Top Takeaways from 2023 KW Family Reunion
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“One day, the mountain that is in front of you will be so far behind you, it will barely be visible in the distance. But the person you become in learning to get over it? That will stay with you forever. And that is the point of the mountain.”– Brianna Wiest
Last week more than 10,000 KW associates from 57 countries gathered in Anaheim for our 2023 annual convention (aka Family Reunion). Since my 2022 MegaCamp recap was met with cheers not jeers, here are some top quotes, aha’s, and takeaways from our big event.
Gary hosted the CEO Summit, Vision Speech, State of the Company and interviewed most of our keynote speakers.
- “Make change a strategy, not a threat.” This was an underlying theme throughout the event. Yes, the market is turning. Yes, there are fewer transactions. Yet we can choose to see this as an opportunity, adjust our tactics, and get our unfair share. “Don’t be driven by the fear of losing; be driven by the opportunity to win.”
- “Diluted focus delivers diluted results.” Real estate professionals have four outsized opportunities (below). When we line them up like dominoes, they build financial and professional momentum that is hard to match. When we get distracted, well, we fall short of our potential.
- Real estate sales – Few professions have a higher financial upside with so few barriers to entry. When we master this, everything after gets easier.
- Real estate investing – Real estate professionals have an informational advantage. We see the inventory first. We understand value and how it is created in real estate. We are professional negotiators….The list goes on. As top agent Haro Setian pointed out, in stocks this would be considered insider trading.
- Real estate sales business – When you turn your sales practice into a business, you can build a cash machine to fuel your investments.
- Real estate investing business – Eventually, you can bring people and systems leverage to your investing to optimize it as well.
- “Eventually, we get the relationships we deserve.” The relationships that matter are a daily practice.
- “To change your life, you have to change your identity.” To be your future self, you have to believe you are already that person. “Are you this person becoming that, or are you the person growing into that? Today, I’m living that the best I can. Tomorrow, I’ll do better.”
- “Your life will only scale to the level you develop leaders. And leaders by definition develop leaders.”
- “Be driven by what matters to you…Which is going to get me my biggest life? Fear or love? It’s always love.”
Mo joined Keller Williams in 1995. She led the company as CEO for ten years and is currently vice chair of the board. Strangely, this was the first event where she and Gary appeared on stage together.
- “When God puts a dream in your DNA, it comes true despite your circumstances.” Mo’s journey is too much to tell for this short newsletter. She has overcome enormous challenges to make a meaningful impact on our industry, the world. Faith is a huge part of her story.
- “There is opportunity in adversity.” Mo’s business would never have joined KW if they hadn’t lost everything in the downturn. One of the first things she did when she found success at KW was to repay all her debts and the debts of all her partners. She refused to let them declare bankruptcy. Character is also a big part of her story.
Ryan shared a wonderful keynote pulled from his bestselling books on Stoicism and joined us for a Q&A after.
- “Everything is your opportunity to grow. We can’t control what happens. We can control how we respond.”
- “Routine protects you.” Author Toni Morrison was a single mom with two kids working as an editor at Random House. She got up early to write. Ryan shared that she “had to do her writing routine before she heard the word ‘mom.’” Life will throw us challenges. Routine helps us rise above them.
- “Don’t say maybe when you really want to say no. When you explain, you’re inviting them to debate your reasons.” Every “yes” must be protected by a thousand “nos.”
- “A love of fate. Amor fati. We love fate because it’s how we get to prove who we are.” Learn to embrace what life throws at you.
- “Do it if you’re going to do it. You make your own momentum.” I would add that every routine can be a big part of this. Do your lead gen every day. Small actions add up over time!
Dr. Layne Norton
In an Q&A, Layne shared his story and provided data-supported answers to our questions about health.
- “I would never allow myself to quit anything I was passionate about.” Layne failed at weight lifting for ten years before he finally got results. He went on to be a world champion. When people say “follow your passion” this is what that looks like!
- “It’s not about the genes. It’s about the habits and behavior they pass down.” Layne on the likelihood that children of obese parents are more likely to be obese. Children of one obese parent are 40% more likely to become obese. If both parents, the rate doubles to 80%. While genes matter, the way parents role model their relationship to food may matter more.
- “People always want to put blame and responsibility together….No matter whose fault it is, you have to be responsible for the choices you make.” The relapse rate for diets may be high, but we must own the choices we make. I believe this is true for life, not just weight loss.
