I hate Tom Ferry. - My Life! By Design.

Real Estate Agent with Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME

This is how I felt this morning.The answers are there, you just need to find them.

I read through the excerpts of Tom Ferry's latest book, "Life! By Design: 6 Steps to an Extraordinary You" (Amazon affiliate link) with great interest.  I've been following Tom on Twitter for quite awhile and have found him to be insightful, funny, and always up for a conversation.  When I arrived at the exercise on page 46, however, I realized how much I hate Tom Ferry.

Before anyone gets their knickers in a twist, I don't really hate him.  I'm just mad because he managed to make me think at 5AM and now I'm sitting here writing.  I was hoping to take a quick nap before taking my wife to work this morning, but that idea went out the window pretty fast.  I've been going through quite a bit of self-discovery lately, trying to "up my game" so to speak.  I've had to ask myself a lot of tough questions and have been working with my broker to push me further.  Tom's question: "Do you feel you are operating By Design in this area (professional) of your life?"  My answer was what made me grumble and start tapping at the keys.

The answer is "no."

Lucky for me, I already knew the answer.  It's something I've been taking into consideration for awhile now.  I've always been a bit haphazard with doing the things I know will lead to more business and get me to the point I want to be as an agent.  My broker knew it too.  We've been working on that together.  Recently, I had to spend time thinking about "why" - not "ugh, why am I a real estate agent" but "why do I do this, what motivates me on a daily basis to focus on real estate as a choice for my future?"  I have three pages of notes on my thoughts and in those notes, I found my answers.  While I won't share the details of them, I will tell you this; now that I know what drives me, I now can work on Tom's thoughts of "living my life by design."

The future is "yes."

The idea of "living life by design" is where my future is heading.  As a new agent I stumbled all over this, but until recently I'm not sure I truly understood.  Real estate is not a place for those who wait, yet we love to sit by the phone and pray it rings.  We see other agents selling homes, yet blame our lack of sales on the sluggish economy or availability of financing.  We tell ourselves it will get better this year, but do nothing to make it great.

Wishful thinking, excuses, and lack of action.  That's what it is.  Hocus pocus.  We convince ourselves that taking action isn't the solution and instead bank on winning the lottery of real estate.  Me?  I'm done with that.

Thanks Tom, I guess I need to go buy the book now.  Grrrrrr.  I hate you, Tom Ferry.

photo courtesy of Amy Mud Pie

Tom Ferry: LIFE! By DESIGNThis post is to help promote Tom Ferry's upcoming book, LIFE! By DESIGN. The contents of my post are the result of some self reflection the preview chapter of the book asks us to do about ourselves.

You can Pre-Order the book now by visiting TomFerryBook.com. You can also participate in the promotion being done by ActiveRain for a chance to win some great prizes and 2500 points by visiting the promotional post here.

Everyone that orders a copy of the book between now and April 23rd, 2010 will also receive one ticket to attend Tom's Success Summit, August 24-26th and the MP3 audio role play program: Objection Handling for Buyers, Sellers and Short Sales.

In exchange for writing this post, I could win an iPad or other cool prizes, and this is to let you know so the FTC doesn't fine me.


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Matt Stigliano
Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME - San Antonio, TX

Lenn - I've always enjoyed the process of analyzing just about anything.  You do have to do it at the right times (so that you're not wasting your time), but I find it invaluable.  Once I learned to set goals for myself, I found that if I didn't analyze those goals and see where I was heading with them, they were utterly useless.  By continuing to monitor them, I am able to adapt to any changes that might come my way.

Apr 20, 2010 01:01 AM #12
Matthew Naumann
Exit Realty Charleston Group - Goose Creek, SC
Goose Creek, SC Real Estate Agent


Great Post.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Matt Naumann

Apr 20, 2010 01:26 AM #13
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Matt - I love that you "hate" Tom Ferry.  I love your post.  It's the same with the home staging business.  We all start out thinking it's enough to be a good designer, when in reality, it's all about sales & marketing to be successful, and that's the hard part.  I also need to kick myself into action and stop hoping for the phone to ring, or for someone to just find me on my website.  Thanks for such an honest post.

