Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My 48 Favorite Books

by Jim "Gymbeaux" Brown, February 28, 2009

On February 28, the date of this Nugget, a Great American was born – ME! Don’t send flowers, read a book in my honor. You might do as well but it would be hard to do better than reading any one of my 45 favorite books that follow.

The books are listed alphabetical by title. There are many authors listed and I can assure you that you would never go wrong reading anything written by Joe Tye, Jeffrey Gitomer, Dr. John Maxwell, Jim Paluch, Brian Tracy, Wallace D. Wattles, Bob Burg, Peggy McColl and Jack Canfield. There are obviously others that I love reading but these are special. You hear a lot of people make claims about “changing your life.” Your life can only be changed when you are ready to change it. “When the student is ready the teacher shall appear.” An old Chinese Proverb. There are many teachers listed herein. To make a change in your life, you first must read. As I like to suggest, “Read - For A Change!” Gymbeaux

21 Distinctions of Wealth, by Peggy McColl. This book shows you how to attract the abundance in your life that you deserve but may be working at cross-purposes to attract. There are practical exercises provided to get you to think in a certain way for at least 21 consecutive days thinking that by so doing you will create beneficial habits that ultimately result in attracting wealth. Wealth is not always monetary, can be whatever you feel is important in your life. http://www.destines.com/

An Unmistakable Touch of Grace; by Cheryl Richardson. A truly fabulous book, one of the best of the list. It is about coincidences and how most coincidences are not that at all but a touch of grace from a Divine intervention. The problem is that most of us are simply not aware or conscious enough to recognize when things come into our life that we actually want but have been to busy to notice. The book is written where Richardson provides questions at the end of each chapter from which the reader can begin journaling their life's experiences. The questions are deep and cause you to think. Great Stuff! www.CherylRichardson.com.

Customer Satisfaction is Worthless; Customer Satisfaction is Priceless! By Jeffrey Gitomer. This book is so much more than just the title would indicate. We as a nation have come to accept “satisfaction” rather than “loyal”. If the reader would insert “employee”, “employer”, “family member”, “spouse”, “business associate (REALTOR®)” for “customer” the book takes on new meaning each time you read it. Would you rather have a “satisfied” spouse or a “loyal” spouse? Enough said. Everyone, regardless of their profession should read this book. http://www.jeffreygitomer.com/.

Eat That Frog, by Brian Tracy. This book is about goal setting but it is written in such a manner to engage you as to why goal setting is important in everyone’s life. This is one of those books that is written where it would make a great opportunity to read one chapter a day, everyday, to get you think in a certain way to help achieve what you want to achieve. Great little book! http://www.briantracy.com/.

Endless Referral by Bob Burg. The title would indicate a book about obtaining referrals and it is but it is more about relationships and how you develop them. No matter what you business you are in, you can also use more business and this book will clearly demonstrate daily activities you can perform to provide immediate and long-term business opportunities for you. A MUST READ FOR ANY ONE IN SALES and who isn’t selling something? http://www.burg.com/.

Failing Forward by John Maxwell. One of the books I purchased for each of my 4 children. Maxwell points out that we all fail at one time or another and that failing is actually a good thing. It is not so much that we each fail at something; it is what we do about our failure and what we learn from it. People have failed and then gone on to bigger and better things because of it. A Must read book. http://www.johnmaxwell.com/.

Fish by Stephen Lundin, Harry Paul and John Christensen. The FISH! Philosophy is a set of simple, practical tools to help you create the work culture you’ve been looking for. It’s a way to build stronger relationships that equip you to face your challenges more effectively. The FISH! Philosophy fulfills the most basic needs of human beings who, in turn, fulfill the needs of the organization—more connected teams, better communication, extraordinary service and higher retention. http://www.charthouse.com/.

Five Important Things by Jim Paluch. Read anything Paluch writes, especially this one. It is an inspirational novel that points out the five most important things to consider and work on in your life: Continue to learn (be learning based); Appreciate People; Attitude; Set Goals; and, Don’t Quit. One of those books you really should read. www.jphorizons.com/books.aspx.

Food, Mood and Money by Helmut Julinot (a personal friend and neighbor). Julinot proposes that the amount of money you eventually earn is directly influenced by the mood you are routinely in and that your mood is not only influenced by WHAT you eat but also WHEN you eat it. It is a fascinating book and he provides proof of this theory from countries other than the U. S. where it is routinely practiced. Good Stuff! No web site.

Gossip, by Lori Palatnik with Bob Burg. This book will cause you to take a serious look at your speech and how your words can literally destroy not only relationships, but individuals as well. Words can also destroy office morale. Powerful book that will not only give your cause to think, it also provides tools to help you become more aware of what you say and the impact of saying it. http://www.burg.com/.

Growing Dreams by Jim Paluch. This is just a cool book. It is an inspirational novel about 7 people who meet at McDonalds and share stories and wisdom. It is compelling and hard to put down. Lessons for everyone. www.jphorizons.com/books.aspx.

