Saturday, December 22, 2018

EGO is the Enemy a book review

A book by Ryan Holiday
A review by Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, December 21, 2018

Note:  Anything appearing in BLUE and UNDERLINED should be a link to a web site


This is an amazing book and another in a long list of books that wish I had read when I was much younger like when I was first starting out in business.  It would or should be impossible for anyone who reads this book not to come away when a different perspective on the way they see themselves and others they may work for or for those who work for them. 

The book is all about EGO and how and why it is most likely the one character trait that can and   may destroy your ability to achieve goals even beyond what you might imagine.  The book is timeless meaning exactly what it suggests; it applied yesterday, today, tomorrow and all of the tomorrows ahead.  The real question is can you see yourself in the various descriptions and scenarios given by the author Holiday?  That is a huge question.

It is NOT a “how to” book.  It is a book that provides stories of people we all have heard about but probably know very little about, until now.  Sometimes what we’ve been told is quite different than what actually was.  A great many famous people had issues.  Some addressed them and how they addressed them while others did not and why they didn’t and what was the result of ignoring the problems.

I was in real estate sales for over 33 years.  As I read the book, I could see real estate agents all over the pages as one after another chased the Number One status or the Highest Production or the Highest Number of Closed Sales, etc.  There is nothing wrong with being the best provided that is what is actually happening.  But are you  being learning based, sharing what you learned instead of just accumulating numbers. This book in my opinion would be a valuable asset for anyone in business but especially anyone in sales like real estate agents.  It would be impossible not see yourself or some of your fellow agents on every page in the book.

I know I appeared in the book, not sure when he interviewed me but I certainly recognized some of the traits he discussed.  I think you will as well in fact if you know me you may actually recognize me in the book.  I hope you are NOT in the book!  But somehow…..

Who should read the book?  EVERYONE, seriously, everyone can learn the lessons in the book.

Would I read it again?  Probably will.  There were definitely chapters, quotes and passages that stood out and worthy of recall.  Want an example.  From the writer Cheryl Strayed. "You're becoming who you are going to be and so you might as well not be an asshole!"

Would I give the book as a gift?  Absolutely.  It is a book for all ages but again, many of the books I have read on success and motivation definitely apply to teenagers where this book as well as other could be used to avoid the pitfalls so many of us have learned through experience.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Profit Sharing (An Explanation)

Profit Sharing

(An explanation)

By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, December 4,  2018

The graphic is what it is!  The question is what are you doing to help insure your financial future by taking advantage of a system that is available to everyone?

Ever since 2000 I fell in love with the Keller Williams Realty International’s Profit Sharing System.  As a side note, please note that I used the word “system” as compared to “program” for a reason.  Would you prefer to have an anti brake locking program or an anti brake locking system on your car.  It is only a word but “systems” work, “programs” not necessarily but I digress.

Back to taking advantage of profit sharing.  I do not remember the exact month and year that I received my first profit sharing deposit directly into my checking account but I know it was shortly after I joined the Keller Williams Realty team of REALTORS®.  More importantly, I have received a Profit Sharing deposit every month since like clockwork without fail.

I have heard arguments both for and against engaging in the Keller Williams Realty Profit Sharing System and frankly, the arguments against it dumbfound me because there are no legitimate reasons to be against it or doubt it validity.  It is a system that works!

The only argument that seemingly might bear fruit against the system is that a lot of agents have told me that they do not want an experienced agent from another company to feel like they are encouraging them to join Keller Williams because they are going to make money off the other agents’ decision to join.  On the surface that may sound logical but if you really understand the Profit Sharing System you then understand that you, the agent, are NOT making money off a newcomer’s production.  You are making money that otherwise would have gone to the ownership of a Keller Williams Realty Market Center.  In fact, the numbers have clearly shown that owners across the Keller Williams Realty map give as much as 48% of their profits back to agents who help them grow their Market Centers by encouraging agents both new to the business and experience to join the Market Center’s team of agents.  It is really that simple.  The actual calculation of the amount each agent receives is much more complicated but unlike some of the “promises” I have experienced in the real estate business, this one is done by computer and like I said earlier, without fail, a deposit is made directly into my checking account.

