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13 Ways To Slay Self Doubt



UnchainYourBrainSelf Doubt.  The Opposite Of Laughing At Your Own Jokes.

I image it’s normal.  Self-Doubt.

It chokes my heart and jacks with my head.  Self Doubt questions constrict and conflict me.

Am I smart enough?

Am I clever enough?

Am I flexible enough?

Am I old fashioned?

Am I good looking enough?

Am I lazy?

Am I boring?

Does anyone really care?

Does any of this crap really work?

If some of this crap works, which crap is it?

When it works am I dumb-lucky or good?

Will it last?

Will it end?

Am I funny?

Do I have ANY talent?

Do people like me?

Do I like myself?

Am I good enough?

I’ve learned to mask, subvert and most often, slay it.

Do you Self Doubt?

If you do, I’ll share 13 ways I slay Self-Doubt.  But first, let me set my context.


Today’s frantic pace of life is relentless.

I’ve been around along time.  Fidy-2 years, 30 years in the RE biz.

In the old days, it was semi-peaceful.  Imagine no iPhones.  No eMail.  No internet.  No Facebook.  No blogging or Tweeting.  No rush, rush Fed/Ex. No computers. No cable TV.   I don’t remember what we did with all our free time?


Today we run a frantic pace.  Choices seem unlimited.  Change and challenge is relentless.

This is the world we live in:

Click 2 Play This Video - Buckle Up

Click 2 Play This Video - Buckle Up

More Competitors.

Higher Expectations.

Steeper Learning Curves.

The Fast Eat The Slow.

More Sophistication.

More Knowledge.

More Uncertainties.

More Possibilities.

More  opportunities to Self-Doubt my ability to realize my possibilities and opportunities.

Does an inner voice ever whisper sour Self-Doubts to you?   Here’s 13 Ways I Slay-Self Doubt.  This list isn’t perfect, foolproof or complete.  I’m hoping you’ll leave what works for you in the comments – that’d be cool.

13 Ways To Slay Self Doubt

I begin by listening to my Self-Doubt self talk.  I don’t ignore it or Self-Doubt myself for Self-Doubting.  I don’t punish or berate myself.  I know Self-Doubt is my normal, and my quirky friend.

  1. I’m learning you can’t make a Cat Bark.
  2. I’m learning I can’t control outcomes that involve other people, I can only control my actions.
  3. I’m learning that giving my best IS good enough.  Some will, some won’t, so what.  Next.
  4. I’m learning when I miss my mark, I can mope, blame and make excuses, or learn, adjust and redirect.  If it’s important, I redirect.
  5. I’m learning Lincoln,  “You can please some of the people all the time and you can please all the people some of the time, but you can’t please all the people all the time”.
  6. I’m learning to discern the difference between what’s sincerely important to me and what I’ve been conditioned to think “should” be important to me.  I’m choosing “sincere”.
  7. I’m learning that some days are just crappy days.  That’s life.
  8. I’m learning that performance, weather, seasons and life all ebb and flow like Costa Rican waves.
  9. I’m learning life is not a sprint and it’s never over until I quit.  Sometimes it’s smart to quit.
  10. I’m learning that letting go means letting go, not sorta letting go or carrying it lightly.
  11. I’m learning to recognize haters and ignore them.
  12. I’m learning to enjoy The Now more.
  13. I’m learning that my self-worth is not determined by others, but by myself.

Bonus: I’m learning that my Self-Doubt can illuminate opportunities for improvement.

Hit Submit

I’m almost through writing this post.  I’ll let it sit and simmer.  I’ll tweak this and chop that.

Before I click SUBMIT, a shadow of Self-Doubt pauses my finger.  I wonder is this post any good?  Does anyone really care?  Am I a good writer?  Will this help anyone or is it just an exercise in delusional egoism?

I’ll give it another read.  Tweak, delete, add, tweak.

It’s not my best, it’s not my worst, it’s good enough. I know it’s impossible to please everyone, so I’ll please myself.


Wonder what I’ll write about next week?   Will it be good enough….


OK.  As I said earlier, I can use all the help I can get.  I’m certain, we’d all love to hear other ways to Slay Self Doubt. Care to share?  What works for you?  Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Clink-Cheers.  Thanks for reading.

Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.

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  1. Tina McManus

    July 13, 2009 at 7:28 am

    Thanks for this post. It was like the voice in my head – with humor. Good advice.

  2. Joe Loomer

    July 13, 2009 at 8:51 am


    I like #’s 2 and 6. Although I will say that in certain situations, your actions can control the outcomes that involve other people – or at a minimum influence them.

    Number 6 – for me – ties in to the Millionaire Real Estate Agent concept of “The Big Why.” Learn what’s important to you, and use it as the foundation for everything you do. If you have your “Why?” right, everything else can feed positively off that. Your “Why” is yours to choose, it can be for love of family and a want to have an abundant life, it can be anything – a desire to earn enough money to go play golf for a year straight – wanting to hit the million dollar GCI level -doesn’t matter – it’s YOURS.

    If you get the “Why” wrong, however, you can easily end up with more self-doubt.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  3. Mike Price

    July 13, 2009 at 10:05 am

    I’ve had the opportunity to provide services to the RE industry almost half of your 30 years. I’ve been lucky enough to have you as a friend almost that entire time. Despite your tenure you say constantly what few in the industry can after 30 years..”I’m learning to…”

    I remember the day I came to your office many years ago for a meeting and saw a copy of “The Cluetrain Manifesto” on the shelf behind your desk. We’ve been swapping books since. How many of your contemporaries did you have a cup of coffee with and discuss the impact of that now classic tome? In my opinion you’ve set a standard by which the words “Continuing Education” in the real estate industry should be blown up and re-built.

    Few people in the industry have done a better job of embracing the challenges of change while respecting what can be learned from the professionals who have built strong books of traditional business. What have I learned from admiring your style of sales management? One of the best ways to overcome self-doubt is to know what you’re talking about and knowing who to turn to if you don’t.

  4. Matt Thomson

    July 13, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Don’t mean this to sound preachy, but when my self doubt creeps in (as it did prior to writing this comment) I try to remind myself that it’s not all about me. There’s a greater purpose in this life than making myself happy. I remember that Jesus called us friends, and while I was still a sinner, he cared enough to die for me despite all of my faults.
    It’s tough to get down and worry when you realize you are that important.

  5. Reuben Macias

    July 13, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Pretty basic stuff, just have to remember to stop and take a deep breath and remember the stuff. Good little article…

  6. tomferry

    July 13, 2009 at 1:31 pm


    Nicely done piece Ken … Your “#4 I’m learning when I miss my mark, I can mope, blame and make excuses, or learn, adjust and redirect. If it’s important, I redirect” was great. When things like this happen, I say: “declare it perfect” the way it is and then just move on. Self doubt is a tough critic to shake, so reminders like this are really important for us all to read.

    Also, thanks for the video share. Awesome to watch!

    Here’s to us all hitting “SUBMIT” and making things happen!


  7. renee kische

    July 13, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    This is fantastic! Just what you need on a day of “self soubt”. Thanks for the laughs

  8. Ken Brand

    July 13, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Tina – Thanks. Yeah, those voices can be pesky and our best friends, whisper, whisper.

    Joe – Great point. “Why” is the question we should be asking ourselves, daily…keeps us on track. Thanks.

    Mikey My Man – Thanks for the compliment. I’m a life long learner because real estate is pure “pay for performance”, if you’re not learning and reinventing….bad things happen….hell, bad things happen even when you reinvent like Edison. And you’re bull-eye on the money, you don’t have to know everything, but you gotta know who does or how to find them. Cheers Mike. Thanks.

    Matt – It’s not preachy – it’s passion brother. That’s an X factor. Rock On and thanks.

    Tom – Amen. Great point – Hit Submit till your fingers bleed, then hit it again. Thanks.

  9. Erion Shehaj

    July 13, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    YES! This post is good enough plus a bag of Sunchips worth of overflowing eloquence.

    I find that sometimes the best way to slay self doubt is to lean on your foundation: family and friends.

  10. Ken Brand

    July 14, 2009 at 7:28 am

    Reuben – Check. It seems it’s all about the basics. Focus on those and the rest clicks into place. thanks.

    Rene – Thanks:-)

    Erion – I’m with you. You gotta have a strong core and Sun Chips. Cheers.

