Beating the Winter Blahs…

I received an email from one of my readers and long time LCM and Ultimate Website users that I wanted to share with you. His name is Butch Rumenapp and he’s the broker owner of an Exit Realty office in Marine City, Michigan. I have to say that of the many emails I received this week, this one has to be one of my favorites, primarily because it is just plain honest. See if doesn’t resonate with you.

image00Hey Matt,

The problem I’m having lately is lack of motivation! I’m in a rut and can’t seem to pull myself out of it. I know the weather hasn’t helped with below-zero temps, but for some reason I’m lacking the mojo lately! Got any cures for that?

Butch Rumenapp
Exit Realty
Marine City, MI

Now I don’t know about you, but I get the blahs from time to time too. No motivation. Butch describes it perfectly — in a rut. I think if we’re honest with ourselves most of us experience this from time to time. Maybe you’re just bored with your current circumstance.

Well Butch, I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I’ll give you four things I use to fight the blahs. Maybe they’ll help you and maybe even help some of my other readers in the process.

Exercise. I believe that staying mentally focused is crucial to beating the blahs. One thing that helps me in a very noticeable way is exercise. When we exercise our body produces endorphins. What are endorphins?

The word endorphin consists of two parts: “endo” and “orphin”. These are short forms of the words endogenous and morphine. In other words, “a morphine-like substance originating from within the body.” Boredom is very similar to depression and endorphins are the body’s own way to fight it.

For me, I could not function at the level of focus and productivity that my job requires without exercise. It’s not that I love getting up in the morning and going for a run, or riding my mountain bike, but I love the effect that having done that exercise has on my body and mental state.

Big Goals. Most of us are afraid to set big goals. We set little, easily achievable goals instead. They’re safe. No risk of embarrassment if you fail to hit them. For me, I would rather miss a huge goal than hit a tiny goal, or worse yet, not even have a goal.

I could go on and on about goal-setting, but if you are bored it might be that you are not challenged by a lofty goal. I would recommend setting yourself a huge goal. Doubling your production, or recruiting and doubling the size of your brokerage this year. Dream big, honestly.

And don’t just set big goals, but tell somebody about them. It is important to talk about them. I believe there is a law of confession. Think of how God created the world. How did he do it? He said, “let there be light… etc.” (Okay, God didn’t say etc. but you get the idea.) There is power to us articulating our goals.

There is both the power of accountability and the power that is released in our own self conscious mind when we hear that goal again and again. Let’s face it, we are often our own worst enemy. Speaking that goal enough finally gets the message into our subconscious mind and empowers us to achieve it.

Reverse Engineer. After you’ve set some big and lofty goals, work backward to disassemble the finished goal and break it into the component parts. For example, if you want to recruit 20 agents this year, break it down. How many agents do you need to meet with this year? This week? What do you need to develop for a winning presentation?

If your lofty goal is production or financial in nature, use this calculator to help you determine what you need to do. If you want to make a certain amount of money, you have to break it into the component parts and first get those so you can build the final product. The calculator will break down your financial goals into what you need in order to accomplish them.

Remember that a goal without a specific, step-by-step, achievable plan is only a pipedream. If you want to beat the blah’s you need a workable plan as well as the lofty goals or you will simply get frustrated and depressed.

Just Do It. One of the most effective ad campaigns ever was Nike’s “Just do it!” campaign. If you find yourself with a lofty and seemingly unachievable goal — whether it be athletic (like the Nike ads) or business related — just do it. I know, easier said than done, right? But don’t worry about the finish line. Just worry about the starting line.

I know it’s a cliche but that’s because we all know it’s true. The longest journey begins with one step. You know how you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. I will make you a promise: Once you start, all of a sudden you get inspired and then it gets interesting.

One thing I always hated was doing my prospecting phone calls. But I set up a structure: Every single day after I came back to the office from lunch, I blocked off time to “smile and dial”. Invariably the hardest and roughest calls were the first one or two. After that I got into a groove and enjoyed it and the time just flew by. So that’s my fourth step: Just do it.

Well, Butch, I hope you liked my answer. And I hope you don’t mind all my other readers reading over your shoulder so to speak. We all suffer from the winter blahs and hopefully this will serve to remind us of the importance of the fundamentals. Thanks again for your honesty and for taking a moment to write. We all appreciate it.

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