Today’s episode is about Chaos Theory
This episode is brought to you by Impact Club. Want an easy way to make a difference in your community, hear some stories, and drink some beer? Check out impactclub.com for more information.
Today’s episode is about Chaos Theory
This episode is brought to you by Impact Club. Want an easy way to make a difference in your community, hear some stories, and drink some beer? Check out impactclub.com for more information.
Lawrence Peter Berra is an American icon.
Known for his wisdom.
This wise sage made his name in the world of baseball. Not as a sportswriter, or an owner, but as a player.
Lawrence played for the New York Yankees from 1946 until 1963. Although an excellent catcher, he was better known for his interviews with the baseball writers. He had a knack for delivering deep and insightful quotes that most of us can repeat to this very day.
One of my favorite “Yogi” Berra quotes? “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
As I think back on my life, I’m fascinated to see how decisions of the past have so greatly impacted my current life. I wrote about my decision to follow my uncle’s advice and learn a trade, and how that decision led to my current wife. I wrote about the time I decided to take a job that NOBODY thought I should and how it led me to greater success. I also wrote about how I made the decision to get into the real estate business and how it led me to become a storyteller.
After this last weekend, I’m reminded about another major decision I made in life and how it led to an amazing experience this weekend.
What decision you ask?
Fully committing to becoming a Dallas Cowboy fan. One of the greatest decisions in my life.
Hear me out.
Yesterday, my son Scott and I traveled to Indianapolis to watch our Cowboys beat the Colts and win their division.
However, someone forgot to tell the Cowboys to show up. Oh, they were there physically, but it sure didn’t show on the field.
Actually, if they stayed home they would have scored the same number of points–zero.
I knew it was going to be a long day when they drove down the field with their first possession and the field goal attempt was blocked. Kind of tough to put so much emotion into supporting your team and they get shut out.
Still, I had an amazing day. One I’ll always remember because it was spent with my son. Really, it was the first time we’ve had quality time since his wedding. (Wow. I still can’t believe my boy is married. Time flies.)
Back to my trip to Indy.
Scott lives in downtown Cincinnati, I picked him up at 8:30AM sharp and we headed west. The trip is roughly 90 minutes from Cincinnati, but it seemed much shorter as we had quality time to catch up with one another.
The sun came out on cue as we parked the truck and made our way to the stadium. The band was playing, the atmosphere was festive. We grabbed a couple of beers and marveled at the number of Cowboy jerseys we saw in the crowd. As we entered Lucas Oil Stadium we were awed by the size and overwhelmed by the sights and sounds.
Scott and I had an amazing trip to our third Cowboys game in the last few years. Although we saw them win in Cleveland and Cincinnati, our Cowboys loss yesterday was much more special. It was uninterrupted father/son time.
Two hours there, three hours back. Four hours in the stadium. Beer. Stadium food. Harassed by Colts fans as we left.
You see, if I hadn’t made the decision in 2011 to fire the Bengals, I wouldn’t have to travel two hours to attend a game.
I wouldn’t have had the uninterrupted time to get updates on my son’s life. To tell him how happy I am that he found an amazing life partner. To hear how much he loves her and proud he is of her.
Okay, maybe becoming a Cowboy fan isn’t one of the greatest decisions of my life, but it WAS a decision. It was a fork in the road and I took it.
It led to a few unpleasant events, (think Green Bay and Dez Bryant getting hosed by the officials in the 2014 playoffs ) but it also led to some wonderful events, like Sunday’s trip to Indy with my son.
So many times in life we are paralyzed by indecision.
Expand the business? Marry the girl? Volunteer? All forks in the road.
Yogi’s advice is brilliant–take it.
Liz Cheek is the General Manager of Dollar Town in Milford, Ohio. Here are some highlights from her story
What do you believe?
How is your business different?
How can we help you?
Our Thursday morning group is studying the book of Romans.
Who dedicates an hour a week to meet with a bunch of guys to study some ancient book? At 6:30 AM! Why?
