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5/23/2016 Monday Morning Message

A Nod to JFK
Welcome to Monday; let’s make it a fantastic week! This week, we celebrate a man who was a great president, a great soldier and a great human being. That man is John F. Kennedy, born May 29, 1917, in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Shortly after graduating from Harvard, Kennedy joined the U.S. Navy and was assigned to command a patrol torpedo boat in the South Pacific. On August 2, 1943, his boat, PT-109, was rammed by a Japanese warship and split in two. Two sailors died, and Kennedy’s back was badly injured. Hauling another wounded sailor by the strap of his life vest, Kennedy led the survivors to a nearby island, where they were rescued six days later. The incident earned him the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for “extremely heroic conduct” and a Purple Heart for the injuries he suffered.

Kennedy went on to serve in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate before becoming the 35th president in 1961.

As president, Kennedy faced a number of foreign crises, especially in Cuba and Berlin, but managed to secure achievements such as the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty and the Alliance for Progress. He also started the Peace Corps and won the Pulitzer Prize in history for his book Profiles in Courage.

When Kennedy was elected president, he gave one of the most stirring inaugural speeches in history. In that speech, he said the famous words, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” It was a wake-up call for Americans to take a stand for their freedom and get involved on some level. Kennedy is credited with making Americans feel safe but, at the same time, instilling a deep sense of pride for their country and a willingness to fight to keep its borders safe.

In 1962, the United States discovered that the Soviet Union was building secret missile bases in Cuba. Those missiles would be able to strike the U.S. with nuclear bombs. In the coming days, the United States and the Soviet Union came close to nuclear war. The United States quarantined Cuba in order to keep the missiles out. After negotiations, the Soviet Union agreed to dismantle the bases. In return, the United States agreed to never attack Cuba and to remove missiles from Turkey.

Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy while riding in a convertible in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. Almost every American who was 5 or older on that day remembers it clearly. There’s still a lot of speculation around the mystery surrounding his death and why it’s still such a vivid memory in the hearts and minds of so many. But one thing is certain: He was one of the most beloved presidents – a man who worked hard to bring about peace. This week we celebrate his life.

Something to Think About
What does the phrase, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country” mean to you? Would it have the same meaning if spoken today?

Weekly Activity
We celebrated Armed Forces Day last week, and next week is Memorial Day. How can you honor those who served, or what can you do “for your country”?

Words of Wisdom
“A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures – and that is the basis of all human morality.” – John F. Kennedy

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ¬– John F. Kennedy

“Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.” – John F. Kennedy

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” – John F. Kennedy

“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” – John F. Kennedy

“If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.” – John F. Kennedy

5/16/2016 Monday Morning Message

Salute to our Armed Forces!
Happy Monday! Let’s give a special shout out to those who serve to protect our country and those who have served in the past to defend our country as we celebrate Armed Forces Day and pay tribute to the many who serve in the various branches of our military.

On August 31, 1949, United States Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy and Air Force days. The event stemmed from the armed forces’ unification under the Department of Defense. The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated on May 20, 1950. The theme for that day was “Teamed for Defense,” which expressed the unification of all military forces under one government department.

Parades, open houses, receptions, picnics and air shows are just a few of the events that you might see this week. Who is that special person in your life who has served to protect your rights and way of life? Have you ever sat down with him or her to discuss the military or ask why he or she decided to serve? Ask to hear his or her “story,” because everybody has one.

Something to Think About
It would be wonderful to have world peace and eliminate the need for military defenses, but I don’t think we’ll see that in our lifetime. Because there are wars, and because there are people who would like to take away our liberty and way of life, the world needs those who are willing to serve, protect and defend our country. If that person is you, thank you so much!

