A quick update episode after the long holiday weekend.
Nicknames, I’ve had a few.
As a kid my buddy Ralph called me “the man with a thousand faces.” For some reason I made him laugh, a constant source for his amusement.
During my early teens my buddy Ronnie and his family called me Adams. You see we hung out on the basketball court quite a bit and I remember a specific time where Ronnie Lovitt, his dad Ronnie and cousin Richie were playing basketball against Ronnie Perkins and his dad Ronnie and me. I became “Adams” shortly thereafter.
In my late teens my friend Jeff Haworth dubbed me “Ponyboy.”
You see, back then, nineteen eighty something, I had hair! Actually, quite a bit of it. In those days it was quite the trend to have short hair in the front, long hair in the back. To quote Joe Dirt, “business in the front, party in the back”. Lol. They call it a mullet. I have no idea what that means, but I had one. That mullet morphed into the next trend which was short spiked hair with a rat tail in the back. You know, a pony tail. That haircut led my friend Jeff to call me Ponyboy.
Ponyboy wore a Members Only jacket, acid washed Levi’s, and cowboy boots. Ponyboy was 145 pounds soaking wet.
Not only did I look different in nineteen eighty something, I was a different person. My interests were primarily music and sports. Def Leppard, The Scorpians, and The Police were cassettes found in my Sony Walkman. My Bengals were respectable back in those days as were my Cincinnati Reds and my favorite basketball team, the Houston Rockets.
Seems like the music and the sports were just a distraction.
Looking back, I really don’t think Ponyboy had a care for anyone except himself. That character was angry, critical, judgemental of others.
I’m quite thankful to have left the acid washed jeans behind along with the Members Only jacket. More importantly, I’m glad to have left the self interested, judgemental me behind.
You see, I’m no longer the same person–I’ve grown.
My business allows me to meet lots of different types of people. Almost always when I meet a new client they are going through a major change in life. Marriage, divorce, death, job promotions, pregnancies, and empty nests cause people to move. All of these are stressful events. Not to mention the move itself.
Unfortunately, folks who are dealing with this level of stress aren’t always on their best behavior. As their defender and advocate, I have to deploy empathy for their situation and realize everyone has difficulties that others can’t readily see.
Many years ago I adopted a no judgement policy. Empathy. Radical acceptance.
It’s made all of the difference. It’s made me a better person, a better agent, a better coach.
All of us are at different places in our personal growth. Most of us still have a way to go before we become the people we’d like to be.
Some of us are still trying to get past the Members Only jacket phase.
As a kid I played a lot of cards with my family.
My mom, my aunt Karen, and my uncles were all kind enough to let a ten year old kid play with the grown ups.
Our game of choice was spades.
Card games are a great way to bring together family, to have fun, and best of all–compete.
Although I loved to compete, I was the WORST loser. When things weren’t going my way and I started to lose, I would literally throw my cards and yell, “I quit!”
Looking back I really appreciate their patience with me as this behavior was not a one time occurrence. Each time I asked if I could play they challenged me to ensure I would finish the game. Over time I learned to behave and ultimately the outbursts subsided.
Quitting, if unchallenged, becomes a habit.
My childhood quitting habit was thwarted further by my baseball and football coaches. Thanks to athletics and the coaches who volunteered, I learned to compete, and lose, and to continue to fight. Giving up was no longer an option.
So much of life is represented in competition. There is always someone or some circumstance that stands between us, our dreams, and our joy in life.
Ultimately, it is our choice whether or not to quit.
One of the more challenging times in my life was during the financial crisis of 2008.
I was a real estate agent with RE/MAX going into my 6th year. Things were going well so I started looking for ways to build for my retirement. I decided after looking at a lot of different options to purchase a small cabinet manufacturing business. We closed on the purchase in May of 2017 and things went well until the fall of 2008.
Both of my businesses, the real estate practice and the cabinet business, were devastated by the financial crisis. People were losing jobs. Lenders stopped lending. Houses weren’t selling. Cabinets weren’t being purchased.
As 2009 came to a close, it became clear to me my path forward, I had no choice, I had to close the cabinet business. In fact, I wondered if I could even continue my commission only job as a real estate agent.
After the close of the cabinet business, I looked at my circumstance, weighed my options and made a decision to get my real estate broker license and start my own brokerage.
Last week Bastion REALTORS® turned seven years old. We are not quitters. We don’t quit on our agents. We don’t quit on our clients. We don’t quit on our community.
What about you? Are you competing?
Competing is a necessary way to view business and life. We will have victories and we will suffer losses, but we have to be determined to continue the battle, win or lose.
While writing at the coffee shop a few weeks ago, a friend of mine stopped by and told me about a real estate seminar he was attending the upcoming weekend.
The seminar was held at a local hotel and the promise was to teach attendees the secrets of flipping houses. You know, buy a foreclosure home, fix it up, and resell it for profit.