Leaving A Legacy by Jim Paluch. An inspirational novel/guide. Will you leave a legacy? It follows the lives of seven individuals and their life experiences providing the wisdom for all of us to leave a legacy. www.jphorizons.com/books.aspx.

Life Is Short- Wear Your Party Pants by Loretta LaRoche. A very funny but educational book on how to slow down your life and reconnect with what is important. http://www.lorettalaroche.com/.

Little Black Book of Connections by Jeffrey Gitomer. GREAT book on developing relationships that can immediately or long term create business opportunities for you. However, it is not just about business, it is about building and developing relationships. A MUST read for anyone in sales. http://www.jeffreygitomer.com/.

Little Gold Book of YES!Attitude by Jeffrey Gitomer. I recommend every book that Gitomer has written but especially this one. Few if anyone ever takes a course on “attitude” and this book causes you to constantly think about developing a positive attitude and gives you tools to do so. Your life and thoughts will never be the same after reading this book. http://www.jeffreygitomer.com/.

Little Green Book of Getting Your Way by Jeffrey Gitomer. Discusses and provides tools about the power of persuasion, how to believe in yourself, how to get ready to get your way, how to speak or present to get your way, how to write to get your way, how to turn a presentation into a performance, and much, much more. http://www.jeffreygitomer.com/.

Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching! By Jeffrey Gitomer. Cha-Ching is the sound a cash register makes when you make a sale. Cha-Ching is the sound you want to hear when you achieve something you desire; achievement, goals, money, wealth, fun, happiness, or fulfillment. This is a fun read with ideas, suggestions and tools to make your personal “cash register” Cha-Ching!

Little Red Book of Sales Answers by Jeffrey Gitomer. As the cover indicates, 99.5 answers that make sense, make sales and make money; what more needs to be said? Another gem by Gitomer. http://www.jeffreygitomer.com/.

Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer. As the cover indicates. 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness. How to make sales FOREVER. Jump start yourself. Personal branding. Offering value. It’s about networking. Creativity. Much more. http://www.jeffreygitomer.com/.

Little Teal Book of Trust by Jeffrey Gitomer. “How to earn it, grow it, and keep it to become a Trusted Advisor in Sales, Business & Life.” Success in life and business is all about trust and who trusts you. Can you get trust back when you lose it? How trust affects how people react to you. How trust affects your sales, your results and most importantly your relationships. http://www.jeffreygitomer.com/.

Living at the Summit by Dr. Tom Hill. “Thinking is an art form and Tom Hill has proven himself a master painter. This (inspirational) novel gets inside you and comes alive with hopefulness and helpfulness.” Mark Victor Hansen. That about says it all. It is a compelling read that you will probably read in one sitting. http://www.eagleinstitute.com/.

Master Your Traits by Bob Burg. Are you happy with your personal characteristics? This is such a cool book based upon a theory of Benjamin Franklin. Franklin knew he was not well liked so he identified his 13 more critical personal characteristics. Then he would focus on one characteristic a week. Then move on to the next and then the next. 13 weeks equals one quarter of a year so he would repeat the process 4 times over the course of a year. This book works you through the 13 week process and I can assure you that if you apply the principles and practices of the book, you will be a different person at the end of the year. A true self-help book. http://www.burg.com/.

Never Fear, Never Quit by Joe Tye. A story of courage and Perseverance. Making the twenty principles of courage and perseverance a part of your life will help you achieve personal happiness and professional success. A great read. http://www.joetye.com/.

On Being A Dog With A Bone, by Peggy McColl. McColl uses the characteristics of dogs and stories about dogs to relate to the way people behave and react. Like a dog with a bone, grab hold of your dreams and never let go. Teach an old dog new tricks. Big a little dog with a big dog attitude. Go farther even when you reach the end of your leash. A very educational and entertaining book. http://www.destinies.com/.

Somebody Gotta Say It by Neal Boortz. Not everyone is going to like the contents of this book but you have to admit that “somebody had to say it” and Boortz did. If you don’t like everything he writes about it will certain make you at least think about the various subjects of this book. I found it fascinating and highly recommended. http://www.boortz.com/.

Stand Up For Your Life, by Cheryl Richardson. I watched the video which is MAGNIFICENT. Richardson gets you to think about what is important in your life and then shows you practical day-to-day activities that cause you to focus on the 5 most important things in your life. After you read the book or watch the video, I can almost assure you that the 5 things you “thought” were important will be immediately changed to what is “really” important. Great tools to use! http://www.cherylrichardson.com/.

