Thursday, April 25, 2013


I watched an interesting video last night called "The Secret". Basically, it proposed that by simply focusing your thoughts on wanting things you can influence them happening to you. In other words, if I want something enough, I will get it. It got me thinking about the idea of luck. So many people think luck plays a big role in success. You hear things like, "yeah, he was just at the right place at the right time," or "I have the worst luck in the world."

Do you believe in luck? I don't. I think you make your own. That guy that was in the right place at the right time, he was probably there because of a chain of events he set in motion to get there. He studied, made connections, made contacts, paid attention to the right conversations, sought advice from the right people. Perhaps his parents taught him the right skills and introduced him to the right people. Perhaps his parents were plugged into the right groups and he was able to take over for them. None of that is luck.

Luck suggests there is no control, no power behind the event. It is completely random. I believe in self made luck and in divine intervention. I also believe, to some extent, what that video said. We make our own luck, we attract the things we want when we focus on them. Want to get out debt? Focus on how the life you will have once you have no debt. You will naturally, automatically find ways to get rid of that debt. It's the idea of keeping your eyes on the prize. Want to get a high paying job? Instead of focusing on how much you hate your current job, focus on the job you want. You will find yourself being pulled toward it and it toward you. You will automatically do things to get you closer and closer to it. Sounds a little mystical but it is true. The mind is a powerful tool.

What do you think?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Bad Day

I had a bad day yesterday. I had a contract fall through, a listing not come to fruition and another contract hit some pretty major roadblocks (that are still not worked out). That is not the kind of day that gets me excited to be awake in the morning.

Perspective, however is a very powerful tool. My friend Rob has a way of putting things in perspective. He says things like "yeah but you're still breathing and your kids aren't hungry." How true. I could always have a worse day. Thank God for the good stuff before you gripe too much about the bad stuff. Sometimes the bad stuff helps us see how good the good stuff really is. I have 2 healthy children, a wife that loves me, a nice house, working vehicles, a fantastic family, a (mostly) awesome church family and I live in the greatest country in the world (despite its many and obvious flaws). I have the right to feel beat up after a bad day. I have the right to complain about a bad day (you have the right NOT to listen). I don't think I have the right to feel too down about it though because when I gain perspective, I realize I am a very blessed individual.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Setting Expectations

One of the most important things I do in my job is to set realistic expectations. There's nothing worse than having a conversation and accidentally setting an expectation that you cannot meet or exceed. It makes closing a deal very difficult, if not impossible. I find it is better to be completely realistic and set an accurate expectation than it is to say what the other person wants to hear (or, more accurately, what you THINK they want to hear).

Here are some examples of setting wrong expectations and how easy it is to do:

1) prospective seller says to me, "so I hear the market is picking up." I say, "yeah, it is really booming right now. Prices are as much as 25% higher than 3 years ago." That prospect hears, "I can get 25% more than what I paid for this house 3 years ago." This could definitely be an unrealistic expectation. The number I said may be accurate for the market as a whole but not necessarily for his neighborhood. Plus, he could have trashed his house in 3 years but doesn't see that (pigs don't know pigs stink, ya know).

2) Buyer says to me, "Will they take this offer?" I say, "I definitely would if I were in their shoes." Buyer hears, "any normal thinking person would take this offer." Then what if they don't? What if they counter? Automatically the buyer thinks we are dealing with either a jerk or an idiot, both of which could be true but probably are not.

3) I say to my wife, "I only have a little bit of work to do." She hears, "I will be done in 10 minutes and we can go to dinner." An hour later I finish up and she is mad at me for taking too long.

My point is this, words are powerful because they set expectations for your actions. The thing is, people hear your words through a filter that is their own preconceived notion of the discussion topic. Most of the time you are not privy to the past events that set up that filter. Generally the best way to avoid the confusion is to ask more questions and to listen more than you talk. If you do this, you will probably pick up on the filters and set more accurate expectations. This could totally change your business and certainly make your life better. When you figure out some specific methods to do this, let me know and we will write a book together.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


What is enough? How do we know when we have enough? I guess the answer can vary based on what specifically we are talking about. Enough money, enough time, enough of some specific possession, etc. What do you do when you think you have enough and then meet someone who has more? How do you react to that? Does that suddenly make you feel like your enough isn't really enough? If you are like me, you often don't feel like you have enough. Sometimes I feel like I am in a race of some sort and am always competing. The funny thing is, I don't even know who I am competing with other than myself. I just know that I don't have enough to win the imaginary competition.

One possible answer to this question is that enough can only come from our spiritual life. Paul shares with us a perspective of contentment no matter the circumstances in Philippians 4:11-12:

"...I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."

This is followed by the ever so popular but mostly mis-used "13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength." It's funny that most people use this as a verse of empowerment--I can do anything--almost like a superhero or something--because I have Christ. The truth is, this verse actually says that I can make it through any circumstance because I have Christ. I can be content no matter the circumstance because the only thing I need for contentment is Christ. It is certainly not a license to try power lifting because Christ has given me super muscles.

That's one perspective on "enough". I think that finding contentment means you find what "enough" is. I know there are lots of other perspectives on "enough". I would love to read your ideas. Further, I would really love some pointers on how to quit feeling like I DON'T have enough.