Monday, May 12, 2008

I'm still alive! Aren't I?

The question is: did anyone notice my absence?

Yes, yes, yes, I know I'm going to get a ton of emails and comments telling me how you all (all 4 of you) do, actually, read my blog but the reality is that I'm not so riveting as to be missed.

Wah, wah, wah... woe is me.

So, what has actually been going on in Britranting land for the past 2 weeks?

Well, first there was the visit from the parents. A flying visit mind you. They came out to look at homes and found one they wanted to put an offer in on. Well, I say "found"... this house had actually been on the radar-screen since before Christmas. For whatever reason, the owners (the sons of the deceased couple - we think - who used to own it) were stuck on their asking price and, despite 270+ days on the market, hadn't budged in more than 100 days. However, with the help of my wonder-agent Hubby they offered, got the sellers down $50k, and are now in escrow. I know, cripes! After 12 years living 6,000 miles away from my parents, the reality is dawning on me that it might soon be that they live just around the corner. I say this like it's a bad thing, which of course it is not. I actually can't wait for Sunday Dinner at Mum and Dad's house, coffees after work with Mum, and seeing Hubby and Dad puttering around in the back garden together. Of course, there is the immigration stuff to work through still but given that myself and my parents are not terrorists, axe murderers, or cat burglers, I can't think of any reason why they wouldn't get their visa eventually.

Next, work is still very busy. A big deal that we thought was dead in the water actually resurrected itself last week and so now we've got all hands on deck to try and close this baby down. We've scheduled "one more" webinar with them on Thursday. Both me and my boss will be on the demo and our SVP and owners are calling around current clients to get a gluttony of kudos to serve up for desert.

Rather than being nervous about the presentation, however, I'm actually pretty excited. I've been getting some coaching from my boss on my sales presentation skills (remember this was something I wanted to get better at this year) and, while I'm still not enjoying the experience of being critiqued, I'm feeling energized by the fact that I'm learning to get better. Being on this webinar with my boss will be an opportunity to not only watch and observe how she does it but also a chance to flex my own apprenticeship skills. Of course, I'm also very excited about winning the business and getting a big fat commission check. That's a given.

Through this process I have been able to determine exactly what it is about coaching and getting advice that I don't like. What I've found is pretty interesting to me: I feel that, if someone else has to tell/show me how to do it, then it's not an achievement I can claim as my own.

Clearly, this is a pretty narrow vision for success and something I'll have to get over if I'm going to grow in any meaningful way. I totally recognize that, at some point in my life, somebody had to show/tell/teach me almost everything I know in order for me to have achieved anything, so I don't know how I got "here" exactly. But now, when I look at how I have tended to do everything in the last 10 years or so, it totally fits. For the most part, I'll try to figure stuff out for myself, then if I absolutely have to (and only if I have to) Google, read books, go to classes/webinars, watch DVDs, take notes on others... you name it, I'll try it. But the very last resort in almost any case is to ask someone to help me.

I don't have a whole lot of interest in analyzing myself to death on this particular issue. I mean, this is how I am and it's probably going to be how I am for the rest of my life, but it doesn't mean that it has to govern what I do. So, my focus is on just 'ignoring' my reticence, letting my inner-rationale smack me upside the head whenever I start to hear the emotional me claim that I can't claim a success just because I got coaching, and generally getting on with it anyway, the way us Brits like to do. That's one quality I love about the Brits... we just get on with it. Too much self-reflection is for sissies.

Aside from all this, there are just a lot of leads both incoming and prospecting, to follow-up on and the prospecting ones are all hard work. Trying to find meaningful reasons to call or email a prospect vs. just blanket-marketing them with a generic message, takes a lot of time and effort. Ultimately, however, I'm confident it will yield better results it's just that right now it's a lot of work without a lot of reward.

Meanwhile. Hubby is going GANGBUSTERS. He's got deals up the yin-yang! I'm so proud of the wonderful, knowledgeable, skilled agent he has become over the last few years. Like lawyers, Realtors often get a bad rap, but for those who really treat it is a craft there are significant skills involved. Hubby knows his market - inventory, trends, stats - he pays attention to his clients needs, he knows what questions to ask the cooperating agent to help his clients put together an offer that will succeed, he coordinates escrows like a military operation, but more than anything he is a professional, personable, service-provider to his clients. I'm so glad that all his hard work and persistence is finally beginning to pay off. He's getting respect in his office, kudos from his clients, and finally stats on the board to go with it all.

Finally, the weather here has been gorgeous: low 80s/high 70s, a slight breeze. Right now I'm sitting out on my deck and it's a pretty windy evening. The wind-chimes are going crazy, the squirrels are racing up and down the trees driving my dogs nuts (if you pardon the pun), items are scuttling along our deck, and swaying branches with new foliage are rustling loudly. They say it's going to be 100 degrees by Thursday, which I'm not entirely excited about, but so far it's been a wonderful couple of weeks. As I've said before, the last thing I've wanted to do is sit on a laptop and blog.

So, with that, I'm off to appreciate the remaining evening light, maybe read some more of my book.



e said...

Ah, at last some news! All great news, too, I love it. I've been checking your blog twice a day, and saw the pics of Flickr, I kinda figured you would be back soon.

I don't know if this helps at all re coaching, but all the best champions at anything (be it an olympic sport, golf, basketball, or even CEO's etc) have mentors, coaches etc. I know you can clearly see the value in all this, but perhaps if you also realize what a champion you actually are, then you might start to look at coaching as a tool.

Besides, I think once you start down that path you'll get past the resistance really quickly - like you say, Brits just get on with it and stuff the analysis.

So proud of Joss, it was only a matter of time: hard work and integrity do actually carry the day.

And yay on the parents getting a house down the street from you. Now I have to convince my folks to do something similar. They're buying investment properties instead.

Mala said...

Hey, I wanted to say the same thing. I haven't had any readers to my blog either.

Urban Koda said...

With the exception of a couple of days over the weekend, I swear I've been checking every day...

Seeing that you could still only feed 13 Cannibals was a major let down for me!

Welcome Back!

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