It become a bit of a tradition of mine to write a farewell blog on New Years Eve over the last few years. Sometimes it’s inspiring, sometimes it’s uplifting, and sometimes I’m just so happy to see the year leaving I can’t stand it. This year will be no different. I’m not quite sure why, but this is something that seems to strike my friends as odd. That I would share things randomly with the web. With essentially, strangers.
You see, it’s not that I think I have all of the answers. Because I don’t. Part of it is that being in the industry I am in (real estate) and being a coach on top of that, I see people who tend to focus so much on next years business this time of year. They focus on it so much that they forget about the last year and everything that came with it. Now, don’t get me wrong. You better have your business plan in place, and know your goals (I’m speaking to you with that one coaching clients)! But when did this become the only thing that we started focusing on for the new year? It’s incredibly frustrating. I guess that’s why I feel the need to share my year with you, and a few lessons learned along the way.
Some years ago I realized that new years resolutions were stupid. Thats right, stupid. They are stupid because we make them that way. We actually make them these worthless things. We say “I’m going to lose 5 pounds” or “I’m going to eat healthier”, blah blah blah. We make these “goals” for no other reason than we feel we need to at that very moment. We don’t base them off of anything. We just do as we think we are supposed to. So I decided that instead of setting some stupid goal like joining a gym, I would work on what I screwed up in the past year. There is usually quite a few for me to choose from. Think about it. What did you do in 2013 that if done differently in 2014 would greatly improve who you are. For some of you that may be joining a gym, but you’ve got to see the benefit for you and your loved ones to really stick with it. Not just say “I’m going to join a gym for a month… weeeeeeee”. That crap doesn’t change anything.
You may be wondering what my resolution is. And you can keep wondering :-)
Thats all I have to say about it, but here are a few highlights for my year in case you were wondering. I jumped out of a plane (again) and lived (whew), bought my condo, went on my first real vacation in years, switched to a MAC and loved it, spilled Kool-Aid on said Mac and had to buy another one. I held my new niece and nephew for the first time, I spoke on stage in front of the largest group in my career (thanks KWMC), I learned to cook (still a work in progress), had my first great birthday/christmas combo in a long time, I completed my second Tough Mudder, took over 60 airplane flights, helped several clients meet their goals and spend more time with their families, spent more money keeping my dog healthy than myself, realized that in your 30′s there is such a thing as a two day hangover, and I broke up with Jameson. Yes, those last two events are related.
As you ring in the new year tonight, please remember to be safe and get a DD. Cheers!
As many of you may have noticed, Craigslist has been making some BIG changes over the last few weeks. First it was that a zip code was required. Inconvenient, yet not earth shattering. Then, it was HTML photos not allowed. Followed by anchor text. None of this was a big deal, and was easily remedied. Now however, we are taking a big hit on ads not allowing any type of link in them. Even the long and dirty ones.
This ad in todays CL world no longer will exist. The photo will disappear, the anchor text (hyperlinked) words will not be linked, and the long URL will not be clickable.
So the big question is, what do we do?
FIRST. STOP FREAKING OUT. Myself, as well as many of the other tech folks out there have been overloaded by emails, texts, FB messages and more with people all worked up over a simple thing. We understand that Craigslist has been a big part of your business. We also have been teaching for years to focus on other pillars of business in case CL ever did something like this. That day is here, I hope you’ve prepared.
SECOND. FIND A WORK AROUND. Now, there have been some work arounds suggested. Myself as well as some others are working on the problem as well. I can tell you, that we will not find a solution that will result in as much traffic as before! EXPECT your CL traffic to drop, significantly. We’re currently testing some solutions to see what type of traffic results they get.
THIRD. HANG TIGHT. If you find yourself breathing into a paper bag to stop the hyperventilating, just calm down and hang tight for a little bit. Craigslist has continued to make these changes over the last two weeks. We need to wait for the storm to pass to make sure we aren’t coming up with a solution that will be outdated in 4 days.
FOUR. PICK UP THE PHONE AND PROSPECT. Take this as a great time to pick up the phone and call all of the other leads that you have, and your sphere of influence.
Long story short, don’t let this stop business for you. Focus on your other pillars of lead generation and when the dust settles in a week or so we will give you the best solution we’ve found along with some solid results analysis from it. Til then, I love you all. BUT PLEASE STOP PANICKING AND FILLING UP MY INBOX :-)
Every time I hear Gary Keller talk he talks about talent. EVERY TIME. And it never fails, someone in the room raises their hand and says something like “I’m having trouble with my buyers agent.” or assistant, or whatever. Who the person is doesn’t matter. What matters is that people are always the problem! Yes. People. People are our problem!
Why are people our problem? It’s usually a combination of things in the beginning. Rookie mistakes that we make hiring. First, we may have hired the wrong person. Well if we hired the wrong person we simply need to “de-hire” said person and hire the right one. Initial problem solved.
Now we’ve done it! We’ve got the right person! Happy day! We’ve got our amazing buyers agent, assistant, marketer, etc. We couldn’t be happier. Business is running smooth and we starting thinking that people are the solution and not the problem. Yes, if people are the problem then people are also the solution. Enter problem number two: We notice that performance begins to slip, our people seem unhappy or discontent with their job with which they once thrived? Well, it goes back to people being the problem. EXCEPT this time the person that is the problem is generally US, not THEM.