- “Choose who you want to be and ask what their daily habits are. What are your nonnegotiables? What can you not afford to skip?” Successful dieters form a “new identity.” This goes hand in hand with Gary’s comments above. Identity can define behavior and behavior can define identity. It goes both ways. Decide who you want to be and start behaving accordingly as best you can.
- “The best diet is the one you can stick to.” All diets end up being a form of calorie restriction. When you burn more than you consume, you lose weight. Don’t overcomplicate things. Choose the form of restriction that is the least restricting.
- “Fiber matters.” An increase in fiber consumption has a linear relationship with longevity. It also fills you up, helping with calorie restrictions. Eat more berries but don’t wipe your hands on your pants!
- “64 ounces of water is enough for most people.” While the takeaway for many may have been that Diet Cokes and coffee count, Layne cut through all the conflicting info on hydration. No one needs to lug a gallon jug with them to meetings every again.
- “Whatever makes it harder in the short term makes it easier in the long term. Whatever makes it easier in the short term makes it harder in the long term.” Layne was talking about strength training but, again, this is a life lesson. Get used to doing hard things!
Molly Fletcher chatting with Gary and I after her keynote.
Molly spent 20 years as a sports agent. A female trailblazer in a male-dominated industry, she negotiated more than $500M in contracts for elite athletes and sports professionals. Along the way she got to observe what separated the best pros from the rest.
- “The best step into change. They step into challenge. The person who steps out the other side is a better version…You’ve got to be better than your problems!” Gary, Ryan, Layne, Molly, and Ed (below) touched on this theme. The market may be tough, but when you successfully navigate it you will be a stronger, more talented version of you!
- “Discover the gaps in the lives of the people that you want to serve.” Molly lives this. I ran into her backstage before her keynote. For the next 45 minutes she politely interrogated me. She wanted to know exactly what agents were facing so she could best serve them.
- “Energy is key to performance, it matters. Get clear on what gives you energy and what drains your energy.”
- “People overestimate talent and underestimate discipline. It’s about who recovers from adversity faster than everyone else. The best recover fast.”
Ed wrote The Power of One More, the best-selling business book of 2022. He also delivered one of the most powerful keynotes I’ve seen. He made us laugh, he made us cry, and inspired us to be better.
- “Most think their past disqualifies them from success. Their past is exactly what qualifies them.” This idea hit home for many in the audience. Our self talk matters. Who we were does not determine who we can become.
- “On the other side of temporary pain, you meet a better side of you.” With a nod to Napoleon Hill, Ed echoed a theme we all need to hear right now. When we push through tough times, we come out stronger. And that stronger version of you will be all the more confident when the next challenge comes along.
- “Confidence comes from keeping the promises you make to yourself – the difference between confident and superhuman is that you keep promises and do one more.” The people with the most self-confidence are the ones that keep the promises they make to themselves.
- “At the end of the day, focus on one thing you are proud of.” This practice builds more confidence and momentum than just focusing on gratitude.
- “The difference between those who win and lose is momentum. Momentum is a magnifier.” When you realize that you can’t do it all today, you can decide to do one thing. And tomorrow you can do another. And the next day. Momentum can start small and compound in ways we can’t imagine.
- “The most insidious kind of dysfunction in the world is a parent who is not in pursuit of their dreams. [Your children] know the joy or lack thereof in your own life. You are neglecting your children if you’re not in pursuit of your greatness.” Equating settling with child neglect was a gut check for every parent in the room. You could feel the energy shift.
- “It’s not a lack of vision. It’s depth perception. You think it is farther away than it is.” The future is built on what you do today. Stop procrastinating. Take the first step today.
- “Find your inspiration. It has to be bigger than the adversity.” We call this your “Big Why.” Tap into it and you’ll be surprised by what you can accomplish.
- “To have influence, people don’t have to believe what you’re saying. They have to believe you believe.” Anyone who heard Ed talk couldn’t doubt for a second that he believes what he says. He believes and his belief opened the door to ours.
Special shoutout to Brett Tanner, who leads KW Wealth. He gave an excellent keynote on wealth building that included a number of action items to save on taxes. I was unsuccessful at converting his slides into takeaways, so you’ll just have to check out his group!
If you like this, don’t wait for my MegaCamp 2023 recap. Sign up! Even the best recap has half the value of the real event.
Finally, thanks to Wendy Papasan, April Murphy, David Voorhees, Jason Abrams, Jen Davis, and Seychelle Van Poole who shared their top ahas with me. Many of the quotes above are courtesy of their notes.
One question to ponder in your thinking time: How can I turn this challenging market into an opportunity to grow?
Make an Impact!