Weekly Activity
Write a note to someone – or several people in your life – who serves or has served to protect our country. It can be simple, and it also can be a call just to say thanks. Here’s a sample note: Because I’m not in your shoes, I know I will never fully appreciate the sacrifices you make for your family, your friends, our country and me every day. However, I am especially reflective of my gratitude as we celebrate Armed Forces Day. It is because of your sacrifices that I am able to enjoy my freedoms. So with a great degree of sincerity and humility, thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do for my family, my friends, our country and me. Sincerely, Your Name

Words of Wisdom
“Well, in the first place, military service, they don't call it service for nothing. You are actually serving your country. And it is a worthy and valid vocation.” – Rev. Rick Warren

“We must never forget why we have, and why we need, our military. Our armed forces exist solely to ensure our nation is safe, so that each and every one of us can sleep soundly at night, knowing we have ‘guardians at the gate.’” – Allen West

“Freedom does not come without a price. We may sometimes take for granted the many liberties we enjoy in America, but they have all been earned through the ultimate sacrifice paid by so many of the members of our armed forces.” – Charlie Dent

“We, the People is more than a statement of purpose. It is an acknowledgement of an obligation to each other.” – Charlie Pierce

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” – Ronald Reagan

4/25/2016 Monday Morning Message

Lots of Laughter

Welcome to a new week! What best describes your laugh? Did you know there are actually 10 types of laughter?

When someone slips on a banana peel, do you release small machine gun busts of laughter, or do you burst out with a belly laugh? Maybe you’re a giggler, or one of those silent laughers who keeps their mouth shut. Or maybe you’re at the top of the laughter tree: a snorter.

Have you ever laughed so hard that your stomach hurt? The human body can only increase in laughter so much until it starts to implode into itself – just like a black hole in space. Signs of your approach toward hilarious doom include tears, aching stomach and, ultimately, the snort. The snort is like a safety value: When a person begins to approach the critical point of laughter, a snort, or “Sus scrofa release,” as scientists refer to it, releases pressure. Everyone will snort when they reach this critical point of no return. Some never reach this critical point, and others max out their threshold very quickly.

Laughter also has been proven to reduce pain. Norman Cousins developed a recovery program incorporating laughter induced by Marx Brothers films. “I made the joyous discovery that 10 minutes of genuine belly laughter had an anesthetic effect and would give me at least two hours of pain-free sleep,” he reported.

When we laugh, our brains also release endorphins that can relieve physical pain and create a stronger immune system.  A 2000 study found that people with heart disease were 40% less likely to laugh and be able to recognize humor in a variety of situations, compared to people of the same age without heart disease. Time to start watching more of those funny movies!

Something to Think About

Laughter appears to burn calories, too. A researcher from Vanderbilt University conducted a small study in which he measured the amount of calories expended in laughing. It turns out that 10 to 15 minutes of laughter burns 50 calories. But don’t be too quick to ditch your exercise routine – one piece of chocolate has about 50 calories, meaning it would take roughly 12 hours of concentrated laughter to lose a pound!

Weekly Activity  

Look for ways to bring laughter into your life and the lives of those you love this week. Whether you call with a funny joke, forward a funny email or post a funny video to Facebook, see how hard you can get them laughing.

Words of Wisdom

“Laughter is an instant vacation.” – Milton Berle

“There is little success where there is little laughter.” – Andrew Carnegie

“Hearty laughter is a good way to jog internally without having to go outdoors.” – Norman Cousins

“Laughter is important, not only because it makes us happy, it also has actual health benefits. And that’s because laughter completely engages the body and releases the mind. It connects us to others, and that in itself has a healing effect.” – Marlo Thomas

“I'm happy that I have brought laughter because I have been shown by many the value of it in so many lives, in so many ways.” – Lucille Ball

4/18/2016 Monday Morning Message

Happy Earth Week! This week we celebrate the conservation of our most precious resource: Earth. I would like to pay tribute to the Earth Day Network, working with more than 50,000 partners in 196 countries to build environmental democracy.

The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement, including passage of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.

Twenty years later, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. This year, the focus is on trees.

Why trees? Trees help combat climate change. They absorb excess and harmful CO2 from our atmosphere. In fact, in a single year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the same amount of CO2 produced by driving the average car 26,000 miles. Trees help us breathe clean air by absorbing odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark. Trees help communities achieve long-term economic and environmental sustainability and provide food, energy and income.

What I enjoy most about trees is the trees themselves. There’s something special about having a picnic under a tree or children laughing with delight as they swing on an old tire hanging from the large oak out front. I love trees when they bloom in spring, and I love the shade they provide in summer. I love the autumn colors, and I even love the bare branches covered with snow in the winter.

It’s hard to imagine a world without trees. So do your part this week: Plant a tree, support an organization that plants trees, or just take the time to really appreciate the beauty they provide. Happy Earth Day!

