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Real (Estate) Talk: Differentiating Busy and Productive in Your Brokerage
What's the difference between being busy and being productive? In today's society, we tend to use those words interchangeably. If you're productive, you're busy. And if you're busy, you're productive. But there's a key difference we tend to forget about when it comes to being productive versus being busy. Busy is when there's a lot to do. It's stressful, overwhelming, and sometimes careless. Productive is when there's a lot getting done. It's focused, purposeful, and intentional. In other words: "Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort." – Paul Meyer So as a broker, how can you encourage productivity over busyness in your office?
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Ten Years From Now: The Future of Real Estate and Everything
Science and technology amaze me. In a unique way, I choose to embrace science and technology for the good that it can do. I am bullish on humanity making the right decisions, but most of all, I am willing to give up certain freedoms in exchange for allowing technology to blossom as a contributor to humanity. Perhaps the most significant advancement we have seen over the last decade is deep machine learning. Deep machine learning is a process that allows algorithms to run against massive amounts of data in a mostly unsupervised way. It allows computers to think and be creative. Computers can ask, answer, and critique questions. Through this process of data interrogation, computers can learn.
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CENTURY 21 Launches Podcast Series to Inspire Salespeople to 'Defy Mediocrity'
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Lessons from the Navy Seals on Getting Teams to Hit Goals
Plenty of us already struggle with hitting our own goals. Getting a team to hit their goals? That's a whole other challenge. There are plenty of strategies and ideas to steal from, but why not learn from one of the most elite team organizations in the country: the Navy Seals.
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10 Motivational Quotes for Your Real Estate Team
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Trying Easier to Create Growth
What will it take to grow your business this year? Will it be more mailings, longer hours or a social media campaign so outrageous, you finally go viral? Let's hope not, because none of these ideas are desirable or sustainable, something that thousands of salespeople will realize as they beat their goals this year by doing the opposite of such strategies. They won't try harder to be successful. They will try easier.
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5 Inspirational Quotes to Start Your Brokerage Off Right
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5 Amazing Proverbs on Business Insight
Running a business is like flying a plane. You're the pilot. You're trained, experienced. And you've got dozens or hundreds of people on board putting their future in your supposedly capable hands. You're responsible for these people (not to mention yourself!), so you need to know what's going on with your plane at all times. Any failure on your part might have serious consequences for yourself and many others. That's a lot of pressure! Let's check out some relevant proverbs on business insight and see how they might help relieve some of this pressure! 1. Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped – Africa Meaning: Do not look at the effect of your action, but the cause. What this means to you: It's easy to look at the results of your business mistakes and be critical. But it's also pointless. Everybody fails. It's more important to look at why you failed than what happened afterwards. Chances are, you'll learn something valuable that will prevent you from making the same mistake in the future.
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Real Estate Recruiting and the Power of Belief
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The Secret to Being More Profitable
How often do we hear how busy peoples' lives are? Whether it's a question about how someone's weekend was or how their work day is going, we hear busy and are supposed to assume it's a good thing. Maybe I missed the memo, but I am not sure when we started to value how little time we have. I look around our industry and I see a lot of hard working, talented professionals. The ones that are leading this industry are the ones that aren't keeping busy, but are staying productive. Our clients, our colleagues and our brokers don't care how busy we are – it's all about the bottom line. How many contracts did you get signed? How many closed deals? Did you get the top dollar for your client? How much money did you make? We don't get perfect attendance awards anymore. We don't get a pat on the back for working 16 hour days. We get rewarded for results. Our goal should be to get the same job done in a more efficient way whenever possible. No client wants to hear how busy you've been. They want to know whether you're doing your job. Technology has brought about a wave of services, software and applications that can automate the tasks that used to keep us busy. Whether that's prospecting through SEO and lead generation tools, marketing tools for emails and lead follow-up, document management and electronic signature for contracts, or accounting software to automatically cut checks and track the business of your business, all of these tools can save us time. Maybe it's only 10 minutes per deal, or maybe it's five hours that you would have spent manually following up or processing information at the close of a deal. It all adds up. Each tool you use can save you, your team and/or your staff time. After implementing, these systems will add hours of time back into your day. What would you do with an extra two hours a day?
