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— by Christina Griffin

How Obstacles Keep Me Focused (and Moving Forward)

What a stressful season! I wanted to write this article to reflect on my time speaking and sharing my personal story at the Tom Ferry Summit. First, I would like to reference the storms that have occurred recently. The devastation that Harvey brought and the people impacted. Irma heading straight to my home of Tampa, Florida, right when I had the pleasure of being at a Zillow event in Seattle, and not able to come home. I don’t wish that stress on anybody. My kids, my family and my team, all mean so much to me. I didn’t sleep for days with worry. Now there is more stress with the new storms that have come and gone. Why am I bringing this up? And how does it refer to me sharing my story at the Tom Ferry Summit? Overcoming obstacles. We could not help the storm coming. But we can prepare and overcome. There is nothing that I can say to lessen the impact, other than, “I understand.” I was blessed to not have the storm directly impact my home in Tampa, Florida. Others were not so fortunate.

I feel like my personal story relates to the storm and everything we’ve been going through. My mom died of cancer when I was nine years old, I am a survivor of abuse. My dad died in a boating accident when I was 18 years old. I had a very painful divorce. My sister died when I was 27 years old in a drunk driving accident. I was diagnosed with cancer when I was 35 years old, same cancer which took my mother’s life. They told me I could not have another child. I overcame that obstacle and successfully carried my son, who is now a beautiful two-year-old baby boy, I’ve Lost 150+ pounds since my middle son was born, beat cancer and met the love of my life! I’m blessed to lead an incredible team and have three amazing children.

Why am I sharing my story with you? I want you to know that no matter what you’re going through, the devastation that you’re suffering because of the storm, any hurt inside, issues in your business, anything at all you’re struggling with, you can overcome any obstacle with the right motivation and support. I was blessed to stand on the stage with thousands of realtors and share my story at the Tom Ferry Summit. The amazing agent I spoke to after the event, and continue to speak with on an ongoing and daily basis that heard my story, has been incredibly impactful in my life. I always felt that if I had to endure and deal with the struggles and devastation that I have experienced before the age of 35, that I would hope to be able to share what I have been through and impact others. The things I’ve learned since Tom Ferry was introduced to my life have been so impactful — relationships that I’ve been blessed to cultivate through the network, along with learning and helping others.

If you’re struggling or not in a place in your business that you want to be, I would highly recommend you join a Facebook Group like Lab Coat Agents. Reach out to like-minded agents. Post in the group asking for an accountability partner, someone that can help motivate you who is not in your current market. If you can’t afford a coach, YouTube is great. I started watching the Tom Ferry show from Episode One and I’ve seen every one of them multiple times. Find a leader and a coach that works for you. Hold yourself accountable every day. Wake up and have a purpose. I’ve been asked many times how I do what I do with so many responsibilities – three kids, a busy family life and volunteer extensively in my community.

My team is getting ready to start 100 Days of Focus. Keeping track of conversations, appointments, writing ten thank you cards a week, and prospecting for something that makes them excited. Example: pre-foreclosures, sphere, divorce sellers, for sale by owner’s, expired listings, circle prospecting and my personal favorite home partners for America.

When I think about how I keep focused, I would have to say that my recommendation would be discipline, time blocking and surrounding yourself with the right leader to motivate you are incredibly important. Please remember whether you’re dealing with storm damage, a slow market or issues at home, with the right motivation and support you can accomplish anything at all that you put your mind to! Take this time to reinvent yourself. Make this the best quarter ever.

Never give up! If you can dream it you can accomplish it.

To help you accomplish it, I am including what my typical day looks like.

5:00 A.M. – I’m awake and listening to the 5 AM Wake Up Call; I walk for at least thirty minutes, make my bulletproof coffee, and get ready for the workday.

6:30 A.M. – I drop off my high school kids.

7:00 A.M. – Due to morning traffic where I live, I go to my favorite Starbucks, order a dark roast coffee. I put in my earbuds and listen to the Tom Ferry Show or other motivational YouTube videos while I work. For two hours I do my “hours of power.” This consists of things that are going to improve my business. One of these hours, I focus on things to help my team. This could be anything from tightening up and developing systems, to planning for our future success. Why do I do this? It allows me to use my time more efficiently, rather than spending it sitting in traffic.

I also use an answering service. Since I don’t believe in voicemail, after three rings my answering service picks up the call, just like a secretary would. They take a phone message. They find out what the caller needs.

Throughout the day, my assistant monitors my emails, while I am on appointments. If the caller is a buyer, they get forwarded to my call coordinator. He returns the call and connects the buyer to a realtor in our office. He then leaves the message for me to follow up and reach out.

10:30 – Noon – I spend this time handling business servicing

Lunch – When I am in the office, I try to spend lunchtime at my conference room table, in case anyone from my team needs me. If not, lunch appointments are set up with clients, partners, interviews, or someone on my team. I continue business servicing if I eat inside the office.

2:00 P.M. – I always try to be on the road from my office by 2. That’s when I schedule my listing appointments and personal business. Some days I go with one of my team members on a listing appointment to assist them.

6:00 P.M. – Almost every night I am home by 6 to cook dinner and spend time with my three children and my amazing husband. I do not completely unplug, just in case one of my team members needs me. I try my best to always answer for my team, even after hours. However, all of the other calls roll over to my answering service.

Other things that keep me centered and well-grounded

I love to read. Currently, I am reading “The One Thing.” Believe it or not, I love a great fiction book. It helps me break away from the stress of the day. I enjoy Christian music. Music with a positive theme is always on in my car. Cooking is relaxation for me. 110 percent! As an Italian woman, I embrace cooking as part of my heritage. However, I have learned to modify my cooking to more of a low-carb style, since I am on the Keto Diet plan. My goal is to add more intense exercise to my routine.

I spend as much time as I can with my family. Saturday mornings I like to sleep in, snuggle with my two-year-old and watch Disney cartoons.

One thing that helps our family stay strong, is to never go to bed angry. Also, always convey to people in your life how much you love them. Journaling is very therapeutic for me. It helps me to get my thoughts out of my head and onto paper.

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