Today on the Listing Agent Lifestyle podcast we have the first part of two very special episodes.
I was fortunate to be part of a program with Tony Robbins where he created an audio and video series called the New Money Masters, and I was one of the 10 guests he had.
We got together here in Winter Haven. We played some golf and then recorded a two hour interview where we talking about a lot of the things that fit in with in our Listing Agent Lifestyle.
We talked about my whole philosophy of ‘I know I'm being successful when’ in defining success, as well of how to apply our profit activator thinking towards real estate and being a realtor.
I think you're really going to enjoy these episodes. I've got to know Tony over the years, we've played golf together and I'm very excited that I get to share this first part with you today.
Transcript: Listing Agent Lifestyle Ep058
Dean: This is the first part one of the Tony Robbins' episode here.
Tony: What I think that I'd like to talk about first, if I would, is your approach to the lifestyle because so many business owners are people that get into business because they want to have some freedom, but pretty soon the business consumes them and they find themselves not able to get off the phone, constantly living on their email and more stressed out than they were before. They really end up having a highly paid job.
I know that your mindset is really, really different in that area, so maybe we can start out a little bit with your philosophy. I know you've helped pioneer different areas of marketing on the internet, but maybe let's share a little bit about what's your philosophy towards lifestyle and what do you really want to get out of a business and how do you look at it? 'Cause I know you have some very specific principles.
Dean: Right, absolutely. For me, the whole reason about getting into your own business. If you ask any real estate agent, the reason you'll see that they got into the business is to have freedom, is to be your own boss, to work your own hours, do all that stuff. But what most real estate agents, myself included when I started out, realized very quickly is just because you can set your own hours, there's nobody telling you when to stop either.
Tony: That's true.
Dean: It's like you can just continue to go and go and go. One of the things that I really discovered was thinking about when is it going to be done, having a vision of what is my ultimate lifestyle really want to look like. What is it that I want to experience on a daily basis as opposed to looking at success as something aspirational, something on the horizon that you're constantly chasing. Every time you reach a new goal, there's always the next level and the next level. Often, you end up like the man who said, "I don't want to own all the land, just the land that's next to mine." There's no end to it.
One of the things that I did, I was very fortunate to get to know a man named Thomas Leonard and we worked together on forming this vision of what the ideal lifestyle looked like. Coming from a real internal frame of reference of how will I know when I'm being successful, not when I will be successful.
Tony: Not when I get there.
Dean: So, I developed a top-10 list of the ways that I measure success for me. We talked about it earlier that it's not about everybody adopting my definition of success, but for everybody to know what their definition of success is and to really live their life according to that.
Really, having those 10 for me has been a measuring stick that I look at and I assess opportunities based on that and look at it and say, "Is this moving me outside of that or is it helping me stay within that?"
Tony: I think that most people don't start with that end in mind, they start with a vision of what they think the business will be for them whether it's an internet business or whether it's a large corporation. Then, they love it. They get involved in it and then momentum takes over.
I'd like to share, if you would, share with us what are some of your 10 principles and again, I want to point out, I'm not suggesting people adopt yours either and I love that that's your approach. I think being able to say before I even figure out how I'm going to market this business more effectively, make more money, start a business, or take a business to the next level, patently decide what it's going to mean to me. What's it going to mean to the quality of my life, the quality of my family's life, my physical, emotional life and so forth? Tell us how you've attacked that.
Dean: Sure. I want to back up for a second that I love that you started and said, "It's not about where this business can take you," 'cause a lot of times, even deciding what your lifestyle is going to be like can often steer you in the right direction of which business to approach if you're looking at getting into a new business.
When I looked at it and for me my number one thing was there's just ways to finish this statement of I know I'm being successful when. My top one is that I can wake up every day and ask, "What would I like to do today?" For me, that's the freedom of not having a set schedule, of not having every moment accounted for where it's a lot of discretionary time and getting to choose, in the moment, what the right thing to do is. That doesn't necessarily mean that you goof off all day or that I goof all day, it's about knowing what is the thing that I really want to do right now.
Tony: Having that real freedom.
Dean: Having that freedom, yeah.
Tony: Yeah. I heard. Is it true? A friend of mine, I think that he said that either one of his friends or he was staying at your house and he had to get up in the morning. He told me, he said he asked you for an alarm clock and you looked at him like he was crazy.
Dean: It was the funniest thing because I never even thought about it. He had come to my house and he said, "Do you have an alarm clock?" I just looked at Sony and we were like, "No, I don't have an alarm clock. We just wake up when we wake up." That's a nice part of lifestyle, I think.
