Our oldest son Jimmy was 7 years old the day he climbed Mt. Everest.
We had left Jimmy, his brother and two sisters with a trusted babysitter. It was time for Parent-Teacher conferences. I kissed each of the children good-bye. As I turned to leave they were sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of an exciting program on television. It was the story of a famous mountain climber who had just completed the ascent of Mt. Everest.
Jimmy watched the program with enthusiasm. He was inspired! In Jimmy’s mind our house was immediately transformed into a treacherous and challenging Mt. Everest. He would climb bravely to the top and conquer the world!
After the program ended, Jimmy proceeded to scale the large mulberry tree near the house, jumped off its top branch and onto the roof to survey his kingdom from high on a mountain top. He was king of the world. That is, until he saw our car turning the corner.
As my husband and I began to approach our house I looked up and terror pierced my heart. There was a small child on our roof! In that same instant I realized it was our small child. Jimmy and I made eye contact and our eyes locked. Both of us were filled with fear.
Jimmy reacted quickly. He ran to the edge of the roof, hesitated, and then jumped. I’m not going to tell you that you can’t imagine how I felt at that moment, because I know you can.
Jimmy landed hard on the ground, rolled a few feet, staggered, and struggled to get his body upright. We braked to a stop, jumped out of the car and ran to his rescue. I threw my arms around him, pulled him close, and asked over and over again, “Are you alright? Why did you jump?” After we all calmed down he looked at us and said breathlessly, “I guess I figured it was better to jump off the roof than to get caught on it!”
Fear often sends us in the wrong direction. Fear will keep us from doing the things we need to do in order to succeed. Many times, as in Jimmy’s case, it would be better to “face the music” by doing what we need to do instead of running away in fear and panic. This, of course, is easier said than done, but how much success can fear keep us from achieving?
Fear is that instinct that smothers our belief in the Law of Abundance. It is that insidious “This is too difficult… I don’t want to call a stranger… I don’t want to impose… I just can’t ask – I’m too afraid.” Fear is the voice that says to us, “I’m so afraid of losing and having nothing that I will accept almost nothing.” Fear keeps us from being able to look people in the eye. It keeps us from telling them directly what they need to hear in a way they need to hear it.
The client-agent relationship is filled with fear, their fear and ours. They are afraid that we will give away their money. They are afraid that we will tell them anything in order to get a commission. We are afraid to tell them and to show them what they need to hear and see in order to get what they want.
In today’s economy, everyone’s fear is almost oppressive. When we are working with buyers they are stalling and backing out more than they ever have before. They need us now more than they have ever needed us.
All of the experience and the skill we develop on our pathway to success can be suffocated by allowing fear to creep into our existence.
We must learn to overcome our fear of this economy and our fear of showing up and closing. It is going to require greater preparation, control and fearlessness than we have ever been required to draw from ourselves. As Mark Victor Hanson said, “If you want to marry a Princess, you have to slay the dragon.”
There are no shortcuts. There is no easy way to overcome the fear that holds us back. It will keep us from our success. Our goal is to help our clients prioritize their needs, overcome their fear, and step up and get what they want.
Andrew Carnegie understood this concept completely and amassed a great fortune. “No man becomes rich,” he said “unless he enriches others.”
The simple way to overcome fear is to focus on others. First, find their need and ask the hard questions. Next, overcome the fear that holds us back from closing. Finally, help them move forward in order to get what they want.”
Zig Zigler said it the way it is… “You can have everything you want if you help enough people get what they want.”
Reach out… and become fearless.
What We THINK Today Walks & Talks Tomorrow
I found myself channel surfing the other day and I almost surfed right past a Jack LaLanne infomercial. I couldn't help myself. I stopped to watch. I've never been able to resist watching a great salesperson do their thing. It's the force of his personality that made me lift my index finger off the remote.
You've got to admit it... he walks his talk. Just look at the man (and yes, his wife too) at 94 years old. This is a man who for decades has been talking about eating and exercising ourselves to good health and along the way selling us gym equipment, gym memberships and, yes, those famous juicers. This is the man who helped engineer the exercise industry by being the first person to establish health clubs throughout the country. This is the man who was doing infomercials before they even had a name. All those years of positive eating, thinking and talking have paid off for him. He's 94 years old and he walks and talks like a man of 30, or should we say, 60. Oh well, you know what I mean. He's ahead of the game.
The best statement I've heard Jack LaLanne make is "What we eat today walks and talks tomorrow." It's true! But how about what we THINK today walks and talks tomorrow?
I love this business of selling real estate. We get to be involved in one of the single most important decisions in our clients' lives. We can help make a difference in how successful it is for them. We can help their process be more financially beneficial. We can make buying and selling a home easier and better for them.
We CAN help them get to where they want to go.
So let's take Jack LaLannes's thought one step further. Isn't what we THINK going to walk and talk tomorrow? How we think can make the difference not just in our lives but in the lives of everyone around us.
