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Are You a Victim or a Vitamin?

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Daily Dose by Veo_Are We Victims?

Some people allow events, people and circumstances to impact them permanently negative!  These people are victims. You recognize a VICTIM like so:

  1. Victims mope, whine, opine and wish things were like they used to be….way back when.
  2. Victims bleat, it’s never their fault, there is no forgiveness or acceptance.
  3. Negativity poisons their passion?
  4. Setbacks cripple compassion and chinks their soul.
  5. Hopelessness brittles their heart and turns their futures fruitless.
  6. Misery loves company.  Victims throw impromptu pity parties to infect friends with their victim-virus.
  7. Victims are mean and small and petty.

At times, life’s hard, unfair and brutal.  How we handle accidental adversity and unexpected impact is up to us.  Victimhood is a choice, so is Vitaminhood.

Are We Vitamins?

Some people allow events, people and circumstances to impact them permanently positive!  These people are Vitamins.  You recognize a VITAMIN like so:

  1. Vitamins get that change is life and life is a wild, sometimes quiet and often scary adventure.  They change, reinvent, improve and adapt.
  2. Vitamins take responsibility, they support and forgive and they try to forget. Sometimes they succeed at all four.
  3. Negative and positive experiences power their passions.
  4. Setbacks and triumphs deepen their understanding, juices their compassion and levels their humility.
  5. Vitamins learn, grow and share from their experiences, turning futures fruitful.
  6. Vitamins throw impromptu parties to celebrate, recognize, congratulate and compliment.  They infuse their friends with hope, confidence, camaradery and self responsibility.

Yeah, I know.  Humans are imperfect and living life as a Vitamin is a challenge.  When life kicks you in the balls, it’s natural and normal to cry, scream, go fetal, mourn, anger and depress…and that’s the point…it’s normal.  To shine, lead and succeed, we can’t wallow long or hang with victims.  We gotta take our lumps, learn and be THE VITAMIN.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cheers and thanks for reading.

Seems I’m stuck in attitudes/hardships/triumphs mode these days.  On the left hand, you might think, what does this have to do with real estate?  On the right, I believe that this Victim or Vitamin perspective is what the real estate business is truly about.  To me, it’s not about selling houses or real estate.  Our business is about people.  It’s about help, service, support, leadership, knowledge, performance, delivery, communication, creativity and more. Prospecting, listing, selling and closing is process and outcome, but not the profession.  If we’re victims we can’t do any good.   At best we’re powerless and worst, we infect and damage others.

I think my recent fixation is a response to my personal feelings caused by the prolonged fatigue of our crushed economy, real estate seasonality and the weight and witness of angels broken.  I am certain a shiny sunrise is peeking over our horizon.  We’ve come so far and we’re so close, now is the time to lock arms and help each other run to the sun.  Will you join me?  Will you be a Vitamin.

Viva La Vitamin revolution, send this to your friends.

Worry is praying for what you don’t want. ~Deepak Chopra

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 BrandCandid.com. 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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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Patrick Flynn

    January 25, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Dynamite post Ken. When I was Coaching Agents, this was always the case! Victims are Energy Vampires and have no place in our business.

  2. Russell Shaw

    January 25, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Perfect post, Ken!

  3. Erin Robbins

    January 25, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    I needed this right now. Tweeted because I think a few others do too. 🙂

  4. Ken Brand

    January 25, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Erin – Glad it might help. It’s the sorta thing I need to remind myself of as well…all the time. I think that’s why I write it, sorta self slapping my lazy-lame-victimitus right off myself. Cheers.

    Russell and Patrick – Thanks gents. Cheers.

  5. Nanette Labastida

    January 25, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    ken you speak what i think! thanks

    facebook is so full of victims it is such a bummer but it actually often reminds me how joyous and easy it is to stay positive and vitamin-y, and by easy i don’t mean easy to do necessarily, but how easy it is to get on with it, and make positive impact and progress.

    victims suck! and by suck i mean the suck light out of those around them
    vitamins revitalize those around them.

    it’s a great gift
    cheers

  6. Ken Brand

    January 25, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Thanks Nanette, it’s a choice isn’t it:-)

    Cheers.

  7. Norman Frenk

    January 28, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    I’ll be a vitamin! Bam Bam, Fred or Barney. Don’t make me be a Wilma.
    Great post Ken!

  8. April Groves

    January 31, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Love this…wondering how many people I can share it with…..

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Business Marketing

Jack of all trades vs. specialized expert – which are you?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) It may feel tough to decide if you want to be a jack of all trades or have an area of expertise at work. There are reasons to decide either route.

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jack of all trades learning

When mulling over your career trajectory, you might ask yourself if you should be a jack of all trades or a specific expert. Well, it’s important to think about where you started. When you were eight years old, what did you want to be when you grew up? Teacher? Doctor? Lawyer? Video Game Developer? Those are common answers when you are eight years old as they are based on professionals that you probably interact with regularly (ok, maybe not lawyers but you may have watched LA Law, Law & Order or Suits and maybe played some video games – nod to Atari, Nintendo and Sega).

