Find a way to laugh. Laughter is my favorite way to stay resilient because I love the effects of comedy. No matter how bad a situation get’s or how sour we feel towards something, joy is always found in laughter. I love to push off stress by playing short comedy clips to put me in a better mood. Finding things that make you laugh hysterically can really change your mind set for the better.
Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.
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 of real estate expertise to major media outlets, and the Creator of The AskJasonGelios Real Estate Show educating home buyers and sellers the in’s and out’s of the process with real world expertise.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?
Thank you for having me! My journey started to take shape in my early 20’s when I was working odd jobs and not really focused on a specific career path. I always had a strong work ethic, but I felt that I wasn’t really motivated by those jobs. I was working for the weekend so to speak. You could even say I was a ship without a sail. It wasn’t until I met my wife that I really got inspired to improve my situation and to become more than I was. I watched as she worked diligently toward earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. Watching her set goals and get rewarded for her hard work and ambition really inspired me to change my life to pursue a career that I could really be proud of. Something that would get me excited to wake up every day and achieve great things.
I was looking into different career paths when a family member told me that I should be in sales because of my outgoing personality. This comment opened up the possibility of a career in sales. After researching different types of sales positions, I decided on the mortgage industry. Little did I know that this was the start of my journey towards becoming a REALTOR® and growing a successful brand and business from the ground up. I applied my hard work ethic and developed a ‘Client For Life’ philosophy.With this focus and mindset, I had and continued to see successes that contribute to my clients becoming raving fans.
The change that I made in my life inspires me to share with others the potential to do the same for their life. That the opportunities are out there if you choose to go after them.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
The most interesting story I can think of was when I was working in the mortgage field and the housing market had tanked. Things were going south quickly as I watched my colleagues lose their jobs. What was interesting about this was how many of them reacted to the news about their position being cut. Some decided to hang out until their last day; while others were job hunting while still in their current role. I made the decision to stay the course and continue to work on what I was being paid to do. Although it became even more challenging because we weren’t offering our product, my positive attitude towards the possibility of being laid off was met with the corporate manager having an interest in keeping me on in another capacity.
The key takeaway here is that while it can be easier to give up or wait for the inevitable, we must always be a person of our word and uphold our values. If we are dealt a bad hand, we need to remain resilient and try to be a great example to others.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
While I operate under a real estate broker, I consider myself my own brand. People choose to work with me based on what I have done to gain their attention. One of my core values is to provide value to others first without expectation. It’s this client for life philosophy that helps me stand out from my competition. People want to work with someone who can provide solutions that benefit them. People don’t want to hear a list of features about how great a company or professional is. They are looking for results.
On my weekly real estate program, the AskJasonGelios Show, I accomplish this by answering questions about buying and selling residential real estate. This allows me to not only be a trusted resource, but also a dependable professional that people can count on. Putting others first, without expectations, is a great way for any brand or business to stand out.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I have to credit my wife for playing a big role in the change I made in my life because of her own endeavors. I had met her when I was a general laborer without goals or any focused path. When we were dating, I would join her as she studied for hours in the college library. It got me thinking about the possibilities that I could do more with my life and not just live day by day. With being around her success habits, I started a path towards my new future. I decided I wanted a career for myself that I enjoy doing and could grow professionally. I had the strong work ethic instilled by my parents, so I just needed to focus on a better opportunity.
Once I decided on what career I was going after, it was easier to accomplish because I had the support of my wife when times were tough. I could run thoughts and ideas by her and get her opinion. She was a motivator for me to do great and find my own success. It’s important for everyone to have a support system in place to get them through the rough times.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?
For me, resilience is when you get back up after every defeat with the same drive and energy that you started with. When we understand that failure is something that should not stall or hinder our efforts to achieve our goals, but simply a lesson we learned, it can help us bounce back faster and remain resilient. I feel being resilient is about not giving up on what you want just because of a setback. It’s about keeping our eyes on the prize.
Having goals mixed with the confidence to go after them on a daily basis are the main characteristics of a resilient person. It’s these characteristics that can breed success because it keeps us moving forward. Resilient people tend to have thick skin as well. They don’t let many things get to them. When you expect things to be tough and go in with a winning attitude, it can lead to the wins we desire. Some people feel that things should be easier because they have a great idea their chasing. While it’s great to be excited about something, we need to understand that the road to success is a windy one and never a straight path.
Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?
I agree that courage does play a huge part in being resilient. When you have the courage to move forward and not let anything keep you down for long, it’s empowering. When we look at how a soldier prepares for battle, it can put things into perspective. A soldier builds up the courage and skills to be resilient throughout all the elements they face. They are taught to adapt and overcome. Courage contributes to resilience because it offers the same principles.
There is some difference between courage and resilience in that resilience applies more to our mental state while courage applies to more of our physical state. Having resilience means we are stronger and we get past tough times mentally. Courage allows us to get past those tough times, but physically. Having both courage and resilience makes a great combination that can get us past anything life throws our way.
When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?
Definitely Christopher Gardner from the story ‘The Pursuit Of Happyness’. Christopher is a guy who lost everything around him with the exceptionof his son. He was told by his girlfriend that his idea of pursuing a better job was a bad idea. He had multiple things in his world fall apart.