Tony: I want people to know that we're going to get to how you were able to do that, the how to, but I think, again, we want to start out with what is it you really want? If you can get up and you're free to have your day be the way you want it to be, that's one of your criteria. What's another?
Dean: So, my second one is that my passive revenue exceeds my lifestyle needs. The conscious decision that I made early on was to not get caught up in leaving with my material things, leaving with the tokens.
Tony: Buying all the stuff.
Dean: Exactly. I made the decision to lead with revenue and then keep my lifestyle within my means.
Tony: But not just revenue, passive revenue.
Dean: Yeah, passive revenue.
Tony: You're not having the work so you still have the freedom each day, but you have this income that's coming in, this money machine that allows you to have this great lifestyle. You're not extending yourself out there so then you have the stress at being the slave to the lifestyle itself.
Dean: Right, that's exactly right. Yeah.
Tony: That's great.
Dean: It's been a good philosophy for me and I see sometimes, unfortunately, I see people who get all out there. They get the big house, get the cars, get all of this stuff, but it's all debt. They have to continue to generate revenue to pay for all of that stuff. It feels like a prison sometimes. They get into a situation where there's not that freedom. I've often said a life metaphor for overall is to live like an artist with a $50,000 a month trust fund.
Tony: So, not a starving artist.
Dean: Exactly. That's the ultimate thing, isn't it? 'Cause number three for me is that I'm working on projects I'm excited about and doing my very best work.
Tony: It's not that you're not working, it's not that you don't have to. It's the real freedom. It's doing what you love, doing what you're excited about. Doing it in a way where you know that you don't have to do it because you've got your lifestyle taken care of by passive income and having the freedom each day to really just choose how to live your life.
Dean: Yeah. That's the thing. Then, the game becomes then is how big can you take it within those parameters, without going outside of what my personal definition of success is.
Dean: Yeah, so I love that. My next one is that we can live anywhere in the world we choose. Now, the internet and all the technology that's available today make it so easy to live anywhere and work from anywhere, you don't really need to be bound to a specific geographic area. You can see how that would, if that's one of your definitions of success, for me, it precluded me from getting involved in a local business that requires you to be in one particular place-
Tony: Every day, yeah.
Dean: Yeah, because we split our time and spent part of the year in Toronto, part of the year here in Florida. It doesn't matter where we are. There's never been a better time to be portable.
Tony: Yeah, technology has given us tremendous freedom if you make use of it.
Dean: Yeah, absolutely.
Tony: If you make use of it. You get to be down here during the winter time. You play golf and enjoy your life and then you get a chance to go up there, in Toronto, at the very best seasons as well.
Dean: Yes, exactly.
Tony: Wow. What's another criteria? I know you have several.
Dean: Yeah, I do have several. What number was I on?
Tony: I think you were on four.
Dean: I was on number four, okay. Another one is that there are no whiny people in my life.
Tony: High-five you on that one.
Dean: When you look at it, it's so often if you're in that lifestyle, again, having a lifestyle that doesn't depend on anybody or any one client or sometimes people get into a situation where you feel like you have to do something, you have to defer to this client or to make this person happy and that's not a place where I wanted to come from. I love being around happy people. I love being around positive people, exciting people, some of the people we were talking about, Frank and Evan and Jay and all these people who are just super positive.
Tony: And, the best in the world in what they do, all of them.
Tony: Your wife also is one of those happy people, isn't she?
Dean: Yeah, we talked about that that my wife is one of these people who I say her default setting is happy.
Tony: That's wonderful. Wonderful.
Dean: Yeah, so I really enjoy that part of it. Another one is that I have no deadlines or time obligations where you feel like a lot of times under pressure. I imagine certain industries, I had a friend who worked at a newspaper and constantly had that every day deadline and the pressure of that. I don't work best like that. I like to discover something. I like to chase something as opposed be chased by something. Often, if you have a deadline, you feel like you're being squeezed or you're being pushed up against it.
Tony: Having to do it versus getting to do it.
Dean: Right, that's exactly it. Again, with the artist metaphor of you're doing it because you love the expression of it, you love the creativity of it, and moving forward.
Tony: Right, right.
Dean: Another one is that I wear whatever I want at all times.
Dean: Not having to be and a suit and tie every day. We do at our live events, beautiful, custom suits, and enjoy that, but as a general rule, I like to wear the same thing. I just like to wear casual, comfortable clothes.
