Don’t Lose Your Seat on the Train

December 16, 2009

December definitely ranks as one of the most fun-filled months of the year!  Whether…for you…it’s the holidays, the many gatherings with friends and family, special trips, throwing snowballs to your Golden Retriever Maddie, the gift of giving, or more…fabulous memories are created in December that last a lifetime!

But…and there is always a “but”…a word of caution.  As you are in the midst of your shopping and socializing, be sure you don’t “give up your seat on the train”! 

As enchanting and enticing as the December events can be, if you pull out of “the market” 100% to participate in holiday gaiety…and “give up your seat on the train”…you know someone else will take your seat (there’s always someone “waiting”).  Of course, the train keeps going (it doesn’t stop for the holidays)…and, the risk to you is there may not be an empty seat when you are ready to “re-board”.

As you know, the market today is unbelievably active (let’s not hear any complaints).  Marin County Unsold Inventory is down to an amazingly low 3.6 (good news for sellers). Although, check my blog ( and you’ll see that some towns are more active than others. I am excited about the market we are in today (although it continues to be hard work)…and you should be too!  Remember, if you are excited, your clients will be excited…and that is a good thing!

So…The solution:  You need to do it all!  Love and enjoy the holidays, keep current on what’s happening in the marketplace, and hold a couple “open houses” so your clients can keep tabs on you and you can create additional client relationships that will prove fruitful in January and February. And, remember, this is a great time to contact all of your past clients with a holiday greeting.

I want to take this opportunity to wish each of you the very best holiday season ever!

Do You Control Your Life Or Does Life Control You?

December 4, 2009

“Failures do what is tension relieving while winners do what is goal achieving.”
– Dennis Waitley

This quote can definitely change your life!

It is the difference between you controlling your life or life controlling you.

When we allow our priorities to be dictated by external pressures, we turn control of our lives over to chance. We become like a ping-pong ball batted back and forth by bosses, parents, spouses, children, politicians… The list is endless. Our attention is drawn to the situation currently creating the most pressure. Once that tension is relieved, we move on to the next source of pressure. Priorities are further refined by our personal boundaries as defined by our self-image. Ex: You feel pressured to make another sale and have decided to call people from your open house guest lists. You also feel pressure to balance your stock portfolio. If you are uncomfortable calling strangers, the stock portfolio may move up on your priorities list. What a mess!! A life dictated by external pressures and limited by doubts and fears? No thanks!

Another option: “doing what is goal achieving.” Instead of reactivity, pro-activity. Understand, for most of us, this does not come naturally. Reactivity is our default program. Yes, we all have goals in the back of our minds, but on a moment by moment basis, they take a back seat to reactivity.

So, do you want to take control over your life, become the writer of your story? Here’s how:
Start from where you are now. For a week, take detailed notes of every action you take each day.
At the end of the week, mark each action with an R (if it was a reaction to external pressure, or a G (if it was undertaken to achieve a goal). Count up your R’s and G’s and see how you are currently prioritizing your time.

If you would like to spend more time working on goal achievement:

  1. Write your goals down. Be clear and specific. Follow all of the rules of goal-setting that you’ve learned in the past.
  2. Create a business plan. Work it down to the tasks you will complete each day for the next 12 months.
  3. Make a contract with yourself that you WILL complete every task on your calendar. If an emergency arises and a task cannot be completed, it moves forward to the next day. Your commitment has to be that every task is completed.

That’s it in a nutshell. Successful people know where they’re going and spend the majority of their time completing tasks designed to get them there. Either system, reactivity or pro-activity, will get your somewhere. The trick is: will it be a place that you’d like to be or where other people think you should be.

It’s good to have choices.

–  Steve Dickason