Jason Gelios On The Morning Routines and Habits Of Highly Successful People

An Interview With Sara Connell

Sara Connell
Authority Magazine


Let’s say you decide to grab a quick coffee because your morning started off terribly wrong. As you’re waiting in line, you are dwelling on all the things that have gone wrong in the day so far. As you approach the counter, provide the barista with the details of your order and prepare to pay, you are told that someone paid for your coffee. This little gesture just might have changed the trajectory of your day. Such a small gesture can move mountains for some people-which is what I love about the pay it forward movement. I would love to see more of this in the world.

Beginnings are a Genesis. That means that not only are they a start, but they are also the origin of all that follows. This means that the way we start something, the way we start our day, for example, creates a trajectory for all that follows. How do highly successful leaders start their day in a way that creates a positive trajectory for a successful, effective, productive, and efficient day? How do you create habits that make these routines permanent? How do you get inspired to develop the discipline necessary for such a lifestyle? In this new series, called Morning Routines and Habits Of Highly Successful People, we are talking to successful leaders who can share the morning routines and habits that have helped them to achieve success.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jason Gelios.

Jason Gelios is an Award Winning Top Producing REALTOR® in Southeast Michigan, Author of the real estate book Think Like a REALTOR®, Expert Media Contributor to major media outlets and the Creator of The AskJasonGelios Real Estate Show, where he educates home buyers and sellers the in’s and out’s of the process with real-world expertise.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

Thank you for having me! I spent years working at jobs with no real opportunity to grow and advance in my positions, not to mention not having any ambition for the work I was doing. After sharing this frustration with others, I was told that I should get into professional sales because it seemed like a perfect fit for me. After doing some research, I decided on a career in the lending industry and went on to spend many successful years in that space. As a housing recession hit, plus already having developed the feeling of being burnt out in this role, I had chosen a sales position outside the real estate industry so that I could prove I could be successful in any type of sales role. Eventually this led me back to a career in real estate as a licensed Realtor.

Being on the Realtor side of the business allows me to have more interaction with the clients and the homes I was showing and selling. It’s very satisfying when you see home buyers fall in love with a home. The buyers begin talking about how they would design each room and how each family member would spend their time in the home. I didn’t get this type of feeling when I was on the mortgage side of the business. I also love when home sellers get to meet their financial goal(s) by selling their property and walking away from closing with a healthy amount of proceeds. Real estate can be a great way to enhance someone’s financial position to help them achieve their goals. I can’t think of any other form of investment that has such an impact on someone’s life.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

My inspiration came from being up against the wall, so to speak, working in dead end jobs with no real opportunity. Other than a solid work ethic, I had no real skills or accomplishments that would help me advance in those jobs. I felt stuck, like a boat in the water without a motor or oars. One day, I met a woman who was working towards a Bachelors Degree in Nursing, with what seemed like a ton of motivation, to achieve her goal. I remember spending hours with her, in the local library, studying for various tests and homework. Being exposed to this type of laser focus and drive made me think of my own situation and where I was at. I came to the conclusion that I wanted more out of life. I wanted a career for myself that I wouldn’t mind doing day in and day out. I wanted to have that same ambition and drive that this woman had for her career goals. It was at this moment that I decided to work on creating a positive change in my life by choosing a career that I wanted. After much research and trying to figure out what I wanted to do, I had decided on the mortgage industry. Going to work in this type of career provided me the education that I needed to be considered a success. Along the way, I had the continued inspiration of that woman to fall back on, through thick and thin, through her own effort and activities. Many years later, this woman became my wife. To this day, we still share the same ambition and drive towards the goals we seek for ourselves and our family.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