Tony: All the things that I see in your life are about how can you enjoy your life more by having things that aren't stressful, by having things that are frictionless, so to speak, we were talking about that on the golf course. I do the same thing. You have these billionaires as you're describing like Steve Jobs who has his turtleneck that he wears and his black jeans. It's not like trying to be like somebody, but there's just consistency. I understand you have the same shorts, same shirts.
Dean: Yes, exactly.
Tony: I see you normally with your cap. I got you off the golf course. You're without your cap, but normally I see you got your cap on each time. It's like your way to not even have to think about that and just enjoy relaxing, and being. Is that right?
Dean: Yes, absolutely. I think there's something to that. When I found that Einstein wore a uniform, Steve Jobs, it's one less thing that you have to think about.
Tony: Just simplify your life.
Dean: Absolutely. That's what it is. And, removing friction of having to decide what you're going to wear or having all these decisions to make. It's something.
Tony: Wow. When you go to make decisions about whether you want to be involved in a project, I know you've been very focused. You found what fulfills you. Now, some people, they really want to do 50 things. I don't know if any of us can do 50 things well. I think my tendency is to do a lot of things like that and I get a lot of juice out of it, but there's got to be a balance.
Everybody has a different criteria, but I think at this stage of life, depends on where you are at this stage of your life too, for a lot of people, this would be a real freedom for them if they said, "These are my criteria." You use these when you're deciding whether you're going to do something or not.
Dean: Right, absolutely. Every day I look at everything that I'm facing. I'm presented with opportunity after opportunity after opportunity like all entrepreneurs are. It's unlimited opportunity. You could do anything. Nobody's stopping you from doing anything, but when I look at it, what I really am doing is trying to keep my life within my definition of success.
There's all kinds of different manifestations of wealth, more than just money. I could make more money than I make if I did more opportunities, but I don't need to make more money than I make because I think there's a real element of wealth that goes with time freedom and freedom from stress and freedom to do what you really like to do.
Tony: When you have these criteria being met every day like this, what's life like for you?
Dean: Well, it's exciting. You look at it and I can't imagine retiring or anything. You look at most people work to a point where they're keeping their eye on them or work really hard and then I'm going to not work. I just think that that's completely set up, that one of the great joys in life is working. I enjoy being productive. I enjoy making a difference for people. I enjoy contributing like that.
I can't imagine ever tiring of that. It's not like work hard and then sell my business and do nothing. It's-
Tony: People get crazy when they do that. I have a dear friend that sold a business for hundreds of millions of dollars and he was on the beach and he was at parties and he did that for about six months and then he went stark, raving mad.
Dean: Six months, right?
Tony: He hit about three or four months into it, he started getting just antsy and he ended up going and starting another business and buying another company just to get back in the game.
One of the beautiful things about you is you're doing what you love, you're doing it with the people you love, you're doing it without a bunch of deadlines, you're doing it on your own terms. You're talking very humbly in terms of you got a pretty amazing lifestyle. You're living here, golfing three days a week and then going to Toronto, your big home over there. You have some really nice homes, really great environments, doing the things you want to do, but why would you want to retire when you have the lifestyle most people would have when they're retiring? You're doing all the things you want to do.
Dean: Yeah, that's exactly it. Why not do them now? Right? Why not do them now as opposed to looking for a finish line. It's experiencing it.
Tony: Or, we talked about on the golf course too, it's like that finish line, whatever you think it is, it always expands.
Tony: When you get to what you think it is, there's always more and there's a seduction in that. If people are watching this interview, one of the things they're looking to do is figure out how to take a business they've got to another level or they're looking to start a business. They're trying to say, "I want to create a money-machine so I don't have to work, so that working. Not that I won't work, but it's not a must for me. It isn't that necessity-based."
I think if people can start with that clearly and say that's the criteria, now we look at the business opportunity. Let me look at how I'm going to go about conducting my business, then freedom becomes a reality instead of a goal that's always being pursued but never being achieved.
Dean: Yeah. That's it.
Tony: Well, let's talk about then how we get there. Maybe let's start out with a little bit of your background. You start out 20 years ago in real estate. I understand you went out like the normal guy going out there and doing your cold calling and doing your farming. Tell us what happened and tell us how it evolved into this multi-million dollar enterprise.
Dean: Yeah. When I look at is, going back starting out as a real estate agent, the first thing that you're taught as a real estate agent is to cold call. You've got to go out and get some business. You're starting out and you don't have much money, or I didn't have much money starting out. I didn't have any fear of making the cold calls, so I started calling and doing a market research survey.
