My acquaintance Dr. Danial Amen wrote about his experience with ants. After a hard day at the office, he arrived home and found thousands of ants in his kitchen as he started to clean them up, an acronym developed in his mind – ANTs.?
Just like the infested kitchen, his patients’ brains were also overrun by ANTs. Yet ants in a different sense:?Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs).? And those thoughts were robbing them of their joy and stealing their happiness.
He started teaching his patients how to eliminate all of the ANTs because that’s what fuels negativity.
Every single time you have a thought, your brain releases chemicals.
Dr. Amen determined that every time you have a sad, hopeless, mad, cranky, unkind, judgmental, or helpless thought, your brain immediately releases chemicals that make your body feel awful. Your hands get cold and wet, your muscles get tense, your heart beats faster, and your breathing becomes shallower. Additionally, the activity in your frontal and temporal lobes decreases, which negatively affects your judgment, learning, memory.
The opposite is also true – whenever you have a happy, hopeful, loving, kind, or positive thought, your brain releases an entirely different set of chemicals. Your hands get warmer and dryer, your breathing becomes more profound and more regular, your muscles relax, your blood pressure decreases, and your brain works better.
So, if you want to eradicate negativity from your life, work on disciplining your mind to get rid of the ANTs and developing ANTeaters to patrol the streets of your account. (Side note: 2 of my sons our University of California (UCI) Anteaters!)??
Just as there are many species of ants in the world, there are different kinds of negative thought patterns (ANTs). Dr. Amen outlined a few we felt we all should learn to identify:
The masterful art of predicting the worst, even though you don’t have any evidence.
Where you arbitrarily believe that you know what someone else is thinking, even though they didn’t tell you. Many people do this, and more often than not, it gets them into trouble. It’s a significant reason why people have difficulty in relationships. I call it false projecting!
Thinking with words like should, must, ought, and have to. The words we use to talk to ourselves are significant. Guilt is a good motivator for change. Telling yourself, “I should go see my grandmother” rather than “I want to spend time with my grandmother,” only serves to make you feel negative.
Whenever you blame someone else for the problems in your life, you are a victim, and you can’t do anything to change it. Many of us play the blame game, but it rarely helps us. Stay away from blaming thoughts and take personal responsibility for changing the problems you have.
Calling yourself or someone else a derogatory name. This diminishes your ability to see situations clearly, and labels can be very harmful.
So now that you have met some of the ANTs that rob you of your happiness and peace of mind, what do you do about them?
Whenever you find yourself feeling mad, sad, nervous, or out-of-control, write down what you are thinking. Then identify which ANT species is infesting your mind and talk back to it.
Challenging negative thoughts (killing the ANTs) takes away their power and gives YOU control over your thoughts, moods, and behaviors.
The cool thing is we all get to choose how we play the game and learning how to kill the ANTs and develop an internal ANTeater is a great choice!?
Check out his book,? The Brain Warrior’s Way
As we celebrate Memorial Day, as we honor those who have fallen, we are reminded that freedom isn’t free. One of my traditions about this time each year is watching “Taking Chance.” A touching story about one marine escorting a fellow marine on his final trip home.
Another movie came to mind: “Rudy.” Rudy is a true story about persistence, tenacity, grit, and football. A football game isn’t won on the field. The game is won in the days, weeks, and even months leading up to the actual game. The game is won in preparation. Watching films of previous games, memorizing plays, hitting the gym, eating correctly, and even getting enough sleep.
Professional real estate sales is no different.
I’ve been spending some time with our top 1% documenting what they do. Curious?
Here are the top six things our top 1% do consistently:
- They do their research & marketing.
- They’re genuinely interested in and understand others’ personality style.
- They’re prepared for anything, especially the objections and most frequently asked questions.
- They leave their ego in the car.
- They are a master of managing expectations.
- They debrief and learn from every situation.
Research and Marketing
We know from the National Association of REALTORS? that 63% of consumers find us through a referral from a friend or a past business relationship. And 68% of consumers choose us based on our perceived trustworthiness, experience, and reputation.