Today, I got a glimpse.
This morning my good friend Gary shared a story of how he continually beats himself up over his inaction. You know, he doesn’t do what he should.
He wasn’t moving forward and taking action because he was afraid of failing. Afraid he couldn’t keep his commitments. He was worried it would upset his comfortable lifestyle.
As our discussion progressed he had an epiphany. You could see his eyes light up as he proclaimed, “It all comes down to faith.”
His problem was a lack of faith.
So it is with me.
Most of my failures can be traced to lack of faith. Better said, I lacked confidence. I was afraid.
Last year I wrote about my fear of public speaking. I told the story of how I totally bombed giving a presentation to my peers at work. How I was so worked up prior to my speech I literally couldn’t hear the speaker before me. My fear, lack of faith, totally derailed my performance.
I had similar experiences when I officiated my niece’s wedding, and at my book signing, and at my Impact Club event.
Recently, I realized that I will have to address this fear of public speaking. It is unavoidable.
You see, as I grow my business I’m going to have speak publicly. I have a book to promote, and real estate agents to train. I have a weekly podcast to do. I am developing a storytelling class for my local board of REALTORS®, where I will be the instructor. Additionally, I have four Impact Club events per year where I am the presenter. Wow!
Unavoidable. Must. Face. This. Fear.
My solution was to begin a daily Facebook Live show. I started back in August and today I will do Episode 100.
Wanna laugh? Go watch Episode 1. They are all posted on Facebook at Loveland Advice Givers Business page.
You know what I learned? The BIG lesson?
It ain’t about me.
Broadcasting live, just like public speaking, requires you to stop focusing inward, but instead, focus outward. Focus on the audience. What can I do for them? How can I bring them value?
Once I stopped focusing on me and my performance and instead focused on the audience, I relaxed, my fear subsided, and my show improved.
It’s all about them.
Life ain’t about us. It’s about our family, our friends, and our neighbors.
Building our faith requires a focus on others.
Saturday Theresa and I purchased a coffee table. Not just any coffee table, but one of those lift top tables. You know, where the top raises up to make it more convenient to use a laptop or maybe have lunch.
The kind folks at Bond Furniture helped me load it into my pickup truck but when I got home and started to unload, I realized this was too heavy for Theresa. I needed help.
Who to call?
In my life, almost always, the person that pops into my head is my brother Michael Adams. Mr. Reliable. Mr. Always-Says-Yes-First-And-Asks-Questions-Later.
As we pulled the table off of the truck he realized why I had to call him, this thing was heavy! But getting it off of the truck was step one. Of course the table was destined for our guest room on the second floor, which meant we had to navigate a narrow set of stairs, and two narrow doorways.
If you want to be entertained, just watch my brother and I try to solve a problem together. The insults begin to fly. The dialogue is quite colorful.
“No, dumbass, we need to do it this way!”
That line has been used by both of us multiple times in our relationship. Of course directed at one another.
You see, my brother Michael is opinionated.
His brother is opinionated.
We argue with vigor, but unlike most people, we don’t get offended. In fact, we try to offend one another. We call each other names. We get loud.
Ultimately, it’s just good natured banter. We know, that no matter how stupid his opinions are, that we will still be brothers. Still love one another. Still be there for one another.
Over the years we have learned that when the argument is over, it’s business as usual. No harm. No foul. No animosity. It’s part of our special relationship.
Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all could state our opinion and know that the person on the other end of the conversation would not get offended?
We all have opinions. There’s no way we can all see the world in the same way. Although someone else has an opinion different than ours, it’s important that we don’t judge them. We don’t know their history or their struggles. Maybe they are right. Maybe they are further along in life and have a better perspective.
But, what happens when their opinions are aimed at us? When we are criticized? Ridiculed? Judged?
The thing that annoys me the most in business is that people allow the opinions of others to be a roadblock to their success.
I’ve seen this play out with real estate agents.