I would find very quickly people who wanted to do business. You learn very quickly though that you kind of burn out on that. You realize that it's a hamster wheel, that as long as I'm on the phone making those calls, as long as I'm prospecting, I'm generating business. As soon as I step off that wheel, the hamster wheel stops and nobody's powering it except me so it was my almost like manual labor of picking up the phone and talking to people.
Around that time I started studying marketing and started really studying direct response marketing. When I realized that you could write an ad or a postcard that would get people to call you, and my whole life changed. I knew the first time that I sent out my very first postcards that got response, I knew I would never have to make another cold call again. I still get that giddy feeling in my stomach when I remember those responses coming in.
'Cause I would call these people back and they knew why I was calling. I sent out a postcard offering a free book on how to buy your first home.
Tony: So, people living in apartments?
Dean: Yeah, to people who were living in apartments. When they called, or when they filled out the little business reply card and mailed it back, I would call them and everybody that I talked to knew why I was calling. They had asked for the book. They were indeed thinking about buying a home.
These were really good quality people whereas, in a regular night of cold calling, you might get hung up on. You get yelled at. You'd get talked to for a half an hour by a lonely person. This was just life-changing. It was like the ultimate leverage. You could now send out these postcards instead of me getting on the phone and making all those calls.
Tony: What is your definition of marketing per se and not only what's your definition, but I'd say what's your definition of marketing and what would say is the biggest misconception about marketing? Maybe both those questions.
Dean: Sure. Well, the biggest misconception about marketing is that it's about you. That's my observation of it is that the biggest misconception that I see is that people think that marketing is about getting your name out there.
Tony: Well, that's the typical realtor.
Dean: That's the typical realtor.
Tony: You see them going out there and building their names. Everybody knows who they are.
Tony: That doesn't necessarily turn into real additional business or cash.
Dean: Not at all.
Tony: It may turn into celebrity, but it doesn't necessarily turn into really bankable dollars.
Dean: Yeah, that's exactly it. I've been through that too. I went through that personal promotion phase and that's where I started learning about direct response because I realized, "Well, it's personal promotion. Everybody recognizes when I go everywhere, but it's not generating business for me."
Rather than focusing on getting your name out there, marketing, and I say direct response marketing, is about getting your prospect's name in here. It's about knowing who the people who are most likely to be your clients are and really focusing on being... It's kind of a clean way to market because you really get to put aside your needs and focus outwardly on what other people are focused on.
I know you know Jay Abraham, who's been a big influence on me of setting aside your own personal needs, focusing on the other person, and being more empathetic with what they really want and offering it to them that way.
Tony: You had a good metaphor. I read someplace where you talked about the idea you gave people the option. I don't remember the metaphor, but it was something related to would they like to get up and be introduced to 500 people. Would you share that?
Dean: Sure, yeah.
Tony: You're very good at metaphors.
Dean: We do live real estate seminars, so we have about 500, 600 people in a room. Every time we do this, I give somebody in the front row an option. I say, "Here's your choices. Let's imagine that this 500-room seminar here, that everybody in this room represents a 500-home subdivision. All the owners are sitting here in each of these chairs. Now, if I gave you a choice of coming up here on stage, giving me 500 of your business cards, I'll hand one out to everybody and I'll let you stay up here for two minutes and tell everybody who you are, how long you've been in business, why they should choose you, everybody will know your name. I'll help you get your name out there.
"Or, you can stay right in your seat and I'll have somebody bring you an envelope and in that envelope will be a piece of paper with the name, address, and telephone number of the 50 people in this room who are going to sell their home in the next 12 months. What would be more valuable to you?" Most people focus on getting their name out there, getting everybody to know who they are, when the reality is there's only, if 10% turnover in that subdivision, only those 50 people are the ones who are most valuable to you. It would be better for you to build a relationship with those 50 people than for everybody to know who you are.
Tony: Right. It's expensive. To build a brand, it takes time and it takes enormous amounts of money. I'm very fortunate, I've been doing it 30 years and I've had partners and we've been successful but we got almost a billion dollars we built into the brand and still, the brand is great, people know who you are and they'll come up and approach you, but what you really have to do is find out what that person needs right now to be able to meet their needs.
That's really what you did with those apartments. You went after the specific need and got people that really wanted that now so you could serve that customer.
Dean: Yeah. I've discussed the difference between getting rich or getting famous. When you start looking at it like that, it's a lot less expensive to get rich than it is to get famous-
Tony: That's absolutely true.
Dean: Because you're just focusing on other people, which is their favorite topic.
Tony: That's right.
Dean: All anybody ever thinks about no matter what business you're in, no matter what context people are thinking about your business, the only reason they're thinking about your business is what it can do for them.