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3 Ways That 'NO' Can Help Brokers and Agents Attain Their Financial Goals
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Two Effective Strategies for Increasing Agent Motivation and Revenue
Real estate is an industry where human capital is a brokerage's most valuable asset, with agents working as independent contractors holding the power to drive a firm's success--or failure. Since success sits squarely on agents' motivation, a key question becomes how to inspire them to perform optimally in volatile and fiercely competitive real estate markets. By understanding the underlying reasons that drive performance, brokerages can harness new opportunities and reach their revenue potential. Building and maintaining a team of agents committed to continuously slam-dunking the deal presents a tough challenge that brokers have generally addressed with traditional extrinsic motivational initiatives. Yet, time and again, research worldwide has proven that these extrinsic motivators do not work. Rewards, contests, prizes, and recognition programs amount to nothing more than carrot and stick strategies. While they may produce short term results, they fail to be sustainable, as agents lose their sense of creativity, vitality, and inherent self-value. The result is suboptimal sales performance and higher agent turnover. Try Aligned or Integrated Motivation The good news is that there are proven and effective alternatives: aligned motivation and integrated motivation. With aligned motivation, agents are empowered to link their work to something of significant personal value such as financial goals, self-worth, or even just an intense interest, which inherently improves productivity and dedication.
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[Infographic] How to Win the Day: Michael Maher's Morning Ritual for SuperProducers
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5 Things You Should Do Before Leaving the House Every Morning
Do you spend your mornings battling the alarm clock, struggling to get the kids to school, and rummaging through the closet for something to wear? You're not alone. Many of us are not necessarily "morning people." But how a Realtor starts the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. You can feel better about your day when you start it out right. Complete them before you leave the house in the morning and set yourself up for success with these five simple tasks: Make your bed. It's surprising that something so simple can make such a big impact on your day. Research by Charles Duhigg in his book "The Power of Habit" found that making your bed each morning is correlated with better productivity. It's also been suggested that making your bed boosts happiness! The idea is that completing this small task makes a person feel more productive first thing in the morning. According to Duhigg, by creating this habit, you'll help your other positive habits to flourish. He argues that making your bed is essentially a catalyst for other good habits. Take some deep breaths. Does the idea of meditating sound a little too airy-fairy to you? That's ok, you don't have to spend an hour sitting cross-legged each morning. Morning is often the most stressful time of day for people. Clear your head with a few deep breaths and a few moments of silence before diving into your day. You'll benefit from even 4-5 minutes of this practice in the morning!
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How to Become, Stay and Feel Successful: The Final Secret (6/22)
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Infographic: The S.W.E.E.T. Sunday Night Life-Hack of Super Producers
In a recent Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar, Michael Maher, international bestselling author and top selling agent, outlined four life-hacks super producers use to "Get More Done, Make More Money, Spend Less Time, and Enjoy Life More!" This infographic will show you five steps you can take set up your week for success:
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3 Easy Steps to a Great Attitude
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5 Quick Bullets to Strengthen Your Mindset
Bullet #1: Increasing Your Mental Toughness Consider this thought: "We build emotional, mental and spiritual capacity in precisely the same way that we build physical capacity." - Jim Loehr Dr. Loehr is a "performance psychologist" who has worked with business executives and athletes alike. He specializes in mental toughness. His advice in the above quote becomes even more poignant when you consider that sales success is 90% attributable to mindset and attitude. Are you using the 90% factor in your favor? What are you doing to "fill up your tank" with positivity and success ammunition every day/every week? Selling homes can be a lonely business; daily lead generation and lead follow-up, showing houses, listing property, and negotiating offers can be taxing. Here's some questions to start you thinking about this: Who are you listening to? What are you reading? Who are you associating with, and who should you be avoiding? Do you have a coach to help you through the rough spots and help you grow? Be sure to exercise your mind to the same extent that you exercise your body. Build up those mental muscles to help you out when you need them. NO Excuses.