Early in an agent’s career it’s very difficult to convince folks you can be trusted with what is for some their most expensive asset–their home. After enough negative responses from the general public and many times their own family, the agent loses confidence. Doubt and fear immobilizes them. They become disillusioned and quit.
They fail because they are consumed by the opinion of others.
How should we respond?
I believe the answer lies within us.
I believe that inside each of us is a light.
I believe our art, our craft, needs to developed and shared.
The opinion of others be damned.
May we all become more interested in developing our life-song than consumed by what others think.
My brother Michael would approve of this message.
I’d like to share with you an image I have for my future life. It’s an image I meditate on often and it helps me clarify. I call it, “future me.”
Back from the hardware store, I’m pulling into the long gravel driveway in my old Chevrolet pickup truck with two dogs. White t-shirt and faded blue jeans. Red Wing boots, Hank Jr. on the radio. Warm spring day, my sweetheart waiting on the front porch and ready with the coffee. Kids are coming over today.
My future is less, not more. My future is simpler.
How do I get there from here?
Yesterday, I made it back to the gym. I’ve not been consistent since I broke my leg, but slowly I’m returning to my previous healthy ways.
It felt good to get up early, lift some weights, shoot some hoops, and to try something new–the steam room.
Protip: Try the steam room! Especially if you suffer, like me, with various aches and pains.
Exercise is important, but it’s not as important as the ACTUAL daily routine. You see, it’s the habit itself that has the greatest impact.
Dr. Jordan Peterson is a Canadian psychologist. Recently he wrote a book called the 12 Rules For Life. Through his book and his YouTube channel he’s built a following of mostly young men who look to him for advice.
“Clean your room!” Peterson implores.
In other words, don’t worry about changing the world just yet, first get your affairs in order. Clean your room!
Daily habits, like the trip to the gym, is the equivalent of cleaning your room. Same with diet. Same with reading. Same with prayer. Same with business.
I’m putting together next year’s business plan. I’m super excited as I have a brand new structure with brand new positions and will be adding four or five new agents.
What should we do? How can we achieve our goals? What activities should we add?
My answer to the business growth question is the same answer to my health goal question. It’s the same answer as it is with my spiritual growth question. It’s the same answer as it is with my financial goals question. It’s the same as the image of “future me.”
You see, most answers in life are not complicated. The best solutions are typically the simplest solutions. It all comes down to fundamentals.
Baseball coaches teach you athletic position, balance. Football coaches teach you blocking and tackling. Good basketball coaches teach you defense and rebounding. It’s all fundamentals.
Business, and life, are no different.
My plans for next year come down to executing the fundamentals. In 2019 I will focus on the daily habits that allow me to be the leader I hope to become. Simultaneously, I will be teaching those same fundamentals to the agents and clients in my care.
Not big complex plans, but fundamentals of caring for clients and keeping our promises.
Plans that create an environment that values relationships. Plans that value people.
Yeah, in 2019 I will pursue simple.
You know, like future me and his two dogs.
Today, I used the front door of my house for the first time in a while.
It’s a disaster!
Paint peeling. Porch flooring falling apart. Two rocking chairs faded and blistered. That porch, including the floor, trim, doors, are all less than three years old! I guess that’s what happens when it’s exposed to ultraviolet rays from sunrise to sunset.
My plan was to have the porch floor replaced and porch painted back in the early fall. I purchased a power washer, paint, materials and got as far as unpacking the power washer. That project, two months later, is still undone.
My fall calendar reveals the mystery.
Orlando, Florida for a weekend business conference. My son’s wedding. (the nerve) A trip to Grenada for another conference. Client showings. (darn customers)
Looking back at my life, I’ve plenty of undone, well intended goals. Porch projects you might say.
This pattern of undone “porch projects” started when I became a father.
Basketball sign-ups, practices, and games meant the house wasn’t as clean as it could be. Baseball season meant my grass was taller than my neighbor’s. Soccer tournaments meant my gutters were neglected.
Something changes in you when you become a parent, your work, although important, gets put in its proper place–not first, but a solid second.
