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
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.
My Dad was a Navy man early in his life, and when he passed away, I was able to read his journals from that era and review some of the Navy material in his memory box.
One of the pamphlets he kept was “Surviving In The Water, A Sailors Guide.” I can’t imagine being overboard in the water, and the nearest lifeboat is 100 meters away. Yet, during this time of crisis, we’ve set the intention to be a “virtual lifeboat” for our JPAR family and others. We all need that lifeline, especially in times of crisis.
So how do we keep our business and our lives afloat during a crisis? Running our lives, operating our real estate practices these days, looks different for all of us.
People are doing the best they can, but these times aren’t without emotional and financial struggles. This isn’t a time to reach out and ask for business, but to be a resource.
Check-in with your tribe, prospects, and past clients.
Share credible stories and information on financial assistance and timely news updates, like:
NAR Resource For Property Owners
Keeping Current Matters
Your Local University –?Like Texas A&M
It’s always been an excellent strategy to be the “HUB” for your tribe, yet now more than ever, this is our time to shine as professionals who care about people first.
Adhere to state and local guidelines when running your business.
It’s more important than ever to keep your business in compliance. Like we say here at JPAR “Do Your Part. Have Patience. Stay Safe.”
Pivot and Adapt.
Embrace the uncertainty and take this time to adapt. That comes easier for some of us, yet we know it’s a critical survival skill.?Redesigning your comfort zone has never been more critical.
Focus on your business strengths and evaluate weaknesses. We have the gift of time now more than ever before. While it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole of social media and news coverage, focus on productivity. Tap into virtual listing appointments and buyer consults.
- Who needs the most help in your community? Help support and promote.
- Look up your favorite local restaurants and businesses and share their posts on social media.
Get on camera
- Create a one-to-one video.
- Use Zoom for group video chat, virtual happy hours with your neighbors, past clients and sphere. ??
- It’s time to dig deep and get creative, like:
- Host a live video tour and virtual open house, send email blasts or pay for professional virtual tours or video marketing for your active listings.
- Create and drop off “care packages” with toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and or more.
Sharpen Your Axe
Dig into your CRM, practice your presentations, refine your marketing, refine your social media strategy, figure out how to use Zoom, and FaceTime for listing presentations and buyer consultations.
That stack of books you’ve piled up and haven’t read yet??Start now.
What about those dialogues and conversation tracks you haven’t quite mastered??Jump on the David Knox library?and then Zoom with a partner and practice. Even Julie Roberts and Richard Gere practice their scripts!
Tech skills you’ve wanted to learn.?Take an online course?like the Real Estate Playbook and your CRM offering.
As I said on today’s –?Quarantine Relief Series??– being intentional has never been more critical. Tough times don’t last yet tough people do!
These are unprecedented times.
As I sat down to write this week’s blog, one word came to mind: GRIT. One definition of grit is the passion and perseverance for long-term and meaningful goals. All of you that I work with have significant short term and long-term goals; thus, my intention today is to provide some perspective on grit, how you can apply it, and practical next steps to stay in positive motion.
Some of the best work on grit is by Angela Duckworth if you haven’t seen her TED talk, I highly recommend it. Click here.
Grit is also a term psychologist use to describe abiding perseverance. Not just the energy it takes to push through a difficult task, but the power needed to push through weeks or months of challenging tasks. A characteristic many of us will need in the weeks and months ahead.
One of the best four-word descriptions of grit comes from Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle, and he said it three hundred years ago. It was right then, and it’s still valid now: “No pressure; No diamonds.”
No pressure; No diamonds.
Diamonds form because carbon is set under extreme pressure in the earth. Without pressure, it would just be carbon, or maybe it would turn into graphite. This phrase is saying that the “gems of humanity” our greatest feats, works, endeavors, only happen when we are placed under enormous pressure. Another common expression is “there is no gain without pain.” Yet another is “the finest steel is forged in the hottest fires.”
My point being. This is our time. It truly is in our moments of decision that our destiny is made. We can choose to live in fear or faith. We can choose to live in doubt, lack, and limitation or choose joy, satisfaction, gratitude, and appreciation. It’s a choice.
I suppose it was in basic training that I started to learn the basics of grit, the need to control my thoughts on a nearly moment-by-moment basis. The type of grit needed when fear, doubt, and disappointment are regular companions.
It seems the real secret of managing my mindset is to exploit that little gap between the moment a thought arises and the moment our brain attaches emotion to that thought. When you get into that gap, you can replace a thought that does not serve you with a better one, thus neutralizing the stress response in the short term and reprogramming the brain over the long term. By observing and dealing with your thoughts as they arise, you start to notice this gap and can close it.
