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Mark Eaton Book Headshot minMARK EATON is a successful, award-winning motivational speaker, entrepreneur and best selling author of The Four Commitments of a Winning Team, who has earned the coveted CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) designation, the speaking profession’s highest international measure of professional competence. He has spoken to numerous world-class organizations including IBM, FedEx, Phillips 66, Caesars Entertainment, T‑Mobile, LG, and businesses, government agencies and universities at every level. He has been featured as a team-building expert in print and online publications such as, Sports Illustrated and

Eaton is also a 7′4″ NBA All-Star who played with the Utah Jazz for 12 seasons, led the NBA in blocked shots 4 of those seasons, was named to the NBA All-Defensive Team 5 times, was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year 2 times, and still holds 2 NBA records—most blocks in a single season (456) and career average blocked shots per game (3.5).

In addition to his work on team building, Eaton is managing partner in two award-winning restaurants in Salt Lake City, Tuscany and Franck’s, recently voted Best Restaurant in Utah.

Eaton is founder and former chairman of the Mark Eaton Standing Tall for Youth Foundation, which provided sports and outdoor opportunities for more than 3,000 at-risk children. He is a former president and board member of the Legends of Basketball, which supports the needs of retired NBA players.

Eaton’s television and radio experience includes eight years as host of Jazz Tonight on KJZZ-TV, host of Mark Eaton Outdoors on The Outdoor Channel, and three years as host of Sports Health Today, an internationally syndicated radio show. He attended Cypress College and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

When Mark is not speaking, writing, or working he enjoys traveling with his wife Teri, horseback riding, mountain biking, skiing, and the outdoors. He lives in Park City, Utah with his wife, children, horses, dogs, and barn cats.

Posted On Friday, 23 April 2021 00:00 Written by
You have undoubtedly heard that you only have one chance at a good first impression. It is important for us to set ourselves apart from the masses at every opportunity. A positive first impression is also a great means of initiating your quest to be trusted and liked by your prospect.  We must start somewhere in our process of building relational capital.
When we have solid credentials or are referred by a well-known or prestigious individual, we have a running start to a great first impression. But the first face-to-face meeting is the critical element of the formula for positive influence.
Can you see the difference in and importance of a solid first impression rather than one who goes into negative small talk especially about topics over which they have no control? (Like the weather! … or the economy). And remember to never expound on your personal problems. Cavett Robert used to say that when you share your personal problems with others, 75% of those you tell could care less and the other 25% is glad to hear that you’ve got them!
Always start with a positive greeting. You will impress others as one who will likely be a pleasure to talk to. I know speaker friends who have created entire talks around the importance of the first impression. Here are some examples of how you can respond to the opening question, “How are you?”

1. Ira Hayes -  “Great” … simple yet dynamic;

2. Ed Foreman -  “Terrific” … positive for sure;

3. Lew Bennett -  “Like a million! … I’m not sure what it meant, but it sounded excellent;

4. Zig Ziglar -  “Outstanding, but I’ll get better!” … A super answer that will even evoke some laughter;

5. Tom Hopkins – “Unbelievable!” … with that you are covered either way;

6. Carol Prentiss -  “Perfect” …  How can you beat that one? She and Jim had millions, and that might have had something to do with it;

Then there are those poor deflated souls who just can’t muster a positive answer.  They have a dejected tone and answer with comments like …

1. “Not too bad” – this remark is often a person’s way of saying that things are really pretty good in their life, but since they are basically negatively programmed, they feel a need to make a downtrodden remark. Do they think an expression of wholesome optimism is unsophisticated?

2. “Terrible” -  Boy, that will get you off to a fine start! From there the pessimist will proceed to elaborate on all of the imperfections of the world his life in it.

3. “I’m all right” – it’s not awfully negative but not very positive either. This is a lukewarm response that won’t set you apart.

4. “I’m getting by” -  just getting by huh? I’m not really fired up to talk to you; I like to talk to people who offer hope for optimism and positive results!

OK, I’ve used a lot of ink to delve into a relatively simple concept, but in business, if we are going to get a positive response we must say and do things that contribute to the kind of positive environment that is conducive to success. Another vital reason for a positive response to this simple question is that you are not only setting the stage for the interaction, you are also participating in positive self-talk that can intensify your own conviction!
Posted On Friday, 23 April 2021 00:00 Written by
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AYR Headshot July 2019 black dressCristy “Code Red” Nickel is the author of “The Code Red Revolution” and has been in the health and fitness industry since 1994. While studying Exercise Science

at the University of Memphis, Cristy competed in 3 NPC Figure competitions, placing in the top 5 at each show.

