the book, Happy for No Reason, by Marci Shimoff.

And studies show that up to 45 percent of what we do every day is habitual. We act without thinking, often because of subtle cues. Example: You feel tired (cue), so you grab a cup of coffee (routine). You’re bored (cue), so you check Facebook (‘hello me’…routine)

That’s a lot of non-thinking routine every day, isn’t it?

It follows, then that if you want to change your thoughts and actions – and grow your business – you must change your habits.

The good news is, you don’t have to change all of your habits to change your world. You need only adopt a few critical routines, called “keystone habits,” according to New York times writer and author, Charles Duhigg.

In his book, The Power of Habit, Duhigg describes keystone habits as causing a cascade of positive effects to support the success of other habits. A keystone habit is like three or four good actions for the price of one. And they are simple to do, almost trivial. Keystone habits include: exercise, visualization, safety, meditation, and relaxation.

So. What are your keystone habits? What small actions, if you added them to your daily routine, would have the greatest impact on your business?

Thanks for allowing me to rant…

will rogers points“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
~Will Rogers

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2 Questions That Build Your Business Without Fail

will smith smiles‘The first step is you have to say that you can.”
~Will Smith

2 Questions That Build Your Business Without Fail

Question –

big question

What’s the easiest way to build your business? Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. How do you know the difference? Ask the only people who matter – your clients. Specifically, anytime anybody buys anything from you, ask these two questions:

1.    Where did you find out about me/us? The answer tell you which of your business-building efforts are actually…building more business. Is it referrals? Google AdWords? Perhaps an open house? Or a business card? Whatever attracted this client is working. Invest time and money doing MORE of it.

2.    Why did you decided to do business with me/us? The answers tell you what you said or did to cause your client to open their wallet. Was it your offer of a free CMA? Testimonials on your profile page or a website? Whatever sold this client is working. Invest time and money doing MORE of it.

Building your business can’t get much simpler this: Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

Thanks for allowing me to rant…

will smith hands“So if you stay ready, you ain’t gotta get ready, and that is how I run my life.”
“And where I excel is ridiculous, sickening, work ethic. You know, while the other guy’s sleeping? I’m working.”
~Will Smith

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Reflecting Historically or Hysterically (You decide)

bruce lee“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”
~Bruce Lee

Reflecting Historically or Hysterically
(You decide)

Summer’s over. Back to school.

Boy, there are some memories. High school. College. Subjects you loved, subjects you hated. Teachers you loved, teachers you hated.


What did you learn in school? What lessons are you still using?

I have 2.5 major, early and later school-learned lessons I am grateful for:
1. Grammar from 10th and 11th grade. It’s the basis of my writing and communication. In today’s world, misuse of the words they’re, their, there, your, and you’re create lasting (bad) first impressions.
2. In college (North Dakota State University in 1984), my modern European history professor said, “It’s not the date of what happened that matters. It’s what happened in response to the date (events, outcomes) that creates history.”
2.5 Later in life I came to the realization that algebra was not about math, it was about learning how to solve problems logically. I wish my algebra teacher could have put it that way when I started.

How about sales and business? What lessons have you learned? What lessons are you still using?

I have 2.5 major, early sales lessons I am grateful for:

grateful1. Questions control conversations. The person that’s asking is in control.
2. Relax, find common ground, and be friendly with the prospect BEFORE you start the sales conversation.
2.5 Find out why they want to buy BEFORE you start to sell.

Thanks for allowing me to rant…

bruce lee defense“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”
~Bruce Lee

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10 Words That Sell

r williams“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”
~Robin Williams

10 Words That Sell

New – You – Save – Money – Easy – Guarantee – Results – Love – Discovery – Proven

mosaicTen words that advertisers and copywriters know that are proven to sell.

These words aren’t only PROVEN, but I GUARANTEE if YOU use them freely though out your communications, YOU will DISCOVER a vast number of people (NEW clients and past customers), who will respond to your advertising. YOU will LOVE the RESULTS, make more MONEY and SAVE time.


Give this NEW idea a go. Your clients will LOVE it!

Thanks for allowing me to rant…

robin williams“I’m sorry, if you were right, I’d agree with you.”
~Robin Williams

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An Attitude of Gratitude (part 3)

don shula green polo“Success is not forever and failure isn’t fatal.”
~Don Shula

Continue Your Sales Pitch
A thank you letter can also briefly summarize again the reasons you would be a good fit for the homeowners. For example, you could list three key accomplishments or skills that make you stand out. If you forgot to mention something important in your interview, there’s still time to make the pitch. Write something like “one thing I forgot to mention is that I…

Show Gratitude Again
At the close of your letter, thank the customer again for meeting with you and express interest in the position. For example, “Once again, I truly enjoyed meeting with you and I hope that I will have the opportunity to design a personalized marketing strategy for the Smith Family.”

If You Don’t Get the Job
As I wrote earlier, a thank you letter does not guarantee that you will get the listing but it does show your gratitude for the opportunity. If you are turned down for a job, I recommend that you send another thank you letter- remember the attitude of gratitude. Thank the homeowner again for the opportunity to interview and say that you hope to be considered for other opportunities that may come along or if they change their mind. Most people don’t even send initial thank you letters so it’s very unlikely that people send them after rejections, but the person who does shows that he/she is very gracious in handling rejection. That could impress the person enough that your information could be forwarded to their circle of friends. Or if something goes wrong with the first agent, you might be the one they call back.

Who shows gratitude throughout will ultimately find multiple customers to work with because people will want to help and work with those who have an attitude of gratitude.


Thanks for allowing me to rant….

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An Attitude of Gratitude (part 2)

peter drucker forehead“The Goal of a Business is to Create a Customer”
~Peter Drucker

Here are some tips to make writing thank you letters and cards easier and hopefully, a regular part of your business routine.

