Sep 9, 2022

What I'm Up To - Vol. 62

Here’s what I’ve bee up to since Vol. 61…

1. The Dogs Days of Summer, Siriusly

The Greeks deemed late July and August as the “dog days” because Sirius the “Dog Star” occupied the same region of space as the sun. They believed the star actually gave off heat. And this supposedly made everything so dang hot. Well, it’s been that kind of month.

While we did end a stretch of 51 days without rain, the real estate market continued its downturn, we suffered a round of layoffs at work, and my sister started her own battle with cancer. As I noted in recent volumes, my preferred strategy is not to wallow in the mire. There’s a lot we can’t control. But we can control our response.

No one knows how to navigate a shifting market better than KW. Gary Keller kicked off our mid-year conference, MegaCamp, in a “Charge the Storm” t-shirt. He encouraged everyone to model the bison who turn towards the storm to get through it faster. Likewise, our KW team rallied around the impacted workers to help them find other positions. And my sister, a fighter, has a tremendous support team to help her through her chemo.

One of my favorite quotes from our event was from Jen Davis, the VP of our coaching company, MAPS. “In anxious times,” she said, “Productive activity lowers anxiety.” It’s a good motto for us all.

2. Silver Linings

Since we’re playing with etymology, the phrase “silver lining” comes from a 17th-century poem by John Milton describing the sun (or moon) shining behind dark clouds. Look, we all learned something today!

Wendy and I kicked off the month with a site visit to the La Cantera Resort in San Antonio where we’ll be hosting the 6th annual One Thing Goal Setting Retreat. Our mini retreat was exactly the recharge I needed going into a couple of trying work weeks. The spa pool is the bomb.

La Cantera, like Wendy, is pretty spectacular.

Gus completed a publishing apprenticeship with our writing team for school. It was pretty cool having him at work and taking him for burgers at lunch. He also wrote this nifty blog article on the power of saying “no.” He’s a published author now!

Wendy turned 51. And her birthday can’t be contained to a single day. It was more of a ten-day celebration with parties, dinners, gifts, and more birthday burpees. She’s worth every burpee.

We ended up hosting more than 8,000 associates for MegaCamp (with another 4,000 attending virtually). By all accounts, it was just what agents and leaders needed. I’m super proud of our team, who rallied just days after the layoffs to fill gaps and make it happen. You can read my and others’ ahas in the September 2nd edition of the TwentyPercenter.

Finally, I flew off to Vegas for my fantasy football draft. The core guys have been hosting their auction drafts since 1997. I’ve been at it since 2006. We rented a cabana at the Circa Resort and enjoyed a pool day before drafting. I successfully drafted a competitive team, avoided the blackjack table, and came home with cash in my wallet.  I’ll report back in a few weeks when reality punches my well-laid plans in the nose.

3. What I’m Reading

I had a lite reading month completing two nonfiction books. I’m a sucker for narrative fiction. And The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival by John Vaillant largely lived up to the billing. (Author Ryan Holiday had listed it as one of his favorites.) The book is the story of the hunt for a man-eating Siberian tiger in rural Russia. The bookend chapters on the tiger were best. But I also learned a lot about Russia and Russians. Since they are steadily in the news, I hope this provides a little perspective as well.

I also completed Pitch Perfect: How to Say it Right the First Time, Every Time by Bill McGowan. McGowan is Angela Duckworth’s speaking coach and she recommended it highly. If you’re serious about top-grading your public speaking, it’s worth checking out. I’d actually recommend the audiobook as he delivers extra nuance in his delivery.

4. What I’m Watching

One of the places I retreat to when I’m down is the cinema. Wendy knows this and really indulged me this last month. We loved Prey (Hulu) and The Bear (Hulu). Prey is part of the Predator franchise and is my favorite of the bunch. The Bear is a story about grief and the restaurant business. I hope it wins a bunch of awards. My favorite themes were around a team learning to be a team and the nature of excellence.

I was also pleasantly surprised by Thirteen Lives and Vengeance. The former is Ron Howard’s retelling of the 2018 rescue of 13 soccer players in a flooded cave in Thailand. The latter is B.J. Novak’s writing and directorial debut about a true crime podcast in West Texas.

Finally, I would file The Gray Man (Netflix), Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney), and Ambulance (free on my flight to Vegas) under “guilty pleasures.”

That’s it for this month. Please reply back and let me know what you’re up to!

Be well, do good deeds, and eat tacos!