In 2003, Cristy became a federally licensed professional boxer and fought
in 15 professional fights all over the world over the next 7 years. She was named “Top 3 Most Dangerous Females on the Planet” by Ring Magazine, which landed her a coaching role on MTV’s hit series “MADE.” The success of that show propelled her to New York City to train top celebrities, business tycoons, models and professional athletes. In 2008, Cristy was awarded “New York’s Best Trainer” by Allure Magazine and featured in the August issue.

After retiring from boxing, Cristy settled in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Miles and dog, Annabelle. She has a passion for CrossFit, mountain biking, snowboarding and yoga. She has written thousands of nutrition programs and has worked with clients from all over the world.

Posted On Wednesday, 21 April 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 20 April 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 20 April 2021 00:00 Written by

We’ve seen cycles come and go—everything from music trends that emulate days gone by to past decades of fashion making a comeback.

It is evident that cycles are all around us. As a business leader, how do you turn cycles into your advantage, and better yet, what industries will benefit from cycles in the coming years?

Trends Are Cycles

Within my Anticipatory Organization Model, I emphasize the importance of identifying both Hard Trends, future certainties that will happen, and Soft Trends, future maybes open to influence.

Hard Trends and Soft Trends sound similar to the concept of cycles, don’t they? That’s because they are! If we begin with Hard Trends, a future certainty means we know it will happen. For example, we know the sun will rise tomorrow morning, we know spring follows a bitter cold winter, and we know a brisk fall follows a blisteringly hot summer.

On the other hand, Soft Trends are merely details that we can influence. The Hard Trend that the sun will rise tomorrow comes with the Soft Trend that we can choose to do something specific with the day that comes with said sunrise or choose where we travel to when that warm summer follows a mild spring.

Understanding how Hard Trends and Soft Trends can be leveraged in an anticipatory way is integral in leveraging cycles to our advantage, and this skill set is even more important now that we have begun a “new normal,” in our current world.

Positive COVID-19 Cycles

Now that we have been through a global disruption like the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses and business leaders have been distracted. No business was more disrupted than in-person, brick-and-mortar businesses.

Whether it was a movie theater chain or a family restaurant, COVID-19 halted growth in a seemingly insurmountable way for many who rely on physical customers walking through their doors.

But the good news is that cycles exist, just as sure as Hard Trends and Soft Trends exist! During the days of the global lockdown, I reminded everyone that these times will end; we will exit the days of COVID-19 and mask wearing. However, we have now witnessed something many of us never imagined: a global pandemic and quite a hit to the economy.

While that sounds disheartening, fear not! Not only will the economy bounce back; we are likely going to see a huge boom in those in-person, brick-and-mortar businesses. Actually, this was heading our way regardless of COVID-19, as seen with Amazon moving toward opening its own brick-and-mortar shopping centers. Now, it has been accelerated.

Having been kept from patronizing in-person businesses for the most part, customers are craving human interaction. As we bounce back, people are going to visit their favorite restaurants, try new ones, be open to travel, and want to stay in hotels again. Coupled with COVID-19 fatigue, does this mean people will throw their devices away and revert to the days prior to digital technology?

Absolutely not! Disruptions are going to increase, so as a brick-and-mortar business leader, you must be anticipatory in how you will stay ahead of the curve.

The Both/And World

We live in what I call a Both/And world, where the Internet of Things (IoT) and connectivity have allowed us to have both in-person and digital aspects to just about every industry, whether it’s a vehicle that has autonomous features and can be driven by a person or a company that has machines performing repetitive tasks while its human workforce works with said machines.

As an increase in patronizing in-person businesses becomes more popular than ever before, there will be just as much a need for you as an owner to find ways to implement digital technology in your customer experience.

For example, people have gotten used to the convenience of working out at home and not having to drive to a gym. If you are an owner, this poses a problem: How do you get those customers back? How about having your own Uber, for which gym goers can add a flat fee into their memberships to use an app that calls them a ride to the gym or perhaps a free feature on said app that facilitates a carpool option. That way, you ease them back into leaving the house to come to your facility.

We are in an era of rapid change, so it is important to pay attention to cycles, or Hard Trends and Soft Trends, and foster your own anticipatory mindset about how to transition back to normalcy as a brick-and-mortar business owner. It is a definite Hard Trend that individuals will return to brick-and-mortar businesses they were restricted from during the pandemic like never before; however, the convenience of digital technology is not far off their minds, so find a way to live in a Both/And world, and bounce back better than before!

Posted On Tuesday, 20 April 2021 00:00 Written by

Arguing with an idiot is a lot like wrestling a pig, you both get dirty, but the pig likes it! In weeks and months past I have shared a number of commentaries on the misinformation and many of the false narratives put out into the market to downplay the housing market, this week will be no different.

