Monday, November 28, 2011


Gary Keller in the book The Millionaire Real Estate Agent (MREA) said that everyone should identify what their BIG WHY is and then everything they do should be done with the idea of achieving your lifetime BIG WHY. 

I have been in the work force since 1957, I really did start when I was 12 working in my Uncle’s drug store as a stock boy.  I have always taught the importance of having personal goals and Gary’s book put the exclamation mark on the real importance of having written goals and especially identifying the one really BIG goal that is your BIG WHY.

The following goals are more of my past TO DO’S or TO BECOME’S; they are what they are; I think you will agree I “could” do a lot worse.  They are identified by “bullets” as to not put more importance on one over the other.  These are not goals in the strictest sense of the word where the goals should be measurable and have a specific achievement date; they are more of works-in-progress:

·       I want to Fail Forward as in Failing Forward by Dr. John Maxwell

·       I want to say YES! far more frequently and make it part of my daily life as Jeffrey Gitomer defined in The Little Gold Book of YES!Attitude.

·       I want to be known as a Professional as Bill Wiserma defined in The Power of Professionalsm,

·       I want my friends to think so highly of me they would refer all of their family and friends to me just as Bob Burg describes in his book Endless Referrals and Jeffrey Gitomer in his book The Little Black Book of Connections

·       I want people to trust me like Jeffrey Gitomer writes in The Little Teal Book of Trust,

·       I want to live at the summit as Dr. Tom Hill described in Living at the Summit, and maybe even write about me in a future book by Dr. Hill in his second or third version of Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul.

·       I want to “leave a legacy” as Jim Paluch described in Leaving a Legacy at

·       I want to be and stay “motivated” like Tamara Lowe suggested in Get Motivated at

·       I want people to know that when they talk to me they hear what I think, not what they want to hear, lessons learned from Fierce Conversations and Susan Scott

·       I want my life to be “gossip” free and people know gossip is not welcome when talking with me like Bob Burg and Laurie Palatnik wrote in Gossip,

·       I want to be ever vigilant for new and better ways to do things like Marshall Goldsmith said when he wrote What Got You Here Won’t Get You There!”

·       I would like for me and everyone I work with or for, but especially me, to be “all hands on deck” as Joe Tye describes in All Hands On Deck

·       I want people to know the 5 important things about me and my beliefs as defined by Jim Paluch in 5 Important Things at

·       I want to get what I want, who doesn’t, just as Jeffrey Gitomer describes in The Little Green Book of How To Get What You Want,

·       I want what I do to be on purpose, not an accident just as Tommy Newberry wrote about in Success Is Not An Accident at

·       I want BIG dreams just like Joe Tye said in Your Dreams Are Too Small,

·       When I win, and I want to win often and BIG, I want to do so without intimidation just as Bog Burg wrote in Winning Without Intimidation,

·       I never want to lose sight of my 12+ deep core action values; Joe Tye helped me define these in The 12 Core Action Values,

·       I know I don’t know everything therefore I want to simply understand the questions, much like Debbie Ford suggests in The Right Questions,

·       I definitely want to think for a change, right Dr. John Maxwell?  Thinking For A Change at

·       In the end I want to be known as Peggy McColl writes in Being A Dog With A Bone, and one who always ate the biggest and ugliest frog first and every day like Brian Tracy Eat That Frog!

·       And how cool would it be when people say they learned something on that they may not have learned had it not been for yours truly and then they would say AHA! Like Bill Wiserma in The BIG AHA!

You know I could go on.  What you don’t see above is that I want to be like the folks on Survivor, the Great Race, So You Think You Can Dance, American Idol (that would be me anyway); you get the point.  These shows are probably fun to watch but if that is all you do they can also be like invisible mooring lines to your personal growth and development firmly holding you to your invisible dock on your invisible ship of success with no particular place to go.  These things are nothing but “time traps” as described by Todd Duncan in Time Traps at

I am hopefully always in my Training Camp in the hopes of not only getting on the Energy Bus but also planning the right Seed as guided by Jon Gordon at

Finally I Never Want To Fight With A Pig, Peter Thomas, because the pig loves it and you both get dirty, right?

What is it that you want to do or become more (or less) of.



Is what I am about to say or do

consistent with me achieving my BIG WHY?

If YES, are you going to do it?

If NO, are you going to avoid doing it?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Passion - On Target or Misplaced

Nuggets For The Noggin

Passion – On Target or Misplaced
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, November 25, 2011

Unless you live under a rock, you should be aware of the Occupy (you name the street) protest groups around the country if not the world.  Personally I am impressed with the passion of these folks whether you believe it is justified or misdirected.  History is full of passion misdirected. 