The Twelve Core Action Values by Joe Tye. A Workbook for the Values Coach Guided Self-Coaching Course by Joe Toe. This is a workbook/course designed to transform people through the power of having values and more importantly being aware of an individuals core values and how to enrich those values through awareness. The workbook/course also can be used to transform Organizations through the Power of People and identified principles. The twelve core action values are: Authenticity, Integrity, Awareness, Courage, Perseverance, Faith, Purpose, Vision, Focus, Enthusiasm, Service and Leadership. This one course has caused me to look at life’s situations very differently with much better results by focusing on what is important to me, my values and principles. http://www.joetye.com/.

The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck. One of those few books that I have read in one reading. It caused me to think about my own childhood and trips with my Dad to the corner drug store for a hot chocolate on a snowy night. Compelling read; makes a fabulous Christmas Gift. http://www.glennbeck.com/.

The Energy Addict by Jon Gordon. Low personal energy, low performance. High energy, high performance. It is that simple! Gordon leads you through things you could and should be doing in your life to increase the energy you have. http://www.jongordon.com/.

The Farmer by Joe Tye, a great inspirational novel about lessons learned from a mysterious farmer met along side the road. Compelling story about a truly remarkable value-centered organization and how it serves its employees and the surrounding community. http://www.joetye.com/.

The Florence Prescription; by Joe Tye. One of those rare books that I have read in one sitting. It is base upon a hospital's desire to provide quality patient care but is more wrapped up in petty daily politics and management vs worker mentality until Florence Nightingale returns to help a business consultant reverse the problem. It is a unique concept. Tye incorporates most if not all of his coaching techniques and beliefs into th book making it a compelling read for anyone in business not just hospital administrators. I consider it a must read. www.JoeTye.com.

The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. Great inspirational novel that follows a young business man distraught at his lack of sales. He is introduced to a famous businessman and entrepreneur by a somewhat recluse fellow salesman. He is then taken on a journey to meet other successful business people who lead him to rethinking the way he approaches his life and business and ultimately earns the success he desires. A very good read. http://www.burg.com/.

The Millionaire Real Estate Agent by Gary Keller, Dave Jenks and Jay Papasan. The title of this book presents a problem as it is more about how to build a business, any business not just real state. I have read this book at least 6 times and every time something new pops out. It is a fantastic book that outlines step-by-step, how to build your business. More importantly, it also suggests, “It is NOT about the money” but more about what the money (you earn) can do for you – help you achieve your BIG WHY. http://www.millionairesystems.com/.

The Noticer by Andy Andrews. www.AndyAndrews.com. An inspirational novel that holds you attention throughout the book. A great read. It is about a mysterious traveler who shows up at the most opportune times when people are simply in need of someone to listen and encourage them. It is an Andy Andrews type writing style where you do not know where real incidents in his life have been embellished by a little fiction. I loved the book. It is moving, inspirational and more importantly opens your eyes to your surroundings and you will never look at your life quite in the same way again. You will also learn to appreciate the teachers in your life.

The Power of Story by Jim Loehr. Your life IS a story. Loehr shows you how to create a life story that you can use to change the direction of your life and ultimately your future. A great deal has to do with how you interpret the occurrences of your life; pick and choose the good and the life lessons and create a new story that you can rely upon. www.lgeperformance.com/au_leadership.html.

The Sales Bible by Jeffrey Gitomer. This is exactly what it would suggest. It is a guide about sales. There are two issues so make sure you get the latest issue. Cover states it contains the 10.5 Commandments of Sales Success. This book will help you close sales in business and relationships the day you begin to read it. http://www.jeffreygitomer.com/.

The Science of Being Well by Wallace D. Wattles. Wattles wrote this in the early 1900’s. The premise of the book is that a great many of us get think because we “think in a certain way” and if that is true, we can also heal ourselves by “thinking in a certain way.” The web site is created and maintained by Alexandra Gayek. Free download at http://www.scienceofbeingwell.com/.

The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles. Wattles wrote this in 1910 and while I don’t know this for certain, it appears to be the basis for the more recent movie The Secret. Wattles suggests that we should “think in a certain way” and this has been repeated in books ever since. If you want to change your life, change the way you think about your life or “think in a certain way.” The web site is created and maintained by Rebecca Fine. Free download at http://www.scienceofgettingrich.com/.

The Shift, by Gary Keller, Dave Jenks and Jay Papasan. Another fascinating book by this trio of authors. It helps you through a changing market (shifting) and how you can prepare for it, respond to it and actually build your business not so much in spite of it but because of it. This should be a must read for anyone in sales. http://www.millionairesystems.com/.

The Speed of Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey. This is a fascinating book about trust, how you develop it, how you can use it, how it can be lost in a second and how you can restore it (sometimes). Relationships are all about trust and if you value your personal or business relationships, this would be a MUST READ book. http://www.speedoftrust.com/.

The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. All of Canfields books are great and this is no exception. Shows you how to change the outcome of any event. How to access powerful mentors. How to prepare for any opportunity. How to say No. How to ask for anything you want. Etc., great book. http://www.jackcanfield.com/.