Please go back and look at all the rebuttal information I have shared with the whole “inventory” problem people are complaining about. Yes, unit numbers are low and remain low during a time of record breaking sales! Markets shift from buyers markets to neutral markets to seller markets. We are currently in a seller market.

Last week I spoke directly to the “Forbearance Panic,” people are worried that will destroy the housing market! I shared how completely baseless the argument is and how all of the homes currently in forbearance would not and could not enter the market to deflate it, but if they did, there are currently not enough houses in forbearance to supply the five to six months’ worth of inventory that NAR desires to have what they call a “neutral market”.

This constant panic, by the very same people that spend their entire careers trashing the housing market, should just be cast aside if not ignored completely. However, if you want to buy into the fear, go ahead, the rest of us will remain and serve the millions of people who want to buy a home. Seriously, why argue with those who want to sit on the sidelines and “wait until prices drop” or “rates come back down” before buying a house. In a market where we have multiple offers, some well over asking, would it really be a problem if some of those people stopped looking? I don’t think so.

So educate yourself, your referral partners, and your clients with the information they need to make an informed choice. If they see the value in buying a home, help them prepare themselves to be successful. If they want to buy into the hype and the fear, let them go. If people still want to live in fear after they are presented with the facts, opportunity, and value of making an informed choice; let them go and serve those that see the opportunity.

Questions and comments: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Posted On Monday, 19 April 2021 00:00 Written by

“Being challenged in life is inevitable; being defeated is optional.” Roger Crawford

Values are high, and rates are lower than they have been in a few weeks. Pressure builds to  buy your first home or sell the one you have  in order to buy your next one.  Finding and financing your next home seems to run smoothly until you run up on some challenges.   How do you conquer challenges and move to your celebration day?

Here are the four common barriers homebuyers face when buying their home.

Lack of funds to close. When the bank account is short on funds, it is time to pull out the treasure map.  Can you borrow against your 401k retirement fund?  Do you have a cash value on a life insurance policy?  Gifts from family members are helpful. Look into local down payment assistance programs. Ask about getting a loan secured on a different home or asset to provide funds to close on the new house. 

Debts too high, income too low. Look for additional income like annual bonuses. A good loan officer knows how to add certain expenses on the self-employed borrower’s tax return back to income like depreciation, depreciable business miles, business use of home, and other items.   The loan officer may find that the borrower's answer is to rearrange debt to lower debt-to-income ratios.   

Low Credit Scores- If you need to add about ten to fifteen points on your credit score to get a better price for your mortgage rate, you might try paying down your revolving credit card balances to show that you use less than 30% of the credit limits on each card.  Once the credit card companies report the lower owed balances, there is a good chance the credit scores will improve.  

Appraisal problem- When the appraisal comes back showing repairs that pertain to the structure, security, or sanitation of the home, these repairs must be completed before closing. Loan program exceptions allow repairs to be completed after closing, but funds have to be put in an escrow account to cover them. In some instances, the seller gets the contractor to repair the home and agrees to pay the contractor after the home closing.  

The homebuyer still takes home the gold when they call on real estate professionals to help conquer these obstacles.  A good realtor, mortgage officer, title company, and others make great teammates for the homebuyer. 

What do YOU want to accomplish with YOUR mortgage?  Make your plan. Let’s work your plan. If the deal works for you today, let’s do it today.   Let’s explore YOUR options. Connect at  

Posted On Monday, 19 April 2021 00:00 Written by
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Your Personal Velocity is about task accomplishment and the creation of positive momentum. High velocity will enable us to achieve more in a defined time frame. We can attain high velocity through focused direction and applied energy. This underlines the premise that it is vital to have your clarified goals in writing. No goals = No Velocity. Our mission today is to talk about how we can increase our velocity in a manner that gets our desired outcome in a timely manner.

In my decades of consulting and training with corporations, I have been amused at the intensity with which high-powered executives make things happen fast. By understanding velocity better we can sort out the derivation of exceptional results.

My friend, Minor Perkins, was the Executive Managing Director at Morgan Keegan Investment Bankers when one of his clients, a hotel company, lured him away to be president of their firm. It was an offer he couldn’t refuse! Minor was a high-velocity guy who loved the hunt and the adrenaline rushes of being in investment banking where things happened fast. The hotel company, while a great firm with outstanding team members, was a relatively low-velocity environment. He lasted two years there but he was going stir-crazy…he felt like he had been spending each day in the library! He went back to Morgan Keegan and everybody understood. He had a great run there and retired in his early sixties. His velocity paid off big time for him.

So what is velocity? I called my long-time friend, speaker, and author, Jim Cathcart, who is an expert on velocity, and asked him for a quote for this issue. Jim was happy to oblige. He said, “Velocity is a combination of your energy and drive; you can increase energy by exercise, rest, nutrition, stress management, and practice; drive is increased by your clarity of goals and the focusing of all your efforts in the direction of your desired outcome.”