Something to Think About

  1. An average-size tree produces enough oxygen in one year to keep a family of four breathing.
  2. 3 trees planted in the right place around buildings cut AC costs up to 50%.
  3. Houses surrounded by trees sell for 18% to 25% more than houses with no trees.
  4. Trees generate jobs and contribute raw materials for buildings, newspapers, books and more than 15,000 other forest products. Trees are renewable, biodegradable and recyclable.
  5. By planting 20 million trees, the earth and its people will be provided with 260 million more tons of oxygen. Those same 20 million trees will remove 10 million tons of CO2.
  6. Trees provide shelter and food for wildlife such as birds, squirrels and bugs. Groves of trees provide food and cover for larger mammals, such as raccoons and deer.
  7. Trees make people feel good. Workers are more productive when they see trees along their commute and from their office windows.
  8. Hospital patients who have a view of trees heal faster, use fewer pain medications and leave the hospital sooner than patients with a view of a brick wall… and spend 8% fewer days in bed.
  9. Consumers spend more money in shopping districts with trees, pay more for products in a shopping district with trees and are willing to shop longer when there are trees.
  10. Trees in the landscape relax us, lower heart rates and reduce stress.

Weekly Activity 

Plant a tree in memory of or in celebration of someone. It’s easy. Just go to one of these sites and make a donation:

Words of Wisdom

“The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.” – Lady Bird Johnson

“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” – John Muir

“Every day is Earth Day, and I vote we start investing in a secure climate future right now.” – Jackie Speier

“One billion people in 175 countries will mark Earth Day. That puts tea parties in perspective, doesn't it?” – Greg Dworkin

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

4/11/2016 Monday Morning Message

No Complaining!

Good morning! Did you have a great weekend? If not, don’t complain about it! Did you know that – according to science – complaining is terrible for you? Wallowing in negativity has serious consequences for your mental and physical health.

Most people don’t complain with the intention of torturing others; rather, they just feel the need to “vent.” Although we think we’ll feel better by getting our emotions out, science proves otherwise. Not only does expressing negativity tend to not make us feel better, but it also makes listeners feel worse.

Steve Parton, author and student of human nature, outlines three ways that complaining harms your health:

  1. Synapses that fire together, wire together! This is one of the first lessons neuroscience students learn. Not only do repeated negative thoughts make it easier to think yet more negative thoughts, but they also make it more likely that negative thoughts will randomly occur to you and make you more negative. Through repetition of thought, the thought that wins is the one that has less distance to travel. Gloom soon outraces positivity.
  1. You are whom you hang out with! Not only does hanging out with your own negative thoughts rewire your brain for negativity, but hanging out with negative people also does much the same. If you want to strengthen your capacity for positivity and weaken your reflex for gloom, “surround yourself with happy people who rewire your brain toward love and a positive outlook,” Parton explains.

  2. Stress is terrible for your body! According to Parton, “When your brain is firing off these synapses of anger, you’re weakening your immune system – you’re raising your blood pressure, increasing your risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes and a plethora of other negative ailments.” The culprit is the stress hormone cortisol. When you’re negative, you release it.

Something to Think About

We all know “those people” and have them in our lives. Try to limit your time around them and, whenever possible, keep turning the conversation toward something positive. Let’s help rewire their brains!

Weekly Activity 

Each week, you should be sending this email to friends, family and clients to stay positioned for referrals, repeat business and top-of-mind awareness. If you have not yet started sending this email each week, today is a great day to get started – especially if you have any of “those” clients, friends or family members on your list.

But YOUR activity this week is to go seven days without complaining – not even once. If someone tries to complain to you, just tell him/her that you’re not allowed to complain or listen to anyone complain for seven days. You’re busy rewiring your brain!

Words of Wisdom

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results.” – Willie Nelson

“You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.” –  Joyce Meyer

“I think it's important to get your surroundings as well as yourself into a positive state – meaning surround yourself with positive people, not the kind who are negative and jealous of everything you do.” – Heidi Klum

“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.” – Allen Klein

“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you and, in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.” – Brian Tracy

4/4/2016 Monday Morning Message

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Spring awakenings! I hope you had a great weekend. The signs of spring are beginning to show but, with spring, we also get showers. Do you know why “April showers bring May flowers”? I was fascinated to hear the following story of how Mother Nature wakes up the flowers, trees, bushes and lawns.

