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Sep. 14, 2005 - Extraordinary Agents Distinguish Opportunity From Distraction



Kenny Rogers reminded us in his classic song that you need to know when to hold em and know when to fold em. In running a successful real estate practice, translate this to  knowing what is a true opportunity and what is a distraction. Just being busy does NOT  translate into productivity! Many distracted agents are simply trying too hard to chase each and every lead or idea that is put in front of them. This futile chase dissipates their energy and leaves them unfocused, frantic and crisis-driven.


The distracted agent wastes money and time on things that are not the highest and best use of their talents and time. Some examples include:

Ø      Buying technology because everyone else is buying it, not because they have determined it is a fit for their technology plan.

Ø      Working with buyers that dont buy because they are scared to ask for an Exclusive Buyers Agreement that will most certainly weed out the unserious lookey-loos!

Ø      Choosing passive marketing and costly advertising to try to generate leads instead of calling people who know and love them.

Ø      Sitting at the computer fine-tuning their website without a strategy to drive traffic there.


On the other hand, the extraordinary agent knows his strengths and what he takes action that will produce results. Youll see these agents:

Ø      Delegating items that are not dollar productive.

Ø      Levering their time by being obvious, but not obnoxious when living their lives. Signs on their cars, wearing their nametags, sponsoring events in their farm or social circles are some of the things youll notice.

Ø      Sharing leads generously with a big network of other professionals who in turn send them referrals. 

Ø      Looking for new ideas and ways of raising their standards, so that their systems and their service are constantly being upgraded.

Ø      Planning regularly with both short and long term visions to guide and motivate them.

Ø      Hiring coaches to help them stay focused and accountable.

Ø      Listening to tapes, reading books and soaking up ideas from other successful people, in and outside of the real estate industry. They are life long learners


Extraordinary agents focus their daily activities on the actions that will be most effective in the achievement of their goals. They prioritize, not by the most urgent, but rather by the most important. They know what the highest and best use of their time is and they are not apt to waste time with non-dollar productive stuff.


In the coming week, at the end of each day, review where you spent your time and determine where the distractions are. There may be some tasks you should stop doing altogether. There may be some that should be delegated. Are there some boundaries you need to set with others who distract you? You can become extraordinary…zap your distractions!




Article : Opportunities Knock… Or Do They?

When we think of opportunities, we often think of chance occasions that cross our path, or are presented to us. We dont think of opportunities as something we have to actively go in search for… because opportunity knocks on our door – not vice versa. Right? Wrong.

Lets not discount those very real opportunities that do fall in our lap from time to time, because this does happen and we notice it when we are alert. Sometimes we dont notice and the opportunity slips right by.

There is another type of opportunity, the shy type. The type that you have to go in search for, BUT because you are actively seeking it and being very alert, they are easily found. The thing about these shy opportunities is that many people dont go looking for them, believing that all opportunities will come knocking on their door… So were going to tell you how to hunt these opportunities down, how to recognize them and catch them before they slip away.

# 1 Always be on the look-out… you never know when and where shy opportunities will be lurking. Sometimes, they are so well camouflaged, that even Sherlock Holmes would have a hard time finding them. Examine everything you come across, everything you hear and see and ask yourself if there is an opportunity lurking there. Think creatively. Be imaginative. If an opportunity IS there and it could make you a fortune, then it is worth investigating. Millionaires are made from improbable opportunities taken at the right time. Nothing is too wacky or unrealistic to consider. Consider everything, not just the obvious.

#2 As with marketing, you do have to put the word out there among your circle of friends, acquaintances, co-workers and customers that you ARE always open to new ideas and invite them to feel free to send any and all opportunities your way. Remember to always be thankful and dont laugh at anyones strange ideas, otherwise they may not send you anymore – and you might miss out on the big one. Be willing to discuss opportunities with your contacts, even if the idea is not for you, it leaves the door open for them to approach you next time.

#3 Again, as with marketing, if you want to increase your possibilities, you will have to spread your net wider. Increase your network of contacts so you have more people to bring opportunities your way. Dont just think of networking in general for this exercise… sometimes the very best opportunities come from sources completely different to what you are accustomed, people in other industries with different experiences, different businesses who dont think anything like you. Make a point of making friends with different people and exchange ideas with them… you may be pleasantly surprised!

