Friday, September 23, 2011

You can create a strong, clear vision that will lead you down the path toward success.

A Clear Vision for Success

To achieve great things you must have a vision.  The vision must be clear and focused.  If the vision is vaguely defined, success is highly unlikely.

Just as a camera is focused on a single object to take a good photograph, so too must we focus our goals.  In a good photograph the object of interest is in focus.  All other objects in the foreground or background are slightly blurry, or out of focus. 

Our vision will either be clear or blurry.  If we fail to focus our vision, we substantially diminish, or even eliminate, the likelihood of accomplishing the vision.  In situations where the vision is blurry, we can really just call those images dreams.  Dreams are often characterized by fuzzy or blurry images off in the distance.

Focusing a camera requires a choice.  One must choose an object to focus on.  When focusing the camera, the lens is shaped or turned to reach to a plane somewhere in the distance in front of the camera.

When we focus on a vision we need to make choices.  The choice involves the distance of the reach toward the vision and the selection of our object of desire.  Some visions will require a greater reach than others.  Perhaps the hardest choice is the selection of the object of desire.  In the process of choosing the object we are forced to look past, ignore, or disregard many other options that might be in our line of sight.

We can do anything we want in our lives, we just cannot do everything we want.  If we try to do too much at one time we will spread ourselves too thin, we will not have enough depth to our focus.  To excel at something our efforts need to be concentrated – at least for a period of time until victory is obtained.  Then, after victory is obtained, one could consider diversifying interests.

Focus, or specialization, requires a certain kind of discipline.  The discipline that is required is the ability to say no to other attractive alternatives.  It is a discipline of faith knowing that the selected path will lead to the promise land – the success that one desires.

Discipline may need to be applied when a career choice is made, or in sales, when a prospecting technique is applied or a market specialization is selected.  One’s vision of success should be based on solid research and good examples.  It is also helpful to have a vision supported by a coach or even a mentor group.  The strength of one’s discipline will be in direct proportion to one’s confidence in the vision.  If you lack confidence in the vision, seek more information about the vision.

Select the object of your focus carefully and you can create beautiful photographs.  You can also create a strong, clear vision that will lead you down the path toward success.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Generosity comes from a spirit of gratitude.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Half-hearted attempts usually yield less than desired results.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Six Steps to Protecting Your Money

Real estate agents are giving their money away to clients everyday and for no good reason.

With every sales concession agents are literally taking money from their own pocket and giving it to their client.  This is being done at an unbelievable rate when compared to how much money they give to their loved ones.  Think about this:  if your son or daughter or niece or nephew were to ask you for $500, how quick would you be to just give it to them?  Odds are you would give them the third degree; what are you going to use it for, why don’t you use your own money, are you going to pay me back, might be some of the questions that you would ask.  Yet when a client of ours asks for a concession, how quickly do we concede?

Much of this behavior comes from thinking that we know the client’s circumstance and believing we need to do this to “keep the deal together.”  We believe that we know the client’s circumstance because they have told us.  They tell us things like, “we need to net X thousand dollars from the sale of our house, or we just can’t do this,” or “we don’t have any money to bring to closing, so if we don’t at least break even, we won’t sell.”  There are many more similar statements that seller’s make that are rationalizations for not paying for the home warranty, or for convincing us to pay for title insurance, or for not including an appliance, or for persuading us to lower our commission.

They use fairly convincing arguments, but in reality how much do we really know about the seller’s circumstance.  For instance, do you know how much cash the seller has in their bank accounts?  Do you know the balance of their 401k?  Do you know the credit limit on their credit cards?  Do you know how well off their nearest family member is?  If you don’t know these things, then can you really know how much the seller “needs” your help?

If you want to stop giving your money away hand over fist, then you must be slow to concede or stubborn enough to never concede.  Here are some basic steps that you can follow to turn your generosity away from your clients and toward your family or charitable organization:

  1. If you think you know, tell yourself that you don’t.  You don’t really know the clients circumstance, so when you find yourself thinking that you know, just stop and tell yourself:  “I really don’t know.”
  2. When negotiating gather and present options to buyer or seller.  Present even the most preposterous options that you think would have a snowball’s chance in hell.  Remember, you don’t know. 
  3. Advise about potential outcomes based on available options.  This is the crux of our job:  to advise our clients what might or might not happen if they follow a certain course of action.  Be objective, not judgmental.
  4. Get out of the way and let your client decide.  Do NOT decide for them.  This is their business decision, let them decide.
  5. When they ask for your contribution, just say no.  No is the most powerful word you can ever use in negotiation.  Think of how effectively your parents used the word with you when you were growing up.  “No,” it has such a definitive ring to it.
  6. Give where your heart tells you to give.  Identify the charities that you would like to give to and find the address to where you can send contributions.  Find a loved one who could most benefit from your generosity.  Having these giving alternatives in mind ahead of time will help you remain strong when you are most vulnerable to giving in.