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Opinion Editorials

Top 5 Things I Will Not Be Blogging Bout this Month



Why don’t people write blog posts?

Some people have writer’s block. Some people are just too busy (yes, even in this market). Some people are lazy.

Well, I don’t have writer’s block. I AM quite busy – but always have time to blog. And I am not lazy. So,  why have I been so silent?

Everything I want to write about, I actually do not want to write about. So, instead of writing about it, I am just going to list off my Top 5 Things I am Not Going to Write About.

#1: The Obama/Palin Race

The horse has been beaten. I think it is dead, but I am sure more people will beat it. No one knows how/if the new president (or Vice President) can or will fix the current “housing” situation. Quite frankly, I don’t think that there is anything that needs to be fixed. Maybe we all just need to adjust. I have nothing left to say.

This tweet from Jim Duncan made me laugh, though:

#2: The Housing Economy Sob Story

Please. Please. Please. PLEASE. If you are just going to complain about the fact that it is not 2006 anymore, please just stop blogging. If you are not going to be proactive and look for new and better ways to be in the business of real estate, please just stop blogging. News Flash: The Sky is Not Falling

I was going to write an entire ditribe about this, but figured that I would just make too many people uncomfortable in their comfortable life of doing things the old way and not seeing results. I am not interested in comparing sob stories. I would rather figure out how to be SUCCESSFUL in the Colorado Springs real estate market (shameless plug…) than point my finger at everyone else and cry about having to readjust my business plan.

#3: Redfin Let People Go

Um. So? I admit … I am not a fan of the Redfin Business Model. But, quite frankly, that is irrelevant. There are plenty of real estate companies whose numbers are down. I could go into a huge rant as to WHY it is such a big deal that Redfin lost people compared to other companies … But in the scope of things, who really cares? I read in Benn’s recent post: It is just “Another sign of the times…” Yep.

#4: Housing Bail Out

Heck! I would still love to write about this, but I have no idea what it means. Nor do I understand any of the ripple effects that will eventually affect me or my clients. I have read, and read, and read, and read about it and am STILL in the land of non-understanding regarding this. So? I won’t be writing about this. At least not THIS month.

#5: Monkeys

Yeah, I was going to write about monkeys, but I thought it may be inappropriate for this setting and people would be more interested in reading about NAR or POVERTY or BLOGGING anyway. (And there is always that ONE person who takes a post about monkeys (or penguins) as a personal jab… ).

So, until I get my next post together about How to Use Blogging in Real Estate, I may be a bit silent … mulling over MORE things that I will not blog about.

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  1. Ricardo Bueno

    October 16, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    So while we ever-so-patiently await your next post in the series, guess what I came across on the web?


  2. Mariana Wagner

    October 16, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Chris – 🙂

    Ricardo – Oh, thanks for that. I STILL laugh at that video …

  3. monika

    October 16, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    I’m with you on this…sometimes it is better to blog about what you won’t blog about. LOL!

  4. Michelle B.

    October 16, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    Sigh. I was really hoping for the monkey post. But I’d be equally happy with a penguin post, please. LIghthearted is totally underrated… ( =

  5. Gretchen Faber

    October 16, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    Hi Mariana,
    I love your list. Here are a few things I won’t be writing about:
    1: what the DOW is going to do tomorrow.
    2: what the job of Fed Chief really is and how his decisions will affect us all (or Secretary of the Treasury for that matter).
    3: Why my puppy chewed my brand new running shoe just after I bragged to a friend that he doesn’t chew shoes.
    4: where Sarah Palin got her glasses.
    5: Why Derek looks like he’s sitting in the bathroom on the …

  6. Michelle DeRepentigny

    October 16, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    I finally broke down and wrote about pumpkins today after being silent for several weeks. I figured no one could mis-interpret pumpkins – then I realized one of them had a ghost on it so someone could get into an argument about spiritualism…and one had a deer on it, but I promise no animals were harmed in the making of this fall celebration pumpkin.

