LIFE BETWEEN THE NOTES … TRANSITION POINTS by Jim Peys

Several years ago a friend commented that “life is lived between the notes.”  The context of the statement was that ‘wisdom’ is experienced in the intervals between the notes.  Reflecting on that statement, I would add that the depth, clarity and understanding of those notes are realized in the transition between multiple notes or ‘stimuli.’  Thomas Aquinas stated that “wisdom differs from mere science in looking at things from a greater height.  Wisdom is not in the details, it’s in the space between them – the interstices.  Wisdom is not in the fabric, it’s in the holes.  It’s what is going on between the events.”  Philosopher Alfred North Whitehead added “knowledge shrinks as wisdom grows: for details are swallowed up in principles.”  Just a couple of days ago was the anniversary date of September 11th.  Our experience of that day has evolved from a related series of tragic events that morning to our individual and collective responses or the ‘interstices between the notes’ heard since – the transition between outside stimulus (the initial act itself) experienced to our ongoing response or actions.

Personally, I see a series of ‘transition points’ being played in every phase of my life.  In light of ‘notes played’, how will I create the next phase of my life … what is my next ‘note’?  I wonder….  My real estate company (Keller Williams Coastal Properties) has asked me to reflect on a vision for the Company moving into the ‘new economy.’  Do we just remain ‘status quo’ or do we re-create the Company with a new vision and a new direction?  In my business, I find myself transitioning with a different mindset into other ‘micro-markets’ due to changing market forces.  Not really sure where that will lead – changing the paradigm from a realtor driven business plan to a service platform defined by the customer who represents a ‘mass of niches’.  All of my personal relationships are in transition – moving out, my kids completing school and being on their own, to new personal and professional relationships.  Ah, the uncertainty of change that leaves me wondering what will the transition look like down the road?  How do I let go of the ego, remain open to what is, see the value in the question and not the answer, and view all that will be from a place of abundance and not scarcity?  What is my lesson in all of these ‘transition points’ in my life? 

The enduring lessons I know is that a body in motion stays in motion (the need to have the courage to keep moving forward – one step at a time); mindset and the doing (action step) are equally important; the only permanence in life is impermanence; the power of affirmation is a forgotten gift we share with those around us AND just as important for ourselves; that lasting success, growth, change and empowerment is manifested through other people; what I passionately feel and think is my reality; and that perseverance is a strength greater than talent or endowment.  These simple truths are my transition points between the notes and continue to define the quality, clarity and depth of my life.  Ok, so I may know a few other life lessons that are both relevant and important along the way.  But those seem to bubble up to the forefront. 

How do you experience your life between the notes?  What are your ‘transition points’?  What are the life lessons you are learning through your transitional moments?  In light of the anniversary of 9/11, how do our individual ‘transition points’ overlay together creating a more enlightened experience for our children, loved ones, community, country and world?
I hope you enjoyed the reflection and take the time to remember the loss of the past, consider how your ‘transition points’ present significant growth opportunities, and your wisdom accumulated in the intervals between the notes.  As always, I hope you make it a GREAT day and week!!  If you wish to read all the other Monday Morning Mojos written for you, then visit: http://mondaymojo.blogspot.com.  My deepest desire is that we engage in a conversation; consequently, I welcome and encourage your feedback and your reflections (please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with me).  If I can be of service to you or your friends, please let me know or find me on the web at coastalcommunityhomes.com.  And, thank you for your continued support and inspiration … each of you are a cherished gift that enriches my life in ways you will never understand … Thank you!!  Jim Peys

INTERESTING … OR … INTERESTED … by Jim Peys

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who in the moment was truly interesting?  If you are like most, then you probably were captivated with what they said, how intelligent they seemed, or their story telling ability, etc.  We all love being around ‘interesting’ people at least for a moment.  If you think of people like that ask yourself, how often do you develop a REAL relationship with that person?  Why is that?

Let me help you out … contrast that experience with another person who seems to take a genuine interest in you and what is important to you.  I would venture that it is a noticeably different experience.  Ultimately, we develop relationships with people who take a genuine interest in us.  So at this moment you might be asking yourself … so what … nothing new in that … I agree.  But sometimes the most sage advice is but a repackaging of an established truism.  I would rather be ‘interested’ than ‘interesting’, if my desire is to engage in a conversation and develop a relationship with someone (to bring it down to a business level – no sale until you become ‘interested’ NOT ‘interesting’).