My houses might not have ever been perfect, but I rarely missed a game, or recital, or school award ceremony.
Here’s to porch projects to remind us of what’s important.
Hillsboro, Ohio has a very special resident–my precious mother.
Sunday was her birthday.
Each year, I make it a point to visit on her special day.
Normally, I take her out to eat and give her the most valuable gift in my possession, my time.
My brothers and sister get mad at me because I don’t coordinate with them.
Truly, I don’t want them there. Sounds harsh doesn’t it?
But, why would I deny my mother the opportunity to spend uninterrupted time with her favorite son?
A few years ago, they caught onto my scheme and invited themselves, and it’s turned into a group event. Ugggh!
This year I almost missed it. I won’t bore you with the details, but my pain from a healing broken leg kept me in bed most of Saturday and I forgot to call and coordinate with my mom.
Sunday morning, Theresa and I decided to drive to Hillsboro unannounced. While driving I called and discovered she was not at home, she was at lunch with her children. WTH?
“You’ll hear them before you see them.” said Theresa says as we entered the restaurant.
Sure enough. You will hear them. My brothers, sister, and I are great storytellers. Animated storytellers. Funny storytellers. LOUD storytellers!
My sister Veronica had us in stitches as she shared a story of a time she got lost driving. She took a wrong turn and ended up in the middle of nowhere while my brother Michael guided her back to civilization via telephone.
Her story reminded me of a time where Theresa and I were driving to Houston when suddenly I realized we had missed an exit and were headed to Florida instead of Texas!
Both of these instances happened before GPS was common. Back then we used foldable paper maps, and it was a lot easier to lose your way.
Maps, in life, are a necessary tool. Nay, an indispensable tool.
Today, I have a training session for a new tool for my business. In essence this tool is a map, only it’s designed for my business.
For years I have taken great care of my clients. Over the years I developed certain methods and certain philosophies that I use to give them excellent results.
Now that I’m ready to bring more associates into the company, I will need to share those methods and philosophies with others. The problem? How do you impart 16 years of experience to a new person? How do we get the same results for a client if we have an agent who only has 1 or 2 years of experience?
Better said, systems. Detailed and documented methods. But how do you go about it?
Software and the internet have the answer. My new partner has a complete systemized approach to building standard operating procedures into your business so new people can understand the way we think, the way we operate, and the way we protect our clients. Regardless of the experience level of an associate, Bastion Realty can provide a great experience, thanks to great maps.
Life is a journey. Where life goes is up to us. If we are willing to decide where we want to go we will first need a map. With the destination settled and map in hand we can then plot the most interesting course.
Happy birthday to my mom, Marilyn Jean Bergfeld, and thanks to my very entertaining storytelling sister who reminded me that it’s human to make a wrong turn.
My buddy Nick and I met Saturday for coffee, as we do every week.
We’re reading the book Love Does by Bob Goff. (Protip: if you want to change your life, this book would not be a bad place to start.)
To say we’re reading the book is not an accurate portrayal. More like, we’re studying the book. Underlining key phrases. Seeking understanding. Just looking for an idea or phrase that helps us progress, if even just a little bit.
Just a little bit.
My journey over the last few years has led me to understand the power of small incremental improvements.
Just 1% daily.
James Altucher is an author, podcaster, and entrepreneur who introduced me to the 1% rule. The following is an excerpt from his post on the subject:
“I wish I could go back and tell myself one thing: nothing is going to change for you tomorrow.
Diets don’t work tomorrow. But every diet works.
Habits don’t change in a day. But 1% a day makes every habit work. Every.
The reason is: they work if you do a little each day. If you relax and give yourself permission to only improve a little each day, then a good habit works.
It’s permission to improve. It’s also permission to fail. Because when you first start something, you’re on day one.
If you want to succeed at anything, you have to give yourself permission to fail twice as much as you thought you would.
If you insist, I need to change RIGHT NOW, then it won’t work. You’ll only get worse.
If you insist the habit changes tomorrow, then the habit will certainly fail.
