3 Ways to Invest Into Yourself for Maximum Success

Last week we had almost 40 people fly in and drive up to Vermont from around the country for our 2nd annual Hergenrother Realty Group Advance (no retreat here!). We had two days packed with vision casting, inspirational speakers, masterminding, and sales and leadership training. The majority of our team had to take 3-4 days away from the office, away from their families, away from their clients, away from the phone calls, the emails, and the fires, away from the daily grind.

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Hergenrother Realty Group’s 2nd Annual Advance – October 2016

They had to STOP, so they could move forward.

So many of us never do this. It’s so easy to just keep going through the motions of life. Heads down. Eyes closed to the possibility that there is more. But there is more if you just stop, focus on a few key areas of you life and INVEST into yourself and your growth. No one else is going to do it for you. You’re not just going to be handed your bikini body or more time with your family or spiritual growth on a silver platter. You need to work for it. You need to work really hard for it. No one said living a big life was easy! But it is simple.

Here are 3 ways to invest into yourself for maximum success:

  1. Invest into your health and fitness. We all know how important health and fitness are to me. And they should be to you. If you don’t have your health then what do you have? How can you serve your family or your team? You’ve got to feel your best in order to give your best. This may be the most difficult one, which is why it is first. You’ve got to invest in your own health before you invest in other aspects of your life and business. Having great health and energy trickle down to every other part of your life. Invest into a personal trainer. Invest into a gym membership. Invest into the value of your time and create a non-negotiable scheudle for exercise and cooking healthy meals. Invest into a meal service. Just invest into your health. It will be the foundation of your success long term.
  2. Invest into training and education.When I first started my career in real estate ten years ago, I had $8,000. I spent half of that traveling to a Howard Britton conference where I heard Gary Keller speak and my life was never the same. I learned the value of investing into education very early on in my career and that has influenced many of my decisions since then, including my decision to start my own training company so I can continue to share my knowledge and give back. I encourage you all to invest into yourselves whenever possible – from free trainings in your office and community, to massive real estate conferences, to personal development retreats. Here are my top 5 events for transforming your life and business. Investing into your personal and professional development is always a wise decision. The more knowledge we get,the more we can give back and continue the virtuous cycle of education.
  3. Invest into your personal standards.stand-for-something Have you determined what your standards are? Where you draw the line? Have you written these down? Does your calendar reflect your goals? Look, you can either have stories or you can have results. You can either coast through life riding the waves of mediocrity or you can put your big boy pants on and do the things most people aren’t willing to do in order to live a life most people will only dream of.

     
    It all starts with standards. You have to know what you stand for and what you will tolerate. Do you have a morning routine that sets you up for a day of success? Are you reading personal development books? Are you doing what you say you will do? ARe you hitting your snooze button every morning or are you saying YES to the day? ARe you leading yourself first? Are you investing into your own standards for growth, for business, for life?

There are two definitions of INVEST that I really like.

Invest [verb]: Devote (one’s time, effort, or energy) to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result.

Invest [verb]: To furnish with power or authority.

Are you giving power to your standards? Are you devoting energy to purposeful education and training? Are you setting aside time for your health and exercise?

Only you can decide what to invest in. But I guarantee if you invest into your health and fitness, education, and your standards, then you will grow every day.

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Reinvent Yourself – Becoming Who You Need to be for the Next Step in Your Journey

This new training regimen I’m on to prepare me for the Ironman in May is no joke. I thought I was in shape before, I thought I was training hard, I thought I was prepared for anything… Damn, was I wrong. Actually, I may have even become complacent with my workouts. I’ve been doing the same routine with the same fitness coach for the past couple of years and I haven’t trained for anything since the Spartan Race and hiking Kilimanjaro a few years ago. I was ready for a new challenge and the really cool thing is, that no matter where I place in the Ironman – taking my training to another level means that I have to reinvent myself. I am not just looking to finish the race, I am looking at competing with myself so that the best me shows up. In order for that to happen, I must reinvent myself and train like a professional athlete.

