“gray bridge surrounded of trees” by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

We Are Always in a Shift

For an audio portion of this piece, go to: http://grindpodcast.com/2018/08/the-shift/

July of 2010 is the summer that I received my real estate license. I was excited to start my new endeavor back then!

What I didn’t know is that we were in one of the most interesting real estate markets the US had seen in years! Starting about 2006 and 2007 the market had done a mega shift downward. Let’s call it a collapse!

The real estate market essentially imploded for numerous reasons that we are not going to discuss here. That shift lasted for about 6 years and I started in the 4th year of it.

Some might say that was a horrible time to get into the industry. Massive amount of people were actually leaving it.

Why would people leave an industry when the market shifts? In fact, a large percentage of people bailed out completely. Pulled the rip cord. Called it a good run.

Said good bye to their dreams.

In the fast paced, crazy roller coaster world we live in, it’s important to sharpen your ax on being nimble, adaptable. opportunistic, and most importantly RESILIENT!

“man riding brown canoe” by maxime niyomwungeri on Unsplash

Market’s shift, economies collapse, companies go bankrupt, and the world is completely unpredictable. The only true constant is change. And things usually change when we are not ready for it. In fact that’s a guarantee.

That is why we need to keep our ax sharp on our resiliency. Increase our mental toughness when times are good because we know for a fact that the times won’t always be good.


What are your character strengths? It’s important to identify them because when properly used in times of struggle, your character strengths will help you overcome massive challenges. It’s your super power!

When we are in those massive challenges, or unpredictable change do you crumble or do you thrive?

Growing and thriving while staring adversity down is what increases your resilience. It increases your ability to bounce back! And bounce back fast!

Bounce, not break!

I have been fairly successful in the industry since I started in 2010. We are a team of 12 and are a part of the number 18 real estate team in the US! It’s been fun and challenging!

I have built a great referral business that is like a humming engine but I still participate in the hard things! I still keep my door knocking and cold calling ax sharp! Most people think I’m crazy!

Why do I do these hard things if I don’t have to? Because it builds resilience.

I’m so grateful that I keep putting myself through the agony of rejection from cold calling. That very rejection keeps building my callouses!

It’s actually quite amazing getting rejected 100 times to then obtaining a golden nugget! It’s actually almost addictive!

These hard things are what build optimal performance in the down turns or the shifts. They build strong leadership skills and quite frankly, they help my team achieve their goals. We have to go through the pain to get the gain!

Building your resiliency is a process!

“Just as fire tempers iron into fine steel so does adversity temper one’s character into firmness, tolerance, and determination” — Margaret Chase Smith

What does it take to be a resilient person?

The University of Pennsylvania actually created a course for the military called the Master Resiliency Trainer. In it, they describe 6 core competencies that I think will help you sharpen your own resiliency ax.

1.) Self Awareness

This one is huge and I’m glad it’s number one! An issue we have as human beings is that we don’t reflect enough on ourself! We need to identify our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and actually dive deep into them to figure out the ones that are completely counter productive.

It’s easy for our ego to get in the way of progress so until we actually dive into our self, it’s hard to improve through times of adversity. We need to slow down and not be so reactive. Be open and curious about what you are feeling. Self care and self awareness go hand in hand. The more aware you are of how your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors manifest and how to handle them, the more resilient you will be!

2.) Self regulate

Awareness first and then regulate. In times of struggle or adversity, it’s easy to have impulsive behavior and start doing some pretty crazy things. It’s the sell everything or buy everything mentality.

It starts with having the awareness of your emotions, behaviors, and even the physiology of what’s going on in your body in times of stress, but then it boils down to the ability to regulate it after the awareness part. One thing that has helped me regulate my stress, for example, is meditation. I can tell when I’m getting all worked up. I become aware of it! I then regulate it with meditation to calm my body down physically and mentally.

Where most people fail in self regulation is their own counterproductive thinking.

Let’s use cold calling as an example. There might be someone on the other line that sends you a barrage of expletives on why you should never call them again and then hangs up on you. Counterproductive thinking is thinking that everyone will be like that so I might as well just give up now.

Learning to silence your counterproductive thinking is crucial to building your resiliency!

3.) Optimism

Until the Armageddon, or the sun crashing into the earth happens, things always get better! Stock market crashes don’t last forever, wars end, things improve. There are always opportunities for learning and growth through those times of adversity.

I’m not talking about looking at the world through rose colored glasses. All you need to do here is hunt for what is good! There is always something good! It could even just be the fact that your heart is still beating! That’s a blessing in itself!

When things crash and burn or shift, the negative Nancy’s and negative Nelly’s come out of the woodwork and that’s the battle you need to fight. It’s always easy to get sucked into their vortex so always be prepared to ‘fight or flight’ them!

In times of adversity it’s extremely important to learn how to be realistic and identify what you can control. Isn’t that where the gold is? There isn’t a ton we actually can control! The only real thing you can control is how you react.

It’s just a matter of time until the shit hits the fan for you, your family, the country, or the world. This is GUARANTEED!! Maintain hope, don’t react negatively, remain realistic, and have confidence in the fact that you will get through it!

4.) Mental agility

This is pure gold!!! We all need to remain flexible in our efforts. Remember, the only constant is change so having the ability to think accurately and thoroughly is crucial in times of change, flux, or times of struggle.

What’s important here is to take other perspectives. Try and look at it through the eyes of someone else? Mastermind with other people on what you are missing. Remember, don’t react.

Marinate, identify and understand the problem at hand before the decision is made to do something about it. Be open to trying new ways of doing things. The one’s that get stuck or give up, are usually the one’s that have buried their head in the sand and are not willing to try new strategies. Don’t be that person!

Have the mental agility to persevere and adapt to challenges.

5.) Strengths of Character

We all have our unique super powers! Everyone has them! What are yours? Have you thought about it? What are the traits you have that other people can’t touch? What do you do better than anyone? Dig deep!

Have faith in your abilities and talents! You have them! Sharpen those strengths as they can get you through a lot! Reminding yourself that you are strong is extremely important. Don’t focus on your weaknesses. Focus on your strengths and figure out how to use them more often. Especially in times of struggle!

6.) Connection

This is my favorite! In a shifting world, it’s important to build strong relationships of all kinds. Your connections will get you through hard times. When times are good, don’t forget to stay in touch with your peeps because you know it’s just a matter of time until things aren’t so good! Communicate with them! Track your conversations and use a system to remind yourself when it’s been too long.

Try to figure out how to help them!

“If you want to get whatever you want in life, help others get what they want” -Zig Ziglar

Asking people what challenges they are facing in today’s world is extremely important. Call it social currency!

Be cool!

Be empathic!

Support others in their causes as they will of course come back and support yours.

With connection comes the power of the ask! Make sure you always ask for help when you need it. Don’t let your ego get in the way here! We all need help at some point in our lives, so build strong connections and help when you can!

Resiliency is one of the most important qualities someone can possess in a fluctuating world. Especially if you are an entrepreneur where your next pay day is never guaranteed.

Learning to bounce back from adversity will be the number one factor on your success in a shifting situation!

Grind on my friends and stay frosty!

JT