So some people might have exceptional capabilities and an above-average IQ, but if they are low energy, they will likely be displaying low velocity, it will take them longer to get the desired outcome than a person of similar attributes but with higher energy being devoted to the goal at hand. If we work on energy improvement and can intensify our focus, we will likely enjoy higher velocity and thus better and faster results. This information might also be helpful to those who are tasked with recruiting high performers. Ask candidates questions that result in answers indicating exceptional energy and velocity.

Years ago, the legendary Arkansas football coach, Frank Broyles, was quoted as having said in a speech that “Luck follows speed”.  That is a simple but powerful athletic observation, but it says a lot. I’ve often said that high performers are the men and women who have the ability to compress more results into a given measurable time frame. Higher energy and more intense focus on the goal equal an impressive velocity and outcomes.

Are energy improvement and focused intensity learnable skills? I think the answer is yes. This is an excellent example of the importance of training and skill-building. Those who say great salespeople are born, not made, are right out of the dark ages. We’re not born to be great, we are trained and educated to be great. And a healthy primer on velocity can help all of us!

Posted On Friday, 16 April 2021 00:00 Written by

Perhaps you noticed the word “Unity” painted on the floor at Lucas Oil Stadium during the semifinal game of March Madness between UCLA and Gonzaga. Surely, if you watched that game, you also noticed that both teams played with excellent unity to the point that, in the opinion here, neither team lost – only at the end Gonzaga had 3 more points than UCLA. Credit must go to each team for an exciting game.

You probably noticed the unity and excellent work of the CBS announcing crew of Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, and Bill Raftery, along with the CBS camera crew to capture all the exciting action. Allow me to add that the officiating crew of the three-game officials allowed the players enough latitude to perform well. Another example of unity. Allow me to also point out that official Ron Groover made a courageous charging call against a Bruin dribbler in the overtime that gave the ball to Gonzaga. The charging/blocking foul is the most difficult to call in all of basketball.

Surely you noticed the buzzer-beater shot by Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs that bounced off the glass, then the front rim and dropped through as time expired, which was the margin of victory. It was one of the most exciting finishes in March Madness history!

However, did you also notice Gonzaga coach Mark Few as the buzzer-beater dropped through? He got up, turned to his left and walked toward Mick Cronin, UCLA’s head coach to offer his condolences and congratulations on a great game. Coach Few didn’t run on the court to celebrate with his players, but his first gesture was of concern for a colleague who had just lost a heartbreaker. Pardon the pun, but there are “few” who would do that.

It is important to mention that the final game of the NCAA Women’s final four produced another winner for Tara VanDerveer, head coach of the Stanford Cardinal who won her first championship since 1992. Coach VanDerveer is of the same sportsmanship (oops, change that to sportwomanship) as Mark Few.

My point in Unity is that we can have competition – striving to win – without name-calling and animosity. We must remember that we are all in the same activity. Then unity can happen!

Will you strive for unity in every aspect of your life?

Posted On Friday, 16 April 2021 00:00 Written by

JohnRuhlin HeadshotAfter applying principles of generosity learned from “Attorney Paul,” John started selling the largest deals in Cutco history out of 1.5 million other reps and distributors. Yes. 1.5 million. Not only was he gifting knives but he was being asked to speak on stages around the country to teach sales and marketing teams how to build relationships in unconventional ways. Simple but powerful things like focusing your care on the executive’s spouse, the assistant, and kids.

Ruhlin Group started in 2000 and quickly broadened gifting options and strategies, but many of the original principles never changed. Knowing how and when to give gifts is just as important as what to gift. These “minor” details and expert knowledge have been tested and proven over a decade to bring a guaranteed “wow” to any industry from financial services to manufacturing widgets.

Today John and his team have created gift packages for some of the largest companies and pro sports teams in the world, but their mission and heart is to serve and take relationships for mid-sized, privately owned businesses to a new level using their Proven Process.

After spending a long time deliberating on things like is self publishing a book a good idea, John decided to write a book that would share his ideology and the way he works in his industry to reach new levels of success. But sure to check out John’s new book, Giftology here:

Posted On Thursday, 15 April 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 15 April 2021 00:00 Written by

Pandemic Garage Syndrome. 

That’s what we can call it.

Have you found yourself drowning in clutter, as we have?

It’s not that we bought a ton of items, quite the contrary.  During the pandemic we hunkered down, digging into every little corner of our house, restarting projects we’d meant to do for years, pulling junk from the attic and opening every bin we’d ever stored.

Next thing we know, we are swimming in…stuff!  OUR STUFF!

