December 31, 2011

More, Less, or the Same?

It seems like it was just yesterday that we were enjoying 2011. We were trying to enjoy all those "Best Of" lists and "Top 11 Things from '11" that force us to look back on the year we just lived.

Good, bad, or indifferent...we made it. We survived 2011.

(Sound alarm clock)

(Cue sunlight through window)

Happy New Year!

Welcome to the next 366 days of your life (remember, it's a Leap Year).

How are you going to make them better than the last 365? How will you insure that they won't get any worse? Even more importantly, how can you guarantee that you won't be sitting right there on January 1, 2013 wondering why nothing has changed at all?

It's time to analyze and ask yourself- do I need more, less or the same? Here are some of the things I am going to strive for in 2012.

  • Laughter
  • Friends - both "in real life" and in the social realms
  • Good books to read, good blogs to follow or good podcasts to listen/subscribe to
  • Speaking opportunities
  • Time with Riley and Ryan - It's so cliche to hear "They grow up quickly" as a new parent until you realize that it's not a cliche at all. It is a law of nature.
  • Self discipline and personal accountability
  • Physical exercise
  • Humility
  • Failure - because it means I am doing something
  • Listening
  • Water, fruit and vegetables
  • Focus
  • Rounds of golf
  • Planning
  • Looking for (and seeing) the good in people and situations
  • Results
  • Realization of opportunities and taking advantage of them
  • Savings
  • Understanding of technology
  • Action
  • Play
  • Birdies
  • People in the "audience" - in classes, workshops, webinars, readers of this blog

  • Weight
  • Gray hair
  • Stress
  • Procrastination, finger pointing and blame
  • Excuses
  • Second mistakes - "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me"
  • Hearing without listening
  • Soda, french fries and sweets
  • Jealousy
  • Allowing the negative to rise to the top in any situation
  • Being concerned with anything that doesn't affect me or the people I care about
  • Reasons
  • Debt
  • Missed chances
  • Dependence on technology
  • Feeling like I am a slave to my email
  • Talk 
  • Work
  • Bogeys, Double Bogeys and "others"

The Same
  • Sense of humor
  • Creativity
  • Passion for what I do
  • Love and support from my family
  • Freedom I get from living in the United States of America
  • Philosophy on business...and life - Build Relationships, Solve Problems, Have Fun

Now that we've looked back in the rear view mirror, it's time to look out the big window in front of us, buckle up and step on the gas.

As they said in Smokey and The Bandit, "we've got a long way to go and a short time to get there."

Who knows...maybe this year "you're gonna do what they say can't be done."

December 30, 2011

"Just a Minute..."

Have you ever uttered those words to someone when they ask you for something? I hear my children say it all the time when we ask them to do something like come to the table for dinner or go upstairs and brush their teeth before bed.

I'm sure I say it all the time too as I check the iPhone for that one last message, wait for the YouTube video I am watching to end or read that final page of the chapter.

And don't even get non-sports fans started on the "how long does a minute of (insert sport here) really take?" dilemma. With time-outs and video reviews, one minute of "game time" could take 10 minutes or more of "real time." Add in more if the game goes into overtime.

But have you ever realized what might happen in that 60 second window you asked for?

I was perusing my latest Zite* feeds today and was intrigued by a headline from Business Insider. I came upon an incredible infographic by Barry Ritholtz. Click the image below and prepare to be amazed at what will happen - probably 3 or 4 times over - while you are looking at it.

Incredible Things That Happen Every 60 Seconds On The Internet

Have a great day and do your best to spend at least a minute building relationships, solving problems and having fun.

*Zite is an incredible "virtual magazine" of topics that is specific to me. You can download it for your smart phone like iPhone or  your iPad. Thanks to Debra Trappen for the nudge. Warning - this may quickly become your morning addiction because Zite begins to see what topics, stories, authors, etc. that you like and feeds you more for your consumption and sharing needs.

December 28, 2011

What Floor?

Today's post is a video blog

It really boils down to this - How are you going to approach your 2012?

With confidence or trepidation?
Knowing where you are going or just riding with the tide?
Looking to go to that "next level" or being comfortable with the status quo?

It's your choice. What floor are you you going to?

If you don't see the video below, click here

December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011 - It's a Wrap!

Photo by Derek Gavey via Flickr
 Monday Morning Match is a quick post - maybe a quote, inspirational story or idea - intended to spark some motivation inside each of you so your week gets off to a fantastic start on Monday morning.

I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Christmas weekend...or Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus or whatever celebration you may have partaken in. Enjoy this next week of traditional down time before next Sunday when the calendar turns to 2012 and the possibilities are as endless as a child's mind as he or she heads downstairs to unwrap presents.

It might be a perfect time to reach out to your buddy at the office and let them know that you'll be happy to engage them as an accountability partner in the new year. Who knows...maybe you'll both achieve record years.

And just for fun, here's an great Secret Santa idea of what to do for your office mate next Christmas

(click here if you don't see the video below)

December 22, 2011

Christmas Carols Through Sean's Eyes

I have never claimed to be normal. Many of you who know me in person will agree that sometimes my mind thinks in a different way than most people. Some may call me creative, some may consider me goofy and others may just think I am flat out weird. But as Seth Godin's newest book talks about, we are all weird.

