Monday Morning Mojo: Do Less Better…Don’t Do More Worse

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From the moment I stepped into my position as President and CEO of Intero four months ago, this has been my mantra…this has been my challenge to everyone at Intero. Let’s all stop doing so much stuff and stop chasing the shiny penny…stop jumping from one “great idea” to the next. Let’s do less stuff better and not more stuff worse. Let’s focus on what we are good at and then let’s do it better than anyone. In this day and age there is so much information being thrown at us…so many different ideas. Especially in Silicon Valley. And if we don’t watch out, we can get whipped around chasing the latest and greatest thing. When you do that you are mediocre, at best, at everything and not great at anything.

So here is the question…is what you are doing today building on what you did yesterday or are you starting from scratch on the latest and greatest idea…AGAIN?

To have a quantum leap at almost anything in life and really have a significant impact, it is not going to be the result of trying to do everything. It is going to be the compounded result of doing only the most important activities over and over again…we need to do fewer activities more frequently. We really need to start shooting at life with a rifle and not a shotgun. If we do those few, most important activities consistently over and over again, at some point, we will reach the tipping point…we will explode into a quantum leap. The difficult part is being disciplined enough to do those important activities and not jump from one great idea to the next…we need to do the important few activities over and over again until we have a Quantum Leap…a Breakthrough. It’s all about K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Why is it so hard? Because we have to do it over and over and over again for long periods of time with what appears to be little or no results. When that happens, doubt enters our mind…we get distracted and we start to look for the next great idea. But if we have the discipline to stick with it, all of a sudden out of nowhere, one day we will have a radical breakthrough. The hard part is not to quit when we feel like we are running into a brick wall with no results…not quitting when we are having a breakdown. Because when the wall comes down, it won’t come down one brick at a time, but the accumulation effect of hitting it over and over again will bring it tumbling down all at once. It will happen when we are exhausted and beyond wanting to quit. We will hit it again and BANG!!!!

Remember…there are always going to be those people out their pitching us on the latest and greatest thing that is going to change our life, our business, our health…the 10 minute ab machine…the lose 30 pounds in a month vitamin…triple your money in a year schemes…get your body ripped in 21 days… The list goes on and on. Give me a break. The crazy thing is, obviously, a ton people are getting sucked in and buying this stuff. If they weren’t these billion dollar companies spending all this money on commercials and infomercials would cease to exist. Heck…I probably get a dozen calls a week from someone telling me how they have developed some product or system that is going to save us money, make us more money, revolutionize our company, etc. Just be very careful and don’t get sucked in. I am not saying be blind to innovation and new ideas, but don’t get sucked into everything thrown at us.

Make the commitment to do less better and don’t get tricked into doing more worse. Do that and I promise you will rock it!!!!!

 


Weekend Wellness: Stressed or Blessed

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Remember way back when you had too much time on your hands? You could hardly wait to get new clients, or more friends, or a bigger travel schedule. You were excited for your kids to get into sports and you could hardly wait to get train for your first marathon.

Now, here you are, 10 years later or maybe only 1 month later and all of a sudden 24 hours isn’t enough time in the day. You can’t seem to find time to shop for healthy foods, run 15 miles, let alone a half a mile. You are over booked. You are running from client to client, airport to airport and wonder if you can make it to any of your kid’s games. You don’t even have time to pay your bills!

You are S-T-R-E-S-S-E-D! I see this all the time. In fact, I experience levels of stress sometimes myself. We get so caught up in how frazzled we are, we forget we asked for it! Not the stress, but the abundance. In fact, many times what we asked for has helped us create a fuller life. Maybe it’s really ok, maybe we simply need to manage our time a little better. Maybe we are managing our time…it’s our thoughts we need to manage a little better. hmmmmm

Consider how your day would change if when you felt overwhelmed and overbooked, you paused, smiled and realized that you are B-L-E-S-S-E-D? You have athletic kids who love their sports and live in an area with lots of sport options. You have a career which allows you to travel to interesting new places. You have a wide net of interesting clients who enrich your life. You have a body which allows you to walk, hike or run…whether it is 1 mile…or 15.

When we get overwhelmed, it is so easy to get caught up into how the weight of the world is on our shoulders to lighten up. However, if in those crazy moments we can hug the opportunities given to us and high five the blessed life the stress give us, everything shifts. We take our stress with a smile and we are able to embrace the avenues of what we attract.

Consider….are you stressed…or blessed?


Cool Apps: Customized Newsletters with FlashIssue

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We know you are all loving our weekly Intero Weekender that is sent out by our Marketing Department every Thursday. The email is full of fun activities to get you and your friends out of the house every weekend. And while what we send out is a great overview of what’s going on in the Bay Area, why not create your own easy to share weekender specific to your town or area? Just think of the benefits to your circle.