I struggle, at times, with balancing these concepts.  Recently a friend reminded me of this when I was on one of my verbose tangents (no surprise there eh).  Since that gentle nudge, I have been reminding myself to pay attention to the difference.  Maybe someday it will be second nature for me, until then I’m good with my friends ‘busting’ me every once and while.   

But for everyone else, why even bother wasting time and space blogging about this simple concept.  Well for the past several weeks I have been reviewing blogs, websites, advertising, newsletters, web posts, Facebook, Tweets, etc., and the one constant principle seems to be a focus on being ‘interesting’ rather than ‘interested’.  The greatest violator of this basic principle seems to be realtors – they have cornered the market on being ‘interesting’ (although for some that is even a stretch).  If you look close enough it quickly bleeds through everything we put out in the market whether in writing or verbal communications.

Another friend sent me a link to an author and public speaker who is writing a book (scheduled for publication in 2010) on Leadership.  He is writing his book in a collaborative fashion (interesting development in writing – thanks to the Internet and blogs) – meaning as he writes a chapter he posts it on his blog and refines the chapter based upon reader feedback and comments.  While reading Chapter 2, the author touches upon a similar theme.  So I thought it might be interesting (here I go) to share his comments with you.

John Maxwell on Leadership:

“When I began my career as a minister, I was not about others. When I counseled people who were experiencing difficulties, my attitude was, “Hurry up and finish telling me your problem so I can give you my solution.” When I was leading any kind of initiative, I constantly asked myself, “How can I get people to buy into my vision so that they’ll help me with my dreams?” When I spoke to an audience, I was focused on myself and not them. I lived for positive feedback. And my goal was always to be impressive. Much of what I did was all about me, yet I still wasn’t succeeding.

When I was twenty-nine years old, my dad invited me and my brother-in-law, Steve Throckmorton, to attend a Success Seminar in Dayton, Ohio, where I heard a speaker who understood how to connect with people. I sat there mesmerized.

I remember thinking, This is someone who understands success. I like him. But there’s more to it than that—he really understands me. He knows what I believe. He understands what I’m thinking. He knows what I feel. He can help me. I would love to be his friend. I already feel like he’s my friend.

That speaker was Zig Ziglar. And that day he said something that changed my life: “If you will first help people get what they want, they will help you get what you want.” Finally, I understood what had been missing from my own communication—and from my interaction with other people. I saw how selfish and self-centered I’d been. I realized that I was trying to get ahead by correcting others when I should have been trying to connect with others.

What I learned was that connecting is never about me. It’s about the person with whom I’m communicating. Similarly, when you are trying to connect with people, it’s not about you—it’s about them. If you want to connect with others, you have to get over yourself. You have to change the focus from inward to outward, off of yourself and onto others.

And I know you can do this, because I did! You can connect with others if you’re willing to get off your own agenda, think about others, and try to understand who they are and what they want. If you’re willing to learn how to connect, you will be amazed at the doors that will open to you and the people you will be able to work with. All you have to do is keep reminding yourself that connecting is all about others.”

Whether you are an attorney, an accountant, mechanic, contractor, realtor or a financial advisor we all need to communicate effectively to engage in any type of relationship – whether that relationship is personal or professional in nature.  How we navigate building rapport with people and demonstrate genuine ‘interest’ in another person will ultimately drive that relationship.  So how are you choosing to be ‘interested’ today with the people in your life?  Or are you going to be more like me sometimes, and put your head down and head to your office as you close the door to move through your day?

U.S. home sales soar 9.4%, an article found in Contra Costa Times By Associated Press and staff reports

Home resales in Sept. clocked the largest monthly increase in 26 years as buyers scrambled to complete their purchases before a tax credit for 1st-time owners expires.

Sales jumped 9.4% to an adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million last month.  Some cities in the East Bay lack inventory.  As a result, there have been bidding wars going on.  San Ramon and Danville especially have been affected.

Prices continue to be dragged down by foreclosures and short sales, where the mortgage exceeds the sales price.  Prices in the East Bay are still falling, but luckily not as fast as before.

First-time homebuyers and investors are snapping up those homes and taking advantage of low mortgage rates.  They can also take advantage of a tax credit of 10% of the sales price, up to $8,000, if the sale is completed by the end of November.

The tax credit is so important to some buyers that they are adding a clause to their contracts, allowing them to back out if the sale doesn’t close by 11/30. 

A chief economist for Deutsche Bank believes home prices will stabilize around late 2010.  Prices may drop further due to rising unemployment rates leading to more foreclosures.  The unemployment rate is currently 9.8% and expected to rise to 10.5% by next year.