Where can you find passion like the protesters have?  Let me see… 

Go to almost any university on Saturday morning/afternoon/evening and you see passion amongst the supporters of their local football team tailgating in parking lots across America.  The same applies to the National Football League once a week. 

Look at the hundreds of thousands of supporters for political candidates who they believe in or what they support. 

Not easily found are the folks who support charities by giving of their time and/or their money for a cause they believe in. 

Think of Ryan Hreljac.  Who is Ryan Hreljac?  When Ryan Hreljac was just six years old, he set on the task of raising enough money to build (drill) a well to bring clean water to people who needed it. Today, aged 16 (2008) and relentlessly pursuing his childhood dream, Ryan's Well Foundation has built 365 wells (now 700 wells) - serving over 500,000 (now 736,569) people with clean water - supported sanitation, health and hygiene services in 14 countries around the world, is working with partners such as Matt Damon's H2O Africa Foundation, and has been featured on CNN Heroes and Oprah.  Keller Cares (Keller Williams Realty International) also contributed to his foundation to provide clean drinking water.  See for yourself at: 

You do not have to look very far to see and witness passion.  There are hundreds if not thousands of stories like Ryan Hreljac’s; you just have to look for them. 

Right or wrong, the perception of the “occupiers of (you name the street)” is that they want something for nothing.  They want to take from those who “have” instead of providing for themselves.  What could they produce or become if they redirected their passion to self-improvement or improving the plight of others.  If a 6 year old can provide safe drinking water for hundreds of thousands, what could just one of the occupiers do? 

The real question should be “What are you passionate about?”  Is your passion productive or non-productive?  As an example, if your passion is watching reality television, will you be able to attribute any of that television time to your eventual success (or non-success)?  The same is true of golfing (can’t believe I just wrote that), fishing, hunting, mindless shopping, or becoming an expert couch-potato. 

I am not suggesting that you should not engage in those things that you enjoy but rather are you also engaging in activities that would lead you to achieve the goals you dream of achieving.  The problem is that if you are only dreaming, you are not taking action to achieve those dreams.  That is the one flaw in the Law of Attraction.  Just wishing something to be so will not happen just by dreaming.  Most goals eventually break down to attracting the kind of money you would need in order to make your goals happen.  For example, if your goal is to rid the world of hunger and poverty or find a cure for a disease, that takes money and/or time.  Time you have, money you may not have.  Wallace Wattles wrote in 1910, to help those in poverty, avoid being in poverty yourself – make money and then you personally can do something about poverty, if only by setting the proper example. 

I highly recommend reading “What’s The BIG Secret?” written by Michael Dunn (of Slidell, LA).  The book reminds me of the story about providing hungry people fish to eat or teaching hungry people how to fish for themselves.  This is what Wattles wrote about when he suggested you engage in attaining wealth instead of wishing for wealth; the term “wealth” not necessarily meaning money but rather your goals. 

Have you ever given thought to just $1.00 that you may give to say finding a cure for breast cancer if it became the $1.00 that put the research over the top and found a cure?  Or the $1.00 that enables a 6 year old to drill just one well in Africa? 

It’s difficult to “give” the $1.00 if you first have not made the $1.00 (either in money or time).  In order to make the $1.00 you must redirect your focus and passion to what matters.  The balance occurs when you work towards achieving your goals while at the same time enjoying the activities you enjoy.  When you learn to enjoy your productive passion, you have struck “pay dirt!” 

Action Step: 

Do what you love; love what you do!

Hopefully that “love” will be productive
in one way or another!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Trust - Confidence - Reputation


Trust – Confidence – Reputation

Something Very Special

By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, November 10, 2011

When you say “Jump”; what percentage of the people actually jump?

What percentage of people would ask; “How high do you want me to jump?” 

What percentage of people would simply ignore you and not ask or do anything? 

I recently received a weekly eZine from Jeffrey Gitomer.  I must give full disclosure by saying I have read every book Gitomer has written and even his eBooks.  I am a fan.  When Gitomer suggested that people should read Harvey Mackay’s new book, The Mackay MBA of Selling In The Real World ( I immediately, without hesitation, went to the Internet and purchased the book; no research, no doubts, no questions, just purchased the book.   

This is not about Mackay’s book although what I have read thus far is outstanding.  I have said that it would be easier to mark the pages that DO NOT contain information I want to remember than to mark all the pages that do – GREAT READ! 

This is about Trust – Confidence – Reputation.  It would be almost impossible for you to like AND trust everyone you meet.  When you do meet that person, it is a special relationship even if the other person does not know who you are.  In this regard I have many long-distance mentors by way of books I have read (Jeffrey Gitomer), DVD’s I have watched (Cheryl Richardson), CD’s I have listened to (Dr. John Maxwell) and the list goes on.  When my many mentors recommend something I usually listen and in most cases I take action.  Purchasing AND reading Mackay’s book is one such example.  I trust the judgment of Jeffrey Gitomer so much that I did not hesitate for one second to purchase the Mackay book.  Gitomer’s email was still on my computer monitor as I ordered the book on another site. 