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How to Motivate Top, Middle, and Bottom Performers
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How to THINK BIG for Your Real Estate Business
As 2015 moves forward, it's a good idea to step back and re-evaluate your perception of your upper limits. What I mean by "upper limits" is...are you thinking BIG enough? It has been proven over and over that we typically only reach 10% of our overall potential. There's lots of room for "more." There's a great anonymous quote that says, "If you argue for your limitations... you get to keep them." Here's a few examples where most salespeople aren't thinking BIG enough: 1. Not maintaining tight control of your morning routine. Two quick suggestions to help you with this ever present challenge: a) set a minimum standard as to when you're going to start work every day (e.g., 9:00 AM). Never let yourself off the hook with this timeslot and b) better to do your lead generation in the morning – all other interruptions must be ignored. 2. Letting others dictate what you are not capable of achieving. When someone tells you what you can't do, they are merely telling you what "they can't do." Let no one stand in your way, let no one drag you down. That's just their way of feeling good about themselves... it does nothing for you! 3. Allowing 1-2 setbacks spoil the rest of your day. Make NEXT your favorite method of dealing with adversity, disappointment, frustration, and fear. The tough times are sent to test us... when you pass the test, you succeed where others get bogged down in drama. Just say NEXT and move on.
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Are Sales Contests Gone for Good?
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Challenge Yourself to Inspire Creativity
Challenge the Rules Humans develop rules because they regulate our behavior and keep us safe. Some rules are explicit (do not steal) while others are implicit (bathe regularly). In marketing, rules are developed to regulate our content. Many of these rules are assumed: commercials need a slogan, videos need a logo, business cards need a headshot. Rules of this sort also regulate our behavior and keep us 'safe.' Therein lies the problem: safe is not in any way creative. Take a look at your thesaurus and you'll see that safe is synonymous with 'guarded' and 'shielded' while creative is synonymous with 'inspired' and 'original.' Safe is not an option. Challenge these rules. Ask yourself: Why am I doing what I am doing? Is it necessary? Why is it necessary, and according to whom? What happens if I do things differently? You might find that the rules are in place for a reason. But more than likely you'll find that the rules you've followed under the guise of 'safety' have enslaved your creativity and prevented its growth.
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Giving Back to Military Homebuyers
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Eliminate the "On the Run" Leadership Style
Robert runs a high energy business with a dedicated team. At least on initial glimpse this is the impression someone might get as they wait in the lobby. The reality is the team is floundering for any life line they can get just so the business stays afloat. Communication is usually restricted to brief directions given as Robert runs out the door to the next important meeting. Often, the orders shouted out on the run contradict a previous task already identified as critical. It is up to the staff to interpret which task really is the priority and act accordingly. As a direct result of this "on the run" leadership style, the staff has learned to distill their questions to the absolute priority level and push aside anything that doesn't involve stopping the boss during an obviously busy day. Procrastination, desks piled high with things to address and quality control issues surface compounding an already hectic environment. Needless to say, the ball gets dropped and the client ultimately suffers. Now let's add into the mix the absolute need for the team to prospect on a consistent basis which, in turn, will ensure that business continues to come in the door. If systems aren't in place to manage the life blood of a service oriented business, the resulting disorganization can result in unreasonable levels of stress and an "always catching up" type of mentality. The ability to balance current business with effective prospecting is an art--but it is an art form that can be learned as long as the parties involved are willing to dedicate attention to the details.
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Recharge Your Leadership Mojo: 8 Ways to Reignite Your Passion
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What Can Today’s Real Estate Broker Learn From Steve Jobs’ Legacy?
Earlier this year Walter Isaacson, the CEO of the Aspen Institute, published Steve Jobs, a book that has become the definitive history of one of America's most admired business executives. The book became an immediate bestseller. However, interestingly enough, based upon reviews, blogs, and columns about the book, it quickly became clear that few readers had captured the correct message of the book. In this social media focused world, more readers found value in criticizing the book (not Steve Jobs) than in learning from it. Enter, The Harvard Business Review (HBR). The HBR, recognizing that Mr. Jobs was obviously going to make his mark on American business history, decided that some clarity was appropriate. Therefore, they requested that Mr. Isaacson draft an article that specifically set forth the exact lessons that the American culture could learn from Mr. Jobs. The result was excellent and every American business executive and leader should spend 30 minutes studying the wisdom offered through the article. The idea behind this column came together after one such review, when that wisdom was applied to the current real estate industry. Despite the fact that Jobs fought his battles in an industry that some might think could not be more different than real estate, the fact is that many of the challenges were exactly the same. The relevance of Steve Jobs' story becomes even greater when one realizes that much of his success occurred in a business environment not that much different than the one that real estate brokers find themselves in today. A couple of cautionary comments are in order. The purpose of this article is not to suggest that Steve Jobs was the world's greatest executive, nor that everything he did was great, nor that everyone should strive to be a Steve Jobs.