With concerns about the housing market still prominent, Congress is considering several proposals to extend the tax credit for 1st-time buyers through June 30th and expand it to include all homebuyers at $16.7 billion.

At a hearing on Thursday, the Treasury Department’s inspector general for taxes questioned the legitimacy of some 100,000 claims for the credit, potentially including some illegal immigrants and 580 people under 18.  The youngest taxpayers to apply for the credit were 4 years old.

RECOGNIZING WHAT TRULY MATTERS By Jim Peys

Hi There,

Greg & I hope all is well for you and your family.  A good friend of mine forwarded this great message to me and I thought you might like it too.  I hope you enjoy it.  Talk with you soon.  Lisa

Over the past few weeks my Monday Morning Mojo has focused on the evolution occurring at Keller Williams Coastal Properties.  Questions posed have offered a reader the opportunity to reflect upon the potential message in context of their own business.  This week I am taking a more personal path; thus as I reflect upon a few defining success principles, hopefully, you will resonate with how certain data points are interrelated.

This week a friend shared a book with me entitled ‘The Go-Giver’ written by Bob Burg and John David Mann.  A national bestseller (so I might be the last person on the planet to read the book) that seems to crystallize the mojos of the past several weeks into ‘five laws of stratospheric success.’

Sharing these mojos with you is a personal journey.  Oftentimes, these incomplete tangents are threads that I need to resolve within to create the business, the life and journey that I desire for myself and those I love.  So between the paragraphs of the book, I reflected upon people who have crossed my path for the past five decades.  Hang in there with me for a few moments … developing business models, business plans, business strategies, marketing channels and service platforms are but fancy terms with no heart, unless we understand (beyond saying the words, but is all about ‘walking the talk’) the why behind everything they suggest.  The why reflects the soul of what we do by reflecting the heart that gives meaning to the experience of all those we touch.  The main points in the book are oddly well timed and relevant when considering my past several blogs – some might explain a bit of synchronicity is at work.  That is a topic for another time though!

In summary, Burg’sfive laws of stratospheric success’ are:

1.     The Law of Value:  “Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.”  The real question is what I do … does it really serve other people?  Does it add value to others?  In a world consisting of ‘what is in it for me’; and ‘what is mine is mine, and what is yours is mine’ speaks to contrary values.  If you listen closely you will hear this value at the core of what most businesses and individuals say.  Last week I had a meeting with a key service provider to Keller Williams.  The goal of the meeting in my mind was to discuss the concept of ‘strategic partnership’ and collaboration.  After nearly three hours I asked this rather dynamic person sitting across the table, how often do brokerage companies or realtors come to him from the place of true partnership?  His response was ‘never’.  Why?  Even with our meeting’s goal being collaboration, the participants struggled with this notion because the under current was still prevalent – ‘what’s in it for me or my company’?  

2.     The Law of Compensation:  “Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.”  Relishing the opportunity to “survive, save and serve” – and the greatest of these attributes is to ‘serve’ crystallizes the personal mantra that I must integrate into my spirit.  My compensation is directly proportional to how many lives I touch – ‘value’ merges with ‘impact’.  As I read these words, I thought of my father who toiled without a hint of resentment looking for simple ways to just be of service, to be a servant of those who crossed his path and to lighten the load of all.  This gracious gift was reflected by dozens of people at my dad’s funeral … a lesson I am only beginning to understand – thanks dad, maybe someday soon!  Be watchful … compensation is not restricted to only money … rewards of the soul are more meaningful and lasting than those wrapped in paper bearing a dead president’s picture. 

3.     The Law of Influence:  “Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.”  Contained in Keller Williams’ mission statement is the term “win-win or no deal.”  If you listen, negotiators, marketers and sales people often deliver this message; and for most this message resonates as being a worthy value.  Yet think about it … ‘win – win’ infers each person getting some fraction of a 50-50 deal that creates a winning compromise.  Is that demonstrative of real ‘value’ and beyond that this sentiment of ‘win-win’ is not unique – nay but a snappy catch phrase often over used and rarely understood.  The book summarizes (and I immediately connected with) “watch out for the other guy.  Watch out for his interests.  Watch his back.  Forget about fifty-fifty … it’s a losing proposition.  The only winning proposition is one hundred percent.  Make your win about the other person, go after what he wants.  Forget win-win – focus on the other person’s win.”  How many of us have that all backwards – mega companies have as their mantra delivering less than total satisfaction and have us believing that this is something special?  What would happen if we really created one hundred percent wins?  How about setting our sights on delivering what another person needs in total? 