Weekender 8.28

Our team is using a site called Flashissue.com to set up and send out these emails which is super easy to use. It provides you with a great base to set up and send out custom content from any site on the web. Use it to feature homes, your community, local events or general real estate news; anything you want on the web all for free.

Set up is super easy. Just create an account and start the design of your first email. Add photos and text you already have on hand using the drag and drop feature to customize a header.

Flashissue screen shot

Then, add your content by entering the web address of your blog, professional website, a local event’s page, or even the address to your newest property listing. Any websites you add will be saved for future use. Drag and drop the pages you want to highlight into the flashissue editor. Photos will automatically come over from the site you’re linking to as well as a brief summary. Want to change an image or text? Just click on the field and click the edit button.

Add a nice introduction at the top and you’re done! Send your email to individuals or a preset mailing list from one of the many compatible email carriers including gmail and mailchimp. You can even reuse the same set up for future emails.

Once you have the basics set up, I’m sure you’ll be sending out newsletters left and right before you know it with Flashissue.


Thursday’s Thoughts on Leadership: Creating a Cadence of Accountability

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Good leaders strive to improve themselves every day. Great leaders strive to improve themselves and those around them, applying this philosophy to every idea they formulate and every decision they make. Great real estate leaders understand the importance of building a culture of managers and agents who seek to be more productive, more efficient and, in turn, more successful professionals. And great leaders understand that one of the most motivating factors to success is oftentimes accountability. Why? Because when performance is measured, performance improves. Without accountability, many of our good ideas and intentions remain just ideas and intentions. With accountability, we’re able to put them into action.

However, accountability does not mean sending an email or making a phone call. Instead, accountability is any number of activities that must be woven into the regular rhythm of the business day, week and year. These initiatives form a regular cadence of accountability that your employees will adapt to and, ultimately, expect.

In my own business practices, I used daily progress reports, monthly commitments and weekly calls—happening twice per week on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons—for this purpose, which allowed managers the opportunity to identify their goals and keep on track to achieve them. Additionally, I paired employees with an accountability partner, someone to whom they must report the status of any stated objectives, as well as any recent accomplishments. Lastly, I instituted contests that grouped employees into teams. Accountability reigns through teams, as each member is responsible for the group’s performance.

In his recent bestseller, Unbeatable Mind, retired SEAL Commander and author Mark Divine has this to say about the importance of teams: “Elevate the team above the individual, and hold the team accountable to that standard. Watch your team performance and attitude improve dramatically, which will positively impact performance in all other areas.”


Monday Morning Mojo: What’s your BHAG?

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So…what is your Big Hairy Audacious Goal? Perhaps the better question is do you have one? I sure hope so, but if not now is the time to set one.

Some of you may be asking yourself “what the heck is a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG)?” The term ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goal’ was proposed by James Collins and Jerry Porras in their 1994 book entitled Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. In the book they define a BHAG as a strategic business statement similar to a vision statement which is created to focus an organization on a single medium-long term organization-wide goal which is audacious, likely to be externally questionable, but not internally regarded as impossible.

Now you can have a BHAG in business or anyone of the areas in your life. It just needs to be something that fires you and gets you charged up to get your butt out of bed every day before the suns comes up so you can go out and conquer the world. It can be in anyone of the areas of your F5 – Faith, Family, Friends Fitness and Finance. It may be that you want to complete a triathlon…you may want to go on a mission in some far off place to help save lives…you may want to get married… it may be that you want to start a family…you may want to buy that dream home…you may want to take your company public…it may be that you just want to make a pile of money. Whatever it is, we all need to have at least one BHAG in our life that fires us up. I know we have a BHAG for Intero and it is hanging in my office. I actually have BHAG’s in a lot of the areas of my life.

I see so many people every day just going through the motions…people wandering around in a daze not really crystal clear on what it is they want. They may just want things to get better or be different, but they never take the time to define what that better or different is…they just hope they are going to bump into it or something.

So, what is that BAG in your life? What do you dream about but never tell anyone because it is so big you are too embarrassed to even tell anyone? Yeah…that’s the one…the one that puts a smile on your face when you think about it. So often when we have these dreams….these Big Hairy Audacious Goals in our life we think they are just too hard…too far off…impossible to accomplish. Well listen…it really does not matter what your BHAG is there is someone out there in the world that wakes up every day just like you, and puts one sock on at a time just like you that has it. So…why not you?

