December found my newsfeed littered with business planning inspiration and exuberant sales managers encouraging you to kill it in 2017. If you are like most entrepreneurs, the end of January results in a reality check. It comes in the form of the daily grind and habits decades in the making. Your big plans for 2017 seem just a bit grandiose, and your business plan lies beneath a stack of far more significant paper.
Here we are, smack in the middle of gratitude season, and it seems fitting that I write a post about gratitude. The issue is, I just had a horrible day. Frankly, it has been a stressful few months. So I thought I would forgo the “I am super grateful” post and give you some idea of how my gratitude practice has survived the onslaught of personal and business stress. If you are in your Christmas sweater, humming carols and feeling overwhelming joy at the prospects of 5 weeks of holiday, maybe skip this one. But if you’re secretly dreading having to put on your “happy face” at the next 10 parties, step into my office.
Mastering your destiny can start with something simple. While jogging the other day, I saw a penny. It reminded me of a book by Stuart Wilde, The Trick To Money Is Having Some. One takeaway was to never, under any circumstances walk by a penny. I still pick them up. I want to tell you why.
I grabbed the penny, 1989, the year of the Loma Prieta Earthquake. I put it in my pocket and kept running. Later that week, the same penny got my attention as it rattled in my dryer. At that moment, I decided I should write down the reasons I still pick up pennies.
Strengthening our business starts with extending our influence to excuse mitigation. Personal responsibility is a term thrown around on the regular. In fact, it is one of the core values of Nextview Group. Our simple direction is to “Take responsibility for your actions, reactions and maximizing your influence.” How do we know if we’re getting it right?
My work, both paying and philanthropic, exposes me to the best of the best in mortgage and cycling. As I struggled to define “Personal Responsibility”, examples not explanations keep popping up. Below are four of the most recent ones.
Recently, a non-profit invited their tribe to the woods. The invite guaranteed the following: limited cell reception, almost no running water, no flushing toilets, complete separation from civilization, and an epic weekend of riding bicycles in the Lost Sierra. Seven hundred cyclists headed the call and were followed by a thousand volunteers and spectators. The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship builds and restores multi-use trails while operating a guide service and hosting bicycle races in the interest of recreation based economic development. Our event,The Lost and Found Gravel Grinder, allows world class professionals and cycling enthusiasts to explore some of the most beautiful country on earth while discovering what lies inside of them.
Some ride, some race, and some survive. My possession of the microphone put me in the midst of the chaos. This year I learned a valuable lesson: The diversity found among the champions is what makes them amazing! I found three champions among the crowd that stood out. The finisher, the winner, and the tribe builder all had different paths to victory.
You know what to do. When pressed, you know exactly what your business needs. I had a business coach that started and sold companies while he served on boards and worked 30 hours a week. He always knew what to do. What most annoyed me about our relationship was that he refused to tell me what to do. He often told me, “You have certainly attended a seminar or have had a co-worker that knows the answer to this, what is it?” I would then frustratingly cycle through my experiences until I could tell him exactly what I needed to do.
Like you, I attend seminars, read blogs, connect with my peers, and consume the latest business books. I accumulate a vast store of information. I share these great ideas with my coach. His response was predictable, “Great, show me.” Many times, I find I am still not executing consistently enough on the great ideas.
The times are changing for mortgage and real estate pros. In one camp, there is an increasingly loud group proposing the future is in digital consumer direct and major disruption is eminent. The purists argue this is a relationship-based business fraught with regulation that will always be dependent on a referral and a handshake.
Telling you the sky is falling is a great way to sell books, but the reality is that mortgage and real estate will not be disrupted in the traditional sense. Those who don’t adapt will slowly be forced into new careers. My operations leader once told me, “We aren’t making any major mistakes, but if we don’t create a technology solution to track what is going on, we will die a death of a thousand paper cuts.” Every missed digital opportunity is another paper cut.
Some producers have cracked the generating business code. It is a tough one. It takes a lot of hard work, a bit of eccentricity and persistence. Those that land at the top of the mountain report the view is good, but it is lonely.
The reality is that the skills you employed to earn Top Dog status become liabilities at scale. Your brilliant “on the fly” and “solopreneur” decision models impact people, impact processes and impact your growth. One underutilized management tool in the world of top performing real estate pros is the simple rule. Before you jump to the conclusion that this is the most ridiculous blog post ever penned, hear me out.
I live in the Sacramento region and May is bike month. It is marketed well and supported by all sorts of important groups. They manage to get individuals and companies fired up about cycling. So, why on earth should you care?
Most of my life I have recreated or commuted on two wheels, so my pro-bike bias runs deep. I am involved with a great non profit that uses multipurpose recreation and specifically cycling as an economic development engine for communities in the Lost Sierra. Cycling is accessible to everyone. A regular discipline of riding to work improves business in three areas: awareness, fitness, and camaraderie.
Most of our work days are marked by a low grade chaotic hum fueled by 25 tasks for 20 slots. Whether you are selling stuff, raising kids or running a company, the demands outstrip the time. Scientific evidence is stacking up around the benefits of mindfulness in our daily lives. Slowing down and clearing the decks for a few seconds seems to improve creative thinking and change the structure of your brain. Sometimes a moment of mindfulness can be found in the midst of life’s micro disasters.