Coolio, the rapper, wrote lyrics every day for 17 years before having a hit.
Commander Hadfield, the astronaut, improved his skills every day for 20 years before getting into space.
Kurt Vonnegut wrote every day for 25 years before he had a major bestseller.
Even Mozart, despite being a prodigy, wrote music for 10 years every day before becoming a true master.
Improve a little each day. It compounds. When 1% compounds every day, it doubles every 72 days, not every 100 days. Compounding tiny excellence is what creates big excellence.
You can’t be a master in one day. You have to improve a little every day.
Picasso created 2 works of art a day. That’s 50,000 in a lifetime. It adds up.
“But it’s too late for me!”.
No, it’s not. Compounding creates fast results.
If I read 5 pages a day from non-fiction books, then in a year I will have read 1830 pages of knowledge. And each page I read will build upon the pages I’ve read before.
And it’s 1830 pages 99% of people won’t read. Most people don’t pick up a book after age 20.
If I write 1000 words a day, then in one day that’s nothing. In one year that’s the equivalent of 6–8 novels.
Also you can also decrease 1% a day. We can say, “aww, it’s only one day. Don’t pressure me!”
Such an easy choice. It seems trivial. 1% up or 1% down. But it sneaks up. And then we’re old and lonely.
Every day matters.”
You can read the entire post at https://jamesaltucher.com/2015/08/habits-one-percent/
This idea is powerful. Just 1% improvement daily equates to a 37 times improvement over the course of a year.
The question becomes, improvement of what? Improvement for what? What thing can I do daily that’s worth improving every day?
My storytelling mentor is a guy by the name of Ryan Fletcher. He’s the guy who inspired me to write my book, and also the guy who introduced me to James Altucher.
Ryan convinced me to begin storytelling daily as a way to improve my craft. My daily storytelling makes me 1% better daily, which over time has made me a better writer. A better businessman. A better husband. A better human being.
Here’s to mentors who challenge you to grow. Here’s to friends who come along for the journey.
Incremental improvement, just like Nick and I every week.
My gift to you today? Go buy “Love Does”, by Bob Goff.
Did you know it’s illegal to scale Mt. Everest alone?
In 2017 the Nepalese government banned solo climbing the tallest mountain on Earth.
297 people have died scaling Everest. One shouldn’t try it alone. To climb the world’s highest peak, you need a team.
Business is no different.
Recently, I made the decision to scale my real estate brokerage. You know, grow.
Real estate, or any service business, is difficult to scale.
It’s been done the same way for years.
Get licensed. Grow a practice. Add an assistant. Get a brokers license. Add more agents. Help them do the same.
The problem? Retention.
According to studies, most agents fail in the first year and by the fifth year over 80% of new agents are out of the business.
Running a real estate practice is expensive. It’s a full fledged business that requires commitment.
Commitment of time and money.
Licensing, local board membership, multiple listing service, insurance, and continuing education is just the beginning. Fixed costs, regardless of your success.
Now you have to market your services. Business cards, signs, websites, brochures are just the beginning.
Once you procure a client you have to show up. Open houses, showings, meeting stagers, photographers, and before you know it you’ve invested real time and money yet still haven’t made a sale.
Finally, your client purchases a house so it’s payday, right?
Well, sort of. Closing is 45 days away!
You get the point.
Not only is it difficult to get agents through their first few years, but once they’ve established themselves, other brokerages take notice and begin to recruit them. Almost always these agents can find a broker who will charge less for their fees.
What’s a brokerage to do? What’s the secret to building a sustainable business? One that solves the retention problem?
Like a mountaineer who decides to tackle Everest, a business leader needs to tackle business problems with a team.
A team is stronger than an individual. You take talents from multiple people and apply them toward a common goal. Team is equivalent to leverage.
I could easily grow my business by recruiting, just like the others. But then I would have a company full of individuals, all pulling in their own direction. Ultimately, they will all find their own way.
What if they each had teammates?
These teammates leverage time, talent, and training.
How do you scale Everest?