“The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
“Stability” is defined as “steadfast or firm”. Its origin is the word stabilis which literally means “difficult to overthrow”. I like that one. However, “stability” is not inflexibility when the situation has changed, nor is it an entrenched belief system. A good analogy would be the foundations of earthquake-resistant buildings. They’re not reliant on massive amounts of steel-reinforced concrete, but rather on rollers designed to absorb an earthquake’s energy and expel it in a certain direction (just not up into the building itself). There’s also the parable of the oak and the willow. When a massive storm blows through, the mighty oak lies shattered but the willow remains intact. The bottom line is to bend but not give, and that will only come with experience and knowing whether or not you’re called to be a successful realtor.
The ugly truth is that some of us aren’t meant to be real estate agents. Even if you are, you may’ve encountered substantial financial setback, lost your “edge”, or perhaps you’ve lost clients to the competition. None of these things are indicative of whether or not you lack the mettle to make it in this industry. What is telling, on the other hand, is your ability to withstand the pressures of not only difficult market conditions but also difficult (or demanding, however you look at it) clients. If you’ve made it this far, we’d like to congratulate you; you’re better than most. But survival isn’t your standard. You must create momentum. If you want to create momentum for this market (as well as the next one) you must master the four components of strength; Stability, Spirituality, Suffering, and Self-Awareness. We’ll cover the last three in subsequent articles but for now we’ll deal with the value of Stability.
When we say that someone is “stable” we’re usually referring to their emotional state. Have you ever noticed that when someone snaps and does something harmful or bizarre, it’s often said that “He was such a good coworker/neighbor/family man”? Have you also noticed that this is always said after the fact? That’s because it’s impossible to separate your work life from your personal life. We can’t compartmentalize our lives into neat little pie charts you see at personal growth seminars with slices dedicated to “family”, “religion”, etc. All aspects of life flow into one another and are dependent on one another for success in each area. Like the rollers of a building or the roots of a tree, a good foundation is composed of several components all working towards a common purpose; enabling and empowering you to be the best person you can be, both for yourself and those you serve. If you can commit to the following four habits, you’ll be off to a good start.
1) Physical Exercise: The most effective and efficient way to lose body fat and “kick start” our brain is to conduct about 40 minutes of cardiovascular work first thing in the morning on an empty stomach (please consult with your doctor). That way caloric expenditure will go right to your fat stores vs. having to first burn through your glycogen stores from eating throughout the day. We also advocate weight training but not at the same time. Unless you’re in great condition, this combo will wear you out. Wait until late afternoon/early evening (that’s also when your physical strength is at its’ peak). And by the way, “first thing in the morning” is anywhere from 4:00 to 6:00 A.M. Trust us, it’ll give you a competitive edge knowing that you’re doing something that most people won’t and you’ll be confident and focused before you even get to the office.
2) Community: Have a group of like-minded individuals with whom you can share your hopes, successes, setbacks, and ongoing struggles. We’re talking about honest and vulnerable communication, not merely venting to your spouse or dissociating with drinking buddies. You can have get-togethers centered around an activity but remember the bottom line is support. Also ensure that get-togethers are consistent, regularly scheduled, and have reliable participants who can keep you accountable without making you feel condemned or judged. When you can be real around people just like you, you’ll realize that you’re not a space alien for having the problems you have. On top of that, you’ll feel good about having the opportunity to minister to others.
3) Finances: We’re all paying for something we shouldn’t be. There are places we need to cut corners, it could be an extra car payment, excessive advertising for a listing, an addiction, or obsessive concern with our looks. Whatever it is, it’ll take moral courage and confidence to put these things on the shelf or walk away from them altogether. Whatever you’re spending money on, it’s all about return on investment, especially when it comes to your business. Let’s take listings. Have you ever had a client who insists that you pay for a spread in “Dream Homes”? I don’t know about you, but the calls I’ve received from “Dream Homes” ads are from dreamers themselves. These days when homes on the market sit for months at a time, it would behoove you to offer other solutions to listing clients, such as increased open houses, mailers, etc. They need to see you work hard, not spend hard and they’ll be more impressed with the amount of personal attention and your availability than anything else.
4) Screen Out the Garbage: Be very aware of what you eat, watch on television, or listen to… very aware. Avoiding sugars and starches is obvious but find out what diet or supplements work for you. Many studies show that a “Ketogenic Diet” (low carbohydrates, higher levels of protein and fat) is superior to most other diets when it comes to maintaining higher levels of alertness and concentration. You’d be surprised how much mood is affected by what you put in your body. Also, be careful what you put before your eyes. Most visual media is of little value. Speaking as a man, most “men’s shows” and magazines aren’t showing boys how to become men, they’re showing them how to become older boys. Finally, always remember that words spoken out loud have immense power. Have you ever heard the expression “Music soothes the savage beast”? It’s absolutely true but it can also work in the opposite direction. It’s been known for centuries that there’s a very strong correlation between music and emotion. In a study conducted on several Alcoholics Anonymous groups, it was found that almost all of the people who failed to stay sober continued to listen to “death metal” and “gangster rap”. We’re not advocating prudish censorship, just watch the lyrics. As Hitler proved, the more you listen to a message, the more likely it will settle in your heart, no matter how obscene or outrageous.
Before you can offer anything to anyone else, you have to show others that you can be counted on. You also have to show this to yourself because the very first source of doubt will come from your inner self, not others. If you can apply yourself consistently in the areas mentioned above, you’ll not only be well on your way, you’ll get there sooner than you think.