Apr 20, 2010 03:07 AM #14
Tom Ferry
Tom Ferry-yourcoach - Newport Beach, CA

Matt- Loved reading your blog (and of course all you do on AG)! And it's cool to hate me, because I know it's going help you get to the place you want to go. 

You have all of the power now... you know what drives you, you know why you're doing what your doing. So I'm expecting BIG stuff. Got it? (Also, I want to honor that it sounds like you have a great Broker who has your back!)

FYI Dude ... this line- brilliant!!!!

" ... Wishful thinking, excuses, and lack of action.  That's what it is.  Hocus pocus.  We convince ourselves that taking action isn't the solution and instead bank on winning the lottery of real estate.  Me?  I'm done with that."


Apr 20, 2010 03:43 AM #15
Michael J. O'Connor
Diamond Ridge Realty - Corona, CA
Eastvale - 951-847-4883

I was wondering if Tom was going to chime-in with a comment.  Glad to see he 'read' you.  There are plenty of us out there 'hating' him at the moment.  I've dredged up all kinds of childhood memories with the exercise I did.

Thanks Tom - now I can't sleep at night - I hate you too!  ;-(

Apr 20, 2010 06:07 AM #16
Barb Szabo, CRS
RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio - Cleveland, OH
E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes

If an excerpt from Tom's book has helped and brought about such introspection and enlightenment, imagine what reading the entire book will do for you.

Apr 20, 2010 01:52 PM #17
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Doing one of the excepts is on my todo list, too.  And I know what you mean about the voyages of self-discovery...

Apr 20, 2010 03:39 PM #18
Kathy Schowe
California Lifestyle Realty - La Quinta, CA
La Quinta, California 760-333-8886

That's the thing about looking inside... stirs things up!  Good post and good for you!  I can relate in many ways... Good luck and keep us posted!  Kathy

Apr 20, 2010 05:54 PM #19
Matt Stigliano
Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME - San Antonio, TX

Matt - No one has ever accused me of not sharing my thoughts.  If anything, I overshare.

Sally - And for me, it's a struggle, as I still have that consumer-sided dislike for "sales and marketing."  It's about finding the balance for me - doing those things, but not coming across as the "hey, pick me" guy.  I've found that one of my greatest strengths is my openess and willingness to discuss what's on my mind.  Sometimes I tell the stories I don't want necessarily think are the best for sharing, but my clients have appreciated the open and often frank dialog.

Tom - Someone on AG challenged me to be a bit more aggressive in moving my career forward and now you've given me the same challenge.  Having that thought in the back of my head, as well as all the self-analysis I've been doing, has really been helping me lately.  I'm finding that by putting faces and names to my inner-motivations is a great tool.  To be able to call you or my broker and say "hey, it's working" is a motivating factor unto itself.  If I can get a second today, I'll send you an email about some of the details of what I came up with during my broker's exercise of finding the "why" - I think you'll find one part of it quite interesting.  I'm glad you liked that quote.  Often when I write, I'm really writing to myself with things like that.  Putting it down in writing (or at least typing) so that I'm not just thinking it, but now find myself accountable for what I've said.

Best of luck with book Tom - I think it will be rather successful.

Michael - I was thrilled that Tom took a moment to comment (we had a bit of a conversation via Facebook as well).  Always good to know that people like him are out there reading and interacting.  Coaches and mentors and ninjas and gurus (in my experience) are often distant idols - we worship what they say, but they don't know who we are.  Tom's not like that, which is one of the reasons I knew of him long before this book and have chatted with him here and there on Twitter.  I think Tom "gets it" as they say.

Barb - I'm afraid my head will explode, but I will be buying it, that's for sure.

Lane - I felt it was time to really take a "look under the hood" and figure out what it is that makes me tick.  Turns out, I've got a lot more under there than I thought.

