Ask Bill

Why 2 Slogans?

Hello, Bill Foss here of Bill Foss Coaching and Consulting. Thank you for being here for another session of Ask Bill. I was asked the other day, why do you have two mottos or two slogans? And I’d like to explain that real quick.

The first one is that I believe you should have to build your business to serve your life your way. A lot of people have created businesses, and I’ve had the experience of building a business I came to hate, and it was very destructive to my life. A lot of us are living within a business that isn’t serving us, but we keep going the same way. 

The second slogan that I use is to be YOU, be WILLING, be FREE. What that means is within you is a core being. Most of us aren’t even aware of what that is. We allowed others to tell us who we would be. I want you to be you. It’s not until just the most recent few years that I finally discovered who you, meaning myself, really was the core of who I was. This is part of that, as a matter of fact. 

But be willing, are you willing to be a pest? Are you willing to invest your money when it may not come back? Are you willing to put yourself out there? You have to be willing. Those things that you resist, could you just be willing? And that’s why that is there. 

And then be free. What does that mean? To be free to take action in the face of fear you may have. To be free, to take action, to call someone when you were afraid of being past. You became willing to be a past. And now are you free to take that action, even though the talk going on in your head and the feeling in the pit of your stomach is you don’t want to. Are you free to take action because you’re willing to face that possible embarrassment, or being passed, is the case, maybe? I was just throwing out examples. 

So those are my two slogans, your business, your life, your way, and the way you do that is you, be willing, and be free.

What is the most important thing in starting a business?

The first question I’m going to deal with today comes from a new real estate agent, but this is true of pretty much any business. As far as I’m concerned. What is the most important thing I can do, Bill, to get off on the right foot in my real estate business? And let’s just take out real estate. 

The best thing you can do as you’re going into the business world and the entrepreneurial world is, know thyself. And I know that sounds cliche. But self-awareness of what’s going on between the ears and in your gut is probably the most important thing that you can work on. Because what will happen as you begin to grow, you will hit thresholds, you’ll hit ceilings, and you need to be able to look within and see where you’re hitting that ceiling. 

And what’s the story going on in your mind? What is it that self-judgment, maybe self-criticism? There are all kinds of things that go on within ourselves that limit us. And so I’ve seen many people get into business and, in particular, the real estate business. They could be massively successful, but they allowed what was going on between here to run them out of business. And so it was short-lived. 

So number one, the most important thing, in my opinion, is to become focused on self-awareness. And become, I can’t go into how to do this but become focused on what’s the story. What are the words and images going on in your mind’s eye as you begin to hit thresholds? 

I hope you find that beneficial. I look forward to helping you. Again this is Bill Foss, Bill Foss Coaching and Consulting.

Why the term Valley of Death?

Hi, Bill Foss, here from Bill Foss Coaching and Consulting. I was out to dinner with a brokerage owner, someone I’ve done some consulting with, and he was very upset by a class I had done that mentioned the Valley of death, and he finds it off-putting. And he asked me why I continue to use that. And I unapologetically explain the reality is most brokerages that have between five and twenty agents are not profitable.

If you take the owner of the brokerage production out, and you inserted a manager. There wouldn’t be money to pay a manager, and the owner could never walk away from that business. Most of the time, they’re leaving some of their money in the till to pay the bills. Most of the time, the average gross profit per agent is way below what it needs to be. And they often depend on one or two agents and their products to make it profitable. 

So they’re teetering on edge at all times. So I don’t apologize for the Valley of death comment. It’s been my experience that most of them, not all of them that are in that five to twenty agent range, are not really viable. They’re not really healthy. They just feel like they are. And it’s quite comfortable, right? That range of agent count is easy to manage. It’s easy to go out and list and sell and make some money.

But the reality is the business, which is there to earn a profit, not with the owners’ production in it. Usually, that isn’t the case. It can be done, and it’s just a general statement. I like to have people get beyond the level of what I call the Valley of death. And I want to wake people up to think, not to think that their brokerage is doing great, which usually if you pull those numbers out, they really aren’t doing all that well. So, it’s a term I use to get your attention, but it’s also a term that’s indicative of how close to

the edge most brokerages are that are on that size.