Tony: If it will really meet their needs.
Dean: That's exactly it. That's all they're focused on.
Tony: You can meet people's needs quickly, a lot quicker than you can build a brand.
Tony: It doesn't matter what the business is. Yet, almost every business you know of, it's not just real estate, the business owner, I think there's a seduction in wanting your own identity to be known so well. Easy for me to say, I've had those privileges, but with those privileges come a lot of other challenges too in your life. Why do you think that is? Why do you think people get so caught up in this personal promotion which costs so much more and is so less effective?
Dean: Because their favorite topic is themselves. See, when you think about that, the reason the easiest job in the promotion world is selling people on personal promotion because they show them these mock-ups of these beautiful brochures of which you're the star. You're looking at these and you're going, "Wow, I look pretty good in these." So, it's easy because that's what you're thinking of. You're thinking of your needs.
My need, my perception of the need, is that I need to get my name out there. I need to get everybody going. But, when you really set that aside, I'll tell you an interesting story because this is a perfect example of being rich or being famous and how tenuous building your business on you can be. If you remember Siegfried and Roy?
Dean: Okay, several years ago, Roy was mauled by a tiger. Well, a couple a months before this happened, I was on an airplane and I was flying to California and I saw in Forbes magazine how they had the top entertainers, they have the rankings of them.
Dean: I'm looking through the list and I look down there and I see that Siegfried and Roy are on the list. They've just signed a new contract at the Mirage. I think it was $28 million and for that, they were doing eight shows a week, 40 weeks a year.
You look at it that that business depends on them. That's what they're going to be doing eight nights for 40 weeks a year.
Tony: They don't meet your criteria.
Dean: Well, it's a different thing.
Tony: For them, that may be what they want too.
Dean: Right. But, I started looking further down the list and I see ranked a little higher is the Blue Man Group. The Blue Man Group at that time were doing $69 million, I believe, and the original guys that started the Blue Man group didn't perform anymore. They manage this cadre of all of these blue men running concurrent shows all over the country, all over the world really. They're in Paris now too.
It struck me that that is such a different business model because I started investigating and looking into them a little bit and it turns out that the reason they started with the blue face paint is they had four guys. They wanted to do a show with three so that they still have other jobs and stuff, so if one of them couldn't make it, one of them could fit right in. Anybody who can know the moves know how to do the show. They can plug them in as a blue man and nobody cares who it is.
When you go to see the Blue Man Group, you're going to see an interesting, entertaining show, experience. When you're going to see Siegfried and Roy, you're going to see Siegfried and Roy. You're not going to see two guys and a tiger. It's not the same if they're not there.
If you can build a business that solves a problem, that provides an experience, that does something that doesn't revolve around your need to personally deliver that service, to me that just seems-
Tony: You got the freedom.
Dean: Absolutely. That seems like the best way.
Tony: As you began to realize that direct response was so much more effective than personal promotion or just out there selling, cold calling and so forth, you started out with this piece going after people in apartments. What did it grow to? What were the next steps for you because you built a giant enterprise around the country?
Dean: Around that time, I read a book by Michael Gerber called 'The E Myth'.
Dean: I really got on a deep level this concept of the franchise prototype of building something with the express intention of duplicating it, documenting exactly how you do it, documenting every step of the way so that you could install it in the next town over all over the country. I started developing all of these direct response systems and I, on duplicating them 5,000 times, just like McDonald's. The reason McDonald's is so consistently predictably, so consistently profitable market to market is because it was documented. Everything is documented. They run one McDonald's exactly the same way that they run another.
I started licensing the things that I was discovering from my local real estate business. I started licensing those systems to other realtors around Toronto. I had created at that point a guide to Halton Hills real estate prices where I was offering a relocation guide for people moving into Halton Hills. People would call and I would have this whole system for having a conversation with them, for following up with them, for a year after having that conversation. I would package that up and started licensing that to other real estate agents.
Tony: Once you figured out how to solve your problem, you said, "I figured it out. I can consistently make this work. Now, I'm going to take that system and I'm going to sell it the other people," and in the information age, that gave you just tremendous leveraging power.
Dean: Yeah. The great thing is you take this one idea. It's just everything that I've done since then has really expanded on that. That you take this one piece of intellectual property really is what it is, just like a valuable building, a real property, a rental property or something, and you multiply it out, just expanding through syndication. That's been the engine that's driven everything.
Tony: Well, when we talk about marketing misconceptions, another one I know that you believe in is narrowcasting. A lot of people when they think about their customers, they think about something really broad. How do you look at customers? How do you look at attacking that market 'cause you're kind of leading into that in the way that you're describing things now?