We eventually chose what areas of work to gain skills in and/or what major to pursue in college. To shed some light on what has changed in the last couple of decades:

Business, Engineering, Healthcare and Technology job titles have grown immensely in the last 20 years. For example, here are 9 job titles that didn’t exist 20 years ago in Business:

  1. Online Community Manager
  2. Virtual Assistant
  3. Digital Marketing Expert
  4. SEO Specialist
  5. App Developer
  6. Web Analyst
  7. Blogger
  8. Social Media Manager
  9. UX Designer

We know that job opportunities have grown to include new technologies, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, consumer-generated content, instant gratification, gig economy and freelance, as well as many super-secret products and services that may be focused on the B2B market, government and/or military that we average consumers may not know about.

According to the 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics after doing a survey of baby boomers, the average number of jobs in a lifetime is 12. That number is likely on the rise with generations after the Baby Boomers. Many people are moving away from hometowns and cousins they have grown up with.

The Balance Careers suggests that our careers and number of jobs we hold also vary throughout our lifetimes and our race is even a factor. “A worker’s age impacted the number of jobs that they held in any period. Workers held an average of 5.7 jobs during the six-year period when they were 18 to 24 years old. However, the number of jobs held declined with age. Workers had an average of 4.5 jobs when they were 25 to 34 years old, and 2.9 jobs when they were 35 to 44 years old. During the most established phase of many workers’ careers, ages 45 to 52, they held only an average of 1.9 jobs.”

In order to decide what you want to be, may we suggest asking yourself these questions:

  • Should you work to be an expert or a jack of all trades?
  • Where are you are at in your career and how have your skills progressed?
  • Are you happy focusing in on one area or do you find yourself bored easily?
  • What are your largest priorities today (Work? Family? Health? Caring for an aging parent or young children?)

If you take the Gallup CliftonStrengths test and are able to read the details about your top five strengths, Gallup suggests that it’s better to double down and grown your strengths versus trying to overcompensate on your weaknesses.

The thing is, usually if you work at a startup, small business or new division, you are often wearing many hats and it can force you to be a jack of all trades. If you are at a larger organization which equals more resources, there may be clearer lines of your job roles and responsibilities versus “the other departments”. This is where it seems there are skills that none of us can avoid. According to LinkedIn Learning, the top five soft skills in demand from 2020 are:

  1. Creativity
  2. Persuasion
  3. Collaboration
  4. Adaptability
  5. Emotional Intelligence

The top 10 hard skills are:

  1. Blockchain
  2. Cloud Computing
  3. Analytical Reasoning
  4. Artificial Intelligence
  5. UX Design
  6. Business Analysis
  7. Affiliate Marketing
  8. Sales
  9. Scientific Computing
  10. Video Production

There will be some folks that dive deep into certain areas that are super fascinating to them and they want to know everything about – as well as the excitement of becoming an “expert”. There are some folks that like to constantly evolve and try new things but not dig too deep and have a brief awareness of more areas. It looks safe to say that we all need to be flexible and adaptable.

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Business Marketing

Coworkers are not your ‘family’ [unpopular opinion]

(MARKETING) “I just want you to think of us as family,” they say. If this were true, I could fire my uncle for always bringing up “that” topic on Thanksgiving…

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family coworkers

The well-known season 10 opener of “Undercover Boss” featured Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar. Brandon Landry, owner, went to the Lafayette location where he worked undercover with Jessica Comeaux, an assistant manager. Comeaux came across as a dedicated employee of the company, and she was given a well-deserved reward for her work. But I rolled my eyes as the show described the team as a “family.” I take offense at combining business and family, unless you’re really family. Why shouldn’t this work dynamic be used?

Employers don’t have loyalty to employees.

One of the biggest reasons work isn’t family is that loyalty doesn’t go both ways. Employers who act as though employees are family wouldn’t hesitate to fire someone if it came down to it. In most families, you support each other during tough times, but that wouldn’t be the case in a business. If you’ve ever thought that you can’t ask for a raise or vacation, you’ve probably bought into the theory that “work is a family.” No, work is a contract.

Would the roles be okay if the genders were reversed?

At Walks-Ons, Comeaux is referred to as “Mama Jess,” by “some of the girls.” I have to wonder how that would come across if Comeaux were a man being called “Daddy Jess” by younger team members? See any problem with that? What happens when the boss is a 30-year-old and the employee is senior? Using family terminology to describe work relationships is just wrong.

Families’ roles are complex.

You’ll spend over 2,000 hours with your co-workers every year. It’s human nature to want to belong. But when you think of your job like a family, you may bring dysfunction into the workplace.