    Oh well, maybe I’ll find something non-controversial to write about in a few more weeks.

  7. Ricardo Bueno

    October 17, 2008 at 12:54 am

    @Mariana Ha! I was crackin’ up! Tell Derek I said thanks for the laugh… And see ya at next year’s REBlogworld (there is a part II comin’ right Todd?).

  8. Mariana Wagner

    October 17, 2008 at 7:47 am

    Moni- LOL. It is all I could do!

    Michelle – Here is the Penguin Post:

    Gretchen – Derek was NOT in the bathroom. LMAO!

    Michelle – You know …. Orange gourd-like squash, in general, offend me. So, I wont be reading your post. 😉

    Ricardo – He keeps forgetting that I posted that on You Tube. It kills me.

  9. ines

    October 17, 2008 at 8:09 am

    OMG!!! I love you man!…..@mizzle ROCKS

  10. Mariana Wagner

    October 17, 2008 at 8:24 am

    Ines – Do you like my self-portrait?

  11. Chuck G

    October 17, 2008 at 8:30 am

    I agree with your list. Nothing kills a blog faster than beating another dead horse.

    When I get writers block, I just take a walk through the neighborhood or downtown. It never fails that I’ll find something (hopefully interesting to the readers) to post about. That very thing happened just this week, and it saved my butt — because I had NOTHING to write about!!

  12. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    October 17, 2008 at 9:23 am

    Mariana…love the self portrait!! LOL

  13. Todd Carpenter

    October 17, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    Bookmarked as the leading candidate for this year’s Humdinger Award. I’m in AWE.

  14. Mariana Wagner

    October 17, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    Chuck – I rarely have writer’s block. My issue is ADD which tends to … oh, look! A butterfly!!

    Ines – I knew you would.

    Todd – Niiiice….

  15. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    October 17, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    @mizzle- totally related: this is my laptop’s wallpaper (and my life motto). what do you think? 🙂

  16. Mariana Wagner

    October 17, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    OMG… That should be MY laptop’s wall … oh look! a stringy!

  17. Linsey

    November 1, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    I can’t tell you how refreshing I find your honesty:

    ‘I have read, and read, and read, and read about it and am STILL in the land of non-understanding regarding this.’

    I was beginning to wonder if it was just me or is this thing really that tough to make sense of.

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Opinion Editorials

Dopamine detox to rewire your brain from internet addiction (it’s common!)

(EDITORIAL) So, you’re addicted to the internet. Whether your drug of choice is scrolling, posting, or interacting – it’s time for a dopamine detox.



Upside down photo of man holding iphone case saying "social media seriously harms your mental health" representing dopamine.

Ah, smartphones. The best friend we can carry around in our pockets. This small device that’s nearly glued to our hands gives us instant access to many worlds.

It’s exciting to see what’s up on Instagram, take up to six stabs at Wordle, and scroll recipes you’ll never make on Pinterest. It’s also a place where we can share the highlights of our life and, in return, get validation through likes.

With that validation comes a small rush of dopamine, something we’ve all become accustomed – and some of us addicted – to.

While I’m not addicted to posting, I would say I have an addiction to scrolling. I can’t make it through a 50-minute episode of “Dexter” without picking up my phone to check an app or two.

And there is that dopamine rush with it, where you feel like you’re the most up-to-date you’ve ever been. But what about when this becomes too much and we’re overloaded with information and feel bogged down by the constant updates?

First, we need to understand what dopamine is.

It’s a neurotransmitter that works in two spots in the brain: first, its production helps us begin movement and speech. Second, we feel it when we receive or expect a reward. It even creates a kind of “high” similar to what’s found in nicotine and cocaine.

So, if we expect these dopamine hits from social media and we don’t get those results, the dopamine crashes to the ground creating burnout.