Dean: Well, part of it is to realize a lot of times businesses look at their customer base, look at who they're trying to attract as the forest. They look at all of these potential people who could be my clients and they kind of think of them homogeneously. They think of them as a group without really realizing that all of that group is made up of individual trees. By focusing on the needs of one person.
It can be as specific as you want. I was using the example of Proctor and Gamble, how this tiny little packaged goods company, probably some people have heard of, that when you start looking at laundry detergent even, you seem to think, "Well, that's the big box stores or the big department stores maybe take an approach where they've got laundry detergent and they put it in the jug and they call it laundry detergent." What Proctor and Gamble has done is really narrowed to the very specific needs of the individual laundry detergent buyers.
Tony: Like with the dries, the ones that smell good, the whatever.
Dean: Yeah, Tide is for people who want to get their clothes as white as possible. They've got whole teams of people who just dream the day away thinking of ways to make clothes whiter and to make this laundry detergent better. They've got all the other ones that meet other needs. They've got Cheer for people who want to just throw everything in and wash it all at the same temperature.
Every need, every market is made up of individuals that have very specific needs. If you can really look at those as the avatars for your business, that if there's one person that wants their clothes to be white, there's a big group of people who want their clothes to be white, but there's also a group who don't care about white. They just want to throw it all together and make it easy to wash. Any business has exactly that.
Tony: What would you say to a business owner right now that is in a position where they've seen a shrinking of their market? A lot of people on the higher end where financing is involved, car dealers, real estate people. You've done an amazing job. People rave about the fact that they're still able to do well using your tools and that's why they keep showing up for your seminars and utilizing you as a coach.
What would you say to somebody in that area to say, "Okay, here's how I would attack really differentiating who your customers are and how to really meet their needs? Let's talk about it from a practical perspective. You're going to coach somebody, what would be the steps you'd take them through if somebody's watching right now and going, "Okay, this is wonderful. I get I should do more direct marketing. I get it shouldn't just be personal promotion. I know just getting my people just prospecting's not going to work. Tell me what to do?"
Dean: In any business, in any market environment, there's always one element of the market that is thriving. When things are going well in one, it's maybe not as good in another, but when things go bad in the other, there's often people who are doing well in other markets. People are-
Tony: Give us an example.
Dean: Okay. You talked about car dealers. People aren't buying SUVs, but they're certainly buying Priuses and they're buying cars with great gas mileage.
Dean: There are people who bought homes two years ago at the top of the market, their house I now worth less than they paid for it. It's not as easy for them to sell their home or to get out. That's why the foreclosure market is so high. People who didn't buy a home then, two years ago, first-time buyers, never been as affordable as it is right now. Interest rates are really low. It's a first-time buyer market.
There's a lot of opportunity for investors in this market. There's a lot of opportunity for people who have lived for 10 years in a home and now want to buy a little bit bigger home. They've got equity in their house, they're not upside down. Often, because the media really focuses on the pain, they focus on the negative so much, nobody ever talks about how great an opportunity is for anybody who lived in a two-bedroom home for the last 10 years. They've built up some equity. They want to buy a bigger home.
Two years ago they couldn't because things were so out of control price-wise even though their house had gone up, proportionately the more expensive home was even more expensive. It's looking at where's the best opportunity right now given the market conditions and having the flexibility and acuity to recognize it and be able to adapt to what the current market conditions are.
Tony: I think that's the biggest piece. I think people tend to believe when things are going well, it's going to go well forever. And, when things are going poorly, it's going to go poorly forever. I work with one of the top financial trainers in the world, one of the top ten. I've coached him for 16 years. This is a guy that made half a billion dollars in 1987 when the market crashed. He made half a billion that day. That day.
Tony: The president called him up, "This is unbelievable, what do I do?" What's interesting is, he then lost money for the next few years because he didn't even adapt. He'd kind of gone beyond his vision, didn't adapt. I've coached him for these 16 years. He's made money every year. He made 24% this last year when most hedge fund guys were losing 30 or 40 or even more very often.
What's interesting to me was, here's a guy that the reason he's done well is once he's learned that he has to adapt, he adapts now. There's no hesitancy. You and I were talking and saying there's stocks right now out there that four months ago cost $80. You can buy it for five. There are people out there that are just freaking out about this and saying, "My entire future's gone." He said, "It's not gone. What you got to understand is it's going to come back."