My challenge to all of you this week is to take some time to create your BHAG or BHAG’s. Once you have created them build a staircase to get yourself there. Figure out exactly what you need to do to accomplish it. Then break those tasks down into small bite size chucks or stairs on a staircase that will lead to your BHAG. What you will discover is that if you really sit down and figure out what it is going to take to accomplish your BHAG and then create the steps to get you there, most of the time it’s not as hard as you think. The key is you need to get it out of your head and on to a piece of paper, in a schedule and then you need to execute on it every day. Just take a bite…take one step and before you know it you will be at the top of the staircase savoring in your BHAG. It’s not always going to be easy but if you want it bad enough and you don’t ever give up, you will get it.

Have a great week and GO FOR IT!!!!!


Weekend Wellness: Just Move

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How often have you had a minor injury or pain in your body and felt unable to workout? Even something as common as a cold, or you slept wrong and had a “kink” in your neck, or maybe you simply had a stressed day and was just “not in the mood” to move…are all days that we feel less than capable to be our best.

Maybe you are a mover and shaker, but you have a bigger injury like a broken wrist or even leg; or you have a strained muscle.

Each of these body issues are just that; issues to deal with. Some of us stay quiet, accept the body and move on, but I venture to say many more of us let these obstacles stop us cold from movement in general. We complain, we make bigger excuses (which feel very real to us) of why we don’t feel good and we create huge stories about why life has now stopped as we know it.

I can tell you from personal experience, I have had all of the above issues. In each issue from the stressed day to the broken leg, I felt defeated at moments. I can tell you too, that once I got over my issue/obstacle and excuses and realized the rest of my body was able to move pretty darn well, I felt empowered that I could move…even in the tiniest ways.

You see, it’s all perspective. It’s acceptance and it’s embracing where we are in each place and time, as well as fighting to stay healthy.

I had this talk with a fitness friend earlier today and she said it simply…”just move…no matter how little or big…move.”

I know someone who cannot move, and he would give anything to be able to. Not being able to move is an unimaginable concept and one I am eternally grateful that, hopefully, I will never feel. Knowing him though, does help me love what I can do, big or small.

So when we have issues, do what you can, let the oxygen flow through your body, feel the strength of your muscles, rotate your body to see different perspectives, stretch to feel the fascia and gently assist your injured areas towards health. Doing this helps the body…as well as the soul and mind. Move what you can, do what you can…but somehow, keep moving.


Intero Cool Apps: Stand Out with Animated Videos

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As Realtors, getting your name and services out there is super important to succeeding at your business. In today’s day and age of internet, this task is at your fingertips. That’s right, between your circle of friends on facebook to your twitter followers, your next client could be anywhere. Now the question is: How are you going to make them see you?

In a daily social media stream of thousands of posts, pictures and videos are what catches your eye. Why is that? Less work for you. Why would you want to read text when a picture says a thousand words? Or you can be entertained with a video?

Well we’ve already showed you how to make those impressive, eye catching images using Canva so today we’re going to show you an app that will help you make some stellar entertaining videos.

wideo logo_jpgWideo is an online tool that allows you to easily make animation videos for, well basically anything (presentations, teaching lessons, promotions, for fun, etc). The site is super intuitive which makes it possible for anyone to create cool videos.

The instant I saw this app I thought “what a great way for agents to promote themselves.” Just think about it, everyone has a bio written up but, let’s be honest, who is actually going to read through the whole thing? With Wideo, you can turn your bio into a quick video just by highlighting a few key points about yourself and your business (ie: what you can offer and what makes you so great). Use one of Wideo’s already made templates, plug in the text and you’ll have a nice little promotional video about yourself in minutes.

Use this as an advertisement on facebook or embed it onto your website. It’s so much more interesting than reading a written bio and, I promise, it will help you stand out from the crowd!

Check out the sample video below to see what your next promotion could look like:

wideo video

Click Here To Play


Thursday’s Thoughts On Leadership: Trust Is Vital

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Strong leaders understand the essential nature of trust. My recent travels took me to Orlando, Florida and the 2014 Brookfield Forum for relocation professionals, where Stephen M.R. Covey delivered a terrific keynote on the economics of trust and the cores of credibility. It reminded me of Covey’s 2009 book, The Speed of Trust, and his simple formula for how trust impacts transactions between individuals and organizations.

In short:

  • Increased Trust = Increased Speed and Decreased Cost

And, conversely:

  • Decreased Trust = Decreased Speed and Increased Cost

Trust is vital to any relationship and relationships built on trust flourish. A breach of trust will tarnish reputations and cause transactions to fail.

Without question, trustworthiness must be given the highest priority. I was reminded of this just recently while listening to Unbeatable Mind, the brand-new book by former Navy SEAL Commander Mark Divine. In Unbeatable Mind, Divine offers five simple steps to ensure trustworthiness:

  1. Always meet your commitments
  2. Do more than is expected
  3. Do things faster than expected
  4. Achieve better results than expected
  5. Do all of the above with integrity and with little fanfare

Clean and simple … these are great steps for better business and better living.