If you are currently engaged in listing and selling as compared to me being totally retired from the business, profit sharing may not seem all that important to you.  Still, if you are eligible to receive profit sharing you will quickly discover that the profits you receive can and oftentimes do cover all of your ancillary dues and fees to run your real estate business.  For example, before I retired in 2012, it was not only possible, it was probable that IF you were eligible to share in the profits, you would easily cover the $1,000 it would cost for Board Dues, MLS Dues, License Renewals, etc.  In 2012 in Slidell, Louisiana, I calculated it would cost about $1,000 in such fees and dues to keep your license active.  Of course that number varies depending on your location around the world.

It became obvious to me and I included it in the training I conducted, that Keller Williams Realty Agents should spend as much time on developing their Profit Sharing Tree as they do their Listing and Selling of real estate.  Listing and Selling is a TODAY activity while Profit Sharing is both a TODAY and TOMORROW activity but especially the TOMORROW activity.

For example, I retired December 31, 2012.  I will have been fully retired for 7 years come this December 31, 2018.  And for the past 7 years and before that, I received a deposit in my account every month.  That means that there has been 84 deposits into my checking account – 84!

I cannot speak for anyone but myself yet I am positive that no two people’s retirement will be financially the same.  If you have NOT done any investing and have no retirement from another company, you will have ONLY your Social Security to rely upon when you retire.  If you HAVE done savings towards retirement you then have your savings that you can withdraw or withdraw only the interest on your savings or both plus Social Security.  If you are fortunate as I am, I have a retirement pension from my military service, plus several other resources but it is the Keller Williams Realty Profit Sharing that made a significant impact on the quality of my retired life.  Think about it, you receive a deposit on the 21st of each month assuming you have participated in the Profit Sharing System by helping your Market Center or any Market Center to grow and expand.  That is why every agent should work as hard on their Profit Sharing Tree as they do their Listing and Selling.

I don’t want to provide numbers because it could be considered as bragging and that is NOT what this Nugget is all about.  Suffice it to say that every year I have earned as much in Profit Sharing as a lot of Americans earn as their salaries to exist upon.  Think about that.


Where will you live?
Will you provide money for children’s college education?
Will you have a second home?
Will you engage in charitable activities?
Will you travel the country/world?
Will you have sufficient income to fund the lifestyle you desire?

If you have not given much consideration to questions such as these, how will you be able to retire when you desire to?  I can assure you that by simply suggesting that a person thinking of a real estate career or an experienced agent at another company speak to your Team Leader, could make a lifetime benefit for you and your family and later your estate.

If you have any questions regarding profit sharing, please feel free to call me at 985-640-3564 or email me at

LAGNIAPPE, a Louisiana term meaning something extra.  If you the real estate agent want a great way to put aside money to cover all your dues and license fees, consider doing the following:

  • Never spend a one dollar bill – NEVER!
  • 2I f an item costs 89 cents, use a $5.00 bill or higher
  • When you get home put all your unused One Dollar Bills in a box, I bind them together with a Bull Dog type clip in bundles of $50.00.

4.   By year’s end you will have easily collected in excess of $1000.00 enough to pay all of your dues and license renewal fees. 

Don’t laugh at this suggestion because it works.  I know because I have been doing it for years.  Now that I am no longer engaged in real estate, I use the money for Christmas gifts every year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Law of the Shareholder, OCT 19, 2006

The Law of the Shareholder
Article by: Todd Duncan, October 19, 2006
annotated by Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown

Gymbeaux note:  There are many great written works that if read and applied can take you to places you only dreamed about.  The problem is finding them.  Almost every book ever written is accompanied by hype that never really rises to the level of its claims.  But then, occasionally you come upon something that has real value, real insight and if applied to your life would only help you to achieve that which you seek.  The first three chapters of Todd Duncan’s book “High Trust Selling” are great (that is as far as I have gotten in reading it).  Chapter three, like Chapter 10 in his book “Time Traps” is worth more than the cost of the entire book – it is priceless.  If you are in sales, and who isn’t because in one way or another we are all selling something, products, services, ideas or just trying to get someone to agree with us, Chapter 3 is required reading.  More importantly “required action!”  I am a realist.  According to studies, less than 3% of Americans read a book a year.  Therefore simply recommending a book to read will fall upon deaf ears of over 97% of the people who have read this far in this Nugget.  That is a pity!  I am asking, no, make that begging, that you take the 20 minutes or so to read the remainder of this Nugget which is a reproduction of Chapter 3 of Duncan’s book (with some comments from me of course).  If you do not agree with my assessment that is okay but I think you will – no, I know you will. So please, find some place comfortable, put up your “Do Not Disturb” sign and dig in.  The emboldened words were emboldened by me for emphasis; the words in red are mine.