As we learn more about his story, his world seems to be crumbling around him. But he has a vision of a better life for him and his young son. It’s a vision that drives him daily to pursue the light at the end of the tunnel. He perseveres through all his challenges and remains resilient, no matter how many times he is knocked down. While he does have his moments where he is discouraged and probably thought about giving up, he kept getting back up and reminding himself that his ultimate goal was a better life. It’s an amazing story that I recommend everyone read or watch the movie.
Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?
One particular time stands out where I had started at a major textile company as an outside sales person. Shortly after being introduced to the sales team, I was candidly speaking with a couple salespeople who shared with me that there top sales guy was impossible for them to beat. They had been attempting to dethrone him for the past year or so with no luck. They shared with me that no matter how hard they tried, they were unable to gain that number one spot. Having this conversation made me really want to take the number one spot. I had to prove to myself that I could accomplish this feat.
I remember taking in all the product knowledge I could about what I was selling and figuring out what this top sales person was doing to be successful in his role. Within 6 months of deciding my goal, I surpassed him and not only took the throne of top sales representative, but also became the top representative in the region spanning three states. It was a great feeling because I had been told it was impossible after sharing my vision with the sales team. In the time I was working towards the top title in the office, I implemented everything I had learned about sales, product information and time management skills to become the top guy. I accredit staying resilient and having the courage to achieve that successas major reasons why I achieved my goal.
Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?
One of my biggest setbacks was losing my position at a major company when I was number one on the board. It was a huge shock to me and even caught me off guard. I remember driving home after I had been let go wondering how I was going to rebound from this situation. Come to find out, it was a real eye opener. I reminded myself that I needed to be resilient and keep moving forward towards what I want out of life. It was a huge setback that taught me a lot about focusing on the bigger goals that I had. Sometimes the vehicle to get us to where we want to go will change, but we should not be deterred from what we want when a setback happens.
How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?
Throughout my childhood, I had dealt with a speech impediment that made times tough. I dealt with kids mocking me and friends finishing my sentences, because I barely did it on my own. Despite all those challenges, I never wanted pity or sympathy. I kept being me and lived my life. I had a small group of friends that I felt understood me and we got along great.
While I had what I feel was a good childhood, I would be lying if I said my school life was something I would like to relive. Going through those times forced me to be resilient and courageous to get me through the rough times. One of the ways I did this was to remind myself of why people act the way they do. I told myself that if those people were that low to throw insults at another person, then they must really be miserable in their own life. Learning and remembering this piece of advice really got me through those hard times. It continues to play a huge part in my adult life and success in business.
We must not allow others to dictate how we live our life and we must never allow ourselves to stay down for the count. It’s important to apply resilience and courage to get through the times that can make us feel like failures. After all, a failure is just a learning opportunity that we should embrace and learn from.
Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.
The first step in building our resilience muscle is knowing what we have to offer and learning what our ‘Why’ is. When you know what you offer and why you go out and do what you do on a daily basis, it can add tremendous strength to our resilience muscle. One way to do this is to do some soul searching and actually write down your ‘Why’. For me, it’s family and personal growth. If I don’t put maximum effort into everything I do, I feel like I am failing my family. Knowing my ‘Why’ and reminding myself of it daily keeps me resilient at times when I need it the most. In addition, knowing what we have to offer and feeling strongly about it can really keep your resilience up because that confidence will keep you going in the right direction.
Second, I would say stepping out of our comfort zones is a great way to build up resilience. I make it a daily goal to do something that makes me feel uncomfortable; within reason. Nothing great happens in our comfort zone, yet so many people get stuck in this zone because it feels safe to them. I can tell you first hand that when we step out of our comfort zone, not only will we overcome our personal fears, but we will be even more resilient in our endeavors. I encourage everyone to do what makes them feel uncomfortable.
Third, we need to stop over thinking the situation. I hate to admit it, but I still struggle with this one. It’s easy to get tied up on something that happened that maybe made us feel like a failure, or caused us to doubt ourselves. Over thinking what happened and replaying the situation is a waste of time, effort and potential. Over thinking can keep us stuck in that past moment and rob us of future opportunity. If we decide not to over think what happened and remember to move on from it, we can be leaps and bounds ahead in building resilience for ourselves.
Fourth, take a step back and breathe. Failure is nevera fatal catastrophe-nor is it a brick wall that stops us in our tracks. Taking the time to breathe and briefly looking at the past experience can help us realize that we can move forward faster with the resilience we need to do the great things we seek. Failing to breathe and allow ourselves to move forward will not make us the resilient person we need to be.
Five, find a way to laugh. Laughter is my favorite way to stay resilient because I love the effects of comedy. No matter how bad a situation get’s or how sour we feel towards something, joy is always found in laughter. I love to push off stress by playing short comedy clips to put me in a better mood. Finding things that make you laugh hysterically can really change your mind set for the better.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I would love to see a movement of people caring more about others. I am a huge fan of the pay it forward concept where a small good deed can transform someone’s day. So I would love to see more of that happen in the world. I would also love to see more people respect the opinions of others. People will share their opinion on just about anything these days. I would like to see more people respecting both sides of an argument.
We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them :-)
I would love to have breakfast with Christopher Gardner. He is the man behind the story The Pursuit Of Happyness. I love his story of how he overcame the challenges in his life and kept pushing forward. I would ask him more personally how he remained strong during his turbulent times. His story is truly inspiring.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!