#4 Be flexible. Sometimes, we unconsciously dismiss wonderful opportunities, because we are so focused on our own particular goals in life. Its great to have a goal, but dont be so inflexible that youd pass up a golden opportunity in order to keep on schedule with your own goals. Make room for new ideas. Incorporate them into your goals. Know that its okay to pause and make new discoveries along the way… you never know, you may come across an opportunity that would present an even better goal, but youd never know if you dont stop and look!

#5 Read! Keep abreast of not only whats happening in your field of endeavor, but check out other areas too. You may read something in a magazine or on a website that is in a totally different line of business to yourself – pig breeding, perhaps! And you may find something there that triggers some great ideas for you, or presents you with opportunities youd never have considered before… which brings me to the next point…

#6 Be creative! Be imaginative! Many wonderful opportunities are disguised, so that at first glance youd not notice them, but with some imagination, you can find some value in nearly every idea you come across. This is an area where you say a lot of What ifs… – and imagine how you might take advantage of an idea or opportunity youve found, or think youve found, and imagine how you might adapt it for your needs, your business. Okay, some will turn out to be daft ideas with little or no practical use for you, but some will turn out to be very useful!

#7 Be prepared! Some windows of opportunity are only open fleetingly and you need to be ready to respond quickly to take advantage of them. Make room in your life for these eventualities. Use some more what ifs… to help you be prepared. What if such and such did happen or come my way… what would I do about such and such? How would I manage that and still be able to work on the new opportunity? Know in advance how you could incorporate something new at little notice so you wont waste time when the occasion arises!

#8 Know how to recognize a shy opportunity… theyre everywhere! They arent always brought to your attention by business acquaintances and friends. They are hidden in ideas that you can find everywhere you look, in everything you read. The thing to remember is with each new and exciting opportunity you come across, you must always be balanced in your creative thinking! Think of ways of making it work for you, making it a success. Ask yourself what youd need to do to make the most of that opportunity. What are the likely benefits? What are the likely pitfalls? Are there any real risks attached? Then think how your business would be affected it you dont take advantage of that opportunity. And think, if you do take advantage of it, how will that affect your present goals and projects. Do you have the time/money/experience etc. to take advantage of that opportunity just now and make it work without detriment to your existing affairs?

#9 A good opportunity is one in which you are in a position to take advantage of it because the risks are slight or you have plenty of support behind you in case it doesnt turn out the way youd hoped. A good opportunity is one in which you feel a great excitement about and know you have the drive and determination to make it work. A good opportunity will help you in your continued growth and will not throw a spanner in the works of all youve worked so hard to achieve so far. A good opportunity is one in which there is support and assistance provided to help you get going with it. A good opportunity is one that is presented by well known people who know their stuff and who walk their talk – you know you can trust them. Do check everything out – you dont want to confuse golden opportunities with scams! Be intuitive – trust your gut instincts!

#10 Finally, having talked about being ready and prepared to pounce on opportunities when they arise, use caution and common sense. You will have time to seek expert opinions and second opinions. Not all opportunities will be right for you – to take advantage of some may not be in your best interests. You need to weigh up the benefits with the effects/results it is likely to have on your existing business and goals. How much time and/or money will the new opportunity require? Sometimes, you may have to bow to common sense and let an opportunity pass you by – particularly if it carries with it an unacceptable element of risk. If you can afford that risk, fine, but if you cant…

If you do find yourself turning down an opportunity (youre in the right place at the wrong time), make a note of it, perhaps add it to your goals. Just because you cant do something with it now doesnt mean you can't in the future.


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Jun. 30, 2005 - A Taste of Chocolate

A Taste of Chocolate
Modeling For Life
by Joeann Fossland

One late-summer day during my eleventh year, my mother and I spent a morning on a whirlwind shopping spree for back-to-school clothes. This was rare event. Mom had a chronic illness and didn't often feel well 
enough to spend a day shopping. On this particular day, though, she seemed energized and so was I.

Mom treated me to lunch in the department store's restaurant. As we entered the dining area, I noticed elegant models sauntering from table to table, wearing the latest fall fashions. Since this was prime buying season for school clothes, I wondered aloud why there were no preteen and teen models.