Get All Contact Information
attitude of gratTypically agents hand out business cards sometime during the listing interview. Don’t be shy and ask for their business cards or enquire if ALL of your current information is correct. If you meet with more than one person in an interview, make sure to get everyone’s card and information, just in case someone doesn’t have a card handy. You should have the majority of all of their contact information, based on the ‘pre-listing’ phone interview. But it’s always worthwhile to make sure that all of your contact information is correct. (Emails, phone numbers, Facebook, Twitter handle, other addresses, attorney’s information etc…)

Take Good Notes
Before the actual appointment and during. Listen carefully to the interviewer/s and you’ll find out not only about the house/job but some of their concerns. You may also find out about common interests through listening or through observation of home spaces if you get a tour. These visual and verbal cues give you something to write about as a connection to the homeowner/s.

Have Supplies Ready Before the Interview
As soon as you start looking for business, you should purchase the following items for thank you letters – Thank You notes, a good pen, stamps and personalized address labels. Yes, these notes are most meaningful when hand-written, although they can be word-processed if you feel your handwriting isn’t readable. Think about the impact a hand-addressed envelope and note will make in this age of easy and often overwhelming electronic communication. An unusual size envelope holds the promise of something other than bills or work in an home environment.

Write Your Notes Right Away
Once you get home or back to the office from an interview, sit down for about half an hour to write out your thank you letter. Use your interview notes to help with the process. Address the envelopes, put on your mailing labels and stamps and then get them out to a mailbox.

Show Gratitude for the Listing Opportunity
Your first lines should be thanking the homeowner/s for his/her time on the day of the interview. Mention something you appreciated learning about the home or them. For example, “Dear Ms. Smith, I appreciated the opportunity to meet with you about the sale of your home. Now that I understand more clearly your motivation, I believe that I can make a positive contribution.”

(Next: Yes, it is a Sales Tool!)

Thanks for allowing me to rant…

don shula green coat“One thing I never want to be accused of is not working.”
~Don Shula

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An Attitude of Gratitude (part 1)

cslewis young“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”
~C.S. Lewis

Of all the correspondence pieces of the listing presentation, the thank you letter is the least used and perhaps least understood tool. While a thank you letter can’t guarantee you’ll get the business, it definitely puts you in the right direction. Only about one of every ten real estate agents send thank you letters and cards after interviews, with the other nine missing out on an important piece of business protocol. Simply put, the thank you letter shows an attitude of gratitude for the opportunity put in front of you.

I’ve sent thank you letters after every listing interview I went on and guess what; I’ve been offered almost every job for which I’ve interviewed. On my first job out of Prosource (Remember that name?), I learned that the family pushed for me to be hired because I had sent individual letters noting something personal that each family member had said. No one else had acknowledged their influence on the hiring decision. People keep thank you cards and letters.

So what makes this piece of paper so powerful?

Again, showing gratitude. Think about it, the customer (homeowner), takes time out of his/her schedule to meet with you and other listing seekers, talking about the house, perhaps giving tours of the home, all in the interest of finding the best realtor. Putting aside their regular schedules to set up times to share their goals and motivations behind the reasons as to why they are selling. Like all people, they want to be appreciated for their efforts and their time.

(Next: Making thank you notes part of your business routine)

Thanks for allowing me to rant…

cslewis book“You are never too old to set another goal to dream a new dream.”

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Thinking and knowing

groucho“humor is reason gone mad.”
~Groucho Marx

Thinking and knowing

idea headThinking is powerful. Knowing is even more so.

Thinking is a function of your mind. Knowing encompasses all you are.

What you think can change from moment to moment. What you know is always a part of you.

What you know goes beyond all doubt. What you know has the clear, powerful presence of truth.

Use your outstanding mind to think. Use your magnificent life to know.

Knowing comes from experience, guided by purpose, and from feeling the wonder of all existence. Know that you can do it, that you can be it, that you can experience it, and you will.

Thanks for allowing me to rant…

g marx“Before I speak, I have something important to say.”
~Groucho Marx

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The Best Sale Is The One Not Made

bill cosby hat“Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it”
~ Bill Cosby

lao tzuThe Chinese military sage Lao Tzu never said anything about selling. But if he did, he might have said this: “The best sale is the one not made.”
In other words, the easiest, most-profitable sales happen when your current clients buy from you again OR they send you a hot, pre-qualified referral.
In either case, little or no selling is required on your part. So, anything you can do to encourage repurchases and referrals is an extremely valuable activity.

Here are 3 ways to “sell without selling” by earning more repurchases and referrals.
(By the way, a repurchase; could mean a second home, investment property — you get the picture)…

1. Surprise gifts
What do you deliver, in person or by email/snail mail, to pleasantly surprise your BEST clients?
Nothing? Uh-oh. Fix that. Start by mailing a simple, hand written (or at least hand-signed) thank-you note.

2. Welcome package
What can you do to make sure that new clients get the most from their relationship with you?
Here’s a hint: Think of all the questions new clients usually ask you. Now answer them in writing. Then send that “how to” guide to clients along with a thank you card. Etc…
Clients will appreciate your thoughtfulness and get better results with what you’re selling – two ways to ensure a repurchase or referral later.

3. Something extra
Beyond any surprise gift or welcome package, what can you do for clients that will delight them?
Don’t have the time or money to mail your clients gifts? You can at least email them links to helpful articles, with the message: “Saw this, thought of you.”

Bottom line: The best sale is one not made. Anything you can do to “sell without selling” – by fostering repurchases and referrals – is among the very BEST uses of your time and energy.


Thanks for allowing me to rant…

bill cosby gol“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.”
~ Bill Cosby

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