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— by Barry jenkins

A Broken Phone Is A Friendly Reminder…

This summer, the travesty of my phone breaking occurred. As I watched my phone hit my ceramic tile, I slowly and painfully watched my connection to the rest of the world die as the glass shattered.  

As the stages of grief slowly passed by and I came to accept my fate, I realized due to the extensive damage of the phone I should file a claim and get an entirely new phone. Due to the Memorial Day holiday, I had to go from Friday to Tuesday before the new phone would arrive. 

Denial, sadness, resolve, and hope. Again, stages of grief occurred. I decided I would attempt to redeem the misfortune of losing my phone for several days and look for opportunities to grow for myself and my team. Below is what I did, and what I learned over four long and painful days. 🙂 

First Steps: 

  1.  Emailed team to notify them I would not be able to be easily reached 
  2. Changed my voicemail message via Youmail.com 
  3. Learned how to make and receive calls/texts from my Apple Watch 

After I did the above, I candidly—OBSESSIVELY—checked my email and Facebook Messenger via my iPad. I was disconnected and it was incredibly hard for me. 

After one or two days, the UNBELIEVABLE happened. Nothing went wrong. My team wrote two offers and obtained three new listings. All with me being completely out of the loop. Don’t get me wrong, I had been on vacations where I was unplugged but that was planned. My staff was prepped and they knew what was expected of them. But this was different, this was me going dark on a holiday weekend without the normative ways of communication we had all grown accustomed to! 

The fact that things went on without a hitch helped me to see that having the right staff, right management of your agents, and right culture of your sales team is imperative. There were a few problems that occurred and dealt with that I never even knew about. I’ve been preaching the value of an “ownership culture” for a few months to my staff and to the LCA team and me suddenly going dark on the team like I did exemplified this principle and its value so well. Everyone did their job without me micromanaging and stressing over the day to day. They are all well trained and have a great vision for the future. 

So what did I do with no phone for several days? Digital detox. More mindfulness and awareness with my wife and children. Way more tranquility and deeper sleep at night. Nothing necessarily ground-breaking, but I realized I need more self control when it comes to my digital obsessions. I will still be using my phone but the need for healthy boundaries really became apparent for me. 

In the end, my advice for you is to make sure that your systems, culture, hires, and lead gen is all dialed in. Once you have them in place, take a step back from it all to realign yourself with your big “why” in your business. For me, it’s not about selling the most or making more money then the year before. It’s bigger than that for me, and I didn’t really see that as clearly until I put my phone down. 

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