Musings of a Career Consultant

SoCal Texan in Bmore Leading Rock Stars

#boom Moments from The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time March 4, 2015

This was an easy read so if you’re jumping into business development and not looking to take on Rockefeller or Carnegie’s autobiographies quite yet, this is a good jumping off point.

A lot of my highlights happened in the forward written by Jim Collins (author of Good to Great) so it doesn’t make my number of aha’s surprising.

  • What’s your greatest hedge against uncertainty? Having people who can adapt to whatever the mountain throws at you.
  • Great decisions begin with really great people and a simple statement: I don’t know.
  • I tried to make heroes out of those on my team who identified flaws in my thinking.
  • No major decision we’ve studied was ever taken to the point of a unanimous agreement. There was always some disagreement in the air.
  • What is the truth of this situation?
  • What is the truth about the outside world?
  • Some decisions are much bigger than others; some are forks in the road.
  • We are responsible for our own outcomes. –Southwest
  • You can’t entirely control your own destiny with good decisions. Luck is still a factor.
  • Decision-making is ultimately a creative act.

About Steve Jobs: his leadership matched the culture of the company… a sense of flair, showmanship and pride. –Adam Lashinsky

The decisions that make or break companies are often cobbled together on the fly. Why? Because no one can come up with anything better. Over a drink… they decided… to make yet another momentous decision. –Jennifer Reingold about Zappos

With the Tylenol recall of 1982, Johnson & Johnson decided that “everyone came before stockholders.”

There are so many more. This is a taste of this easy-to-read book. Enjoy!


There’s 2 kinds of hustle January 26, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — mkzabora @ 9:11 am

Seth Godin says there are two kinds of hustle.

“There’s the hustle of always asking, of putting yourself out there, of looking for discounts, shortcuts and a faster way. This is the hustle of it it doesn’t hurt to ask, of what you don’t know won’t hurt you, of the ends justifying the means. This hustler propositions, pitches and works at all times to close a sale, right now.

This kind of hustler always wants more for less. This kind of hustler will cut corners if it helps in getting picked.

Then there’s the hustle that’s actually quite difficult and effective. This is the hustle of being more generous than you need to be, of speaking truthfully even if it delays the ultimate goal in the short run, and most of all, the hustle of being prepared and of doing the work.

It’s a shame that one approach is more common (though appropriately disrespected), while the other sits largely unused.”

I’m sure y’all’re all experts at being the first kind of hustler. If I could impart anything, it would be to find the second in your leverage. Then you’re a double threat.


What You Can’t Google May 29, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — mkzabora @ 8:54 am
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For years I’ve been harping about highly suggesting agents give consumers “what they can’t google”. That is, after all, where our value lies.

Once upon a time, consumers needed a REALTOR to tell them everything about a home. Now, they have it all at their fingertips… literally. Their cell phone’s in their hands right now. So much of what used to be private, close-to-the-chest information is now super public. So, REALTORS have to step up and step in.

We often can’t even begin to see where our value lies because we forget what we take for granted that we know. Like how this subdivision has roof problems or this floor plan’s garages always leak when we have heavy rains or how this sliver of a city actually is in a better school district. 

So, give your people what they can’t google. Don’t know where to start or are new in the industry? Start with Then favorite every city website and calendar. Go to city hall and compliance departments and ask questions and get to know the staff. Find out what charity events and festivals are coming to town. Become a student of your cities.


Telemarketing? Take Notice! February 21, 2014


REALTORS® who use telemarketing are subject to the Do Not Call rules. The FCC’s new Robocall rules impose some additional requirements for obtaining consent when making a prerecorded
telemarketing call to a residential phone number or making an autodialed or prerecorded telemarketing call or text to a wireless number. The new rules require that telemarketers first obtain written consent to receive such calls or messages, on paper or through electronic means, including website forms, a telephone key press, or a recording of oral consent.

Additionally, a telemarketer will no longer be able to make a robocall to a residential
landline telephone based solely on an “established business relationship”. Business callers must now have prior express written consent before making telemarketing robocalls, even if they have an established business relationship. Telemarketers have never been permitted to make robocalls to wireless phones based solely on an “established business relationship”.

Finally, the new rules require that telemarketers must allow an immediate opt out from receiving
additional telemarketing robocalls, even if prior consent has been given. The opt out provision must be announced at the beginning of the call and must be available throughout the call. This new requirement means that the person receiving the call will not have to hang up and make a separate call in order to stop further telemarketing robocalls.

Originally produced by CAR Realegal. More information can be found here.


Do you have a WIG? October 30, 2013

No, I’m au natural.

Bruce Hardie was just in Baltimore talking about The 4 Disciplines of Execution and getting your Wildly Important Goal figured out.

Oh, that kind of a WIG… Yea, I’ve got one of those!

Most of us do not have a problem with getting great ideas. Hell, we could revolutionize our industry with all of our awesome thoughts we come up with throughout the day. It’s the plan for execution we trip on. Yep, I’ve felt those bruises, too.

So, figure out what your 1st domino is: what is the ONE Thing that when you achieve will make all your other little goals easier or unnecessary? That, my friends, is your WIG.