To the point of being unable to park in the garage!  (I believe cars are supposed to go in there – at least, that’s what I’ve heard, and seen others do – like some weird kind of envy – suburban parking envy – few things rival this dark Keeping Up With The Jones feeling.)

Recently I was looking for the number to call the TV Show “Hoarders” to see if that might embarrass our family enough into cleaning out the garage…(you see, I’m an “S” in the *DISC assessment, so I actually just thought about doing this, but then just wrote about it, and in the end didn’t go through with it…but that’s for another conversation.)

But I guess all it took was getting angry enough at ourselves for having to look at that mess every single time we opened the garage door.

And then, last Saturday, I finally had enough (The “D” in me – *DISC – kicked in).

I took a photo of our horrific garage, grabbed a box of matches, a can of kerosene, and then slowly set the matches and kerosene down, and one by one began taking each solitary item out of the garage.

What had been The Great Clutter Catch-All Garage soon became The Embarrassing Driveway Disaster Scene.  

People driving by would slam on their brakes, and then back up, laugh heartily, and then drive away.

Neighbors came over to make sure we hadn’t flooded the house.

2 robbers stopped by and looked at each other, shrugged, and could be heard saying, “Well, I guess someone else got here before we did!” 

It was such a mess.

Everywhere, a disastrous and necessary painful mess.

The kids were doing snow angels in reusable COSTCO, ROSS and Trader Joe’s bags, of which we have 187 (sadly, not joking, and yes, the “C” in me counted – *DISC reference).

We lost the dog 13 times in the pile of helmets.

I realized I could rappel from the rain gutter of my home to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, 366 miles away, just using our collection of extension and bungee cords.


As my wife and I slowly chopped away at 16 years of living in the same home, we determined we had to reorganize a few necessities (such as taking cabinets off the walls in order to free up wall space for kids bikes, consolidating multiples of old items for perhaps just one of each, and even going through every tool bag and nail/screw box, getting it down to one section of the space), and most importantly:


That’s the tough part.

We like our things, even those we don’t use, because, “someday we will”.

Someday has arrived, and we have survived, without most of those things.

As we loaded the cars to drive to goodwill, it felt not sad, not nostalgic, not felt liberating.

Soon we were having fun seeing how much we didn’t need.

Ordering a dumpster wasn’t even an option, as others must be doing the same thing, you can’t get one until mid-May.

No worries, the matches and kerosene are on standby in case we just absolutely go for the glory!

Pretty soon we had a garage that was – CLEAN!

How long will it remain like that?  Who knows.  Probably a few days.  But for now it’s amazing!

We are determined not to let it get back to the way it was, and we’ll see, but gosh, it sure is awesome right now.

The Question was: Why didn’t we do this earlier? 

The shame and sorrow and embarrassment of having a garage looking like this, even if no one but me and the birds and that one pest control poison sprayer guy saw it, just the thought of our garage was enough to make me shrivel.

Truth is: Removing the debris is not easy.

Actually, let me put it this way: STARTING and CONTINUING the removal process is not easy.  

However, once you begin, and the spirit of what you’re doing kicks in, it becomes FUN!

And then you come up with great solutions to make things better (here comes the “I” in me – *DISC reference again!).

And next thing you know, you’re putting the matches and kerosene in the perfect spot, at the ready for the next time you have the thought.

*DISC: What is this, you ask?  Learn more with us at The Promise Institute


Recently I heard a talk from one of the wisest men I’ve ever known, 96-year old Russell M. Nelson, as he pondered profound lessons while watching a sacred building being remodeled, and which gave me the prompting for this blog post:

Nelson says, “As I have watched workers dig out old tree roots, plumbing, wiring, and a leaky fountain, I have thought about the need for each of us to remove…the old debris in our lives.”

A simple, yet powerful thought – and what can it mean for each of us in every aspect of our lives?


Your Promise Prompt for the Week:

Write in the Comments some old Debris you Promise to Remove from your Life this Week!  

Not only am I cleaning out the garage and re-organizing, but I have also removed 2 apps from my phone that have been distracting me.  I just load them back on the phone when I need them, and have something to contribute, rather than having them on there all the time, and then remove them again.

I also went through a huge virtual stack of emails, deleted the least important, extracted the essential details, and entered what is needed in my CRM for future reference.  Wow I feel so much better!

How about you?

How are you Removing Old Debris from Your Life?

~ Jason Hewlett



Posted On Wednesday, 14 April 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 13 April 2021 00:00 Written by

Whether it is a global pandemic or everyday disruptions, most of us default to reaction and agility when faced with a crisis.

For many, reactionary behavior is all they know; the only option in dealing with disruption is to find the nearest metaphorical fire extinguisher and cauterize the problem immediately. However, in our current COVID-19 world, agility and reactionary behavior is even less productive than it was before.