My patience for these types of seminars has come to an end. Almost always they over promise and ultimately the attendees end up a few dollars poorer.
I guess it’s not the idea of the seminar that bothers me so much, it’s the person leading the event and their hidden agenda that so irritates me. Yeah, what bothers me about the seminar culture are the “gurus”.
These characters, self proclaimed experts, take advantage of people. They market to them knowing full well that a high percentage of attendees will buy their program and never follow through.
The gurus have learned to take advantage of group think. You know, the general consciousness of most folks. Common knowledge and current trends tend to create the environment for gurus to thrive.
Chip and Joanna Gaines have a television show called Fixer Upper, a show about taking an old property and bringing it back to life. Fixer Upper creates the environment, the gurus step in and take advantage. Hence, the flipping seminar.
Where group think exists, gurus thrive. We want to believe because of course there must be an easier way.
Really, I can’t understand why anyone would put their trust in some guru, because here’s the truth–short cuts don’t exist.
Anything worth doing takes hard work, diligence, and discipline.
Some choose to do the work, others decide to trust the gurus.
On Friday I met a guy named Adrian at one of the houses I’m getting prepped for sale. A few years ago he started a business doing “clean outs”. In the real estate world a “clean out” is removing a house of unwanted furniture and personal property no longer needed. Normally this happens when someone is downsizing and has no room in the new place, however, sometimes these can be bank owned properties where the homeowner has abandoned the house. In either case, clean outs are necessary to prepare the house for sale.
“Preparing a house prior to listing is the best money a person can spend.”
That’s what I tell my clients. I’ve been racking my brain trying to disprove this statement. Not only can’t I disprove it, I’m starting to think it’s the best advice ever. For every situation. Real estate or otherwise.
As Adrian and I talked about how to proceed with removing the furniture in this house, we got to talking about his son who is pursuing a career in professional football.
“He’s got his act together”, he tells me. “He takes care of his business.” Meaning, he’s responsible. He does what needs to be done. He’s reliable.
“Do you think football has a lot to do with that?”, I replied.
“Absolutely,” he responded.
You see, football requires an incredible amount of discipline and mental fortitude in order to be successful.
Players on one side of the field are trying to advance the ball and players on the other side are defending. Violence ensues.
If Adrian’s son is going to succeed in that sport he will be required to become incredibly disciplined. Once practice starts he’ll need to master his position, the play book, and learn to take intense criticism and direction from his coach. Not only will he need the discipline to learn, but he will also need to be in the best physical shape of his life.
Physical fitness isn’t just for football players. Physical fitness is foundational for all of us, and as it is for Adrian’s son, it’s a struggle.
You see, it doesn’t just happen on it’s own. Physical fitness requires us first to be committed. Workouts are unpleasant. In order to get muscle growth we need to push ourselves beyond our comfort zone. Our diet needs to change. No more fast food. No more sugar. Less carbs. UNCOMFORTABLE.
How do we overcome?
We become committed. We become disciplined. We push through. We put in the extra work required to be successful. Ultimately, although painful, we need preparation.
Preparation comes at a cost. Preparation, in football, in real estate, and in life, is the best money you can spend.
Did you know that Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus closed down last May? After 146 years the Greatest Show on Earth is no longer in business.
Good. I hate the circus.
Also, I hate the zoo.
I’m not kidding, I hate them both. I’m glad the circus is closed and I hope every zoo on the planet goes out of business as well.
The circus and the zoos exploit these animals for profit. In the process they take them out of their natural environment, place them behind bars and suck the life out of them.
I love animals. To me, the cruelest thing you can do to a monkey, a lion, or a tiger is to cage it.
If you look closely at the body language of the animal you see their broken spirit. For what? So Timmy and Susie can come look at this poor lifeless animal suffer in it’s prison? For money?
My two dogs have become an amazing source of joy for me. They are their happiest when they are out loose running, swimming, and barking at the intruders who dare to deliver the next package on my front porch.
You see I value freedom, even for animals.
However, cages are not a problem just for animals. People have cages that can be every bit as devastating.
Self limiting beliefs can be a cage for which we can’t easily escape. Someone tells us as a child that we’re ugly, or that we are stupid and it sticks. We believe it and never escape the cage.
People can be cruel, but we ultimately have the power to choose what to believe.
Cages. Not for animals. Not for people.
Jill Rolfes grew up right here in Loveland, Ohio. She remembers Loveland before the nice restaurants, walking and bike paths, and the typical summer evenings of live music and crowded parking lots. Downtown Loveland may not have been so “cool” before but that’s all changed now.
In school she loved reading and history because it was all in story form. But Jill’s story came with its difficulties as well. Her home life in high school was not easy and taught her how to act like everything was ok with her friends. She also found herself in an abusive relationship. The type of relationship that makes one feel not worth much and trapped. She was able to find a way out of it but it was those experiences that led her to what she does today.