reinvent-yourselfReinvention means new challenges, new experience, and growth and isn’t that what life’s really all about? When I committed to do the Ironman a month ago, I was all in, but I didn’t really know what I was getting in TO. I’ve been training for 4 weeks and this level of training, attention to my diet, my heart rate, conditioning, strict training calendar, tracking all of these metrics in unlike anything I’ve ever done. It doesn’t help that my coach only trains professional athletes (his coaching company helped 37 people make it into Kona last year). It’s definitely not easy and not anything like what I expected but I’m committed to continuing on this journey because of who I know I will become along the way. You’ve got to take your emotional fitness, your schedule, your ability to say no, and your self mastery to a whole other level when you need to fit in 2-5 hour training sessions every day while still running 6 companies. I’m not looking for a trophy here. I’m no different than anyone else. I’m just trying to get you all to understand that reinventing yourself happens several times throughout your life and you just need to listen to that voice that is telling you it is time to make a move and take action.

Here are a couple of examples for you: I met an amazing woman while in Denver last week who, at 50, decided to leave her marriage of 30+ years and went from her known career of interior design and home renovations to building a real estate business. Talk about a reinvention! Imagine who she needed to become in order to make that decision, move to another state, and keep pushing forward with as much light and energy that she has. Or take the people we all know who are very successful, complete workaholics, who have let their health go entirely. That person who starts eating healthy and who gets a trainer – imagine who they have to become in order to shed their “workaholic” identity in order to embrace time away from the office to focus on themselves and their health. Or what about Veterans returning from war? They have to not only readjust to a civilian environment, reconnect with their families, and find a new career – they have to do this after years and years of training and conditioning to think a certain way.

The point is, the only way we grow is by letting go of past identities and embracing new ones. Reinventing yourself is a metamorphosis. The biggest fear people have is not being associated with their identity or not knowing who they are. But that is only because they have become so attached to the old “them” and they haven’t embraced the fact that we all learn, grow, change, evolve, and reinvent. If you aren’t growing, you’re dying! So grow!

Butterfly MetamorphosisReinventing yourself should happen daily. The small reinventions – the 1% reinventions -all add up to major reinventions. Problems are actually our greatest gift because they allow us to change daily. Instead of focusing on the negative of problems, focus on the fact that they are encouraging us to change and grow and reinvent! We must reinvent ourselves in our personal and business lives. People often start business’s as a means to reinvent themselves – to grow, to make money, to then give away – which then allows to to reinvent yourself even further!

The best part is, when you focus on reinventing yourself, you will inspire people around you to reinvent themselves, and the whole world becomes a better place. You don’t to miss out on that opportunity, do you?

My flight left Denver at 6am on Friday, which meant I had to leave for the airport by 4am. No big deal, I get up at 4:18am anyway… but because I am training for this Ironman, I needed to get in a 50 minute bike ride and a 50 minute run before I got home (because once I was home after a 3 day trip – I was going straight into dad-mode). So, what did I do? I got up at 1:30am in order to train. No excuses. Instead of the snooze button, I chose action, commitment, and reinvention.

Which do you choose?

The Do’s and Don’ts of Radical Candor to Be a Radically Awesome Leader

As I was on a plane to Denver last Wednesday to teach Life Without Limits, I read an article in Inc. Magazine about radical candor. Basically, radical candor is being brutally honest with your employees and team members and expecting the same in return. Of course, being brutally honest can be an HR nightmare, but come on, what is wrong with giving honest, fair feedback in a respectful way? Yes, delivery is everything, but not delivering the message in some fashion is a failure on your part as a leader. How are you to make your company and employees better if you are not giving them constructive feedback, debriefing on a major mistake, or coaching them in areas they need improvement?

radical-candor

Here are the dos and don’ts of radical candor:

DO practice constructive criticism. Often the criticism is taken very personally when it comes out of the blue or seems inauthentic. You know that feeling you get when you are in a room with a co-worker or employee and you know exactly what should be said to them – good or bad? Say it. No good comes from holding that information or feedback in. You know it needs to be said, and so do they. Practice giving feedback to your team and it eventually become natural for you and them.