4.     The Law of Authenticity:  “The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.”  In a world of commodity all we have to offer that is unique is ourselves.  Reaching our goals is about ten percent knowledge and technical skills, and ninety percent is about people skills.  At the core of people skills is who we are as individuals.  Ah, all that coaching and after billions of dollars spent on self improvement, and it really boils down to delivering an authentic and real you in service to others – delivering to other people what they want, when they want it, and how they want it.  A message packaged thousands of different ways, but each of us at our core already knows it.  How often and at what cost must I be reminded of that one simple reality – just be authentic while engaging with other people (for me – be ‘interested’ not ‘interesting’)? 

5.     The Law of Receptivity:  “The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.”  The yin and yang of life … we can’t give until we are open to receiving; and we can’t receive until we are open to serving others.  How often do I dismiss a compliment or a gift shared by another?  That is all about me and not the other person … in that moment I’m not open to receiving, and I cut off the other person’s opportunity to give or serve.  Ugh … I am so uncomfortable with accepting another person’s reflection that involves me.  I would much rather give than receive – so much easier!

So as I sat down to write this blog, I reminded myself that in articulating a new vision at Keller Williams Coastal Properties and while developing my own business plan for 2010 that really … I need to deliver a tangible service that embodies these principles at all times!  Sounds simple doesn’t it … well maybe it just might be … if I listen and remain open to other people’s journey and stories.  And you, how do you deliver a product or service that encapsulates these principles?  Or are you part of the majority who believes that this ‘mumbo jumbo’ has a place only around Christmas or in your family, AND not in business?  Most of us would agree, if we stopped for a moment; however, our language contradicts all or most of these principles, and most of all ‘our walk’ oftentimes is in conflict with these values.  Ah, now that is the rub … ‘how do I walk the talk’?

Building Local Businesses by eastbayrealestatetv.com

Can you believe it’s almost holiday season? Time seems to fly so quickly! One of our goals with our web show is to help East Bay businesses succeed. We also want to introduce you to people and places to help you. We hope you enjoy this introduction and hope that you win the massage! Click Here to view our latest video. See you soon, Greg & Lisa Doyle P.S. We would love your feedback about your favorite places or if you own a business we can help! Let us know!

District API scores best of any large unified school district in the state

San Ramon Valley schools once again showed significant improvement in the Academic Performance Index Growth Report according to data recently released by the California Dept. of Education, with all scores averaging well above the state target.  The API measures and compares the academic performance and growth of schools on a variety of academic measures.

The overall 2009 API growth score of the district was 914, up 13 points from the 2008 API Base score of 901.  The state goal for all schools is 800 on API.  The results place SRVUSD as the 6th highest unified school district in the state and the highest among unified districts with more than 9,000 students.

All but 4 schools in the district saw improvement.  Country Club and Sycamore Valley Elementary Schools showed the greatest gains at the elementary level, 31 points over the previous year.  At the middle school level, Pine Valley increased by 19 points for the second straight year.  San Ramon Valley High School showed the largest increase among high schools, 17 points.  Both of the district’s alternative schools also improved significantly.  Venture Independent Study School’s results increased 19 points, with Del Amigo Continuation High School seeing an amazing 79-point gain.

In addition, scores for every ethnic subgroup in the district also improved significantly, and those students classified as “English Learners” (as a group) posted a base score of 889, 21 points higher than the 2008 Base.  “Students with Disabilities” improved by 18 points. 

“What are perhaps the most rewarding data are the results related to our subgroups.  While we still have an achievement gap, I am very pleased to see that gap continue to narrow” said Superintendent Steven Enoch.  “Once again, this shows that what we set out to do as a district is working.”

Statewide, 42% of all CA schools are now at or above the overall statewide target API of 800, up 6% points from the year.

SRV Unified School District October 2009 Newsletter

An Update from the Superintendant Steven Enoch:

The enrollment is up to approx. 900 students from this time last year.  With this growth, all teachers were hired back who faced layoffs plus an additional 70 new teachers and others were hired. 

The budget is slightly better as well.  The slight increase in K-3 class size, combined with the passage of Measure “C” and restriction last year on all spending except for what was most essential, our bottom line has improved slightly, although still spending down reserves.  It is recommended to the board that K-3/9th grade increases to a class size of 24 for the next 2 years, something that most other school districts have already been forced to implement.

The academic performance improved 13 points, to a score of 914, the highest average of any large school district in the state!  This level of academic performance, combined with a slight stabilization of the budget, provides an excellent opportunity to think creatively about ways to make this outstanding school district even better.