Monday Morning Mojo: Stay Calm

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Living in Silicon Valley is akin to going 200 miles an hour with your hair on fire. It is an exciting, inspiring and amazing place to live and work, but it is also incredibly competitive and intense. In every industry you are going head to head with the best of the best in the world doing whatever it takes to get the edge and win. As a result it can also be an incredibly stressful place if you don’t know how to manage it. So, the question is, how do you manage it and stay calm because your ability to manager your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. I was reading a great article a few weeks back titled How Successful People Stay Calm. After checking it out I knew it was mojo material so today I’m sharing it with you. Here are the ten best strategies to stay calm:

  1. Appreciate What You Have – Take time daily to contemplate what you’re grateful for. Research shows that people who work daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experience improved mood, energy, and physical well-being.
  2. Avoid Asking “What if?” – This statement is like throwing fuel on the fire of stress and worry. Things can go a million different directions and the more time you spend worrying about the possibilities, the less time you’ll spend focusing on taking action. Calm people know that asking “what if?” will only take them to a place they don’t want or need to go.
  3. Stay Positive – Positive thoughts help make stress intermittent by focusing your brain’s attention onto something that is completely stress-free. When things are going poorly, and your mind is flooded with negative thoughts, this can be a challenge. In these moments, think about your day or week and identify one positive thing that happened, no matter how small. You must have something positive that you’re ready to shift your attention to when your thoughts turn negative.
  4. Disconnect – When you make yourself available 24/7 it is extremely difficult to enjoy a stress-free moment…you are exposing yourself to a constant barrage of stressors. Forcing yourself offline and turning off your phone (gulp) gives your body a break and lowers stress levels. This is a super tough one in Silicon Valley and one definitely need to work on myself.
  5. Limit the Caffeine intake – Another brutal one for me. Caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline which is a “fight-or-flight” response. This kind of a response sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but no so great when you’re responding to a curt email.
  6. Sleep – When you sleep your brain literally recharges, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them so you wake up alert and clear-headed. Not getting a decent night’s sleep is often the one thing keeping you from getting things under control. Snooze!
  7. Squash Negative Self Talk – Don’t be a Debbie Downer. The more you squander in negative thoughts the more power you give them. Remember that most thoughts are just that…thoughts, not facts. When it feels like something always or never happens, this is just your brain’s natural threat tendency inflating the perceived frequency or severity of an event. You can bet that your statements or thought aren’t true any time you use words like “never”, “worst”, “ever”, etc.
  8. Reframe your perspective – You can’t control your circumstances, but you can control how you respond to them. Before you spend too much time dwelling on something negative, take a minute to put the situation in perspective. When you start thinking or saying things like “Everything is going wrong” or “Nothing will work out,” then you need to reframe the situation.
  9. Breathe – This is the easiest way to control your stress. The practice of being in the moment with your breathing will begin to train your brain to focus solely on the task at hand and get the stress monkey off your back. Close the door, put away all other distraction and just sit in a chair and breathe…focus on your breathing.
  10. Use your support system –It’s tempting, but entirely ineffective, to tackling everything yourself. To be calm and productive we need to recognize our weaknesses and ask for help. Everyone has someone at work and/or outside work who is on your team, rooting for you, and ready to help. Most of the time, other people can see a solution that you can’t because they are not as emotionally invested in the situation. Asking for help will not only reduce your stress but it will strengthen your relationships with those you rely on. I always say it shows your strength when you ask for help and shows weakness when you don’t.

I don’t know about you but I know I have some work to do.

Be fired up, but stay calm and CRUSH IT!!!!!


Weekend Wellness: Top 10 Things Taken For Granted

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The other day, I heard the list below, read to me by one of my teachers. I don’t know if I was in “that” space to where it hit me hard, or it’s just a beautiful piece. Regardless, I feel compelled to share! I don’t know who wrote it, how this was researched, or even when this was researched; however I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Top 10 things people claim to have taken for granted when they were alive:

10) How important they were to SO many

9) How easy life was when they stopped struggling and fighting

8) That all their prayers and thoughts were heard

7) That there really were no coincidences

6) How far ripples of their kindness actually spread (* my personal favorite!)

5) What really was important…happiness, friends and love

4) That any and all of their dreams could have come true had they wanted it badly enough

3) How good looking and fun they always were if they would have just relaxes

2) How much guidance they received whenever they asked for help

1) That “life” is in everything, everywhere, especially themselves.

Enjoy! Who are you important to? What dreams do you have? Where has your kindness spread? Do you ask for help? Where do you see life?