Top producers know these numbers and invest their time, energy, and effort into where the business is most likely to be generated.
What we have observed from top producers to those struggling is glaring. Top producers genuinely care about the relationship while those struggling care about making a buck.
We use a unique system called B.A.N.K. to pinpoint anyone’s personality in nanoseconds. It’s fun, engaging, and creates instant rapport. Crack your code now, it’s easy: www.jparcode.com
This high emotional intelligence approach leverages the best assessment tools, high-energy training, and cutting-edge technology to maximize results.
Leave Nothing To Chance
Our top performers rehearse or role-play frequently; many do this every day! Here are some tips I picked up:
- Make a list of every question, concern, or objection that your prospect might bring up. Create a list of everything that could go wrong.
- Develop a clear, logical, and persuasive response to every possible question, concern, and objection.
- Think of how you can get ahead of these circumstances by using stories and anecdotes, case studies and testimonials, statistics, and facts.
- Have your information, ideas, and documentation well organized so you can reference the appropriate notes and materials at any time.
Gary Vaynerchuk put it well: “When you care more about the other person than you care about hitting your quota – when you make that shift – you go into the Jedi-ness of becoming a great salesperson.”
The professional real estate salesperson with a massive ego can easily mistake refusal with rejection. When you make this mistake, it’s all too easy to take it personally. The truth? Far more people will say no than say yes.
So, how do you deal with this?
Our top 1% have learned not to internalize rejection. Top performers exert power over their emotions and know this is a critical skill to master.
As the Chief Executive of a large organization, I get the problems that others have not solved. And literally, I’ve been tracking these and guess what – they all have a common root. Uneven expectations!
Many things have to happen, often in a specific sequence, before a transaction closes. Do you know what these things are? Do you know where you’re at in the process with each client, prospect, and partner?
- Seek to understand what has come before each step
- Don’t assume everyone knows what will happen next
- Anticipate needs before others
- Communicate constantly and clearly
- Under-promise and over-deliver
Debriefing is a structured learning process designed to evolve plans while they’re being executed continuously. It originated in the military as a way to learn quickly in rapidly changing situations and to address mistakes or changes in the field. Infact I shared this document with my team – glad to be here – after the Blue Angels flew over Dallas.
In business, debriefing has been widely documented as critical to accelerating projects, innovating novel approaches, and hitting challenging objectives. It also brings a team together, strengthens relationships, and fosters team learning.
Our top producers have this concept mastered and execute this discipline more often than others. As such, these high performing teams are more tight-knit than those who don’t.
The game is won or lost way before you step on the playing field. So, before you play in sales again, do your research, be genuinely interested in others, be prepared for anything, leave your ego in the car and become a master of managing expectations. Finally – just like the Blue Angels – debrief and learn from every situation.
The art and science of goal achievement are driven by your desire, your decisions, your determination, and discipline. Let’s dig in.
Tony Robbins said it best:
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
And Price Pritchett, the author of “You2” wrote it best:
“You don’t have to know how you’re going to get there, but you do need to know where you want to go!”
There is magic in operating with a sharply defined mental image of the outcome you seek.
Visualize your arrival.
When you visualize, it is like a magnet to the ways and means and the methods to get there. The solutions begin to appear, and the answers come to you.
A young man asked Socrates the secret to success. Socrates told the young man to meet near the river the next morning.
The next morning, they met. Socrates asked the young man to walk with him toward the river. When the water got up to their neck, Socrates took the young man by surprise and ducked him into the water. The boy struggled to get out, yet Socrates was strong and kept him there until the boy started turning blue. Socrates pulled his head out of the water, and the first thing the young man did was to gasp and take a deep breath of air.
Socrates asked, ‘What did you want the most when you were there?” The boy replied, “Air.” Socrates said, “That is the secret to success. When you want success as badly as you wanted the air, then you will get it.” There is no other secret.