Impressed with my idea, my mother encouraged me to talk with someone. By the time dessert was served, she convinced me not only that my idea was great but that I should be one of those models!

I felt excited and scared. Her encouragement gave me confidence, and I actually began to believe in my idea and in myself. Mom's enthusiasm did not stop there; she persuaded me to talk to the store manager. Even though my stomach was churning, I was ready to apply for my first job!

Now, I should tell you, I wasn't a willowy, preteen version of Brooke Shields. No, I was short, a little chubby, bespectacled and freckled--maybe cute, but definitely not classic model material. Yet Mom's reassurance had convinced me I was beautiful and capable in that moment.

As the elevator doors, closed sending us up to the manager's office, I hesitated again. "Do you really think this is a good idea?" I asked.

In that moment, my mother spoke words that come back to me often--words that have changed the course of my life more than once. "What have you got to lose? you'll be no worse off if he says no. And maybe, just maybe, he'll say yes."

So, refocused and inspired, I proceeded. When the elevator doors opened, I marched straight up to the secretary's desk and asked to see the store manager. The secretary hesitated, then let the manager know I wanted to see him. Before long, we were ushered into his office. As I sat across from him at his desk, I confidently explained that he had an opportunity to create more sales by showcasing back-to-school preteen and teen fashions this time of year. He listened politely and with interest. When I said I wanted to model, he gave me a job application, saying he would consider my suggestion.

While he never did call me, the next summer the department store ran a search for teens to model in the restaurant for back-to-school fashion showing! In truth, I didn't really care that I was not selected. I had my reward. Mom gave me gift that has endured a lifetime . Although she died a few years later, when I was fifteen, Mom's spirit is always with me when I scary life situations.

Mom taught me it was safe to take risks, to believe in myself, and most important--to ask for what I want! 

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Jun. 30, 2005 - The Choice


The Choice
by Joeann Fossland

If you can quiet the chatter long enough to hear your own, still, strong inner voice 

when the worldly chaos swirls all around you and screams for your attention….

If you can trust in your quiet, knowing, heart of hearts when the shoulds of 

times past and people past scream loudly to conform or fear…….

If you can let your light shine brightly, knowing your spark 

is unique and your quest this lifetime

is to fully use it to ignite a flame to glow with the 

loving message that is yours alone to share….

If you can be steadfast in your own center of strength, when the hurts and judgments of 

the uncaring and scared attempt to diminish you and your work, 

when you can let them roll over 

and off you without latching on and letting them belittle your brilliance…….

If you can believe…really know..it is not about what you do or what you have, 

but about who you really are in the solitary moments when there is no one to impress……

If you can face the dark nights of sorrow and loss, missing unquenchably 

those taken away too soon, but nourishing yourself with the memories 

those souls shared with you and that are yours for eternity…….

If you can release the need for an illusion of control and live with a childlike curiosity and 

willingness to examine and evolve from whatever lesson the universe has seen fit to offer 

when everything inside of you wants to cry out why me?…..

If you can slow down and let a vast boredom fill you without rushing to fill it up…

allowing yourself to sit quietly and marvel in the exquisiteness of the ordinary..

drinking in the clouds, the colors of the sunset or sunrise, the 

birds songs, the childrens laughter…..

If you can quit arguing for your inadequacies and let in the magnificence 

of your gifts and the appreciation and love of your encouragers……

If you can give up indulging in what might have been and give yourself 

fully to this moment and 

the nextto each of the split seconds that make the totality of your experience…..

If you can stand in the center of your own integrity when the easy conveniences 

of society and complaintive cries of the needy furiously pull to rock your balance….. 

If you can finally accept that things are perfect, right now, exactly as 

they are, even when the world around you is trying to propel you to live in 

future realities and relive past problems…….

Then the magic of a peaceful, playful, harmonious, 

vibrant, blissful existence will fill your being. 

And, as you fully express your spark, let your flame glow…. 

You will light the way and serve as beacon for others to do the same.

Copyright 2000 Joeann Fossland

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Resources, articles and thoughts on being awesomely productive and creative while enjoying a life you love! Don't forget to visit my web site at www.joeann.com for even more information and resources. COMMENTS ARE WELCOME. Please notice the Post A Comment link at the bottom of the posting.


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