Chapter 3
The Law of the Shareholder

Successful Salespeople Buy Stock in Themselves

Tim was doing OK, really.  He’d been selling for a few years and had managed to rack up $7 million in sales that particular year.  But the truth was that he hadn’t even scratched the surface of his potential, and he knew it.  Then something happened that changed everything.  Here’s how he tells the story:

I was jogging one day after work in 1994, trying to release some tension that had built up as a result of some frustrations at work.  Then a voice inside me spoke.  I can still hear the words as if they were whispered to me yesterday.  They basically told me that I needed to stop thinking of myself as an employee of someone else’s company and start treating my job as if it was Tim Braheem, Inc., with me as the CEO.

The mind-set that resulted from the epiphany was profound.  It changed every aspect of how I did business:  the way I marketed myself, the way I valued my clients, the way I cherished my loyal assistants and staff personnel, and, more important than anything, the way I viewed my life and its potential.  That day I made a silent declaration that I could one day earn a seven-figure income.  It was an infusion of the entrepreneur spirit into my career that lifted the lid off of any limitations that I was placing upon myself by thinking like an employee.

In the twelve months that followed, Tim added $10 million in sales.  The following year his sales climbed to $46 million.  The year after that his sales reached $75 million.  And last year his sales topped $175 million.  How did he do it? He determined his answer to one very important question.  The million-dollar question that dramatically boosted Tim’s business is the same question that can boost yours.  Am I a salesperson in business, or am I a business owner making sales?


It makes no difference where you are in your sales career, whether you’re a sales manager, sales broker, or sales rep.  The million-dollar question applies to everyone in the sales profession.  And more than likely, it doesn’t matter what company you work for or what product you sell.  The fact is, you will not reach your potential as a sales professional until you answer the question, and answer it correctly.  The Law of the Shareholder demands that you do.

Over the last seven years my company’s coaching partner, Building Champions, has coached thousands of sales professionals to greater levels of success.  And in almost every circumstance, the first business breakthrough occurred when the sales person adopted something I call a “CEO mind-set,” which is the point at which one begins to see herself or himself as a business owner who’s making sales.  It’s that simple change in thinking that becomes the catalyst for each salesperson’s climb toward greater success.  And that simple change in thinking can jump-start your sales career as well.

The Law of the Shareholder says that the most successful salespeople buy stock in themselves.  That begins when you stop thinking of yourself as an employee with a job and start thinking of yourself as an owner of a business with a compelling vision to help people!  Consider how your thinking has affected your investments in your sales career to this point.  Gymbeaux note:  I emboldened the word “investments” because when you engage in an activity that improves your self esteem, your business knowledge or your skills, you ARE investing in yourself – it should never be considered an “expense” item on your profit and loss statement even though that is where your CPA will place it.

When it comes to yours sales job, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I only spend money on the things that my employer (in real estate, YOU are the employer!) will allow me to expense?  A business owner would invest whatever is necessary to allow the business to thrive, even if that means using his or her own cash.
  • Do I simply stay busy so the time passes more quickly each day?  A business owner seizes every minute of the workday because wasted time equals wasted money and wasted opportunities.
  • Am I more concerned with my effort or my effectiveness? A business owner measures effectiveness first-sprinting on a treadmill gets one nowhere.
  • Am I more concerned with the quantity or the quality of my sales?  A business owner focuses on quality, knowing that trust established with clients, multiplies quantity of sales.
  • Am I more concerned with my activity or my results?  A business owner measures results on a regular basis to determine what activities are and are not working.
  • Am I more concerned with earning potential clients’ cash or confidence?  A business owner knows that without trust he or she will never realize the full monetary value of a client, and is willing to trade commission for constancy if necessary.

After reading the questions, would you say you’ve been thinking more like an employee or a CEO?

The defining characteristic of a CEO mind-set is thinking like an owner.  It is taking responsibility for your own growth and the growth of your business.  It’s understanding that what you do as a salesperson is operating a business that provides products and services, and to do that well and with integrity increases the likelihood of your success and stability.  It’s knowing that you must have a business plan to succeed.  It’s knowing that you must have accountability, a “board of directors,” to help you make wise decisions that will grow your business.  Simply put, it’s acknowledging that you alone are the largest shareholder in your business.