Just like a small fire cannot give much heat, a weak desire cannot produce an excellent result. A burning desire is the starting point of all accomplishments.? If you genuinely want to achieve your stated goal, the first step is desire. You must want it badly enough to make an unshakeable commitment and to be willing to make sacrifices.
I have found from my own experience that I was getting in my way. Can you relate? You know the doubts, anxieties, ego, fear, and those never-ending critical inner voices. The very things that keep us from taking action. And not taking action is a decision in and of itself, yes?
And thus, the second D is Decision. Getting out of my way meant becoming more self-aware of those thoughts that held me back and the courage and mental toughness to step forward.
Some time ago, I was worried about whether or not I should take on a new consulting assignment. By this time, I was learning how I could get out of my way, so I stopped for a moment of reflection and gratitude. That time allowed me to be curious rather than being consumed by fear and worry. I reflected on the meaning I was attaching to things associated with this new assignment. The shift drove my thoughts away from the distractions and simply allowed me to be present and aware. By doing so, I was free to find clarity and to make a more rational decision about this new assignment. Fear and worry became optional for me, and the clarity to make a decision and move forward powerfully became easier.
Are you ready, right now, to decide to do whatever is necessary, to be willing to pay any price, go any distance, to achieve your goal?
The third D, Determination.
- Richard Branson has dyslexia;
- Walt Disney spoke with nearly 300 possible investors before anyone took interest;
- Bill Gates’ whose first business failed;
- Albert Einstein did not speak until he was four;
- Jim Carrey was homeless, and
- Stephen King, the first novel was rejected 30 times.
So, what is more, significant in your life right now. Excuses as to why you are not achieving as much as you want? Or mega doses of determination to get what you want?
I have learned that determination is a function of three factors: a goal, a commitment, and a focus.
Let’s BREAK that down:
Goals – Goals are like magnets that attract us to higher ground and new horizons. They give our eyes a focus, our mind an aim, and our strength a purpose. Without their pull, we would remain forever stationary, incapable of moving forward.
A goal is a possibility that fulfills a dream.
You know the importance of setting goals, so why is it so hard to keep and reach them?
We have all felt the excitement that comes with setting a new goal, but then, as time progresses, excitement can morph into anxiety. Is this because we are facing the reality that we are so far from our goal, and we have no framework or strategy of how to get there. Let’s start with the three types of goals:
? ? ? ? ? Outcome Goals?An outcome goal is one that is not really under your control. Instead, it is based on outside circumstances. For example, your goal is to the #1 selling agent in your market. Great goal, you just don’t have any control over what other agents will do.
? ? ? ? ?Performance Goals?Performance goals are personal achievement goals. They are the building blocks that help you reach your outcome goal. A good performance goal example is to “beat my record of 21 homes sold in a year.”
? ? ? ? ?Process Goals?Process goals are entirely under your control and are composed of the things you do daily, like habits and routines. Think of these as the small steps you take to get to your performance and outcome goals every single day. An example of a process goal would be to “spend 90 minutes prospecting daily” or “call 30 FSBO’s every Monday.”
In over 650 studies completed with over 50,000 participants, scientists analyzed what worked best when goal setting. Overall, individuals who focused on Process Goals had more success in reaching their goals than those who simply set Performance or Outcome Goals.
Commitment – The Scottish mountaineer, William Hutchison Murray, wrote about commitment in his book, “The Scottish Himalayan Expedition.” He wrote: “Until one is committed there is hesitancy…the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves in. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.”
Finally, Focus – Dr. Allen Zimmerman wrote about focus this way. It is merely another way of saying you have got to keep your eye on the goal.
One of my three boys learned just that. As they were playing in the deep snow, a neighbor asked them if they wanted to race. He said he would give a prize to the winner.
It sounded good to the boys, so they gathered around the man to learn more. He told them the winner would not be the one who ran the fastest but the one who ran the straightest line. He said he would go to the other end of the field, give a signal, and have them race to him.