Thinking for a Change by John Maxwell.
The title has two meanings. You can THINK for a CHANGE or you can CHANGE by THINKING. Every John Maxwell Book is great, this is really great. It IS all about THINKING. http://www.johnmaxwell.com/.

Your Destiny Switch by Peggy McColl. A book on how to master your key emotions and attract the life of your dreams. It is all about filling your life by being more aware of your surroundings and circumstances and filling your life with joy. http://www.destinies.com/.

Your Dreams Are Too Small by Joe Tye. The title speaks for itself. Your dreams are usually TOO small. Dare to dream big, make it a memory of the future and then expect a miracle. Great read. http://www.joetye.com/.

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith. It really is what it suggests. Identifies how we all get in our own way. How we let others get in our way. More importantly provides you with practical thinking as to how to get out of your way and create the life you want. http://www.marshallgoldsmith.com/.

What You Think of Me is None of My Business, by Terry Cole-Whittaker. This book provides one of the most value personal development tools of all time. Most people worry constantly about what other people think of them. You would worry far less if you knew just how little other people really think about you. http://www.terrycolewhittaker.com/.

Winning Without Intimidation by Bob Burg. The books’ premise is quite simple; someone does not have to lose for you to win. Life’s relationships can be a win-win situation. Burg not only points out the problem areas in personal/business relationships, he provides common-sense tools that you can use everyday that work to help make interactions win-win. Fabulous book, one you will want to read more than once. http://www.burg.com/.

Zen Golf by Dr. Joseph Parent. Do not dismiss this book if you do not play golf. It is not about a golf swing. It is all about the mental side of the golf game. It is absolutely amazing how much this book applies to life in general and even sales specifically. A great deal of the book teaches you how to sell yourself on what you about to do. It causes you to think. Great stories used to emphasize points. http://www.zengolf.com/.

Something to think about from Joe Tye:

People will quit a job, but they will never quit a mission;
People will leave an organization, but they will never leave a team;
People will desert a boss, but they will never desert a leader!

Reading these books and others sent me on a mission, to build a team and hopefully develop the leader within me that is within all of us. Only time will tell just how successful I have been. The secret, if there is one, is to, “read-for a change!” If you read…change will surely follow.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

You And A Tanking Economy

By Jim "Gymbeaux" Brown, February 18, 2009

“An education will earn you a living. Self-education will earn you a fortune!”
Jim Rohn

Thank about that extremely meaningful quote while considering what Gary Keller said in his book, The Millionaire Real Estate Agent when he referred to having a BIG WHY. What is a BIG WHY? It is the ultimate reason you do whatever you do. Focusing only on the money you earn will do very little in helping you achieve your ultimate BIG WHY if you do not focus on whatever your BIG WHY truly is. Question, is what you are about to say or do leading you toward your BIG WHY or away from it?

I think we can all agree that as of February 2009, the economy is “in the tank.” Just about everyone has been affected in one way or another. I feel truly sorry for people who have not prepared themselves for this to happen. To the ill prepared person, our economy is really a double dose of bad news. We have had 8 to 10 years of pretty good times. Now that the stock market is down, sales are down, jobs are at stake, businesses are closing, and real estate values both residential and commercial are continuing to decline, people who have not prepared themselves for this find themselves over-extended in their monthly payment, living in a home that they may owe more on than it is worth and possibly one person in a two person family has lost their job or even both have lost their jobs. The second part of that dose as a result of the economy is that during the good times, most people, hopefully not you, failed to see the shift coming and did very little to prepare themselves or their business for the shift.

Look again at what Jim Rohn said, “An education will earn you a living. Self-education will earn you a fortune!” I believe that Rohn meant more than a monetary fortune when he used the word “fortune.” I believe he meant that in addition to earning a monetary fortune, you will also learn valuable mental and physical skills, emotional stability and the knowledge that you can survive in any market or economy. Unfortunately you do not learn such skills in conventional schooling.

Gary Keller said that “the only time you can grow your (real estate) business is in a down market.” That, in my opinion, is true for almost any business. If you have the proper mental attitude, when you believe you cannot fail, when you have the knowledge and tools to do the right thing at the right time, this economy truly IS a place where you can grow your business. I found it fascinating watching what Warren Buffett does when the economy turns. Instead of selling off his assets, he is buying troubled assets knowing that in time most if not all of these “troubled” assets will eventually recover. When that occurs, his net worth will increase dramatically. Is it no wonder that “the rich get richer” and usually do so when the economy turns one way or the other.

Gary Keller also said that our market (referring to the real estate market) is neither up nor down; it IS what it IS at the moment. Is it trending one way or the other? Absolutely! Each of us has a choice. We can either “CO-MISERATE” with others who will listen (that is my Joe Tye training) or we can choose to make a good situation out of a bad one. If you made a lot of money over the past decade when things were good, imagine what you could have made if you had the mindset to prepare yourself for what Peter Kuhn of MEDSEEK called a “global reset.” Is that not what is occurring on a global basis? A global reset? I love that description. A global reset!