Digital disruptions were already going through the roof and are now accelerated even further as the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G connectivity, and groundbreaking innovation in a multitude of industries debuted as a way to respond to COVID-19 and the subsequent global shutdown.

And don’t think for a second that it is only white-collar jobs being digitally disrupted; the trades, manufacturing, and industry are in the hot seat like never before. We’ve seen it happen in robotic arms assembling motorcycles at Harley Davidson, augmented reality (A.R.) in supply chain management, and most recently, a 3D-printed home in New York

Construction Has Gone Digital

You heard me right; the same technology that has 3D-printed everything from action figures to a synthetic hand for an amputee just successfully 3D-printed a 1,400-square-foot home in rural New York.

If that doesn’t turn heads in the blue-collar world, I don’t know what will!

As a consumer, you likely have many questions regarding the structural integrity of a home that has been printed, or you might be wondering how much of the home was printed. Rest assured, this house is not made from plastic polymer; the printers use concrete to lay a footing, the foundation, and then the interior and exterior walls.

Essentially, this home is a rock-solid structure that is 50% of the cost of a traditionally built home.

Should We Fear Automation in Construction?

Absolutely not, and here’s why.

Physically, the structure is being constructed by a multitude of large 3D printers over the course of six to eight hours, but the engineering behind it and other mechanical features, such as plumbing, electrical, and finish work, are all human.

I recently wrote an article about the “soft skills,” or the art side, of every career, and this is a good example of where it applies. A digital advancement like additive manufacturing in the construction world may disrupt the status quo of several carpenters; however, using my Anticipatory mindset to pre-solve problems you as a carpenter will face in this new frontier reveals entirely new opportunities in your career!

A 3D printer is not a sentient being; it needs you to tell it what to do correctly. In a way, this breakthrough is no different than a time when heavy machinery that moves heavy materials replaced hundreds of humans doing it. A bucket loader or skid steer needs a human being to operate it, even if those eventually become somewhat autonomous themselves.

Anticipation and Agility

Truth be told, we cannot predict the future flawlessly. There will always be the need to be agile and reactionary. 

The pandemic has leveled the playing field and, as mentioned before, accelerated digital disruptions by way of companies finding cost-saving measures to bounce back and, in some cases, stay afloat during the uncertain future.

What those companies are doing is implementing my Anticipatory Organization Model by paying attention to the Hard Trends shaping the future of both their industries and the vast world outside of their day-to-day operations. Hard Trends are future certainties, and when you base your actions on certainty, it is far lower risk than relying on uncertainty, which is what Soft Trends are based on, and is open to influence. It is a simple cognitive act of asking yourself, What can we be certain about in our future?

However, companies’ initial realization of evident digital disruptions heading their way is reactionary. Therefore, I’m not saying you must eliminate agility and reactionary behavior entirely from your workflow; that’s an impossibility. What I’m encouraging you to do is to act; when you research the Hard Trends taking shape, move beyond just reacting to them negatively and apply my Anticipatory Organization model to stay ahead of the curve before disruption hits home.

Stay Ahead of Disruption

Disruption, whether a pandemic or digital transformation of even the most non digital industries, is actually an opportunity to move beyond success into significance.

In the 3D-printed house example, construction companies are observing a few different Hard Trends: the pandemic will end, we will be in a different world financially, and digital technology is becoming a Both/And solution to saving money and improving the lives of humankind.

Therefore, they are staying ahead of the curve by using that knowledge to pre-solve problems their traditional contractors face and are seeing an opportunity to build structurally sound houses for the younger generations looking to buy in a time in history we haven’t seen in over a century.

If the construction industry can be anticipatory with its operations, how can you apply it to yours? Sign up today for my Anticipatory Leader System to learn how you can leverage disruption and change to your opportunity and advantage today!

Posted On Tuesday, 13 April 2021 00:00 Written by

Has this ever described your day?

You wake up in the morning rested and excited about your day. After doing yoga/gratitude journal/a walk (or whatever self-care you enjoy most), and eating a healthy breakfast, you head to your desk, ready to tackle the day.  You quickly deal with new emails and issues that need resolved, then focus on your prospecting calls. 

Next, it’s time for your first appointment, and you arrive 15 minutes early.  After that, you pick up a salad and head to the park to enjoy your lunchbreak on a beautiful day. Feeling energized, you handle your afternoon appointments and a scheduled closing. 

After handing over the keys to your excited new home buyers, you arrive home feeling happy that you were able to help someone’s dream come true. After a relaxing evening as you get ready for bed, you are filled with gratitude that you work in such a rewarding career and are able to help so many people. You quickly fall asleep …. 

Are you thinking to yourself there is no way that scenario bears any resemblance on the life of a real estate agent? Not to most agents! 