What's great about THINKING is that it is one of the only things we do where we have total control. No one else can control our thoughts unless we allow them to do so. Yes, if we allow them to bring us down, if we allow fear to creep in, if we become discouraged, it's all because we had control and we let it happen. No, we can't blame anyone else for it. It's that old Law of Accountability kicking in!
Another great opportunity about THINKING is that it's really a blueprint in our mind. We are the only architect of our thoughts. We can redesign the blueprint any time we choose. If our thoughts need to be adjusted we can just slip in a "change order" and become more positive and productive. Now this takes some practice. It may be a simplification, but let's just try it the easy way. . .
I discovered a long time ago that it is easier to be happy than it is to be sad. Even the body responds physically to being happier. We've been told that it takes fewer muscles to smile than it does to frown. And here's the picture: how many juicers do you think Jack LaLanne would be selling if he appeared frustrated, negative and unhappy.
How about a two-step program. We'll keep it simple and just quit getting ready to get ready to go. Just two steps to remember: Step #1... What we think about today walks and talks tomorrow, and Step 2... Think happy!
In our business we always hear that listing is the name of our game. I believe that listing is our purest form of selling because we are selling ourselves. Jack LaLanne would probably tell us that it is our own "infomercial". It is our opportunity to sit down with the client, find out what they need and convey our message to them in a way that they can hear. When we list often and well we have graduated to top salesmanship. We have gained a deep understating of people's needs and we know how to help them achieve success.
Listing (Selling) is simple - it's not easy. It is important to know what to say and how to say it, but style always supersedes. We always need to be able to deliver our message in a way that they can hear it. It doesn't matter how much we think we can help unless we can convey our message with positive style. Now we are back to what we THINK about today walks and talks tomorrow.
At the listing table the client quickly discovers how we think. It is in our eyes, our voice and, yes, our smile. Clients can tell right away if putting their trust in us will be a happy and successful experience. We are told that people's perception of us is usually formed in the first four seconds. I believe they are discovering how we think. We tell them everything about us in our initial manner. Our clients want to know if we believe in ourselves and our ability to help them.
Try this... just turn on TV and begin to surf channels. You will probably land on a Jack LaLanne infomercial. Now, turn off the volume. Just watch him. It's not what he says - it's how he says it. It's not just what he ate yesterday that walks and talks. It is how he thought yesterday and how he thinks today. It's hard to argue with 94 years of success, a 94 year old body that looks decades younger, and hundreds of thousands of juicers.
Reach out... and think happy!
Remember Who You Are
Thought much about your thoughts lately?
Our thoughts create our reality. Are they almost always positive? Do they ever become negative? Should we care so much about what other people think about us or about what we do? Should we be more careful about imposing others' opinions on the way we think and feel?
The question is, "Are we living by committee?"
It matters how much we are willing to let the opinions of others invade our lives, especially if we are surrounded by any negativity. Negativity can devalue us and devalue our perception of ourselves. Devaluation, in turn, weakens us and our resolve to be as successful as we can be.
Devaluation always has a scapegoat. "You can't do it because the market is so bad." It doesn't take long until the voices of the "committee" can diminish us so much that we become frozen with fear. Now we have let our capacity for success be taken away from us.
Self-esteem and self-reliance are precious attributes that we need to protect and treasure. It comes from within. It is that still small voice inside each of us that tells us that we matter, that we are valuable to others and that we can rely on ourselves and our special gifts and talents to help us succeed.
There are so many negative forces in the world that can take us away from the knowledge of who we are. It happens to us in a secret, quiet way. It steals away our confidence as we become more dependent on others' opinions and advice. It weakens our resolve to remove anything negative from our lives. Before we realize what is happening we have become less positive and unsure of ourselves.
All real estate markets have their own specific challenges. This one breeds negativity. The difference between this market and the last market is very elementary. People simply enjoy making money more than they like losing it.
In this market - on a daily basis - we are as real estate agents dealing with loss, frustration, desperation, and anger. We are watching people suffer and that is always more than difficult. But we need to be there for each of our clients. We need to be that one person who can help them at least begin to solve their real estate problems. They need to see us as positive about ourselves and our ability to help them. When we show them that we care and treat them with great respect and kindness we will create the credibility that we need in order to help them.
If we are feeling unsure of ourselves, if we become frustrated with the market or if we become impatient, we will be unable to help our clients succeed. As always our success and our clients' success are directly related.
We are always going to have challenges. Failure can teach us many lessons. It is important to separate our perception of who we are from the roller coaster ride we all take in the business. We are not any less valuable to ourselves or to others just because business isn't going as well today as it was yesterday. If we want to do well tomorrow it will depend on our perception of ourselves. Self-value and self-esteem are the fuels that propel our rocket.
Our clients need us as agents now more than they have ever needed us before. They need our knowledge, our sense of humor, our empathy, our smile - and most importantly, our strength. We have great value. Let's not ever forget who we are and what we need to do.
As always, Mr. Rogers says it better than most. "If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person."
Reach out... Remember who you are!
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