Well, this can cause burnout. And, while tempting, the solution isn’t as easy as just deleting all of your social media and walking away clean. Additionally, “take a break” features are too easy to swipe away.

So what can you do?

Mana Ionescu at Lightspan Digital recommends a Dopamine Detox.

While breaking an addiction takes longer than a day, Ionescu recommends starting there and tailoring it to your needs.

Here is what she describes is necessary for a detox:

  1. Turn off all notifications on your phone. ALL of them. You will be looking at your phone every 10 minutes as it is. You won’t miss anything. We lose endless hours of productivity because of those pings.
  2. Tell people to call you if it’s urgent. And teach them the difference between urgent and important. So do keep call notifications on.
  3. Stop over-messaging. The more you message, the more you’ll get responses.
  4. Shed the pressure to respond right away to messages that don’t need a response right away.
  5. Take detox days. Nothing but calls, confirming meetings, and using the GPS is allowed on those days.
  6. Put your phone on sleep mode at night. You can, at least on iPhone, set permissions so that certain phone numbers can get through, in case you’re worried about mom.
  7. If you’re dating, remember that texting is for laughing, flirting, and confirming plans. Please pick up the phone and talk to that person to get to know them. I will not take you seriously if you just keep texting.
  8. And yes, we all know the game, whoever looks at their phone first over dinner picks up the bill.

This won’t be easy, but your brain will likely thank you in the long run. And, when you’re back online, hit up the comments and let us know how the detox went!

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Opinion Editorials

Strong leaders can use times of crises to improve their company’s future

(EDITORIAL) In the COVID-19 crisis, some leaders fumbled through it, while others quietly safeguarded their company’s future.



strong leaders

Anthony J. Algmin is the Founder and CEO of Algmin Data Leadership, a company helping business and technology leaders transform their future with data, and author of a new book on data leadership. We asked for his insights on how strong leaders can see their teams, their companies, and their people through this global pandemic (and other crises in the future). The following are his own words:

Managers sometimes forget that the people we lead have lives outside of the office. This is true always but is amplified when a crisis occurs. We need to remember that our job is to serve their teams, to help them be as aligned and productive as possible in the short and long terms.

Crises are exactly when we need to think about what they might be going through, and realize that the partnership we have with our employees is more than a transaction. If we’ve ever asked our people to make sacrifices, like working over a weekend without extra pay, we should be thinking first about how we can support them through the tough times. When we do right by people when they really need it, they will run through walls again for our organizations when things return to normal.

Let them know it’s okay to breathe and talk about it. In a situation like COVID-19 where everything was disrupted and people are adjusting to things like working from home, it is naturally going to be difficult and frustrating.

The best advice is to encourage people to turn off the TV and stop frequently checking the news websites. As fast as news is happening, it will not make a difference in what we can control ourselves. Right now most of us know what our day will look like, and nothing that comes out in the news is going to materially change it. If we avoid the noisy inputs, we’ll be much better able to focus and get our brains to stop spinning on things we can’t control.

And this may be the only time I would advocate for more meetings. If you don’t have at least a daily standup with your team, you should. And encourage everyone to have a video-enabled setup if at all possible. We may not be able to be in the same room, but the sense of engagement with video is much greater than audio-only calls.

We also risk spiraling if we think too much about how our companies are struggling, or if our teams cannot achieve what our organizations need to be successful. It’s like the difference in sports between practice and the big game. Normal times are when leaders game plan, strategize, and work on our fundamentals. Crises are the time to focus and leave it all on the field.

That said, do not fail to observe and note what works well and where you struggle. If you had problems with data quality or inefficient processes before the crisis, you are not fixing them now. Pull out the duct tape and find a way through it. But later, when the crisis subsides, learn from the experience and get better for next time.

Find a hobby. Anything you can do to clear your head and separate work from the other considerations in your life. We may feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders, and without a pressure release we will not be able to sustain this level of stress and remain as productive as our teams, businesses, and families need us.