Look what happened in Florida. Florida has no personal income tax. The weather is about as good as you can get in America year-round. Life is good in Florida. As a result, people were moving to Florida by the thousands if not millions. As a result, real estate values were escalating at alarming rates but not alarming to people who already owned homes. For those folks, the escalating real estate values were outstanding. The values were adding tremendous paper value to their net worth. Everyone was happy. It was not unusual to purchase a home and see its value literally double in 5 years. Who ever said, “All good things must come to end” must have been from Florida. There is a point where the affordability of an increasing housing market had to reach a point where fewer and fewer people could afford to buy. When that happens, the housing market MUST make an adjustment just like the stock market oftentimes does. The huge difference is that normally you do not have to sell off your stocks unless you absolutely need the money. Housing is different. When a homeowner’s property value declines and for whatever reason they MUST move, there is no choice but to sell at a loss. Hopefully the lower property value does not decline to the point to where the homeowner owes more than the property is worth. Unfortunately that is what has happened in such markets as California, Florida, Nevada, and New York.

If these states were totally isolated, the declining markets would not affect the remainder of American markets but they are not isolated. On the contrary, what affects one market eventually affects all markets. Our national news media did not help by predicting the “housing bubble burst” over 7 years prior to the current adjustment or reset. In time, they eventually had to be right. Even a broken clock is right twice every twenty-four hours. I personally believe that the national media with their unending “news” stories about a pending real estate bubble burst helped to cause our current problems by publishing and feeding the scare that followed. The result? 2009.

Our elementary, middle, and high schools and our college educations are what Jim Rohn meant when he said an education will earn you a living. That type of education in addition to junior colleges, community colleges and trade schools gives a person the right to enter a career field. In my case the real estate pre-licensing education gave me a piece of paper, a license, to sell real estate. If that person’s education stops at graduation, his or her ability to earn a fortune STOPS! I know of no school that teaches personal relationships, money management, goal setting, attitude development (and I don’t mean a negative or “I’m special” type attitude), or self-education in general. Look at celebrities or sports figures. It is a good thing that they earn a fortune based upon their good looks or extraordinary athletic ability because most of them would not earn a dime based upon their attitude or what they say in public. They are the exception, not the rule! Yet we idolize these people.

The person who will succeed in this economy will be the person who has developed a self-education program. The person who realizes that the status quo is insufficient. That no other person truly cares about their future or their goals to the point that they will work to help insure their desired future or goals are achieved. Obviously this might exclude immediate family members. It would also exclude those rare individuals who learn not only to develop their own careers but to also serve a personal mission to share their knowledge and wisdom with others so that they too may develop their careers. Joe Tye said, “You would worry less about what other people think of you if you knew how little they thought of you.” I would like to suggest that YOU would also worry MORE if you knew how little other people worried about you because your future is totally left up to you. As the Midas Muffler commercial said, “You can pay me now or you can pay me later.” People (certainly not you) who fail to fully grasp the importance of making a plan for their self-education and then making a plan to take action on their plan are destined, for the most part, for mediocrity and even failure. Successful people are learning based people. They are typically self-educated people who have learned the training and proper attitude to adjust, adapt and cope with their environment. They are prepared! They are learning based! Are you?

Are you really learning based? Think so? How many books do you read? How many seminars do you attend? How many non-required classes do you attend? How many educational CDs or DVDs do you watch or listen to? When you read, listen or watch, are you engaged or are you simply going through the motions. Can you remember what you learned 4 weeks later or even 24 hours later?

I have found that a great many people stop their learning because they feel they “know it all” and any additional reading or courses is much ado about the same subjects and topics. Therefore they see no value in reading or attending. It has been said that people must do the same action at last 21 times in order for that action to become a habit thus guaranteeing its results. Remember a habit could be both good (prospecting for leads every day) or bad (smoking for one). I doubt that the first cigarette someone smoked tasted good. I would bet that it took days if not weeks to get use to its taste and the associated throat ailments that accompanied smoking; like 21 days maybe? If it took that long to develop the habit is no wonder it takes at least that long to stop it? I believe you read books and attend classes to both reinforce what you have already learned (and probably are not doing) as well as what is new that you should at least give a try.

From my own personal experience it absolutely amazes me how many times I am faced with a situation and are shocked at the seemingly “right words” that flow from my lips. I oftentimes stop and ask myself, “Where did that come from?” It came from something I may have read 10 years ago or last week; words that did not come from a news program or reality TV. If you were to ask me to recall something I read 10 years ago or last week, I may or may not be able to do so. But when you are flowing with the moment, your unconscious recollection kicks in and out pops just the right words or actions at the right time.