While my wife played a huge part in initially getting me to make that positive change towards a career that I love, there were others who played a part in keeping me going towards the goals that I set. Professionally, there were many life coaches that I sought out to become the person that I am, even to this day. I sought information from other experts on topics that enhanced my skill set, which brought me continued success. My career change led me to become a professional salesperson. I would reference books and audio from sales and life coaches Jeffrey Gitomer, Zig Ziglar and Jim Rohn. It’s the work from these experts that played a big part in the fine tuning of my skills to become better at what I was doing, and to continue to do so. These people may not know who I am personally, but I am knowledgeable on their work and give them credit for my success. Without them, I wouldn’t have learned the higher level skills I needed to achieve what I have up to this point.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

As the housing recession started to form back in 2008, I watched as the majority of my colleagues were being laid off from their positions. Banks were not eager to lend money to purchase homes at this time, and I was destined to be one of the many relieved from their position. As the announcements were made that more people were being let go, I continued working and putting in the expected work. This effort was recognized when I was asked to transition into a newly created position within the company. I was tasked to be on the road traveling to homes where the home owners were over 30 days late on their payment. The goal was to see who was staying in their home and who had already abandoned the property-which was far too many at the time. I remember driving one day to a home that had a 90 day late payment without any return communication from the home owner. As I pulled into the driveway, I was greeted by a gentleman outside doing yard work. I will never forget his face, puzzled and in utter shock, as I mentioned I was with the bank and we needed to know what his intentions were in regards to the home. After a brief discussion, I realized that I was at the wrong property! It was a somewhat rural property and I had gone one house over without realizing the mistake. Humbly, I thanked him for his time and went on my way. This was a lesson on how important it is to confirm an address, and to never make an assumption, especially in real estate. This incident will forever be in my mind.

You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

The first trait is having a strong work ethic. Nothing will happen in our lives unless we apply a solid work ethic to whatever it is we do. This is a key trait to becoming and staying successful long term. I credit much of my success to applying an immeasurable work ethic by working harder than the next person. There is a great quote by Tim Notke that reads “Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn’t Work Hard”. You can have all the talent in the world and be more knowledgeable in what you do, but if you don’t work hard, success will not happen. Having a strong work ethic has always been one of the secrets to my success.

A great example of this is how I plan my own schedule. I tend to live by my calendar and set expectations for myself that can be demanding at times. If my work ethic was lacking and not strong, I wouldn’t be able to accomplish half of what I have planned. Having that strong work ethic keeps me going to being the productive person I want to be.

The second character trait I would say is passion. I am someone that can become passionate for a long period of time on any given idea or project. A lot of what I have and would like to achieve is tied to being passionate about the journey as well as the end result. Having a passion for what you do is important to keep you going. It will help you get over those rough days that will happen along the way.

I can think back to when I first had the idea of writing a real estate book that offered real world tips and situations from the field. I came up with this idea one day and my passion grew for this project. Along the way there were many things to learn about creating a book out of nowhere, and it was my passion for the project that kept me involved to see the project to its completion. If I had no passion for this project, I would have never gotten the book completed.

The third character trait is optimism. I hate to admit this, but I was not always an optimist. I learned over the years what optimism is and how it can be applied to my own life. When you are faced with hard times that challenge you, it’s important to have the optimism trait so that you can get over those challenges faster. No matter what happens in my life, I try to look at the positive side of things, and remind myself that the setback may only be temporary.

When I was in the mortgage field watching my colleagues get laid off due to the housing recession, I felt as though everything I had was about to come crashing down. The successful career that I worked so hard to build was about to be no more. While I did spend time wondering what my next step was going to be, I reminded myself of how I made a dramatic change in my life to get to where I was at that moment in time. I told myself that I could reinvent myself again, in any career, just like I did the first time. This self-realization was an eye opener for me, allowing me to gain further success outside of the mortgage industry in another capacity. Optimism got me through that time, and other times, which is why I feel it’s an important trait to have.

I’m an author and I believe that books have the power to change lives. Do you have a book in your life that impacted you and inspired you to be an effective leader? Can you share a story?