Yes. We are now the problem. What happens is when we hire capacity talent (people who can grow in their role and ultimately into a new one) instead of cul-de-sac talent (people who lack growth capability) they want to be developed. Capacity talent wants to thrive at their job. They want to be the best they can be. They want to learn more. They want the opportunity for advancement even if they choose not to take it. Capacity talent will rarely rest until they are the absolute best at their job (and possibly even better than you at yours). And this is where we lose them. Because our leadership skills are lacking. We fear that if we develop our staff to be “too talented” that they will leave us! And then our perfect business where we were once so happy will be shattered. I can tell you this is not the case.
In my early leadership days I had the same fear. That if I taught my people enough to leave me that they would. Reality is that if I taught them how to thrive on their own and go it alone, they stayed! They stayed and were happy and more productive than ever! Enter: happy dance! This happens because you are satisfying their need to grow and develop. You are providing the leadership that they desire. And through this process they usually realize that going it alone would be harder and less rewarding for them. By less rewarding I don’t necessarily mean financially. We’ve all stayed at underpaying jobs because we’ve respected and liked the people we worked for. And if you’re anything like me I can say that you’ve probably given a boss or two the “one fingered peace sign” at a good paying job. Yes, I have actually done that. That woman was evil. But I digress…
Teach your people to leave you and they rarely will. Be the solution to their career desires and they are yours forever.
It was 12 years ago for those of you wondering. No. This is not one of those blogs where I am going to talk about how much easier life was at 16. Or how I miss those days. Because it wasn’t and I don’t. I would rather poke my eye out with a fork than go back to high school. I am going to talk about the job I had when I was 16. That’s right. WORK.
I was a sophomore in high school. Played sports so I was busy, and I had a job at the local Levis store. I made crap money, I worked crap hours, and my boss hated me. None of these things were working in my favor. I mean seriously. I would be in school every day by 7am, ball practice in 100* weather until 5, work from 6-10:30. I worked every Friday night. Most Saturdays and Sundays. I would go into work after a day of ball practice and I had no car, so I had to get a ride from someone if my parents were not home that night. Then I would work for about an hour, the store would be slow so I would get sent home.
At first I was overjoyed to get sent home. “Awesome. Now I can go be a teenager. WORK SUCKS” – then I realized that as tough as it was for me to find a ride to work, it was even harder to find a ride home. I was broke because I only worked an hour. And to top it off I soon realized my boss sent me home not as a reward, but because I wasn’t good at my job and wasn’t worth it to keep around. I know. Its hard to believe. But I like most 16 year olds thought I knew everything and that I could get away with avoiding work while at work. As a matter of fact, I know many adults that still do this today. So what was the outcome. I would exhaust more effort, had higher stress, made less money and was inconvenienced more by AVOIDING working while at work than if I actually just did my job well.
It was a magical day the day I decided to actually do my job at work. Time flew by! I felt accomplished. My boss was impressed. The following chain of events was great. I got better at my job so it got easier. I got more hours because I was good at it (which meant more $ to me!). I got a raise! I got a promotion several months later. I ended up being promoted to a supervisor by the time I reached 17. At 18 I was making better money than any other high school kid I knew, and many adults. I had an understanding of business, profit and loss statements, working with and leading people, etc. Not to mention, I can fold a mean pair of jeans.
Why did this happen? BECAUSE I ACTUALLY DID MY JOB! I spent so much time and energy avoiding my job the first 2 months I had it that I am almost ashamed to admit it. Obviously I changed that.
My simple point is this. And I am going to capitalize it because I want this message to be clear to everyone. STOP AVOIDING THE PARTS OF YOUR JOB THAT MAKE YOU SUCCESSFUL AND GET YOUR BUTT TO WORK! For some of you that means paperwork, for some it means lead generating, for some it means just working at all at anything.
My promise to you is this. If you actually work. If you actually do what you are supposed to. Your stress levels will go down, your income will go up, and the ease of your job will increase. Give it a try, the avoidance isn’t worth it.
If you think you’re job is tough. If you think its thankless. Do me a favor. It is the holiday season. Go to your local retail shop and get a part time job through the new year. There is no hell quite as special as working retail in the holidays.
How you ask? Simple! Anyone who signs up for MAPS Mastery Technology Coaching during #KWMC is entered to win. ONE, yes ONE lucky person will get a one hour business session with Ben!
For the rest of you we’ve got something for you too! Any agent that signs up for a MAPS Tech Group Coaching session during #KWMC will be entered to win one of three 1 hour coaching sessions with one of our other tech coaches! They would be me, @ChadHyams and @ChrisMcnamara!
Registrations for group can be online OR at the MAPS Booth! MASTERY Registrations must be done in person at the MAPS booth. All registrations must be in by Friday to be eligible. Don’t wait, space is fillng up quick!
If you reallllllllllly want to do MASTERY Tech Coaching to enter for Bens time please Facebook MSG me and we can make arrangements.
As many of us are just 5 days away from touching down in Austin, TX for KW Mega Camp the twitter streams and status updates will be overflowing with #KWMC information!
To make life a little bit easier on you I’ve compiled a list of some of the most active tweeters that will be updating live from the event. Feel free to follow each of these tweeps or the public twitter list I’ve put them on!
If you are planning on following all the news during Mega Camp you should also be sure not only to follow these folks, but to follow the #KWMC hashtag. It is the official tag of the event. Don’t know how to follow a hashtag? No worries, I’ve got this handy dandy video right here to show you. :-)