Now Jill owns the company Deliberate Designs, which is a Fair Trade company. Fair Trade focuses on paying a fair and living wage to makers and workers in 3rd world countries. This directly helps fight against human trafficking. A common issue with products made and imported from 3rd world countries is that a lot of it is produced by slave labor. These people are forced into situations that make them feel worthless and trapped. By supporting companies that pay fair wages, Deliberate Designs is working to combat the massive industry of human trafficking while also bringing high-quality goods to the United States.
You can connect with Deliberate Designs on Facebook or go to deliberatedesignsohio.com. If you are interested in finding out how to combat human trafficking locally you can go to http://www.endslaverycincinnati.org
Brent Zuch, now the branch manager of Security National Mortgage, grew up in Loveland, OH. In school he developed a love of history and science. These subjects helped him develop his curiosity. He rarely accepts new information without asking “why” so that he really understands what is being presented.
As a kid Brent always knew he wanted to serve in the armed forces. It just seemed to be in his nature. After graduating high school he decided to join the Navy and served there for four years. Brent then went to Miami University of Ohio where he studied political science and ended up working for a campaign and working in the state legislature for a few years.
All of this eventually led him back to Loveland, Ohio where he settled down with his wife. During their first home buying experience they realized how poor the service was between his mortgage officer and the listing agent. He had trouble getting calls returned to him and no one seemed to be eager to have his back and help walk him through this stressful process.
The process was so difficult that Brent decided to work with the seller directly and make an agreement so that the deal could go through. After seeing this, his loan officer’s manager reached out to him and offered him a job.
Now Brent works at Security National Mortgage where he puts himself in the customer’s shoes. He wants them to know he has their back and will help them through the process of getting a mortgage every step of the way.
The benefit of working with someone like Brent is that his bank works solely with mortgages and, therefore, is focused on doing one thing really well. Traditional banks offer mortgages but they have many focuses and most customers become just another number to them. But perhaps the biggest difference is seen with closing time. A traditional bank might close within two months, on average, but Security National Mortgage closes with an average near 22 days.
To get in contact with Brent Zuch, call or text him at 513-477-3834. You can also get more information or apply online at brentzuch.com
Doychin Karshovski grew up in Bulgaria under a communist regime in the seaside town of Varna. This made his childhood a little different from what you might be used to in America.
The government of Bulgaria told students what to learn and when Doychin was a student they focused on fitness. Fitness was everything and Doychin learned to love it. He started off as a swimmer until his mom made him choose another sport.
He eventually landed into the sport of Marine Pentathlon, which as you might be able to tell by the name, involves a lot of water sports including swimming. He let his mom figure that swimming detail out a little later on.
Doychin worked his way up to a great job in Bulgaria where he started a foundation to help orphans and youth. His wife also did well for herself and was the CFO of a company. But it was when every thing seemed to be at the best that things changed.
The couple had applied for a green card to the United States on a whim, not thinking it would come through for them. But to their surprise they got approved. They moved to Cincinnati where the former executives had to start over.
This decision ended up working out well for them, however. Doychin learned not only about the fitness clubs in Cincinnati but he started coaching people on his own.
After learning from a financial adviser that he should be saving for retirement with a 401k, he realized the same principles could be used for fitness. This became the foundation of his book “401 Fitness.”
Just as one would save for retirement so that they can enjoy life, so should someone take small actionable steps with their fitness so that they can enjoy their retired life. Check out the book at 401fit.com.
You can also reach Doychin by texting him at 513-238-9952
Mimika Cooney, a multi-passionate creative, TV Host, Christian author, inspirational speaker, serial entrepreneur, branding strategist, marketing maven, award winning photographer and aspiring filmmaker… grew up in a way that might seem familiar to you and I.
Before all her amazing accomplishments, Mimika, who grew up in South Africa, faced rejection, bullying, and a broken childhood. She chased approval and tried to find her worth in awards and accolades.
From an early age she developed the drive to hustle and create. She had a good work ethic, but it crept into perfectionism in many areas of her life. She knew growing up that she could never fit into a corporate mold and desired to be an entrepreneur. Mimika and her husband decided they would both be entrepreneurs so they could have time freedom when starting a family and so that they could do what they loved.
She ended up creating several businesses, many of them the first of their kind, such as an internet-based business in 1997. She also pursued photography, where she started winning awards for her work.
Everything seemed to be going really well until it all came crashing down at once. Within a short period of time she lost her mother-in-law to cancer, one of her children faced severe depression, and Mimika’s health started failing due to stress.
She realized that she had been pursuing the wrong things and had strayed from what made her want to be an entrepreneur in the first place. It was in this moment that God showed her she doesn’t need to hustle just for hustling’s sake and she doesn’t need to pursue awards when her worth is found in God.
It is this message that she desires to carry out in her new book “Worrier to Warrior: A Mother’s Journey from Fear to Faith.”
To hear more about her story check out her new book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0052GNJGY
If her story has resonated with you, let Mimika know on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/mimikacooney/