What if you never had a mom, or if your dad was abusive? Professional relationships don’t need the added complexity of “family” norms. Seeing your boss as “mom” or “dad” completely skews the roles of boss/employee. When your mom asks you to do more, it’s hard to say no. If your “work mom or dad” wants you to stay late, it’s going to be hard to set boundaries when you buy into the bogus theory that work is family. Stop thinking of work this way.

Check your business culture to make sure that your team has healthy boundaries and teamwork. Having a great work culture doesn’t have to mean you think of your team as family. It means that you appreciate your team, let them have good work-life balance and understand professionalism.

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Business Marketing

These tools customize your Zoom calls with your company’s branding

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Zoom appears to be here to stay. Here are the tools you need to add or update your Zoom background to a more professional – or even branded – background.

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Zoom call on computer, but there's more options to customize.

If you haven’t had to deal with Zoom in 2021, you may be an essential worker or retired altogether. For the rest of us, Zoom became the go-to online chat platform around mid-March. For several reasons, and despite several security concerns, Zoom quickly pushed past all online video chat competitors in the early COVID-19 lockdown days.

Whether for boozy virtual happy hours, online classes for school or enrichment, business meetings, trivia nights, book clubs, or professional conferences, odds are if you are working or in school, you have been on a Zoom call recently. Many of us have been on weekly, if not daily, Zoom calls.

If you are the techy type, you’ve likely set up a cool Zoom background of a local landmark or a popular spot, a library, or a tropical beach. Comic-con types and movie buffs created appropriate backgrounds to flex their awesome nerdiness and technical smarts.

Many people have held off creating such an individualized background for our virtual meetings for one of any number of reasons. Perhaps it never occurred to them, or maybe they aren’t super comfortable with all things techy. Many people have been holding out hope of returning to their offices, thus seeing no need to rock the boat. I’m here to tell you, though, it’s time. While I, too, hope that we get the pandemic under control, I am realistic enough to see that working or studying from home will continue to be a reality for many people for some time.

Two cool, free tools we’ve found that can help you make your personal Zoom screen look super professional and even branded for business or personal affairs are Canva and HiHello. While each platform has a paid component, creating a Zoom background screen for either application is fairly simple and free.

Here’s how:

Canva is the online design website that made would-be graphic designers out of so many people, especially social media types. It’s fairly user-friendly with lots of tutorials and templates, and the extremely useful capabilities of uploading your own logo and saving your brand colors.

Using Canva, first create your free account with your email. It functions better if you create an account, although you can play around with some of the tools without signing up. The fastest way from Point A to Point B here is to use the search box and search for “Zoom backgrounds.” You now can choose any one of their Zoom background templates, from galaxy to rainbows and unicorn to library books or conference rooms. Choose an inspirational quote if you’d like (but really, please don’t). Download the .jpg or .png, save it, and you can upload it to Zoom.

To create a branded Zoom background in Canva, it will take slightly more work. It was a pain in the butt for me, because I had this vision of a backdrop with my logo repeated, like you see as a backdrop at, you know, SXSW or the Grammys or something. Reach for the stars, right?

OK, the issue with this was that I had to individually add, resize, and place each of the 9 logos I ended up with. I figured out the best way to size them uniformly (I resized one and copied/pasted, instead of adding the original size each time (maybe you’re thinking “Duh,” but it took me a few failed experiments to figure out that was the fastest way to do it).

Once you have your 9 loaded in the middle of the page, start moving them around to place them. I chose 9, because the guiding lines in Canva allow me to ensure I have placed them correctly, in the top left corner, middle left against the margin that pops up, and bottom left. Same scenario for the center row.

Magical guide lines pop up when you have the logo centered perfectly, so I did top, middle, and bottom like that, and repeated for the right hand margin. Then I flipped them, because they were showing up in my view on Zoom as backward. That may mean they are now backward to people on my call; I will need to test that out! Basically, Canva is easy to use, but perhaps my design aspirations made it tricky to figure out.

Good luck and God bless if you choose more than 9 logos to organize. Oh, and if you are REALLY smart, you will add one logo to a solid color or an austere, professionally appropriate photo background and call it a day, for the love of Mary. That would look cool and be easy.

HiHello is an app you can download to scan and keep business cards and create your own, free, handy dandy digital business card. It comes in the form of a scannable QR code you can share with anyone. Plus, you can make a Zoom background with it, which is super cool! It takes about five minutes to set up, truly! It works great!

The Zoom background has your name, the company name, and your position on one side and the QR code on the other. The QR code pulls up a photo, your name, title, phone number, and email address. It’s so nifty! And the process was super easy and intuitive. Now, If I took my logo page from Canva and made that the background for my HiHello virtual Zoom screen, I would be branded out the wazoo.

Remember there are technical requirements if you want to use HiHello on a Mac. For example, if you have a mac with a dual core processor, it requires a QUAD. However, on a PC, it was really simple.

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