There are 4 steps however you have to build a rock solid foundation before you throw up beams and a roof and call it a home.



Things Keep Popping Up June 6, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — mkzabora @ 5:15 am

Time blocking and I are homies. We hang out all the time. I live and breathe off of my perfectly time blocked calendar. Time blocking has released so much stress in my life. You have no idea.

You have no idea because things keep ‘popping up’. A buyer needs to go out. I have a new listing. This paperwork needs to be submitted. It just keeps ‘popping up’. This is me just coming from curiosity: did you not know yesterday that there might be a buyer that could call and want to see homes? Did you not know yesterday that your full time job is taking listings? Did your broker just start asking for paperwork today?

When things ‘pop up’, fit them in. Your schedule that is.

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard (even very successful) REALTORS say that they can’t time block. I believe that’s incredibly short sighted. How can we best get the outcome we desire? Planning. Business starts with a business plan and personal stems from that. If you aren’t planning for your business, is your family getting the short end of the stick?

I see my family in Texas at least 3-4 times a year and sometimes 6 times a year. That’s not by default, it’s by design.

If you’re living a life by default, it might be worthwhile to Skype or visit your favorite time blocker. I believe you and your family deserve better, do you?


Finding Value in Your Business March 22, 2013

This article by Keller Williams Metro NW Team Leader Melissa Krchnak originally appeared on YPN Lounge by REALTOR Magazine Blogs.

We often get asked, “What’s the return on investment on this or that?” And most times, we can quantify our answer. Although if it’s about Facebook, we might respond the way Gary Vaynerchuk would: “What’s the ROI of your mother?”

But do you know the difference between something being an expense versus asking about its ROI? As REALTORS®, we all probably have those inevitable monthly expenses: sign storage, database management software, and digital signature services. Have you ever taken the time to really think about these things and what they mean—and cost—for your business?

I was having this conversation with a colleague and here is how he described the difference: An expense is something in which we’ve yet to find the value. That was a big BOOM moment for me! I see the value in those “expenses” just listed and yet I’ve never questioned their ROI.

Go check your bank statement and see if there’s something on there you’re not finding valuable. That, my friend, is an expense. My advice is to pull out your income statement and clear your books of these “expenses” so you can better invest in items with an “ROI”. Don’t have an income statement handy? Here’s a sample chart to peruse.

Melissa Krchnak is the Team Leader for Keller Williams in Pikesville, MD. Connect with her on Twitter @mkrchnak.


From Coast to Coast March 14, 2013

I left Texas 7 1/2 years ago and started what was an amazing life in Southern California. My real estate team enjoyed some great years in the downturn and my leadership grew due to the opportunity I snatched up all around me. Because of those two combined pieces, I was offered and accepted a position as the Team Leader/CEO of the Keller Williams Metro NW Market Center. My new home is in Baltimore, MD.

That’s right… Maryland! It’s a big move and yet I believe this is an amazing opportunity to let my real estate team in SoCal to continue to grow while I build on my leadership. Even if it’s from the other coast.

This is an amazing opportunity for all of my clients. You now have a coast to coast  REALTOR that’s ready to help you find the best agent for you, even if it’s not me.


You’re My REALTOR®, I Just Didn’t Use You February 26, 2013

This article by Keller Williams Rancho Cucamonga Assistant Team Leader Melissa Krchnak originally appeared on YPN Lounge by REALTOR Magazine Blogs.

You’re really lucky if this hasn’t gone down with a friend before:

Friend: Melissa, can you answer this mildly vague real estate question? *insert excitement*

Melissa: Of course, Friend. I’m happy to help with all of your real estate needs.

Friend: Awesome! So, we’re buying this house and our agent said… *insert face palm*

Have you ever had that go down? And, you know what killed me? The next time I saw them:

Friend: Hey, Friend 2, have you met our REALTOR®, Melissa? *your REALTOR®, Melissa?!?!?!*

That’s right. I’m happy to accept the title as *their* REALTOR® even though I — and I really do blame myself — missed the boat on helping them with their purchase.

You want to know a dirty, little secret? I didn’t think they were financially ready to purchase. That was such a valuable lesson. Not only did I learn I needed to get better at my follow-up/touches/dripping, I learned that I shouldn’t judge or assume anything about my clients (or my friends), including what I believe they can or cannot afford.

If you’ve yet to have a friend use someone else, please heed this lesson and learn from my mistake. I’m glad I was able to help my friend with her purchase. I just wish I would’ve been one of the REALTORS® getting paid at the end of the day.


Before a Dollar Was Cheap… February 11, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — mkzabora @ 9:21 am
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Before there was a Dollar Tree or 99 Cent Store, there were Five and Dime stores.

My Aunt Viola (who’s really my great-aunt), has run her store, Holub’s Five and Ten, for over 70 years (even after my Uncle Daniel passed nearly 30 years ago). She’s an amazing woman and closed her doors Saturday.

Her sweet store obviously didn’t curb the trend and yet she was proud of it in its heyday. Are there any pieces of your business that are a bit outdated and need some updating/love?