Now, it's not going to go from five to 80 in the next year or two. It might not be there for five, seven, eight, even 10 years. If you look what happened in the 1930s, you look what happened in the 1970s, some of those five-dollar stocks are going to be one dollar still. Some aren't done. Some are going to 25 cents, but they'll be a six-month period. It happened in the 70s. It happened in the 30s, where that 25-cent stock will go to five bucks. It won't go to 80, but it will go to five bucks. Well 25 cents to five dollars, that's a 2,000% return in six months. That's more than most people see in their lifetime.
It's really the ability, I think, for people to be able to see what the opportunity is and be ready and adapt as opposed to it will come back or as opposed to it's gone forever. It's finding that opportunity.
Dean: I love what Warren Buffet says about that. He says, "You should be.” His personal philosophy is to be greedy when people are fearful and to be fearful when people are greedy.
Tony: I saw that.
Tony: It's really good.
Dean: That is phenomenal, isn't it? You look at it and right now, there's huge opportunities.
Tony: What do you do for somebody who's living in that scarcity where they think the good times are gone forever? Maybe that's happened because they've seen a giant drop in their business in its current form. Maybe that's somebody watching right now who lost a job. Maybe they're watching right 'cause they're trying to figure out, "What do I do? I need to create an income stream." It's wonderful to talk about passive income, but how do I go about that?
Two questions, how do you shift people's consciousness and secondly, what do you say to the person that's out there right now saying, "Damn, where do I start?"
Dean: I think that the big thing is to recognize the situation that you're in. Sometimes it's amplified by your current situation if you've lost a job and you've got a big mortgage and you've got a big house and you've got the cars and you have maybe ramped up your lifestyle to what was your current level of income. Now, a big income drop.
You've still got the same lifestyle. I think just like you were talking about with your friend being able to adapt like that, is to recognize it early. Don't let your ego get in the way of making the changes, adjusting to get to a level where you feel comfortable and then move forward. A lot of times, it feels even more burdensome when you feel like you've got to climb out of this big hole before you can make any forward progress.
Tony: To some extent, it's people's happiness is tied to when life matches how they expect it should be, our mental blueprint, people are really happy. When life doesn't match their blueprint, they're really unhappy and the world has changed. Many of us have got to shift our mindset and just say, "Okay, this isn't starting over. This is starting fresh." Getting yourself in a position where you don't have as quickly as possible. You have some liquidity or you don't have the overhead so you can begin to build something.
If somebody's looking to start a business right now and they want to meet your criteria. They want to wake up in the morning and they want to be able to say, "What am I going to do today?" They want to be able to do their best work, something that they're excited about. They want to be in a position where time doesn't control them, there aren't a bunch of deadlines. They want to deal with people they enjoy. What do you recommend? What are the first steps?
Dean: Well, I start with the lifestyle. I developed that 'I know I'm being successful'. When you start looking at a business, another sort of matrix that I used, I call it the Freedom Matrix, for looking at the different types of work-related things. There's a series of progressions. One of them, for instance, is the type of work that you're doing. If I look at it on one end of the Freedom Scale would be original work where you're doing something one time. It's not going to live on. It's right there.
The next level up from that would be a customized piece of work where you've done a lot of it, but you're customizing it for somebody. The next level would be personalized where it's not custom but it maybe is personalized for them. The next level up would be as is where it's one piece.
Another type is the kind of work, the way you're delivering the work, whether it's the lowest level on the Freedom Scale would be one-on-one where you're only working with one person.
Tony: Because there's no leverage there.
Dean: Right, exactly. The next level up might be a small group of people where you could do something that a small group of people are going to benefit from.
Tony: Even coaches. Do one-on-one coaching or you can do group coaching as an appropriate example.
Dean: That's exactly right. Yeah, coaches would start out one-on-one or you can do a small group. Next might be a larger group, a teleclass or a seminar or something like that. The ultimate freedom would be on the end where it's unlimited. It doesn't matter how many people, a product would fit that where if you're developing a product, you're not bound by one person.
Location might be another one where you look at the where you're delivering work. If it's in-person, on-site, that's sort of the lowest level of freedom. In-person at my site is when people come to me. That's a level up. But, on the telephone, or over the internet, gives you that freedom where you're geographically unhooked from that.
Tony: And, you can scale to the whole world because you can reach people anywhere.
Dean: Yeah. Then, the ultimate freedom is that there's value delivered while you're on the golf course or on the beach where you don't have to be anywhere to deliver that value. You look at then the way people get compensated. An hourly fee, an hourly rate is sort of on one end where it's a direct exchange between what you're doing and when you're getting paid. You're getting paid for the time value that you're creating.
Moving up from that, you might do something on a flat-fee basis.