Thomas Drier said, “The life each of us lives is the life within the limits of our own thinking” (John Cook, Editor, The Book of Positive Quotations, Fairview Press, Minneapolis, 1977).  And that certainly includes your sales career.  In fact, the salesperson who follows the Law of the Shareholder knows that to elevate his or her career, to establish the lasting trust of his or her clients, he or she must first expand the limits of his or her thinking.


There’s an obvious disparity between salespeople who’ve adopted a CEO mind-set and those who assume the mind-set of the majority.  Here are several examples of how this contract in thinking plays out in the world of sales.

SALESPERSON THINKING                                            CEO THINKING

Pays only for what can be reimbursed        Invests money to make money

Calls on anybody                                        Calls on the right body

Reacts to interruptions                                Makes sure interruptions don’t occur

Keeps safe clients                                       Terminates unprofitable relationships

Is busy and action oriented                         Is productive and results focused

Thinks quantity's more important than quality Knows quality creates more quantity

Puts profits before people                           Puts people before profits

Puts revenue before reputation                   Puts reputation before revenue

Builds business ahead of capacity              Builds capacity ahead of business

Prioritizes scheduled                                   Schedules priorities

Is short-term oriented                                  Is long-term oriented

Relies on quick turnaround                         Relies on clients’ trust

Succeeds by accident                              Scceeds by design (and through people)

I want to paint this picture very clearly for you because it is so critical.  Thinking like a CEO is the first key to understanding the Law of the Shareholder, and it is vital for establishing the long-term trust of your clients.  A salesperson who understands the Law of the Shareholder knows that:

  • How you work where you are matters more than where you work.
  • How you sell what you have matters more than what you have to sell.
  • How you make your calls matters more than how many calls you make
  • How many hours you produce matters more than how many hours you work.
  • Getting loyal business matters more than how much business you get.
  • Having clients with high trust matters more than how many clients you have.

The future of your sales career rests primarily not in your hands or your feet, but in your mind.  In other words, how you think as a sales professional will determine how you act as a sales professional.  And until you begin to think like a successful business owner-until you know the statements above to be true-you won’t consistently make decisions or take actions that maximize your sales business.  In fact, that’s why the Law of the Shareholder is the third law (the book from which this originated identified 14 laws, this being the third; I would suggest you read them all).  Successful thinking precedes successful acting.  And trustworthiness precedes trust.  Think about it this way:  Until you can think for yourself, customers won’t trust your thinking.

The Law of the Shareholder is more than self-affirmation and self-confidence. While you must first think your way to the top before you can ever climb there, mere thinking won’t take your sales career anywhere.  Like any business, you must actively invest in your sales business for it to grow.


What would you do if you were given the reins to a new business with tons of potential?  (When you received your real estate license – you were given the reins!)  Think about it.  What steps would you take to ensure your success?  Well, the first thing you’d probably do is celebrate; it’s not every day you get an opportunity like that, right?  (And maybe you felt the same sense of excitement when you were hired for your current sales job.)  But after the confetti settled, what actions would you take to build a strong foundation for your new business?  What would your first priorities be?

I don’t think you’d argue that securing some growth capital would be a top priority. After all, you have to invest money to make money.  What would come next?  You’d probably look for a key person or two to help you run the day-to-day operations of your business, to make sure important meetings were scheduled, important tasks were completed, important phone calls were made, and top priorities were always kept at the top so that time and dollar were maximized each day.  You’d probably also acquire some key partners, professionals like yourself who understand what it takes to succeed and are willing to help you make the critical decisions that will keep the company on the upward slope.  (Does any of this sound familiar?  For example, The Millionaire Real Estate Agent?)

Think with me now:  What else would you do?  There’s probably one more fundamental step that any successful professional would take if given control of a new business.  He or she would seek to learn, study, and grow on a personal level.  Of course, right?  You’d have to invest some time and money in personal growth, not only to stay on top of all the demands of running a business, but also to stay ahead of the competition.  To be the leader in your field you’d have to become and remain more competent, innovative, and attractive than your competition.  And you’d most certainly have to be able to understand and meet your potential clients’ needs better than anyone else.  (This means being learning-based, a critical element of the Keller Williams Model.)