I agree that the power to change can come from the books we read. It’s hard to credit my success to just one book, but I would say ‘The Little Red Book Of Sales Answers’ by Jeffrey Gitomer comes off the top of my mind. This book taught me a lot about being authentic in my professional sales role, while looking for ways to add value to others-without speaking sales jargon. I learned a lot from this book, and went on to read his other books, which have sharpened my skills over the years. It was his books that inspired me to write my own book, Think Like a Realtor. I put together this book as an additional way to share my expertise in my favorite genre, the printed book. This type of branding led me to other opportunities to become known as a thought leader in my industry.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I am currently working on a passion project of mine, my second book. This project has me sharing tips on how someone could make a positive change and transformation in their lives to pursue a path towards a life they truly want to live-without dreading each day. The knowledge I will share in this book could be implemented by anyone looking to overcome areas such as self doubt, imposter syndrome, dreading Mondays, not having purpose in their work, and indecisiveness to live life on their terms. I’m passionate about this project because I have been in a position in life where I was not happy in what I was doing-feeling like a boat without a sail. This book will be a great read for those who feel stuck where they’re currently at in their lives. And I can’t wait to share it with everyone this year!

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain to our readers why it is important to have a consistent morning routine?

One of the benefits of having a morning routine is that it forces us to have a laser focus on what needs to be done, allowing our day to start off right. When you have a solid morning routine in place that you implement daily, it weeds out all the distractions that could occur, helps us become more confident in our actions, reduces our stress level, and gives us a sense of control in our day. Not to mention the benefits of developing healthy habits each day.

A morning routine plays to the psychological part of our mind, as well as the physical part. Ever since I’ve implemented a morning routine, I have more control of my day and what I need to do. This allows me to be more productive throughout the day while reducing the chances of forgetting what needs to be done. I accredit much of my success to simply following a plan each day. Many of the things I mentioned also benefit the physical side of our well being, especially having reduced stress levels.

Can you please share your optimal morning routine that can create a positive trajectory for a successful, effective, productive, and efficient day. If you can, please share some stories or examples.

In real estate, every day is different. However, during the week there is a method to my madness. Everyone will have a different morning routine in place, or things they want to accomplish. The flexibility of my schedule allows me to move things around as needed.

My morning routine goes something like this:

Wake up at 5:40am

I awake and grab some coffee, check my emails and social media platforms for anything that needs to be addressed.

6:00am to 7:00am

I review my calendar for the day and make adjustments where needed.

My wife and I make sure our kids have started their morning routines to have a successful day.

I spend time talking with my wife before she heads into work.

7:00am to 9:00am

I review my daily and long term goals to spark my daily motivation.

I spend additional time responding to media inquiries, leads, emails and other received messages.

I confirm all the meetings I have for the day to ensure they will happen.

I make sure I know exactly what needs to be done for the day and what the most important tasks are.

I get dressed and ready to go out into the world.

9:00am to 5pm

Attend the meetings I have scheduled throughout the day.

Communicate with current clients, potential home buyers and sellers, take phone calls, answer texts, participate in
in-person meetings, video calls and emails.

5pm to 8pm

Grab something to eat.

Spend quality time with my family and tend to personal obligations.

Some evenings I will show houses to home buyers or meet with potential home seller clients.

8pm to 9pm

I review my calendar for the following day to make sure I haven’t missed anything that needs to be completed.

I read a book of interest for about 15–20 minutes.

I go to sleep early to wake up early and start the routine all over again.

While I try to stick to the same routine each day, some days will require me to be more productive in the later hours. The important thing to remember is that by having a morning routine that we live by, it will set us up to have a more successful day with more focus and energy.

Speaking in general, what is the best way to develop good habits? Conversely, how can one stop bad habits?

I feel that forming a new habit takes planning and repetition. If you plan your new habit into your morning routine and make it something that you just do, you will eventually cause the habit to stick. It takes less effort for you to do that thing you wanted to do because it will be a newly formed habit. Many people set new goals after the new year approaches, only to quit a month or so later. Their motivation starts off high when they start out, but eventually it fizzes out. This happens because they haven’t stuck to their routine long enough. At first the new habit may seem difficult to do, but as time goes by, it gets easier.