DO be vulnerable. Do not make assumptions and be prepared to be wrong. Do you know both sides of the story? Do you have all the information? Do you know where you team member was at personally when they made a particular decision? One of the key components to being a great leader is vulnerability and admitting that you may have gotten in wrong.

DON’T make it personal. Keep your radical candor professional and steer clear of personal criticism such as dress, weight, personal hygiene – unless it directly effects their performance on the job. Those HR nightmares I mention – this is where it can get sticky. No matter your intention, your perceived relationship with your team member, or your delivery, making it personal is never a good move.

DON’T dish it out if you can’t take it. If you are prepared to be brutally honest with an employee, be open to unfiltered feedback in return. In fact, you should solicit this sort of feedback regularly, yet informally, from your team. A great question for this is: What could I be doing differently or stop doing to make your life better? It gets people talking if they are somewhat nervous to give you feedback.

DO criticize and complement. If you are leading at the level that I know you are all capable of, you should be giving candid feedback to your team regularly. But remember – too much candor without any positive feedback could back fire. Over the course of a week, for every criticism you deliver, give 2-3 compliments. But don’t just give the compliment to soften the candor. Give compliments when people deserve it, otherwise people will feel that you are being manipulative or inauthentic. If your team member did something great, let them know! And if they did something wrong, let them know that too!

Radical candor is kind of my specialty. I can often be pretty hard on my team and I push them outside of their comfort zone regularly (i.e. calling them out on their shit). Those moments are where we all grow though. Believe me, whatever I’m saying is not news to anyone, but I’m often the only one with the balls to tell it like it is. Radical candor doesn’t make me many friends, but it does create loyal employees who understand I am there to help them grow and achieve their goals. Sometimes the only way that happens is with a little a lot of honesty. And I would rather help people grow, then be their friends anyway.

Two tools we use with new employees are an expectations dialogue and User’s Manual (email hallie@adamhergenrother.com for copies of both). Our initial meeting with an employee entails going over the expectations dialogue where we discuss how we want to communicate with each other, how honest do we want to be with each other, along with other standards and expectations for the role. Both parties sign. 99.9% of the time people say they want me to be honest with them at a level 10 (meaning brutally honest). But when we dive in and discuss what that really means, it’s that they would like me to be honest with them with the good stuff… not the bad. But that’s not how it works! I absolutely believe in delivering feedback in a direct and respectful manner, but neither am I going to pussyfoot around a topic and listen to bullshit excuses. Which is why we put together user manuals for new employees – it’s a snapshot into my thought (and each team member is encouraged to do one too) process and idiosyncrasies so that we can all get on the same page quickly. And so (hopefully) no one takes anything too personally.

But – and here’s that radical candor – I just don’t have the time to hold people’s hands and sing Kum bay ya. We are building a business empire here and we’re all adults, right? The only way we all grow is to sometimes hear what we don’t want to hear, become aware of our faults or mistakes, take ownership for them and then move forward – together. Failure in itself is never an issue, it’s not taking ownership and not learning from that failure that I tend to have a problem with.

Ultimately, the only way radical candor works is if it is backed by a leader who radically cares for his/her team. And for all my bark (and yes, I do sometimes bite) I deeply care about the success of my team and personal fulfillment they each have from their career, which then enables them to live whatever life they desire. I believe in transparent and intentional leadership. As a leader, part of my job is to see my team’s blind spots and they have joined my company because of their desire for growth, challenge, and more opportunity. Without radical candor I am doing a disservice to my team and that’s just not what I’m about.

What do you think about radical candor? Can it be taken too far? Is honestly always the best policy? Let me know what you think with #herglife!