The boys took off. The first one looked at his feet as he ran to make sure they were pointing straight ahead. The second boy wondered how straight the boys on either side of him were running and tried to line himself up with them. The third boy just kept his eyes fixed on the man at the end of the field. He kept his sights set on the goal. And, of course, he won the race. His line was by far the straightest.
Two of them lost their focus. They got distracted from the goal. They made the two most common mistakes people make when trying to achieve their goals.
The first boy became self-conscious. He spent too much time worrying about the possible mistakes he was making.
The second boy spent too much time wondering how his competitors were doing.
Do not make those mistakes. You will not only lose the race, but you’ will also lose your determination for other races in life.
The fourth D. You know what you need or desire to do, yet you derail yourself with unaligned behaviors! Can you relate?
Typically, those that succeed in goal achievement follow a pattern.
A pattern of having a compelling reason why they want to accomplish the goal; they develop an unwavering commitment and accountability; that create rewards and penalties; they develop personal standards, and they gamify or create a competitive environment.
Those that succeed in goal achievement know that we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
In “The Power of Habit,” Charles Duhigg said it best. In the book, he delivers a framework for understanding how habits work and a guide to experimenting with how they might change. That framework is:
Triggers: the event that starts the habit
Routines: the behavior you perform (and how you can switch that if it does not serve you)
Rewards: the benefit that is associated with the behavior
Once we understand our triggers, our routines, and our rewards, we can proactively make the change. Switching out poor routines with more empowering routines and thus create disciplined behaviors that are more aligned with the goals.
Primarily, this all comes down to making simple agreements with yourself. Agreements about what you will and will not accept are the cornerstone of discipline. It then requires holding yourself accountable for following through with these agreements.
All of this boils down to regulating and correcting your behavior whenever you get off track.
Excuses are like noses. We have all got one, and they smell.
Are you going to continue to settle for safe or take a different direction?
Some practical steps to consider this week:
These are undoubtedly UNCERTAIN times, yet our on-going Quarantine Relief Series has both provided direction and relief for J.P.A.R. agents, staff, and business partners as well as our guest audience.
It’s so easy to wake up at these times and not know what to do… one thing to do is join us every morning at 8 AM CST!
Stephen Covey said it over and over throughout his career,
“If there’s one thing that’s certain in business, it’s uncertainty.”
That quote was accurate then, and it’s so real now.
- Is it business as usual? No, JP, Geoff, and I call it… “business forward! Be safe, be smart.”
- Develop an all-new plan? For sure, as your new brand is being developed now.
So, this is what we will address today: “how to grow your business from the inside out.” I recently interviewed Coach Tom Ferry for episode #112 of Success Superstars, and he shared five actions inspired agents are executing during this time of uncertainty.
Inspired Action No. 1: Increase your P.E.D.S.
Carl Jung told us all – and our guest speaker on the Q.R.S. session #16 Greg Bowles – reinforced how you feel on the inside is what you radiate to those on the outside! So, it would help if you took care of yourself first. And that means taking your P.E.D.S. daily:
P-rayer – nourishes your soul in beautiful ways. There are 13 powerful ways to pray.
E-xercise –?strengthens your heart, mind, and improves your circulation.
D-iet – eat healthy to stay at the top of your game.
S-leep – keeps us healthy and functioning well. It lets your body repair, restore, and reenergize.
Inspired Agent Action No. 2: Intentional communication
Now is not the time to retreat into a foxhole and go “radio silent.” It’s time to step up and communicate smartly and consistently. Communicate with clients; prospects; your database; investors and your community at large.
But you must be smart about it. It’s not about reaching out like everything is normal and asking if they are considering a move. Instead, consider this:
- Consider adding the “investment property of the week.” Many investors are in the market and can use your guidance and expertise at this time.
- Clients under contract: Tell them, “I’m here for you. I have your back. What would you like to do?” If they want to pause, let them do so. Doing the right thing is always the right thing
- All your recent leads: Call, text, or send a personal video to EVERY LEAD! Reach out with care and say, “I was thinking about you. I wanted to reach out and say, Are you OK? I want to let you know I’m here for you.”