How does someone get to that point with me?  How would someone get to that point with you?  For Gitomer it occurred rapidly by providing value to me through his books, CD’s, online videos and a live conference.  Do I agree with everything he discusses?  Surprisingly pretty much so.  He thinks like I do and that is scary.  He does not think outside the box; he lives outside the box.  I know sight unseen, that his next book that has not as yet been written let alone published will be an immediate purchase for me regardless of the title or subject – I have that must trust in his products; I usually pre-order his books well in advance of the publishing date. 

Do you know someone like that?  Who is it?  Have they ever been wrong?  Have you ever been disappointed? 

Far more importantly than your answers to the above questions, is this question: Who values and reveres YOU and your opinion and leadership?  Have you ever been wrong?  Have you ever disappointed the people who look up to you?  How do you know? 

There is a term that has become somewhat lost in the vast training programs of Keller Williams® Realty and that is “wealth builder.”  Who are your wealth builders?  In the case of people like Jeffrey Gitomer, Dr. John Maxwell, Dr. Tom Hill, Cheryl Richardson, Joe Tye, Jon Gordon, Bob Burg, Lee Shelton and many more, I am one of their thousands of Wealth Builders – I buy their products – sight unseen and without hesitation.  It is about TRUST!  It is about CONFIDENCE!  It is about their REPUTATION! 

What are you doing to create that kind of TRUST, CONFIDENCE and personal REPUTATION amongst the people you put in your database of people you have met?  What are you doing to create TRUST, CONFIDENCE and personal REPUTATION amongst the people you put in your database of people you have NOT as yet met but would like to meet?  If creating TRUST, CONFIDENCE and your personal REPUTATION with people you hope to buy or sell or refer you to someone they know who might buy or sell using your services is not part of your Personal Development Plan, how will you get them buy? Get them to sell?  Or refer you to someone who will buy or sell real estate through you?  How will you develop YOUR wealth builders? 

The answer is very simple!  You provide value!  Not just sometimes – all the time!  Keep this book title in mind as you grow your business:  What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful, written by another of my mentors, Marshall Goldsmith.  (I would suggest you read the book.) 

What are you going to do to provide value to the people you know or would like to know over the next 12 months?  It is not enough to just have your license to sell real estate and then “hope” people will use your services to buy and/or sell real estate.  As Dr. John Maxwell so aptly wrote, “Hope is not an effective strategy!” It might happen once in a while but not on a consistent and predictable basis.  Why would anyone trust you if you do not give them reason to trust you?  Why would anyone have confidence in you if you first have not given them reason to trust you and then develop the confidence that you will do the right thing for them?  Why would anyone feel so confident in your abilities that because of the reputation you have nurtured, they refer their friends and family to you for their real estate needs?  It starts with providing value! 

How do you provide value?  The problem with providing value is twofold.  First, the most common practice is to provide what YOU think is valuable.  Talking about YOU is not providing value to a probable buyer or seller; yet that is exactly what a lot of people in sales do.  The best way to provide value to another person is to ask what they consider valuable; then provide it.  Providing a list of awards you received is not providing value.  Keeping them informed on what is happening in their neighborhood, the real estate market, interest rates, the value of their home, or how to maintain their home, etc is providing something of value.  If the information (value) you provide is accurate, you develop trust in what you do.  Create trust; create confidence.  Trust + Confidence = Reputation.  A good reputation equals sales success as a by-product; not the main product which is the value you provide.  

All of my personal mentors repeat the same principle: People will do business with and refer people to those people they know, like and trust.  This is not just going to happen; you MUST WORK ON IT!   

The 80/20 Rule once again.  80% of your peers keep doing the same thing that the 80% of people do and yet expect different results.  20% of your peers watch what the 80% do and then do something else or different; that is why the 20% of your peers do 80% of the work.  20% of your peers probably read, take courses (courses not necessarily required to take to keep a license), attend seminars, conventions, family reunions (Keller Williams) and other such activities to become the consummate professional.  In this regard, I would suggest you read The Power of Professionalism written by Bill Wiserma,  You will not think of the word Professional the same way ever again. 

ACTION STEP (only one) – Create a Self-Improvement Development Plan.  Time block your day to include at least 30 minutes every day for the purpose of improving your knowledge and ultimately yourself.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Nuggets For The Noggin
Dodging Bullets
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, November 4, 2011

There are two ways to “dodge bullets”; one is to be quick on your feet and learn to “bob and weave”;  the other is to avoid being shot at in the first place. 