  11. Brandie Young

    July 14, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    If you were a woman “Does this make me look fat” would be near the top of the list…
    Sad, but true, for some reason we find it easier to believe our doubts than the accolades others offer.
    Thanks for this post. It was very good. It was very helpful. You rock! xo

  12. Carolyn G-Tu

    July 14, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    Ken this is a very good list and one likely many of us stuggle with – I’m with Brandi it is too easy to believe our doubts instead of focusing on our strengths. Many times we are too close to things and that is where friends and family can help us see the bigger picture.

  13. Ken Brand

    July 15, 2009 at 7:59 am

    Brandie – Too true. SD runs wide and deep. Thanks for the compliment. Cheers.

    Carolyn – Thanks. Encouragement from friends and family is a beautiful thing. Not everyone has that, sadly, some have friends & family who start and fuel the Self Doubt conversation. Uggg.

  14. Missy Caulk

    July 17, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Ken, I had seen that video before but it was well worth to watch again.

    Honestly I don’t have a lot of self doubt, but when I first started writing on AG I did. Benn and I had a nice chat and he told me to “go for it”. I needed that encouragement and now I just let it fly.

    Family and friends are great resources when you are listening to the lil Devil in your mind.

  15. Atlanta Real Estate

    October 6, 2009 at 10:17 pm


    Great post. I like #7.

    Ever see this version:


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Business Marketing

No-reply emails don’t help customers, they’ve run their course

(MARKETING) No-reply emails may serve a company well, but the customers can become frustrated with the loss of a quick and easy way to get help.



no-reply mail boxes

Let me tell you a modern-day horror story.

You finally decide to purchase the item that’s been sitting in your cart all week, but when you receive your confirmation email you realize there’s a mistake on the order. Maybe you ordered the wrong size item, maybe your old address is listed as the shipping location, or maybe you just have buyer’s remorse. Either way, you’ve got to contact customer service.

Your next mission is to find contact information or a support line where you can get the issue resolved. You scroll to the bottom of the email and look around for a place to contact the company, but all you find is some copyright junk and an unsubscribe option. Tempting, but it won’t solve your problem. Your last hope is to reply to the confirmation email, so you hit that trusty reply arrow and…nothing. It’s a no-reply email. Cue the high-pitched screams.

Customers should not have to sort through your website and emails with a microscope to find contact information or a customer service line. With high customer expectations and fierce ecommerce competition, business owners can’t afford to use no-reply emails anymore.

Intended or not, no-reply emails send your customer the message that you really don’t want to hear from them. In an age when you can DM major airlines on Twitter and expect a response, this is just not going to fly anymore.

Fixing this issue doesn’t need to be a huge burden on your company. A simple solution is to create a persona for your email marketing or customer service emails, it could be member of your team or even a company mascot. Rather than using you can use and make that email a place where your email list can respond to questions and communicate concerns. Remember, the whole point of email marketing is to create a conversation with your customers.

Another great strategy for avoiding a million customer service emails where you don’t want them? Include customer service contact info in your emails. Place a thoughtful message near the bottom of your template letting people know where they can go if they’re having an issue with the product or service. This simple change will save you, your customers, and your team so much time in the long-run.

Your goal as a business owner is to build a trusting relationship between you and your customers, so leave the no reply emails behind. They’re annoying and they might even get you marked as spam.

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Business Marketing

Influencer marketing isn’t new, it’s actually centuries old

(MARKETING) You may roll your eyes at sexy strangers hawking snake oil on social media, but influencer marketing is nothing new…



Influencer marketing people taking video on a smart phone to record dances.

Influencer marketing is now one of those buzzword phrases that you can’t go a few days without hearing. In fact, it’s become such a popular term that it was officially added to the English Dictionary in 2019.

While this is a recent change, the concept of an influencer is nothing new. For years, people have looked to friends and family (as well as high-profile people like celebrities) to be influenced (intentionally or unintentionally) about what to buy, what to do, and where to go.

Social Media Today notes that influencers date back centuries.