Kathy - I have no problem with stirring things up, that's for sure.  I like to challenge myself in as many areas of my life as I can and this recent spate of self-analysis is really helping open my eyes to some core facts about me that are undeniable.  Things I never had to consider before in my former career.  There, life was a bit of an auto-pilot, but now I'm in much more control of my future than ever before - so knowing who, what, when, why, and how certainly helps.

Apr 21, 2010 02:47 AM #20
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL


I like my coma. Leave me the hell alone :)


Apr 22, 2010 11:24 AM #21
Pat O'Brien

After Friday, you should reread this!

May 04, 2010 08:40 AM #22
Lee & Pamela St. Peter
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522 - Raleigh, NC
Making Connections to Success in Real Estate

Matt!!!!!!  Congrats on such a great reflective post AND sounds like you're going to get a first hand, structured, opportunity to propel you into doing just what you want with your RE career!  Nobody deserves it more than YOU do!!!

May 18, 2010 01:07 AM #23
Brian Habel
HomeSmart Advantage - Saint George, UT


There is a point of "confessed vulnerability" that we all get to that I think to be almost Salvation based or call it Living By Design I suppose.  To be able to "roll with ones environment" in the act is only a part of this, I admire you more than myself with your strength in this element of soliciting help from others.  For to be too hard on oneself is to turn it to negative that transpires onto others as well.  I've always believed in myself.  It is overcoming the critic in me that I struggle with AS WELL AS the critic in others I know all too well about.  I try not to fake it too much on the outside anymore and as a result quit believing in the power of affirming motivation, when 'I always knew and know it comes from within'.  But getting and having people on your side, I endorse Tom's comments in response to you above and can start believing again myself.  When it comes to the Ferry's I quit having faith in Mike a while ago, but I listen because I know they know real estate.  It is just one model and I believe peoples (or people being more important than civilization, arts and culture) will ultimately triumph over that model.  I now subscribe to the model taught by Ari Galper and consider it the New Age model.  I hav a Masters in Counseling and have been educated in theoretical underpinnings or models for behavior and success or not so much educated as it is very much ongoing, but informed about different approaches not to believe in just one.  However, one comes along now and then that just contributes more to how environment is changing.  The Ari way characterizes a movement I sense is taking place.  Besides that, when I think of coaching, I think the Ferry's have had it where it is at.  Look at the dynamics of that incredible family.  Of course, I took off after Matthews more liberal approach into the psychology side with some on the mechanics of NLP.  I really liked one of his head coaches, Kevin Stirdivant.  But I've not yet got to know much of Tom.  My first impressions are good as I think he puts his personhood out on the limb.  I think some of that is cut and dried off of the Tony Robins model of emotion.  But I'm examining ethic and culture, aren't I, instead of allowing people to express.  This has been my downfall, too smart and sometimes conceded then, for my own good (I just hugged my little 6 year old, I'm not too worried).  I'll give Tom a chance some day I think.  But for now, my model in getting over 250 buyers a day to my website is maintaining a Mixture, "a soup" of what will become both accommodation not to just the buyers, my route, but to the sellers too.  For some reason I could never bring myself to fully be beating my head against the wall for not doing more prospecting.  I'm sorry.  It will be an item I'll want to conquer some day, perhaps out of necessity, perhaps not.  Thanks for listening everybody!

May 10, 2011 10:58 AM #24
Frank Castaldini
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in San Francisco

From the start of my career I learned that this business is belly to belly.  You got to get out and meet the people.  Whether it's tracked or not, if one gets out there everyday and talks to people about real estate things happen.