In the winter, trees, shrubs, grass and flowers hibernate; they’re dormant. When spring arrives, the ground thaws, and the rain falls. Sometimes spring showers can be troublesome – like when they cause a baseball game to be called off or your clothes to get soaked as you run in and out of houses – but spring showers are a wonderful thing because they help plants grow!

The mighty winds in the spring are Mother Nature’s way of waking the plants up. The winds shake them, and the water soaks the ground, loosening soil and making it easier for roots and seeds to grow. Think of thunder as the fist of nature pounding the ground and saying, “Wake up!” to the buds.

Did you know that even lightning helps plants grow? A flash of lightning gives off enough electric energy and heat to make oxygen and nitrogen combine into nitrates that help plants grow. The nitrogen mixes with the rain to fertilize the plants. That’s why gardens seem so refreshed and green right after thunderstorms.

So this year, embrace spring as a symbol of new beginnings and fresh starts. Cheer on the thunder, and pound your fist along with it as you shout, “Wake up!”

Weekly Activity

Over the next several weeks, as Mother Nature wakens the earth, teach those around you what you learned above so that they have an appreciation for the way nature works too. Why not deliver spring flower bulbs or seed packets to your top 25 customers, with a special message such as, “Springtime is bursting to life, and our market is as well. If you have any real estate questions or needs, I’m just a phone call away!”

Something to Think About

The four seasons are sometimes compared to the seasons of life. Spring is the beginning of new and wonderful things – a new baby, a wedding, a new job, etc. Think of the thunder as that “lightning bolt” that strikes when it’s time to “come out of hibernation” and blossom!

Words of Wisdom

“Earth teach me to forget myself as melted snow forgets its life. Earth teach me resignation as the leaves which die in the fall. Earth teach me courage as the tree which stands all alone. Earth teach me regeneration as the seed which rises in the spring.” – William Alexander

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let's party!’” – Robin Williams

“Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.” – Robert H. Schuller

“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” – Mark Twain

 “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

3/28/2016 Monday Morning Message

The Pursuit of Happiness

Did you have a great weekend? Are you feeling happy? I think everyone wants to be happy. But for some, happiness is an elusive, fleeting state that can only be captured for a brief moment, before it floats away like dust in the wind.

The truth is that, as human beings, almost all of our forward momentum is driven by the pursuit of happiness… or of something better. Even the desire to socialize, to love and to connect with other human beings is driven by our desire to be happy. The pursuit of better jobs, higher status, more wealth; for many, it’s a constant pursuit of what we think will bring happiness.

Of course, this certainly doesn’t mean that everything we chase will bring us happiness. In fact, a big part of our struggle with life is figuring out what makes us happy and, perhaps more important, what makes us consistently happy.

You can read about happiness and how others achieved happiness in their own life, but the path that leads to real joy and satisfaction in life is different for each person, and it’s a journey that each person must take on his/her own.

Happiness is a combination of many things: spiritual fulfillment, meaningful relationships in all areas of your life, a sense of accomplishment in your chosen field, knowing that you’re making a difference, a sense of contentment and a variety of other factors. You can’t buy happiness.

I once saw a bumper sticker that read, “Those who say you can’t buy happiness are shopping at the wrong store!” Yes, most people dream of winning the lottery and what it would feel like. Strangely enough, though, many who win the lottery end up miserable. I know, you want to experience it first hand just to be sure. Me too!

“Things” feels good for a while, but then they fade into the wind, and you find yourself buying something else for that brief moment of happiness. True joy, true happiness is found within. When you’re happy, others are happy when they’re around you, bringing you even more happiness.

Something to Think About

The best things in life cannot be bought. What are you most thankful for? What brings you happiness?

Weekly Challenge
Start a journal, and write three things that you are thankful for ­­– that bring you happiness – each day.

Words of Wisdom
“It is not in the pursuit of happiness that we find fulfillment, it is in the happiness of pursuit.” – Denis Waitley

“Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” – Guillaume Apollinaire

“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw

“We do not remember days, we remember moments.” – Cesare Pavese

“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.” – Soren Kierkegaard

3/21/2016 Monday Morning Message

1,440 Minutes!

Did you have enough time this weekend to get everything done? How many times do we find ourselves saying, “I wish I had more time!”? The funny thing is that we all get the same amount of time. We might not have the same circumstances or the same level of assistance to get things done, but we all get the same 1,440 minutes every single day. The difference between your life and mine or anyone else’s is defined by what we choose to do with those minutes.