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Forget Donut Mondays: Better Perks for Retaining Agents
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9 Excellent Homebuyer Calls-to-Action
In many articles, we've discussed the importance of an effective call-to-action. Your call-to-action, whether it's on your website or at the end of a listing presentation, is the language you use to entice your audience to take a specific action. It can be spoken or it can be written, and it can appear almost anywhere. We spotted an article from the National Association of REALTORS® that studied consumers motivations when purchasing a home. First, let's take a look at the chart from the NAR article; then, we'll explain what this means for your calls-to-action.
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Lessons Learned in 2011 from Intero Real Estate Services
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Follow the Leader: Hoby Hanna
Our leader to follow this week is Hoby Hanna of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services (www.HowardHanna.com). Hoby is the third generation to lead the largest family-owned real estate company in America. We chose Hoby as our leader to follow for several reasons – specifically for his Internet savvy, branding strategy, and overall management philosophy. While many family real estate brokers have been usurped by third-party listing websites or consumed by franchises, Howard Hanna has not. So, we wanted to know, what’s their secret? Hoby enlightened us. The Howard Hanna “Special Sauce” Howard Hanna Real Estate Services has achieved success on many levels. Of course, our first thought was about the technology aspect – their extraordinary success with online marketing is certainly of note. However, it’s also their overall branding strategy and management philosophy that keeps them on top. We spoke with Mr. Hanna about each.
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Follow the Leader: Shelley Specchio
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4 Things Smart Brokers Say to Agents
A few days ago, we noticed a blog post about things managers should say to their employees. Many of these concepts are relevant to brokers in their relationships with agents. We’ll share a few of them here. You can find a link to the blog post at the bottom of this article.
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Do You Have a Love of Learning?
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Praise for a Job Well Done Rewards
I made someone`s day last week. How do I know? She told me. I had a bit of time to kill before an appointment and I was starving, so I stopped off at a nearby deli for a quick bite to eat. I had my notebook with me and started to think about the content for the leadership course that I am coaching in a few weeks. I was looking for words to describe leadership skills. Coming up a bit short, I asked a waitress who was wandering around the following question: "What makes your boss a good leader?" She thought for a moment, and then proceeded to give me a list, which I wrote down. After my meal, I bumped into the owner of the deli (the waitress's boss) and I shared my findings with her. She was absolutely dumbfounded and delighted. She wanted to know why I asked the question and who I was. She wanted to know what I do for a living and asked for my card. It was a haphazard encounter, but it was one that was immensely rewarding and insightful for me. Events like this trigger epiphanies, and slowly they formulate strategies that turn into implemented ideas. So what does all this have to do with everyday life? Everything.
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Nothing Is Impossible
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She Looked Like a Million Bucks!
She looked like a million bucks. She was well dressed, wore jewelry, makeup, and a top-of- the-line wig. She walked upright and held a cane. I was told that she was 105 years old. I swear, she only looked 80! My parents are snowbirds and each year for 4 months, they migrate their lives to their condo in Florida, and surround themselves with a boatload of friends and relatives. Last week, I went to visit them for March break. The moment I arrived, I was greeted by all their buddies. Within minutes, my aunt pulled me aside and pointed out a woman, dressed to the nines, who was sitting in the shade, knitting. In a hushed tone, I was told that the woman in the pink suit was 105 years old and I was instructed to get a picture of her. My jaw dropped, she looked fabulous! By virtue of the rarity of the moment, I attempted to get a good shot of her with my camera. Discretely, I snapped some pictures and got a few distant side shots of her, none of which did her justice.
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What I Learned About Blogging from The Fighter
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Make Someone's Day!
I made someone`s day last week. How do I know? She told me. I had a bit of time to kill before an appointment and I was starving, so I stopped off at a nearby deli for a quick bite to eat. I had my notebook with me and started to think about the content for the leadership course that I am coaching in a few weeks. I was looking for words to describe leadership skills. Coming up a bit short, I asked a waitress who was wandering around the following question: "What makes your boss a good leader?" She thought for a moment, and then proceeded to give me a list, which I wrote down. After my meal, I bumped into the owner of the deli (the waitress's boss) and I shared my findings with her. She was absolutely dumbfounded and delighted. She wanted to know why I asked the question and who I was. She wanted to know what I do for a living and asked for my card. It was a haphazard encounter, but it was one that was immensely rewarding and insightful for me. Events like this trigger epiphanies, and slowly they formulate strategies that turn into implemented ideas. So what does all this have to do with everyday life? Everything.