- Database: Then, send a similar message to members of your database. But not a mass email. I want you communicating personally with ten or more people in your database every day.
Inspired Agent Action No. 3: A New “How’s the Market?” Dialogue
You hear it regularly, but now people are going to be even more genuinely curious, “How’s the market or What’s My Home Worth Now?” ?At J.P.A.R., you can increase the number of these conversations by executing our unique B.U.Y.S.I.D.E. home value ad campaign. Here are some dialogues to consider:
- “Here are the latest stats from M.L.S. and Altos Research. Not all, yet some of my buyers, sellers, and investors are telling me they want to hold for now, and I’m supporting that decision while I continue to communicate and keep them aware of what’s next. And some of my clients need to sell, buy or invest right now, and they’re doing that with the protocols for safety and smart marketing, virtual showings, and virtual open houses.”
- “More importantly, how are you and your family doing? Can I help in any way?”
- The best path for the future of your business is bringing humanity to our industry during these trying times.
Inspired Agent Action No. 4: Sharpen Your Axe
Now is the time for you to work “on” your business and your personal skills, consider these actions:
- Complete your C.E. credits
- Dig into your CRM – at J.P.A.R., we provide basic kvCore, so you have no excuses.
- Practice your presentations – jump on a zoom each day with a fellow agent
- At J.P.A.R. we provide the David Knox Library with over 300 role-plays from handling objections to listing presentations that work
- Refine your marketing plan with execution dates and expected outcomes
- AT JPAR we provide as a standard curriculum the Real Estate Playbook with 2 modules on “Marketing Mastery” and a bonus module on “Lead Generation.”
- Develop your social media channels… we recently added a YouTube Channel
- Master the use of Zoom for listing presentations and buyer or investor consultations
- That stack of books you’ve been meaning to read? What are you waiting for?
- Tech skills you’ve needed to learn? At J.P.A.R., we are offering 100 on-demand courses!
Your income is in direct proportion to the VALUE you bring to the market.
Remember, work expands to the time allocated. Set a deadline and a specific time to address each item in your plan. If your business is being disrupted, make sure you come out of this crisis better prepared to deliver value when things return to normal.
Inspired Agent Action No. 5: Your Next 30-Day Marketing Plan
Marketing in today’s environment requires a whole new approach and must include empathy for those you reach. Here are three actions you should be taking now:
- Ten handwritten personal notes daily and schedule virtual “pop bys” weekly.
- Two or more QUALITY new connections DAILY on LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram
- Email your entire database every single week. Send them current information, coronavirus-related housing statistics from Keeping Current Matters, N.A.R. and T.R. offer content, help, videos, and more.
- Mail to your geographic farms twice a month. Take the info K.C.M. is sharing and make it into postcards to educate and inform homeowners about the realities of today’s market.
- Increase your social media activity! Be the voice of reason. Do video! Do it on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn.
- What you do NOW will make or break your brand for 2020 and beyond.
So much has changed, yet so much has stayed the same. Consider these additional fundamentals:
7 Steps To A (Virtual) Appointment Setting Breakthrough
What Does Your System Produce?
The Recipe… The Ingredients For Your Real Estate Practice
On episode 110 of Success Superstars, real estate agent Amy Lilly talks with Mark Johnson, CEO of JP & Associates Realtors about her passion not only for real estate but also taking real estate to the hard of hearing and deaf.
“It’s okay to be proud of who I am.” – Amy Lilly
Now available on the go: listen to inspirational stories on all podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, just search ‘Success Superstars’ anywhere you listen to your favorite podcasts.
This week I had the opportunity to speak with several real estate agents about their upcoming 2020 New Years’ resolutions. Research has shown that about half of all adults make New Year’s resolutions. However, fewer than 10% manage to keep them for more than a few months. Like me, does this statistic make you wonder why? What’s the solution? Consider this:
What would happen if starting today, you never tolerated inaction in yourself? Think about that for a moment again, what would happen if starting today you never tolerated inaction in yourself?