Let me ask you this: What’s your dream? What’s your goal? What’s the thing you’d really like to achieve this year, this month or even before 5:00 p.m. today? Maybe it’s weight loss or learning a new language. Maybe it’s writing a book or spending more time with your family. Are you actively taking steps to achieve your goal? Not just talking about it, but actually doing it? Because here’s the truth about that person you admire – the one you see jogging down the street every morning or fighting his/her way through a master’s program online while holding down a day job and raising kids: That person has the same 24 hours you do, but he/she is choosing to spend them on his/her dream... not on excuses for why it can’t be achieved.

Sometimes there are justifiable reasons why you might not be able to focus on your goal, but ask yourself: Is it truly justified or just a roadblock of your own making? Here’s the truth... you have to choose. You have to want something bad enough to get up an hour earlier, to turn the TV off, to play Legos with your 5-year-old when you’re exhausted. You have to make the choice and keep making the 1,440 minutes of every 24-hour day count! That's how you get whereyou want to be... that's how you become whom you want to be.

Something to Think About
We’re all given the same 24 hours in a day. What you do with it, how you spend it, invest it or let it sneak away is up to you. What most people fail to realize about time management is that it’s not about structuring your time ­– it’s about structuring your values and priorities. When you know what’s important to you and why, and how to say no to one thing so you can say yes to another, then you will discover how easy it really is to manage your time productively, wisely and easily.

Weekly Challenge
This week, examine your life. What area of your life would you like to change or improve? Choose to do one activity consistently all week long to bring about that change, and see what happens!

Words of Wisdom
“The bad news is, time flies. The good news is, you’re the pilot.” – Michael Althsuler

“Time management is an oxymoron. Time is beyond our control, and the clock keeps ticking regardless of how we lead our lives. Priority management is the answer to maximizing the time we have.” – John C. Maxwell

“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flown. How did it get so late so soon?” – Dr. Seuss

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln

3/14/2016 Monday Morning Message

Ode to St. Patrick!

This week promises to be fun for many as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. But do you know the story of St. Patrick? It’s definitely an interesting one.

One morning, a 16-year-old boy was kidnapped from his house by a band of knife-wielding thugs and taken to another country to be sold as a slave. The year was 401 AD. He was made a shepherd. Slaves were not allowed to wear clothes, so he was often dangerously cold and frequently on the verge of starvation. He often went months without seeing another human being – severe psychological torture.

But during this time, he received his greatest blessing. He used his solitude as a time to meditate, to learn to control the mind and to explore the depths of feeling, something almost impossible in a normal life. He had never been a religious person, but to hold himself together and take his mind off the pain, he began to pray so much that " one day," he wrote later, "I would say as many as a hundred prayers and after dark nearly as many again... I would wake and pray before daybreak – through snow, frost and rain..."

The young slave prayed for six years, until one night he heard a voice tell him he was going home. He was to find a specific ship that would take him home. He walked 200 miles and, when he got to the ocean, there was a ship preparing to leave for his homeland of Britain. He got aboard the ship and went home to reunite with his family.

This 16-year-old boy had changed. He was a holy man who had visions. He heard the voices of the people of Ireland calling him back. He eventually left his family to become ordained as a priest and a bishop so that he could return to Ireland and convert the Irish to Christianity. At the time, the Irish were fierce, illiterate, savage, Iron-Age people. For over 1,100 years, the Roman Empire had been spreading its civilizing influence from Africa to Britain, but Rome never conquered Ireland.

Patrick decided to make these people literate and peaceful. Braving dangers and obstacles of tremendous magnitude, he actually succeeded! By the end of his life, Ireland was Christian. Slavery had ceased entirely. Wars were much less frequent, and literacy was spreading.

How did he do it? He began by teaching people to read, starting with the Bible. Students eventually became teachers and went to other parts of Ireland to create schools and teach others, showing them how to turn sheepskin into paper and paper into books.

Copying books became the major religious activity of that country. The Irish love words. Monks spent their lives copying books: the Bible, the lives of saints and the works accumulated by the Roman culture ­– Latin, Greek and Hebrew books, grammars, the works of Plato, Aristotle, Virgil, Homer, Greek philosophy, math, geometry and astronomy.

