Being Zen Like is a great approach to real estate. We are in the people business and lets not forget that our appearance is more than just physical. Trust me that when your aura is askew, people will pick up on it for sure.
Its tough to keep work seperate from outside life but thats part of mastering the game. Seperating oneself from the negative and focusing on the positive..
I’m learning to love being stuck in traffic.
OK, I admit to minor road rage, and deep irritation with trucks, construction crews and minivans in the left lane (aren’t they always at the front of a slow lane of traffic?). But that was the OLD me.
The NEW me is learning to love being held captive in my car on the Schuylkill Expressway (commonly called the “SureKill” by most locals) – which is a good thing since a recent study rates Philly as the 6th worst rush hour, and places one stretch of local roads 4th worst in the nation!
Let me ‘splain my new attitude….
Part of it has to do with logic, part of it is a new appreciation of Zen, and most of it has to do with social media and advertising.
Traffic is unavoidable. You will be stuck and you can’t do much about it. Accept this fact, and use it! (This is the logic part). Go over your mental to-do list, get blog ideas (no, not about that jerk who won’t let you in), or return a call. My digital voice recorder built into my visor is great for this purpose (leaving reminders, noting blog ideas, etc). I don't know how I lived without this feature.
Other drivers aren’t conspiring against you, and there is a purpose to your frustration (obviously the Zen part). No one else knows what a hurry you are in. They didn’t do this on purpose. Use this moment to accept where you are and that nothing can be changed about it at this time...and allow yourself to breathe deeply and reflect a little.
- Look around - appreciate the landscape, or notice a store or restaurant you have been meaning to try but keep forgetting about and make a note of it
- Consider why you are stuck - Bad planning on your part? Trying to do too much? Bad luck? (I don’t believe there is such a thing, but that’s a whole other blog). Consider planning a new route for your next trip that drives you through the surrounding community, not past it. You just might stumble on something wonderful or get to know an area better. Consider spacing your schedule out a little more to relax your spirit and lower your blood pressure.
- Be present in the moment. Really look at the other drivers around you – not in a leering way, that’s creepy, but really see them. You ‘get’ their frustration and angst and you would all rather be someplace else. But you’re not –so own it and make the best of it…smile at other drivers, wave to the kids in the backseat of the car in front of you (with more than one finger, please), maybe even (gasp) let someone cut in. Positive attitudes are contagious, and it relaxes you, too.
Leverage your social media presence and maximize this advertising opportunity. Yes, sitting still is the perfect time to quickly tweet “Avoid 202 South at Rt. 30, it’s a MESS!” Your friends/followers will appreciate the information, it’s useful content. Making a habit of doing this (even to say “no traffic on 476 – yay!”) shows how busy you are and underscores the impression that you are all over the area. (Of course, I only recommend doing this when stopped and it can be done safely.)
This is an advertising opportunity to a captive audience. For inspectors like me, the lettering on your vehicle is your billboard. Considering how many drivers around you are using their cell phones right now – do you have a mobile-friendly social media link on your lettering? For Realtors – do you have any way for other drivers to know you are a Realtor (license plate frame, vanity plate, etc) or a way to contact you? The guy behind you is likely to be staring at your rear end for quite some time, talk about a captive audience! Combined with your new positive attitude, it makes quite an impression.
Outdoor advertising companies make big bucks because companies want to get just 5 seconds of your attention as you whiz past – consider traffic to be your own personal billboard, and make the most of it. It is also likely to make you a more careful and courteous driver, knowing that your driving reflects on your reputation!
So, relax the white-knuckled death grip on the wheel, breathe deeply, and use it as the opportunity it is. (Yes, I make a lot of lemonade... ;-) )
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