Now, here’s where this gets a little personal. How many of these same steps have you taken for your current sales business? Have you invested capital dollars-your own or someone else’s-in the future of your business?  Have you hired a capable assistant whose work can help ensure that your time is invested in the things that will bring your business the greatest profit?  Have you enlisted the accountability of a few trustworthy advisors to help you make wise decisions and remain on the path to greater success?  Do you have a plan for personal growth? (Do you have written goals and work from a prioritized Daily To Do List?)  If you are a business owner, these are the fundamental investments you must make to succeed.  And if you’ve been trying to succeed without them, I guarantee that your business is not growing at the pace it could be.  But the good news is that regardless of your current sales standing, the Law of the Shareholder ensures that when you begin to buy stock in yourself, when you begin to build a business in which people can put their confidence, others will begin to buy stock in your and your business will reap the benefits.  Jean’s story is a testimony to this truth.

Jean Dees began her second stint as a sales professional in 1992, at the age of fifty-four she had some success in the sales industry previously, but it had been eleven years since she had called on a client and even longer since she’d had to build a sales business from scratch.  But she missed adding value to people’s lives.  She missed the very things that make the sales professional a privilege.  Therefore, she was up for the challenge.

Initially, Jean went about things the way most ambitious, hardworking sales people do-she put in a lot of hours trying to maximize the few resources she had at her discretion to build her new business.  She would work fifty-plus hours each week marketing her business, calling on prospects, and attempting to build relationships with clients, all according to the limited resources her employer offered. And while she met with some success, it wasn’t enough.  Eventually, she sensed there was a better way to go about it.  She sensed that she needed to think outside the confines of her current resources. Later that same year Jean invested the time to attend my Sales Mastery seminar in Palm Springs, California.  There she learned the important truths of the Law of the Shareholder, namely that she wasn’t investing in the right things.  The business would come, she learned, when she learned to become a better investor.

Jean had already taken one step in the right direction by attending the seminar.  That was her first wise investment.   Her next investment was immediately hiring a coach to help her develop an effective business plan that was in tune with her life plan.  Together with her coach she determined what additional investments were necessary right away and on a regular basis to reap the business and life she desired.  Coaching, they determined, would be a lifetime investment.  So would attending personal and professional growth seminars.  Together with some personal monetary investments and a few initial time investments, these investments got Jean on the right track.  She was committed to following the Law of the Shareholder, and before long she began to reap the rewards.

Last year, at the age of sixty-three, Jean received my company’s “Lifetime Mastery Achievement Award,” which is given to the one sales professional who, year after year, consistently exemplifies excellence, top-notch productivity, and value-added service to her clients.  But as Jean would tell you, that’s not nearly the greatest return on her investments over the years.  Today she along with her son and two other partners own a mortgage company. That allows her the freedom to spend only thirty hours a week in the office, leaving plenty of time for her growing family. In fact, in recent years her sales business has become a family affair.  Her son is now the company president, her daughter a top salesperson, and her granddaughter an intern for the company, spending time with her grandmother while learning the disciplines that have made her a highly successful and satisfied sales professional.


Jean’s success began with a small investment of time-but over time her investments have reaped a life she could only have imagined.  As it was with some of Jean’s investments, the returns from following the Law of the Shareholder will often take some time to mature.  While there will be immediate returns, such as better organization less stress, and a greater sense of purpose, the long-term benefits are sure to come; more loyal clients, more free time, more income, and more life.  In fact, the longer you stay with your wise investments, the greater the benefits will be.

As Jean’s story illustrates, the long-term returns of following the Law of the Shareholder are much more than vacations and cash in your pocket.  The returns can be even more substantial and significant.  When you invest in yourself and in your business as the Law of the Shareholder teaches, you reap a new life-a more abundant life than you had before, maybe than you’ve ever had.  The Law of the Shareholder isn’t just about investing in your business for your business’s sake.  It’s about more than that.  Following the Law of the Shareholder is about investing in your business the right way so that your business doesn’t run your life. It’s about becoming a trustworthy business owner-figuratively and literally-so you can reap a trustworthy business.  And in the end, it’s about sowing into your business so that you can reap more business and more life.

With that in mind, the following are the ten best investments you can make to reap a more secure and successful sales business, as well as a more abundant life.  Follow them as Jean did, and you’ll reap a very similar reward.

Gymbeaux Note:  There were ten listed in the book but in keeping with the values and beliefs of Keller Williams Realty, I have added an 11th but have listed it first.