And that's a good thing.

So just for some holiday fun today, see if you can figure out the names of the following Christmas carols using just the photos below.

(Answers are further down but don't cheat until you have to)
























1. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
2. Away in a Manger (a weigh in + a manger)
3. Ave Maria (oy vey + Maria Sharapova)
4. Angels We Have Heard on High (Anaheim Angels + 1/2 of a Oui magazine + herd + High)
5. All I Want for Christmas is You (Ali + 4 wants + Christmas + ISU)
6. We Three Kings of Orient Are (3 wee Little Kings + oar + Ian Ziering + tar)
7. Blue Christmas
8. The Christmas Song (Chess nuts + roasting on an Open + fire)
9. Deck the Halls
10. The First Noel (Sean Connery was the 1st Dr. No + Elle McPherson)
11. Feliz Navidad (Fleece + Navy Dad)
12. Frosty the Snowman
13. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Half + you + oar +shelf + mary + little Christmas)
14. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
15. White Christmas (IM dreaming + white Christmas)
16. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear (It Cayman on top of a clear midnight)
17. Jingle Bells (Jungle with an i makes "jingle" + southern belles)
18. Joy to the World
19. Oh Come All Ye Faithful (Sadahuru Oh + calm + awl + Ol' Faithful)
20. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
21. Silent Night (breathe right strips eliminate snoring)
22. We Wish You a Merry Christmas (wee witch + ewe + Mary Tyler Moore + Chris Henry + mass)
23. Over the River and Through the Woods

How did you do? Did you get them all?

Regardless of your score, thanks for playing along and as always...thanks for being a loyal reader.

Merry Christmas to everyone. May you enjoy a great weekend with family and friends.

December 20, 2011

Achieving Success "By the Book"

If you're like me, you have been stumped a lot recently when loved ones and co-workers have asked you this question. "What do you want for Christmas?"

It's kind of an easy question but it's easy to feel humble and not ask for anything or it's also common that you'll freeze up and not think of anything you really want.

What's Your Story?

I found that I used to be a great "book starter," but I was a horrible "book finisher." I was always starting books and then, the "shiny object" would catch my eye and I would head on to the next book. This was usually after I was about 10 chapters into one book. Before you knew it, I had started 5 or 6 books...but finished none.

In 2008, I became much more focused and disciplined to finish the books I started. To avoid getting distracted by that "new book" or "hot author," I started four piles in my den:
  • Sales books
  • Leadership books
  • Biographies
  • Fiction/distractions/personal books
If someone suggested or handed me a book in one of these four categories, I would thank them, then place it at the bottom of the specific pile for which it fit. I really tried not to jump in to a new book before it was that book's "turn."

Regardless of what type/genre/style of book you like, there are plenty of worthwhile reads out there, so why not ask for a book for a gift this year. While you may be blessed to have amazing things in your life, there's nothing like a new book. Depending on where your "are" in life, it just might be the best gift you could ever get.

Here are some "Book Recommendations" from The Realtor's Toolbox that you might enjoy. (Click here so you can see the list of books)

- A "must read" for anyone in a leadership or management position

- The best book to begin to understand your Strengths and Weaknesses and how to manage around them to enjoy your career and life

No way you'll be able to put this book down...unless you don't like adventure and being proud to be an American. (Even my Canadian and Non-American readers will enjoy this page-turning true life story

You are either a leader or you are a follower. Both are needed. You just need to decide which one you're better at.

- Learn about service outside of the real estate industry

- Funny how the "old school" techniques still work in today's "new school" menatlity

- If you are golfer and know anything about the sport, this is a must read and a book that you won't be able to put down once you begin

- If there is one thing everyone should be good at dealing with is "change" so if you need a crash course, here's your book

- If your job involves dealing with 2012 and beyond, this might be just the book for you.

- Great ideas for real life success in today's sales oriented world

- A powerful book if you're hoping to stay in business for more than "one cycle" of sales.

- If you're a Dead Head then this book is a must. If you're trying to reach customers, clients or anyone who might be able to help you spread your message, I'd suggest checking this one out too.

- This is my #1 suggested/recommended book in today's day of procrastination, finger-pointing and blame. It's all about "personal accountability" and is one that I have sat down and read each New Year's Eve for the last 6 years to "set my mind right" for the new year. If you are in a position of leadership (which is everyone on earth) this book needs to be on your "must read" list.

Full disclosure - All of these are Amazon Affiliate Links meaning that if you end up ordering from  them, I would earn a small portion of the books price as a referral fee. Order from wherever you want, I don't care. It's just easy to attach these books via links than have you visit a different site after reading this blog

So what are your favorite books? Which author is on your "must read" radar as soon as he/she releases a new book? Share it in the comment s below and maybe someone else will learn something from you in 2012.

Regardless of what you're reading (or not reading), be sure to stay focused on building relationships, solving problems and having fun.