I did not always feel this way. In fact I did not read a book between my college days and when I reached 44 years of age, I am now 64. What caused the change in attitude? A suggestion by Lee Shelton in his audio tapes “Creating Teamwork” when he suggested everyone should read “I’m Okay; You’re Okay!” which I did and that started me to think and then created a desire to read more. In the last 20 years I have read over 500 books, (I don’t say that to boast but only state a fact), I have attended an undeterminable number of seminars, classes, conventions and I have listened to who knows how many tapes, CDs, or DVDs. Self-education became an addiction; not all addictions are bad.

Jeffrey Gitomer asks, “How much of your success is result of watching the news, reality TV or unending re-runs?” In case you-know-who is reading this the answer is none!

It is never too late to engulf yourself with self-education. If you don’t start now, when will you start? When the economy gets better; resets again? Do what you love; love what you do! If you truly love what you do, you will also create a self-education plan to get better at what you do. If you want a personal mission statement that works, try this one:

Mission Statement: To be the best I can be at being a ____________! You could add, salesman, car dealer, doctor, dentist, teacher, golf pro (had to put that one in), mother, father, son, daughter, uncle, aunt, real estate broker (there I go again), name what you want to be best at.

Then use Joe Tye’s Direction-Deflection-Question (DDQ):

Is what I am about to say or do consistent with being the best ___________?

If YES, do it; if NO don’t! It all starts with a plan!

If you would like a list of the books that I would highly recommend along with a brief explanation plus internet link to the author’s web site, send me an email to JimBrown@gymbeaux.com and enter BOOK LIST in the subject line.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Where's The Refresh Button?

Article by: Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, February 13, 2009

If you want to read a great book, read, “The Big AHA! Breakthroughs in Resolving and Preventing Workplace Conflict, written by Bill Wiersma, www.TheBigAhaOnline.com. The following is copied from Chapter 10 of the book:

“At a gathering we were both attended while I was writing this book, Carol Lynn Pearson, an accomplished author, related the following experience:

As I logged on to my personal Web site the other day, the first things I noticed were the old Christmas graphics. My Web mistress and friend, Sandy, had put them up for the holidays, and they were still there at the end of January! I thought, well, this is embarrassing!

I called Sandy and said, ‘So, what do you think…can we take the Christmas decorations off the Web site now?’

“Oh, honey,’ she replied, ‘I took those down some time ago.’ (Sandy lives in Texas and she calls me honey.)

“Now, Sandy,’ I said, ‘I’m sitting here in front of the screen right now, and I’m staring at a candy cane. The decorations are still up.’

“She said, ‘Oh, I know what the matter is honey! It’s all those cookies you got stored in your computer. They just hang onto everything. They send you onto the hold pathways they’ve built up habits around, and they pull up the old Web site, not the new one. Now, here’s what I want you to do. Right-click on a blank area…go ahead, right-click. Now, you see where it says, Refresh? Go ahead and left-click on Refresh.’

“I clicked Refresh, and lo and behold, the Christmas decorations were gone. Well, they had actually been gone for some time, buy my system had been stuck in the past!”

When my friend related this experience, I couldn’t help but think how easily we get stuck in the past (especially given the nature of the experiential mind) and how our “cookies” exacerbate the problem by encouraging us to define people by their histories. It’s difficult to let go. Howe convenient it would be to have a Refresh button of our own, enabling us to change how we feel and see people in a renewed way – a more accepting light.”

Well there it was right in front of me – a mental Refresh button on the brain. Not just for looking at a person in a new light but also a situation or a problem we have encountered. How many times do we form instant opinions or decisions based on an old mental photograph? Things change as do people and events. If we had a Refresh Button on our brains, could find a different position, opinion, pathway or solution to a problem? I not only think so, I know so!

In a training class many years ago, the instructor compared our brains to a pocket tape recorder. Everything that we see, hear and do is permanently recorded on a never-ending tape. We are too busy to edit the tape at the end of the day so the images become permanent. Then when we face a similar situation or even a brand new situation, we mentally and unconsciously scan our mind’s tape recorder to see how we should react based on what we believe to be true because we have it on tape. He referred to this process simply as “old tapes” and in many cases, these old tapes become limiting beliefs we hold to be true.

A more modern version would compare the brain to a desktop computer with a never-ending hard drive that logs everything we see, hear and do. Then, like the old tapes, we now have our old hard drives that dictate to our brains how we should form an opinion, take an action, or make a decision based upon the information on the hard drive – “old tapes.” Can this information be in error? Absolutely. In computer language, garbage in – garbage out. If we fail to validate the information we store on our mental hard drives, we use the incorrect or defective information to form opinions, take action or make decisions and it is all based on inaccurate data.

Big problem – little problem? Whether a problem is considered big or little really depends upon where you are mentally coming from as you encounter the problem. Problems tend to attract more problems. If you are constantly encountering bad people, bad people tend to attract other bad people. If your problems are financial, financial problems attract more financial problems; and the list goes on. It’s THE Law of Attraction at work in our lives.