Extra:  Put God ahead of family ahead of business.  God in this sense is a belief in a higher authority even if that higher authority is an inner voice that oftentimes directs you in regards to “doing the right thing.”  It has been said that over 92% of Americans believe in a God of some sort so therefore, I am talking to the 92% and the remaining 8% as well.  Just about everyone puts their faith in something and it is important to give this belief its proper due and place in your life.  When you do, everything else takes it proper place in its degree of importance.

1.  Investing in your relationships with those you love (family).  What will your sales success mean to you if you cannot share it with those you love? Don’t make the mistake of pushing away those most important to you in the name of “building your business.”  Your investment of time in your family and close friends is paramount to your sense of fulfillment and success.  In fact, your investment of time in your sales business should be in large part to free up more time to be with those you love. Sow into your business to reap more life.  Yes, you will reap more business as well.  But if that’s all you reap, you’ll end up a rich salesperson living an impoverished life.

2.  Invest in a long-term personal-development program.  You are your business’s greatest asset.   You want to be a great salesperson who earns trust with confidence then you have to become an expert in your field. One book doesn’t do it.  A twelve-month subscription to a magazine doesn’t do it.  Even one seminar every year isn’t enough.  The greatest sales professionals do all these and more on a regular basis.  If you want to reach your selling potential, our research shows that you need a minimum of the following:

  • Comprehensive Training:  This gives you a foundation to build from.  All sales people need to start with at least one seminar or similar training regimen that teaches them an effective comprehensive selling plan.  An A-to-Z “boot camp” on how to sell. For you, this book may be your boot camp, and it will be a great start.
  • Monthly Mentoring:  Picking one or two mentors whose tapes, videos, and books will help you maintain focus on the sales plans and disciplines that you must implant and master to continually improve.
  • Sales Resources:  Listening to tapes or CDs, reading sales magazines, and utilizing the latest on-line sales tools on a weekly basis are the vitamins that will keep your growth curve on the up-and-up.

3.  Invest in a sales coach.  You will never know all you need to know to make every decision that arises from running a business.  To succeed in sales, you must remain teachable.  Therefore, it is imperative that you surround yourself with a competent, trustworthy coach who can help you wade through the muddy waters to see with clarity what is best.  And don’t make the mistake of thinking that a coach becomes obsolete.   Once you reach a certain level of success.  On the contrary, a coach becomes an even greater asset as you climb to higher levels of success, because as the saying goes, the bigger you are, the harder you fall.  The more successful you are, the greater your clients’ expectations become.  Breaking trust is more costly at higher altitudes. But like a skilled climbing partner, a coach helps ensure your falls are never fatal.

4.  Invest in a competent right-hand assistant.  More than likely, you are overqualified for the majority of the tasks you perform.  That’s because, if you’re like most salespeople, you try to do it all yourself.  And it’s understandable since most salespeople are go-getters.  But to run a business effectively, you cannot do it all.  You must learn to delegate effectively.  And that starts by investing in a capable competent assistant.  Now, you’re probably thinking:  I can’t afford to hire an assistant.  But remember that we’re talking about investing here, not spending.  The real question you must consider is; can you afford to not have an assistant?  Gymbeaux Note:  Remember this critical fact.  The assistant you hire also has a personal sphere of influence and you need to not only tap into that sphere you ought to require your assistant to refer a pre-determined number of referrals from his or her sphere of influence during at least the first year of his or her employment.  That way your assistant virtually pays for their position with you.

The fact is that you will never be able to climb to the next level until you free up more time to do what brings your business the greatest profit; and in sales that means building lasting relationships.  The more time you have to spend on profitable tasks, the greater your profits can be.  In most cases, a well-trained assistant will free up a minimum of four more hours every day (more on this in Chapter 6 also, read Todd Duncan’s book, Time Traps).  That’s an additional twenty hours over a five-day workweek-the equivalent of two additional workdays without having to spend seven days a week in the office.  And if your priorities are in order, those extra hours can literally earn you ten times your monetary investment.

5.  Invest in your personal image.  What image are you sending to your customers? If you have a place of business, what impression do people have of you when they walk through the door?  What impression do people get when they view your marketing material?  What impression does your appearance give?  I don’t want you to misunderstand what I’m trying to say here:  Superior actions can occasionally override a negative or indifferent impression.  But more often than not, if your image is not friendly, professional, and inviting, you may never get a sales opportunity with an individual.  And such an impression certainly doesn’t breed trust.