Oct 06, 2012 11:13 PM #25
Brian Habel
HomeSmart Advantage - Saint George, UT

Hey, thought I'd post back to say I've done some growing up since my last post- I'm actually prospecting.  Seems as though you have to do what you 'have' to do sometimes.  I'm finding that the tough things are not necessarily 'not for me'.  Humble pie gallore.  Smeer ;)  All over my face.  Also, calling is aversive, I've even found that I do try to avoid it, just when I think I have it licked it comes back to bite me and I slack.  I'm learning, gosh, it's taken a while.  I ascribe a bit to the change in small steps.  Just call 3 people a day.  Once you build up a consistency, while toppling distractions (the killers of even SMALL change), then you can see how that it is "change itself", not some vascilating whoopy doo hill journey that seems too wild to "be you", that one is battling.  Consistency with small incremental changes toward the ultimate overall goal [of the WHY your doing it, what is feeding it all], like Mat/Tom expressed.

Oct 16, 2012 07:09 AM #26

Matt, your post started with such promise, though I find it annoying when people use somewhat double entendre titles (I hate Tom Ferry) to get noticed. Reason being, it lacks depth, commitment & exacerbates your main point - talk, not do.

I had the wonderful privilege of being coached for 4 years as a "One on One" client by his father Mike & Tom prior to Tom leaving to do his own gig. I totally respect Tom's decision but probably respect his dad's wisdom even more. Mike cuts to the heart of things with brilliance in that he will not give any space or tolerance to distraction, which is THE kiss of death in this business.

Agents all too often are looking for the "right" approach or being prepared to do battle against a mythical competitor - yes, I say mythical. I am very much into technology, primarily due to intellectual stimulation but do not base my business's success or failure upon it. People spend an inordinate amount of their life on stupidity like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Blogging & the rest of those sink holes. They are purely tools & one must use it as such not allow it to influence their identity or business model.

Check how much of your waking day is involved with the physical acts of the above listed distractions, then multiple by 4 to include the mental time you occupy your thoughts with with the "what if" or "yea but" type responses. 

I hate, with extreme passion, distraction. Unfortunately, many are caught up in a cyberspace reality & have zero clue how life really works. However, given that condition, succeeding in the real estate business which I have for nearly 23 years, is a simple matter of doing AND face to face interactions with opportunities which many label as "prospects". I do not lunch with or have friends in the real estate business - lots of connections but nobody I will share my time with in MY off time. I have a bar which I raise constantly & have no interest dealing with the mundane or talking about the deal that almost was.

I read a great many things everyday because of an ability to read at a high rate of speed & choose old school classics & older motivational things that have stood the test of time. Simplicity is key.

I have not read Tom's book nor do I plan to because of the age old objection - he has not walked in a real estate agent's shoes. He's built a castle in the sand & is quite engaging because he is a professional speaker - period. When in boot camp preparing to be shipped to Vietnam as a foot soldier, you'd die in less than 2 minutes after jumping off the Huey in a hot LZ if your DI at Parris Island learned through observation from those who returned & survived the bush. Why should sales mentors be any different?

Anyway, you will do your competition a huge favor if you continue on with these distractions & search for the right tag lines to appease what amounts to less than 1/100 of the potential opportunities that can actually support your business.


Feb 20, 2013 02:51 AM #27
Mike Crosby
Mike Crosby Realty - Placentia, CA
Placentia- Yorba Linda Real Estate - 714-742-2897

Tom is an interesting guy. Who has an interesting father in the real estate field.  

Nov 04, 2013 04:39 PM #28
Frank Castaldini
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in San Francisco

 A few years later I can say I refer to his book from time to time.  Being a great agent requires constant  personal improvement, which I actually enjoy, or more appropriately, I need for sanity and for contentment.

Oct 24, 2014 08:29 AM #29
Cynthia Grimes
eXp Realty, LLC - Westminster, MD
"With You Every Step Home!"

I so enjoy working with Tom Ferry Coaching!  Jeff Johnson is a fantastic coach, keeps you on task!  Life changing, great people!

Nov 12, 2015 08:12 AM #30
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Well, in reality, there is nothing new about what he or his father teaching. Just follow the blueprint and you'll get result, hating or not it. 

Oct 09, 2018 08:25 AM #31
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