So, what can we do? Three steps to consider right now:
It’s never been more important to stay in a consistent routine and foster a growth mindset
If you have a growth mindset, you believe everyone can grow and change through the application, exercise, and a lot of hard work. Adhering to a routine – like connecting with ten people a day – allows us to foster habits that match our goals and aspirations. While our routine helps us develop good habits that are in line with exploiting our full potential, it also helps to eradicate habits that do not serve us well.
Be a Voice of Value
Right now, your tribe needs you more than ever, so be there for them. With social distancing, you might not be able to see people physically, but you can still video call, text, email, and write personal notes. Use data from www.jparinsights.com to be the voice of reason, offer a helping hand. Be resourceful and ask yourself how you can serve your customers, your neighbors and your community in this time of difficulty while still practicing social distancing, robust handwashing, and sanitary measures.
Learn more to earn more
Now is the perfect time to commit to some extra sales training. Your skills pay the bills, so take this opportunity to invest in yourself and keep them sharp. Lead generation and relationship-building are two pillars we can never learn enough. At JPAR have over 100 on-line pieces of training and access to some of the best continuing education on the planet at www.jparce.com plus the world-class BANK vault at www.jparvault.com proven to increase your sales by 300%.
Stay safe, my friends, and be the best when it matters most.
“If you can’t get a miracle, become one.” ~ Nick?
Imagine getting through your busy day without hands or legs. Picture your life without the ability to walk, care for your basic needs, or even embrace those you love. Meet Nicholas Vujicic.
In 1982 Nick was born without arms and legs and given no medical explanation for his condition. Faced with countless challenges and obstacles, God has given Nick the strength to surmount what others might call impossible.
It was my honor to introduce Nick to our team recently, and here is a snapshot of five of the seven highlights from his message:
Everything starts with an attitude of gratitude?
What was that Abraham Lincoln quote? “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” So true, today, I am grateful for those of you that share with me how these blogs or video articles made a difference in your business.
Accept ourselves for who we are?
For Nick, the early days were difficult. Throughout his childhood, Nick not only dealt with the typical challenges of school and adolescence, but he also struggled with depression and loneliness. Nick always wondered why he was different than all the other kids. He questioned the purpose of life, or if he even had a purpose.
- Accept the reality
- Accept others for who they are
- Find your purpose
- Take action
Think like a winner… think big ACT bigger??
Nick’s dad used to say: “you weren’t given arms and legs, but you were given a brain. Hire employees so that they can be your arms and legs.” Despite his disability and being bullied at school, Vujicic threw himself into being an entrepreneur at a young age. His first job, in which he earned A$1 an hour was to vacuum the floor, a skill he managed using his shoulder and chin.
“Don’t give up. And know that there is always someone out there who believes in you and who loves you just the way that you are.” ~Nick?Vujicic
Motivation is temporary, inspiration and discipline has staying power?
Motivation alone is unreliable. It is momentary, unpredictable, and can depart as quickly as it enters. Think about it:
When you listen to a motivational speech, there is an emotional response that is created by an understanding. However, the emotional response wears off, and we fail to revisit the agreement, which incited the emotional response and all the good things that came with it. Thus, we become “unmotivated” until we are reminded again. Sound familiar?
Do you know how to get out of it? Just do the work. It doesn’t matter how you feel at the time; just do it. Don’t wait until you feel motivated. You will build momentum, and eventually, you will get inspired. Ignore inspiration — if it’s there, great. Use it. If it’s not, act anyway.
Don’t feel like going to the gym? Just go.
If you have writer’s block, then write.
Just don’t wait.
Don’t wait for the right moment.
Don’t depend on luck.
Fear is just a challenge to overcome?
There is healthy fear… don’t touch that hot stove! And there is limiting fear… in the case I’m writing about today – limiting fear is just “False?Evidence?Appearing?Real!”
In the type of limiting fear, I’m talking about:
- Fear sees only the downside
- Fear doesn’t let you stop to think it through
- Fear tells us to avoid anything new or unknown
- Fear constricts rather than expands who we are
- Fear obscures your intuition
- Fear often keeps us from making any decision at all
I’m so grateful for Nick and his message; I’ll leave you with this exercise Nick had our team complete on the spot. Do it now, don’t wait!
A quick exercise:
- What is your goal? Financially, spiritually, physically, relationally?
- Define it specifically. X by Y date by doing these Z daily activities.
– Win the day, win the week, win the month
– Define a plan to overcome your obstacles
– Take action NOW