If you play golf, bowl, work crafts, hunt, make jewelry or whatever hobby you pursue, if you are like most people you spend time getting better at what you like to do. Yet when it comes to your attitude, when was the last attitude course you took? What was the last attitude book you read? I have made this recommendation many times, I would start with Jeffrey Gitomer’s book, The Little Gold Book of YES!Attitude. If you work on first creating an environment to have a positive attitude and then work every day without fail on having a positive attitude, it in turn affects the way you look upon the problems and people you encounter. People with a positive attitude come from a position of:

1. Looking from the outside in, what is the problem?
2. What can I do to fix this problem?
3. Who can I talk to that may have experienced this problem?
4. Fix the problem.
5. Fix the root cause of the problem so it does not happen again.
6. What can I learn from this experience?
7. Who can I teach to help them avoid similar problems?

People with a negative attitude, and that would be most people but certainly not you, react rather than respond to their problems. Problems come as a surprise (not really) then anger sets in, (Why me?) and oftentimes they have a knee-jerk reaction rather than a measured response.

Therefore it is my opinion that we all need to first clean our mental hard drives of negative experiences. Think about the “bad” things that may have happened to you that you dwell and rely upon but this time think about the good that came from them; there is good in almost every event regardless of what you may think. Then focus on the good things. Erase all those negative “cookies” in the mind on a daily basis.

If you stop there you will have gained little. Working on your attitude for today and all your tomorrows is the key. When you do, problems are reduced in size to being more like bumps in the road rather than detours in life.

It all starts with a smile and a positive thought every morning, before you do another thing. Look in the mirror, smile at yourself and thank God that you can look in the mirror – regrettably as it is, tomorrow morning some won’t be able to look in the mirror, smile and give thanks. So it could be worse – much worse.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Golden Rule Is ALL Wrong!

By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, February 4, 2009

Okay, maybe it is not wrong, but there definitely is an alternative that could help you in sales. If you are like me, you first began hearing about the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have done unto you,” since the age of 3 or 4. God knows I am not here to suggest that my mother was wrong but in this case, I think she may have been a little mislead as I have.

I have heard several speakers and authors talk about this but who said it first - I have no idea. While watching the great movie Pass It On, I heard it again. This time it was not WHAT was said but HOW the speaker emphasized the words that initially caused me to really start thinking about the meaning of what was said. Then I picked up where I had left off reading Jeffrey Gitomer’s book, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless; Customer Loyalty is Priceless where Gitomer told two stories of two different hotels and how he had been treated. (Side note: This has been one of the most difficult books for me to read. Read a page, get an idea. Read another page, get another idea. At this rate I will finish it in 2010. But is a fabulous book; highly recommend it.)

In the first 5 star hotel, he was treated not only as he expected to be treated, he had some pleasant surprises thus creating a memorable event that was repeated by word-of-mouth, as well as his written word in his books; and now mine here. At the second hotel, Gitomer expected nothing less but less is exactly what he got. His treatment was shabby at best. He was shocked to find a hand written note on his hotel bed from the manager addressing him by name thanking him for his business and reaffirmed his desire to provide great service. The manager obviously sent such notes routinely to incoming customers but had failed to discuss this new visitor’s displeasure that had been voiced at the front desk the night before. In other words, this is what we really do (actions) and this is what we would like to do (false promises).

What actually transpired is not important. What hit me from his two stories was the effect of the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” Gitomer’s stores created a very HUGE AHA for me when coupled with what I had heard that same afternoon in the Pass It On movie which was:

Do unto others as they would WANT done unto THEM! – not you!

Let me put this into perspective. I am the real estate broker for a 100+ Keller Williams Realty office. If you stop and think for just a minute, you realize that with 100 people you get 100 personalities; none the same. 100 likes – 100 dislikes. 100 people with different goals and objectives. 100 people with different family make-ups. 99 people who get it except for you-know-who; who has no clue! Or in other words, everyone is different. Jeffrey Gitomer who travels a great deal to his speaking engagements has come to expect quite different treatment at hotels than say I would. I travel only a couple of times a year at best. It would be far easier to satisfy my requirements than Gitomer’s because he would have far greater needs than I would. The next morning he gets up in front of hundreds if not thousands of people and has to look his best. Me? I probably will get up and go to the golf course; I don’t care if my shirt is pressed, or not – huge difference.

Question. What if you are a jerk? If you take the Golden Rule literally, does that mean you treat everyone else like a jerk because that is what YOU have come to expect? What if you are someone who gets into verbal confrontations on a daily basis? Someone who is unhappy? Someone who is simply sick, or worse, you are you-know-who? Get the idea?

Some people like to be left alone. Some people thrive by engaging other people. Some people find it difficult if they do not constantly receive praise and recognition. Some people prefer to stay in the background. Some want quick resolutions. Some want to be certain the resolution was thoroughly thought out and tested.

