Move in the Direction You Want to Go…Be wary of obstacles you THINK are in your way

Direction you want to goBy Roberta Ross, National Real Estate SpeakerOn my regular commutes from Pittsburgh to Maryland, I try to keep my mind open to new experiences, opportunities and people that cross my path. I was inspired and grateful this week when I again was seated next to “Doug,” a fellow frequent flyer on my morning flight.

Doug travels each week from his home in Pittsburgh to his job in the Baltimore area. People are often amazed when they learn how often I fly into Maryland and that, as a practical matter, I bought a car on eBay and leave it at the Baltimore airport to use when I’m in town.

I, however, am far more impressed with Doug, who doesn’t allow obstacles to get in the way of what he wants or needs to do. I may keep an extra car in Baltimore, but Doug has an entire house there for when he is in town for work. This is a commitment that most would be terrified to make.

My admiration for his can-do attitude is compounded by the fact that Doug is blind. Rather than using his disability as an excuse or reason for what he can’t do, Doug finds solutions that move him in the direction he wants to go. Doug is blind but, in many ways, I’ve discovered that he sees much more clearly than most.

I am always anxious to hear stories of his journeys and the perspective that he offers. He recently shared the story of a trip to Pittsburgh’s West Mifflin Mall with his wife, who also is blind. They boarded the local bus, as they had many times before, and got off at what they believed to be their usual stop—unaware that the bus service had changed its route. Instead of dropping passengers directly in front of the mall entrance, Doug and his wife were let off on the main drag, a very busy four-lane road about seven city blocks from the mall entrance.

In a somewhat frightened and nervous voice, Doug’s wife said, “What are we going to do now?” Doug promptly responded with, “Well, the mall is uphill from here, so let’s just start walking uphill, and eventually we’ll get there!” When I asked him how he could’ve been that composed in such an obviously stressful situation, he simply replied, “Well, the way I see it, you can either stand there and do nothing, or you can move in the direction you want to go.” Now that’s perspective!

How extraordinary would it be for all of us to learn from Doug’s point of view! So many people I’ve met, especially given our current economy, have become so focused on the obstacles they believe are in front of them that they simply cannot let go; they behave as though moving in the direction of their dreams is almost impossible.

If you catch yourself whining about all that is not right in your life, think about Doug. Be wary of the obstacles you THINK are in your way. This market provides an enormous opportunity for you to take charge, grab market share and, while everyone else is moaning, place yourself among the 10% of agents who are doing 90% of the business.

Take a page from “the book of Doug,” and unlock these three keys to moving your life from ordinary to extraordinary:

1. Choose a direction. Know where you want to go! How can you point yourself in the right direction if you are not clear as to where you want to go? Ask yourself: § How much do I want to earn this year? § What market or markets do I want to specialize in? Niche players are developing faster than non-niche players.§ How can I create a laser focus on that specialty? 2. Make a plan. How can you get there if you don’t know what road to take? Once you’ve decided on your dollar goal, your niche market or specialty and your laser focus, you must build a plan that can translate all of that into daily/weekly/monthly activities. The easiest way to do that is to plug everything into a “formula” for success.The National Association of REALTORS recently released new data that shows 74% of top agents’ business comes from their sphere of influence—up from the previous figure of 66%. That same study shows that you can expect a transaction from one out of every 12 people in your sphere, as long as you consistently stay in contact with them each month.

A handy calculator at allows you to plug in the amount you want to make each year and your average commission, then calculates the number you need in your sphere to realize your goals!Another effective way to stay in touch and build that valuable, SALABLE book of business is with BusinessBASE™, shared free with brokers and agents across the nation. Using a proven send-call-see approach, you learn who should be in your SOI and get answers to the how, why and what questions around reaching those VIPs. Visit to download this terrific tool today.3. Start today. It would be easy to put off all those things you want to do, need to do and should do for another day, month or year. Imagine if you were in Doug’s shoes, faced with enormous challenges and obstacles each and every day. It’s a funny thing about people like Doug: They teach us more about what’s possible and the value and blessing in each day than most of us learn in a lifetime. We have no idea what tomorrow holds; the time to cultivate the seeds of success and abundance is now.So what is it that you would like to accomplish? What direction do you want to go? What goals inspire you, ignite your spirit and bring you strength? Don’t “just stand there and do nothing;” move in the direction of your dreams. Push past those obstacles and roadblocks you believe are holding you back, and create the life that you’ve imagined.

Roberta Ross is a national real estate speaker and trainer who has been in the real estate business for more than 12 years. She is the author of two inspirational courses, Seven Keys to Six Figures and Tough Markets Make Tough Agents, and has been featured in the Pittsburgh Business Times and Tribune Review for her accomplishments in real estate investment. She is noted for her energized, meaningful speaking style and travels nationwide speaking to real estate professionals on marketing and prospecting. Her unique blend of business and public speaking experience enables her to educate, entertain and motivate real estate professionals to achieve their goals. She believes in working smart and structuring a plan that is effective, efficient and enjoyable!To invite Roberta to teach your associates how to play at the next level or to sharpen your company’s competitive edge, contact her today at 800.287.5710 or, or visit

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