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Setting Your Sight on the Goal and Getting There
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Smile & Move
To Smile is to... Wake up – Show others you care by giving attention to their needs Be thankful – The opportunity to serve is a gift... not an entitlement Be approachable – We're at each other's service and contact is where it starts Complain less – Being positive is more fun Smile. Really – It's where pleasantness begins To Move is to... Start early & go long – Get lost in your service to others Exceed expectations – Dismiss mediocrity. Expect and enjoy more from yourself Have a sense of urgency – Everyone's time is valuable Be resourceful & resilient – Results are what we're all really after
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Motivated to the Max or Mired in Muck?
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Charge Into This Week With Purpose
Take a minute out of your busy Monday to gain some perspective about what motivates us. Ten quotes, ten inspiring individuals and only 1 minute of your day.   The glass if half full already. 
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Seeds of Greatness
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5 Things I Learned About Building Courage from the Cowardly Lion
Stopping a runaway train and saving all on board… that’s courage. Stepping in front of a bus to push a small child out of the way… that’s courage. Facing the world with a blemish on your face… that’s courage. Wearing a safety pin in your pants, praying it won’t pop open at the worst time… that’s courage. Growing up, my primary resource for understanding the concept of courage was the Wizard of Oz on television, watching the odd foursome face peril after peril. Confront the Wicked Witch of the West? No way. The Cowardly Lion had it right… clanking knees, shaking shoulders and quivery voice and cowering in a corner. Hopefully that evil person wouldn’t see him.
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Building Lifetime Customers
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How to Motivate Your Team
Peter Grazier says: Motivation. We hear the term often. Generally we associate the word with human behavior, meaning, a state of mind that moves us to action. And even though few of us have had formal training in it, it's one of those characteristics of life that seems to fit the old adage, "I know it when I see it." For most of my years working in the field of workplace collaboration, this word has held a place of stature and importance, because it has been, perhaps, the most significant outcome of worker involvement. As the collaboration trend, and more specifically, the use of employee teams continues to grow, one question that is taking on greater importance is how to keep the team motivated over the long haul. What are the ingredients or characteristics of teams that seem to sustain high levels of motivation?
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Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
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The Key to Making Goals Reality
Have you ever set goals for yourself?  Would you say you meet most goals you set, or are you someone who has the best of intentions but not much to show for them? As a real estate professional, who is in the business of generating leads and closing deals, setting goals can be a key component for success.  But the secret to success comes in writing actionable goals down and holding to them. Zig Ziglar, popular American motivational speaker and self-help author, gives a short example about how powerful goal setting can be in achieving success. Ziglar himself came from humble beginnings and grew to become an expert sales person, best selling author, and highly sought after public speaker.
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8 Ways To Avoid Failure On The Road To Remarkable
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Do You Have a Fear of Commitment in 2011?
“Make a decision!” My strident internal voice creates a slice of pain that arches over the crown of my head - a jolting order shrieking loudly enough to cause my heart to pound and my face to burn with frustration. It isn’t as if I am making a choice between life and death. I only have to determine how my business will grow over the next two to five years. Certainly, I can delay mapping out my career until I have a “safe” amount of discretionary cash set aside. Except one thought keeps hounding me… what came first? The chicken or the egg? Now I understand that it doesn’t make any difference which came first. All I have to do is commit. No excuses, no lop-sided rationalizations that I might not be meant for what I want to do. Just set one foot in front of the other and take the first step. Whether that first step will falter or stride confidently forward is determined by my attitude and strength of belief in my own skills, attributes and character.
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Strip the Stress Out of the New Year!
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4 Minutes to Mental Rejuvenation
Happy Monday! The holidays are almost here, and it can be a classic time to sit back and spend less time in productive focus, and more time in conversation and (holi)day-dreaming. It's mid-December, which is the calendar's fourth quarter.  It's time to step it up and sprint that final 100 meters. Take a few minutes to watch this video.  No matter who you are and where you are in your life, there will be a quote here for you.  Let's take Monday's by storm and focus in on having a productive day at work!
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You Were Not Designed to Blend into a Crowd! Be Remarkable!
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