A negative or uninviting personal image can become a hurdle that customers must overcome before they commit to doing business with you.  To avoid this hurdle, invest in items that will improve your personal image, such as top-quality marketing and follow-up pieces, new office furniture, and nice clothing.  Keep in mind that until you’ve done business with an individual, your personal image may be all he or she has to go on.

6.  Investing a personal financial plan.  The long-term success of your sales business depends on your ability to reinvest money wisely while maintaining financial growth.  That’s a given for any enduring business.  But let me take it one step further.  Your long-term satisfaction with your sales career depends in part on your ability to maintain financial stability.  What happens all too often is that salespeople find themselves over their heads in debt, because each time they landed a big account they took on more financial responsibility by purchasing the latest car, house, boat, or your name it, instead of paying off debts.  In such circumstances, selling often becomes a hasty necessity of meeting financial headlines rather than building a profitable business with purposeful, loyal relationships.

Before you get caught in that trap, invest in a meeting with a qualified, trustworthy financial advisor who can help you map out a path to financial stability and freedom.  Not only will a financial plan help you reduce the stress of personal day-to-day finances, but it will also allow you to predetermine an amount to reinvest in your business each moth so that your lifestyle can remain consistent.

Let’s face it, one of the reasons you’re in the sales business is to make money- and one of the reasons you’re reading this book is to make more money and eventually to be financially independent.  And according to the Law of the Iceberg (Chapter 1), that’s not a destructive aspiration as long as it’s not your main aspiration.  So commit to spending some dollars on creating a financial plan that will give you a clear path to your desired financial future and secure your stability as you build your business.  Believe me, as a business owner, it’s far more expensive not to do so.

7.  Invest time in an exercise program.  Your career longevity begins with your health.  It’s a fact that the state of your body can dramatically affect your business, especially in the sales profession.  Unfortunately, it has become the norm in sales to work sixty, seventy, or even eighty hours a week.  And while you may earn good money doing so, very few last long at that rate.  Your body cannot take that kind of abuse, and before long it will tell you so with such ailments as chronic fatigue, chronic anxiety, insomnia, ulcers, headaches, or even a heart attack.  I doubt you’d argue that it’s difficult to enjoy the fruits of your labor – not to mention life itself – when you’re always run-down.  The fact is that if you seek a long, successful, satisfying sales career, you must invest in your body.

8.  Investing a client-retention program.  To be a successful owner of a sales business you must do more than provide customer service; you must produce client loyalty.  That’s what high trust selling is all about. Investing in a program that ensures that those with whom you do business always return for more is the greatest dollar-for-dollar investment you can make in your business.  I recommend that you focus your investment dollars on four items:  creative marketing tools, innovative follow-up procedures, value-added gifts, and client feedback, all of which help to create clients for life.  And that is the type of client you should desire most, because their lifetime value to your business will always outweigh any investment you make.

If you own a car dealership, for example, a client-for-life is worth more than $300,000 to the business.  If you sell real estate, a client-for-life can deposit more than $80,000 in commissions into your bank account over a twenty-year period through repeat and referral business.  When you understand the tremendous value of retaining clients for the long haul, it’s easy to justify the investment in their trust up front.

9.  Invest in a library.  The person you become tomorrow has a lot to do with the books you read today.  (Gymbeaux Note:  It has been estimated that less than 1% to 3% of all Americans read just one book a year.  How does that apply to you?  Any book is good reading but if you are going to read just one book, you ought to seriously consider making it a book that would enhance your business instead of a novel.)  It may not seem important to invest in books, but you must understand that you will never learn enough through your own experience to out-think your competition.  Therefore, you must find another way of increasing your knowledge, and the most effective way is through the lessons of others in books.  Your investment in a library is going one step further than investing in a personal-growth plan, because by building a library you will not only provide for your own growth, but will also promote the learning of those on your team – and even your clients – both now and in the future.  I have read over eight hundred books in the last twelve years and am convinced that this commitment to gaining knowledge has helped me to succeed.  (Gymbeaux Note:  It is also one of the cornerstones of the Keller Williams belief system in that you need to be learning based.)


 The person you become tomorrow has a lot to do with the books you read today; including the seminars you attend, tapes you listen to or DVDS you watch! 