One of the first “influencer” collaborations dates back to 1760, when a potter by the name Wedgwood made a tea set for the Queen of England,” writes Brooks. “Since the monarchy were the influencers of their time, his forward-thinking decision to market his brand as Royal-approved afforded it the luxury status the brand still enjoys today”

Now, influencers are known as people blowing up your Instagram feed with recommendations of what to wear and stomach flattening teas to buy. Influencers are basically anyone who has the ability to cultivate a following and, from there, give advice on how followers should spend their money.

After the 1760 tea set influencer, influencers were found in the forms of fashion icons (like Coco Chanel in the 1920s, and Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s), celebrity endorsements (for example, all of the money Nike made in the ‘80s after signing Michael Jordan to be their spokesperson – I wonder if Hanes is raking in the same bucks as Nike…), TV stars endorsing products (like Jennifer Aniston when she was at the height of “The Rachel” cut and became the face of L’Oreal Elvive; now she’s the face of Aveeno).

Then in the mid-2000s, blogs became a space where “everyday” people could use their voice with influence. This trend has continued and has shifted into social media, usually with a blog counterpart.

Now, blogging and influencing is an industry in and of itself with influencer marketing being a key form of comms. According to the HypeAuditor report, the influencer industry will be worth $22 billion by 2025. Where can I sign up?

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Business Marketing

The use of offline marketing can still be advantageous in a digital world

(BUSINESS) Offline marketing is usually skipped over nowadays for the sparkly, shining ‘digital’ marketing strategies, but don’t forget the roots.



offline marketing billboard

Everywhere you look, people want to talk about digital marketing. In fact, if you don’t have a digital marketing strategy in today’s business world, you’re not going to last long. But just because digital marketing is popular, don’t assume that offline marketing no longer yields value.

When used together, these strategies can produce significant returns.

“Some people will argue that traditional marketing is dead, but there are several benefits to including offline advertising in your overall marketing campaign,” sales expert Larry Myler admits. “Combining both offline and online campaigns can help boost your brand’s visibility, and help it stand out amongst competitors who may be busy flooding the digital space.”

How do you use offline marketing in a manner that’s both cost-effective and high in exposure? While your business will dictate how you should proceed, here are a few offline marketing methods that still return considerable value in today’s marketplace.

1. Yard signs

When most people think about yard signs, their minds immediately go to political signs that you see posted everywhere during campaign season. However, yard signs have a lot more utility and value beyond campaigning. They’re actually an extremely cost-effective form of offline advertising.

The great thing about yard signs is that you can print your own custom designs for just dollars and, when properly stored, they last for years. They’re also free to place, assuming you have access to property where it’s legal to advertise. This makes them a practical addition to a low-budget marketing campaign.

2. Billboards

The fact that you notice billboards when driving down an interstate or highway is a testament to the reality that other people are also being exposed to these valuable advertisements. If you’ve never considered implementing billboards into your marketing strategy, now’s a good time to think about it.

With billboard advertising, you have to be really careful with design, structure, and execution. “Considering we’re on the move when we read billboards, we don’t have a lot of time to take them in. Six seconds has been touted as the industry average for reading a billboard,” copywriter Paul Suggett explains. “So, around six words is all you should use to get the message across.”

3. Promotional giveaways

It’s the tangible nature of physical marketing that makes it so valuable. Yard signs and billboards are great, but make sure you’re also taking advantage of promotional giveaways as a way of getting something into the hands of your customers.

Promotional giveaways, no matter how simple, generally produce a healthy return on investment. They increase brand awareness and recall, while giving customers positive associations with your brand. (Who doesn’t love getting something for free?)

4. Local event sponsorships

One aspect of offline marketing businesses frequently forget about is local event sponsorships. These sponsorships are usually cost-effective and tend to offer great returns in terms of audience engagement.

Local event sponsorships can usually be found simply by checking the calendar of events in your city. Any time there’s a public event, farmer’s market, parade, sporting event, concert, or fundraiser, there’s an opportunity for you to get your name out there. Look for events where you feel like your target audience is most likely to attend.

Offline marketing is anything but dead.

If your goal is to stand out in a crowded marketplace where all your competitors are investing heavily in social media, SEO, PPC advertising, and blogging, then it’s certainly worth supplementing your existing digital strategy with traditional offline marketing methods that reach your audience at multiple touchpoints.

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