In fact, you can personally attest to the fact that you spent the entire day frantically running around putting out fires.  Lunch? What’s that? You grabbed an espresso and a bagel as you rushed to your next meeting, arriving late to every appointment that day.  You spent the catching up on emails, and by midnight, collapsed into bed, dead-tired, but unable to sleep because of the list of what’s on your plate for tomorrow running through your head.  As you beat yourself up for not getting more done on that endless to-do list, you ask yourself again whether this level of stress is even worth those big commission checks.

If you are nodding your head agreeing with our stressed-out, exhausted agent, you are not alone. The truth is the real estate industry is often unpredictable, and feels out of control.

Let’s face it, if you are like most salespeople, events of the day control YOU, not the other way around. Too often, entrepreneurs are reactive as they attempt to do it all, multi-tasking and juggling multiple responsibilities, with never a moment to actually work ON their business and to plan their day.

While you can’t make real estate a consistent and predictable business, every agent can take steps to harness the daily chaos, and achieve a life that is more balanced.  The key to your sanity lies in operational excellence. 

Operational excellence means you have systems in place that will ensure that no detail gets overlooked, which reduces the stress of distractions and last-minute hiccups.  Systems allow you to focus on profit generating initiatives that increase your bottom line, instead of constantly putting out fires.  It’s time to set up your business AS a business and implement processes and systems to regain control!

With systems that are well-organized and consistently executed, the outcomes are more easily monitored and measured, and the daily chaos is tamed. Scheduling regular income-producing activities allows your cash flow to stabilize, helping you avoid the ups and downs of this industry.

Operational excellence starts with a plan, and incorporates the details that allow you to work ON your business as well as IN your business to attain your desired results and enjoy balance in your life. 

• You have to know where you want to go.  A strategic plan focused on specific outcomes will help you prioritize dollar-productive activities first.  Start with a vision for the next 90 days, and track your progress. 

• Plan your days in advance, not on the fly! Creating a non-negotiable time-blocking schedule for your day/week/month is one of the most successful tools for taming your schedule.  Time-block for the actions that will make your strategic plan possible, and schedule dollar-productive activities, such as prospecting, each day.  The excuse that you can’t time-block your schedule is bunk.  If you don’t schedule the time to complete those income-producing initiatives, you will forever be reactionary, and likely to burn out. 

• Create detailed action plans.  Don’t confuse a “wish list” with an action plan.  Action plans are the steps you need to follow to get to your destination. Automation, delegation, and consistent measurement are the keys to materializing your end result. The most important step is to set up the action plans for each project or initiative with deadlines and milestones to make it happen.   

• You aren’t afraid to delegate the small stuff!  Hiring out those time consuming, but not money-making activities is the key to setting yourself up for earning more and doing less. Don’t think you can’t afford it either!  If you are paying yourself to do drop offs, you get paid like an Uber driver.  Keep track of your time and see where you can empower someone else to do what you don’t need to do. Focus on dollar productive and you’ll enjoy less stress and more productivity. 

The real key here is your mindset.  By controlling your focus, you control your behavior, choices, the actions that follow, and the outcomes you intend.  Incorporating even one simple system that is plugged into your day, and you will be on your way to creating habits that build for success and allow you to reach your goals with energy to spare. Establish your operational excellence through systems and team initiatives and create a win-win for you, your team, and your clients!

Posted On Tuesday, 13 April 2021 00:00 Written by

Sometimes people allow fear to prevent reality in their lives. Sometimes people allow fear to paralyze them into inaction. I have always found it that if you look into the actual fear and find out why you are afraid, you sometimes see there is nothing to be afraid of.

We have seen a number of people creating a new dialog of fear around the potential of 2.7 million homes entering foreclosure due to the expiration of forbearance. The fear has even grabbed the government because they have chosen to kick the reality of expiring forbearance down the road another six months because they don’t have a simple answer to the question, “what happens”.

Well, let’s do some math. NAR says we would have an even more robust purchase market if we had more homes in inventory. They say they would like about 5 or 6 months of homes to create an “average & comfortable” market. Last year we sold 6.8 million units, or about 560K units per month. We have a much greater demand than that, but we could certainly be happy to get more houses in the market, and 5 months @560K per month would be about 2,800,000 homes. However, despite the inventory challenges, 2020 was the biggest number of home sales since 2006!

The new fear is if all the homes in forbearance go into foreclosure, it would destroy the housing market and collapse prices. However, some simple math may shed some light on the reality.

1. Of the 2.7 million homes, are all of them going to go into foreclosure? Given the rise in home values, why wouldn’t they just get sold?
2. Again, many people will pay the balance, refinance, or extend and modify their current deals.
3. If ALL the homes did become available, wouldn’t that supply of homes just supply the 5 or 6 months’ worth of “inventory the NAR says it takes to make the market more normal?