10. Invest in technology.  This goes without saying if you run an Internet-only sales business.  But I am referring here to those of us who conduct business on a face-to-face or phone-call basis.  To best meet your current and future clients’ needs you must stay up to speed with technology.  Most, if not all, of your clients and potential clients have E-mail and Internet access.  Therefore, it makes business sense that you utilize those mediums of communication to stay in touch with clients and to promote and conduct business.  If you haven’t already, consider investing in a Web site for your business that will act as both a marketing tool and resource pool for your clients.  Investment #5 comes into play here.  Don’t invest in a Web site if you’re not going to do it right. The appearance and usefulness of your Web site will affect, either positively or negatively, the impressions of clients.  If your sales business is done largely through face-to-face or phone interaction, make a point to use your Web site less for marketing and more for assisting and empowering your clients.  This will help convey your commitment to people before profits.


The Law of the Shareholder reveals that you must invest regularly in yourself and your business if you’re ever going to be successful in the sales profession.  That means you don’t wait for your company to invest in your sales future; you make the sacrifice yourself because it is your business, and its growth is your responsibility.

As you begin to consider how you should initially invest in the future of your business, I recommend that you assume a new perspective on affordability.  One that often has a way of revealing that you truly can afford more than you think.

One of my speaking partners, Tim Broadhurst, has always determined his investment capacity by taking on the following perspective.  Instead of looking at his bank account and determining what he can afford financially, he first looks at what his business can’t afford to be without then finds a way to invest in acquiring whatever that is.  Like all successful salespeople, he is always willing to invest a minimum of 10 percent of his income goal back in to his business.  Sometimes, however, it’s much more than that.

For example, at an early juncture in his sales career, Tim came to the realization that he was spending too much valuable time performing administrative tasks like making copies, answering the phone, sifting through E-mails, filing paperwork, and buying supplies.  They were things that needed to get done, but spending his time on them was not productive, and he was losing sales.  He knew that he should have been spending that time on building lasting relationships.  But instead of going to his company and asking for an assistant – something for which he knew he wouldn’t get approved – he hired an assistant with his own dollars, banking on the fact that the increased time to build relationships would bring a much greater return than he currently produced.  And he was right.  Over a short period of time the investment proved to dramatically increase Tim’s production.  In fact his numbers increased so much that his company agreed to pay his assistant’s salary after just six months. A wise investment? Absolutely.  It’s that willingness and savvy to make wise investments in the future of his business that has allowed Tim to build a $100 million-a-year sales business.

Your investments will generate similar returns if you are careful to determine what your business truly needs to succeed right now.  Be wise.  But also be assertive. You may need to make some tough financial decisions in order to afford the necessary investments.  But that’s how you run a successful business.  You eliminate the hindrances to your progress and integrate catalysis for present and future success. That’s the essence of the Law of the Shareholder.


Time Traps, also written by Todd Duncan should be required reading for anyone in sales.  Time Traps shows you how to free-up 4 hours of your day to dedicate to more dollar-productive activities.

Killing the Sale, also written by Todd Duncan explains just what the title implies – how people consciously or unconsciously kill the sale by doing things that have been done for decades and yet continue even though they are not in your best interest.

More recommended reading would be Endless Referrals by Bob Burg, a wonderful read on how to create life-long customers.

And finally, I would encourage everyone to look into Joe Tye’s 12 Core Action Values program by going to, (nfnq stands for Never Fear, Never Quit).  Joe teaches the importance of having core values in your life.  He helps you to identify what is important and then how to use the knowledge to help you make decisions based on what is important to you.  I think the training and guidance provide by Joe Tye is critical to becoming the best you can be and if that should occur, it will most assuredly affect the way people (potential customers and existing customers) perceive you and that should be a good thing!

Finally Joe Tye has created a tremendous tool that can be used to achieve anything you desire; it is called the Direction-Deflection-Question (DDQ).  It works like this.  You simply ask yourself a question in regards to the goal you desire.

“Is what I am about to eat or drink consistent with my desire to weight 185?”

If the answer is yes, eat or drink it; if no, don’t.  I personally lost 35 pounds using this method.

In sales, “Is what I am about to say or do consistent with growing my business to …….?”

“Is what I am about to say or do consistent with my desire to time block 3 hours a day to generate leads?”

“Is what I am about to say or do leading me towards achieving my goals or away from that desire?”

“Is what I am about to say or do consistent with my life’s mission statement?”  For this one to work you obviously have to have a life’s mission statement or the BIG WHY you do whatever you do.

“Someone with a job is never secure;
someone with a passion is never unemployed!”
-Joe Tye