There is one trait, however, that we are all most likely guilty of – what’s in it for me? Would it be fair to say that every customer we have ever dealt with or will deal with thinks, “What’s in it for me?” Do you think the customer ever seriously thinks, with the emphasis on seriously, how can I satisfy this agent’s needs and wants? No way!

Think about this: How do YOU want to be treated by me? Personally, I am always aware of how I want to be treated by you? This is what I know about me. When all the fluff is set aside, I am a bottom line person. If you can get the job done in 10 minutes do not take 60! Tell me what you want. Let me know if you want me to help or just listen; there is a difference.

I tell you this because if you treat me the way YOU want to be treated and it is NOT the same as I would, you will most likely miss the mark. When you meet someone for the first time and you have only a few seconds or words with the other person there is no way you could possibly know how that person wants to be treated. You must engage with the idea of learning. You do this by asking questions and then, and this is the critical part, YOU LISTEN TO WHAT IS SAID! In the case of a hotel stay, you can pretty much understand that the sky is the limit and it would be easy to meet minimum standards but to exceed them would be determined by what that guest to the hotel had come to expect from the type of hotel they stay at. Hotels that truly exceed a customer’s expectations constantly look for ways to “raise the bar” on what is provided by the hotel and exceed what is expected by the customer as Gitomer points out in his book. In one story in Gitomer’s book, a hotel employee called him a week in advance of his stay to ask him if there was anything special he would need. Imagine that – initiative. That one action has caused Gitomer to tell others about the hotel and he has even written about it, and now I am. Word-of-Mouth marketing at its finest!

What are you doing to cause your customers to want to tell others about the service you provide, or not. Are you providing service that YOU think the customer wants; or, are you providing the kind of service the customer REALLY wants? Do Unto Others As They Would Want Done Unto Them!

What I have come to learn over my many years in real estate sales is that the more experienced the real estate agent the less likely it will be that the agent sees through the customer’s eyes. Times change and what worked yesterday may not work today. But if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it – we have all heard that. I look at it a bit differently. I look upon things as always being broken; it just hasn’t stopped working – yet! I have always done it this way, I don’t care what you or your studies show. “Do unto others as you would have done unto you!” Therefore with that attitude, you would continue doing what you have always done and most likely begin to realize diminishing returns on your efforts over time. I am a baby boomer. Believe it or not, a great many “baby boomers” are NOT computer literate. So if you go into a presentation expecting to overwhelm the baby bloomer with your technical savvy on the computer, you will succeed – you will have overwhelmed them! When you overwhelm people you also unintentionally plant the seeds of distrust. Give the customer what the customer wants. If the customer wants technology, give it to him or her. If the customer wants a gentle conversation, eye-to-eye, give that to him or her.


A much better Golden Rule; at least in my opinion. Treat people the way THEY would LIKE to be treated. The way YOU want to be treated when providing service to others really doesn’t matter does it? Here is another personal example. I am a bottom line type person. I hate the endless lead-ins to eventually get to the meat of the matter. I have attended training classes where the instructor talked for over 45 minutes and did not provide one note-taking idea – it was all lead-in material. In one 2 hour required continuing education course, there was only 15 minutes of meat taking notes out of a total of 120 minutes of presentation. I was bored out of my mind. I was being treated like someone else wanted to be treated – not me Mo Frer! Treat people like THEY want to be TREATED!

Fast forward to a situation where I am selling my own home and you come to my home for a listing presentation. Also consider this fact which you would not know if you don’t read (of course that is not you) – 70% of homeowners interview only one agent. Therefore you have a 70% chance that agent would be you, unless of course you are you-know-who. You come to my home and start your presentation and I would most likely learn all about you, your company, your company ownership, your wonderful company logo and colors, and the notebook computer you present all this material on. You may even show me name after name of satisfied customers. Not once, however, did you ask me what I wanted. Remember, I told you I am a bottom line kind of person. All I wanted to know was how much you thought my home was worth and why, and, what are you going to do to sell it. That’s it! How long would that take? 15 minutes? 20? But no, you have been doing listing presentations for over 10 years and you absolutely know, with no uncertainty, what I want to hear – wrong! Do unto others as they want done unto them!

How do you know what I want and how I want to be treated? YOU ASK! Imagine that! Most real estate agents “assume” they know not only what their customers want but also how they want to be treated and that is just wrong thinking. Actually it is “bonehead” thinking. And you-know-who engages in bonehead thinking and you certainly do not want to be like that, would you? (Rhetorical question, you don’t have to email me with your response  )

Want to change your business? Change the way you think about your business. More importantly find out what your customer wants (they are not all the same) and then create a plan of action that meets your customer’s needs, wants and more importantly exceed their expectations.


If you do, then the next famous quote falls right into place:

“To get everything YOU want in life, help someone else get what THEY want – FIRST!