As Ireland was being civilized, the Roman Empire was falling apart. Libraries disappeared in Europe. Books were no longer copied (except in the city of Rome itself), and children were no longer taught to read. The civilization that had been built up over 11 centuries disintegrated. This was the beginning of the Dark Ages.

Because our slave-boy-turned-bishop transformed his suffering into a mission, civilization itself, in the form of literature and the accumulated knowledge contained in that literature, was saved during that time of darkness. He was named a saint – the famous Saint Patrick. You can read the full and fascinating story in the excellent book How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill.

Something to Think About
“Very interesting,” you might say, “but what does that have to do with me?” This young man, at the onset of his manhood, got a ‘raw deal.’ But therein lies the lesson. Nobody gets a perfect life. The question is not, “What could I have done if I’d gotten a better life?” but rather, “What can I do with the life I have?” How can you take your personality, your circumstances, your upbringing, the time and place you live in and make something extraordinary out of it? What can you do with what you’ve got?

Weekly Challenge
In this crazy, fast-paced life, we sometimes get so busy that we forget to slow down and have some quiet time for ourselves. It’s easy when you’re a shepherd on top of a mountain, but what about when you’re a busy, successful REALTOR®?

It’s said that the best time to slow down and clear our minds is when we are the busiest. How crazy is that? Who has time to slow down when we’re busy? But many recent studies show that not only will you make better decisions, but you also will have more energy and be more effective if you take time in the middle of the afternoon to get quiet and meditate for 20 minutes. Try it for a week, and see what happens.

Words of Wisdom
We can choose to be affected by the world or we can choose to affect the world.  Heidi Wills

“When you wake up every day, you have two choices. You can either be positive or negative; an optimist or a pessimist. I choose to be an optimist. It's all a matter of perspective.” – Harvey Mackay

“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” – Wayne Dyer

“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” – Carl Sandburg

“It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” – Mother Teresa

3/7/2016 Monday Morning Message

It’s What You Do

Happy Monday, everyone! And what a great Monday it’s going to be! Last month, we talked about the various types of sales agents. Today, let’s talk about what the Cranfield study revealed top salespeople do:

  1. Start with a collaborative mindset. They approach each sales situation as an opportunity to create value together with the customer, for the customer, and for themselves and their company.
  1. Listen. Top salespeople don’t walk in and pitch. Instead, they first seek to understand the customer’s problem or goal so that they can work with them to create a solution.
  1. Ask the right questions. An expert’s questions don’t just serve to discover information about the customer. They challenge current thinking, reframe problems and push the customer toward new insights.
  1. Use the whiteboard. Unlike the Narrators in the Cranfield study, top salespeople launch open-ended, interactive discussions free of PowerPoint-style/predetermined information and truly tailor the discussion to their customers.
  1. Reward customers for engaging. Customer time is precious. Great salespeople get this and reward customers with value for every interaction. This can take the form of ideas, resources, content, and even access and introductions to other people.
  1. Sell the value.While they are savvy negotiators, the salespeople who close the biggest deals focus on demonstrating the tangible economic value of their solution rather than haggling about the cost.
  1. Follow up.Top salespeople know every sale is a step to the next. They check in to see if the solution worked or functioned the way it was supposed to and whether the customer is getting all the value they hoped for.

Something to Think About

It makes sense, doesn’t it? This is a people business, and when the focus stays on the customer, everybody wins!

Weekly Activity 

This week, think about the activities listed above. Are these things you do in your daily business? Which of these activities do you need for a more successful career? What should you do less of, based on the information above?

Words of Wisdom
“Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them.” – Jack Canfield

“Humility is the true key to success. Successful people lose their way at times. They often embrace and overindulge from the fruits of success. Humility halts this arrogance and self-indulging trap. Humble people share the credit and wealth, remaining focused and hungry to continue the journey of success.” – Rick Pitino

“Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What's in it for me?’” – Brian Tracy

“The biggest hurdle is rejection. Any business you start, be ready for it. The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is the successful people do all the things the unsuccessful people don't want to do. When 10 doors are slammed in your face, go to door number 11 enthusiastically, with a smile on your face.” – John Paul DeJoria

“Successful people make money. It's not that people who make money become successful, but that successful people attract money. They bring success to what they do.” – Wayne Dyer 

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