The later is the best way to handle objections as well; address them first and early in your conversations before they are brought up by your customers.

Teaching moment:  Imagine writing an Agreement to Purchase on a home that is about 20 years old.  At some point in time three major events occurred during the life of the home; Hurricane Katrina, an addition being added to the back of the home and energy efficient windows being installed.  

These should be “red flags” for YOU and YOUR buyer?
  • Katrina, was there any damage, did it flood, was there any mold in the home, was the roof replaced, etc.?  These conditions are typically addressed in the Seller’s Property Disclosure and Mold Disclosure forms.
  • Windows.  Most windows are installed and come with a warranty.  The more expensive windows usually have a longer warranty.  In this case the windows were installed approximately 10 years ago.  Several of the windows have leaks between the double pains and moisture has clouded the windows.  You have been told that the windows are covered under their original warranty and the warranty DOES NOT include the installation of a replacement window(s).  The replacement of 8 windows would be expensive for the labor but if the windows themselves are not covered by the warranty, the cost could be in the thousands of dollars.  Logic would tell you to verify the warranty information with the original window company.  It was confirmed that the warranty is still in effect and would cover the replacement but not the labor to install the windows.  Still expensive but not outrageously expensive.
  • Addition:  The addition to the home showed separation and settling of the foundation.  The owners had the addition professionally raised and sealed. 

The Seller’s Property Disclosure and Mold Disclosure were satisfactory to the Buyer.  If these documents were prepared in error, and there is no indication or suggestion that they were, the Louisiana Law of Redhibition would come into play if known defects were intentionally not disclosed.
The windows were in clear sight so even if they were not disclosed on the Seller’s Property Disclosure because they were in plain sight they would not have to be included on the Disclosure.  You and I may not agree with that premise but that is common practice and acceptance.  The buyer had every opportunity to see the damaged windows as did the buyer’s home inspector.  The seller agreed to pay a portion of the labor costs to have the 8 windows replaced and the buyer agreed.  This should be the end of the problem.  Here, however, is where going “three deep” in your questioning can help you avoid “being shot at” as compared to “dodging bullets” after they have been fired.  The window company had assumed that the owners who had the windows installed were still the owners of the home when you asked the question on behalf of your buyer.  The best advice anyone could ever give another is NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING.  In this case the warranty terminated when the home was sold by the THEN owners to the owners of the home now.  Therefore the windows were NOT covered.  This is true with a great many warranties; they are NOT transferrable unless so stated in writing.  Had the agent, in this case YOU, not asked the question in regard to the warranty being transferrable and given there was not sufficient time to replace the new windows prior to the scheduled closing, can you see where this would have erupted AFTER the closing and AFTER the new owner took occupancy?

In regards to the additional room.  The fact that it had settled is not that unusual but that fact should raise an additional red flag.  Who added the room?  Was it added by the homeowner or did a professional contractor add the room?  More importantly, was the addition properly permitted when built and was it properly inspected?

To demonstrate how this could affect the sale I use my own home.  I was aware that I was purchasing a home that had a serious fire and the owner had converted the home from a one story to a two story.  I purchased the home at a time when Seller’s Disclosures were not in play and it was more of a “buyer beware” attitude throughout the real estate industry.  There were two skylights in the den area which were not part of the second floor addition after the fire.  There was no reason to think that the skylights were improperly installed.  I had lived in the home for more than 25 years and the skylights had not leaked until very recently.  The skylight flanges had rusted and required replacing.  Upon installing the new skylights, the installer pointed out that one of the two skylights was not installed according to building codes now or at the time they were installed.  The choice was to replace the window with no warranty or rebuild the roof removing the skylight entirely.  Apparently the second skylight was built too close to a roof valley vastly increasing the odds that it will eventually leak as it did.

On a related issue, it is only a matter of time before someone gets seriously burned by not conducting thorough walk-thru inspections prior to closing or leasing of properties.  You owe it to your owners of your listings (both for sale and for lease) AND to yourself by validating the condition of the property before transfer of ownership or renters moving in.  How can you possibly arbitrate damages to the property when discovered after possession if not addressed prior to possession?  You cannot!  In the age of digital cameras it is so easy to take a lot of photographs and file them on very inexpensive flash drives.  Then when an issue rears its ugly head, you have proof of the condition of the property prior to possession.

If you want to avoid rounded shoulders and a flat head, learn to think outside the box, ask a lot of questions.  When you think you have asked all the questions you could possibly ask, think again, ask more questions.

What is with the “rounded shoulders and flat heat” remark?  Question:  Why do REALTORS have round shoulders and flat heads?  Answer:  When you ask them a question they shrug their shoulders.  When you tell them the answer they slap their forehead. 
Learn to avoid being shot at
so you don’t have to dodge the bullets later!