Future Predictions and Today’s Decisions

This week is the start of the fourth quarter; as well as the beginning of Surya Mangal Chandra. No, that wasn’t a typo. We’re taking a turn this week from my usual leadership and business building fare to dabble in birth charts, spiritual readings, and astrological predictions. Whether you believe in this kind of thing or not, these readings and predictions do change your perception and make you more alert to the world around you. I mean, how often are you just plowing through life without really stopping to consider the implications of your actions, your choices, and your decisions?

My Maharishi Jyotish Consultation has given me some pretty great insight into when I should be more cautious or when is the right time to dive into a new project full-force. And you just might take a second look at your horoscope or get your birth chart read after I share with you what has happened to me over the past three years. Get ready to have your mind blown (or at least expanded just a little). I had my consultation in early 2013 and for the past 3+ years the evidence has shown up over and over again that this thing is legit:

lk4c6919-zf-2791-74420-1-002-070Like when my chart said between July 2014 – September 2015, “Do not go near deep water – don’t go swimming in deep water, or journey on water,” and sure enough I had a whitewater rafting trip schedule for early July on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Within the first hour of the trip, our raft flipped and one of my friends and I were tossed beneath the boat and nearly drowned. Josh had dislocated his arm and had to be evacuated. We were all fine and the rest of us were able to continue the trip, but man, that could have been bad. Read about our adventure here. 

finaltraininglogo_1Or that time between January and July 2016 when my reading said, “This is a good time to start some new work, new business.” Sure enough, after years of informally coaching, training, and consulting with others on leadership and business building, I decided to formally create Adam Hergenrother Training Organization, LLC. Interestingly, it also mentioned my inclination towards “white objects, white elements,” and almost all of our marketing and branding pieces moved towards clean, white, and minimalistic during this time. And for the next six years, my reading said it’s a “good time for activity related to training, organizing courses,” and that is becoming my main focus and “job” – using training and coaching to share the vision, teach others, and recruit the best people on the planet. I mean, these guys have no idea who I am or what my desires are, and these things just showed up in my reading.

fireplace-explosionLast month, only a couple of weeks after moving into my new house, I lit my brand-new outdoor electric fire pit and it blew up. Thank god my kids were inside, but holy shit, someone could have been seriously, seriously injured. The pieces of stone are easily 100 lbs. Luckily, at the last second, I stepped back from the fire pit. I have no idea why I did, but I did. Turns out, my chart predicted that, “There could be some discomfort or danger from fire or fiery elements. Be very careful handling appliances or anything that could create a problem with fire.” This was not a prediction for the year, but for a 3 week period.

predictionsThere are all sorts of predictions that pop up and nothing of significance happened. For the next six years, my readings tell me my spiritual development will be good, I will have good support from my subordinates, and I will take full advantage of my wit, wisdom, and knowledge. All great stuff to reflect on and perhaps take more concentrated action on, such as putting more focus on my training company. Other parts of my reading continually tell me to monitor my health, take care of my diet, and be careful on journeys, in particular to be careful when driving. All of which I heed. Would I be so alert in these areas without my chart? Who knows. What I do know is that by having this consultation to help guide me, I am more alert and in tune with my surroundings and more aware of the weight of my decisions. I always enjoy learning more about myself and my potential impact on the world, so if nothing else my consultation is a fun, interesting, and enlightening read.

futureI’ve got some really exciting things to look forward to too. According to my reading, in early 2017 it will be the best time to start writing my book. And between now and September 2017 I need to protect myself from poisonous creatures and insects, so I guess I won’t be zip lining through Costa Rica…

Here’s the thing, I meditate, read my affirmations, and review my future self every day. My Maharishi Jyotish Consultation is just another tool in my tool box to help me grow and be the best version of me. Check it out and if you have done a birth chart or consultation before, share your experience in the comments below! Peering a little into the future never hurt anyone! But ultimately, if you want to know what the future looks like – create it.