Yes, buyer demand makes the market a challenge, just like a few years ago the sellers were caught without buyers who wanted to buy.

Yes, given the failure of fully explaining and understanding forbearance, some people may have to sell their homes or may go into foreclosure. But given the current market, it is much more likely the resolve the issue or sell at a profit.

Not all 2.7 million homes in forbearance will end up on the market, but if they did, according to NAR, it would be welcome news for all the agents and people who are struggling with inventory!

Acknowledge the information and respect the fear; but do some math and find that fear may likely be very unfounded for many reasons once you look at everything and put it into perspective.

Questions or comments: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Posted On Monday, 12 April 2021 00:00 Written by

“Life holds a special magic for those who dare to dream.” Anonymous

This week homeowners and homebuyers saw home values continue to rise, and the mortgage rates dipped down for the first time since January. The seemingly unattainable dream of renovating your home to be your castle or restructuring your debt so you can retire suddenly became possible like the wave of a magical wand. 

Mortgage rates dipped about 5% this week for the first time since January 2021.  Home values increased 15.6% year-over-year.  The mortgage that the aspiring homebuyer could not afford last week suddenly became affordable this week

The Collinger’s dream of getting their children through college, and retiring within the next ten years seemed impossible.  This week, their home hit the highest value they had ever seen. At the same time, mortgage rates dipped back down from their recent climb.   Restructuring the other debt with a cash-out refinance with the high home value and low fixed rate, the Collinger’s could now do what they never imagined they could—get their older kids through college and set their sights on retiring in less than ten years. 

The Dennison’s dreamed of remodeling their home and opening up the kitchen and living room space, installing a gunite swimming pool, and converting the back patio area to a bar-b-que station to spend more quality time with friends and family.  They had attempted to get financing to achieve this dream over the years, but the home value was never enough, and the mortgage payment was always too high.   But, today, with a swish of the magic wand, all of these dreams, the Dennison’s are making a reality. 

If you have not explored selling your home and moving up, the low mortgage rate makes this step up much more affordable than you think-even with the higher price on the move-up home. 

In 2018 the Mueller’s explored selling their home and buying a bigger, more expensive home.  The payment buying the bigger, better home would have cost them $800 more per month on a mortgage—insanely out of reach. But, selling at the higher price now and locking in a much lower mortgage rate landed them their castle and only costs about $300 more per month.  Rising home value and the bottom bumping fixed mortgage rate was like the flick of the magic wand, and, viola’, they were in the beautiful dream home. 

What do YOU want to accomplish with YOUR mortgage?  Make Your Plan. Work Your Plan. If the deal works for you today, let’s do it today.   Let’s explore YOUR mortgage options.  

Connect with Jo Garner at

Posted On Monday, 12 April 2021 00:00 Written by
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Posted On Sunday, 11 April 2021 00:00 Written by

 Athena UslanderSilverland Bakery began over 30 years ago as one of the first commercial bakers of brownies. Since 1983, our founder and former structural engineer Athena Uslander has been hand crafting brownies, old fashioned bakery bars, cookies, crispy rice treats, raw bars and customized products for wholesale customers as well as direct to the consumer. Recipes are developed by Athena are hand made with locally sourced, high quality all-natural ingredients in small batches, preservative free. Our family business strives to be a recognized brand known to consumers, foodservice and retailers for making all natural desserts crafted by heart and hand.

What Does It Take To “Craft By Hand And Heart?”

It takes a pregnant engineer who’s fed up with her job and determined to pass some tradition down to her kids. Thirty years ago, Athena Uslander, with her nimble engineer‘s hands and tradition-craving mother’s heart, left her job for her passion.

The rest, is Chicago history – “the birthplace of the brownie” hasn’t been the same since. Those coveted family recipes are still strictly followed by master artisans, as they fold by hand and douse with love every Silverland treat you eat.

Shortly after starting Silverland Bakery, Athena decided that one of the bakeries core values would be giving back. Since then, Silverland has sponsored a Cambodian village through World Vision.

In 2005 Athena Developed The Athena Fund To Help Local Women In Need With The Same Care And Love That We Give To Our Product Line.

All of the love and attention to detail given to Silverland’s baked good hasn’t gone unnoticed. They have been recognized by national media, including The Food Network, The Travel Channel, USA Today, and Good Housekeeping, the Chicago Tribune, and the Sun Times.. In 2005, the multi-faceted Athena was chosen as a model and spokeswoman for Unilever's Dove Pro-Age™. This experience took her to an appearance on Oprah and a feature on The Today Show, which put her Silverland Bakery before a national audience. It also took her to major media and talk show tour across North and South America and Europe.

Posted On Friday, 09 April 2021 00:00 Written by
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