August 19, 2008

All the Ingredients We Need

You'll probably never see an episode of Emeril Live or Bobby Flay's Boy Meets Grill where they spend the hour making good old fashioned peanut butter and jelly, beef broth or scrambled eggs. The Food Network also supplies them with unlimited ingredients, tremendous equipment and materials to supplement their skills and a fabulous facility in which to prepare their creations.

Now, I am no Emeril or Bobby Flay and I wouldn't even consider myself in Chef Boyardee's category when it comes to culinary creativity. Heck I still have to look at on-line cooking instructions to see if I am supposed to butter my grilled cheese before or after I put it in the pan. But one thing I do know is our company offers some pretty darn good tools, technology and training that we should all be taking advantage of. Business Principle #10 talks about it when it says:

We utilize our superior tools, resources and systems to provide our customers with exceptional service and guidance

Let me ask you...Do you ever take for granted the stuff you have in your daily job or life in general? If someone of lesser opportunity or means had ten minutes in your office or house, would they find something they might be able to use that you haven't touched or used in the last five years? The last year? the last week? Have you ever caught yourself staring over the fence at "the Joneses" and neglected to realize how pretty your own grass was?

Let's not forget that we not only have "tools, resources and systems" to help us do our jobs, these are superior tools, resources and systems. Start taking advantage of the ingredients that are right in your own kitchens like CBOLT, Performance Coaching and CBWorks. Attend your scripting sessions, activity workshops and company offered educational programs. As VP of Marketing Jim Stevenson always says, "Take care of the brand and the brand will take care of you!"

We've all been a part of building a custom-built house. Our kitchen has a walk-in pantry the size of Rhode Island with the best ingredients from floor to ceiling. We can create whatever culinary specialities we choose so let's not continue to order out for pizza.

Until next time...Build Relationships...Solve Problems...Have Fun!

August 18, 2008

A New Way to Look at the Housing "Crisis"?

As the local and national media continues to pound away at the dreaded state of real estate in our country, check out this very simple, easy to understand viewpoint from CNBC's Dennis Neale.

Re-Framing the Housing Crisis

August 6, 2008

Protecting Our Assets

Are you like most people in today's tightening economy? Trying to save a buck here or there?

  • Do you find yourself combining trips so you don't have to drive any further than needed? At $3.89+ per gallon of gasoline, that's a wise move. (It's still not as expensive as bottled water per gallon but it's getting close)
  • Are you re-learning how good a brown bag lunch can be instead of visiting the local Panera for lunch?
  • Relax...Starbucks will not go out of business because you cut back on your daily double shot half caf low fat mocha frappachino.
  • Sure, Coors Light ain't exactly Sam Adams but you don't need the extra calories anyway, right?

Are you finding yourself cutting back on some expenses, exercising better judgement when it comes to spending and making better business decisions? If you are, you'll see why Business Principle #9 is so important to the future success of our company.

We are responsible for protecting the assets and resources of our company.

As an independent contractor, your "company" is you. You are the CFO of your company so you are undoubtedly watching your expenses in relation to your income, right? Well, you're also a vital part of the larger company (your "partner") so hopefully you're just as conscience about the choices and decisions you're making when it comes to our financial future.

Now, I am not talking about turning off the lights when you leave the bathroom or anything silly like that but we all need to think twice about how we are "spending" the company's money. How many copies are you making for that overpriced listing where the Seller isn't being realistic about the price? Do you really need to print full version MLS print outs of the 83 homes available in the buyer's price range or would it be easy enough to email them the link to the MLS feed? Will it really make your weekly business meeting ineffective if the bagels aren't available anymore?

I think it is easy to take for granted many of the tools, technologies and training tools we have available but we should always remind ourselves that these things cost money. If we can find ways to succeed while saving a penny here and one hundred dollars there, that all starts adding up.

Every once in a while, ask yourself this question - "Would I make this same decision or take this same action if I was the one in charge? If I was the one paying the bills?" We all win when we try to make decisions that are in the best interests of the whole, not just the parts.

Thanks for thinking about it.

Until next time...Build Relationships...Solve Problems...Have Fun!