Keep It Simple to Beat Stress and WIN BIG!!!

Real Estate Agent with Re/Max Specialists

Being self-employed for most of my life I have seen the ups and downs. I’ve been rich, I’ve been poor but what remained constant was my positive attitude and a ridiculous sense of optimism. People liked this about me and thrived on my strength. But let me tell you that this recession/depression of epic proportions had taken a toll on me and at one time had taken me to a place of helplessness. I beat it though and am back on a path of ruthless success. I felt a vice grip of pressure on my chest. I knew what ropes I had to pull to win but found myself in a trance of helplessness….like a zombie. At one point I thought of what Vince Lombardi said. He said, (paraphrased) “I do not want to know the new play of the day or the new way of winning, I say stick to the basics and do it better than anyone else. Just block and tackle and do it better than anyone else.” I realized I had to discipline myself to take the basic actions to win. In my business monitoring activities to achieve my goals was of most importance. My plan would have to be effective but simple. I know me. To manage my time I reverted to a time honored practice that had always worked before. I learned most of it from a mentor but many time management gurus agree with focusing and managing time on a weekly basis. This plan is coupled with larger goals and plans…..that is another blog. The practice has two elements. It involves “time blocking” and identifying “red” and “green” time. “Time blocking” is the practice of scheduling your weekly schedule into hourly time intervals and to schedule that time for a particular activity. If you say “I will be on the phone from 9:00 till 10:00”… do not do anything else. Do not look at email, do not talk to colleagues, stay focused even if a fire alarm or bomb scare is announced!!!....stick to only that activity and nothing else. It sounds easy but it is not. I suggest to schedule a few time blocks each week and increase as you get the hang of it. Schedule personal fun stuff also! The second element of this plan (there are only 2… I said I like simplicity) is to identify each time block as either “red” time or “green” time. Red time is non-money making activities such as administrative work. Green time is (you guessed it) time used to make money. Green time is when you make sales calls, writing orders (contracts) and prospecting through phone work or attending scheduled appointments. Some calendars actually allow you to color shade these areas. Most red time is on Mondays and Fridays. Your green time is mainly on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays. I start on the phone from the early hours of 7:30 till 8:30 (this is when you get a hold of the decision makers before the employees arrive). I then take a little breather and begin again from 9:30 until noon, then 1:30 till 4:00. It is not a lot of time but these are the hours that statistics have identified as having the highest probability of gaining sales. Everyone has their own style of how to utilize these hours but I remember a highly successful stock broker tell me the root of his success was to “just stay on the (paraphrased again) ‘freakin’ phone.” This will work. Recently I found it did not work for me with the stress I was going through. I added one more element. I am just speaking from my own experience. Pray…. I paused in my writing because I am not sure if I should add something as personal as this in a business journal because it has always been taboo. But I figured that the purpose of this writing is to explain what worked for me. I know I have hardly ever prayed enough throughout my life but have found recently that when I pray with a sincere heart miracles have undeniably happened…..I better stop here. But I speak the truth.

Comments (6)

Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Margo, thanks for this post.  There's definitely reason to get depressed in this market, for sure.  Sounds like an exercise program -- very difficult at first but over time becomes easier.  That's one of the things I have taken up in the last few months, a scheduled exercise program.  I've heard some of this before but, wow, the discipline required for this seems daunting, but then again, so is a strict diet and exercise program.  Have a great day.

Jun 19, 2010 04:15 AM
Li Read
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring) - Salt Spring Island, BC
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!

Excellent post...thank you for sharing.    Timely thoughts for all of us.

Jun 19, 2010 05:15 AM
Margo Marshall
Re/Max Specialists - Jacksonville, FL

Thank you Pamela-  I really feel in these times we all need to support each other through these tough times- sort of like an accountability partner- I could use one right now- I use to have one a few years ago- my first call of the day and we kept each other on track-

Jun 24, 2010 03:58 AM
Jeff&Grace Safrin
F.C.Tucker 1st Team Real Estate - Valparaiso, IN

Prayer is what sets your real estate practice apart Margo (I even tell some prospective clients that when they get me to market their home i even pray for them and the transaction - God knows nowadays transactions need some glue).

i personally believe that everything we gain in business is a gift from God who gives us talents and treasures so that we can help more people that HE puts into our path.

I do not take credit - but pause to give praise and thanks and credit to HIM.

I would also add R & R time to that schedule above - we just played hookey thursday afternoon for a few hours to get in 9 holes of golf on a beautiful weather day ( it's been raining alot so time we had set aside we ended up working due to the storms).

r n R refreshes you and lets you see the beauty of the world and recharges your batteries :)

 have a blessed sumer



Jun 26, 2010 02:53 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Hey Margo, Praying is something I do every morning, also known as giving thanks for the day for yesterday and for what the day will bring.  The more you acknowledge and give thanks the more opportunities open for you :) Great post!!

Jun 28, 2010 03:11 PM
Akil Walker
Bennett Realty Solutions - Bowie, MD

Hey Margo,


thanks for a great post. this market has taken its psychological toll on many of us. i like the theme of getting back to basics. 

Jul 10, 2010 02:45 AM