I read somewhere that a new habit takes about 26 days to form, although it probably depends on the individual. People get stuck because they expect instant results, leading them to get discouraged faster, and even quit. They don’t see things changing for themselves at the speed they wanted. This is why repeating the desired habit, for a lengthy amount of time as part of a routine, is necessary to establishing that new habit.

Doing something consistently “day in and day out” can be hard. Where did you get your motivation from? What do you use to motivate you now?

There is a great quote from the late Zig Ziglar that goes “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing-that’s why we recommend it daily.” Motivation comes as part of a daily routine for me. It’s an absolute must in my day. Like putting gas in my car, I put motivation in my mind to give me the energy needed to be the most productive that I can be. I need this motivation to achieve the big goals that I set for myself and my family. Without proper motivation, I would be just sailing through each day, not achieving much at all.

I seek out motivation from various sources, from books to movies to audio. I am addicted to stories of how other people overcame obstacles, hardship and even life changing events. One of the ways I tap into the proper motivation I need is by reading daily. Since we are talking about forming habits, reading is one of those habits I have had since I was a child. I loved reading, and still do. There is something to be said about tuning out the rest of the world and diving into a good book-especially one that motivates you. Another source of motivation for me is the various experts who create content in different areas that I find interesting. The internet and social media has made it easy to consume content in many different areas, which arms us with the information or motivation we need to conquer our day. When I’m on the road, I like to take with me something that I can listen to. From audio books to streaming content, I like to have some motivation going throughout my day.

What other resources would you suggest to our readers?

You can find just about any type of motivational content in just about any area of interest you have. For audio, I tend to lean on various podcasts by my go to experts. I can listen to great advice when I’m walking my dogs around the block or driving in my car. I also access YouTube, which is a great place to watch, or have playing in the background, seminars and show clips that appeal to me. I also take advantage of these platforms whether I’m knee deep in my work or handling household chores with the air pods on. I believe this could work for others as well. It’s all about feeding your mind great content that motivates you to do great things.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I am a huge fan of the pay it forward movement that we are seeing in the world. When someone is a stranger to you, and they do something nice for you, it can cause a huge positive in your day. That person who pays for your coffee or food order, the person in traffic who kindly let’s you into their lane, the individual who goes above and beyond to assist you at a retail store, all these little acts of kindness can go a long way in someone else’s life.

Let’s say you decide to grab a quick coffee because your morning started off terribly wrong. As you’re waiting in line, you are dwelling on all the things that have gone wrong in the day so far. As you approach the counter, provide the barista with the details of your order and prepare to pay, you are told that someone paid for your coffee. This little gesture just might have changed the trajectory of your day. Such a small gesture can move mountains for some people-which is what I love about the pay it forward movement. I would love to see more of this in the world.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them :-)

I would love to have breakfast or lunch with Christopher Gardner. Christopher shared with the world his story of how he went through struggles and hard times in his life while pursuing a better life for he and his son. Many have heard of his story when his book and movie by the same name ‘The Pursuit Of Happyness’ was released to the world. Christopher went on to share his tips on how he achieved his success and how he stayed the course during those hard times. His story resonates with me because he kept moving forward towards his goal, even when his life felt like it was coming to an end.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Please feel free to connect with me by visiting my websites www.ItsAllAboutTheRealEstate.com and www.JasonGelios.com.

Connect with me on social media here

On Linkedin- https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasongelios/

On Twitter- https://twitter.com/jasongelios

On YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/c/ItsAllAboutTheRealEstate

On FB- https://www.facebook.com/jasongeliosrealtor/

On Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/jasongeliosrealtor/

On Pinterest- https://www.pinterest.com/jasongelios/_saved/

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.



Sara Connell
Authority Magazine

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