From the book, Atomic Habits, there is a common mistake that often happens to too many of us. The error has to do with the difference between?being in motion and taking action. They sound similar, but they’re not the same.
When you’re in motion, you’re planning and strategizing and learning. Those are all good things, but they?don’t produce a result. Action, on the other hand, is the type of behavior that will?deliver an outcome.
Here’s a couple of practical examples:
- If I outline 20 ideas for articles I want to write, that’s motion.
- If I write and publish an article, that’s action.
- If I email 10 new leads for my business and start conversations with them, that’s motion.
- When I set an appointment, that’s action.
- If I search for a better diet plan and read a few books on the topic, that’s motion.
- If I eat a healthy meal, that’s action.
Sometimes motion is useful, yet it will never produce an outcome by itself. It doesn’t matter how many times you talk to the personal trainer, that motion will never get you in shape. Only the action of working out will get the result you’re looking to achieve.
If the motion doesn’t lead to results, why do we do it?
Sometimes we do it because we need to plan or learn more. But more often than not, we do it?because motion allows us to feel like we’re making progress?without running the risk of failure. Most of us are experts at avoiding criticism. It doesn’t feel right to fail or to be judged publicly, so we tend to avoid situations where that might happen. And that’s the biggest reason why you slip into motion rather than taking action:?you want to delay failure.
It’s easy to be in motion and convince yourself that you’re still making progress. You think,?“I’ve got conversations going with four potential clients right now. This is good. We’re moving in the right direction.”?Motion makes you feel like you’re getting things done. But really, you’re just preparing to get something done. When preparation becomes a form of procrastination, you need to change something. You don’t want to be planning merely. You want to be practicing.
Some ideas to get out of motion and into action:
- Work expands to the time you give it:?Set a specific time for each task.
- Set a schedule for your actions:?Basic time blocking.
- Pick a date to shift you from motion to action:?set hard deadlines.
- Ignore, switch your feelings:?“I don’t feel like it” to “Let’s get this done!”
For some goals, setting a daily or weekly schedule doesn’t work as well. This is the case if you’re doing something that is only going to happen once: studying for your broker exam or getting your GRI. These things require some planning upfront (motion). They also need plenty of action to complete them. For example, you could set a schedule each week to study. In a situation like this, research shows it’s best to pick a date. Put something on the calendar – like the test date. Make it public. This is when X is happening. In other words, set a HARD DEADLINE.
Research shows that people who make a specific plan for when and where they will perform a new habit are more likely to follow through. Too many people try to change their habits without these basic details figured out. We tell ourselves, “I’m going to eat healthier” or “I’m going to write more,” but we never say when and where these habits are going to happen. We leave it up to chance and hope that we will “just remember to do it” or feel motivated at the right time.
Hope is not a strategy!
An implementation intention sweeps away foggy notions like “I want to work out more” or “I want to be more productive” or “I should vote” and transforms them into a concrete plan of action.
Many people think they lack motivation when what they lack is clarity.
A straightforward way to apply this strategy to your habits is to fill out this sentence:
I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION]
- I will follow up with 4 leads a day for 30 minutes at 9 a.m. in my office.
- I will complete part 1 of my project, investing twenty minutes at 10 a.m. in my office.
- I will exercise for one hour at 5 p.m. at my gym.
- I will make my wife a cup of tea at 7 a.m. each morning in the kitchen.
Give your habits time and space. The goal is to make the time and location so apparent that, with enough repetition, you get an urge to do the right thing at the right time, even if you can’t say why.
To put it: planning out when and where you will perform a specific behavior turns your environment into a trigger for action. The time and place trigger your behavior, not your level of motivation.
Motivation is short-lived and doesn’t lead to consistent action. If you want to?achieve your goals, then you need a plan for exactly?when?and?how?you’re going to execute on them regardless of how you feel.
There are some lessons that only?#failure?can teach. Failure is not the problem… inaction is… procrastination is.
Let’s commit this week to move from motion to action.