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Opinion Editorials

7 sure-fire ways to carve out alone time when you’re working from home

(EDITORIAL) It can be easy to forget about self-care when you’re working from home, but it’s critical for your mental health, and your work quality.



Woman in hijab sitting on couch, working from home on a laptop

We are all familiar with the syndrome, getting caught up in work, chores, taking care of others, and neglecting to take care of ourselves in the meantime. This has always been the case, but now, with more people working from home and a seemingly endless lineup of chores, thanks to the pandemic. There is simply so much to do.

The line is thinly drawn between personal and professional time already, with emails, cell phones, and devices relentlessly reaching out around the clock, pulling at us like zombie arms reaching up from the grave. Working from home makes this tendency to always be “on” worse, as living and working take place in such close proximity. We have to turn it off, though.

Our brains and bodies need downtime, me-time, and self-care. Carving out this time is one of the kindest and most important things you can do for yourself. If we can begin to honor ourselves like this, the outcome with not only our mental and physical health but also our productivity at work will be beneficial. When we make the time to do things we love, our mind’s gears slow down that constant grinding. Burnout behooves nobody.

Our work will also benefit. Healthier, happier, more well-rested, and well-treated minds and bodies can work wonders! Our immune systems also need this, and we need our immune systems to be at their peak performance this intense season.

I wanted to write this article because I have such a struggle with this in my own life. I need to print it out and put it in my workspace. Last week, I posted something on my social media pages that so many people shared. It is clear we all need these reminders, so I am paying it forward here. The graphic was a quote from Devyn W.

“If you are reading this, release your shoulders away from your ears, unclench your jaw, and drop your tongue from the roof of your mouth.”

There now, isn’t that remarkable? It is a great first step. Let go of the tension in your body, and check out these ways to make yourself some healing me-time while working from home.

  1. Set aside strict no-work times. This could be any time of day, but set the times and adhere to them strictly. This may look like taking a full hour for lunch, not checking email after a certain hour, or committing to spending that time outdoors, reading, exercising, or enjoying the company of your loved ones. Make this a daily routine, because we need these boundaries. Every. Single. Day.
  2. Remember not to apologize to anyone for taking this me-time. Mentally and physically you need this, and everyone will be better off if you do. It is nothing to apologize for! Building these work-free hours into your daily schedule will feel more normal as time goes on. This giving of time and space to your joy, health, and even basic human needs is what should be the norm, not the other way around.
  3. Give yourself a device-free hour or two every day, especially before bedtime. The pinging, dinging, and blinging keep us on edge. Restful sleep is one of the wonderful ways our bodies and brains heal and putting devices away before bedtime is one of the quick tips for getting better sleep.
  4. Of course, make time for the things you absolutely love. If this is a hot bath, getting a massage, reading books, working out, cooking or eating an extravagant meal, or talking and laughing with a loved one, you have to find a way to get this serotonin boost!
  5. Use the sunshine shortcut. It isn’t a cure-all, but sunlight and Vitamin D are mood boosters. At least when it’s not 107 degrees, like in a Texas summer. But as a general rule, taking in at least a good 10-15 minutes of that sweet, sweet Vitamin D provided by the sun is good for us.
  6. Spend time with animals! Walk your dog, shake that feathery thing at your cat, or snuggle either one. Whatever animals make you smile, spend time with them. If you don’t have pets of your own, you could volunteer to walk them at a local shelter or even watch a cute animal video online. They are shown to reduce stress. Best case scenario is in person if you are able, but thankfully the internet is bursting with adorable animal videos, as a backup.
  7. Give in to a bit of planning or daydreaming about a big future trip. Spending time looking at all the places you will go in the future and even plotting out an itinerary are usually excellent mood-boosters.

I hope we can all improve our lives while working from home by making time for regenerating, healing, and having fun! Gotta run—the sun is out, and my dog is begging for a walk.

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