Tony: So I can get the result in less time. No problem.
Tony: Got it.
Dean: Another worry you might go into a partnership arrangement where you get a percentage of profits. You get a percentage of the value that you're creating. The ultimate freedom is to create profits for yourself in your own business, your own product.
Another one would be the scheduling of it. I look at it from you can do things that are synchronous and scheduled, like a one-on-one coaching call is synchronous and scheduled.
Tony: At this time.
Dean: Yeah. You can do synchronous and unscheduled where you're available but you're responding to somebody. Somebody can call you and you're there to deliver the coaching or the value synchronously, but you don't have a scheduled time for it.
Crossing that line, you move into asynchronous with a deadline. So, you got asynchronous value but you got to create it by a certain date.
Tony: You don't have to deliver it at a time but by a date.
Dean: Ultimate would be asynchronous at my discretion. When I look at things-
Tony: It's not hard to figure out which scale you go on.
Tony: You go the far level of freedom as much as possible.
Dean: That's intentional.
Tony: No, I see that.
Dean: That's intentional.
Tony: People need to know that they can do that. What I'm hearing you say is start with the end in mind. That's why I started the interview with you on this. Start by saying what is the level of freedom that I want and what does that look like or what is my definition of success. It isn't just freedom, right? Is it time? Is it who I spend time with? What are the criteria?
It's amazing that most people I know, if they get obsessed about something, there's something they really want and they're crystal clear about what it is, even if they don't have a plan, I'm sure you've experienced this, all of a sudden, you hear a conversation because it's so a part of your focus and consciousness or you attract somebody to you. The deal comes together. It's like, "Where did that come from?"
Just because the power of the mind being so focused on it. It isn't being frou-frou here, being Harry Fairy. It's the way your mind works and you start to notice things. If people can get crystal clear about what they want and crystal clear about what's the level of freedom that they really need and then not settle, then we live in a world today where technology provides the ultimate level of freedom if you want them.
Tony: That's really what you're saying.
Dean: Some people don't. Some people would prefer to have a black and white relationship with their business. Some people would prefer to know that I have synchronous, one-on-one coaching calls that I get an hourly rate on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday and to know that on Tuesday and Friday, they don't. That's okay too.
I think the big thing though, the path to the freedom side is that you have to disconnect from getting the reward for the work immediately. Most cases, if you're working for an hourly wage or you're working for an hourly fee, you're getting paid right away. You've delivered the value, you get paid.
The thing about creating things on that freedom side is that you have to before it ever gets to the point where it can produce that income for you, is that you have to do the work and you're not getting paid for it. You're doing work that you can see is going to create value or you hope that it's going to create value, but you're creating it ahead of time. You have to do the work before you get there.
Tony: Everything has a trap. Freedom requires that you take the risk and that you believe that you can add that value and you find a way to test and get it out there in a way that makes sense.
Dean: That's it.
There we have it. I really enjoyed that experience. It really was nice to have that conversation with Tony and I hope that you are enjoying it. There's other interviews that we've done with Tony on my podcast, on ilovemarketing.com. Joe Polish and I have had Tony on two times on the I Love Marketing podcast and then he's come and spoken at Joe Polish's Genius Network event, which there may be a video of that on our I Love Marketing podcast as well. Just a super brilliant thinker, so more from Tony if you want to dig a little deeper with that.
Now, something else. I'm very excited that we have just finished our Listing Agent Scorecard and that means that everything that we talk about within the Listing Agent Lifestyle, all the eight elements, we've put together a simple scorecard for you to see where the eight elements are working for you and where they're working against you, where the biggest opportunity is for you. You can do it at ListingAgentScore.com. It's all online.
You can fill out the scorecard and get a sense of where the biggest opportunities are. You get a sense of what's actually possible for you by evaluating where you are right now. I would encourage you to do that at listingagentscore.com. If you'd like to continue the conversation here, you can go to listingagentlifestyle.com. You can download a copy of the Listing Agent Lifestyle book and I'll put the links to the Tony Robbins' episodes of I Love Marketing in the show notes of the episode here. That's at ListingAgentScore.com.
Then, if you really want to dig deep and go after applying all the things that we talk about in the Listing Agent Lifestyle, all of our programs for getting listings and converting leads, and finding buyers, and getting referrals, all of that is at gogoagent.com. I invite you to come over, take a look around. You can have a complete 30-day, no credit card required trial. You can come in and take a look, see everything that we've got, introduce yourself, check out our message forum and our member blog, and I would look forward to seeing you over there.
Have a great week and I will talk to you next time.